July 15, 2012

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National Journal post liked what Romney did at the NAACP gathering.

Mitt Romney isn’t going to win the African-American vote over President Obama this November. Knowing that, it would have been understandable if Romney declined the NAACP’s invitation to visit Houston on Wednesday and address the group’s annual convention. The prospect of speaking to a crowd that overwhelmingly supports your opponent is not only politically risky; it’s personally intimidating. In such settings, and under such an intense microscope, one small misstep can snowball into a news-dominating disaster. The Romney campaign, known for being risk-averse, easily could have determined the risks outweighed the rewards and avoided the event, opting instead to have their candidate address the conference via video message.

But Romney showed up. With the critical eyes of the political world resting squarely upon him, Romney marched defiantly into the lion’s den and delivered a speech that was direct, assertive and dispassionate. Undaunted, the man seeking to unseat the nation’s first African-American president stood calmly before a group of his most fervent supporters and informed them that he, not Obama, is the one they’ve been waiting for.

“If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him,” Romney told the crowd, pausing for added emphasis. As scattered boos echoed throughout the audience, Romney offered an unscripted — and uncharacteristic — display of bravado. “You take a look,” he nodded. …

… It was a fine performance, one that delivered a distinct message to observers of all political stripes. Democrats saw a candidate who embraced adversity and wasn’t afraid to mix it up. Republicans saw a candidate who was quick on his feet and took a punch without falling down. And independents saw a candidate who isn’t the “extremist” or “panderer” his opponents portray him to be. To the contrary, his message to the liberal organization was consistent with his everyday conservative stump speech, and the optics of Romney confidently courting an opposition audience should play well with skeptical suburbanites eager for someone willing to set aside differences and talk about solutions.

There were plenty of pitfalls awaiting Romney in Houston. A more cautious candidate would have danced around them, if not avoided them altogether. That’s the candidate we thought Romney was. Republicans should hope the new, aggressive Romney is here to stay.


Corner post says Wolf Blitzer liked Romney’s move too. Here’s Wolf;

… Here is something I’d like to say to President Obama: You should have attended the NAACP convention in Houston today. Mitt Romney did. It was the right thing to do. The Republican knows the nation’s oldest civil-rights group isn’t exactly friendly turf but went anyway. On the whole, got a polite reception, but was booed when he said this: [from videotape] “I’m going to eliminate every nonessential expensive program I can find, that includes Obamacare.” Despite the boos, it was a smart political move for Mitt Romney to address the NAACP. He knows he is not going to win over a lot of black voters, but attending these kinds of events is important in reassuring a lot of the suburban white voters that he is a moderate, decent politician, someone that wants to work with all Americans. I’m surprised the president was a no-show. He is sending Vice President Joe Biden, will send a video. I checked the president’s schedule for today. He is here in Washington, D.C., over at the White House. He’s got meetings. I assume those meetings are very important. but he could have found time to pay his respects to the NAACP. …


Roger Simon says the Dems have become the party of race.

As someone who was a sixties civil rights worker, wrote movies for Richard Pryor (successfully) and Whoopi Goldberg (unsuccessfully), and has had the pleasure of working with many talented African Americans at PJ Media for nearly seven years now, I think I have earned the right to write what should be painfully obvious to everyone — most of the racism in America today is from blacks (aided and abetted by white liberals) toward whites.

In fact, it’s getting to be outrageously so. The rude treatment of Mitt Romney at the NAACP convention is yet another data point in what has become an all-too-predictable scenario.

Much of the reason for this stems from the extreme dependency of the Democratic Party on race politics. With union membership dwindling, the  party would literally disintegrate without the overwhelming support of African Americans and Hispanic Americans. Without at least the perception of racism, the Democratic Party has only marginal support. The party is forced to encourage it for its survival.  …


Powerline post on the media bias against SUV’s.

Scott wrote here about the appalling case of a 16-year-old St. Paul girl, Clarisse Grime, who was sitting in the grass at her high school, nowhere near the street, when she was struck and killed by a vehicle that careened out of control and bounced off a fire hydrant. The vehicle was driven by an illegal immigrant who has been in Minnesota for ten years without ever having a driver’s license. He was known to local authorities, having been convicted of drunk driving in 2001 and driving without a license just a few months ago. But the immigration laws are not enforced in St. Paul.

So today, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported on Miss Grime’s funeral. This was the paper’s headline: “St. Paul teen killed by SUV remembered at her funeral.” Killed by SUV? That doesn’t really seem to be the salient point. But the paper continues with that theme in the story’s second paragraph:

Clarisse Grime, run over by an out-of-control sport-utility vehicle, was Martha Tamene Woldegiorgis’s only child.

If you read to the end, you learn some of the facts, at least, about the vehicle’s driver, Carlos Viveros-Colorado. But somehow the story is a little neater and a little less troubling if you focus on the SUV.


Washington Times OpEd on the declining value of college. 

Almost everyone knows the country went through the wringer after the housing bubble burst. Now a new bubble looms before us – the higher-education bubble.

Just as easy money, lowered lending standards and political hype came together to vastly overinflate the housing sector, a combination of easy money (federal grants and loans available for nearly every student), lowered academic standards (colleges that readily accept students with pathetically weak basic skills) and political hype (the notion that getting a degree will guarantee a huge boost in earnings) have produced a vastly overinflated higher-education system.

The higher-education bubble has been inflating for decades, and it’s ready to burst, or at least deflate. That’s because many Americans are realizing that the huge cost of college is often a waste. Whereas college degrees used to be regarded as sure-fire investments, the labor market has become glutted with people who have been to college but can’t find “good” jobs.

Did you know that 22 percent of customer-sales representatives and 16 percent of bartenders have bachelor’s degrees?

Furthermore, at many schools, academic standards have fallen to the point where students can coast through without learning anything worthwhile. As University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds recently wrote, “The higher education bubble isn’t bursting because of a shortage of money. It is bursting because of a shortage of value.” …


More on this from Michael Graham.

… College Students Complain “We’re Taken For Granite,” Face A “Doggy-Dog World.”

Those expressions were actually used in papers submitted to freshman comp professor James Courter. Other students wrote they found the college experience “homedrum” or had trouble getting into “the proper frame of mime.”

Courter quotes them in a Wall Street Journal column bemoaning the poor reading skills of incoming students.

Coincidentally (or something more?) that same issue of the WSJ also featured a piece entitled “America Has Too Many Teachers.” In it, Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute points out that while the number of public school students has grown a mere 8.5 percent since 1970, “the public school work force has roughly doubled — to 6.4 million from 3.3 million — and two-thirds of those new hires are teachers or teachers’ aides.”

That helps explain part of the reason why since 1980 spending on public school education in the U.S. has doubled in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Twice as many teachers. Twice as much money. But does anybody believe that a high school graduate today is (as a college student might actually say) “twice as much smart?” …


While college students get dumber, germs are getting smarter. WaPo Editors on the growing resistance to antibiotics.

ONE OF THE great medical advances of the last century, the invention of antibiotics, is at risk of being lost. Increasingly, microbes are becoming untreatable. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, warned in March of a dystopian future without these drugs. “A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it,” she said. “Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”

Since the 1940s, antibiotics have greatly reduced the amount of human illness and death and transformed modern medicine, making possible such sophisticated interventions as hip replacements, organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy and care of premature infants. But evidence is mounting that antibiotics are losing efficacy. Through the relentless process of evolution, pathogens are evading the drugs, a problem known broadly as antimicrobial resistance. …


DailyDot blog spots a site that collects bizarre, but real life names. Names like Angus Pattie, Hans Ohff, Destinee Hooker, . . . .

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