Friday, August 31, 2012

National Journal on Mitt's Acceptance Speech

Here's the National Journal's Ron Fournier's take on Mitt.

Romney Acceptance Warm, but not Intimate

Mitt's acceptance speech made a stark promise:
Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination for president Thursday night with a pledge to create 12 million jobs and to work for American families weakened by four years of economic distress. "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet," Romney said. "My promise is to help you and your family." Calling on voters "to put the disappointment of the last four years behind us," Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, also pledged lower taxes, energy independence and a repeal of Obamacare.

Mitt included a paean to women. His mother was a Hollywood actress and with her Michigan governor husband George:
"When my mom ran for the Senate, my dad was there for her every step of the way," he said. "I can still hear her saying in her beautiful voice, 'Why should women have any less say than men about the great decisions facing our nation?' "

Indeed, Mitt followed up:
In an effort to close a gender gap that has been dragging down his poll numbers, he stressed his commitment to making women equal partners in reviving America....Romney talked about providing unconditional love to his five boys but said he always believed his wife had the harder job of raising them while he took endless business trips. "And I knew without question that her job as a mom was a lot more important than mine. And as America saw Tuesday night, Ann would have succeeded at anything she wanted to."

But the meat and potatoes was saved for the end:
Much of Romney's story was told throughout the evening by onstage testimonials from people he worked with as the head of Bain Capital and from a lineup of Olympian medalists who praised him for rescuing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. A biographical video included a description of Romney as a cheapskate, a man who would replace a stove-hood light with a standard lightbulbThe portrait was intended to show the fiscally responsible side of Romney, who as governor of Massachusetts cut spending and balanced the state's budget. The anecdote reinforced the underlying theme of his speech and the convention -- to restore a greatness to America that Republicans believe has been lost by Obama and will be harder to retrieve if he is re-elected. "You know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him," Romney said.

And now he and Ryan will embark on a six-day "jobs tour."

But Marco Rubio stole the show at the Convention, giving what many commentators considered a speech rivalling that of young Barack Obama in 2004, the keynote that vaulted him into the race for POTUS.
Among the rising stars who took the stage here at the GOP’s national convention this week, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida may have been the brightest of them all.

Rubio, a tea party favorite and national GOP luminary who first won election to the Senate in 2010, captivated the crowd at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Thursday evening with a prime-time address in which he cited his parents’ journey from Cuba to the United States as proof that America is an exceptional country.
“The dreams he had when he was young became impossible to achieve,” Rubio told the crowd of his Cuban-born grandfather, with whom he said he watched his first GOP convention in 1980. “But there was no limit to how far I could go, because I was an American.”

With his speech, he was clearly being presented as a future of the party.

Rubio seized on President Obama’s 2008 campaign themes of hope and change, telling the crowd that “under Barack Obama, the only change is that hope has been hard to find.”

Chris Cilliza of the Post says this about Rubio.
Marco Rubio: We knew the Florida Senator was talented. But his speech on Thursday night showed that he is a MAJOR political star. Rubio’s speech was, without question, the best of the convention. He seemed entirely at ease in the massive national spotlight — compellingly telling his life story and mixing in jabs at Obama in a more-than-sorrow-than-anger tone that made the hits more powerful. (One example: ”Our problem is not that he’s a bad person. Our problem is that he’s a bad president.”) It’s uniquely possible that we will look back in four or eight years to this night as the time when it became clear Rubio had that something special that made him a force to be reckoned with in presidential politics.

Obviously, Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio are the twin supernovas, along with stars Condi Rice and Chris Christie---also first team material. The GOP has a much brighter future than the tired and listless Demonrats.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Economist Damns Owebama with Faint Praise

The Economist has inched leftward year by year and no longer resembles the solid sensible news magazine, really the only in the English language since Time & Newsweak hit the tank for the Dems back in the Clinton years, of yore. But their bright shiny toy named Barack Hussein Obama has lost its luster. After cataloguing a meager list of accomplishments, The Economist goes on:
...this does not amount to a compelling case for re-election, in the view of either this paper or the American people. More than 60% of voters believe their country to be on the wrong track. Mr Obama’s approval ratings are well under 50%; almost two-thirds of voters are unimpressed (however harshly) by how he has handled the economy. Worn down by the difficulties of office, the great reformer has become a cautious man, surrounded by an insular group of advisers. The candidate who promised bold solutions to the country’s gravest problems turned into the president who failed even to back his own commission’s plans for cutting the deficit.

That's the Simpson-Bowles Commission, which Paul Ryan castigated Owebama for cowardice in ignoring its recommendations.
Were he facing a more charismatic candidate than Mitt Romney or a less extremist bunch than the Republicans, Mr Obama would already be staring at defeat. The fact that the president has had to “go negative” so early and so relentlessly shows how badly he needs the election to be about Mr Romney’s weaknesses rather than his own achievements. A man who four years ago epitomised hope will arrive in Charlotte with a campaign that thus far has been about invoking fear.

Mr Obama must offer more than this, for three reasons. First, a negative campaign may well fail. The Republicans are a rum bunch with a wooden leader; but Mr Romney’s record as an executive and governor is impressive, and his running-mate, Paul Ryan, is a fount of bold ideas. Mr Obama’s strategy of blaming everything on Republican obstructionism will strike many voters as demeaning.

The flip side, left unsaid, of the above observation, is that Obama has to run on his own achievements, which run the gamut of nil to none---except the vastly unpopular ObamaCare, which is the anvil hanging from his neck as he swims to the far shore.
Second, even if negative campaigning works, a re-elected Mr Obama will need the strength that comes from a convincing agenda. Otherwise the Republicans, who will control the House and possibly the Senate too, will make mincemeat of him. And, third, it is not just Mr Obama who needs a plan. America does too. Its finances and its government require a drastic overhaul. Surely this charismatic, thoughtful man has more ideas about what must be done than he has so far let on?

A tempting option will be to galvanise his party base, with talk of more health reform and threats of higher taxes on business and the rich. Rather than redesigning government, he could suck up to the public-sector unions by promising that jobs will not be cut. Rather than cutting entitlement programmes, he could reassure the elderly that America can actually afford them.

Such an approach would fit the pattern of too much of his presidency, and his campaign so far; but it would do America a disservice, and it might not help Mr Obama either. His victory in 2008 relied on reaching beyond the groups that traditionally vote Democratic and bringing in young voters and wealthier whites. Many of them are centrists who are suspicious of Mr Romney, but since they have to foot the bill for government profligacy, they will not vote for a president who promises more of the same.

Sadly, like Oscar Wilde, BHO can resist everything except temptation. And sucking up to the powerful leftist entities resisting tort reform, education reform, and public union cutbacks. The SEIU & Big Pharma have their tenterhooks deep into the Dem DNA & the academy and entertainment complexes are pandered to incessantly by the never-say-no arriviste. Like the fellow in the French play who suddenly discovered he was speaking in prose, BHO has a mid-life crisis in discovering there is no cure for a back without a spine. He can't retrace his steps and find his soul by the wayside.
Appealing to the centre is not easy for Mr Obama. His allies on the left are powerful and, in a country so polarised, the middle ground can be a dangerous place. But there are plenty of things that many on both sides of the political aisle could agree on, including tax and immigration reform, investment in schools and aid to businesses that are creating jobs. Crucially, Mr Obama could explain how he intends to cut the still-soaring debt without pretending that taxing only the rich will help in any meaningful way.

He has demagogued himself into many rhetorical corners, and now he has to figure if he must simply double down and march further into the Russian Winter or perhaps retreat back to the safety of the softer climes...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

GOP Must Stress Growth and Reject Personal Attacks

The Wall Street Journal has an editorial that begins:
Inside the GOP's Tampa convention hall this week, one prominent feature is a debt clock ticking toward $16 trillion. With due respect to that horrifying number, it's the wrong figure to watch. What Mitt Romney and the GOP need above all is a growth clock and a persuasive case for economic revival.

Most Americans have concluded that Obamanomics is a failure, but polls also show that independent voters remain skeptical that either party has an answer to the malaise of the Obama and latter Bush years. This cynicism plays into the hands of President Obama, who is trying to convince Americans that 1.5% growth and 42 months of more than 8% unemployment is the best we could have expected.

Our view has long been that Republicans have the best chance of winning when they make the growth message their top priority. That's especially true this year. The Reaganites had it right: Rapid economic growth causes the deficit and debt to fall, not the other way around.

The rest is at the link and is interesting along the same lines. After the Convention speeches last night, the Charlie Rose Show had five commentators who had been recorded earlier at 6pm & hadn't seen Ann Romney's moving encomium for her spouse. The theme among the five was that the Romney Team should go more positive. I thought that this is the old Little Black Sambo routine of "don't throw me into that briar patch." The press would love nothing else than to see the Romney Plan to grow the economy so that Obama's scurvy crew would dissect it and the press would fall on each iffy proposal like Great Whites on chum.

Of course, on another level, what they say is true. There is a race that is tied at 45-45% and the American People do not like negative ads, although there is a sliver of leftist policy wonks and just plain agitpreppies in their mom's basement who snipe BS endlessly on line. And on MessNBC, if the truth be told. Coupled with Obama's provocative and dishonest ads, these are intended to get Romney's dander up. He should not, however, descend into the Valley of Lies and Dishonesty that Obama wants him to.

