Friday, January 27, 2012

Top 10 Reads of the Week - January 27, 2012

Newt Gingrich's Challenge: Changing Americans' View of Him - Eugene Robinson [Washington Post]
And it’s not as if people don’t know the man. He has near-universal name recognition, pegged at 92 percent in the Fox poll and even higher in other surveys. Americans seem to be saying, “Yes, we’ve met Mr. Gingrich, and no, we don’t think we like him very much.” 
Nearly identical results — 58 percent disapproval, 28 percent approval — were found in a CNN poll earlier this month. And this antipathy toward Gingrich is nothing new. A list of surveys over the past two years, compiled by the TalkingPointsMemoWeb site, shows that the mercurial Gingrich is consistent in at least one thing: his unpopularity... Read the Rest 

The Sinking of the West - Mark Steyn [National Review Online]
Abe Greenwald of Commentary magazine tweets:
Is there any chance that Mark Steyn won’t use the Italian captain fleeing the sinking ship as the lead metaphor in a column on EU collapse? 
Oh, dear. You’ve got to get up early in the morning to beat me to civilizational-collapse metaphors. Been there, done that. See page 185 of my most recent book, where I contrast the orderly, dignified, and moving behavior of those on the Titanic (the ship, not the mendacious Hollywood blockbuster) with that manifested in more recent disasters. There was no orderly evacuation from the Costa Concordia, just chaos punctuated by individual acts of courage from, for example, an Hungarian violinist in the orchestra and a ship’s entertainer in a Spiderman costume, both of whom helped children to safety, the former paying with his life... Read the Rest
Newt's Character flaws in the open - Jennifer Braceras [Boston Herald]
We already knew that Newt Gingrich left his first wife, Jackie, when she had cancer so that he could marry his second wife, Marianne. 
We also knew that Gingrich later left Marianne, after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, so that he could marry his third and current wife, Callista. 
But on Thursday we learned, from Marianne Gingrich’s explosive interview with ABC News, that the former speaker asked her for an “open marriage” so that he could carry on with Callista with impunity... Read the Rest
Obama Begins State of the Union By Asking Congress To Imagine Newt Gingrich
Standing Before Them
[Source: The Onion]

Gingrich's Ideas Collapse Under Weight of Logic - Ramesh Ponnuru [Bloomberg]
Even Newt Gingrich’s toughest critics concede that the former speaker of the House, now enjoying his second comeback in the Republican presidential race, is a font of ideas. 
Republican voters who listen to him hear proposals they have never heard before: bold, exciting proposals, made with complete confidence in their workability. His originality is a big part of his appeal. But even his fans concede that not all of his ideas are good.
Everyone has good and bad ideas, of course. Getting them all tangled up with each other is one of the chief characteristics of Gingrich’s intellectual style... Read the Rest
Why Do Obama Officials Get Rich? - Rich Lowry [National Review Online]
Stephanie Cutter, an adviser to the Obama reelection campaign, wrote a scathing memo the other day about Mitt Romney’s experience at Bain Capital, subtitled “Profit at Any Cost.” 
Cutter sounded like a sworn enemy of private equity. Except a few years ago, she was a spokeswoman for J.C. Flowers, a private-equity firm. Why do work for J.C. Flowers when there are so many other worthy ventures needing communications help that don’t make insane amounts of money and pay incredibly well?... Read the Rest
Clever Edit of the Week






11 Things Obama Didn't Tell You About Tax Fairness - James Pethokoukis [Enterprise Blog]
President Barack Obama talked a lot about taxes and fairness in his State of the Union speech last night. Like this bit:
But in return, we need to change our tax code so that people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay our fair share of taxes. … We don’t begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it’s not because they envy the rich. …Tax reform should follow the Buffett rule: If you make more than a million dollars a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes. 
Are wealthier Americans really not paying their fair share? Here are some numbers on income inequality:... Read the Rest

