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The NaT i o N al Co N s e rvaT ive Weekly | esTablished 1944 • Washi N g T o N , d. C . | W eek of May 7, 2012

Plan of Attack

EXCLUSIVE: GOP strategist Karl Rove says Romney can win in 2012, but he needs to absorb Obama’s blows and counter decisively with how he’ll grow the economy and put America back to work. p. 16

grow the economy and put America back to work. p. 16 key key topic topic California
grow the economy and put America back to work. p. 16 key key topic topic California

key key topic topic

California to Middle Class: The Dream Is All But Over p. 19

Economist Joel Kotkin says the state is run for the benefit of the very rich, the very poor and public employees. As a result, growth has

TeChNology & freedoM

Senate to Weigh Privacy vs. Security on Internet Bill p. 14

The bill would allow Internet service providers to turn over user data to government.

service providers to turn over user data to government. eNergy & eNviroNMeNT U.S. Unnecessarily Dependent on

eNergy & eNviroNMeNT

U.S. Unnecessarily Dependent on China for Rare Minerals p. 12

Leading-edge industries need rare minerals for components in iPods, hybrid cars, more.

rare minerals for components in iPods, hybrid cars, more. eCoNoMy & budgeT Inspector General Ends Myth

eCoNoMy & budgeT

Inspector General Ends Myth TARP ‘Turned Profit’ p. 8

New report says it is a “widely held misconception that TARP” generates profit.

Myth TARP ‘Turned Profit’ p. 8 New report says it is a “widely held misconception that
Senators, pass the bipartisan Wyden-Snowe ‘Wireless Tax Fairness Act’ (S. 543). It’s a grand slam
Senators, pass the bipartisan Wyden-Snowe ‘Wireless
Tax Fairness Act’ (S. 543). It’s a grand slam for wireless
consumers, who already pay on average more than 16% of
their monthly bill in taxes and fees, compared to 7% on other
taxable goods and services.
S. 543 is the perfect pitch to fix that. It would put a five-year
freeze on new and discriminatory state and local wireless
taxes and fees.
The House has
already put a man
in scoring position
by passing H.R.
1002. Now’s the
time for the Senate to
drive home the winning
run for wireless consumers.
plAy bAll FOR
Consumers should be “safe” from
unfair wireless taxes and fees.
Pass the ‘Wireless Tax Fairness Act,’ S. 543.
Paid for by

Week of April 30, 2012 |


Page Three

n This week in Congress:

Pipeline back for debate

By Audrey Hudson

Congress returns to work after a weeklong recess and begins the arduous task of passing annual spending bills

to fund all federal agencies in


Meanwhile, the senate will focus on legislation to stop rate hikes on subsidized stafford loans for college students, which are scheduled to double on July 1 from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. The senate will also vote on the nominations of Jacqueline Nguyen to be circuit judge for the Ninth Circuit; Kristine gerhard Baker to be district judge for the Eastern District

of Arkansas; and John Lee to be district judge for the Northern District of Illinois. Conferees from the House and senate will hold their

first meeting Tuesday to begin hammering out the differences in the highway funding bill before the June deadline— but the sticking point will certainly be language in the House version that bypasses the president to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project. The Hill reports that senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has already made it very clear senate Democratic conferees will not agree to include that provision in the final measure. “Personally, I’m not—I’m not one of the conferees—but I think Keystone is a program that we’re not going, that I am not going to help in any way I can,” Reid said. “The president feels that way. I do, too.” Whether the Keystone language makes it will likely come down to final negotiations between Reid and House speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Hearings of note scheduled this week include a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee event titled “A Review of solutions to Reform, Reorganize, or Retire the general services Administration (gsA).” A science, space and Technology subcommittee hearing will also examine

spending byline at the National

hearing will also examine spending byline at the National ▲ Jerry Ensminger holds a portrait of

Jerry Ensminger holds a portrait of his daughter, Janey, in this May 9, 2007 photo in White Lake, N.C.


camp Lejeune Vets poisoned at Base Neglected by Administration

Marines and their families suffering from leukemia, kidney cancer and other serious dis- eases seek medical care from a reluctant, profligate Department of Veterans Affairs.

By Hope Hodge

J erry Ensminger is one of more than 750,000 Marines

and military family members who lived aboard Marine

Corps Base Camp Lejeune during a three-decade period

in which serious contaminants, including chemical degreas- ers and organic solvents, seeped into the drinking water on base. Ensminger, a grizzled retired master sergeant, saw his 9-year-old daughter Janey die from Leukemia that he believed was caused by the contamination; others who lived on base were diagnosed with kidney cancer, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and a host of other serious diseases. Over 70 men who lived or grew up on the base have been diagnosed with breast cancer so far. Ensminger and his advocates in Congress have proposed that the Department of Veterans Affairs provide survivors with medical care and hospice for their contamination- related illnesses, a plan that would cost an estimated $3.9 billion to fund. It seems a reasonable request, given these veterans and family members were unwittingly poisoned by

government neglect; but in these days of budget uncertainty and looming fiscal cuts, perhaps a tough sell nonetheless.

VA unilaterally spent its cash surplus Here’s the thing: in a rare case of over allocation, VA officials found that cash in surplus—then they went ahead and uni- laterally spent it on other things. Staff with the House Veterans Affairs Committee said the VA was required to submit a healthcare budget to Congress every year based on spending estimates for that year. In the spring, officials ran another model that shows the year’s spending rate to date and how much the department is likely to spend for the rest of the year. For Fiscal 2012, slower than estimated spending rates meant the VA was left with a $3 billion surplus for that year, com- mittee staff said. For Fiscal 2013, it was $2 billion. (VA officials said the figures were $2.2 billion and $2 billion, respectively.) The problem here, committee officials said, was that they were not informed until early 2012, with the president’s FY 2013 budget proposal, about a surplus that had been discov- ered starting in 2011. And, by the time they were informed, the money had been reinvested into other VA projects, includ- ing activating new facilities, expanding mental health, and eliminating veteran homelessness, according to VA officials.

