Well, at least he stimulated something!

MSNBC voters?

Your stimulus dollars hard at work:

The Labor Department paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal stimulus funds to a public relations firm to run more than 100 commercials touting the Obama administration’s “green training” job efforts on two MSNBC cable shows, records show.

The commercials ran on MSNBC on shows hosted by Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann in 2009, but the contract didn’t report any jobs created, according to records reviewed recently by The Washington Times.

Spending reports under the federal Recovery Act show $495,000 paid to McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations LLC, which the Labor Department hired to raise awareness “among employers and influencers about the [Job Corps] program’s existing and new training initiatives in high growth and environmentally friendly career areas” as well as spreading the word to prospective Job Corps enrollees.

You’d think the money would’ve been better spent on a spot in which voters not already in the tank for Obama would be watching. But that’s government efficiency for ya: spend money needlessly shoring up voters who’d already vote for ya! No word yet on why taxpayer money is funding Obama’s relection campaign. But the damn signs all over the roadway are another story (again, free adverts).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Husband was incredulous over this last night. But I reminded him of Obama’s Chicago pol heritage. As long-time visitors to the Windy City, you get used to this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daley’s name was plastered over every trashcan and on every airport kiosk. Free advertising on the taxpayer dime. Obama learned well!

 

Like taking candy from babies

Or snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Romney ahead in Michigan.

Romney ahead in Wisconsin.

Brown ahead of Fauxcahantas.

And now Cook flips Missouri from toss up to Democrat because the village idiot won’t quit. It takes a special kind of stupid to lose the Senate when, you know, the repeal of Obamacare is at stake.  As Allahpundit notes, maybe it won’t be so bad after all. And you’ll be able to thank Mr. Akin:

Maybe ObamaCare won’t be so bad, guys. A couple of tweaks to IPAB, a little fine-tuning of those state insurance exchanges, and who knows? We might be able to duct-tape this boondoggle together and keep it aloft for a decade or two. If anyone can make it work, it’s President Romney, right?

Bashing my head against desk.

The law of unintended consequences: rise in infectious disease tied to plastic bag ban

Husband and I have debated this one, though I admit we never thought the rise in infectious disease would be measurable. Via HotAir, a fascinating look at the dirty problem associated with reusable grocery bags:

Liberals will have no problem arguing a bird or turtle’s life is worth more than a human’s because they do it all the time (Wesley J. Smith’s “A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy” exposes the grotesque reality of the PETA position). But when children start dying en masse from cross-contamination that could have been so easily avoided by a cheap disposable bag, will some folks wake up? I wonder.

In full disclosure, I have plenty of cloth bags, though I never (ok, rarely) use them for groceries. I color-code our laundry by bag and shuffle it up and down narrow staircases to the laundry room and back to hanging on bedroom doors. Another functions as a great swim-class bag. But none carry raw meat or poultry, and it’ll likely stay that way.

Cross-posted at Pundit & Pundette.

Well, he can’t discuss his record. So let’s talk … beer!

“Four more beers!” they cry.

Details of the White House home brew piqued my husband’s interest last night. “Why is this even a story?” he asked.

Because they can’t discuss his record. Shaggy dog (on the roof) stories ensue instead.

The details, however, are interesting:

 President Barack Obama has stocked up on a new all-American campaign prop — White House-brewed beer.

During his bus tour across the battleground state of Iowa, the president on Tuesday gave a bottle of the brew, known as White House Honey Ale, to a patron of a Knoxville, Iowa, coffee shop when the subject of beer came up.

While it was the first time the branded beer grabbed wide attention from the press corps on the campaign trail, a White House official said the president and first lady have made a habit of occasionally traveling with bottles of the beer made at a small brewery at the White House.

The beer, which comes in both a light and dark variety, is made by the White House chefs who use traditional beer-brewing methods

The honey portion of the drink is taken from first lady Michelle Obama’s garden beehive near the White House Kitchen Garden on the south lawn.

Taxpayers are not footing the bill for the beer, as both the cost of the equipment and the cost of brewing the beer is paid for by the Obamas personally, the official said.

Emphasis mine. All-American. President giving beer. Made by White House chefs. Tradition. Honey from Michelle’s garden. How lovely. And they’re footing their own bill for a change. (How odd).

What’s the kicker? Oh just wait for the conclusion:

“It’s true, at the State Fair, instead of saying ‘four more years,’ they were saying, ‘four more beers.’ So I bought him four more beers. Told him he had to register to vote, though, to get one of the beers,” Obama told a laughing crowd.

Isn’t that illegal? I digress:

Connecting with the beer drinkers’ vote is a tactic not used by Obama’s Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, a Mormon who does not drink alcohol.

This is why the Obamas are making such a big deal of the home brew. This is why they’re travelling with bottles of beer: to make a rather subversive point about Romney’s Mormonism. They could do it with coffee. Or soda. But beer is the most effective way to show how “out of touch” he is while they follow the “traditional All-American home brewing” methods.

