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Showing posts from November, 2012

Hispanics and the Texas model

Politico:
Texas GOP touts its Hispanic model This is a long mostly favorable piece.

It talks about George Bush's outreach and willingness to speak Spanish even if it was not very good.  People appreciated the effort.  While the article did not mention it, Texas has always been generally welcoming to new comers whatever their origin.  There are several Nigerian immigrants whose second generation is excelling in school.

I grew up with Hispanics.  They were actually the majority in my high school.  Most of their families have deep Texas roots.  Many of them went to Texas colleges and universities and returned to their community as teachers, and business occupations.

Another aspect of the outreach effort not mentioned in the article is that large portion of current Republicans are former Democrats.  It is natural that they would reach out to Hispanic Democrats and point out the benefits of switching.  One of those benefits is mentioned indirectly in the article.  They get appointed to …

Obama's unbalanced approach to debt crisis

Larry Kudlow:
GOP Shouldn't Sign Any Deal That Doesn't Include Spending Cuts It should also be made clear that there will not be an increase in the debt limit until he agrees to spending cuts.  Obama is acting like an irresponsible juvenile when it comes to spending.  In fact he is worse than most juveniles I know because they don't spend more than they have.

Returning to the failed lawfare policies of the past

Guardian:
The US is heading for a "tipping point" beyond which it should no longer pursue al-Qaida terrorists by military means, one of the Obama administration's most senior lawyers has said.

Jeh Johnson suggested the group would become so degraded that a time would come when the legal authority given to the White House by Congress should no longer be used to justify waging the war that has been fought since 2001.

Johnson said that when this happened, America had to "be able to say ... that our efforts should no longer be considered an armed conflict against al-Qaida and its affiliates".

Instead, the responsibility for tackling al-Qaida should pass to the police and other law enforcement agencies.

Johnson has been general counsel at the US defence department for the past four years and has given advice on every military operation that needs the approval of the president or defence secretary. ...  I disagree.  The size of their force is not the relevant factor.  Th…

Obama opposes new round of Iran sanctions

Foreign Policy:
The White House announced its opposition to a new round of Iran sanctions that the Senate unanimously approved Friday, in the latest instance of Congress pushing for more aggressive punitive measures on Iran than the administration deems prudent.

On Thursday, Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) introduced the amendmentto the National Defense Authorization Act, which the Senate passed 94-0. The new legislative language would blacklist Iran's energy, port, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors, while also placing new restrictions on Iran's ability to get insurance for all these industries. The legislation would also vastly expand U.S. support for human rights inside Iran and impose new sanctions on Iranians who divert humanitarian assistance from its intended purpose.

"The window is closing. The time for the waiting game is over," Menendez said on the Senate floor Thursday night. "Yes, our sanctions are having a demonstrable effect on the …

Afghan invents low cost mine clearing device

CNN: An Afghan designer and former refugee has developed a low-cost, wind-powered mine detonating device inspired by the toys he played with as a child.

Massoud Hassani's Mine Kafon is composed almost entirely from bamboo and biodegradable plastics, with a skeletal structure of spiky plungers that resembles a giant spherical tumbleweed from another planet.

At 70 kilograms, Hassani says his invention is light enough to be propelled by a normal breeze, while still being heavy and big enough - 190cm in diameter - to activate mines as it rolls over them.

According to the U.N., there are more than 110 million active mines scattered across 70 countries, with an equal number stockpiled around the world still waiting to be planted. ...
By contrast, Hassani claims the Mine Kafon -- which includes a basic GPS tracking device used to record the area "cleared" by its tumbling path - costs as little as $40 to build.  "The core sphere that contains the GPS system is high enough fr…

Danger signs for White House?

They will just have more questions to ignore.  They are too committed to the cover up and too many others in the media are likewise committed to it.

Ted Cruz suggest new message for GOP

Politico:
Texas Sen.-elect Ted Cruz advised the Republican Party to rebrand itself under a banner of “Opportunity Conservatism” during a sweeping speech Thursday night that will only stoke speculation about a 2016 presidential run.

Speaking before the conservative American Principles Project dinner at a downtown Washington hotel, Cruz said the GOP’s thumping in the 2012 elections was more the result of poor messaging and communication than the wrong ideology.