Mitt's campaign chief in Massachusetts, a certain Mr. Murphy, was certain that Mitt might be able to shed the "stainless steel" quality that John Dickerson said he had. And Matthew Dowd said the Presses' tendency to "chase shiny objects" might get the American People, 10% of whom are undecided and of those, 2 of 3 are women predisposed to swing leftward, diverted from attacking Romney as is the MSM's sworn mission in life [as well as the hapless Akin & any other Republicans who make a misstep].

And if Romney can keep it low key and have the brilliant Paul Ryan flesh out whatever economic programs the GOP proposes, all the better. But of course, the Republicans and the MSM know that the devil lies in the details and those, of course, might have downsides for the GOP.

Watch for Obama to hit on more money for education and jobs for the public sector, which mean getting the teachers' unions solidly behind the Dems, because more for education means more for indoctrination into social studies and more administrative positions. Paul Ryan can point to Wisconsin and Gov. Walker, freshly demonized by the MSM, as an example for education. The teachers there ditched the unions and now more are going back to work.

But if Romney and Ryan can school the country into "It's the economy---stupid," then the past could be prologue. Back to WSJ:
The Reagan years offer an instructive history, because the economy's troubles in the 1970s and the steep drop in real middle-class incomes (some $4,000 per household since 2009) were so similar to today's. Reagan put pro-growth tax cuts and a rebuilt military ahead of his ambitions to balance the budget, and he was right.

After his tax cuts fully kicked in on January 1, 1983, annual growth averaged some 4% over five years, while employment gains were swift and long-lasting. The deficit fell in half from a peak of 6% of GDP in 1983 to under 3% in 1989.

The temporary surge in federal borrowing that the media fretted so much about at the time was dwarfed by private asset and wealth gains as national net worth doubled. Annual tax revenues soared to nearly $1 trillion in 1989 from $517 billion in 1980 with much lower tax rates.

The pattern continued in the 1990s, after the mild recession of 1990-91 and a decline in the rate of growth in the Clinton tax increase year of 1993. The real reasons the budget balanced by the end of that decade were the peace dividend after the Cold War ended, spending restraint mid-decade after the GOP took Congress in 1994, and above all another burst of economic growth. Revenue surged into the Treasury from 1996-2000, including a wave of capital gains after the tax rate was cut to 20% from 28% in 1997.

Not exactly a shiny object, but if the American People can grok the basics of supply side and say "let's give the GOP a chance," then Obama will sink beneath the wave or with an alternative metaphor, be cast into the outer darkness where there is a gnashing of teeth.

Before a deficient public school system permanently dumbs down our youth and an MSM propagandizes the Roman Catholics and Evangelicals into a ridiculous life-without-parole, the American People must pull themselves out of becoming bewitched by the siren song that Europe succumbed to many decades ago, with disastrous consequences. And also reject the command economy model, with capitalist frills, that that shiny object China proffers as an example. In Matt Dowd's language, we should offer Obama a gold watch, admit he's a likable guy [instead of the narcissistic prig he really is], and choose a new chapter in American history. Missteps by Obama such as snubbing Archbishop Dolan of NYC and inviting Muslim clerics might be stupid, but just another drip-drop in the descent into silliness by the Dem left. But for a moment, let's get back to the positive and just pretend:
Consider what would happen if economic growth increased today to what it would be in a normal economic expansion—about twice what Mr. Obama has delivered. That return to prosperity would raise far more revenue for Uncle Sam than the panoply of Mr. Obama's planned estate, capital gains, dividend and income tax hikes.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that each increase of 1% in GDP means $2.78 trillion more in revenue over a decade. Nearly every problem known to man is more solvable with a larger economy—and what better gift to leave our heirs.

A Romney election victory would make this a possible outcome. An Obama second half---fuhgeddabouddit!

China Amping Up Loans to US Corporations Wishing to Invest

The Financial Times has a good piece on how China is regarding the US as an emerging market vis-a-vis the PRC.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China took part in an $11.8bn syndicated loan for Walmart, the US retailer.
Bi Mingqiang, general manager of ICBC’s New York branch, said the bank was seeking long-term lending relationships with US companies which had a presence in China and elsewhere. The bank provides credit to United Parcel Service, Pfizer and Dell.
UPS said linking with a Chinese bank had made it easier to conduct business in renminbi, while Dell said it had developed relationships with Chinese banks for the same reason.
CCB’s clients include General Electric, and the bank has also had discussions with Caterpillar, Walt Disney, Tiffany and Cargill.

This sort of symbiosis may be the answer to our long-term relationship with China.


Ann Romney Knocks It Out Of The Park

Ann Romney showed her and Mitt's human side---her grandfather as a Welsh miner and her dad an immigrant from Wales who worked in a pub back in the old country, then became mayor of the Michigan town where she and Mitt both grew up.

Their parents didn't shower them with money as most liberals suspect, but they worked their way through college and then Mitt worked a small grubstake into a successful business. She scored a big point by noting Mitt should not be punished for his success. And she talked about life's hard knocks as they hit the Romney family....
"I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a 'storybook marriage,'" she said, adding the realities of a long partnership. "Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS [multiple sclerosis] and breast cancer."

"A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage," she said.

All in all, a bravissimo performance.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

ChiComs Prefer Pussies as POTUS

Romney is roundly hated by the PRC because he's gonna end the endless borrowing drunken sailor Owebama's policies portend.

Arthur Brisbane & Dan Okrent Tattle on the NYT

Clueless crone Jill Abramson is a laff a minute. Here's the latest body slam from the Wall Street Journal on the NYT's failure to maintain its equilibrium:
The New York Times is a left-wing paper. We're pretty sure we've mentioned that before, but now we have it on the authority of Arthur Brisbane, the paper's departing "public editor":
The hive on Eighth Avenue is powerfully shaped by a culture of like minds--a phenomenon, I believe, that is more easily recognized from without than from within.
When The Times covers a national presidential campaign, I have found that the lead editors and reporters are disciplined about enforcing fairness and balance, and usually succeed in doing so. Across the paper's many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism--for lack of a better term--that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.
As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.

Politico.com reports that the paper's head of news, executive editor Jill Abramson, "says she disagrees with Brisbane's 'sweeping conclusions' ":
"In our newsroom we are always conscious that the way we view an issue in New York is not necessarily the way it is viewed in the rest of the country or world. I disagree with Mr. Brisbane's sweeping conclusions," Abramson told Politico Saturday night.
"I agree with another past public editor, Dan Okrent, and my predecessor as executive editor, Bill Keller, that in covering some social and cultural issues, the Times sometimes reflects its urban and cosmopolitan base," she continued. "But I also often quote, including in talks with Mr. Brisbane, another executive editor, Abe Rosenthal, who wanted to be remembered for keeping 'the paper straight.' That's essential."

Here's what Dan Okrent wrote, in his 2004 valedictory column, titled "Is the New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?":
Of course it is. . . .
I'll get to the politics-and-policy issues this fall (I want to watch the campaign coverage before I conclude anything), but for now my concern is the flammable stuff that ignites the right. These are the social issues: gay rights, gun control, abortion and environmental regulation, among others. And if you think The Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you've been reading the paper with your eyes closed.

Is that any different from Brisbane's point? If anything, Okrent's criticism was harsher.

Hard-left agitator Abramson should take that broom she claims Brisbane uses to handle his conclusions and fly off on it.


Romney Leads Obama in ABC/WaPo Poll

Romney leads Owebama in the latest national poll, a fact that went unmentioned on the AlphabetDNC nets. Last weeks Quinnipiac/NYT/CBS poll that had Owebama leading was trumpeted far and wide even though it was HEAVILY weighted toward Democrats to a ridiculous extent. Also Romney/Owe are tied in Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.

You don't see that on the major networks, though.

Dinesh D'Souza Sucker-Punches Obama

‘2016: Obama’s America’ is the best-selling conservative film ever---Michael Moore's Hollyweird-boosted fakefests are the only political films to surpass the out-of-nowhere flick.

Henry James: Portrait of a Lady = Still Life???

Anthony Lane has a brilliant bit of commentary on Henry James and a recent book, Portrait of a Novel, that purports to examine Portrait of a Lady. I am putting some of Lane's finest observations in bold, rather than make divagations on James, his brilliant brother William, and the author Gorra of the literary criticism:
...it is wary of elastic speculation while being every bit as nimble, alert, and far-ranging as it ought to be if justice is to be done to Henry James. I could have used more vivisection—the laying bare of individual sentences, and the probing of syntactical tissue—but no one could deny how densely the author is steeped in his theme. When, on the first page, he writes of James, “He had lived in Europe for thirty years—he had taken possession of it, inhaled it, appropriated it,” he is himself appropriating a line from a letter that James wrote to his family from London, in November, 1875, the day after docking in Liverpool: “I take possession of the old world—I inhale it—I appropriate it!” Gorra does not own up to that borrowing in the endnotes, which is a little remiss, and, as a rule, it seems risky to replay as reported fact, long after the event, what a young man once announced and prophesied on his own behalf. Nonetheless, the accent of devotion is unmistakable, and, if anything, one is driven to ask: Is this book mad enough? Does it have a touch of “that tonic wildness” which Isabel finds wanting in the oversophisticated Madame Merle? If you love a book so much that the sole outlet for your infatuation is to write your own book about it, should you leave rough traces of that love, or should scholarship smooth them over?

