May 9, 2012

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Looking at yesterday’s elections, Polipundit says someone had a very bad day.

It’s hard to see how yesterday’s elections could have possibly gone better for conservatives:

North Carolina added marriage protection to its constitution by a margin of 61-39!

Richard Mourdock defeated Obama’s favorite senator – the longest-serving Republican senator – by 61-39!

Scott Walker got more votes than his two Democrat opponents combined, even though he was “running” unopposed in the Republican primary!

There is no hope for Democrats in these results. None. Not even the smallest glimpse of a silver lining.

For Democrats, these results are worse than 2010. They show a continuation of that year’s tidal wave, with conservatives fired up and ready to punish Democrats and liberal causes.

If conservative passion can hold for another six months, Republicans can be expected to significantly outperform their poll numbers in November.

That should send a chill down the spine of all those Democrats who are merely tied with their Republican opponents right now. Being tied in the polls is no longer good enough. Democrats need a 5-10 point lead now to survive November.

And guess which Democrat presidential candidate is currently tied in the polls with his Republican challenger…


Bill Kristol says let Romney be Romney.

No whining. No nagging. No teeth-gnashing. These are our springtime resolutions here at The Weekly Standard, at the beginning of the six-month general election campaign to select the next president of the United States.

Let’s stipulate once and for all that Mitt Romney isn’t a perfect candidate, that he’ll have trouble connecting with some voters, and that he’ll at times fall short of compellingly articulating a reformist conservative agenda for the 21st century. We’ll further stipulate? once and for all that the Romney campaign will be at times annoyingly ham-handed, at other times exasperatingly short-sighted, and will prove in general only imperfectly capable of presenting Romney to the American people as the right man for the job. And we’ll additionally stipulate that some Romney supporters will say silly things, that some Romney surrogates will make unconvincing arguments, that various elements of the Republican party will sometimes behave stupidly, and that even some conservatives will say embarrassing things as well.

It will all be water off our duck-like back here at The Weekly Standard. We won’t worry about it, and we’ll try not even to notice it, since there’s not much we can do about it. And the good news is that, at the end of the day, it will probably all be water off the voters’ backs too. Mitt Romney will be the kind of candidate he is, he’ll run the kind of campaign he runs—and he’ll probably defeat President Obama.

Indeed, he probably has a better chance to win if he relaxes and runs as .??.??. himself. …


Matthew Continetti is annoyed with Generalissimo Obama.

One of President Obama’s most annoying habits is his tendency to mistake the 300 million people of the United States for soldiers in an army charged with national reconstruction. He, of course, is the general.

The tic is often barely perceptible, revealed subtly in those moments when Obama decries partisan politics for interfering with his plans; when he speaks of coming together for the common purpose of redistributing private income to—sorry, “investing” taxpayer dollars in—Democratic client groups; and during the rare occasions when he feels it necessary to address the nation on matters of national security and war.

Here is the president in August 2010, announcing the end of combat operations in Iraq: “And so at this moment, as we wind down the war in Iraq, we must tackle those challenges at home with as much energy, and grit, and sense of common purpose as our men and women in uniform who have served abroad.”

The way to “honor” American heroes who serve overseas, Obama said, is “by coming together, all of us, and working to secure the dream that so many generations have fought for—the dream that a better life awaits anyone who is willing to work for it and reach for it.”

What does “coming together” mean? Why, silly, it means passing Obama’s domestic agenda: …


Finally the media is vetting the president. IBD editors have the story about the lies in his autobiography.

Our president, it seems, is quite the fabulist. A new book reveals he fabricated yet another story in his 1995 memoir, this one about a white girlfriend complaining about black anger.

In his supposedly nonfiction memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” Obama claims he and the girlfriend got into a “big fight” after seeing a New York play by a black writer. He became annoyed when she allegedly asked “why black people were so angry all the time.”

Obama biographer David Maraniss contacted the former girlfriend, Genevieve Cook, who insists the scene never took place. She says they never even saw a show by a black playwright.

Maraniss, who works for the Washington Post, snagged an interview with the president and asked him about the discrepancy. Obama agreed with Cook’s account.

So why did he make up the anecdote? He told Maraniss it was a “useful theme to make about sort of the interactions that I had in the relationships with white girlfriends.”

How convenient — especially when the overall theme of his bitter memoir is white racism.

Obama told another whopper in his autobiography. He wrote that while thumbing through a copy of Life magazine, he came across a story about a black man who underwent chemical treatments to lighten his skin. He claims he recoiled in horror at the photo of the bleached man, who looked like “an albino.”

Then he says he got so angry that “I felt my face and neck get hot.” He was upset that blackness was so condemned in America that a black man would resort to making himself white.