“Why did we lose? It wasn’t as the media would tell you: because the American people embraced big government, Barack Obama’s spending and debt and taxes. … That wasn’t what happened. I’m going to suggest to you a very simple reason why we lost the election: We didn’t win the argument,” Cruz said before pointedly lowering his voice. “We didn’t even make the argument.”

While the 41-year-old Cuban-American warned that Republicans need not abandon their principles in order to rebound electorally, he did suggest the party should retool i…

Benghazi facility lacked 'man-traps' State guidelines called for

Washington Times:
The U.S. mission in Libya where a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack lacked special security barriers that the State Department’s inspector general recommended three years ago for diplomatic facilities in danger zones, the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said Thursday.

The State Department inspector general recommended in 2009 that U.S. diplomatic facilities in danger zones have special holding areas for visitors called “man traps,” but the U.S. consular facility in Benghazi did not have them, Sen. Susan M. Collins of Maine told reporters after a four-hour, closed-door briefing from senior intelligence and defense officials on Capitol Hill.

“While there were improvements made for security, those specific recommendations for man traps were not built in Benghazi,” she said.

The “man traps” that the inspector general recommended were “an enclosed area for pedestrian and vehicular ins…

House would vote against any Senate bill that used Reid's filibuster rule

Washington Times:
House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that if Democrats change Senate rules to limit filibusters, any bill they send over to the House under the new procedures "would be dead on arrival."

"Senate Democrats' attempt to break Senate rules in order to change Senate rules is clearly designed to marginalize Senate Republicans and their constituents while greasing the skids for controversial partisan measures," Mr. Boehner said in a statement. "Any bill that reaches a Republican-led House based on Senate Democrats' heavy-handed power play would be dead on arrival."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he will try to change Senate rules on the first day of the new Congress next year to try to limit when the minority party can filibuster, though he will not do away with the tactic altogether.

... This may give Reid something to think about, but he is stubborn enough to ignore the threat for now.  It would probably take a long te…

President not looking for a deal

Ed Rogers:
There is no case to make that President Obama is showing leadership to facilitate an agreement and make sure the fiscal cliff is avoided. I don't think he is shirking a leadership role because he doesn't know how to lead, I think it is because he doesn't want to lead. If The White House wanted to get something done, things would look very different in Washington right now.

Let's review the bidding so far. The president and congressional leaders have had one meeting — where the only result was a staged photo and birthday wishes for Speaker Boehner — and there may have been a stray phone call or two between Obama and Boehner as well. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who will be leaving his job as soon as he can, went to Capitol Hill briefly, and the president has held some campaign-style scripted events outside of Washington. And White House press secretary Jay Carney has said the administration doesn't believe the problem will be solved by actually condu…

John Kerry gets some support for State Department job

NY Times:
For Secretary of State, G.O.P. Pushes Old HandSenator John Kerry appears to have more unqualified support from Republicans than his own partymates, many of whom believe Susan E. Rice has been treated unfairly. Obama has shown poor political judgment since winning reelection and he could compound his problems if he goes with Rice for State and Kerry for Defense.  He will find himself having to fight substantial opposition for both.  Neither is particularly qualified to be Secretary of State.

Rice is just not that smart and has bungled issues for decades before she wound up is Obama;s sock puppet on five Sunday talk shoes trying to mislead voters about Benghazi before the election.  She was there in charge of the Africa desk when it turned down request for tighter security for the embassies that were bombed during the Clinton administration..  she was also there when that administration stood buy during the genocide in Rwanda.

Kerry on the other hand has been wrong about every…

White House unconcerned about misleading people on Benghazi

It is a remarkable admission of a lack of concern for what hapened after the attacks.  Well, of course not.  The election is over and Obama won so "mission accomplished."  Never mind the four dead Americans.

Navy prepares cyber warfare strategy

Bill Gertz:
The U.S. Navy is preparing to wage cyber warfare attacks against enemies during conflicts and must avoid strategic surprise from a future cyber attack on its networks, according to a strategy report made public Wednesday night.

“The opening salvos of the next war will likely occur in cyberspace and the Navy must be ready,” the report said. “We must organize, train, and resource a credible workforce of cyber professionals and develop forward-leaning, interoperable, and resilient cyberspace capabilities to successfully counter and defeat a determined adversary in cyberspace.”

The report, “Navy Cyber Power 2020,” outlines the Navy’s plans to defend against cyber attacks and to conduct cyber warfare and other operations in future conflicts.