In the acknowledgments, at the back of “Portrait of a Novel,” Gorra writes, “I first read ‘The Portrait of a Lady’ during the fall of 1977, in a class at Amherst College.” If I find myself wishing that he had broken cover, perhaps in an afterword, and sought to track his changing apprehension of the novel, over thirty-five years, that is not out of prurience but because such transformation is an abiding theme in James. His books are drenched in time: the times at which they were written, and the times and ways in which they were rewritten or left alone; the times in which they are set; the times that elapse in the careers of the characters, as they thrive or sour; the time it takes for a man to split into two, like the hero of “The Jolly Corner,” and to see what he might have become; and, last, the times at which we read them, and, if we happen to be incurable Jamesians, at which they leave us other than we were. I know of no more enviable diary entry than the one made by Evelyn Waugh on Sunday, November 17, 1946: “Patrick left on Saturday afternoon. What an enormous, uncovenanted blessing to have kept Henry James for middle age and to turn, as the door shuts behind the departing guest, to a first reading of ‘Portrait of a Lady.’ ”

On the other hand, what does middle age bring to the inhabitants of the book? Disappointments, refusals, and shutdowns; chances for the enactment of low cunning, if you are Osmond or Madame Merle; and, for Ralph, what Philip Larkin called “the only end of age.” “The Portrait of a Lady” that I read in my late teens bears the scantest relation to “The Portrait of a Lady” that I read today. That may be because, taking things the wrong way around, I began with the New York edition, whose style bears the more velvety nap, whereas these days, if possible, I pick the earlier version, which is marked by abrasive edges; but textual difference alone does not account for the chasm between the two. What I browsed, back then, seemed a serene, rather aristocratic affair, strewn with bright, overtalkative folk who could switch countries at will; one bad marriage didn’t make it any the less romantic. What I discover now feels funnier, still sharp with the Jane Austen-like tartness of its predecessor, “Washington Square,” but it’s more than that. It’s a horror story.
The first critic to notice this, and to lend it adequate stress, was, of all people, Ezra Pound. In a brief essay from 1918, he wrote, “What I have not heard is any word of the major James, of the hater of tyranny; book after early book against oppression, against all the sordid petty personal crushing oppression, the domination of modern life.” In a footnote, he added, of James, “What he fights is ‘influence,’ the impinging of family pressure, the impinging of one personality upon another.” We think of Osmond, the supreme impinger, all the more cruel in his confinement of Isabel’s spirit because she gave herself to him, rather than to his rivals, in a defining flourish of her liberation. That, it turns out, is precisely what rouses his contempt. “One ought to make one’s life a work of art,” he tells Isabel, sounding like a warmup act for Oscar Wilde; any hint of aesthetic levity, however, vanishes after the marriage, once she realizes that he is an anti-Pygmalion, quenching her vital fire and nailing her into place like a statue. Osmond did not fall in love with our heroine; what he loved was “the idea of taking to himself a young lady who had qualified herself to figure in his collection of choice objects.” That is what monsters do, especially the polite and patient ones: they harvest souls. Hand them a human in full bloom, and what they give back to you, after a few seasons, is a pressed flower.
Is there a blush of self-accusation here? When James calls Osmond “a student of the exquisite,” whose “ideal was a conception of high prosperity and propriety,” was he glancing in the mirror at his own ambitions, fearful of what harm they might, if brandished too freely, inflict on other selves? It goes without saying that James, who chose never to marry, was infinitely kinder than his villain; but I agree with Gorra when, having recounted the closeness of James and Minny Temple, he frowns over “the speed with which he reconciled himself to Minny’s loss.” In short, the elbow of the creator—someone, as Gorra says, “whose job is to turn life into narrative”—is forever nudged by opportunism. If Osmond is uniquely menacing, it is because he resembles a writer who writes nothing, preferring to take a woman as his text.
Yet he is not alone. Listen to all the other schemers in the book. “I don’t pretend to know what people are meant for,” Madame Merle says, adding, “I only know what I can do with them.” She would say that, of course, being Osmond’s co-conspirator, but consider Henrietta, the journalist in search of a topic, who admits to Isabel that “I should have delighted to do your uncle,” or Ralph, musing on the newly arrived Miss Archer with his mother:

“All this time,” he said, “you have not told me what you intend to do with her.”
“Do with her? You talk as if she were a yard of calico.”


Ralph, hands in pockets, with not much time to live, is the most benevolent character in the book; yet if even he displays “the crooked timber of self-interest in the most altruistic of intentions,” as Gorra proposes, what hope is there for the rest of us? Are we all so mercenary, cutting and trimming people, whether unwittingly or by design, to fit the pattern of our own desires? Such are the politics of personhood. There is always the option to remain alone: “A woman ought to be able to make up her life in singleness,” Isabel reflects, and that assurance stares ahead to what we, though not James, would hail as the feminist cause, requiring no male prop. At the same time, any retreat into the solo self, for either sex, must be shaded with a special dread: “the isolation and loneliness of pride had for her mind the horror of a desert place,” we learn of Isabel, in words that seem to herald the parched cries of “The Waste Land,” and the truest hell is to wind up like Osmond, immured in the plush safety of his own home and the fortress of his own brain. And so the book traffics back and forth, with sublime indecision, between the need to stand firm, in Emersonian majesty, and the yearning to break one’s pose and join the more crowded landscape of mankind. “That account of the limits of self-sufficiency is what, above all, makes ‘The Portrait of a Lady’ stand as a great American novel,” Michael Gorra declares, and the case that he mounts for the defense is unlikely to be put with more conviction. “It is the business of the artist to make humanity aware of itself,” Pound wrote in his tribute to James, adding, in triumph, “Here the thing was done.” We are left, in Ralph-like idleness, to wonder what Henry James would make of our current state. To him, one imagines, it would rise up like a bad dream; he would see an archipelago of solitudes, feverishly interlinked, with bridges collapsing as fast as we can build them. He is our foremost explorer of the private life, and of what it costs to preserve. We need him more than ever. ♦

Did Proust read Henry James to get the idea of the anti-novel, the anti-narrative, the exquisite gorgeous butterfly pinned to the wall imitating life? Nabokov the lepidopterist would certainly agree that there were a few bell jar moments in this novel:
“If he wished to make himself felt, there was soft and supple little Pansy, who would evidently respond to the slightest pressure.” James omitted the line, and its surrounding passage, when he thoroughly revised the novel, in 1906, for the New York edition of his works (and thereby hangs another tale), yet the jolt of that earlier, unrefined image feels dreadfully suited to Osmond, for whom Humbertism, actual or threatened, would make a pleasing addition to his secret stash of sins.

Is it another Humbert Humbert seducing the young and the very young that Nabokov described in Lolita? Was it young America in Isabel seducing Old Europe in Osmond?

And it is understandable that Eliot asked Pound to edit The Wasteland because of Ezra's brilliant penetrating insight. Turning the gorgeous picture of young Isabel first arriving at that tea party on the Thames into a dusty portrait is permissible---if the writing, like Proust's, is as luscious as this:
She had been looking all round her again,—at the lawn, the great trees, the reedy, silvery Thames, the beautiful old house; and, while engaged in this survey, she had also narrowly scrutinized her companions; a comprehensiveness of observation easily conceivable on the part of a young woman who was evidently both intelligent and excited. She had seated herself, and had put away the little dog; her white hands, in her lap, were folded upon her black dress; her head was erect, her eye brilliant, her flexible figure turned itself lightly this way and that, in sympathy with the alertness with which she evidently caught impressions. Her impressions were numerous, and they were all reflected in a clear, still smile. “I have never seen anything so beautiful as this,” she declared.

With an introduction like this, Isabel is a picture of perfection. She never becomes a Dorian Grey, but becomes a trophy on the wall as the anti-novel does not move forward, but ascends in a gonfalon bubble of moral planes.


Monday, August 27, 2012

NFL has MUCH lower mortality rates than MLB

Surprise, Surprise as the feminist/gay agenda to feminize males through a crusade against American football by dramatizing the tragedies of Junior Seau and other suicides is debunked. Check out the link above and prepare to scratch your head. Counterintuitive, but true.

Saudis Transition to Transparency Ahead?

As Political Officer in Saudi Arabia for three-plus years, I was the specialist on the Saudi Royal Family and internal politics throughout the Kingdom. I was in Dhahran for a month studying the Shi'ites in Al-Qatif and the Al-Hasa Oasis, right where the giant oilfields were discovered by American prospectors. At that time, I was able to calculate the number of Shi'ites in the country at 600,000. But the opaque mechanisms of the Saudis, as young Prince Bandar explained to me, were such that perhaps no one really knew the true number of Shi'ites living there in redoubts like Hofuf and Al-Hasa---no taxes were paid, so census results never were necessary.
Thirty years later, taxes are still not collected and the putative number of Shi'ites has probably quadrupled, like the rest of the country's Sunnis. But the secretive Saudis are still struggling to employ all its citizens, even in meaningless jobs, since most Saudi males are unwilling to attend advanced college education due to the tribal culture. [Excuse me if FT link is a pay portal---I entered on Drudge & then Isac blew off the electricity. I was meaning to insert quotes from paras in article, but now am blocked. Capitalism.] The Saudis are nervous about the post-Arab Spring displacements and especially in Syria. King Abdullah's mother is a Shammar tribeswoman from the Syrian desert, where they practice transhumance every summer south deep into the Kingdom, so he has always been partial to Syria and northern Iraq and Lebanon and even has a Lebanese wife.
As I will touch on, Abdullah is deeply disturbed by Bashar Assad's regime in its terrible state and wants to see it gone, yet fears what will ensue.

