Et Tu, Tennessean?

My hometown paper the Tennessean has endorsed Mitt Romney. (H/T, Instapundit)

Wow! Nashville is one of the few reliably Democrat areas left in the state. Also, the Tennessean is where Al Gore got his start as a “journalist.” It endorsed him in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008.

If the President has lost one of the most reliably Democrat editorial pages in the country, …

Mitt Romney and the Fact Checkers

Of course, checking the data and the transcript shows that Mitt Romney had his facts straight on gas and oil production and that Barack Obama was wrong on Benghazi and what he said he said about it. Expect the MSM to begin to adopt the following wisdom from Homer Simpson:

Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!

Facts are nasty things when they don’t fit the narrative.

Is it November yet?

UPDATE–Smitty has a good summary of the reaction to how Mitt Romney held his own against the debating team of Obama and Crowley.

UPDATE 2—Ed Morrissey suggests that Candy Crowley was the one who lost the debate. That’s mean. Dead on accurate, but mean.

Expecting the Unexpected

Stacy McCain has a post up in which he tweaks folks on the left for not expecting the unexpected, i.e., that Mitt Romney showing in the debate last week would be so good that not even massively skewed polls could hide his improving standing with the electorate.

As for me, I’m still expecting the expected. My expectation all along has been that the voters would wake up this year as they did 32 years ago. Barack Obama’s foreign policy is in shambles not seen for decades, and his Nobel Peace Prize was completely unearned, whereas President Carter actually did some work before receiving his. Figured on an an apples-to-apples basis, Barack Obama’s misery index is actually higher than Jimmy Carter’s. And for all his faults Jimmy Carter was never racing for the kind of financial cliff President Obama keeps driving toward.

Is it November yet?

Mitt Romney and His Post-Debate Bounce

Ed Morrissey wonders if it can be sustained. I believe it can. I believe it will.

Here’s why.

If you look at the University of Colorado profs’ prediction of 300+ electoral votes for Mitt Romney, you wonder why the polling maps don’t reflect that kind of win. Their modeling is based on economic conditions in the states. People think that the economy stinks, and they want a change in the government. They want a change, but many still wonder if Mitt Romney’s the right guy. Better the devil we know …

What Mitt Romney did in the first debate was convincingly show that he was a competent guy, at least on par with Barack Obama. What Barack Obama did in that debate was convince a lot of folks that Clint Eastwood was right. Given that kind choice in this environment, the race looks a lot like 1980.

Perhaps “I’ve got five boys …” will go down with “There you go again.”

Lowering Expectations

Smitty takes note of the spin cycle trying to lower expectations of the President’s performance in the upcoming debates.

Uh, huh.

Something doesn’t add up here. For years now we’ve been told that Barack Obama is a true Brainiac, the smartest guy to ever hold the office (Except for Jefferson. Maybe.) He’s had over three years of on-the-job training. Surely, he should wipe the floor with a guy like Mitt Romney who makes all those “gaffes.”

So where are these low expectations coming from? Raaaaacism?

Mid-East Policy and MSM Melt Down Simultaneously

The Main Stream Media is in the tank for the Obama reelection campaign, and their coverage of the latest disasters in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen has been more for the President’s backside rather than the facts on the ground. Prof. Jacobson has a report on the MSM’s misbehavior at Legal Insurrection. (H/T, The Other McCain)

I find the way the MSM has gone after Mitt Romney while giving Barack Obama a pass to be particularly disturbing.

Sure enough, after the press conference The Right Scoop posted an open-mic audio of journalists (one of whom was believed to be from CBS) coordinating their questions down to the specific wording so that no matter on whom Romney called, the question they wanted asked would get asked precisely as they wanted it.  [Update — it was CBS and NPR reporters voices.] And that question was one framed to damage Romney politically, to put spin on his prior statements, to create news instead of reporting on it.

Read the whole thing.

Is it November yet?


The New York Times Disproves Harry Reid’s Claims About Mitt Romney’s Taxes

Yeah, the New York Times. Whoda thunk it? They had someone who understands taxes look at Mitt Romney’s 2010 return. That return shows that that he claimed a foreign tax credit. In order to claim a foreign tax credit, a taxpayer must disclose the foreign taxes paid for the previous 10 years. Thus, Mr. Romney’s 2010 has foreign tax data going back to 2000.

The (pun intended) money quote:

The good news for Mr. Romney is the forms suggest that he paid at least some federal income tax every year, as he has said he did. He used the foreign tax credit every year to offset his taxes in the United States, and American taxpayers can’t use a tax credit if they owe no federal income tax. This casts even more doubt on the claim by the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, attributed to an unnamed Bain Capital source, that Mr. Romney paid no income taxes during that time.