Threat of cyber attack comes from nations, terrorists, and hackers. Among the threats are jamming of communications of weapons systems and aircraft; denial of network communications; disruptive internal penetrations of computer networks; and a…

Chicago's tradition of corruption

Andrew Malcolm:
...
See if you can follow along now. The details are revealing of the uncompromising history, incestuous inner workings and municipal mores of the place that produced Obama the politician.

Yesterday Mel Reynolds announced his candidacy for the House seat representing Illinois' 2d Congressional District, which includes the city's South Side and -- oh, look! -- Obama's Hyde Park house. So, he'll be eligible to vote in the February Democrat primary and the meaningless April special election.

That special election became necessary after the sudden resignation last week of the district's easy Nov. 6 election winner, eight-term member Jesse Jackson Jr.

Jackson Jr. has been absent from his House duties most of this year during treatment for depression and bipolar disorder. His situation was complicated by revelations that federal authorities are probing allegations of his misuse of campaign funds, not a rare occurrence in Chicago politics.

That resignation and…

The effect of higher taxes on the 'rich'

IBD:
A report says that nearly two-thirds of Britain's millionaires have left the country since the government established a 50% top tax rate. Is the U.S. about to repeat the same mistake?

According to the London Telegraph, the number of British taxpayers who earned more than 1 million pounds a year fell from more than 16,000 in the 2009-10 tax year to 6,000 "after Gordon Brown introduced the new 50% top rate of income tax shortly before the last general election."

"It is believed," reports the Telegraph, "that rich Britons moved abroad or took steps to avoid paying the new levy by reducing their taxable incomes."

It's a common story.

Between 2004 and 2008, more than $70 billion in wealth left New Jersey, according to a study by Boston College's Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. Increases in taxes on income, sales, property and millionaires all contributed to the exit.

Down the coast in Maryland, there was a net loss of 31,000 residents from 2007 …

You think?

Daily Mail
Cameron: 'I'm NOT convinced by Leveson'. PM warns 'complicated plan to cross Rubicon' and regulate press by law COULD impinge on free speech There is no reason to regulate the media.  If people break the law and invade people's privacy in the course of doing a story, they should bear the consequences of that.  What is being proposed wound be unconstitutional in the US.

China's civil service 'exam' for women

Guardian:
Chinese women protest at gynaecology checks for civil service jobs There is apparently no corresponding "short arm" inspection for men.  Use your imagination.

Sea level rise less than half inch over last 20 years

BBC: Melting of polar ice sheets has added 11mm to global sea levels over the past two decades, according to the most definitive assessment so far.

More than 20 polar research teams have combined forces to produce estimates of the state of the ice in Greenland and Antarctica in a paper in Science.

Until now different measurement means have produced a wide range of estimates with large uncertainties. ...
The study's headline conclusion is that the polar ice sheets have overall contributed 11.1mm to sea level rise but with a "give or take" uncertainty of 3.8mm - meaning the contribution could be as little as 7.3mm or as much as 14.9mm.
... Eleven millimeters is  0.433071 inches.  Keep that in mind when someone tries to suggest that rising sea levels had something to do with the damage of hurricane Sandy.

Obama's unserious offer

Washington Post:
President Obama demanded Thursday that Congress relinquish control over federal debt levels and approve at least $50 billion in fresh spending to boost the economy next year as part of a deal to avert the year-end fiscal cliff, senior Republican aides said.

The proposal, delivered Thursday by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to top congressional leaders, also seeks $1.6 trillion in new taxes over the next decade, starting with an immediate increase in tax rates for top earners. It makes no concession to Republicans who want to raise cash by eliminaing tax breaks instead of raising rates.

In return, the president offered to find $400 billion in 10-year savings from federal health and retirement programs. But those savings would be wiped out, the Republican aides said, by Obama’s proposal to extend a slew of expensive policies, including emergency unemployment benefits and a temporary payroll tax holiday that is now set to expire at the end of the year.