The Saudi NSC, consisting of a few senior princes and Saud al Faisal and Bandar bin Fahd, are still steering the Kingdom through very muddy waters. On one side, the Egyptian Ikhwan now in charge are hardly stabilized yet, and on the other, Iran is busy constructing a nuclear device, which would give the Ayatollah's absolute hegemony in the Persian Gulf area and westward. Allied with wobbly Pakistan, the Islamic Republic could threaten India and Afghanistan, especially with Russia's help. And the Saudis are worried that Syria may produce a Sunni version of Iran or an iteration of Al Qaeda, or worse---Assad might prevail and Syria become a vassal of Iran aided by Shi'ite-ruled Iraq.

And the high unemployment rate and restive youth threaten the tribal ruling system of the Royals, who will be more supplicants now to the US than ever. The $600 billion the Saudis have overseas is a gigantic nest egg, but if the price of oil should plummet, they will need to draw down on their monetary hoard to satisfy domestic needs.

If Obama is reelected, God forbid, we may see a more muscular approach to the Middle East, or throwing Israel to the dogs. Owebama won't have to worry about high gas prices hindering his re-election and he could go all in. Romney is a complete unknown on foreign policy, so America will be buying a blank check---except Mitt won't neglect Israel or go hating on Netanyahu as The First Fail does now. The Saudis are in a quandary because either way, they win if the Middle East goes into a tailspin on the oil price front, but their entire condominium of tribal networks may be threatened by AQ types.

After Abdullah dies, Crown Prince Salman will be remain a calming presence as King [which the recently-deceased Crown Prince Naif would not have been]. But will he be strong enough to hold off the modernizing trend toward transparency or compromise and allow non-Royals into the inner circle?

Just another variable in the never-ending turmoil that is the Middle East.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Showing Good Taste & Judgment, UVa Refuses First-Liar Venue to Speak

The creepy freak infesting the Oval Office was rejected by Thomas Jefferson's University of Virginia when Owebama plans to campaign in Charlottesville.
[S]tatement from University of Virginia Spokesperson Carol Wood:

Many of you have asked about whether President Obama will be holding an upcoming campaign rally in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia.

I am writing to tell you that the University met with five members of the Obama Presidential Campaign on Wednesday. The campaign team had toured the University Grounds prior to meeting with University officials and zeroed in on two particular outdoor venues — the Amphitheatre or the Harrison-Small Library plaza — that would accommodate 5,000 to 10,000 people. Both of these locations sit in the middle of the daily academic enterprise. After reviewing the campaign's request for either of these two sites and the impact on the University, the University declined the request for the following reasons:

As you know, Aug. 29 is the second day of classes overall and the first day of classes on the Monday/Wednesday/Friday academic schedule.

The use of either of the desired sites would require closing buildings adjacent to the sites for the entire day.

The cancellation of 186 classes would occur if the site is the Amphitheatre or closing of the libraries and Newcomb dining if the site is the Harrison-Small plaza. This would result in an extraordinary disruption of the second day of the new semester.

In addition to the disruption to classes, the University would have to bear the full cost of security — a substantial and open-ended expenditure of staff time and money.

By University policy, we would also have to offer the same accommodations and bear the same costs for other candidates. Both our federal and state tax-exempt status requires that we not favor any candidate.

The Secret Service would have final approval on the site chosen and would dictate the security requirements, but at a minimum the buildings adjacent to the event venue would need to be closed on Aug. 29. Adjacent buildings would be searched and secured with officers posted in each starting at least 6 hours prior to the event.


Additional details: The use of McIntire Amphitheater would require the closing of the following buildings on Aug. 29: Bryan Hall, Cocke Hall, Garrett Hall, Minor Hall, and possibly Maury Monroe halls. The parking lots behind Bryan and Clark would have to be closed for the day, as well as a portion of McCormick Road.

The use of the Harrison-Small Special Collections Library would require the closing of the Alderman Library, Special Collections Library, the temporary dining facility, Peabody Hall, and possibly Monroe Hall, the rooms along the West Range and a portion of McCormick Road.

Costs: the host site would be responsible for all security costs as determined by the Secret Service. The security costs would include, but not be limited to: staffing the intersections along the motorcade route (anticipate more than 200 officers would be required at a cost of $90,000 or more); security required at U.Va. and at the airport (obtaining officers from the local police departments and state police at U.Va.'s expense); canine dogs (obtaining them from police departments statewide).

While there are certainly financial implications to a state university that has seen faculty and staff salary freezes for the past five years, the primary reasons for declining the offer were related to disruption of the first days of classes.

A national election is something we want our students to be involved in — and hope that it is something they will rally around. The timing of this request simply could not be accommodated at these two requested locations because of the start of classes. This was not an easy decision, especially given our Jeffersonian legacy.

The University informed Jim Loftis, the leader of the campaign advance team, who said that he completely understood the decision given the impact it would have on the academic schedule.

Not to mention that the silly freak is bankrupting the USA.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Google Map Photo: Ominous Security Warning

A picture worthy of one million words. Google map 5200 Greenwood Ave
Chicago, IL and see.

Christopher Hitchens: One Last Eulogy from his Wife

I knew Christopher when he was still married to Eleni Meliagrou, a Cypriot hothead who matched Melina Mercouri for meteoric highs & lows, often just moments apart. I'd met Christopher through my wife, Marilyn, who was friends with Eleni's good friend Marina Papadapoulos, whose husband Nikos worked at the Greek Embassy in Washington. They had just moved over from the UK in search of journalism that would pay, an exodus that started with Margaret Thatcher's ascendancy to the Prime Minister's position. Christopher wrote for The New Statesman, a venerable Labour rag and for The Nation, a venerable Democrat rag stateside. When I met him in '82, he was doing piecework and living in a cramped walk-up apt. on Capitol Hill, a very uncomfortable existence.

We became friends and he and I shared ideas and books---just recently I found a copy of Orwell's Homage to Catalonia with one of his photos attached with a paper clip---he was a rabid Orwell fan. Anyhow, Christopher used to have lunches from time to time and we'd exchange political anecdotes of our existences---I had just finished about ten years overseas as an FSO in four different countries & spoke and read Arabic, so we talked a lot about Iran and Israel---he was ardently pro-Palestinian before he discovered his Polish grandmother was Jewish. I would pay for the drinks & he would be his witty, charming self. The range of his knowledge was awesome and his anecdotes laced with hilarious observations on the irony or sheer silliness of the subject matter. I could recount our Christmas dinners with this giant personality and public intellectual, and the visits to our home where he admired our gorgeous Abyssinian cat ["The most beautiful creature I have ever seen" after he once peered at Rosalita through a boozy haze for 5 minutes] and demolished our Dewar's. Suffice it to say, I missed him after our paths parted and I won't be meeting his like again.

I only met Eleni a few times before she & Christopher became estranged. When he remarried Ms. Blue and moved to LA, it seems he graduated from a very difficult person to a much more supportive one & his career bloomed accordingly. The article in The Telegraph conveys very much of his wit, though when I knew him, his joie de vivre was very much lacking because of his marital discord. De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

High Noon in America? Peggy Noonan Muses About the Convention

Peggy has a few words giving "free advice... worth the price" about the Tampa Convention.
Mr. Romney shouldn't just repeat what he thinks but tell people why he thinks it, what life has taught him that formed his views. He shouldn't shy away from religion. Why should he? This is America. It was in the practice of his faith that Mr. Romney came, as a bishop of the Mormon church, to become involved in helping those with lives very different from his own. In an interview Thursday night on the Catholic network EWTN, he told anchor Raymond Arroyo that as a "small-p pastor" he learned a great deal about those who feel under siege, lonely, left out. What did he learn? How did his church help him learn it?

He must use humor, for three reasons. One is that wit breaks through and sharpens all points. Another is that it is natural to him. Before the voting in Iowa, he wryly told a friend that the caucuses were like the LaBrea Tar Pits: "No one comes out the way they went in." On a conference call recently, he asked a question of his staff. No one answered. Mr. Romney waited. "Bueller? Bueller?" he said, in a perfect imitation of Ben Stein.

And, more importantly, Romney should rib The First Narcissist because Owebama gets riled when he is dissed.
President Obama can't stand to be made fun of. His pride won't allow it, his amour propre cannot countenance a joke at his own expense. If Mr. Romney lands a few very funny lines about the president's leadership, Mr. Obama will freak out. That would be fun, wouldn't it?

And Noonan ends with an appropriate send-off.
Much is uncertain, no one knows what will happen this year, how it will turn out. But when I think of Mr. Romney's speech I find myself thinking of Alan Shepard.

It's May 5, 1961, in Cape Canaveral, Fla., and everyone's fussing. This monitor's blinking and that one's beeping and Shepard is up there, at the top of a Redstone rocket, in a tiny little capsule called Friendship 7. Mission Control is hemming and hawing: Should we stay or should we go? Finally Shepard says: "Why don't you fix your little problem and light this candle?"