I’m not fooled. But how many would be? What’s next, a reporter pointing out that Romney wouldn’t hold a beer summit (thank God)? Or the usual test pre-election, “With whom would you rather sit and have a beer?” would have to be hypothetical since, you know, Romney doesn’t drink. How far will the media carry this? Maybe not as far as previously thought.

Cross-posted at Pundit & Pundette.

Meet the CENGAs

That’s how pollster John Zogby refers to the “college-educated, not going anywhere” youth. You know, the ones who voted for Hopenchange the last time? Via the Washington Examiner, some have wizened up:

For the first time since he began running for president, Republican Mitt Romney has the support of over 40 percent of America’s youth vote, a troubling sign for President Obama who built his 2008 victory with the overwhelming support of younger, idealistic voters.

Pollster John Zogby of JZ Analytics told Secrets Tuesday that Romney received 41 percent in his weekend poll of 1,117 likely voters, for the first time crossing the 40 percent mark. What’s more, he said that Romney is the only Republican of those who competed in the primaries to score so high among 18-29 year olds.

“This is the first time I am seeing Romney’s numbers this high among 18-29 year olds,” said Zogby. “This could be trouble for Obama who needs every young voter he can get.”

Oh noes! How to explain it?

Zogby speculates that Romney’s selection of 42-year-old Rep. Paul Ryan helped turn more younger voters to him. “It could be his youthfulness,” said Zogby of Ryan. Plus, he said, more younger voters are becoming libertarian, distrustful of current elected officials and worried that they are going to get stuck with the nation’s looming fiscal bill.

“They want change,” said Zogby.

They want jobs and to live independently. To build their own families. They can’t under the current economic climate. Thank goodness some are smart enough to realize it’s from the disastrous policies of this disingenuous president and his merry band of lackeys.

H/t: memeorandum

Ryan’s “Catholic problem”?! What about Obama’s?

The Daily Beast sees fit to call Ryan’s budget a “problem” for those pesky Catholics. Bring it on:

Indeed, the choice between these two types of Catholic politicians could not be any more plain.

Biden is a “social justice” Catholic who claims to know how to connect with blue-collar Democratic Catholics, like those in his hometown of Scranton, Pa. During four of his last five years in the Senate, he received a 100 percent rating from NARAL. As vice president he supported federal funding for abortion, despite voicing opposition to it in 2008, and the Health and Human Services mandate requiring Catholic institutions serving the public to provide insurance coverage for contraception, including abortifacients and sterilization.

Oh, that. Let’s rephrase the headline: Paul Ryan exposes the hypocritical liberal Catholics who cling to their social justice bona fides while ignoring church teaching on life. You know, that it begins at conception. That abortion is not only murder, but a great moral evil. And now Catholics are forced to pay for that evil via Obama’s HHS mandate regardless of whether they disagree or not.

Yeah, that. Religious liberty and abortion. That’s a “Catholic problem, too.”

More:

While the choice of Ryan will please the Tea Party as well as fiscal  and social conservatives, it creates an opening for the Catholic supporters of Obama: Paul Ryan’s 2012 GOP budget has already been the subject of official criticism by some Catholic bishops for failing to meet certain “moral criteria” and cutting programs that “serve poor and vulnerable people.” The media coverage failed to note that the four letters to Congress in April came from two bishops: Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, each speaking on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in their respective roles.

[…]

“Those [Catholic] principles are very, very important,” Ryan said. “And the preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenets of Catholic social teaching, means don’t keep people poor, don’t make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck at their station in life; help people get out of poverty, out into a life of independence.”

Emphasis my own. We are the party of lifting folks out of poverty, not keeping them tethered to it for votes. What an inconvenient truth in the age of Obama, where millions more find themselves on food stamps.

Some point to Ryan’s flirtation with Ayn Rand, but neglect his ultimate rejection of her philosophy in favor of real Catholic teaching:

“I reject her philosophy,” Ryan told the National Review in April. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas. …Don’t give me Ayn Rand.”

Enough said.

Read also Pundette, GOP: the Party of Math?

UPDATE: Many thanks to Pundette for the link!

Paul Ryan rocks

(Quick, before the baby wakes!)

I stand corrected thinking that Romney stands for nothing but political gain.

Romney-Ryan. I’m awed.

I had to laugh while watching the NBC newscast earlier (muted while on the phone) as they breathlessly showed aerial photographs of Ryan’s digs in Wisconsin. Hey NBC folks: it’s hard to vilify a man as an out of touch rich dude when he sleeps in his office. Just sayin’.

Via Legal Insurrection, a few videos to quell the nervousness. If anyone is capable of exposing the lie of the left–that we can keep folks forever on the dole while only taxing “the rich”–it’s Paul Ryan.