It’s time for Harry Reid to apologize. Don’t hold your breath.


Who’s Getting Under Whose Skin

It seems to me that Mitt Romney is not letting the Obama campaign get away with any of their over-the-top claims. He is calling them out every time they stretch the truth (or flat-out lie). His reaction time is much faster than the last Republican nominee as well. This seems to have knocked Team Obama off balance.

The President and his campaign have not been as effective in their responses to digs from Mr. Romney. Consider Mitt Romney’s birth certificate quip to the effect that folks in Michigan knew he was from there and that no one had asked for his birth certificate. As the MSM got the vapors, the crowd laughed and cheered. Team Obama’s response was downright silly and has probably served to reinforce the impact of the joke.

At Instapundit Prof. Reynolds passed along this comment from a reader:

And reader Bobby Franklin writes: “Romney owes Obama rent for living in his head. It appears we may have underestimated ole Mitt. He is simply toying with Obama, Democrats, and the media – and they don’t even know it.”

Glenn Reynolds also remarked that he sees Romney adopting a picador strategy. I agree and see it as a good thing. Mitt Romney is the kind of guy who can get involved with a small startup operating out of an abandoned grocery store and build it into Staples. That takes focus. And a certain ruthlessness. Both will be needed to send Barack Obama into retirement.

Is it November yet?

UPDATE—Protein Wisdom has a marvelous parody of the MSM/Team Obama reaction to the birth certificate line. His headline:

Cancer-casting felon in tax dodging magic underwear launches RACIST birther attack on the man who once described himself as “Kenyan born”

UPDATE 2—Imagine if Will Rogers has said this today:

The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf.

Of course, Rogers was a Democrat …

UPDATE 3—Mitt Romney says to lighten up—it was a joke about me in my hometown. Video here.

What Kind of President Do You Want?

In Ohio this afternoon, Mitt Romney asked the following:

Do you want a president who believes that your rights come from God, not from government?
Do you want a president who honors your right to pursue happiness, not as government commands, but as you choose?
Do you want a president who will work every day to bring us together, not tear us apart?
Do you want a president who will celebrate success, not attack it?
Do you want a president who will never, ever apologize for the greatest nation on earth?

His whole speech, which some folks are saying is his best of the campaign thus far, can be found here.

“No Religious Test”

The following is from Article VI of the U. S. Constitution:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

You know that the left is beginning to panic when they start in on Mitt Romney’s religion in August.  (H/T, @DaTechGuyblog) The panic should intensify when the public ignores the “issue.”

What is Harry Reid’s Motive for Repeating a Falsehood?

In my six going on seven decades of observing human nature, I believe I’ve found four basic reasons why someone says or does the wrong thing.

First, some people do the wrong thing out of ignorance, and the reason for their ignorance is their inability to understand the situation. This my come from a lack of experience. Children, for instance, sometimes do the wrong thing for just this reason, but this sort of ignorance usually responds to a dose of education. I only put a screwdriver in an electrical outlet once.

Second, some folks act out of ignorance because they are incapable of understanding the facts at hand. They may be too far to the left side of the bell curve in intelligence. Too far to the left can still be on the right side of the curve. In spite of my 800 on the math section of the SAT, there came a time when I bailed from theoretical math and stuck to my applied math courses in engineering school. Some are impaired by mental illness. In either case, people in this category are simply in over their heads.

Third, some of us make careless mistakes.

Fourth, some people actively chose to do the wrong thing. There is evil in the world.

So which of these is behind Harry Reid’s choice to repeat falsehoods about Mitt Romney’s taxes? Do you believe that he doesn’t have enough experience with the IRS to know that they would have audited Mitt Romney if he had claimed to have no tax liability for a decade? Do you believe that he’s too stupid to understand what he’s saying or that he’s crazy? Do you believe that his first comment was a gaffe and that he’s doubling and tripling down on that remark by accident?

Or do you believe that he’s a liar?

Like a Reid in the Wind

Harry Reid is an obnoxious man. He has failed in his principal responsibilities to the public in his office as Majority Leader of the Senate. (Budget? We ain’t got no budget. We don’t need no budget. I don’t have to show you any stinking budget.) And while his sleazy tax return attacks on Mitt Romney are beneath the dignity of his office, they are exactly the sort of foolishness one hears from Senator Reid. (“This war is lost.”). The man is beneath contempt, but not beneath being laughed off the stage.

That’s exactly what we need to do. The man shouldn’t be taken seriously. Let’s give the man the respect he deserves (i.e., none), and let the laughter roll forth.