That's what a good speech and a good convention right now can do. There's a great race ahead. Make it come alive. Come on and light this candle.

Obama Has Betrayed the Middle Class

The First Liar repeats endlessly how Romney/Ryan would hurt the middle class if elected. But the numbers on his own performance are damning. Here's what the policies of Owebama have done to the "99%." Or rather, the 45% of Americans who do pay taxes, leaving out the parasites who "live" on welfare & food stamps like tapeworms on the economy. Here's a Wall Street Journal piece fleshing out that real damage Owebama has done to the middle class. The link above has the chart.
New income data from the Census Bureau, tabulated by former Census income specialists at the nonpartisan economic consulting firm Sentier Research, reveal that the three-and-a-half years of the Obama Presidency have done enormous harm to middle-class households.

In January 2009, the month President Obama entered the Oval Office and shortly before he signed his stimulus spending bill, median household income was $54,983. By June 2012, it had tumbled to $50,964, adjusted for inflation. (See the chart nearby.) That's $4,019 in lost real income, a little less than a month's income every year.

Unfair, you say, because Mr. Obama inherited a recession? Well, even if you start the analysis when the recession ended in June 2009, the numbers are dismal. Three years after the economy hit its trough, median household income is down $2,544, or nearly 5%.

Add the authors: "The overall decline since June 2009 was larger than the 2.6 percent decline that occurred" during the recession from December 2007 to June 2009. For household income, in other words, the Obama recovery has been worse than the Bush recession.

But Owebama's policies have been generous to the sitzfleish brigades of government "workers."
Mr. Obama also likes to say that government workers like teachers are hurting and the private economy is doing "just fine." But the data indicate that over the past three years households with government workers saw their incomes decline less than households with private workers. The public-private pay gap is now wider than ever ($77,998 government versus $63,800).

And the most loyal and stupidest slice of Owebama worshippers have suffered the most.
The new income data reveal other eye-opening trends. The group that has suffered the most during the Obama Presidency has been black Americans, whose real incomes have fallen by more than 11%.

And which president during the last century/millenium has done equal harm to the economy by applying equal economic policies? Anyone much over forty remembers how the peanut farming moron fudged up just about everything:
The last time incomes fell this fast was during the late 1970s under Jimmy Carter, and it's no coincidence that economic policies then and now are so similar. If Mr. Obama succeeds in convincing voters that he really is the tribune of the middle class, it will be the political conjurer's trick of the century.

Yes, that is how sad and bad Owebama has been. if he can con the indies into voting for him, he will truly be a magician and the American people will suffer four more years of decline.

Somebody Else Made That Happen

A cautionary tale about how "Somebody Else Made That Happen"

"Why aren't we rebuilding America? Our competitors are putting people to work building the future. China invests 9% of its in infrastructure. America? We're just 2.4%"--Elizabeth Warren campaign ad, July 30

"One of the longest bridges in northern China collapsed on Friday, just nine months after it opened, setting off a storm of criticism from Chinese Internet users and underscoring questions about the quality of construction in the country's rapid expansion of its infrastructure. A nearly 330-foot-long section of a ramp of the eight-lane Yangmingtan Bridge in the city of Harbin dropped 100 feet to the ground. Four trucks plummeted with it, resulting in three deaths and five injuries."--New York Times website, Aug. 24

We know Warren is a lying-about-her-heritage-to-get-into-law-school POS. But the NYT is the "newspaper of record" and rapidly pulls the lying biyotch back into line---NOT!

Nutty Perfesser Explains Why Elections & Krugman Suck

Gary Gutting probably has tenure, so he's untouchable. But read the link above and read James Taranto's commentary to see just how zany Gutting gets in his ivory tower. Anyhow, below is Taranto's asides about Gutting and the irrepressible Paul Krugman, a "social scientist," meaning an oxymoron that has as much relation to science as social has to High Society:
The guys at the New York Times editorial page, bless their hearts, have broken new ground in self-parody with an online op-ed by Gary Gutting, a Notre Dame philosopher who's made it into this column before. Gutting engages in a "Socratic" dialogue with himself, which is to say he transcribes a conversation with Socrates he says he dreamed.

Socrates more or less convinces Gutting that elections are superfluous: "We Greeks, you know, did all right choosing leaders by lot." (Really? How's that working out these days?) Even better, the 2,481-year-old philosopher turns out to be a Keynesian:

G: But surely you'd prefer to let Obama make his case to the American people rather than let blind chance decide the outcome?
S: I think letting the American people decide is no different from leaving it to chance. The vast majority of you don't know enough about the issues or the candidates to make anything like a reliable decision. (It was the same in Athens in my day.) Take the economic issues all your commentators say will be decisive. I think [former Enron adviser] Paul Krugman makes a decisive case that, for all its flaws, Obama's approach to the economy is likely to be far more effective than anything Romney and Ryan have in mind. But there are prominent economists who reject Krugman's argument. If Krugman's right, you can't trust the experts who disagree with him. So why should you trust the judgment of the non-experts whose votes will decide the election?
In a surprise twist, Krugman in his column today denounces the Democratic Party for relying on his authority: "What does it say about the party when its intellectual leader evidently gets his ideas largely from deeply unrealistic fantasy novels?"

In case you don't recognize the reference, here it is from a Times miniprofile that accompanied a book review he wrote in 2009: "What most readers probably don't know is the reason Krugman became an economist in the first place. 'I went into economics,' he wrote in an e-mail message, 'because I read Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels, in which social scientists save galactic civilization, and that's what I wanted to be.' "

Krugman might have been a good/great science fiction author, but he certainly is a bad economist.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Colorado U. Study Sees Big Romney Win

The CU poll has been correct since 1980 in its POTUS predictions. Check it out.

Peggy Noonan on media fairness

Peggy has a bone to pick with the nets and their biased coverage against Romney/Ryan. Of course, for every idiot like Jimmy Fallon or David Letterman jerking off about them mean Republicans, there are a dozen wankers on cable like Jon Leibowitz [Stewart], Colbert, et al and the biggest creep of all, Maher on HBO.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

OMB & Treasury Projections: Owebama will add $4.4 TRILLION in four years if re-elected

Owebama's Budget will add an awesome $4.4 trillion in debt so that the USA in 2016 will be $20.3 trillion under water. See the link for details and chart.

Owebama as Gnostic Know-It-All

James Taranto has a great column on the fact that despite changing from Messiah to Madman, Owebama believes he is still right & on the side of the er... angels? After explaining throw David Solway's PJMedia piece on Gnosticism that the Ideal Rules Obama's behavior [as it did Hitler's and Stalin's] through cleansing the impure lower nature we all possess:
This makes sense of the disconnect between Obama's largely uplifting 2008 campaign and his unrelentingly vicious 2012 one. Then, he presented himself as "the Ideal," the bringer of "hope and change" whose promise was "fundamentally transforming the United States of America."

What won him the election was that the voters were as "opposed to the actual" as he was. But they didn't want fundamental transformation, just peace and prosperity, which he has manifestly failed to deliver. This time around, he's still running as "the Ideal" opposed to "the actual," but he's lashing out and blaming others because he is constitutionally incapable of accepting responsibility for his own failures in office, which he may not even perceive as failures. What difference does it make if unemployment is the 5.2% his advisers promised or the 8.2% it actually is when you've got a country to fundamentally transform?

Yahoo! News's Walter Shapiro, picking up on the Mayer piece, writes:

Obama is unusual in politics . . . in his apparent refusal to be awed in the presence of billionaires. Unlike the Clintons and the Romney-Ryan ticket, Obama is not a devout believer in the gospel of wealth. As a Democratic fund-raiser, quoted in the Politico e-book [Glenn Thrush's "Obama's Last Stand"], says about the president, "He doesn't understand the rich. He's an intellectual elitist, not an economic one."

An "intellectual elitist"--one who believes that the route to salvation lies in knowledge. Shapiro concludes, however, that "the president's steadfast reluctance to schmooze-you-can-use with everyone else in politics may speak to a far deeper problem about using the full powers of the White House to govern."


There's a word to describe the "problem" to which Shapiro alludes: incompetence.

Read the entire article for a thoughtful exposition of the reason that Owebama will sink this country into a gigantic sinkhole of debt and despair.

Through his gnostic knowledge that HE IS THE ONE.

MN Clown Senator Franken on Rape

Smirking Al Franken had a hilarious take on rape back when he was an SNL writer:
Franken: “And, ‘I give the pills to Lesley Stahl. Then, when Lesley’s passed out, I take her to the closet and rape her.’ Or, ‘That’s why you never see Lesley until February.’ Or, ‘When she passes out, I put her in various positions and take pictures of her.’”

Stay classy, Al. And don't be too hard on Todd Akin.

Jake Tapper on Owebama Agitprop Strategies

Jake is the only honest reporter on what's going on in the legacy network cabal against Romney. He quotes unnamed "officials" in Owebama's campaign staff on the strategy. One is a complete laffer. Read it and get an LOL:
“We have no reason to believe Gov. Romney won’t receive a bump from his convention,” an official said, noting that the average bounce for a challenger is 7 points. “Presumably he’ll get some benefit from that.” But since the president will be campaigning next week (including VP Biden in Tampa) “we have an almost instant ability to interdict whatever movement there is with our own and spontaneous rebuttal to whatever is done there.”

