Last fall, partly as a show of good faith, I promised to listen to NPR every other day (on odd-numbered days).  (Of course I think you should make sure to get a balanced diet including at least some conservative media as well, lest you unwittingly allow yourself to sit in a self-reinforcing bubble of liberal prejudices.)

I have done so.  I don’t have much time to listen to NPR (any more than I do to listen to conservative and Christian talk radio), but I now get a significant part of my news from NPR (and the BBC, and Public Radio International, and American Public Media, and whatever else comes across the local NPR station), as I did in high school.

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Many agree with what Mark Steyn and others have said before:  The culture is deeper than politics, and our politics are a result of our culture much more than the other way around.  Unfortunately, our culture has been degenerating in this direction for some time.

At the same time, conservatives ought to recognize that our deeper problems . . . are cultural, not political, and are therefore not susceptible of a political solution.

Edmund Burke questioned whether the state can even distribute alms without doing more harm than good. . . .

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Odd thought:  Part of me is glad that we lost, because we’re taking it a lot better than liberals would have.

If this turns out to have been the point of no return for America, I will miss her, but she was never going to last forever; it was always only a matter of time, if you think about it.

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All of the Above

November 7, 2012

NPR this morning:

Republicans in the House, Democrats in the Senate, and President Obama in the White House for four more years: “a Brave New World, or more government dysfunction?”

Um, Yes?

The Heritage Foundation’s Michael Franc offers an encouraging word in “Parsing the Polls: If Gallup is right, Tuesday will be a long night for the Democratic party.”  (On the main page, National Review Online subtitles it “If Gallup’s right, Obama’s toast.”)

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Here are some ads you may or may not have heard recently.  I heard this on the radio today:

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Did you know that Mitt Romney anonymously donated half the cost of 7,000 pints of milk for homeless veterans every week for two years?  Watch the interview with the man who has personal knowledge of these eventsGlenn describes roughly what happened:

As it was pointed out by a few at the RNC and became evident after Glenn’s staff began telling him the stories they were finding, Romney isn’t the kind of guy that likes to talk about the things he has done to help others. . . .

After he spent forty minutes going through their books, he told them, “You run a very good place, very tight.  Very good.” Romney asked to go on another tour of the hospital, and after spending an hour and forty minutes there, the last question he asked was, “So what… what do you — what are you lacking?  What do you need help with?”

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Out of the last 25 people I’ve called (who answered the phone and were willing to take a survey), 56% are likely to vote for Romney, only 12% for Obama.  12% said they were still undecided; 16% declined to answer.  (The remaining one respondent said that politicians are awful and he won’t be voting for either of them.)

Other conservatives working in the trenches report similar results (warning: language).

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As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up.

In case there was any doubt about whether the Democrats are the party of the culture of fornication, this ad comes from the Obama campaign—not some conservative parody*, not some independent liberal group;

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Did you know that Mitt Romney once turned his company and its business partners into a huge operation to find a missing girl?  The story has been reported in several places (below), and even Politifact admits it’s true, as does SnopesDeroy Murdock describes what happened:

Melissa Gay, Bain Capital partner Robert Gay’s daughter, vanished while visiting New York City in July 1996. Then-CEO Romney closed Bain’s Boston headquarters and jetted to Gotham to find the 14-year-old. Romney flew in his private-equity company’s 50 employees and transformed a Marriott Hotel into a command post. He consulted the NYPD and recruited private eyes. He dispatched staffers to enlist Bain’s business associates. Bain’s printer, R. R. Donnelly, produced 300,000 missing-person fliers. Bain’s CPAs at Price Waterhouse placed the handbills all over town. Duane Reade, a Bain-portfolio company, stuck leaflets in shopping bags at 52 local outlets.

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Mark Steyn and former Assistant Secretary of Defense Bing West review the timeline of September 11th, 2012.  Like so many couch potatoes, the Obama administration sat back and watched the attack live on TV; they could have sent help, but did nothing.