The command decision to reinvest the $5 billion—represent- ing more than five percent of the department’s annual health- care budget—left some lawmakers on the committee feeling snubbed. Rep. Bill Flores, a Republican freshman from Texas, said he wanted to work with the committee to organize a hear- ing on the issue to hold department heads accountable. “It would have been better if they told us when they were [finding the overage] rather than after the money’s gone,” he said. Committee chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) penned a letter in February to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki asking him to consider allocating the overage funds to healthcare for Camp Lejeune veterans, rather than the programs the VA had specified. Earlier in April, Shinseki responded, saying it was prema- ture to make the decision to give the group healthcare, as studies to determine the full extent and effects of the con- tamination were ongoing. The letter did not mention that the agency performing the studies, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, had already stated that the water was “clearly a hazard” and the EPA had separately confirmed that two of the contaminants, Benzene and TCE, were known human carcinogens. “The fact is that we were poisoned; the documents are there,” Ensminger told Human Events. “It’s time to move. It’s time to give these people their benefits.” A couple weeks ago, Miller and three other lawmakers representing bipartisan leadership of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees elevated the matter to President Barack Obama in a joint letter.“VA has existing resources which could be reserved without derailing other initiatives; we will work the legislative process to complement what VA can do on its own authority,” they said. Miller told Human Events via email that he has requested a full accounting of overestimated funds from the VA and made it a priority to ensure Congress and the VA work together in the future on these matters. Miller said he was also working to get those affected by Camp Lejeune water their needed medical care as quickly as possible, whether by opening up a VA priority, passing legislation now in Congress, or drafting a new resolution. “These men and women have been waiting too long to be recognized by our government, and should not have to wait another day,” he said.

Hope Hodge is a reporter covering national security & defense for Human Events. She can be reached at HHodge@EaglePub.Com

4 | Week of April 30, 2012


4 | Week of April 30, 2012 CaPITaL BrIeFS ▲ Rep. Tom McClintock AP IMAgEs

Rep. Tom McClintock



MccLiNtock URGeS RetURN to ReGULAR oRDeR oN BUDGet tALkS

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) is ask- ing in a letter to House leadership to bring 12 appropriations bills to the floor independently and under open rules. McClintock argues in the letter to Speaker John Boehner and Major- ity Leader Eric Cantor that the move would create more transparency in the spending process and would be a return to the regular order, which was discard- ed during the four years of Democratic House control. McClintock, a member of the House Budget Committee, wrote the letter in conjunction with the Re- publican Study Committee staff. McClintock writes: “The new Repub- lican House majority came to Washing- ton with a mandate from the American people to address this historic break- down in spending controls and to stem the tide of spending and debt. We began that work by passing a responsible bud- get, bringing spending bills to the House floor individually and under open rules,

and letting the House work its will.” Though Democrats abandoned the practice when they controlled the House, Speaker Boehner has previously endorsed bringing appropriations bills to the floor under open rules. Thus, the Republican Study Committee argues that move is “non-controversial” and would be a significant step in curbing spending and bringing about “transpar- ency and accountability.”


eNeMy AttAckS AGAiNSt U.S. tRoopS DecLiNe iN AFGHANiStAN

Ongoing challenges to U.S. troops in

Afghanistan include IED threats, a cor- rupt national government, and “green- on-blue” violence, Defense Department officials said last week in its semi- annual report to Congress. The report, which covered the pe- riod from last October to the end of March, did cite encouraging figures:

enemy-initiated attacks are down by

16 percent in 2012 from last year, and

reactionary violence in response to

events, including a U.S. soldier killing

17 Afghan civilians, was minimal.

But incidents of Afghan National Se- curityForcesattackingU.S.andcoalition troops are up from last year, and a cor- ruptandunbalancedAfghangovernment continues to challenge security gains. In an executive summary, the 134- page report concludes: “The insurgen- cy’s safe haven in Pakistan, as well as the limited capacity of the Afghan gov- ernment, remain the biggest risks to the process of turning security gains into a durable and sustainable Afghanistan.” According to the report, about 86,692 U.S. troops remain on the ground in Afghanistan, down from 97,795 on Sept. 30, 2011.


pReSiDeNt’S AFGHANiStAN ViSit oVeRDUe, SoMe Gopers SAy

President Barack Obama’s surprise visit to Afghanistan—his first since Decem- ber 2010—prompted only tepid applause from conservative lawmakers and scorn from those who believed his timing, coinciding with the May 1 anni- versary of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, represented inappropriate political grandstanding. The ostensible reason for the visit was a meeting with Afghan president Hamid Karzai to sign a partnership agreement projecting U.S. assistance in Afghanistan through 2024. While Karzai last week publicly demanded at least $2 billion a year from the U.S. to support Afghan security efforts, neither funding levels nor U.S. troop strength past 2014 were discussed specifically. In a speech at Bagram Air Base, Obama reiterated his plan to have U.S. troops turn the security of the coun-

try over to Afghan control by 2014 and said the goal of defeating al Qaeda was within reach. Several GOP members of the House and Senate Armed Services commit- tees said the visit was long overdue.


top epA oFFiciAL ReSiGNS AFteR HiS ‘cRUciFiXioN’ ReMARkS

Al Armendariz was forced to resign his position as an EPA administrator this week after a video surfaced of a speech he made comparing his philosophy in enforcing oil and gas regulations to a Roman crucifixion. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) brought the video to light last week and began an investigation of the environmental activist and his activities at the agency against gas companies in several states. According to Bloomberg, “Arm- endariz had a cameo in the anti-hy- draulic fracturing movie “Gasland” and was promoted to President Barack

movie “Gasland” and was promoted to President Barack ▲ Barack Obama, Hamid Karzai, May 1 AP

Barack Obama, Hamid Karzai, May 1


Human Events

the national conservative weekly

Established 1944 April 30, 2012

©2012 by Human Events Publishing LLC


Vol 68, No. 15

Frank C. Hanighen (1899-1964) James L. Wick (1897-1964)

The Declaration of Independence begins:

“When in the course of Human Events …” In reporting the news, Human Events is objective; it aims for accurate presentation of all the facts. But it is not impartial. It looks at events through eye s that favor limited constitutional government, local self-government, private enterprise and individual freedom. These were the principles that inspired the founders. We believe that today the same principles will preserve freedom in America.

human Events (issn 0018-7194) is published weekly, except 2/27/12, 4/9/12, 6/4/12, 7/19/12, 8/6/12, 9/10/12, 11/26/12, 12/31/12 by human Events, 1 Massachusetts ave., n.W., Washington D.c. 20001. Periodicals postage paid at Washington, D.c. and additional mailing offices. single issue price $9.95. One year subscription, $129. copyright 2012 human Events.