Yeah, Biden ought to keep the swing to Romney/Ryan from getting too large!?!

And Owebama is going to be campaigning and will be able to refute the Romney/Ryan message? How's that working so far?

Post Summary of "Obama's Last Stand"

The Fix at WaPo has this summary.

Owebama is beginning to implode and his silly coterie of half-wits like Cutter and Axelrod are greasing the process.

Surprise surprise! Owebama Slave Nets Cut Ann Romney

Michelle Obama will surely be given center stage in Charlotte by the three legacy DNC agitprop alphabet networks. Fox will carry Ann & probably get better ratings than the re-run & B-list programs on ABCBSNBC.

Michelle will get air time even though the September Charlotte DNC hatefest is in prime sweep month. When Romney thrashes Owebama in November, I hope some payback ensues!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ethanol: the Renewable Fuel Source

Tbe Economist has an interesting piece on ethanol, which was lobbied intensely for in the '80's by what we used to call the "Senator from Archer Daniels Midland," Bob Dole. Back in the day, ethanol was a wonderful way to get farmers to stay on the land by converting their corn [maize] into auto fuel additive. Now high-fructose corn syrup might be another way to keep the farmers happy & on the land. Plus of course, feedstock for hungry cattle getting beefed up for market. Finally, human consumption.

Brazil does it with sugar cane far more efficiently, but the rip-off called ethanol is a US passion......

Monday, August 20, 2012

Is Obama a Sociopath by Definition?

Barry/Barack suffers from a lot of delusional ideas instilled into him by his leftist mentors at Columbia and Harvard. But perhaps he was an empty vessel of schizoid tendencies merely waiting for the appropriate set of circumstances. After his press conference this afternoon where he simply lied through his teeth that no one on his "team" called Romney a felon, [pace Stephanie Cutter] lets take a look at some of the symptoms that this confused guy who brings a gun to a knife fight exhibits.
Glibness and Superficial Charm
Manipulative and Conning
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Grandiose Sense of Self
Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

Pathological Lying
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

Shallow Emotions
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

Incapacity for Love
Need for Stimulation
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

Irresponsibility/Unreliability
Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.

Other Related Qualities:

Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
Authoritarian
Secretive
Paranoid
Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
Conventional appearance
Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life
Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
Incapable of real human attachment to another
Unable to feel remorse or guilt
Extreme narcissism and grandiose
May state readily that their goal is to rule the world


(The above traits are based on the psychopathy checklists of H. Cleckley and R. Hare.)

Dem POTUS's recently have been shape-changers and name-changers. [Gary Hart erat Gary Hartpence; Bill Clinton erat Bill Blythe; Barry Soetero = Barack Obama; John Kerry erat John Steinbrecher]

Kerry & Edwards plus the rest were all ladies' men, not really leaders. The Dems are pandering to dumb broads and their kept plantation inmates, including those living in Ivory Towers and Hollyweird. Barry fits right in.

Oblamer a Talker, Not a Doer. TNY Propagandist Lizza on "Second Term"

In-the-Tank DNC-Mole Ryan Lizza has a New Yorker piece so dead-on-arrival that it should be instantly freeze-dried and sent to the Smithsonian.
Barring a disastrous revelation or blunder, Mitt Romney will be a more formidable opponent than many assumed during his rightward lurch to secure the Republican nomination.
Many White House officials were reluctant to discuss a second term; they are focussed more on the campaign than on what comes after. But the ostensible purpose of a political campaign is to articulate for the public what a candidate will do if he prevails. “It’s a tension,” David Axelrod, Obama’s longtime political adviser, said. “On the one hand, you don’t want to be presumptuous in assuming a second term. But campaigns are about the future, and there is an imperative to spell out where we’re going.”

Duh, ya think?
He also is concerned with containing nuclear proliferation. In April, 2009, in one of the most notable speeches of his Presidency, he said, in Prague, “I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” He conceded that the goal might not be achieved in his lifetime but promised to take “concrete steps,” including a new treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons and ratification of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty.
In 2010, Obama negotiated a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the Russians and won its passage in the Senate. But, despite his promise to “immediately and aggressively” ratify the C.N.T.B.T., he never submitted it for ratification. As James Mann writes in “The Obamians,” his forthcoming book on Obama’s foreign policy, “The Obama administration crouched, unwilling to risk controversy and a Senate fight for a cause that the President, in his Prague speech, had endorsed and had promised to push quickly and vigorously.” As with climate change, Obama’s early rhetoric and idealism met the reality of Washington politics and his reluctance to confront Congress.

Talks big, does nothing.
[Also, just for the record, has this clown-in-chief ever done anything besides 'economic sanctions,' the least effective weapon out there, to keep Iran from getting the bomb? Just thinkin' out loud.]

Lizza is a chronic overwriter who plays shamelessly to the biases of his left-leaning readership. Take these two examples:
“Faced with a bureaucracy we did not control, was not staffed with our people, and with which we did not know how to communicate, we created our own bureaucracy,” White House aides wrote in a 1972 memo found in the files of H. R. Haldeman, who later went to prison for covering up Watergate crimes. Nixon gave his aides detailed directions about how to flush unsympathetic bureaucrats from the government after he won reĆ«lection.

Overlooking the fact that Nixon was the best foreign policy POTUS the country had in the 20th century---the USSR/PRC split exploited by Nixon's visit to Mao, e.g.---the aging TNY readership remembers how Nixon persecuted [subsequently found treasonous] Alger Hiss relentlessly...!!! Upper West Side neuro ruts run deep...! Secondly,
After the election, Cheney saw the influence of his principal ideological opponents—Stephen Hadley, the new national-security adviser, and Condoleezza Rice, the new Secretary of State—rise, especially on issues such as Syria, North Korea, and the Administration’s policy on torture. Cheney’s recent memoir boils with his indignation at being sidelined. At a National Security Council meeting in 2007, Cheney made the case for bombing a Syrian nuclear reactor. “After I finished,” he writes, “the President asked, ‘Does anyone here agree with the Vice President?’ Not a single hand went up around the room.”

All Lizza's dog whistles and waving bloody flags like the MSM-demonized Cheney in their faces could persuade the doddering readership to continue to keep their bifocals adjusted.

After all, if there is a consensus about the failures of the Obama campaign so far, the lack of any of the Fingerpointer-in-Chief's policy and issue goals is the single largest. So something that reminds TNY readers of their long-lost youthful hatreds & their recent obsessions keeps their blood, er..., boiling[?]

Obama's Pathological Lies Catch Up With Him, Divide His Campaign Team

Obama is easily the nastiest, pettiest, least competent and most amateurish POTUS this country has ever made the mistake of electing---trusting the mainstream media's attacks on Sarah Palin and resolute refusal to inspect Obama's murky weird past filled with wanderings through Jakarta slums and elsewhere the media refused to investigate.

Now Glenn Thrush reveals the outline of an e-book that Obama will try to get Politico to quash and I'll bet this is the last we may see of it and its steamy contents. Before they yank it offline, here's some chief points:
Obama’s trash-talking competitiveness, a trait that has defined him since his days on the court as a basketball-obsessed teenager in Hawaii, was on display one night last February, when the president spotted a woman he knew was close to Sen. Marco Rubio in a Florida hotel lobby. “Is your boy going to go for [vice president]?” the president asked her. Maybe, she replied. “Well,” he said, chuckling, according to a person who witnessed the encounter. “Tell your boy to watch it. He might get his ass kicked.”

David Maraniss's book outlines how Barack-O was a bench-warmer at Punahoe as his nickname was "The Bomber," one of those three-point maniacs whose accuracy wasn't as good as his self-centered non-team playing might hurt the team. He was self-obsessed, not basketball-obsessed.
The president’s less-than-stellar appraisal of his own team’s efforts has been a recurring motif of 2012.
In late May, what was intended as a clever campaign stunt — dispatching Axelrod to Boston to personally make the case against Romney on the steps of the State House — went awry.
As Axelrod was greeted by pro-Romney hecklers chanting “Axel-Fraud,” Obama was in the West Wing watching with growing disgust as the event unfolded on cable news. The scene, he scoffed to a nearby aide, was an ill-conceived “spectacle.”

“We aren’t going to do that kind of thing again, are we?” he asked peevishly, not a question but an order. Obama has no qualms about throwing a punch, his close intimates say, but can’t stand looking foolish when he does.

Biden continues to be the gift which keeps on giving----handing the GOP free passes to club the Administration for keeping such a goofball unleashed. Now we see that Joe Hair-Plugz is also a nasty lying POS.
Biden’s misstep, also in May, in announcing his approval of gay marriage — which forced Obama to do the same before he intended — caused greater disharmony in the White House than was reported at the time.

Biden blamed Campaign Manager Jim Messina for “throwing him under the bus” with the media during the gay-marriage flap — a charge that turned out to be untrue. In an emotional one-on-one meeting with Obama, Biden apologized profusely and said he’d been betrayed by Obama’s aides.

The president tried to calm him down, saying, “Look, Joe, there are people who want to divide us. You and I have to be on the same page from now on. You and I have to make sure that we don’t get divided.”

