Friday, March 16, 2012

Top 10 Reads of the Week - March 16, 2012

Labor Leaders Plan To Apply New Clout In Effort For Obama - Steven Greenhouse [New York Times]
As the A.F.L.-C.I.O. prepares to endorse President Obama on Tuesday, labor leaders say they will mount their biggest campaign effort, with far more union members than ever before — at least 400,000, they say — knocking on voters’ doors to counter the well-endowed “super PACs” backing Republicans.
The same Supreme Court ruling in 2010 that set the stage for these political action committees to accept unlimited donations also allowed unions to send their foot soldiers to visit not just union members at home, but also voters who do not belong to unions — a move expected to increase labor’s political clout significantly in this year’s elections... Read the Rest

Obama Could Use A Lesson In Humility - Jennifer Braceras [Boston Herald]
Not so long ago, school children were taught that, in America, government is “of the people, by the people and for the people.”
Today, it is easy to see why most kids think that our government is “of Barack, by Barack and for Barack.”.. Read the Rest
The Real Entitlement Mentality - Roger Kimball [PJ Media]
...Mitt’s biggest challenge, apart from what George Will identified as his inveterate “Romneyness,” is countering Obama’s sly, Alinskyite mastery of the levers of power. In 2008, Obama campaigned as a political outsider, someone who would challenge the system and shake up an entrenched bureaucracy. What was not sufficiently understood was the extent to which that whole narrative was a deliberate ruse, promulgated by a politically radical machine in order to usurp power. That, in fact, is Obama’s one real area of mastery: the “long march through the institutions” in which the democratic dispersal of power is replaced with a top-down, commissar-style of governing. What he has managed to accomplish in this regard in a mere three years is remarkable.
And that brings me to the title of this column. I take it from an essay by the pollster Scott Rasmussen, linked on the page reporting Romney’s surge in the polls... Read the Rest
Must-Watch Video of the Month (tell your friends) ************
Holder's Identity Problem - Rich Lowry [Real Clear Politics]
Wherever he goes, people are required to show identification. When cashing a check. When signing up for a library card. When boarding a plane. When entering certain office buildings. When checking into hotels. When (in the case of the youthful-looking) buying a beer or cigarettes, or entering a bar. The tyranny of the photo ID is so all-encompassing that people can’t enter Holder’s own Justice Department without showing one.
Holder is outraged that in a nation where requests for photo ID are ubiquitous, more and more states are requiring that people show them when they vote. In a speech last year, Holder characterized these voter-ID laws as an assault on the voting rights that Congressman John Lewis — the hero of Edmund Pettus Bridge — fought for in the mid-1960s. Back then, blacks in the South had to fear for their safety if they showed up at the courthouse to try to register to vote. Now, states are merely asking everyone, regardless of race, to show identification that is readily available to all, regardless of race... Read the Rest
Obama's "War On Women" Backfires - Dana Loesch [Big Government]
The newest Washington Post/ABC poll shows that the majority of Americans strongly disapprove of the way in which the President is handling a number of issues, chief among them the economy and gas prices. According to the March 10th, 2012 poll released yesterday a net 50% of those surveyed disapprove of how Obama is handling the job of president with 39% "strongly disapproving" and only 28% "strongly approving." This is up from the net 46% taken on February 4th of the same year.
On the economy, 50% "strongly disapprove" whereas only 20% "strongly approve" of the President's management. His negatives greatly outweigh his positives on everything from his handling of Iran, the budget deficit, Afghanistan, and on "the situation with gas prices" where 52% "strongly disapprove" of his job performance. It represents an increasing trend... Read the Rest
Movie Poster Parody of the Week