Aides said th…

Obama can't repeal the law of diminishing returns

Opinion Journal: ...
The Journal reports that as of Wednesday morning some 173 companies had announced special dividends, compared to only 72 in the same period a year ago. A recent Bloomberg analysis found that from September to mid-November, 59 companies on the Russell 3000 stock index had declared one-time cash payments to shareholders, four times last year's pace.
"I find no precedent like this at all going all the way back to the 1950s," Howard Silverblatt of S&P Dow Jones Indices told the Journal. Then again, there's no precedent for the Obama Presidency.  Other companies, like the manufacturer Leggett & Platt, LEG -0.60% are moving up their regular quarterly dividend to be payable in December rather than in January. Wal-MartWMT +0.45% did the same last week, moving its expected $1.34 billion dividend payout to this year. Watch for many more to do the same.  Shareholders should enjoy this windfall because the longer-term result of higher tax rates is that…

Who delivered the 'blow' to optimism about fiscal cliff?

Washington Post:
House Speaker John A. Boehner delivered a blow Thursday to the optimism that Washington leaders have been showing over negotiations on the fiscal cliff, saying that there’s been “no substantive progress” in attempts to reach a deal and that “the White House has to get serious” on entitlement spending.

At a press conference after meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and White House legislative affairs chief Rob Nabors, Boehner said that the meeting and a call with President Obama on Wednesday evening left him believing Democrats are not willing to rein in spending on entitlements as part of the deal.

“The White House has to get serious,” he told reporters, adding, “We have no idea what the White House has been willing to do.”

Boehner called the meeting and phone call “frank and direct” but added that “no substantive progress has been made” to avert the automatic spending cuts and tax hikes set to take effect Jan. 1.

Financial markets, which have been betting…

Fiscal cliff is Democrats agenda

George Will:
With a chip on his shoulder larger than his margin of victory, Barack Obama is approaching his second term by replicating the mistake of his first. Then his overreaching involved health care — expanding the entitlement state at the expense of economic growth. Now he seeks another surge of statism, enlarging the portion of gross domestic product grasped by government and dispensed by politics. The occasion is the misnamed “fiscal cliff,” the proper name for which is: the Democratic Party’s agenda.

For 40 years the party’s principal sources of energy and money — liberal activists, government-employees unions — have advocated expanding government’s domestic reach by raising taxes and contracting its foreign reach by cutting defense. Obama’s four years as one of the most liberal senators and his four presidential years indicate that he agrees. Like other occasionally numerate but prudently reticent liberals, he surely understands that the entitlement state he favors requires r…

The problem with higher ed ...

Michael Barone:
In 1904, journalist Lincoln Steffens wrote a book called "The Shame of the Cities." At the time, Americans took pride in big cities, with their towering skyscrapers, productive factories and prominent cultural institutions.

Steffens showed there were some rotten things underneath the gleaming veneers -- corrupt local governments and political machines, aided and abetted by business leaders.

In recent weeks, two books have appeared about another of America's gleaming institutions, our colleges and universities, either of which could be subtitled "The Shame of the Universities."

In "Mismatch," law professor Richard Sander and journalist Stuart Taylor expose, in the words of their subtitle, "How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It's Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won't Admit It." In "Unlearning Liberty," Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, describes how universi…

Al Qaeda's affiliates are not on their heels

Daniel Bynum:
...

Al Qaeda is best understood as a set of circles. At the center, the bullseye, is a relatively small organization of perhaps several hundred fighters who swore loyalty to Osama Bin Ladin and now to his successor, Ayman Zawahiri. They are often referred to as the “al Qaeda core,” “Al Qaeda Central,” or the “Al Qaeda Senior Leadership” (of course, this being Washington, this immediately became AQC or AQSL). At the outer circles are a loose set of groups and individuals who share at least some of the core’s ideology and goals: so the “D.C. Five” who traveled from the United States to Pakistan, reportedly to fight U.S. troops in Afghanistan, had no operational links to the core but accepted its key tenet that U.S. forces were engaged in an oppressive struggle against Islam and should be fought with all means. In the middle circles are individuals who received some al Qaeda training and support but who have not sworn loyalty to Zawahiri.

Perhaps the most important, and most …

Israel needs to secure Gaza-Egyptian border area

Daniel Pipes:
...

To any sentient person, it is obvious that Israelis are 100-percent justified to protect themselves from wanton attacks. A cartoon from the First Hamas-Israel War of 2008-09 symbolically showed a Palestinian terrorist shooting from behind a baby carriage at an Israeli soldier in front of a baby carriage.