Plouffe and other West Wingers were even angrier that Biden had screwed up his boss’s carefully laid plans to announce his position before next month’s Charlotte convention — even as Biden previously had counseled against weighing in on the issue for fear of alienating battleground-state independents.

So Biden can't follow HIS OWN ADVICE and blames Messina et al. erroneously when he FUCKS UP on Sunday Morning Talk Shows about Gay Marriage. Now he'd make a great POTUS if Oblamer croaked for some reason or another...!!!
Many of Obama’s advisers have quietly begun questioning whether they should have picked Wasserman Schultz, an outspoken Florida congresswoman, as his DNC chairwoman. She has clashed with Chicago over her choice of staff and air-time on national TV shows — and they think she comes across as too partisan over the airwaves.

Obama’s brain trust secretly commissioned pollster David Binder to conduct an internal focus study of the popularity of top Obama campaign surrogates. Number one was former press secretary Robert Gibbs, followed by Cutter. Traveling press secretary Jen Psaki, who was added to a second study, was third. Axelrod, Plouffe and current White House press secretary Jay Carney were bunched in the middle. Wasserman Schultz ranked at the bottom.

Wallowing at the bottom would be more like it... DWS was a perfect choice---for the Republicans...!!!
Obama really doesn’t like, admire or even grudgingly respect Romney. It’s a level of contempt, say aides, he doesn’t even feel for the conservative, combative House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Hill Republican he disliked the most. “There was a baseline of respect for John McCain. The president always thought he was an honorable man and a war hero,” a longtime Obama adviser said. “That doesn’t hold true for Romney. He was no goddamned war hero.”

Time and again Obama has told the people around him that Romney stood for “nothing.” The word he would use to describe Romney was “weak,” too weak to stand up to his own moneymen, too weak to defend his own moderate record as the man who signed into law the first health insurance mandate as Massachusetts governor in 2006, too weak to admit Obama had done a single thing right as president.

The two things Obama fears most about a Romney victory: A 7-to-2 conservative Supreme Court within a few years. And the equally unbearable possibility, in his mind, that Romney will get to take a victory lap on an economic rebound Obama sees as just around the corner. “I’m not going to let him win … so that he can take credit when the economy turns around,” Obama said, according to an aide.

It isn't that Romney stands for "nothing." Aside from his health care experiment, not working out well in wildly liberal Massachusetts where he was governor, Romney has stood for free markets and economic freedom from high taxes---two chains that Obama and Clown Biden want to eliminate from America by enveloping them in BIG GOVERNMENT. Barry Soetero AKA Barack Obama has never been a team player, lets his collateral relatives live in housing projects in Boston or in huts in Nairobi slums. He's still The Bomber, only this time he bombed big time at the Box Office!
The article ends with a delicious ironic anecdote about having the owner of the New Republic, a "Facebook billionaire" soon to become a Facebook millionaire, among others, at a small snobbish salon soiree. The New Republic's nastiest writer, Jon Chait, shortly wrote the single nastiest lying scribble-sheet piece of garbage since the campaign has started, so one can wonder what signals Obama was sending when he was rubbing Hughes' leg under the table!
Despite Obama’s all-in commitment to the campaign, there have been signs of strain. And people close to him detect, from time to time, a yearning for the high ground. It is most often reflected during his drafting of speeches — a therapeutic, clarifying exercise for a politician with a writer’s impulse to reconciling contradiction through narrative.

To give Obama a break from the relentless negativity of the campaign, friend and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett quietly set up a salon/dinner for Obama over the summer — which lasted more than two hours, a huge block of presidential time.

On hand were Jarrett’s friend and Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson, Facebook billionaire and new New Republic Publisher Chris Hughes, and Apple executive Scott Forstall, who led the team that developed the iPhone.

One of the topics?

Civility and political discourse.

The serial con man and ultimate fraud Soetero/Obama has to be eliminated from American political life and sent to write the third version of his memoirs---assisted by Bill Ayers or this time by a team that can tell the truth?


NIall Ferguson: Newsweak Cover tells Obama to "HIT THE ROAD, BARACK!"

Ferguson must be a pal of Tina Brown---both Brits, one with a giant brain and fund of historical knowledge.
Ferguson scores again and again on Obama's broken promises:
Unemployment was supposed to be 6 percent by now. It has averaged 8.2 percent this year so far. Meanwhile real median annual household income has dropped more than 5 percent since June 2009. Nearly 110 million individuals received a welfare benefit in 2011, mostly Medicaid or food stamps.

Welcome to Obama’s America: nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return—almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit. We are becoming the 50–50 nation—half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.

The cover article of Newsweek finally makes sense.

Read the whole article for more reasons we should send this dude packing and put Mitt in the Oval Office with his giant brain Ryan.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rapist Assange Whines while Marxist Latin Dictators Giggle

Aussie Rapist suborns mindless freak Correa into giving him another platform. The murderous lecher/hacker from Oz is wanted by the UK for extradition to Sweden for rape, but was spirited into the Ecuadorean Embassy by fellow conspirators and now has found a perch from which to chirp his paranoid fantasies to an adoring press.

Of course, the same press is persecuted in Ecuador by the Cacique-in-Chief Correa, who has cleverly latched onto the loser Quito vibe of anti-Americanism to plump his re-election chances coming up very soon. As a former diplomat, I can attest that the UK is right both legally and morally in this case, but the frenzied press, including women standing up for the rapist.

Look for the silly tabloid New York Times to do the same, ignoring this public-relations geniuses crimes and touting the First Amendment, which doesn't apply to classified materials, according to US statutes.

Media Mutters Eric Boehlert Calls Navy Seals "Gutless!"

Spineless degenerate Boehlert joined fat alcolholic [recovering?} Bob Beckel of The Five in insulting the Navy Seals, who don't like the Obama White House leaking intelligence information that gets Seal assets neutralized in the field.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV on Friday, Rustmann — who spent 24 years in the CIA — says of Boehlert: “He’s either a very brave guy or very stupid guy to call a Navy SEAL gutless. It’s beyond me.”

To serve as a SEAL or as an intelligence operative in the CIA, he adds, “you have to have some serious guts.

“This is very risky business and when people leak our sources and methods — well, there’s one fellow, a Pakistani doctor, who is now in jail for 33 years” because the Pakistanis believe he helped Americans locate bin Laden.

“Everybody from the Pakistani intelligence service through the Taliban and down to al-Qaida are looking for individuals who were in that area at the time who might have been working for the CIA and were involved in the operation to locate and kill Osama bin Laden. These people are going to die if they’re found.”

The collection of clueless clowns around the Clown-in-Chief Barry Soetero have never
“put themselves out there front and center and that takes guts. I ask Eric Boehlert what his credentials are,” he tells Newsmax. “Has he served? Has he seen the ugliness of war and the cost on both sides? The loss of friends? I think not.

“It's safe to say that he wouldn't stand in the same room with any of these SEALs and mutter the word gutless.

“Politics aside, I'm glad this group is making an issue and educating citizens to the very serious consequences of intel leaks from Washington. The consequences of leaking sensitive information is that Americans and coalition forces die and we lose trust with foreign spies and our national security is put at risk.”

And Ryan Zinke, another former SEAL and a member of the PAC that created the video, tells Newsmax that calling a SEAL gutless “is nuts, and yet another attempt to discredit honorable service and sacrifice for our country.”

Perfidious treason is the Obama 1000-Clown foreign policy common thread.

Ditching this collection of hapless losers is the only way to avoid national catastrophe.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Paul Ryan More Catholic Than the Bishops?

WSJ has a great piece on Ryan's budget and the American Bishops' wobbly stands on government playing Robin Hood. Best single lines in the piece:
Perhaps we dehumanize the poor when we treat them as nothing more than problems to be solved, and we dehumanize the rich when we treat them as wallets to be picked.

and
The bishops dance with the devil when they invite government to use its coercive power on their behalf, and there's no clearer example than the Affordable Care Act. They happily joined their moral authority to the government's legal authority by supporting mandatory health insurance. They should not have been surprised when the government used its reinforced power to require Catholic institutions to pay for insurance plans that cover abortions and birth control.

To paraphrase J.R.R. Tolkien (a devoted Catholic), the government does not share power. Paul Ryan knows this. The bishops would be wise to listen to him.

Roger That!!!

"Sarah Marshall" Kristen Bell Disses Lochte while wearing his FIVE MEDALS from London.

Ryan Lochte may be a genius or he may not, but he's just as good-looking and much better at his day job than scene-stealer Bell. Kristen demonstrates how blonde girls can be stupid AND mean at the same time as she condescendingly asks Ryan "do you know how hard you have to train to get on Dancing with the Stars?"

This while the blonde cow is wearing HIS five medals??!!!

I guess Kristen thinks her own career with multiple retakes is much harder than Ryan's win-or-lose single competitions---even in relays. She had to be shit-faced hammered or else terminally challenged above the neck.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hillary Says No to VP Slot; Obama Stuck with Loser Biden

Hillary Clinton is too smart to hitch her wagon to a spavined nag like Obama.

When I first saw this meeting at the White House between Obama, Biden, and HC, I told my Political Science Major daughter that I'll bet Hillary was asked to run with Oblamer and declined. Niki just walked in and remembered this well.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was pressed by her husband and a top Obama aide to consider replacing Vice President Joe Biden just a couple of weeks ago, claims the author of the New York Times bestseller "The Amateur."

