Left-of-Center Des Moines Register Endorses Romney

The tide may be turning. From NPR:

Not only has the Des Moines Register switched its endorsement from President Obama to Mitt Romney, it is also favoring a Republican for the first time since Richard Nixon in 1972.

The paper cited the economy as the issue that fueled its decision, saying Romney’s plan, “coupled with his business acumen, should unlock this nation’s economic potential.”

The Register endorsed Obama in 2008, but says his actions have not been sufficient:

“The president’s best efforts to resuscitate the stumbling economy have fallen short. Nothing indicates it would change with a second term in the White House.”

Where Obama found political stalemate, the Register sees hope for compromise with a Romney administration.

“Voters should give Mitt Romney a chance to correct the nation’s fiscal course and to implode the partisan gridlock that has shackled Washington and the rest of America — with the understanding that he would face the same assessment in four years if he does not succeed.”

The tally of newspaper endorsements in swing states now tips in Romney’s favor, Poynter.org reports. Romney now claims seven to Obama’s six. Poynter shows that at least six papers that endorsed Obama in 2008 are endorsing Romney in this election, including the Des Moines Register.

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Sesame Street Is the 1 Percent

Massive salaries generated from money voluntarily given by consumers in exchange for something they want — appropriate and moral; massive salaries generated, even in part, from money confiscated from citizens using the coercive power of government — greedy and immoral.

From Katrina Trinko:

President Obama, who has railed against the “fat-cat bankers on Wall Street” and the wealthy, has been an eager defender of Big Bird and public broadcasting this week in light of Mitt Romney’s comments that he would defund it in last week’s debate. But it turns out that many of those behind Big Bird are actually members of the 1 percent themselves (anyone with a total income of $343,927 or more as of 2009), based on their salaries.

At Corporation for Public Broadcasting, according to the CPB’s 2011 tax forms:

Patricia De Stacy Harrison, president and CEO $361,895

At PBS, according to 2011 tax forms:

Paula Kerger, president and CEO $669,260

Michael Jones, chief operating officer $477,296

Barbara Landes, chief financial officer, treasurer, and senior vice president $402,355

Katherine Lauderdale, senior vice president and general counsel, $381,855.

At Sesame Workshop, according to 2011 tax forms:

Gary Knell, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop until October 2011, $988,456

H. Melvin Ming, current president and CEO, $584,572

Lewis Bernstein $406,387

Terry Fitzpatrick $439,741

Myung Kang-Huneke $389,005

Sherrie Westin $463,892

Susan Kolar $401,425

Miranda Barry $397,175

Maura Regan $379,733

Joseph Mazzarino $556,165

Caralynn Sandorf $354,476

Anita Stewart $455,369

And while the actor who plays Big Bird (Carroll Spinney) doesn’t have a salary that puts him in the 1 percent, he’s not far off: Spinney makes $314,072.

And who’s funding this? Well, in part, taxpayers: the federal government gave the CPB a grant of $444.1 million in 2012.

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Takes One to Know One

Jesus, a history of having nothing but radical, leftist mentors; a history of voting exclusively for leftist policies — so much so that he was voted the most left-wing senator by the National Journal in 2007; signing into law a 100% partisan, transformative government takeover of healthcare; and now he has been endorsed by leftist Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. What more does this supposedly center-right country need in order to understand that the man it is poised to reelect does not share its values?

From The Daily Beast:

What presidential nominee doesn’t want to be endorsed by a foreign dictator? Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has endorsed President Obama, saying in an interview, “If I were American, I’d vote for Obama.” He called Obama “a good guy.” Even worse, Chávez said that if Obama were Venezuelan, “I think … he’d vote for Chávez.”

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Go Large

Will Team Romney get a spine before it is too late?

From Charles Krauthammer:

It makes you think how far ahead Romney would be if he were actually running a campaign. His unwillingness to go big, to go for the larger argument, is simply astonishing.

For six months, he’s been matching Obama small ball for small ball. A hit-and-run critique here, a slogan-of-the-week there. His only momentum came when he chose Paul Ryan and seemed ready to engage on the big stuff: Medicare, entitlements, tax reform, national solvency, a restructured welfare state. Yet he has since retreated to the small and safe.

When you’re behind, however, safe is fatal. Even his counterpunching has gone miniature. Obama has successfully painted Romney as an out-of-touch, unfeeling plutocrat whose only interest is to cut taxes for the rich. Romney has complained in interviews that it’s not true. He has proposed cutting tax rates, while pledging that the share of the tax burden paid by the rich will remain unchanged (by “broadening the base” as in the wildly successful, revenue-neutral Reagan-O’Neill tax reform of 1986).

But how many people know this? Where is the speech that hammers home precisely that point, advocates a reformed tax code that accelerates growth without letting the rich off the hook, and gives lie to the Obama demagoguery about dismantling the social safety net in order to enrich the rich?

Romney has accumulated tons of cash for 30-second ads. But unless they’re placed on the scaffolding of serious speeches making the larger argument, they will be treated as nothing more than tit for tat.

