Romney Presidential, Victorious in Debate

By Dick Morris, Fox News

By scoring big on the economy, gas prices, and Libya, Romney continued his  victorious string of debate wins. He looked more presidential than Obama did and  showed himself to be an articulate, capable, attractive, compassionate leader  with sound ideas.

Obama came over as boorish and Biden-esque. He did not  learn from his Vice President’s mistakes. When a president gets into a bar room  brawl, he loses his dignity and his aura, key assets for an incumbent. Romney  was polite but firm. Obama seemed quarrelsome, frustrated, nasty, and  cranky.

But the key reason for the Romney win was substantive:

1.  Romney made very clear the case against Obama’s economic record and Obama’s  rebuttal about 5 million jobs was pathetic.

2. Romney injected the China  issue, big time, and tapped into a strong public sentiment on the issue.

3. Romney made the effective case that Obama is anti-oil, coal, and gas and that  this has doubled gas prices.

4. Romney was very effective in  differentiating himself from Bush-43 and in establishing that, unlike the GOP of  the past, he was for small businesses not big businesses

5. Romney  rebutted the attacks on him over Chinese investments.

6. Romney explained  his tax plan well and to everyone’s satisfaction.

7. Obama erred in  trying to make us believe that he always felt Libya was a terror attack. We all  heard him blame the movie.
Obama scored points over the 47% statement by  Romney, immigration, and by his response to the accusation that he went to Vegas  after the murder of the Ambassador.

But this debate goes to Romney. It  seals his momentum and will lead to a big win.

 

Town Haul: Mitt’s best performance ever — creative, transformative, and brilliant

By Jay Hominick, The American Spectator

Watching the town-hall debate between President Obama and Governor Romney on Tuesday night, I kept murmuring to myself: “This is unprecedented. No one has ever debated like this before.”

The moment the debate ended, the ponderous voice of one the CBS Newsasurauses came on and said: “Ladies and gentlemen, we have just witnessed something historic. The nature of Presidential debate has been transformed forever.” My daughter quickly high-fived me, as her faith in Daddy’s omniscience was confirmed. Meanwhile, the oldster on the screen – probably kicked in the shins by outraged colleagues — walked his statement back to an extent, saying only that both sides had set a new record for rancor.

Baloney! This was not historic because of both sides. This was historic because of one side. Namely, Governor Romney, or perhaps — as one questioner (intentionally?) addressed him — President Romney. To put it simply, Willard “Mitt” Romney, the Mormon guy, the starched-collar guy, the high-falutin’ guy, the out-of-touch guy, the too-polite guy, walked out onto a stage and delivered the best performance in the history of televised debates.

Yes, he was better than my personal hero, Ronald Reagan. Better by a long shot.

To say that he won the debate is to miss the point. He not only emerged victorious on the scoring card, he did it in a fashion which was creative and transformative. Let me try to sketch some of the ways in which he not only gained advantage but he did it by reimagining the possibilities of the format and adapting appropriate methodology.

First of all, he solved the age-old conflict of how to call a President a liar without seeming impudent. This conundrum had bedeviled challengers since the dawn of time. So many times in the past we have seen the Bob Doles and the McCains of the world let the lie fly by while they are too paralyzed by seemliness to take a swat.

Romney solved this with an inventive linguistic approach. Instead of saying something was wrong, he said the inverse of the inverse, something on the order of “How can this be so?”

This brilliant technique gave birth to several memorable slams: “Why the President would cancel that pipeline to Canada I cannot imagine!” “What possible reason they could have had in Fast-and-Furious to send guns to Mexican drug lords is beyond me!”

A second powerful approach, completely unheard of in such forums, was to do the thing dads do to kids who are fudging the story. Romney had previewed that notion in the first debate by comparing Obama’s attack mantras to his sons trying to repeat a counterfeit version of events over and over in the hope he would give up being skeptical. This time, he kept asking Obama to repeat the last lie.

“Are you telling us that the day after the Benghazi attack you stood in the Rose Garden and called it an act of terror? Is that what you are saying? Let’s get that on the record.”

A variation of that was to press, press, press a challenging question, so there was no place to hide. “Have you looked at your pension? Mister President, have you looked at your own pension, because it is invested in China as well, and in companies that outsource jobs?”

