Assorted Links (10/12/2012)

Here’s a list of articles that I have been reading lately:

Obama and the L-Word
“WSJ columnist Daniel Henninger writes that ‘liar’ is potent and ugly—with a sleazy political pedigree… Explicitly calling someone a “liar” is—or used to be—a serious and rare charge, in or out of politics. It’s a loaded word. It crosses a line. “Liar” suggests bad faith and conscious duplicity—a total, cynical falsity.”

Corporate Taxes, the Myths and Facts
“U.S. companies don’t get a tax break for moving plants overseas, but they are socked with an extra bill for bringing home earnings.” Former Michigan governor John Engler explains very succinctly what’s messed up about current US corporate income tax policy…

Confusing Strength With Aggression
“A draw on substance, but the vice president loses on style, Peggy Noonan writes.” I agree with Peggy Noonan’s assessment of this rather difficult-to-watch “debate”: “Last week Mr. Obama was weirdly passive. Last night Mr. Biden was weirdly aggressive, if that is the right word for someone who grimaces, laughs derisively, interrupts, hectors, rolls his eyes, browbeats and attempts to bully. He meant to dominate, to seem strong and no-nonsense. Sometimes he did—he had his moments. But he was also disrespectful and full of bluster.”

The Bully vs. the Wonk
“Vice President Joe Biden’s debate strategy was to show contempt for his opponent Paul Ryan. Biden’s marching orders were clearly to steamroll the overmatched moderator Martha Raddatz and dismiss everything Mr. Ryan said with a condescending sneer.”

An Incriminating Timeline: Obama Administration and Libya

“New evidence shows there were security threats in Libya in the months prior to the deadly September 11 attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens…”

40 Things To Say Before You Die
“Before you’re sprawled on your deathbed, there are some things you really have to say. They’re not complicated. They’re not poetry. They’re just short sentences with big meaning.”

The Dangerous Myth About The Bill Clinton Tax Increase
“The real lesson of the Clinton Presidency is the way back to prosperity lies not through increased taxes on “the rich,” but through tax and regulatory reform and a return to a rules based monetary policy that produces a strong and stable dollar.”

Big Bird, Small President
“The Wall Street Journal reports that as of fiscal 2011, Sesame Workshop had assets of $289 million.”

Happy Days Are Not Here Again
“The Wall Street Journal says you don’t need a conspiracy to know the job market still stinks.”

Why Romney Won
“Understanding why Mitt Romney so decisively won the first presidential debate is as important as the fact that he did. Why? Because once we know the reasons, almost everything about President Barack Obama and this election becomes clear.”

Hugo Chávez and the 47%
“Venezuela’s election was a statement of national character—as America’s will be.”

Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2012
Quoting from this Cato report: “Four governors were awarded an “A” in this report card—Sam Brownback of Kansas, Rick Scott of Florida, Paul LePage of Maine, and Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania. Five governors were awarded an “F”—Pat Quinn of Illinois, Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, and Chris Gregoire of Washington.”

The Unemployment Surprise
John Mauldin thoroughly debunks conspiracy theories related to the government supposedly “cooking the books” on the unemployment number. Quoting from this article, “The unemployment number surprisingly dropped to 7.8% last Friday, and the
shoot-from-the-hip crowd came out in force. To say that the jobs report was met with skepticism would be a serious understatement. The response that got the most immediate airplay was ex-GE CEO Jack Welch (who knows a few things about making a number say what you want it to say) tweeting, “Unbelievable job numbers … these Chicago guys will do anything … can’t debate so change numbers.”

Anyway, Mauldin explains the “forensics” of how unemployment numbers are actually calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is the statistical arm of the US Department of Labor. He also reminds us that BLS conspiracy theories are bipartisan; e.g., in 2003-04 Democrats were constantly deriding the positive statistics coming out of the BLS during the first term of President George W. Bush during the time leading up to the 2004 election…

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