huMan EVEnts gROuP VP, group Publisher Joseph Guerriero

cOntEnt Editor-in-chief Emeritus Thomas S. Winter Editor Cathy Taylor Managing Editor Adam Tragone senior Reporter, Economy & budget David Harsanyi senior Reporter, Energy & Environment Audrey Hudson senior Reporter, Political Editor John Gizzi Reporter, Defense & national security Hope Hodge Reporter, technology & Freedom John Hayward legal affairs correspondent Ann Coulter Web editor Karl Selzer

Editor-at-large Allan Ryskind Regular contributors Jim Edwards, Steven Greenhut, Ken Hanner, Mark LaRochelle, John Seiler

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Week of April 30, 2012 |


NewS, ViewS, opiNioNS FRoM wASHiNGtoN

Obama by environmentalists, who said the civil engineering professor from Southern Methodist University would be tough on polluters.” Armendariz is also an author of a 2009 study by the Environmental Defense Fund, which blamed the drill- ing of Barnett Shale for causing more air pollution in the Dallas/Fort Worth area than cars and trucks. Armendariz’s exit at the EPA will not slow down a slew of burdensome regu- lations the agency is producing under Obama’s leadership, Inhofe said. His investigation of the agency will con- tinue despite Armendariz’s resignation.

wALkeR wAtcH

Scott wALkeR coMpeteS iN pRiMARy tHiS week

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker has reported raising more than $13 million since January as part of his effort to avoid being recalled in the election scheduled for June 5. The recall election movement, in- stigated by union leaders after Gov. Walker’s measures to close the deficit in Wisconsin took on public union en- titlements, will see its first vote May 8 when Walker faces Arthur Kohl- Riggs in the Republican primary. Kohl Riggs’ finances, however, are minimal, with his campaign having raised only $2,045 since January, according to an Associated Press report. The Democratic contenders will likewise have their primary May 8. The two front-runners are Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. The funds raised since January for both Falk and Barrett total only $1.8 mil- lion—a meager sum compared to the $13 million raised by Walker.

xx xx

scott Walker

The campaigns of Falk and Barrett both issued statements about Walk- er’s finances, accusing the governor of spending more time raising funds rather than creating jobs, the Asso- ciated Press reported. Barrett, in a statement, accused Walker of putting an “extreme, partisan agenda ahead of Wisconsin’s economy.” Friends of Scott Walker Commu- nications Director Ciara Matthews, however, responded that “The City of Milwaukee, under Mayor Barrett’s failed policies, is an anchor weighing on Wisconsin’s ability to create jobs. Under Barrett, Milwaukee’s unem- ployment rate skyrocketed by 29 per- cent and the city stands as the ninth poorest in the nation.” Falk’s campaign joined Barrett’s in accusing Walker—and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has been recently campaigning for Walker—of “extreme records.” According to the Walker cam- paign, 96,292 (76 percent) of the 125,926 contributions since January have been donations of $50 or less. For more in- formation or to find ways to participate, please visit www.ScottWalker.Org.


SociAL SecURity

StAteMeNtS Go oNLiNe oNLy, SAVeS $70 MiLLioN A yeAR

Not exactly on the cusp of technological breakthrough, the Social Security Ad- ministration will now provide Ameri- can workers with online statements of their estimated retirement benefits. The federal government, which has already been phasing out paper checks for benefit programs elsewhere, will offer online statements that will al- low workers to see which benefits they would collect if they retired at ages 62, 66 or 70. By discontinuing these mailings, it estimates that the government will save about $70 million a year. Any citizen who is 18 or older can use the website, where they can create a secure account to see their information and regularly check out that 2% return on their investment. And just in time. According to a

new Gallup survey, over the past 15 years, Americans have altered their expected retirement form the age of 60 to the age of 67.



A Brookings Institution study says

that the federal government is even larger than conventional budget mea-

sures suggest. Conservatives might be tempted to nod their heads in agree- ment, but it’s doubtful they would agree on the study’s reasoning.

In the report, Donald Marron and

Eric Toder at the Urban Institute and Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center assert that typically we understate both the size of spending and revenues. Media and wonks measure govern- ment as a ratio of spending to gross domestic product (GDP) or of tax revenues to GDP. But those measures leave out important aspects of govern- ment action, the authors say: “For ex- ample, they do not capture the ways governments use deductions, credits, and other tax preferences to make

transfers and influence resource use.” So, for instance, when the federal government gives you a $100 refund check it is counted as spending. When Washington gives you a tax break it

is not counted as deficit spending.

So a tax break, argue the authors, is spending.

A fiscal conservative, though,

would probably argue that the gov-

ernment isn’t “giving” you a tax break

it is just taking less and should thus

spend less. Unless there is a univer-

sally agreed upon baseline to work from, government is not entitled to taxpayer dollars.

This Week’s Must Reads

WelcoMe to Human events. This week marks the unofficial start of the presidential contest between President Barack obama and presumptive nominee Mitt Romney. We report the advice of super- strategist Karl Rove, as well as that of our own long- experienced editors and writers (Playbook, page 18). More to come in future issues, on money, social media and more. —Cathy Taylor


on money, social media and more. —Cathy Taylor Page 10 DeFeNSe War on Terror still threatens



War on Terror still threatens u.s., one year after the death of Osama bin Laden. By Hope Hodge


year after the death of Osama bin Laden. By Hope Hodge 20 AcRoSS AMeRicA Louisiana’s Bobby


Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal emerges as an education reform leader with new measures to transform schools. By William O’Brien


new measures to transform schools. By William O’Brien 21 JoHN Gizzi oN poLiticS Nebraska senate primary

JoHN Gizzi oN poLiticS

Nebraska senate primary highlights tea party vs. establishment within gOP. Whoever wins May 15 likely will win senate seat in November.