Our diplomats fought for seven hours without any aid from outside the country. Four Americans died while the Obama national-security team and our military passively watched and listened. The administration is being criticized for ignoring security needs before the attack and for falsely attributing the assault to a mob. But the most severe failure has gone unnoticed: namely, a failure to aid the living.

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Last Debate

October 23, 2012

(Transcript of the debate)

CNN poll says Obama won the debate last night, 48-40.

I was a little disappointed that Romney didn’t criticize Obama more and more directly, but I think it’s clear that Romney decided on a strategy of looking “presidential”.  No doubt President Obama won if the criterion is number of jokes and one-liners, but Romney won if the criterion is substantive arguments and telling the truth.

Mark Steyn points out that even Obama’s jokes were wrong.

I thought the most breathtaking claim Obama made last night was his repeated assertion that he has been a friend to Israel.  With “friends” like this—well, there may not be an Israel much longer.

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The Romney-Ryan campaign has some new ads out.

Median income is down, deficit spending is way up, and President Obama has no plan to save Medicare and Social Security, which are going bankrupt:

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(This entry has been researched and written by request.)

1 — Are you better off today than when President Obama took office?

Most Americans aren’t.  Officially, according to the U. S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate was 7.6% in January 2009, when President Obama took office, and 7.8% last month.  (National Conference of State Legislatures, “Unemployment Drops to 7.8 Percent in September 2012”, October 5th, 2012.)  It’s even worse than that—the official unemployment rate doesn’t count all the people who have given up on finding work (they are said to have “dropped out of the labor force”).  As has been pointed out, “if the same share of people were participating in the work force today as on the day the president got elected, our unemployment rate would be around 11 percent.”  Even the New York Times admits that that’s true.  (New York Times, “Fact-Check: An 11 Percent Unemployment Rate?” Catherine Rampell, October 5th, 2012.)

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After Tuesday’s debate, Charles Cooke had a good line:

As far as I can see, Obama’s main plan for the next four years is to be president in them, and that may well not be enough to win reelection . . . .

Hat tip to unassumingpseudonym of Far-flung Fancies, who sent it to me.

In other news, Real Clear Politics’ Electoral College map has just moved North Carolina into Romney’s column, putting Romney ahead in that count for the first time this whole election cycle; it’s now 206 to 201, Romney’s favor.  (It’s big news—by coincidence, Rush Limbaugh mentioned it just as I was writing this!)  But arguably North Carolina had already been lost to Obama for some time—recall “Pollster Writes Off Three Swing States, Says Obama Won’t Win Them”.  Just look at Real Clear Politics’ polling averages in North Carolina:  Romney has been rising and Obama falling, steeply, all month.  Romney currently leads 50.3-44.7.

(Transcript of the debate)

In my opinion, having watched it, Romney won the debate last night.  The CNN poll* says Obama beat Romney, 46-39, but that’s probably partly because of this moment:

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More than a week ago, after reflecting on the first presidential debate, Yuval Levin at National Review Online made a prediction about the liberal news media’s narrative after tonight’s debate (I write this some three hours before the debate begins):

I do think we can be sure of one thing, though: Regardless of how Biden and Obama do in the coming debates, the Left will not acknowledge dissatisfaction again. They will be described by the press and liberal surrogates as having made a triumphant comeback.

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Ryan Won the Debate

October 12, 2012

If you missed the vice-presidential debate last night, bear with me for a moment.  Go to the Saturday Night Live parody of MSNBC’s devastated reaction* to last week’s presidential debate and watch from about the 1:45 mark to 2:05.  Transcript:


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Via Allah Pundit and Gateway Pundit, as the former puts it, “Suffolk pollster: We’re not polling Florida, Virginia, or North Carolina anymore, because Romney’s going to win them”:

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The Human Cost

October 9, 2012

Americans for Prosperity has a new ad out:

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