Links for 11-4-2011

  • Why are House Republicans, including Ron Paul, signing a letter encouraging the Super Committee to increase revenue? There’s a lot of odd, careful parsing going on here – somehow the Super Committee should increase revenue in a meaningful way without increasing taxes?

  • The Norwegian government is deciding how to counteract a large increase in rapes, most of them committed by foreigners.

  • Americans for Prosperity finds itself entangled in Herman Cain’s fundraising irregularities. Cain’s campaign chairman, Mark “Cancer Man” Block, was the Wisconsin state director for Americans for Prosperity, which gave money to a non-profit group that Block created called Prosperity USA, which in turn made questionable donations to Cain’s campaign in its earliest days.

  • Stanley Kurtz calls out the New York Times for trying to draw a sharp line where none exists between Occupy Oakland and violence committed by its participants, including breaking into businesses and shutting down the port of Oakland.

  • House Republicans are forcing the White House’s hand over the sorry state of the country’s icebreaker “fleet.” At a time when thinning Arctic ice and high oil prices are making Arctic oil exploration and production attractive, the U.S. has one working medium-duty icebreaker and two old heavy-duty icebreakers that are in a perpetual state of disrepair. Canada has six icebreakers, Finland and Sweden have seven each, and Russia has around 25. The article quotes Senator Maria Cantwell as saying that refurbishing an existing icebreaker would take five years and rebuilding it would take eight. Both estimates are further evidence that the federal government can’t do anything expeditiously. If a private sector company took five years to refurbish a vessel or eight years to rebuild it, that company would very likely go out of business.

A Modest Proposal

I’ve been reading Governor Rick Perry’s “Cut, Balance, and Grow” plan. Perry says he would open federal lands and waters to oil and gas exploration, creating up to 1.2 million jobs. It would also greatly increase the oil and gas royalties collected by the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR), which leads me to a modest proposal: Perry ought to direct the Department of the Treasury to apply all revenue collected by ONRR to purchasing treasury bonds held by foreign governments, particularly China. As Mark Steyn likes to point out, the treasury bond interest the U.S. pays to China each year is approaching the (publicly disclosed) budget for the People’s Liberation Army, i.e. we’re funding what could be a future military opponent. I’d like to see Perry use the windfall from oil and gas production on federal lands to stop this, plus it would help the country’s credit rating to retire debt early.

Links for 11-3-2011

  • Peter Wallsten and Juliet Eilperin wrote an excellent article describing how Mitt Romney espouses all sides of an issue, with his position varying according to the audience he’s wheedling. The only surprise: it was published in the Washington Post. The article reminded me of several Twitter posts I’ve read, all of them to the effect that Romney understands your position on an issue because at one time he’s held that position himself.

  • Freddie Mac lost $6B in the third quarter and expects to be bailed out. Again. The total cost to “save” both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae so far has been $169B, and they stand to burn through another $51B by 2014. It’s time to shut them down and get the federal government out of the mortgage business.

  • New York Communities for Change freaked out after Fox News exposed it as a prime motivator behind Occupy Wall Street. Two NYCC staffers suspected of talking to Fox News were fired. Anything labelled “ACORN” (NYCC’s former identity) has been hidden away. And they’re circulating photos of Fox News staffers among their employees so they know to avoid them.

Links for 11-2-2011

  • The Herman Cain sexual harassment saga continues. The lawyer for one of the alleged victims claims Cain is violating a confidentiality agreement, which could permit his client to speak publicly. ABC News investigated the two women who accused Cain of sexual harassment, and while they haven’t disclosed their names, they do say one of them lives in Maryland and has worked as a spokesperson for federal agencies; the other accuser is now a registered lobbyist in New Jersey. A third woman came forward (anonymously, of course) and said she considered filing a complaint against Cain for “what she considered aggressive and unwanted behavior” that included inviting her to his corporate apartment. Conservative radio show host Steve Deace told Politico that Cain said “awkward” and “inappropriate” things to female staff at his radio station in Des Moines. Cain’s campaign blamed the Perry campaign for the sexual harassment story, pointing in particular to a campaign consultant named Curt Anderson — who worked on Cain’s Senate campaign in 2004, Romney’s presidential campaign in 2008, and now works on Perry’s campaign. Anderson and the Perry campaign denied the charges, which didn’t stop the head of Cain’s campaign, Mark “Cancer Man” Block, from demanding an apology. Cain’s campaign then proceded to blame Rahm Emanuel (no, really).

  • Meanwhile, on the campaign financing scandal front, the Cain campaign hired a private investigator to investigate itself, since it can’t seem to remember exactly how the campaign bootstrapped itself (no, really).