He even came up with a good system to defang the strategic cutoffs the liberal debate moderators have long accomplished. This time, when Candy Crowley tried to change a subject after Obama had taken a shot at him, Romney simply said: “I would like to respond to that. It was completely false.” In that way, her swerve did not prevent him from getting the message out that he had a good answer. And in self-defense, it is fair etiquette to use ‘false’ as an adjective.

Before summing up, there is one very important side point which must be mentioned. Namely, for the first time ever — EVER! — the moderator periodically allowed questions designed to benefit the Republican. “Mister President, we are told that the embassy in Benghazi had requested more security? Who in your administration turned that down and why?” “Mister President, your Secretary of Energy has stated three times publicly that it is not his job to help lower gas prices. Do you agree with that assessment of his job description and why?” Even the first question by the guy who wants to know why he can’t get a job coming out of college plays to Romney’s strength.

Trust me when I tell you this: if not for talk radio, Fox News, magazines like this one and the conservative blogs, such questions would never have seen the light of day in a Presidential debate.

All in all, I stand by my assessment. Romney turned in the single greatest debate performance since such skirmishes have been recorded by the camera. Take my advice: run quickly to Intrade and bet the house on Mitt Romney to become the next President of the United States.

White House Asserts Ignorance of Libyan Security Problem

John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

Despite sworn testimony to the contrary by State Department officials at a House of Representatives hearing this week, Vice-President Joe Biden claimed during his debate with GOP VP nominee Congressman Paul Ryan that the White House had no warning of the security problems at the Libyan Consulat

Presidential Press Secretary Jay Carney suggested that “perhaps this issue was covered in one of the national security briefings that the President was unable to attend. We all know the President has more things to do than he has time to do them. So, there are going to be occasions when he may be ‘out of the loop’ so to speak.”

Statistics from the Government Accountability Institute lend support to Carney’s contention that the President is often “out-of-the-loop.” Since the start of his term, President Obama has attended less than half of the national security briefings held at the White House. This year he has attended only a third of the briefings. In the week before the murder of the Ambassador he attended none of them.

As for the State Department’s admission that slain Ambassador Christopher Stevens had made several requests for additional security months before the attack that killed him, Carney laid the blame on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “This is her turf,” Carney explained. “The President has delegated the authority to the State Department to handle this kind of issue. If there are any presumed lapses that’s where you should look.”

For her part, the Secretary refused to accept blame insisting that the decision to forgo the requested extra security was a jointly agreed upon course. “Both the President and I concurred in the plan to outsource the consulate and embassy security to the February 17 Martyrs’ Brigade,” Clinton said. “How were we to know that this would prove inadequate?”

The possibility that their on-site ambassador’s opinion that security wasn’t adequate might have been a clue was apparently beyond the comprehension of both the President and the Secretary. Ansar al Sharia, the al-Qaida-linked militia believed to have organized and carried out the attack on the US Libyan Consulate in September, is a spinoff of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade.

Meanwhile, Obama campaign spokesperson Stephanie Cutter maintained that “the issue is being blown out of proportion by both the Romney campaign and the media. The murder of the Ambassador, while tragic, is just an isolated incident. We mustn’t award it undue attention when more critical items are at stake in this campaign.”

Asked to enumerate a few “more critical items,” Cutter pointed to “the very real threat that a GOP victory would cut government funding for abortion, force sexually active young women to pay for their own birth control, and cancel the tax increase scheduled for January 2013. We think voters should look past an unfortunate event that we can’t undo and focus on the ‘bread-and-butter’ issues that the Democratic Party has always delivered on.”

Obama Defeat May Lead to Rioting, Emigration

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano warned that “vibes we’ve been picking up indicate that a defeat for the President in November would ignite a wave of civil strife like we’ve never seen in this country.”

“The blogosphere and world of twitters is flush with credible threats of violence and mayhem that our Department thinks should be taken very seriously,” the Secretary said.

“Voters can help thwart this threat by ensuring the President’s reelection,” Napolitano advised. “Even if voters are dissatisfied with the progress the Administration has made or are attracted to Romney’s siren song, they need to ask themselves whether it is worth the risk of being assaulted in the streets or having their homes burned down before they cast a vote against the President.”