Whoever wins May 15 likely will win senate seat in November. 24 opiNioN Rep. Jim Mcgovern



Rep. Jim Mcgovern has proposed a constitutional amendment that would undercut free speech. By George Will

amendment that would undercut free speech. By George Will 26 opiNioN Rep. Buck McKeon accuses the



Rep. Buck McKeon accuses the president of doing nothing to stop automatic defense cuts. By Bob Maginnis


nothing to stop automatic defense cuts. By Bob Maginnis 30 tHe xx DeBUNkeR The xxx president

tHe xx DeBUNkeR

The xxx president says the Bush capital

gains tax cut should be permitted to expire. Here’s why it shouldn’t. By Mark LaRochelle

6 | W EEK OF M AY 7, 2012


Frozen cows to be Removed by Handsaw; Fire and explosives Don’t Meet Green Rules

Ranch hands will hike in to remove the six dead cows piece by piece.

By Audrey Hudson

H andsaws will be used to cut up

six frozen cows discovered in an

abandoned Colorado mountain

cabin as opposed to fire or explosives the Forest Service was considering to remove the carcasses before the spring thaw. Federal officials are being forced to adhere to strict environmental regu- lations to dispose of the cows, which they say needs to be taken care of be-

fore bears come out of hibernation and sniff out the corpses, which are in a popular hiking area near Aspen. Forest Service officials initially said that blowing up the cabin or burning it down would be the fastest and most ef- ficient means of meeting environmen- tal regulations, which forbid the use of motorized vehicles or machinery in designated wilderness areas. But a Forest Service official told the Aspen Daily News last week that fire

and explosives “would have required environmental assessment work and that’s not the fastest way to go.” Several ranch hands will make the nearly nine-mile hike to the cabin near the Conundrum Hot Springs, carrying the hand saws to cut up 6,000 consolidated pounds of frozen cow, and then will disperse the re- mains to speed up decomposition. The cows were discovered in March by hikers and reported to the Forest

Service, however another hiker is now telling reporters in Colorado that he saw the cows alive but trapped in the cabin after a November snowstorm. That hiker said he sent photos of the live cows to the rangers in hopes the animalswould be rescued, but Forest Service officials say they never got the hiwker’s email or photos.

Audrey Hudson is senior reporter covering Energy and Environment for Human Events. She can be reached at AHudson@EaglePub.Com


eVeNtS, HeARiNGS, MeetiNGS




ThursdAy: Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) delivers the Heritage Foundation Annual Helms Lecture, on “Why Conservatives Should Fund and Support a Strong National Defense.” Heritage Foundation, 9 a.m.

FridAy: The Bradley Foundation Prizes awarded to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, York University Law Professor Richard A. Epstein, Harvard University Professor Harvey Mansfield and Carnegie Mellon Professor Allan Meltzer for their promotion and advocacy in the fields of “liberal democracy, democratic capitalism, and a vigorous defense of American institutions.”

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) sixth annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” immigration media event, to highlight the burden, cost and harm of illegal immigration. Phoenix Park Hotel, North Capitol Street, N.W.

FAIR ImmIgRAtIon mEdIA EvEnt, HERItAgE FoundAtIon HoldS A numbER oF lECtuRES And dISCuSSIonS, And bRAdlEy FoundAtIon PRIzES AwARdEd.



TuesdAy: House Homeland

Security subcommittee hearing on “Measuring Border Security:

WednesdAy: House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on the impact the Dodd-Frank Act regulations are having on small banks’ lending and investment activities. 2128 Rayburn House Office Building, 2 p.m.

ThursdAy: House Science subcommittee hearing on “Supporting American Jobs and the Economy through Expanded Energy Production:

Challenges and Opportunities of Unconventional Resources Technology.” 2318 Rayburn House Office Building, 9:30 a.m.

botH HouSE And SEnAtE REtuRn FRom ConStItuEnt woRk wEEk. SEnAtE IS ExPECtEd to tAkE uP tHE StoP tHE StudEnt loAn IntERESt RAtE HIkE ACt oF 2012. HouSE CommIttEE HEARIngS ARE notEd.

U.S. Border Patrol’s New Strategic Plan and the Path Forward.” 311 Cannon House Office Building, 10 a.m.

oF inTeresT


TuesdAy: Wisconsin Democratic Party holds gubernatorial primary election ahead of the June 5 recall election against Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

TuesdAy—ThursdAy: CTIA

ThursdAy: U.S. Customs and Border Protection 2012 West Coast Trade Symposium “Harmonizing Trade for a Stronger Economy.” Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, Long Beach, Calif.

Wireless, the largest and most comprehensive trade show in the wireless industry. Speakers to include former President Bill Clinton, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello, Visa President John Partridge, Mozilla Corporation CEO Gary Kovacs and Spotify CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek. Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, La.

dEmoCRAtIC PRImARy In RECAll EFFoRt AgAInSt wISConSIn gov. SCott wAlkER, CtIA wIRElESS tRAdE SHow And dHS SymPoSIum on tRAdE.

CAmPAign TrAil


TuesdAy: Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia hold Republican presidential primary elections. Voters in North Carolina will also be deciding on an amendment to the State Constitution on whether to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

ThursdAy: George Clooney hosts a fundraiser for President Barack Obama to raise money for the Obama Victory Fund. Tickets are $40,000-per-person, with expected guests to include Barbra Streisand and DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

sATurdAy: Former

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney delivers the Commencement address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. The University’s Chancellor, Jerry Fallwell, Jr., is also expected to speak.

tHREE StAtES votE In tHE goP PRESIdEntIAl PRImARy; obAmA RE-ElECtIon CAmPAIgnIng And FundRAISIng ContInuES, wItH RomnEy tRyIng to PICk uP momEntum.

W EEK OF MAY 7, 2012 |


W EEK OF MAY 7, 2012 | 7

8 | W EEK OF MAY 7, 2012

Economy & BudgEt

n What are we to believe from the housing market numbers?

