Morning Briefing for September 8, 2011

RedState Morning Briefing
For September 8, 2011

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You’ll have to forgive me. I wanted to try a new formatting for the Morning Briefing. I’m jealous of Domenech’s Transom and his pretty typography. And I was bored when I woke up.

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THE GREAT DEBATE: Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. I gave MSNBC ratings. But in doing so I can say this is a two man race — Perry vs. Romney. It is also clear in this first debate that Perry is the front runner now. I would still prefer to have a few more debates on this before declaring it, but below I’ll explain why it is clear he is whether I want to think so or not.The most shocking bit of the whole debate was at the very end. I felt a great disturbance in the Force as if millions of Republicans cried out in terror and suddenly realized they were watching MSNBC.First, I don’t think Perry had as strong a performance tonight as he could have. He stumbled several times. Romney had a stronger performance — the strongest of anyone on stage in fact. But then, Romney has been in this dog and pony show since 2007. Perry is just stepping up to this level. He made no major mistakes, but could have been stronger on the HPV issue and a few other issues.Second, it is clear Perry is the front runner given the pile on from the other candidates. It was not just pushed by MBNBC and the Politico. The other candidates took willful potshots against Rick Perry. Perry, despite some stumbles and the pile on by the moderators and other participants, held his own and will only get stronger the more of these he does. And if he doesn’t? Goodbye frontrunner status. (READ MORE)

NOT YOUR DADDY’S (OR YOUR) CONSERVATISM: I realize we’re all supposed to be in the tank for Mitt Romney, but when the heck did we suddenly love social security? It’s nuts.We’ve got Karl Rove out denying it is a ponzi scheme solely because he hates Rick Perry. It’s all politics, not principle.Mitt Romney says that millions of Americans being dependent on government for their retirement is the definition of a successful program.And we’ve got a solid segment of the conservative movement falling in line behind them. It’s all so confusing.Are we all so damn scared of Rick Perry that suddenly we’re going to abandon the fight for real reform of social security and try to make Perry look like a fringe candidate when, in fact, his position has been the mainstream of the GOP for decades?Social Security is, for all intents and purposes, a ponzi scheme. Don’t believe me? Try out the Securities and Exchange Commission definition:

A Ponzi scheme is an investment fraud that involves the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors. Ponzi scheme organizers often solicit new investors by promising to invest funds in opportunities claimed to generate high returns with little or no risk.

Or how about from wikipedia?

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organization, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering returns other investments cannot guarantee, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. The perpetuation of the returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors to keep the scheme going.

It’s one thing to want to defend Mitt Romney. It’s perfectly reasonable to say we’re scared to death to ever touch the supposed third rail of politics again. It’s even reasonable to say that Rick Perry cannot win by holding to this position. In fact, Perry needed to spend more time focusing on the fact that he does not want to abolish social security as the Democrats and Mitt Romney both claim.But to suddenly proclaim the conservative position as “social security is a-okay and we just need to make it even better” is complete and total bull crap, not to mention seriously chicken and intellectually dishonest for a bunch of people who’ve more or less held Perry’s position for years to suddenly pretend it’s nuts just because they support another candidate or think the political winds have shifted.Shame on you people. (READ MORE)

TAKE 2,224,188 FOR OBAMA ON JOBS: How is President Obama going to say anything in his big jobs speech tonight that will make a difference?Apparently he is not. Obama’s new jobs plan looks remarkably like his $830 billion 2009 economic stimulus package. (READ MORE)By the way, as we all await President Obama’s new plan, which will be the same as the old plan, in tonight’s speech to a joint session of Congress, it would behoove us to take a few minutes to watch the video below from the Cato Institute. (READ MORE)

THE ONLINE LEFT, LIKE THE OFFLINE LEFT, DOES NOT UNDERSTAND BUDGETING: Very quickly, and to get this out of the way: the Online Left is babbling about supposedly-cut Texas firefighting budgets, mostly because they lack the research skills – or possibly, the native intelligence – to tell the difference between a $109 million Forest Service/Wildfire Fighting budget in 2010/2011, and a $196 million Forest Service/Wildfire Fighting budget for 2012/2013 (the 2012 fiscal year started at the beginning of this month). Fortunately, Battleswarm Blog can both think and do research – as seen here and here – which means that I don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting this time. Bottom line: never, ever stop just because you got the answer that you wanted. (READ MORE)

LET’S GIVE DEAD BUREAUCRATS FLAGS, JUST LIKE THE MILITARY: Congress will soon take up the “Civilian Service Recognition Act of 2011?, an act to make military service to our country no more significant than stamping a passport. Conservatives should oppose it.Under the Civilian Service Recognition Act of 2011, it will no longer just be the bereaved families of soldiers killed in action who get the flag properly folded in grateful recognition for their service to the country. No, now it will also be the post office worker who refuses to deliver your mail because you once wrote a letter to the editor in favor of post office privatization (I know people who’ve had this happen).This well meaning legislation, sponsored by Joe Lieberman and Daniel Akaka, takes a notable act of the military and devalues it across the civil service letting a massive amount of civil service employees also qualify to get a folded flag if they have a heart attack on the job, get in a wreck in their postal jeep, etc. (READ MORE)

SUDDENLY THE LEFT LOVES THEM SOME KARL ROVE: Karl Rove is joining the left-wing/Romney camp alliance against Rick Perry’s candid statements about Social Security in his book, Fed Up. Even Baghdad Jim McDermott is praising Karl Rove’s broadside on Perry. Yesterday, on Good Morning America, Rove had this to say about Perry’s condemnation of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme in his book. (READ MORE)

SARAH PALIN: It may sound self-serving, but I think a good rule of thumb is that if you are a conservative and you’ve lost the front page of RedState, you’re doing something terribly wrong. Consider that of all the candidates, Sarah Palin has the least excuse for her dithering. Unlike Perry, Bachmann, and Paul, Palin hasn’t had a job with official duties for the last two-plus years. All the other quasi-retired or term-limited candidates have long ago declared. Even Jon Huntsman was serving as ambassador to China as recently as April; and by the way, Huntsman has a larger family than Palin does. I get that deciding whether to run for President is a difficult decision; however, the Presidency is a job of difficult decisions, and if it has legitimately taken Sarah Palin over two years to decide whether to even start the process of becoming President, then she is unfit for the job. (READ MORE)

ARE WE READY FOR WAR?: Take some time to watch the video. It isn’t very often you’ll see one commissioned by the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. This one will make you cry with frustration.It is no big secret in the military. The force is worn down to nubs by a decade of war, the last two of which have been waged under the management of an administration fundamentally hostile to the Armed Services.The fact is Obama is only comfortable cutting one sector of the budget: Defense. This is not to say that Defense is without waste, fraud, and abuse but it isn’t destroying jobs and the economy like Health and Human Services, EPA, and Labor. Right now cuts in defense are projected to total a half trillion dollars. Under Secretary Gates $178 billion, earmarked to support the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, was given up to support budget reductions. (READ MORE)