A second concern cited by the Secretary was the prospect that “many of our best and brightest would follow through with their promise to leave the country should the President lose the election. This demographic is the foundation stone of the President’s plan to transform America. If we lose too many of these people the nation could spiral backwards toward a society where individuals are forced to fend for themselves.”

In related news, the Federal Aviation Administration announced plans to have as many as 30,000 aerial drones patrolling America’s airspace by the end of the decade. Napolitano enthusiastically endorsed the plan. “The success the President has had using these types of weapons to neutralize our enemies abroad recommends it for domestic deployment,” she said. “Our porous borders as well as the growing threat of home-grown right-wing terrorism demonstrate the need for the ability to strike closer to home.”

President Pledges He Will Save Big Bird

Gloating over what they consider a “colossal blunder,” the Obama campaign has launched a series of ads promising that Obama will save the Sesame Street character from “extinction” at the hands of the GOP.

Obama Campaign spokesperson, Jennifer Psaki boasted that “the cruel side of Governor Romney is now on display for every voter with school-aged children to see. The idea that he would even consider defunding this American icon is the unkindest cut of all. We won’t let voters forget it.”

Whether Big Bird or Sesame Street would face extinction without federal subsidies seems dubious. The Sesame Street operation grossed over $100 million last year and has nearly $300 million in assets on the company’s books. Merchandise sales, copyright licensing fees, and corporate sponsorships account for 90% of their revenues. Federal subsidies make up less than 10% of total revenues. Ironically, at a salary of over $300,000, the actor who plays Big Bird falls in the group the Obama Administration says needs to pay higher taxes.

A lawyer for Sesame Street has requested that the Obama Campaign refrain from using its characters in its ads. Psaki acknowledged receipt of the complaint, but declined to confirm the campaign would comply with the request. “If the President feels he needs to use these characters to make his point he will continue to use them,” Psaki asserted. “After all, the needs of the nation surely override this organization’s hope to make a profit. Besides, it is by no means clear who owns the rights to these characters. If the government subsidizes Sesame Street why shouldn’t it control how the benefits of that subsidy are dispersed?”

Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs seconded Psaki’s take. “The fact of the matter is that what the President says or does about anything takes precedence over what anybody else has to say or do,” Gibbs argued. “He represents all Americans. As such, whatever he determines is right for the country supersedes the private interests of any other individual or organization.”

President Woos College Women with Promise of Free Birth Control

In a bid to shift the narrative to an issue he sees as more advantageous, President Obama told a George Mason University audience that “ensuring college-aged women’s access to free birth control services is what’s at stake in this election. A coed shouldn’t have to give up sex just because she can’t afford to pay for birth control. Neither should she be forced to make space in her budget for condoms or birth control pills.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops vehemently opposes the Administration’s insistence that all employers, regardless of religious or ethical objections, must finance birth control and abortion. The Bishops contested the supposed rationale for the Obamacare mandate, pointing out that “access to contraception is ubiquitous and inexpensive. This mandate is about the federal government riding roughshod over freedoms guaranteed by the US Constitution.”

The President boldly dismissed these religious objections to the Obamacare mandate requiring employers to provide for birth control and abortion services in their healthcare plans. “The enemies of women’s rights attempts to evade their responsibility to provide for these rights will not prevail,” Obama bragged. “This election is about a test of wills to determine what vision for America will prevail. I assure you, that as long as I am President religious dogma will not be allowed to negate the benefits the Affordable Care Act has bestowed upon the women of this country.”

In related news, Darden Restaurants, owner of the Red Lobster and Olive Garden chains, says it is moving away from offering full-time positions. The aim is to avoid Obamacare’s requirement that firms pay for health insurance for workers who put in 30 hours or more per week. Sadly, many of those affected are women.

Wisconsin Sheriff Won’t Stop Felons from Voting

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney has instructed his staff not to assist in checking the felony status of those seeking to cast votes in the county. This is despite a state law mandating such assistance.

“It may be a state law, but the Constitution’s provision for a government of, by, and for the people outranks it,” Mahoney claimed. “Felons are people too. They have a right to participate in the selection of who will govern them. I cannot stand by and be a party to misguided state efforts to disenfranchise them.”