If you’re confused by many of the economic signals being sent these days, you’re not alone. Take the housing market: united states homeownership hit a record high in 2004. This was around the time President george W. Bush was celebrating the nation’s emerging “Ownership society”—a philosophy that, in practice, was partly responsible for creating the housing bubble. Today, as everyone knows, the story is quite different, as is the trajectory of home ownership. On the scary side, according to the Census Bureau, u.s. homeownership rates have fallen to about 65 percent, after languishing at 66 percent for the past three quarters. The current rate matches the average rate held since 1965. That translates into the homeownership rate dropping to a 15-year low. On the bright-ish side, there are an estimated 132.6 million homes in the united states, of which nearly 14 percent (or 18.5 million) were vacant during the first quarter—down from last year’s 19 million. The apartment vacancy rate also fell to 4.9 percent in the first quarter—an 11-year low. Then again, with historically low interest rates available and low prices creating a strong first-time buyer’s market, shouldn’t houses be moving? According to experts, those most open to buying—rather than moving or renting—in this stormy market are having trouble accessing new mortgages. for those who want to sell? Well, Robert shiller, co-creator the widely used Case-shiller home price index, explains that housing prices have most likely hit bottom. The bad news: shiller told Reuters recently that he believes home values lost in the past five years would not be made up in our “lifetimes.”

inspector General Report ends Myth that tARp ‘turned a profit’

General Report ends Myth that tARp ‘turned a profit’ ▲ Treasury secretary Tim geithner testifies on

Treasury secretary Tim geithner testifies on June 22, 2010 before the Congressional Oversight Panel on TARP.


Another report from Federal Reserve economists “confirms that TARP encouraged high-risk behavior by insulating the risk-takers from the consequences of failure.”

By David Harsanyi

D id TARP save America from eco- nomic catastrophe? We hear a lot of counterfactual arguments

and economic theories on the matter. Politicians, naturally, have definitive answers. The public, though, is left to focus on three questions that now mat- ter: Was the money paid back? Did TARP turn a profit? Did the legislation stabilize the long-term health of the economy? A new report to congress by Christy Romero, the Special Inspector Gen- eral for the Troubled Asset Relief Pro- gram, says “no” on all fronts. Though

the report asserts that TARP played an “active” role in the recovery (some of you may surely wonder “what re- covery?”), it ends the myth that tax- payers turned a “profit” or were paid back by borrowers. How could this be? It was only in March when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner claimed that while the “over- riding objective” of TARP “was to break the back of the financial crisis” and save jobs, “the fact that our investment in banks has also delivered a significant profit for taxpayers is a welcome devel- opment.” Similarly, after the first-round of bank re-payments, President Barack Obama maintained that “the govern- ment has actually turned a profit.” Americans may be astonished to

hear that our debt-ridden government has the capacity to turn a “profit”—a significant profit, even—on taxpay- er-funded emergency “investments.” After all, if TARP is a win-win policy that generates revenue, why doesn’t government pour hundreds of billions of dollars into failing companies and troubled banks every year?

how government defines profit The White House asserts that it will create $179 billion in profit by the fis- cal year 2015. How does government make a profit, exactly? Well, the Fed- eral Reserve undergoes a couple of rounds of quantitative easing (QE1, QE2—and maybe another sequel), buying Treasury bills and distressed mortgage-backed securities—or, in laymen’s terms, it prints money. Then it takes the interest made off of that printed money and deems it profit. Even using this brand of inventive ac- counting, the report notes it is a “widely held misconception that TARP” is gen- erating profit. “The most recent cost estimate for TARP is a loss of $60 bil- lion. Taxpayers are still owed $118.5 bil- lion (including $14 billion written off or otherwise lost),” the report calculates. Though its tricky to track $700 billion of emergency funding that was haphaz- ardly dropped into the economy by a panic-stricken government, when ac- counting for the Fannie Mae and Fred-

die Mac bailout, the American taxpayer is probably owed somewhere in neigh- borhood of $237.7 billion, though some estimates are far higher. And it will be more. The Treasury Department says that a large part of the money lost via TARP is the result of the housing and car bailouts, which wern’t paid back, ei- ther. When the next Fannie and Freddie rescue comes—as a number of reports have indicated will be needed—taxpay- ers will be on the hook. And let’s not forget that many of the banks, and auto companies, had con- veniently paid back their government bailouts using other government funds. The report also makes the case that TARP may be perpetuating future fi- nancial misadventures and bailouts. The issue is moral hazard—how com- panies embrace undue risks knowing full well they won’t be held accountable. Most of the banks that were “too big to fail” when TARP was implement- ed are now even bigger. The report to Congress points out that a recent working paper from Federal Reserve economists “confirms that TARP en- couraged high-risk behavior by insu- lating the risk-takers from the conse- quences of failure.” Risk a key component of capitalism. Government-backed risk is no risk at all.

david Harsanyi is a senior reporter covering the Economy and budget for Human Events. He can be reached at dHarsanyi@EaglePub.Com

W EEK OF MAY 7, 2012 |


W EEK OF MAY 7, 2012 | 9

10 | W EEK OF MAY 7, 2012

DeFenSe & naTIonaL SeCurITy

war on terror Still threatens, one year After bin Laden’s Death

terror Still threatens, one year After bin Laden’s Death ▲ President Obama, along with members of

President Obama, along with members of the national security team, in the s ituation Room, May 1, 2011.

AP IMA g E s

While some gains have been made in the war in Afghanistan, the projected U.S. drawdown of troops threatens any permanent success. And global terrorism has proliferated in the wake of the death of the terrorist leader, former Bush official John Bolton said.

By Hope Hodge

A year ago last week, a nation

learned about a valiant SEAL

team, a situation room, and a

compound in Abbottabad that became the setting of a notorious terrorist’s last stand. On the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, are we looking back on a turning point in the global War on Terror? Not by a long shot, a senior official of the Bush administration told Hu- man Events. Former United Nations ambassador John Bolton, now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise In- stitute, said that the U.S. assassination

of the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks was rightly celebrated when it took place, but should not be seen as a death blow to al Qaeda, or to the Taliban’s grip on Afghanistan. “I don’t think on net you can see

that much difference. (Bin Laden) had been pushed into a point from sustained pressure over a number of years where he was less relevant than he had been before,” Bolton said. “His death doesn’t materially change the equation, I don’t think.” By the numbers, the night raid that took down the Taliban leader and al Qaeda kingpin may have had some positive effect on the trajectory of the war in Afghanistan, at least in the short run. U.S. and NATO casualties and the number of U.S. wounded were all down in a year-over-year comparison during the 12 months following bin Laden’s death. Reports released by the International Security Assistance Force show a decrease in enemy-ini- tiated attacks on ISAF troops in Af- ghanistan for every month since May 2011, compared to the same month the

previous year. Force officials added that the reduction in enemy-initiat- ed attacks, the first such trend since 2008, was the longest sustained year- over-year downward trajectory re- corded since ISAF began in 2001. Other war statistics, possibly more telling, are far less encouraging.

