Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thoughts on the 2012 presidential campaign

Victor Davis Hanson:

In 2011, President Obama expressed a desire to be reelected on the grounds that he inherited a mess from George W. Bush that he needed more than four years to clean up. That story requires believing that growing the government, putting far more regulations on businesses, and forgoing new sources of gas and oil are making things better rather than worse. But Barack Obama’s last federal budget was almost $1 trillion larger than was Bush’s in 2008. We owe over $4 trillion more than we did in 2008. And the unemployment rate for the last year of the Bush administration averaged 5.8 percent, but in 2010 averaged 9.6 percent. Never have more Americans been on food stamps. Presidents are rarely reelected on the grounds that “otherwise it could have been worse.”

Read the entire article here.

American-born goalie scores a goal in Premier league play

BMW edges Mercedes-Benz in U.S. luxury-car sales

BMW AG nosed out Mercedes-Benz to capture the title of top-selling U.S. luxury-car brand for 2011 even as the latter posted record global sales last year.

Munich-based BMW sold 247,907 BMW-brand cars and sport-utility vehicles in the U.S. last year, 2,676 more than Daimler AG's Mercedes. The figures exclude their brands that sell nonluxury vehicles, such as small cars or commercial vehicles. Both auto makers saw sales rise about 13% for the full year, according to market researcher Autodata Corp.

Dogs pick up on human intent

Man's beloved four-legged friends not only respond to the words and ministrations of humans, dogs can understand and anticipate the intentions of their people, researchers are reporting.

In a new study, dogs who were spoken to or who had direct eye contact with a person were more likely to follow that human's gaze as it moved across the room than if the person didn't make direct eye contact with them.

The skills are equivalent to what is seen in 6-month-old human infants, say researchers, who published their findings online Jan. 5 in Current Biology.

Read the story here

The NYTime's David Brooks finally gets it

Center-right New York Times columnist David Brooks opined a few months ago that President Obama, whom he once supported, was governing like a liberal.

Today, Brooks doubled down, telling Laura Ingraham this morning that Obama is not only governing that way, he is that way — or at least more that way than Brooks once thought.

"I still like him and admire him personally, but he’s certainly more liberal than I thought he was,” Brooks said.

“He's more liberal than he thinks he is. He thinks he’s just slightly center-left, but when you get down to his instincts, they’re pretty left. And his problem is that he can’t really act on them, because it would be political disaster. And so that means, I think right now he’s doing very little, proposing very little."

Romney: Obama's appointees are 'union stooges'

Mitt Romney is calling President Obama’s appointees to the labor board “union stooges” who practice un-American political playback, in a new ad his campaign is airing in South Carolina.

The release of the 30-second television ad comes the day after Obama installed three new members of the National Labor Relations Board, appointing them while the Senate was in recess to sidestep Republican opposition.

One bluefin tuna sold for $736,000

A bluefin tuna caught off northeastern Japan fetched a record 56.49 million yen, or about $736,000, Thursday in the first auction of the year at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market.

The price for the 593-pound tuna beat last year's record of 32.49 million yen or about $416,000. The price translates to $1,238 per pound — also a record, said Yutaka Hasegawa, a Tsukiji market official.