Mahoney had hoped to keep his directive within the confines of the Sheriff’s Office. However, a deputy leaked the internal memo to the press garnering some unwanted scrutiny for the questionable action. Mahoney says he deplored the leak and called the whistle-blower responsible “unprofessional.” “I count on the men who work for me to show their loyalty in how they comport themselves,” Mahoney said. “As their superior officer, it is my prerogative to interpret the law and determine how or whether we will enforce it. Going outside the chain of command is totally unacceptable.”

In related news, in similarly progressive Illinois, it was discovered that over 1,000 prison inmates are receiving unemployment compensation from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Governor Pat Quinn (D) defended the distributions saying “I don’t see a problem. If you’re in jail I think it’s pretty obvious that you’re unemployed. Why shouldn’t you receive compensation? I mean, it could be used to bribe fellow inmates not to rape you or it could come in handy when you eventually get out.”

Obama Campaign Downplays Illegal Donation Issue

While the Obama campaign was boasting about raising more campaign cash than the GOP during September it now looks like a significant share (an estimated 68%) of this cash may have been obtained illegally. It appears that two-thirds of the campaign’s web donors are foreigners. By law, foreigners are barred from donating to US political campaigns.

David Axelrod emphasized what he called “the inherent inequity” of the ban on foreign money. “Look, it isn’t only Americans who are affected by who is elected,” Axelrod pointed out. “We’re not a small insignificant country. What we do has ripple affects all over the globe. It impacts people in other countries. Naturally, these people would like to have some input to the process.”

In support of the idea that foreigners should have a right to contribute to President Obama’s reelection, Axelrod cited a GlobalPost poll indicating that 68% of foreigners favor Obama’s reelection and a Gallup poll of foreign voters that would give Obama 81% of the vote.

“The vast majority of the people of the world want President Obama to continue in office,” he observed. “In fact, the ratio of support is greater than three-to-one in one poll and four-to-one in another. Should this make no difference? It’s bad enough that all the people affected by US policies can’t vote for who runs America. Must we also deny them the opportunity to ‘put their two cents in’ so to speak?”

Professor Says President Misrepresenting His Study

All along the campaign trail President Obama has been asserting that Governor Romney’s tax plan would boost levies on middle income earners. He has been citing a study by Harvard economist Martin Feldstein and Princeton economist Harvey Rosen that he claims validates his case.

The problem is, Professor Rosen has said the President is misconstruing his work. “The main conclusion of my study is that under plausible assumptions, a proposal along the lines suggested by Governor Romney can both be revenue neutral and that an increase in the tax burden on lower and middle income individuals is not required in order to make the overall plan revenue neutral,” Rosen explained.

“I suppose it comes down to who you’re going to believe,” said Obama Campaign Press Secretary Ben LaBolt. “On the one hand, you have the President of the United States—a man everyone in America knows,” LaBolt said. “On the other hand, we have an obscure professor who I’d bet not one voter in a thousand has ever heard of before. Would you take the word of a stranger over that of the President? Well, we feel pretty confident that the majority of Americans will choose the President as the person they’ll want to trust on this issue.”

Obama Advisers Pan Romney’s “Peace through Strength” Foreign Policy

Obama national security advisers Michele Flournoy and Colin Kahl sought to lampoon Govern Mitt Romney’s pitch for a foreign policy founded on a “peace through strength” approach as “old hat.”

“This lame attempt to revive a policy championed by Ronald Reagan is so out-of-date it’s laughable,” Flournoy chortled. “Time has moved on and the world has changed since these ideas were fashionable. It makes no sense for us to go backward—what—more than 30 years. Let’s get real.”

Flournoy called “the attempt to divide nations into ‘friend-or-foe’ categories as a basis for guiding our international relationships is simplistic. As President Obama has shown over the last four years, a more nuanced view is more successful. In his world view there are no foes. There are only differing degrees of friendship.”

“Just because there are disagreements between countries doesn’t mean they can’t still be friends,” Flournoy continued. “President Obama hasn’t shied from making the first move toward building bridges toward improved relations. His aggressive move at the outset of his term to admit and apologize for our country’s transgressions opened up new possibilities for progress around the world.”