Make the case. Go large. About a foreign policy in ruins. About an archaic, 20th-century welfare-state model that guarantees 21st-century insolvency. And about an alternate vision of an unapologetically assertive America abroad unafraid of fundamental structural change at home.

It might just work. And it’s not too late.

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Tom McClintock on the Propositions

Representative Tom McClintock’s invaluable recommendations on the often convoluted California ballot propositions:

Prop 30: Your Wallet or Your Kids – NO
Either approve $36 billion in higher sales and income taxes or else Gov. Brown threatens to shoot the schools. Don’t worry, the income taxes are only on the “very wealthy,” but it turns out the “very wealthy” include many small businesses filing under sub-chapter S, meaning lower wages, higher prices and fewer jobs. California already has one of the highest overall tax burdens in the country and yet has just approved a budget to spend $8 billion dollars more than it’s taking in. Moral of the story: it’s the spending stupid.

Prop 31: Rotting Mackerel by Moonlight – NO
This one shines and stinks. On the shiny side, it moves us toward performance-based budgeting, restores certain powers to the governor to make mid-year spending reductions and requires new spending to be paid for. On the stinky side, it provides a two-year budget cycle that makes fiscal gimmickry all the easier and locks into the Constitution an incredibly anal process for local communities to adopt “Strategic Action Plans” serving such open-ended new age objectives as “community equity” and nudges them into establishing regional governments to push this agenda. The purpose of local governments is to provide basic services, not to pursue utopian four-year plans.

Prop 32: Cutting The Piggies Off From The Trough – YES
In the “It’s About Time” category, this measure would finally prohibit unions, corporations, government contractors, and state and local governments from deducting money from employees’ paychecks for political purposes without their express written consent. As Jefferson wrote, “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” This puts an end to this despotic practice.

Prop 33: Rewarding Responsible Drivers – YES
Here’s a no-brainer: should car insurance companies be allowed to offer a discount to drivers who maintain continuous coverage? No, it’s not a trick question. Under California’s convoluted law, if you switch auto insurers you can’t qualify for the continuous coverage discount. This measure says you can.

Prop 34: Lifetime Room and Board (and Sex-Change Operations, too) for Murderers – NO
This abolishes the death penalty for first-degree murder. Enough said.

Prop 35: Red Light on Human Trafficking – YES
Prop 35 greatly expands the definition of “Human Trafficking” (already illegal), and greatly increases existing penalties. The problem is real and growing and needs stronger sanctions, although there are some provisions in Prop 35 that make it ripe for prosecutorial abuse, including limiting the ability of defendants to cross-examine witnesses and broadening the definition of trafficking to include those who never had contact with the victim. On balance, though, the good outweighs the bad.

Prop 36: Gutting Three Strikes – NO
After many years of rising crime rates, Californians finally struck back with the three-strikes law. It is actually a two-strikes law: after two serious or violent felonies – in which one has murdered, assaulted, raped, robbed or pillaged his fellow citizens – he is on notice that any further misconduct will remove him from polite society. Prop 36 would require that the third strike also be a serious or violent crime, giving dangerous criminals yet one more opportunity at atrocity. The Left predicted that “Three Strikes” would have no effect on crime – in fact, crime rates have plummeted. When it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it.

Prop 37: Spit it Out – NO
This is the latest effort of the Nanny Left to tell us what to eat. It requires foods that contain any ingredients resulting from biotechnology advances to carry the scary warning: “GENETICALLY ENGINEERED.” There is not a shred of evidence that biotechnology is the least bit dangerous – it often reduces the need for pesticides. To avoid branding their products with the Scarlet Warning, food processors would have to prove that every scrap and crumb in their fare is devoid of biotechnology or face crushing lawsuits. Grocery prices high enough yet?

Prop 38: Pay More, Get Less – NO
Not to be outdone by Prop. 30, this measure heaps $120 BILLION of new income taxes on those earning more than $7,316 (the new millionaires and billionaires of California’s impoverished economy). It’s for the schools, of course. No doubt these dollars (which families would just waste on necessities) will be as well spent as the staggering fortune that we’re already shoveling into the sclerotic school system.

Prop 39: Tax Us Before We Hire Again – NO
This is a $1 billion per year tax increase on California businesses to subsidize a whole new generation of Solyndra scams. But remember, businesses don’t pay business taxes; they only collect them from employees through lower wages, from consumers through higher prices, or from investors through lower earnings. Prop 39 might be bad news for California’s employees, consumers and investors, but it’s great news for the Nevada Chamber of Commerce.

Prop 40: Your GOP Donations At Work – YES
This is a monument to the stupidity of some Republican Party leaders, who spent nearly $2 million of party funds to qualify – and then drop – this referendum to overturn the Senate reapportionment because several state senators didn’t like their new districts. They had hoped to run in their old seats, but after qualifying the initiative found out they couldn’t anyway. A “Yes” vote affirms that the new non-partisan Citizens Redistricting Commission works.