insider attacks up Attacks on coalition troops from insid- ers—Afghan police and soldiers—have grown steadily. This year, so far, there have already been 13 such attacks, 10 of them fatal, compared with 21 at- tacks in total for 2011 and 11 for 2010, according to AP reports. Experts said one explanation for the abundance of these “friendly” at- tacks may be a concern among Afghan citizens that, as the U.S. telegraphs its intention to draw down troop strength in Afghanistan in 2014, Afghans must

once again form alliances with Tali- ban leaders preparing to assume con- trol once again. “It’s bad enough that we will sur- render Afghanistan to the people who brutalized it for decades before we overthrew them,” Center for Security Policy Director Frank Gaffney said. “Far from cutting our losses, I believe this will be a catalyst for far more in- tensive jihadist activity.” And outside of Afghanistan, al Qa- eda presence has proliferated, even in the wake of bin Laden’s death, in regions including Iraq, Yemen, and Africa, and the terrorist organiza- tion’s new leader, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, remains on the loose in Pakistan. Al Qaeda attacks in Iraq have actually increased since bin Laden’s assassi- nation, according to reports. “Al Qaeda is not a corporate organi- zation,” Bolton said. “It doesn’t have an organizational charter on the wall. It’s a loosely networked organization and it has grown substantially. The consequences of the Arab Spring have served not to undercut the appeal of al Qaeda, but simply to enhance it.” As America faces the fractured end of a decade-long war and the prolif- eration of terrorism across the globe, celebrating the anniversary of elimi- nating a figurehead has seemed inap- propriate for many. “Killing Osama bin Laden happened while (Obama) was president, not be- cause he was president,” Bolton said. “The analogy that I use is Richard Nixon taking credit for Aldrin and Armstrong landing on the moon.” A group of former Navy SEALs came forward last week to protest President Obama’s use of the Special Forces raid as a political gambit in his re-election campaign. And a veteran who main- tains the popular military blog This Ain’t Hell compared Obama’s grand- standing on the anniversary of the raid to President George W. Bush hanging out a “Mission Accomplished” ban- ner in 2003: unwarranted and without real significance. “Of course, I’m glad (bin Laden is) dead and I wish he’d been killed soon- er. Other than that, I really don’t see the value of bringing it up in an elec- tion year,” Jonn Lilyea said. “I think the initial death of bin Laden was a morale booster, but I don’t think these anniversaries serve any purpose, not for troop morale.”

Hope Hodge is a reporter covering defense and national Security for Human Events. She can be reached at HHodge@EaglePub.Com

The cost of taking down bin laden

sources: National Journal; Icasualties.Org; Count by Human Events

$ 3 trillion 1,566

War spending up to the assassination of Osama bin Laden

u.s. troops killed in Afghanistan before the death of bin Laden. since bin Laden’s death: 389


Days between the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and elimination of Osama bin Laden

W EEK OF MAY 7, 2012 |


W EEK OF MAY 7, 2012 | 11

12 | W EEK OF MAY 7, 2012

energy & envIronmenT

Mining permit Backlog Leaves U.S. Dependent on china for Rare Minerals ▲ Rep. Mark Amodei
Mining permit Backlog Leaves U.S.
Dependent on china for Rare Minerals
▲ Rep. Mark Amodei says “this bill would streamline the permitting process,” and leverage resources, respect environment.
AP IMA g E s
leading-edge industries need these rare minerals for key components in iPods,
hybrid cars and solar panels. But, government policies are stifling mining companies
from developing local sources, thus increasing reliance on foreign suppliers.
By Audrey Hudson
S trategic minerals that are essential
components in green and high
technology such as hybrid cars,
iPods and solar panels are readily avail-
able in the U.S. but efforts to mine the
elements are being stalled by bureau-
crats for years, industry officials say.
“The United States is heavily reliant
on foreign countries such as China for
critical minerals that are the building
blocks of our economy and impera-
tive to renewable energy development,
military technology and the manufac-
turing of nearly all of our electronic
“The length, complexity and uncer-
tainty of the permitting process are
the primary reasons investors give for
not investing in U.S. minerals mining,”
Quinn said. “Delaying permits for
mining projects is not a new problem.
What is new is the growing aware-
ness of its implications for our nation,
particularly in a highly competitive
world economy in which the demand
for minerals continues to grow, espe-
cially in fast growing economies led by
China and India,” Quinn said.
devices,” said Rep. Doc Hastings (R-
Wash.), chairman of the House Re-
sources Committee.
There are 15 such rare earth minerals
worth more than $6 trillion, including
terbium, yttrium and dysprosium that
are found throughout the U.S.
To increase access, Republican
lawmakers are supporting legislation
called the Strategic and Critical Miner-
als Production Act that they say tackles
the highest hurdle of getting the need-
ed permits to begin mining operations.
Hall Quinn, president of the Nation-
al Mining Association, said at a recent
House hearing on the bill that it often
takes 10 years to get a mining permit.
Amodei bill introduced
The bill authored by Rep. Mark Amodei
(R-Nev.) would reverse a 30-year trend
of increased reliance on foreign coun-
tries and fierce competition to gain ac-
cess to the needed resources. “In the
2012 ranking of countries for mining
investment, the United States ranked
last, tied with Papua New Guinea, in
permitting delays,” Amodei said.
“Decade-long permitting delays are
standing in the way of high-paying
jobs and revenue for local communi-
ties. This bill would streamline the per-
mitting process to leverage our nation’s
vast mineral resources while paying
due respect to economic and environ-
mental concerns,” Amodei said.
Lawmakers say the United States
is completely reliant on China, and in
addition to the threats to national se-
curity of not being self-reliant in this
area, the delays in approving mining
permits also costs good-paying jobs
that are instead being filled overseas.
The risk of scarcity is expected to rise
so significantly that it will lead to sup-
ply instability and potential disruptions
in the next five years, says the National
Mining Association. If that happens,
price increases will not be far behind.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported
in 2010 that 13 million tons of known
deposits of rare earth elements have
been located in 14 states including
Alaska, California, Florida and New
York. However, China accounts for 96
percent of the world’s supply.
The Toyota Prius uses more of the
mineral than any other consumer
product, including lanthanum and
cerium in the battery, yttrium in the
component sensors, dysprosium and
terbium in the motor and generator
and neodymium in the headlight glass.
The new bill is just getting off the
ground in the House and it is unclear
how much member support it will
Audrey Hudson is a senior reporter for Human
Events covering Energy and Environment. She can
be reached at AHudson@EaglePub.Com
Featured species: Johnston’s Frankenia
Reports of the Johnston’s Frankenia’s demise were greatly exaggerated when
it was listed as an endangered species in 1984. later surveys of the Texas-
based plant showed a population greater than 9,000,000.