The Truth About Fracking - Kevin D. Williamson [National Review]
In the middle-of-frackin’-nowhere Pennsylvania, Boy Genius is showing off his giant robot: It’s about 150 feet tall, God and the almighty engineers alone know how many hundreds of tons of steel, and four big, flat duck feet on bright orange legs. “Yeah, this is kind of cool,” he says of his supersized Erector Set project. “You can set those feet at 45 degrees, and it will walk around in circles all day,” a colleague adds.
But Boy Genius is not letting himself get too excited about all this — it’s pretty clearly not his first giant robot, and he’s a lot more excited about his seismic-imaging system: “It’s kind of like a GPS, but it’s underground and it works with the Earth’s magnetic characteristics.” Nods all around — that is cool. Everybody here has a three-day beard and a hardhat and steel-toed work boots, but there’s a strong whiff of chess club and Science Olympiad in the air, young men who are no strangers to the pocket protector, who in adolescence discovered an unusual facility for fluid dynamics and now are beavering away at mind-clutchingly complex technical problems, one of which is how to get a 150-foot-tall tower of machinery from A to B without taking it apart and trucking it (solution: add feet). That giant robot may walk, but it isn’t too fast: It can take half a day to move 20 feet, because this isn’t a Transformers movie, this is The Play, and Boy Genius is a member of the startlingly youthful and bespectacled tribe of engineers swarming out of the University of Pittsburgh and the Colorado School of Mines and Penn State and into the booming gas fields of Pennsylvania, where the math weenies are running the show in the Marcellus shale, figuring out how to relentlessly suck a Saudi Arabia’s worth of natural gas out of a vein of hot and impermeable rock thousands of feet beneath the green valleys of Penn’s woods. Forget about your wildcatters, your roughnecks, your swaggering Texans in big hats: The nerds have taken over... Read the Rest

Obama's Poll Troubles Suggest His 2012 Strategy is Backfiring - John Podhoretz [Commentary]
The fallout from two major polls yesterday—Washington Post/ABC and New York Times/CBS—finding measurable and significant drops in support for Barack Obama nationwide during the past month has instantly changed the national conversation. Obama is in trouble, and there’s no pretending he isn’t. One poll might have been viewed as an outlier, but two polls taken around the same time with the same sample size of American adults can’t be dismissed as statistical noise. In the New York Posttoday, in a column written before the release of the NYT/CBS survey, I suggest the media focus on macroeconomic good news is blinding commentators (many of whom wish to be blinded) to facts of American life that can’t be so easily measured. People will not be convinced that they should feel better than they do about their current financial condition and the prospects for the future by assurances about a positive change in the unemployment rate that says nothing about what’s going on with the value of their house and the cost of oil at the pump... Read the Rest
How Stimulus Fails - Jim Epstein [Reason]
It’s not hard to make the case that President Barack Obama’s $840 billion stimulus was a failure. The economy, which was supposed to recover as a result of the massive spending, has largely remained in the doldrums. The administration’s prediction in the event that the stimulus didn’t pass—an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent—was exceeded within two months of February 2009, when the bill was signed into law. (At the time, the total cost was said to be $787 billion; that figure was later adjusted upward by more than $50 billion to align with the president’s budget.) Democratic dead-enders claim this laughably inaccurate employment projection was based on a lack of knowledge about how lousy the economy really was. They tend to overlook another broken stimulus promise: that 90 percent of the jobs “created or saved” would be in the private sector. In fact, the biggest beneficiaries of stimulus funds have been public school teachers.
These big-picture truths paint a picture damning enough. But to better understand the fallacies of stimulus economics, it helps to take a close-up look at how the money was spent. To capture such a cross-section of stimulus reality, went to Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C., that is home to many government contractors and other recipients of money earmarked for the “shovel-ready” projects that were supposed to bring the economy back to life... Read The Rest
Obama's Oil Flimflam - Charles Krauthammer [Washington Post]
Yes, of course, presidents have no direct control over gas prices. But the American people know something about this president and his disdain for oil. The “fuel of the past,” he contemptuously calls it. To the American worker who doesn’t commute by government motorcade and is getting fleeced every week at the pump, oil seems very much a fuel of the present — and of the foreseeable future.
President Obama incessantly claims energy open-mindedness, insisting that his policy is “all of the above.” Except, of course, for drilling... Read the Rest
Miss Fluke Goes to Washington - Mark Steyn [Orange County Register]
I'm writing this from Australia, so, if I'm not quite up to speed on recent events in the United States, bear with me – the telegraph updates are a bit slow here in the bush. As I understand it, Sandra Fluke is a young coed who attends Georgetown Law and recently testified before Congress.
Oh, wait, no. Update: It wasn't a congressional hearing; the Democrats just got it up to look like one, like summer stock, with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid doing the show right here in the barn and providing a cardboard set for the world premiere of "Miss Fluke Goes To Washington," with full supporting cast led by Chuck Schumer strolling in through the French windows in tennis whites and drawling, "Anyone for bull****?
Oh, and the "young coed" turns out to be 30, which is what less-evolved cultures refer to as early middle age. She's a couple of years younger than Mozart was at the time he croaked but, if the Dems are to be believed, the plucky little Grade 24 schoolgirl has already made an even greater contribution to humanity... Read the Rest
The Funniest Thing I Saw This Week

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