The tougher question is how to prevent further Hamas-Israel wars. Some background: If Israelis are 100-percent justified protecting themselves, their government also bears complete responsibility for creating this self-inflicted crisis. Specifically, it made two misguided unilateral withdrawals in 2005:
From Gaza: Ariel Sharon won reelection as prime minister in Jan. 2003 in part by mocking a rival who called for the unilateral withdrawal of all Israeli residents and soldiers from Gaza; then, inexplicably, in Nov. 2003 he adopted this same policy and put it into effect in Aug. 2005. I dubbed this at that time, "one of the worst errors ever made by a democracy."…

Democrats in big trouble in West Virginia

Nate Cohn:
After a brutal Election Day, Republicans led off the 2014 recruiting cycle with some good news: Popular West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito announced that she would challenge long-time Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller for his seat. Although Rockefeller has never won reelection by less than 27 percentage points and Democrats continue to dominate at the state-level in West Virginia, Republicans have plenty of cause to be optimistic about their chances in the Mountain State.

...

The national Democratic Party’s embrace of gun control and environmental regulations brought an abrupt end to West Virginia’s Democratic-lean in presidential elections, but local and state Democrats distanced themselves from the national party on cultural and environmental issues and continued to succeed in statewide elections. Indeed, Rockefeller won reelection by 27 points in 2008, even though McCain won the state by 13 points—a 40-point gap. But after four years of the Obama administration, it …

With $86 trillion in obligations Obama focused on $83 billion tax?

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Charles Krathammer, sees the tax issue more as one to destroy Republican political support instead of trying to seriously deal with debt crisis.

Why we need Social Security Reform

Phillip Klein:
... It's one thing to argue that growing health care costs make Medicare and Medicaid a more daunting long-term fiscal challenge. But to say Social Security isn't a driver of the debt is to ignore math and huddle in a state of liberal denialism.

More money is spent on Social Security than on any other single program in the federal budget, including all defense spending. By 2022, nearly 25 percent of federal spending will be devoted to Social Security, according to the Congressional Budget Office, up from 20 percent last year. In contrast, even if Congress votes next month to avert automatic defense cuts, the share of the budget devoted to defense spending is projected to shrink from 19 percent in 2011 to 12 percent by 2022.

All told, the federal government will spend $10.5 trillion on Social Security over the next decade (2013 to 2022), according to the Congressional Budget Office. To say this will have no effect on deficits is preposterous on its face.

Defenders o…

Entitlement reform should be the price of any tax increase

Charles Krauthammer says tax increases Obama wants are the only bargaining chip Republicans have and they should demand entitlement reform to get them.  I think Democrats at this point would rather see us go off the cliff so they can blame Republicans for higher taxes on the middle class.

Republicans better start making the argument that what they are asking for in making Medicare and Social Security solvent for the middle class so they will be there when the next generation retires.  They need to be seen as teh saviors of these entitlements rather than a threat.  They have to transfer to the Democrats and their reckless spending as a threat to these programs.

Syrian rebels closing on Damscus

Peter Munson:
The first reports about a major operation by the Free Syrian Army in the capital city of Syria, Damascus are currently spreading throughout social media sources, with a lot of hype. The size or extent of this rebel offensive is not clear at all yet, and this is at least partially due to an FSA-requested blackout on Internet communication about the ongoing combat. But given the FSA’s success inrecent weeks, it is possible to discern certain patterns that are worth commenting on.

First off, the FSA has been gradually escalating its efforts in Damascus for weeks. The rebels tapped lightly at Damascus at first, to see if it was hollow, and they found that it was so the FSA tapped harder, and it became apparent that Damascus was not just hollow, but brittle too. In the belt of suburbs to the south and east of Damascus, the FSA has been making gains for weeks. Marj al Sultan Airbase in Eastern Damascus fell to a rebel assault three days ago. The southern suburb of Darayya has …

DOD's green energy boondoggle should be cut first

Daniel Horowitz:
... One of the most preposterous aspects of the sequester is that it randomly cuts the Pentagon’s budget across the board, treating naval ships and green energy programs equally. As Tom Coburn noted in his recent report on the Defense budget, “Department of Everything,” there are numerous wasteful programs within the DOD. Most prominently, Coburn discovered that the DOD ran 116 green energy initiatives in 2010, more than the EPA or the Department of [Green] Energy. Specifically, the Navy and the Air Force have been investing in fueling their fleets with biofuels. All branches have been co-opted into using “green building codes.”