n rare earth elements in everyday use

China accounts for 96

percent of the world’s rare earth element market, which are essential components for high- tech products as well as renewable or green energy technology. Although 15 of these minerals are found in

14 states and have an

estimated worth of more

than $6 trillion, the federal government is dragging its feet in approving mining permits needed to move forward on obtaining some

13 million metric tons

believed to exist in the u.s. some of the products used every day by

Americans that depend on these minerals include energy-efficient light bulbs, which use europium, terbium, and yttrium. iPods use five rare earth minerals, including dysprosium, neodymium, praseodymium, samarium and terbium. Camera lenses and high refractive index glass are made from lanthanum and self-cleaning ovens use cerium. Welding goggles use praseodymium and lasers use neodymium. Portable X-ray machines require thulium and fluorescent lamps need terbium. Minerals such as aluminum are used to make deodorant, clocks require iron, nickel and silica, lipstick and make- up uses clay, mica, talc, and limestone, and toilets require zinc, copper and silica. According to the u.s. geological survey, rare earth elements are obtained for use in the u.s. “almost exclusively from China.” Most rare earth elements are not as rare as the name suggests, according to the survey. They were named as such during the 18th and 19th centuries as oxide components within seemingly rare minerals. Cerium is the most abundant of the so- called rare elements, and is actually more common in the Earth’s crust than is copper or lead.

W EEK OF MAY 7, 2012 |


Regnery Publishing

Great Conservative Books Great Conservative authors

Great Conservative Books • Great Conservative authors Features a foreword by Mark Steyn. Targeted for Death

Features a foreword by Mark Steyn.

Targeted for Death by Islamic Terrorists, Geert Wilders is a Marked Man.

“I have been surrounded by police guards and stripped of nearly all personal privacy. I wear a bulletproof jacket when I speak in public… Why do I need protection? Because I’ve become part of a rapidly growing group of individuals who have been marked for death for criticizing Islam.”

—Geert Wilders

AvA i l A ble

M Ay 1st, 2012

in bookstores everywhere, on AmAzon, And At

in bookstores everywhere, on AmAzon, And At 202-216-0600 | One Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington,
in bookstores everywhere, on AmAzon, And At 202-216-0600 | One Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington,



One Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001


14 | W EEK OF MAY 7, 2012

TeChnoLogy & FreeDom

Senate to Struggle with privacy Vs. Security on New internet Bill

to Struggle with privacy Vs. Security on New internet Bill ▲ s en. John McCain and

s en. John McCain and s en. Joseph Lieberman, shown here in a 2011 photo, are proposing alternate s enate versions of CI s PA.

AP IMA g E s

This time around, big online companies favor a bill that would allow Internet service providers to voluntarily turn over data to the government upon threat of a security breach. But, opening the Internet to government could harm user privacy, create unforeseen mischief.

By John Hayward

t he Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which passed the House of Rep-

resentatives last month on a 248-168 vote that featured both bipartisan sup- port and opposition, now moves to the Senate, also conflicted about the mea- sure. The White House has threatened to veto CISPA, saying the bill “effec- tively treats domestic cyber-security as an intelligence activity, and thus sig- nificantly departs from longstanding efforts to treat the Internet and cyber- space as civilian spheres.”

Internet companies and banks fa- vor the legislation, while many online user communities, libertarians, and civil rights organizations such as the ACLU are opposed. Some believe that amendments passed by the House ad- dress their concerns about the bill,

while others say those amendments made it worse. In the Senate, alternative propos- als are being advanced by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). Most of CISPA’s strongest critics don’t think the McCain or Li- eberman bills are much of an improve- ment, however, over the House version. These divergent views rather neatly capture the nature of the electronic security debate. How can cyber-secu- rity not be an “intelligence activity?” But if we must treat it as such, how can we also guarantee online privacy? CISPA enables Internet service pro- viders to forward certain confidential user information to government secu- rity agencies when a cyber-security threat has been identified. At the mo- ment, various privacy laws prevent this kind of information sharing. Further- more, CISPA shields the ISPs from legal

liability for violating customers’ pri- vacy while combating “national securi- ty” threats in cyberspace—an umbrella many found uncomfortably broad, even before some last-minute amendments broadened it even further.

Privacy concerns Detractors call CISPA the “Son of SOPA,” a reference to the Stop Online Piracy Act. SOPA died in Congress after massive public outcry over the damage it would have done to online privacy, and to the free flow of Inter- net communications. They are differ- ent—CISPA addresses national secu- rity issues, rather than SOPA’s focus of intellectual property—but critics are raising similar privacy concerns. Proponents of CISPA say that ef- fective online security, particularly against large-scale coordinated attacks by enemy governments or large hacker

groups, requires timely involvement by the intelligence community—which must have some way to gather the intel needed to track down electronic terror- ists and defeat viral attacks. The debate is an extension of the long-running tension between secu- rity and privacy. The Internet inten- sifies the debate because of its enor- mous reach and speed. Some data CISPA makes more readily available to government agencies can already be obtained with a warrant, but the time required to obtain a warrant could hamstring efforts to deal with a rapidly evolving online threat, supporters say. On the other hand, no one can be blamed for feeling nervous about the prospect of Internet service providers handing private data over to the gov- ernment. This would happen largely at the discretion of the ISPs—they’re allowed to hand over data they believe pertains to a security threat, but they are not required to do so. CISPA was designed to override almost all other privacy laws, as well as the Terms of Service agreements consumers sign, causing opponents to fear it is fraught with unintended consequences. Like every large bill, CISPA picked up a raft of amendments during the final day of debate. One of them added the protection of children from por- nography as a valid reason for the government to harvest personal data. This did nothing to reassure those who thought “national security” was already too broad of a mission. Chil- dren are often victimized by online predators, but that has nothing to do with cyber-security. The front door of CISPA was already disturbingly large, but now it has a huge back door, too. The CISPA debate has not occurred strictly along partisan lines, although the Republican caucus in the House strongly favors it. However, 28 Repub- licans voted against the bill, and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) abstained. The White House’s preferred alter- native legislation in the Senate was au- thored by Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Me.). Fox News ex- plains it would “give the Department of Homeland Security authority to set new cyber-security standards.” That’s not exactly reassuring to those who worry about the 18-wheel truck of gov- ernment power barreling toward the intersection of privacy and security.