But Clinton, exhausted from four years of international travel and diplomacy, shrugged off the suggestion to lay the groundwork for her own 2016 bid with her husband at her side, according to author Ed Klein.

"As recently as a couple of weeks ago, the White House was putting out feelers to see if Hillary Clinton was interested in replacing Joe Biden on the ticket," Klein told Secrets. "Bill Clinton, I'm told, was urging his wife to accept the number two spot if it was formally offered. Bill sees the vice presidency as the perfect launching pad for Hillary to run for president in 2016."

He made similar comments Thursday night to CNBC's Larry Kudlow. The White House has dismissed speculation of a Clinton for Biden swap despite a string of recent gaffes by the vice president.

Klein, whose book is No. 2 on the NYT bestseller list, quoted unnamed sources who revealed that top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett put the vice presidency on the table during a lunch with the secretary of state. "The lunch was ostensibly about policy issues, but the subject of the vice presidency came up," he said. "Hillary told Valerie Jarrett that she was not interested in running as Obama's vice president."

Klein said she cited two reasons: If elected, she didn't want to be tied to Obama's left-leaning politics in her own 2016 bid. Second, if Obama loses, she would be tarred as a loser.

Klein puts the original feeler out 2 weeks ago. I surmise that the meeting on Wednesday was a follow-up to beg Hillary to accept with Biden there to support Obama by offering to step down.

We haven't seen the last of Hillary, but as a fair warning, her published senior thesis at Wellesley was about a certain obscure [at that time in the early seventies!] Chicago agitator named Saul Alinsky.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Professor Landis and Syrian Summary

Joshua Landis has an excellent blog on Syrian events as they proceed toward some sort of terrible conclusion. Here's some comment from last Friday.
...Assad will treat Syria as he did Lebanon and Iraq earlier. He will gamble that it is not a nation and will work to tear it apart. Already he has withdrawn from the Kurdish parts of Syria. Friends in Aleppo tell me that Assad is arming the Kurds there. He will arm the Arab tribes in the hope that they will resist central control. I am told that a number of the tribes of Aleppo gathered to condemn the Free Syrian Army following the killing of a leader of the al-Berri tribe, Ali Zeineddin al-Berri, also known as Zeno, who was accused of leading a pro-regime shabiha militia group. Assad will arm those that fear the Free Syrian Army, such as the Aleppo tribes, which he has used to police Aleppo. As Damascus and Aleppo slip out of his control, he may well try to destroy them sooner than allow them to fall intact to the Free Syrian Army. Anyone who has ruled Syria knows that Damascus is its linchpin. By reducing it to ruins, Syria may become ungovernable. He will build up the rural groups that have chafed under Damascus’ control.

In order to survive, Assad and his Alawite generals will struggle to turn Syria into Lebanon – a fractured nation, where no one community can rule. He may lose Syria, but could still remain a player, and his Alawite minority will not be destroyed. Today, Junblatt, Geagea, Gemayyal, Franjia and other warlords are respected members of parliament and society. All might have been taken to the international court and charged with crimes against humanity two decades ago. After all, somewhere between 100,000 to 150,000 Lebanese were killed out of a population of three million during the civil war. When the Lebanese came to terms with the fact that no one camp could impose its rule over the others, they had no choice but to bury the hatchet and move forward.

Landis goes on to say that rather than suffer an aimless bloodbath of the Alawite 12% minority and their allies, Assad's inner group will attempt to play one group of Syrians against the other. Druse vs. Kurds vs. Christians vs. Bedouins vs. Sunni vs. Alawite et al. Meantime, Assad will retreat into the Alawite heartland in the mountains and on the Levant coast from Latakia to Tartus, which is the most beautiful part of the country. This will effectively cut off the rest of the country from the Mediterranean and spark new confrontations.

Just like Iraq and Lebanon, Syria is likely to see a perpetual round of bombs and assassinations and subsequent retaliations among the patchwork quilt of its many ethnic and religious pieces. And if that isn't bad enough, a victory of the FSA might mean the insertion of a civil war among the victors---note the letter/blog about foreign elements with religious agendas resembling Al Qaeda's crossing the borders from the Gulf.

Now that the feckless, useless UN has thrown up its hands and the cowardly Obama is afraid to put together a coalition of the willing, Syria continues to pay back the 40 years of Assad repression father and son have wrought upon Syria. It took Lebanon more than a decade and 5% of its population to die before the country collapsed of exhaustion and finally got a truce in the mid-'80s. I'm thinking that Syria has a lot of time and energy and with the support of a reckless power player like Putin watching Assad's back, exhaustion won't set in for years, perhaps.

Which reminds me. i recall the first time that I arrived in Syria via my auto in August 1974 at the northern border and saw a sign "Syria: Berceau de l'Humanite." Immediately the words jumped into my mind: "Et sa tombe."

Ryan's Energy, Charisma, Knowledge Scares Obama

Paul was born 35 miles from where I grew up in Waukesha County five miles east of Waukesha & 20 miles west of Milwaukee. He is also a fan of Beethoven and Led Zeppelin, two of my favorite listens. l used to go bow & arrow hunting for game in rural parts and only bagged a rabbit, as I recall. Anyway, let's cut to the chase.

Polls contradict the Democrat narrative by showing that women, seniors, and independents like Ryan. Obama's mudslingers can't remove Paul's charismatic tall, dark, handsome persona. And the slimeballs like Axelrod can jammer all they want about seniors, but here in Florida, seniors think for themselves. They know that ObamaCare cuts $700 billion from Medicare and won't fall for the sucker-punches BS that the Plouffe/Axelrod slime balls put on the air. And the Golden Oldies remember the days when people got in work lines for welfare and they resent Obama removing that requirement.

Finally, the independents like Ryan. He is one of them, a man who thinks for himself and doesn't wait for someone to tell him how to vote and think. Can't wait for my native state to register its first national election candidate.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Paul Ryan Can Punch Out Crony Capitalism by Obama

Politico has a piece on Paul Ryan underscoring his solid credentials in unmasking The Hawaiian's using taxpayer money to be a venture capitalist with so-called "green" projects:
...Ryan's critique dovetails perfectly with the months of attacks that Mitt Romney, the Republican National Committee and GOP-aligned super PACs have made against Obama's energy programs, especially the one that awarded Solyndra a $535 million loan guarantee.
Romney visited Solyndra's shuttered California headquarters in May, calling it “a symbol of how the president thinks about free enterprise: Free enterprise to the president means taking money from the taxpayers and giving it freely to his friends.”
Like Romney — and matching the current GOP orthodoxy on energy policy — Ryan's budget blueprint advocates opening up new lands and waters to oil and gas drilling while eliminating EPA regulations that conservatives call impediments to energy production.

Read the whole article to see the grudging respect Politico's writers seem to have for Ryan.


Gulf Oasis Theory Pops Up Again

Residing in Saudi Arabia for several years as the US Embassy's Political Officer, I read everything I could about the archeology and history of the Gulf region. It was actually part of my job to research the political and economic antecedents of the modern Arabian Peninsula I saw around me.

In the course of my readings, I found a book Dilmun which was the ancient name for Bahrain and legendarily the Garden of Eden mentioned in the famous Gilgamish Epic. The Dilmun legend hypothesizes that after the retreat of the glaciers, the Persian Gulf drowned the mouth of the Euphrates River and only Bahrain/Dilmun remained above the waterline. The flip side of this conjecture is that the current sea bottom of the Gulf was once a fertile valley between two relatively arid hinterlands, although theories about what the Peninsula climate was all about back 5-6kya are myriad. Another variation of this theory, which gives it some shred of cred, is that the Sumerians famously called themselves the People of the Sea, meaning that they came from the Sea, or Persian Gulf, which could mean sailing from somewhere far away or merely migrating from the submerging landscape slowly being covered by water. In any event, here is the abstract linked above from Dienekes Blog about an analogous interpretation of roughly the same set of facts published in Current Anthropology:
The emerging picture of prehistoric Arabia suggests that early modern humans were able to survive periodic hyperarid oscillations by contracting into environmental refugia around the coastal margins of the peninsula. This paper reviews new paleoenvironmental, archaeological, and genetic evidence from the Arabian Peninsula and southern Iran to explore the possibility of a demographic refugium dubbed the “Gulf Oasis,” which is posited to have been a vitally significant zone for populations residing in southwest Asia during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene. These data are used to assess the role of this large oasis, which, before being submerged beneath the waters of the Indian Ocean, was well watered by the Tigris, Euphrates, Karun, and Wadi Batin rivers as well as subterranean aquifers flowing beneath the Arabian subcontinent. Inverse to the amount of annual precipitation falling across the interior, reduced sea levels periodically exposed large portions of the Arabo-Persian Gulf, equal at times to the size of Great Britain. Therefore, when the hinterlands were desiccated, populations could have contracted into the Gulf Oasis to exploit its freshwater springs and rivers. This dynamic relationship between environmental amelioration/desiccation and marine transgression/regression is thought to have driven demographic exchange into and out of this zone over the course of the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene, as well as having played an important role in shaping the cultural evolution of local human populations during that interval.

There are about 40,000 beehive tombs of great antiquity on Bahrain unexcavated to this day, for religious reasons. Read the link at the top of this post to get a longer explanation.

If you're ambitious, take a gander at more, feel free.