So not only have we foisted the expensive and impotent green regime on domestic activity, we have tied our national security to the success of the failed green regime.... ...  I agree.  These projects have been pushed on the basis that there is a scarcity of fossil fuels.  We now know there is not such scarcity and the only reason one may e…

Some conservatives oppose limiting deductions

Conn Carroll:
House Republican leaders planning to offer increased revenues through closing loopholes in fiscal cliff negotiations with President Obama need to check in with their base. Conservatives are not only not buying the distinction between raising revenue though rate hikes and limiting deductions, they are also arguing that closing loopholes would be worse.

“I am absolutely in favor of simplifying the tax code. I am absolutely in favor of getting rid of loopholes. But I am absolutely opposed to engaging in machinations of the tax code designed to increase spending through closed loopholes and the like,” RedState‘s Erick Erickson writes. “[GOP] plans are designed around tactics, not strategy, and tactics designed to avoid as much blame as possible for a mess they were complicit in creating.”

American Enterprise Institute fellow Marc Thiessen details why closing loopholes would be a strategic error: “Every dollar from limiting deductions that is used for a down payment today is a …

Milton Friedman--The problem with redistributing wealth

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It ultimately would destroy society by encouraging people to spend money frivolously rather than invest for their children't future.

Food stamps cost US $6 billion a month

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Michele Fields says Republicans have the leverage to make Obama come forward with spending cuts.  I wish they would start acting like they have that leverage.

Because liberal men don't?

Pathoes:
Liberal Women Wish for More Sex. Why? While this could be data suggesting the inadequacies of  liberal men, that assumes these women are in a relationship at all.  That maybe the problem since recent polling showed that single women strongly supported Obama and married women supported Romney.

Marginal tax rates matter?

Telegraph:
Two-thirds of millionaires left Britain to avoid 50p tax rate  Unfortunately the story is behind the Telegraphs new pay wall, but it is hard to ignore the data in the headline.  It should be obvious that it is easier for the rich too avoid taxes than it is for others. The total tax rate on the rich in the US will actually exceed 50 percent if Obama gets his way.

Obama's PR campaign to avoid responsibility for doing nothing

Ed Rogers:
David Nakamura and Zachary A. Goldfarb wrote a good piece in The Post today titled "Obama public relations effort aims to avoid 'fiscal cliff'." Actually, the president is on a PR tour to avoid dealing with the issue and to place blame on Republicans when we do go over the cliff.

The White House is nothing if not forthright. Yesterday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, "I don't think there is a lot of faith that a bunch of people sitting around a table are going to solve problems on behalf of the American people." Well, he's right if one of those people is President Obama. The president doesn't have the desire or the skills to solve the problem by sitting down with other government leaders.

The president's campaign/PR strategy makes sense. The president then has a role to play; on the stump he can taunt Republicans with slogans and shallow rhetoric and not much else. He has not developed enough of a mastery of the details to …

Ted Cruz win biggest upset of 2012?

Sean Sullivan, Washington Post:
We were reminded this cycle that no candidate is ever 100 percent safe, no matter the advantage in name recognition, money, or campaign apparatus. Every cycle, there are handful of head-turning upsets, and 2012 was no exception.

Wednesday we are handing out the Fixy – the coveted political awards that we, well, made up — for the biggest upset of 2012. While there were several good options to choose from, one stood above the rest: Ted Cruz’s upset of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Texas Senate Republican primary. His upset was a true grassroots victory against very long odds.

Dewhurst began the campaign in 2011 with just about everything a statewide candidate running in Texas could want: A strong fundraising apparatus and the ability to self-fund millions of dollars, widespread name identification,connections to the state’s most influential pols, and the goodwill of the state’s popular Republican governor.

Cruz, meanwhile, was simply a little-known former…

Where are the President's spending cuts?

Pat Toomay talks about the revenue side of the "balanced" approach, but what we have not seen is any proposal by Obama or Democrats on the spending side which is the real problem.

Jennifer Rubin points out that we have a President who is incapable of cutting a deal.  Campaigning is easy.  Working out a compromise appears to be beyond Obama's ability.  It is one of the reasons he should have been defeated in this year's election and it is the main reason he wants to act like the campaign never ended.

Obama would rather continue to campaign than govern

Washington Post:
Obama launches full-fledged PR effort on ‘cliff’
Campaign-style events that include talks to small-business owners will try to increase pressure on Congress to make a deal before automatic cuts. This seems to be a recognition that Obama is incompetent as an executive and believes that making a speech is the same as governing.  This also happened to be his failed strategy during past legislative battles.  It led to the Republican landslide in 2010 and to his failure to deal with the debt crisis in 2012.