As proof of the superiority of Obama’s foreign policy, Flournoy reminded that “Reagan never won a Nobel Peace Prize. President Obama won one in his first year on the job.”

A Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens Archives

Please do us a favor.  If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit, and do not change the context. Thank you.

General Election Endorsements

President/Vice-President Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan
U.S. Senate Jeff Flake*
Congress—District 1 Jonathan Paton
Congress—District 2 Martha McSally
Congress—District 3 Gabriella Saucedo Mercer
Congress—District 4 Paul Gosar
Congress—District 5 Matt Salmon
Congress—District 6 David Schweikert
Congress—District 7 None
Congress—District 8 Trent Franks
Congress—District 9 Vernon   Parker
 
ARIZONA SENATE
District 1 Steve Pierce
D2 Don Woolley
D3
D4
D5 Kelli Ward
D6 Chester   Crandall
D7
D8 Joe Ortiz
D9 Tyler Mott
D10 Frank Antenori
D11 Al Melvin
D12 Andy Biggs
D13 Don Shooter
D14 Gail Griffin
D15 Nancy Barto
D16 None#
D17 Steve Yarbrough
D18 John McComish
D19
D20 Kimberly Yee
D21 Rick Murphy
D22 Judy Burges
D23
D24 August Bartning
D25
D26
D27 Sarah Coleman
D28 Adam Driggs
D29
D30
 
ARIZONA HOUSE OF REPS
D1 Karen Fann, Andy Tobin
D2 John Ackerley
D3
D4
D5 Sonny Borrelli, Doris Goodale
D6 Brenda Barton,   Bob Thorpe
D7
D8 Frank Pratt, T.J. Shope
D9 Ethan Orr
D10 Ted Clodfelter, Ted Vogt
D11 Adam Kwasman, Steve Smith
D12 Eddie Farnsworth, Warren Petersen
D13 Steve Montenegro, Darin Mitchell
D14 David Gowan, David Stevens
D15 John Allen, Heather Carter
D16 Kelly Townsend
D17 Tom Forese, Jason Mesnard
D18 Jeff Dial, Bob Robson
D19
D20 Carl Seel, Paul Boyer
D21 Rick Gray,   Debbie Lesko
D22 David Livingston, Phil Lovas
D23 John Kavanaugh, Michelle Ugenti
D24 Brian Kauffman
D25 Justin Olson, Justin Pierce
D26 Raymond Speakman, Mary Lou Taylor
D27 Daniel Coleman
D28 Amanda Reeve
D29
D30 Aaron Gidwani
 
Arizona Corporation   Commission Bob Burns, Bob Stump
*We have not previously endorsed Flake due to his compromising positions on border and social issues. However, it is absolutely imperative that Republicans recapture the U.S. Senate, and we cannot afford the loss of retiring Senator Jon Kyl’s seat to the Democrats.

 

#The GOP nominee lives in Utah and voted on only one-third of the bills in this year’s session. We believe he should have been disqualified from the primary election because he lives out of state and he disenfranchised his constituents.

Bizarre Biden Botches Debate

By Yuval Levin, National Review Online

I think both candidates basically did what they needed to do in the vice-presidential debate, which leaves the Republican ticket in a slightly better position—since Biden’s goal was damage control with the base and Ryan’s was reinforcing a positive impression with persuadable voters.

After the calamity they experienced in last week’s presidential debate, liberals needed to be bucked up by the Obama campaign, and I think they got that tonight. It probably came at a real cost—I have a feeling that Biden’s hyper-aggressive and at times buffoonish performance (and perhaps especially his Joker grin, which seemed to me as much a product of nervousness as of intent) hurt the ticket some with independent voters and especially with women—but it was a price the Obama campaign is probably quite willing to pay given the situation they’re now in. This debate didn’t help them win persuadable voters, and it probably won’t move the polls in their direction, but it will calm liberals down and it was absolutely essential for them to do that. The MSNBC types needed someone to be a jerk toward Paul Ryan to his face, and they got it.

Biden gave them what they needed by behaving the way liberals think Mitt Romney behaved in last week’s debate—basically like a strident bully who just says whatever he needs to say to shut down his opponent. The Left wished Obama had done that, and now they got to see Biden doing it. The trouble for them is that Romney didn’t actually do that. He won by appealing to moderate voters through substantive arguments. Biden (and therefore Obama) won’t gain that appeal from this debate.