Uncomfortable Olympic Go(l)d

What better way to tear down an Olympian than to criticize her faith. Via Professor Jacobson, the Slate delves into Christian bashing with aplomb:

Headline: Did God help Gabrielle Douglas win?

Subhead: The gold medalist is a teenager of deep faith and gratitude — and that can be a little unnerving

Unnerving because Gabby tweets about her faith. God forbid. She lives her faith. How horrible. If she were a Muslim who found strength in faith, she would be championed. But she’s not. She’s a Christian. How passe.

Mary Elizabeth Williams, a self proclaimed papist, writes with as much disdain as she can muster:

Gabby Douglas is now officially a star. When she won the individual gold medal in women’s gymnastics in London Thursday, the breakout darling of the 2012 games, she immediately found herself a celebrity worthy of a cereal box. If her performance in the women’s individual all-around didn’t blow your mind, you cannot possibly have been paying attention. Yet after her victory, one of the first responses that truly resonated for me was from a colleague who noted, “I would like her more if she were not so, so, so into Jesus.” Which raises the question – what is Jesus going to do now for Gabby Douglas’ career?

Douglas isn’t exactly the only outspoken Christian in America – or even the only high-profile Christian athlete. So jam-packed is this year’s roster with them that Douglas didn’t even make the cut for the Christian Post’s “10 Christian Athletes to Watch.”But her newly minted status as a champion and her unguarded outspokenness about her faith are going to give her a new platform from which to preach. After her win Thursday, Douglas said, “I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to him and the blessings fall down on me.”

She’s a 16-year-old with both deep faith and profound gratitude, a girl who yesterday tweeted from the Psalms to her followers, “Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me” and Friday sent out a retweet from the Faith in God feed. And that clearly authentic image of a hardworking girl with strong values makes her a natural icon to her fellow Christians, just as it makes the somewhat less faithful uncomfortable.

Emphasis my own. Obviously Williamson counts herself among the “uncomfortable.” And my, how uncomfortable she is:

We are a nation that is lousy with Christians — a fair number of whom are not nearly as nice as Gabby Douglas. A lot of them aren’t super-clear on the whole “freedom of religion” thing and can get pretty gung-go about trying to shut down people with different beliefs. A lot of them are insistent that everybody in the world should conform to what they know for an absolute fact is the one and only truth. So even when Douglas is merely expressing her personal philosophy, posting #christmotivation quotes in her Twitter feed or talking about how she meditates daily on Scripture, there’s always that lurking hint of proselytism. Dear Christians: It’s a fine line between sharing your beliefs and selling them. And there’s something else too.

But there obviously isn’t a fine line between being obnoxious in denouncing the faith of  others and raking a 16 year-old girl through the coals over her religious beliefs because she makes you feel uncomfortable.

I’ve watched so much craziness unfold this week on Facebook over the Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. People I thought to be rational went nuts calling out others (by name!) for their support of “hate chicken” by arguing that they believe in a loving God. I do, too, but I also believe in a facist-free country that allows others the right to free speech. Apparently some speech is more free than others and “the right to not be made uncomfortable” is tolerated much more than the right to express one’s faith.

That’s what makes me uncomfortable.

 

Who needs algebra?

So asks Andrew Hacker writing at the NYT when pondering our (national) educational shortcomings:

This debate matters. Making mathematics mandatory prevents us from discovering and developing young talent. In the interest of maintaining rigor, we’re actually depleting our pool of brainpower. I say this as a writer and social scientist whose work relies heavily on the use of numbers. My aim is not to spare students from a difficult subject, but to call attention to the real problems we are causing by misdirecting precious resources.

The toll mathematics takes begins early. To our nation’s shame, one in four ninth graders fail to finish high school. In South Carolina, 34 percent fell away in 2008-9, according to national data released last year; for Nevada, it was 45 percent. Most of the educators I’ve talked with cite algebra as the major academic reason.

Shirley Bagwell, a longtime Tennessee teacher, warns that “to expect all students to master algebra will cause more students to drop out.” For those who stay in school, there are often “exit exams,” almost all of which contain an algebra component. In Oklahoma, 33 percent failed to pass last year, as did 35 percent in West Virginia.

Love the last quote from a teacher. We can’t teach this skill so let’s just get rid of it, thus preventing more kids from dropping out. Rather than solving the problem (the lack of skill addressed at an earlier grade level when kids are then just passed on like chattel to the next grade without necessarily mastering the skills necessary), let’s … um, get rid of it! That’s the solution!

Pathetic.

Hacker points out the need for solid basic math skills. I agree. But that’s lost in today’s education system as well. And next we’ll be told that it’s not necessary, either.

Short shrift

image

But what do we expect?

What struck me most about this display in Crystal City was that it counters reality. Romney bests Obama in height, which is, after all a historical predictor of who will win the race. But we can’t have Obama looking small and petty, can we? He manages quite well on his own.