  • Bryan Preston points out that Cain didn’t give Governor Rick Perry the benefit of the doubt when the bogus “racial rock” hit piece circulated, so Cain is arguably reaping what he has sewn. Regardless of how the Cain scandals turn out, I hope The Onion gets at least one good parody out of them.

  • J. Christian Adams offers more details on the Florida voter fraud case I mentioned yesterday. I’m reading his book Injustice, I’ve learned a lot about election law and Eric Holder’s Department of Justice.

  • Veronique de Rugy discusses the dumb budgeting tricks used in the “mini-bus” bill the Senate passed yesterday, including one that hid $10B in new discretionary spending.

Links for 11-1-2011

  • On PBS NewsHour, Herman Cain states in reference to China, “They’ve indicated that they’re trying to develop nuclear capability and they want to develop more aircraft carriers like we have.” I doubt he’s referring to nuclear powered aircraft carriers. I’m also thinking he hasn’t been reading the Washington Times recently: “Meanwhile, China is increasing its stockpile of nuclear weapons under the rubric of a mammoth project called the Underground Great Wall that includes a 3,000-mile-long subterranean tunnel system used to store and operate the many thousands of China’s nuclear-carrying missiles.” China’s doing a bit more than indicating “that they’re trying to develop nuclear capability.”

  • The Washington Post is working to save Politico’s bacon by encouraging the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment to go public. A lawyer representing one of the women says she wants to rebut Cain’s statements but is bound by a non-disclosure agreement with the National Restaurant Association; the lawyer is calling on the NRA to release her from the agreement. The New York Times claims the other accuser received a year’s salary ($35,000) as severance pay. I’m still waiting to see which liberal outlet will be the first to release their names. (You know that’s coming.)

  • The FBI arrested eight people in Florida and charged them with vote fraud in a school board election. Among those arrested: the Madison County Supervisor of Elections. Coincidentally I attended a webinar offered by True the Vote this evening. I’ve been following this group for several months but it was still interesting to hear how they formed, what they’ve learned about voter rolls and elections, and how they’ve been attacked by the mainstream media and Democrat groups, including two groups funded by George Soros (a high honor in conservative circles).

  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas voted for an abomination of an appropriations bill crafted by Harry Reid that adds $8B in mandatory spending to the Food Stamp program. I’m looking forward to her departure from the Senate next year.

Links for 10-31-2011

  • This month saw the twentieth anniversary of Clarence Thomas joining the Supreme Court, and the mainstream media are celebrating by trying to derail Herman Cain’s presidential bid by applying a tactic they used against Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings. You should also recall that many “bimbo eruptions” occurred during Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign and the mainstream media for the most part let him skate. Apparently the mainstream media is racist because they aren’t letting Herman Cain off so easily. Cain replied by denying the sexual harassment allegations and saying he knew nothing about financial settlements with his accusers. The latter aspect doesn’t ring true — the CEO of the National Restaurant Association wouldn’t know about financial settlements with women who accused him of sexual harassment? Maybe that’s why Cain’s story changed later in the day — he said he knew about one settlement for two or three months’ salary.

  • Perhaps Politico’s sexual harassment story did Cain a favor. It appears that Cain’s presidential campaign played fast and loose with its finances: a corporation named “Prosperity USA” that was owned by the two people who are now Cain’s chief of staff (Mark “Cancer Man” Block) and deputy chief of staff (Linda Hansen) paid for equipment and Cain’s travel to appearances before Cain officially formed an exploratory committee. Yet no Prosperity USA transactions have appeared on Cain’s FEC filings. Moreover Prosperity USA was a tax-exempt charitable organization, which shouldn’t have been funding a candidate, anyway.

  • It didn’t make it into James Pethokoukis’ write-up of Herman Cain’s appearance at the American Enterprise Institute this morning, but Cain ducked a question from Pethokoukis on his 9–9–9 plan’s double taxation of employee wages, which is one of the dumber aspects of that plan. If Cain doesn’t “get” that part of 9–9–9, what does he get?

  • Another day, another U.S. government-funded alternative energy company files for bankruptcy.

  • Mike Rowe, host of the TV show “Dirty Jobs,” calls out Obama’s class warfare on his web site’s forum. It’s fascinating to read his interactions with liberal fans.

Links for 10-28-2011

  • George Will lashes Mitt The Not-So-Bold: “Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate.”

  • Michael Quinn Sullivan lashes the RINO speaker of the Texas House, Joe Straus. Tea Party supporters worked hard to defeat Straus in the race for speaker at the beginning of the current legislative session, and came away severely disappointed in the wimpy Republican representatives who cowered before Straus. I doubt these people will be in a forgiving mood in 2012. I know I won’t be.