For Paul Ryan, this was an important night. He didn’t shine the way Romney did last week, but that’s never really an option for the running mate. His job was to reinforce Romney’s case and to pass the bar of presidential credibility himself, and he certainly did that. In his biggest moment on the national stage to date, he was calm, clear, thoughtful, and serious. That’s the image the Romney campaign needs to project in these final weeks, and it’s the image Ryan wants to project. He did it in part by not pressing every potential opportunity he had (whether intentionally or by truly missing those opportunities), so that for those of us who spend our days mired in the minutia of these policy debates it was sometimes frustrating to think that here was Ryan, who could basically make Joe Biden look like a fool on this or that issue, instead making a more general point and returning to the basic economic case. He had to decide on the fly how to handle Biden’s strange behavior, and he probably made the right choice. Ryan was easily the more presidential figure on the stage (I might have said “more vice presidential,” but that would seem like an insult), and his command of the foreign-policy issues that came up should go a long way toward putting to rest any concern about his expertise on that front.

Substantively, Biden was predictably demagogic on the key domestic issues. His argument on entitlements was basically “don’t listen to either side, just use your common sense, don’t you trust Democrats more than Republicans on this?” That’s a very good sign for Republicans, especially on Medicare, and especially because polls (including the debate focus-group dials) suggest the answer isn’t necessarily what Biden thinks it is—or what it used to be just a few years ago. Republicans have made extraordinary gains on that front, and this is very largely Ryan’s own doing.
This was one place where my own policy obsessions left me thinking Ryan could have said more, and particularly that he might have pushed one more time on “vouchers.” I don’t have any particular problem with the term “voucher” in a lot of policy contexts, but it is simply not an accurate description of a premium-support reform of Medicare, in which seniors would get their choice of coverage, not a voucher, and those whose choice was among the more expensive would make up the difference themselves while those who choose cheaper options would have no further out of pocket costs and might get some money back. At no point is there a voucher. This is exactly how the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, Medicare Advantage, and the federal-employee insurance system through which Joe Biden’s family has gotten insurance for 40 years function. Are those voucher programs?
I also thought Ryan should have gone one step further into details on the tax plan—perhaps pointing to the idea of a cap on total exclusions at some dollar figure, as Romney has done. He tried to argue instead that the president’s job is to lay out principles (no increase in the deficit, no increase in middle class taxes, no reduction in the portion of the tax burden borne by the wealthy) and then reach decisions on particulars with Congress. That’s certainly right, but Biden didn’t let him make the argument, and he should have pushed back some by first providing the particulars that Raddatz (who clearly didn’t understand his answer) was demanding. But these are the complaints of a wonk—of a person who notices missed opportunities rather than simply listening to what was said.
On foreign policy, I think Ryan won handily and that the debate (along with the sheer facts of the Libya debacle of course) has largely robbed the administration of what it thought would be a foreign-policy advantage going into the final weeks, and especially into the last presidential debate in two weeks, which is all about foreign policy. It was quite striking, of course, just how much foreign policy there was in this debate. It was clear from her questions that Martha Raddatz really knows a lot about foreign policy (so that she pushed against and argued with some of the liberal platitudes Biden was pushing) but knows only the basic liberal talking points on the domestic issues. That’s too bad—her aggressive and pressing style would have made for some good exchanges if she knew more about those subjects.
Ryan pushed especially effectively on Libya, and I actually think Biden’s answers on that front were extremely problematic for the administration and will greatly complicate their efforts to control a growing, serious, and very ill-timed scandal. The bald-faced lie about requests for more security will just have to be rolled back, which will be a bit embarrassing. But Biden’s throwing the intelligence community under the bus is a huge problem too. Any time a politician blames something on the intelligence community, you just know that a torrent of leaks from the intelligence community to the major papers is about to erupt, and I think we can bet on that happening here.
Above all, I think a voter stepping back from all of this would have to ask himself just what the Obama administration is actually proposing to do in the next four years. Anything different from the last four years? Anything in particular at all? This was basically a debate about the Romney agenda, with some thoughts on the Obama record thrown in. For a campaign whose motto is “forward” there was remarkably little forward-looking substance.
To assess the effect of it all on the race, I think an important question will be how many voters watched this debate, compared to the last one. For those who did, I imagine this will basically be a draw—a tie between those who found Biden’s bullying effective and those who found it off-putting. But among those who only hear about it in the coming days, I have a feeling that this will turn out to have been a bit of a problem for the Democrats. Ryan’s performance probably won’t be much noted either way (which is about what he was going for, I suspect; he has now established his place in the very upper tier of American political life without even much of a fuss), but the two lasting impressions of this debate that will be talked about will be Biden’s bizarre behavior and his false assertion about requests for security by American diplomats in Libya. As they struggle to close Romney’s narrow lead, neither will be a welcome subject of discussion for the Democrats.