Re-Elect Obama: Vote Newt! - Ann Coulter [AnnCoulter.com]
To talk with Gingrich supporters is to enter a world where words have no meaning. They denounce Mitt Romney as a candidate being pushed on them by "the Establishment" -- with "the Establishment" defined as anyone who supports Romney or doesn't support Newt.
Gingrich may have spent his entire life in Washington and be so much of an insider that, as Jon Stewart says, "when Washington gets its prostate checked, it tickles [Newt]," but he is deemed the rebellious outsider challenging "the Establishment" -- because, again, "the Establishment" is anyone who opposes Newt.
This is the sort of circular reasoning one normally associates with Democrats, people whom small-town pharmacists refer to as "drug seekers" and Ron Paul supporters... Read the Rest
Past Their Sell-By Date - Matt Labash [Weekly Standard]
The New Hampshire primary, more than most stops on the campaign trail, is no place for human dignity. It sits at the crossroads of abasement and overhype. It is populated by rubberneckers, drunks, moral pygmies, and publicity tapeworms—and that’s before you ever leave media HQ at the Radisson Hotel on Elm Street.

But to make a reporter truly question his career choice, one need only cross the street to Veterans Memorial Park. While the election circus is in town this week, the park is inhabited by Occupy The New Hampshire Primary, a subsidiary of Occupy Wall Street™—the anticorporatist, anti-one-percenter, anti-everything movement that since last September has proved that the Tea Party ranks a distant second when it comes to screaming in the streets while wearing fruity costumes... Read the Rest
The President Plays Small Ball - Charles Krauthammer [Washington Post]
Once upon a time, small ball was not Barack Obama’s game. Tuesday, it was the essence of his State of the Union address. The visionary of 2008 — purveyor of hope and change, healer of the earth, tamer of the rising seas — offered an hour of little things: tax-code tweaks to encourage this or that kind of behavior (manufacturing being the flavor of the day), little watchdog agencies to round up Wall Street miscreants and Chinese DVD pirates, even a presidential demand “that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.” Under penalty of what? Jail? The self-proclaimed transformer of America is now playing truant officer? 
It sounded like the Clinton years with their presidentially proclaimed initiatives on midnight basketball and school uniforms. These are the marks of a shrunken presidency, thoroughly flummoxed by high unemployment, economic stagnation, crushing debt — and a glaring absence of ideas... Read the Rest
Chart Worth a Thousand Words of the Week

Investors.com Chart
One World - James Ceaser [Weekly Standard]
Whatever else the grandiose project of “building Europe” may have accomplished—and at this point the entire edifice seems to be teetering​—​it has proven an enormous boon to social scientists and legal scholars. Scores of research centers, study groups, and commissions have been created both in Europe and America to explore the myriad issues relating to “European integration.” With generous funding from numerous universities, foundations, business corporations, and from the European Union itself (under the names of one or another of its countless agencies), researchers have done very well for themselves while making Europe among history’s most studied subjects.
For Americanists like myself, this extravagance has been not only an object of envy—no long weekend jaunts to Budapest for us—but also a matter of perplexity. No one denies Europe’s importance: It is wealthy, cultured, and until recently was the center of power in the world, as well as the source of many of its woes. But how these advanced states, which are no longer inclined to or capable of conducting war against each other, should coordinate their governing structures would seem to be a question of local interest, not a focal point of concern for the world beyond. Even the plan, now in limbo, to append Turkey to Europe, which probably struck many here as being at odds with both geographical reality and common sense, was a matter for the parties themselves to determine... Read the Rest
Funniest Not-So-Funny Thing I Saw This Week

Time Traveler From the Year 1998 Warns Nation Not to Elect Newt Gingrich [The Onion]
Saying he came bearing an important message from the past, a stranger from the year 1998 appeared on the Capitol steps Thursday and urged voters not to elect Newt Gingrich president in 2012. "In the late 20th century, Newt Gingrich is a complete disgrace!" said the time-traveling man, warning Americans that 14 years in the not-so-distant past, Gingrich becomes the only speaker in the history of the House of Representatives to be found guilty on ethics charges, and is later forced to resign. "In my time, he shuts down the federal government for 28 days because his feelings get hurt over having to sit at the back of Air Force One. Gingrich gets our president impeached for lying about marital infidelities when, at the same time, Gingrich himself is engaged in his own extramarital affairs... Read the Rest
Funniest Thing I Saw This Week


The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Indecision 2012 - Mitt Romney & Newt Gingrich in Florida
www.colbertnation.com
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