Only, that story wasn’t true, either. Life never published such an article.

Obama also grossly exaggerates his own battles with racism while attending a mostly white prep school in Honolulu. …


And the Washington Post writes on the shrinking labor force.

If the same percentage of adults were in the workforce today as when Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 11.1 percent. If the percentage was where it was when George W. Bush took office, the unemployment rate would be 13.1 percent. 

That helps explain a seeming contradiction in the unemployment numbers — the rate keeps dropping even though job creation has been soft.

In April, the U.S. economy added a mere 115,000 jobs, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday. In a normal month, that would not even be enough to keep up with new entrants into the labor market. But in this economy, it was enough to drive unemployment from 8.2 percent down to 8.1 percent, the lowest point since January 2009.

The explanation is a little-watched measure known as the “labor force participation rate.” That tracks the number of working-age Americans who are holding a job or looking for one. Between March and April, it dropped by 342,000. But because the official unemployment rate counts only those workers who are actively seeking work, that actually made the unemployment rate go down.

Critics of the Obama administration have been quick to seize on this as the real reason for the falling unemployment rate. In February, the Republican National Committee released a research note on “The Missing Worker,” arguing that “over 3 million unemployed workers have called it quits due to Obamanomics.”

Economists say the story is considerably more complicated. For one thing, the trend predates President Obama. And while part of the story is clearly that the labor force is shrinking because the bad economy is driving workers out, another significant factor is that baby boomers are beginning to retire early — a trend that has worrying implications for future growth. …


Same numbers with a hard right spin from Ricochet.

… The Labor Force Participation Rate shows what percentage of people are working, looking for a job and not looking for a job.  It is a better yardstick to measure the workforce in America than is the usually cited “unemployment rate” which doesn’t count people  who are so frustrated they stopped looking for a job.

The graph shows a huge upswing in labor participation through the Reagan years.  George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush kept the numbers up in Reagan territory.   Since Obama has taken over, he has wiped out the entirety of the Reagan gains. …


Walter Russell Mead says there is a war against the young.

An analysis of recent jobs figures at reveals a disturbing development: the biggest beneficiaries from the economic recovery are Boomers, while everyone else is getting the shaft.

Since the Obama administration took office, there has been an epochal shift. Young workers have continued to lose jobs and incomes, while older workers have actually gained ground.

In fact, the Obama administration has seen a boom in the prospects of the 55+ crowd; their (I should say ‘our’) employment stands at a 42 year high. Net, there are 3.9 million new jobs for people over 55 since the recession began in December 2007, but there are 8.1 million fewer jobs for the young folks since that time.

Neither group may feel particularly grateful. Many of the older people working are people who decided to defer retirement, perhaps after their portfolios or pensions took a hit. The gains in employment are even higher among the 60+ set than among the 55-and-overs.

Still, it’s ironic to say the least that a president swept into power on a tsunami of young voter support has presided over a boom for the grannies and a bust for the kids. Logically, President Obama should expect to do somewhat better among senior citizens and worse among young people than in his first campaign — but logic often goes one way and politics another.

We shall see.


Another day, another column on government foolishness from Thomas Sowell.

Apparently the soaring national debt and the threat of a nuclear Iran are not enough to occupy the government’s time, because the Obama administration is pushing to force Westchester County, N.Y., to create more low-income housing, in order to mix and match classes and races to fit the government’s preconceptions.

Behind all this busy work for bureaucrats and ideologues is the idea that there is something wrong if a community does not have an even or random distribution of various kinds of people. This arbitrary assumption is that the absence of evenness or randomness — whether in employment, housing or innumerable other situations — shows a “problem” that has to be “corrected.”

No speck of evidence is considered necessary for this assumption to prevail at any level of government, including the Supreme Court of the United States. No one has to show the existence, much less the prevalence, of an even or random distribution of different segments of the population — in any country, anywhere in the world, or at any period of history.

Nothing is more common than for people to sort themselves out when it comes to residential housing, whether by class, race or other factors.

When there was a large Jewish population living on New York’s lower east side, a century ago, Jews did not live at random among themselves. Polish Jews had their neighborhoods, Rumanian Jews theirs, and so on. Meanwhile German Jews lived uptown. In Chicago, when Eastern European Jews began moving into German Jewish neighborhoods, German Jews began moving out.

It was much the same story in Harlem or in other urban ghettoes, where blacks did not live at random among themselves. Landmark scholarly studies by E. Franklin Frazier in the 1930s showed in detail how different neighborhoods within the ghettoes had people of different educational and income levels, with different malefemale ratios and different ways of life living in different places.

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