The Post-Constitutional President

Center for Security Policy | Oct 09, 2012By Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Team Obama insists that next month’s presidential election is “a choice, not a referendum.”  It sure seems to be with respect to the two candidates very different views on the Constitution.  Mitt Romney makes plain at every turn his commitment to that document, while Barack Obama’s conduct in office has marked him as the post-constitutional president.

Consider just a few examples of Mr. Obama’s systematic disregard of, contempt for and/or deviation from a national charter he swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend:

  • President Obama has simply refused to uphold federal laws with which he disagrees, including the Defense of Marriage Act and immigration statutes.
  • After confirming that, in the absence of congressional authorization, he lacked the authority to give what amounts to an amnesty to young illegal aliens, President Obama went ahead and declared it by executive fiat.
  • Despite repeated congressional objections to federal purchase of a state prison in Thomson, Illinois to which the Obama administration has sought to relocate jhadists currently held as detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Mr. Obama last week authorized its acquisition for $165 million.
  • Ever since it came to office, the Obama administration has sought to accommodate Islamist demands that freedom of expression be curbed, lest it offend Muslims and stoke violence.  For example, in 2009, it co-sponsored a UN Human Rights Council resolution along those lines.  In 2011, it launched the so-called “Istanbul Process” to find common ground with proponents of shariah blasphemy laws who seek to strip us of our First Amendment freedoms.
  • And in September 2012, President Obama announced at the United Nations: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” – a stance indistinguishable from that of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban and al Qaeda.
  • A particularly ominous example of Mr. Obama’s post-constitutional presidency involves his abdication of his first duty as Commander-in-Chief: to secure the common defense.  Having successfully engineered two rounds of deep defense budget reductions totaling some $800 billion over the next ten years, the President is intent on inflicting a further, devastating half-a-trillion dollar, across-the-board cut pursuant to a process known on Capitol Hill as sequestration.

There is no getting around it:  Cuts of this magnitude are going to result in tremendous disruptions of defense programs and attendant job losses in the associated industries.  A federal law known as the WARN Act requires companies with more than 100 employees to give them notice of potential lay-offs sixty days in advance.  With sequestration due to kick in on January 2, 2013, that means the mandatory warning of potential pink slips to come would arrive just before the November 6th election.

To avoid such a particularly untimely reminder of the president’s dismal stewardship of his economic as well as national security portfolios, in July the Obama Labor Department issued guidance to defense contractors saying that the WARN Act’s requirements would not be enforced.  The pretext given was that, since sequestration’s potential effects on particular contracts had not been specified, there was insufficient basis to know the extent of the impact on employment and, therefore, the statute would not apply.

Of course, one reason the potential effects of sequestration are not known with precision less than three months before they are statutorily required to go into effect is that the Obama administration has ordered the Pentagon not to make any plans for implementing that next round of cuts.  This directive was reaffirmed on September 27th.Then, Team Obama advised contractors the next day that, as The Hill reported: “They would be compensated for legal costs if layoffs occur due to contract cancellations under sequestration – but only if the contractors follow the Labor [Department] guidance.”  In other words, the administration now wants the taxpayer to pick up the tab for violations of the law by those it has induced to engage in them.

Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte, respectively of Arizona, South Carolina and New Hampshire, have been among those tirelessly warning for months of the catastrophe sequestration will inflict on the U.S. military.  They issued a joint statement in response to the president’s latest post-constitutional action which said, in part, “The Obama Administration is cynically trying to skirt the WARN Act to keep the American people in the dark about this looming national security and fiscal crisis.  The president should insist that companies act in accordance with the clearly stated law and move forward with the layoff notices.”  (Detailed estimates of the magnitude of that crisis as it is likely to manifest itself in states, counties, cities and congressional districts across the country can be obtained at www.FortheCommonDefense.org/reports.)

In an important essay published on September 24th in the Wall Street Journal, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey called on legislators to put Mr. Obama on notice: If, as widely expected, he proceeds after the election to yield to Islamist demands that he transfer (presumably to Egypt) or release the lead conspirator in the first World Trade Center attack, Omar Abdul Rahman, it “could be considered the kind of gross betrayal of public trust that would justify removal from high office.”  The same should apply to Mr. Obama’s palpable contempt for the Constitution – something sure to be even more in evidence if he secures reelection and, as he says, “more flexibility” in a second term.

America’s Phony in Chief

By Thomas Sowell One News Now

Truth is not a job requirement for a community organizer — but it should be for someone who holds the highest elected office in America.

When President Barack Obama and others on the left are not busy admonishing the rest of us to be “civil” in our discussions of political issues, they are busy letting loose insults, accusations and smears against those who dare to disagree with them.

Like so many people who have been beaten in a verbal encounter, and who can think of clever things to say the next day, after it is all over, President Obama, after his clear loss in his debate with Mitt Romney, called Governor Romney a “phony.”

Innumerable facts, however, show that it is our Commander in Chief who is Phony in Chief. A classic example was his speech to a predominantly black audience at Hampton University on June 5, 2007. That date is important, as we shall see.

In his speech — delivered in a ghetto-style accent that Obama doesn’t use anywhere except when he is addressing a black audience — he charged the federal government with not showing the same concern for the people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit as they had shown for the people of New York after the 9/11 attacks, or the people of Florida after Hurricane Andrew hit.

Departing from his prepared remarks, he mentioned the Stafford Act, which requires communities receiving federal disaster relief to contribute 10 percent as much as the federal government does.

Senator Obama, as he was then, pointed out that this requirement was waived in the case of New York and Florida because the people there were considered to be “part of the American family.” But the people in New Orleans — predominantly black — “they don’t care about as much,” according to Barack Obama.

If you want to know what community organizers do, this is it — rub people’s emotions raw to hype their resentments. And this was Barack Obama in his old community organizer role, a role that should have warned those who thought that he was someone who would bring us together, when he was all too well practiced in the arts of polarizing us apart.

Why is the date of this speech important? Because, less than two weeks earlier, on May 24, 2007, the United States Senate had in fact voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans, as it had waived that requirement for New York and Florida. More federal money was spent rebuilding New Orleans than was spent in New York after 9/11 and in Florida after Hurricane Andrew, combined.

Truth is not a job requirement for a community organizer. Nor can Barack Obama claim that he wasn’t present the day of that Senate vote, as he claimed he wasn’t there when Jeremiah Wright unleashed his obscene attacks on America from the pulpit of the church that Obama attended for 20 years.

Unlike Jeremiah Wright’s church, the U.S. Senate keeps a record of who was there on a given day. The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007, shows Senator Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 senators who voted against — repeat, AGAINST — the legislation which included the waiver.

When he gave that demagogic speech, in a feigned accent and style, it was world-class chutzpah and a rhetorical triumph. He truly deserves the title Phony in Chief.

If you know any true believers in Obama, show them the transcript of his June 5, 2007, speech at Hampton University (available from the Federal News Service) and then show them page S6823 of the Congressional Record for May 24, 2007, which lists which senators voted which way on the waiver of the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans.

Some people in the media have tried to dismiss this and other revelations of Barack Obama’s real character that have belatedly come to light as “old news.” But the truth is one thing that never wears out. The Pythagorean Theorem is 2,000 years old, but it can still tell you the distance from home plate to second base (127 ft.) without measuring it. And what happened five years ago can tell a lot about Barack Obama’s character — or lack of character.

Obama’s true believers may not want to know the truth. But there are millions of other people who have simply projected their own desires for a post-racial America onto Barack Obama. These are the ones who need to be confronted with the truth, before they repeat the mistake they made when they voted four years ago.