Smitty has posted a fine example such humor, and at the end he offers some good rules for proper political joking:

Leave peoples’ names alone. By drawing a line there, I help myself to remember that even Harry Reid has a heart, albeit stone.

No potty mouth. The internet is full of little Quentin Tarantinos without me adding to that. The Lord sees all, as might someone from church.

Let the unspeakable remain unspoken. Sexuality is a private matter. If you’re going to make these kinds of accusations against Harry Reid, why not let it all hang out at the Chick-Fil-A with someone of the same gender? Pecca fortiter! No? Me neither.

Opt for a laugh. As I’ve tried to do in this post.

I laughed as I read his post, a clever spin on the Senator’s background as an amateur boxer. Read the whole thing.

Obama and Romney’s Tax Records

Why doesn’t the President put some distance between himself and Senator Reid’s sleazy rant about Mitt Romney’s tax returns? Ed Morrissey suggests these possible answers:

  • Obama and his campaign asked Reid to make the attacks in order to get the smear out without having Obama’s/Team Obama’s own fingerprints on it
  • Obama didn’t initiate it, but he’s comfortable with the smear and desperate to get some traction on Romney
  • Obama’s afraid to tell Reid to stop, and risk angering his class-warfare base

Karen and the Lonely Conservative has another possible answer. Barack Obama has a history of winning elections when something about his opponent’s past blows up near the end of the election. While he didn’t need that running against John McCain because of the economic crisis, he made it into the Senate because in both the primary and general elections details of his opponents’ nasty divorces surfaced.

Unfortunately for the President, the Romneys have stayed married, and there don’t seem to be any significant skeletons in their closet. So what’s a fellow with a lousy record got left except to attack his opponent? Expect more over-the-top accusations as the panic takes further hold at reelection headquarters.

How’s That Hopey/Changey Stuff Workin’ For Ya?

John Hinderaker posts over at Powerline about the President’s shrinking advantage in the poles. You can see from the graphs in the post that the President could be in real trouble.

TOM thinks that race is still a “jump ball,” to use his words, and that events between now and Election Day will be decisive. I’m not so sure. I believe that election is now Mitt Romney’s to lose.

Beginning in 2008, there were those who suggested that the Obama presidency would be Carter’s second term, and there have been those of us who suggested that would be a best case scenario. It looks like our pessimism was well founded. The economy is in shambles (check) and we are perceived as weak and ineffective by our enemies (check). About the only thing Obama has avoided is being attacked by a killer rabbit.

I’m not expecting the same level of blowout as Reagan over Carter. California is now reliably Democrat with its 55 electoral votes. However, I won’t be surprised if Mitt Romney winds up with more than 300 electoral votes.

A Lesson for Mitt Romney

Judo involves using your opponent’s strength and movement to his disadvantage. Kayla Harrison has added an Olympic Gold Medal to her accomplishments because of her skill and her focus.

She focused by saying, “This is my day. This is my purpose. I’m not afraid to win.”

These would be good words for Mitt Romney from now through the 6th of November.

How About Releasing Your Tax Return, Senator Reid?

Harry Reid wants us to believe that Mitt Romney paid no taxes for a decade and that we should believe him because Mitt Romney wishes to keep his families financial information private.

Well, Senator, why should we believe that you have been paying your fair share?

The federal government has been spending roughly 23 percent of GDP in recent years. Did you pay anything close to 23 percent of your income in federal taxes last year? Considering Social Security, Medicare, and income taxes, I did, and I can prove it. Can you? What’s on your Form 1040 for 2011?

I tell you what, Senator, I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours. (Don’t worry; I’m 64, so there’s no way to tie this to the pederasty rumor). Publish your federal tax return for 2011, and I will post my 2011 Form 1040 and Schedule A here on Hogewash!

If you aren’t willing to be that transparent, then you have no moral standing to criticize Mitt Romney who has divulged much more than you have. And if that’s the case, please shut up.

Have You No Sense of Decency, Sir?

Harry Reid says that he should not be held responsible for the burden of proof of the accusations he has made concerning Mitt Romney’s taxes. Stacy McCain has an excellent post up demolishing that claim.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. It would certainly be out of the normal run of things for someone to amass a fortune of around a quarter of a billion dollars while avoiding taxes for a decade. Does the senator think that the IRS wouldn’t notice? Does he believe that Mr. Romney’s political opponents in Massachusetts would have let something like that slip by unchallenged? Or is Harry Reid simply making things up as he goes along?

It’s fair to argue against a political opponent’s platform. It’s fair to bring up the facts of his personal history. But it’s wrong to spread unsubstantiated rumors and even worse to tell lies.

So I put this question to the senator: At long last, have you left no sense of decency?