Obama gives commencement address where students can’t protest

There may be more objectionable lines in the speech, but here is one that begs to be deconstructed:
“In fact, by most measures America has rarely been stronger relative to the rest of the world.”
1. “By most measures”. Therefore, not by all measures. One is interested to know which measures don’t show America as stronger.
2. “America has rarely been stronger”. The key word here is the adverb “rarely”. One can only conclude that America has been stronger at some points in the past. When? This phrase can equally be said “America has been stronger”. Sounds very different, doesn’t it?
3. “relative to the rest of the world”. This is an interesting qualifier. One possible interpretation is that America is now weaker than in the past, but the rest of the world has weakened even more than America, leaving America “strong” “relative to the rest of the world”.
In sum and in fine, America is weaker than in the past, but that’s OK but because the rest of the world is even weaker. By most measures, so by some measures America is not stronger relative to the rest of the world.
Feel secure?


The Charge of the Flight Brigade

Honor Flight, that is. WWII vets come to DC to visit the WWII memorial, an open-air park that is generally open 24 hours/day, 365 days/year.

Because of the government shutdown, the Obama administration deemed it appropriate to spend money to “close” the park, by putting barricades, manned by Park Service personnel, around the park. (Keeping aged veterans out of open space must be an “essential service” of government.)

These veterans stormed more formidable barriers than metal temporary fencing and yellow police tape. Who in the administration thought that the veterans would retreat?

(H/T Instapundit)


Who Are These People? Volume I, Issue 1

Anthony Weiner
What has he accomplished other than giving sexting a bad image? As a Congressman from 1999 to his resignation in disgrace in 2011, he introduced or sponsored 200 bills, of which 194 died in the House. Of the 6 that passed, none were adopted by the Senate. (To be fair, one was essentially the same as a Senate bill, and the ultimate bill passed by both Houses was the Senate version.) Go ahead, check it out.

He is so unburdened by knowledge of how the economy works that, in 2009, he introduced a bill to increase the size of mortgages for multi-family houses. Raising lending limits in an over-leveraged market is, let us say, counter-intuitive.

His ignorance really shouldn’t be a surprise. His education stopped after he got a BA in Political Science from SUNY Plattsburgh (ranked 91st among colleges in the North region by US News. He distinguished himself at college by not making the varsity hockey team, and by coming in 16th in a race for 15 seats in the student Senate. From there, he went directly into politics, working on then Representative Schumer’s staff.

Six years later, Weiner was elected to the New York city council, winning the seat by appealing to the racial fears of the mostly white district in which he was running. An anonymous flyer was distributed, linking one of his opponents to David Dinkins and Jesse Jackson. Weiner ultimately admitted to being the source of the flyer. (Hey, that’s how George Wallace got elected! After losing as a pro-integration candidate, Wallace became a segregationist.)

Weiner’s only experience outside politics is his two-year enforced sabbatical, time he apparently used to create “Carlos Danger”, who could do what “Anthony Weiner” wanted to do. One must ask: who will be mayor of New York? Weiner or Danger? (And what a tell us that choice of surname for the alter ego!)

So, Anthony Weiner appears to be an unfettered id, a voracious hunger driven by an unfillable void. He should be kept well away from the levers of power.

Fact checking Jay Carney

In a press conference today, Carney has repeatedly starred that Ambassador Susan Rice mentioned Ansar Al Sharia in the Sunday talk shows.

Not true for her appearance on ABC’s This Week. Read the transcript here.

Not true for her appearance on CBS’s Face The Nation. Transcript here.

On Fox News Sunday, Ansar Al Sharia was mentioned — by Chris Wallace. Speaking to GOP Congressman Mike Rogers. Transcript here.

Not on NBC ‘s Meet The Press. Transcript here.

Not true on CNN ‘s State Of The Union. Transcript here.

So: reviewing the transcripts of all five Sunday talk shows on which Ambassador Rice appeared, Anbar Al Sharia is mentioned once and only once, by the anchor, and not to Ambassador Rice. In a burst of caution, I also searched for news stories with the terms “Susan Rice” and “Ansar”, between September 16 and 23 of 2012. Not one. Not. One.

Jay Carney has been lying all afternoon.

Who can solve this mystery?

The Feds are preparing to sue Standard & Poor’s for issuing overly optimistic credit ratings on mortgage-backed securities prior to the 2008-2009 financial collapse.

<blockquote>Many details of the looming enforcement action couldn’t be immediately determined, such as why prosecutors are zeroing in on S&P rather than rivals Moody’s Corp. MCO -1.68%and Fitch Ratings</blockquote>

Gee, I think I know: S.& P. Downgrades Debt Rating of U.S. for the First Time

Update: the WSJ catches up with your humble correspondent.

A Tax Deal for Obama

President Obama thinks that income tax rates for people earning more than $250K should be at the same level as they were under President Clinton.

Well, all right, then. How about this as a deal? Let all tax rates return to Clinton era rates. In exchange, the Federal government returns to the spending rate, as a percentage of GDP, which was reached under Clinton. 2012 Federal spending as a percent of GDP is a bit over 40%. In Clinton’s last year, that percentage was a bit below 33%. (See chart here. .) So, reduce spending by 7% of GDP, and the taxpayers will accept higher taxes. (But the spending decrease must happen first.)

GDP is roughly $15T. 7% of that is a little more than $1T. Any takers in the Democrat Party?