It is unlikely that anything good can come form this trip.  Voters want actions and not speeches.  But Obama has not ability to negotiate a compromise with anyone who has a fundamental disagreement with him.  In fact, he barely has the ability to compromise with Pelosi and Reid.

Just in time for a tax increase

NY Times:
California’s Economic Gloom Starts to Lift
After nearly five years of brutal decline, government retrenchment and a widespread loss of confidence in its future, California is showing the first signs of a rebound. I suspect teh NY Times did this story because they think increasing taxes will lift the economic gloom in California.  But, history shows that they will only make things work, and with a super majority of Democrats in teh legislature, california can count on more control freak regulations and laws as well as other new taxes to pay for non productive state pensions and projects like the goofy bullet train to bankruptcy.

The higher taxes and regulation will only mean more businesses leave California further depressing the blue states economy.  The fact is that the blue state model of California, Illinois and New York is an abject failure, but liberals have never been particularly tethered to reality so they keep on doing the things that have made their state  population…

The unbalanced approach to education

Campus Reform:
96% of political donations from Ivy League faculty, staff went for Obama Clearly these schools need more conservatives on their faculties and staff.  After all, we are told we need a balanced approach from this administration and this is clearly unbalanced.  Perhaps this is why so many young people have the delusional belief that Democrats are on their side as they facilitate predatory lending to students and pile up debt these young people are going to have to pay off for the votes Democrats are buying today.

Obama, what is your real plan?

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Sen. John Cornyn challenges Obama to come up with a real plan for dealing with the debt crisis.  It is really hard to take Obama's current suggestions seriously because they do not address the issues seriously.  Democrats are not willing to deal with the main drivers of the debt which include entitlements and interest on the debt that they keep running up.  Why didn't Republicans run this graphic during the election?

Rep. Mike McCaul in line for Homeland Security Committee

Austin American-Statesman:
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, is expected to be named on Wednesday as chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, a high-profile panel that focuses on preventing terrorism and securing the borders.

The House Republican Steering Committee voted Tuesday to recommend McCaul. The Republican Conference, made up of the majority party’s members, will make the final, procedural vote Wednesday. Assuming all goes as planned, McCaul will replace Rep. Peter King, R-New York.

...

McCaul currently chairs one of the panel’s subcommittees. His spokesman Mike Rosen said he didn’t know of any immediate implications for Central Texas, but that McCaul is aware of potential terrorist targets in the state, such as petrochemical facilities on the coast and the Port of Houston.

McCaul edged out Rep. Candice Miller, a Republican from Michigan, who had sought to be the first female chair of the powerful committee.

Though Miller won’t get the top position, Republican leader…

I don't buy this

Guardian:
US coastal cities in danger as sea levels rise faster than expected, study warns The problem with this study is that the surge tide from Sandy, like that of many other hurricanes over the last hundred years, would have swamped lower areas regardless of what the sea level was over the last 100 years.  What is happening here is that environmental opportunist are trying to use the effects of this storm to push their control freak agenda.

What the storm may do is spark a debate on the practicality of coastal development and the types of structures that should be built near the coast.  That is a debate worth having, but not in the context of global warming.

There are other studies that show a de minimis rise in the sea level over the last two decades.

Hurricanes have long had killer surge tides.  The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 hit with 145 miles per hour winds and killed between 6,000 and 12,000 people.  At the time the highest point on Galveston Island was 8.7 feet.  The surge t…

US schools rank 17 in education, but tops in spending

BBC:
The UK's education system is ranked sixth best in the developed world, according to a global league table published by education firm Pearson. The first and second places are taken by Finland and South Korea. The rankings combine international test results and data such as graduation rates between 2006 and 2010. Sir Michael Barber, Pearson's chief education adviser, says successful countries give teachers a high status and have a "culture" of education. International comparisons in education have become increasingly significant - and this latest league table is based upon a series of global test results combined with measures of education systems, such as how many people go on to university. ... The top 20 listed in order:
FinlandSouth KoreaHong KongJapanSingaporeUKNetherlandsNew ZealandSwitzerlandCanadaIrelandDenmarkAustraliaPolandGermanyBelgiumUSAHungary