John Hayward is a reporter for Human Events covering technology and Freedom. He can be reached at JHayward@EaglePub.Com.

AP IMA g E s FBi cyber-security chief believes “most major companies have already been

AP IMA g E s

FBi cyber-security chief believes “most major companies have already been breached”

fBI cyber-security chief shawn Henry (left) described the dimensions of the cyber warfare threat to a House Homeland security subcommittee as follows:

“I believe most major companies have already been breached or will be breached, resulting in substantial losses in information, economic competitiveness and national

security. Many are breached and have absolutely no knowledge that an adversary was or remains resident on their network, often times for weeks, months or even years.”

W EEK OF MAY 7, 2012 |


The Bradley Prizes will be presented on Thursday, June 7 at The Kennedy Center for
The Bradley Prizes will be presented on Thursday,
June 7 at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
in Washington, DC.
The Bradley Prizes recognize outstanding achievements that are consistent with the
Foundation’s mission statement. Founded in 1985, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
is devoted to strengthening American democratic capitalism and the institutions, principles
and values that sustain and nurture it. Its programs support limited, competent government;
a dynamic marketplace for economic, cultural activity; and a vigorous defense, at home and
abroad, of American ideas and institutions. Learn more at


Cover Story | W EEK OF M AY 7, 2012

Mitt Romney’s

Plan of At

| W EEK OF M AY 7, 2012 Mitt Romney’s Plan of At eXCLuSIve: goP strategist

eXCLuSIve: goP strategist karl rove tells human events romney can win and outlines strategies and tactics, beginning with “flipping” five key states that went for President obama in 2008.

H uman Events Reporter Hope Hodge spoke with Karl Rove, senior adviser and deputy chief

of staff to former President George W. Bush, about presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney and key tenets of a winning strategy for the 2012 presidential cam- paign. She also captured his key points in an address last Tuesday to a Young Amer- ica’s Foundation event at George Wash- ington University in Washington, D.C.

romney’s prospects Karl Rove: “Sure he can [win]. Will he? I don’t know; that’s what the election is all about.”

romney’s biggest roadblocks “I think the question is going to be

how strong and powerful is (Rom- ney’s) argument going to be for eco- nomic growth. How strong is his emphasis going to be on reform. If he comes across as a reform conservative who’s focused on growing the econ- omy and putting America back to work, then he’s going to be in good shape. “And we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks very strong strains of him. Talking about how we need to put America back to work, talking about how we need to reduce tax rates and simplify the code. Having him talk candidly about the problem with enti- tlements and endorsing things like premium support, those are all good signs.”

issues in romney’s favor “The economy, the deficits, spending, entitlements. The [Patient Protection and] Affordable care act is a big issue. This is something that really matters to a lot of people, and him being able to go on the offense not only to say ‘let’s repeal it,’ but to say, ‘here’s what I’m going to do [that] is going to be really useful.”

states romney needs to take “Three, two, one—Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina. Three historically Republican states that went Democrat; Florida and Ohio—together they have 49 electoral college votes. Swung into the Democratic column in ’08, but were Republican in ’04 and swung by a smaller margin. And if Republicans win

those five states, then all they need to win is one more state—New Hamp- shire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wis- consin, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, or Nevada.”

President obama’s present position in the minds of the American people “We’re right at the end of a really ugly Republican presidential process; it’s not over yet. Today [Tuesday, April 30] in the Gallup, it is Obama 46, Romney 47. Shouldn’t be that way. We have a popu- lar incumbent. They like him; the Amer- ican people like him. They don’t agree with a lot that he’s done as president, but he came into office with the best wishes of the American people and they like him. And he’s personally popular.

W EEK OF M AY 7, 2012 |

Cover Story 17


W EEK OF M AY 7, 2012 | Cover Story 17 tack “But, they don’t

“But, they don’t like what he’s done in office. They expected something dif- ferent. He had one of the best-run presidential campaigns, and you step back and take a look at the message of the 2008 campaign, it was like, you know, just watching Mickey Mantle pounding it out of the park. Some of the best lines of modern American politics:

‘I don’t want to be the president of red states or blue states, but the United States’—that’s a brilliant line. “The American people were just ready to turn the page, and along came this guy who sounded like a centrist:

‘I’m going to cut taxes for everybody who makes less than 250K a year.’ “He spends roughly four words

devoted to cutting taxes

for every

word devoted to raising taxes. “Also [he was] was really smart in how he talked about the deficit. Also talked about the deficits under the Bush years, saying ‘I’m going to cut them in half by the end of my first term in office. “People had been led to believe

(Obama) would be a centrist, and he has not been. And that’s the first and most important thing that Romney needs to understand.”

romney should focus on three key strategic ingredients “He needs to take President Obama on his own words and own actions, get him on video saying these things and hold him to account for it in a respectful manner. This is not about getting angry, this isn’t about getting belligerent, it isn’t about pounding the table. This is simply about saying, ‘this is what the president said he was going to do when he was in office, and here’s what he’s done’—the facts. “The second [key strategic ingredi- ent]: Mr. Romney needs to understand that he’s going to have to absorb a lot of blows. This is not going to be the nor- mal presidential re-election year. The presidency is a powerful presence in American minds. You have a lot of

Continued on page 18

states to watch

goP targets states obama won

sOuRCE: AP reporting


BottoM LiNe

90 This is the number of additional

electoral votes Romney needs to

win, assuming he carries all of

McCain’s 2008 states.


Cover Story | W EEK OF M AY 7, 2012

election playbook 2012

The Human events staff compiled this quick checklist as the presidential race gets under way. New polls show President obama slightly ahead of Mitt Romney.

At the starting gate

Sen. John McCain won 22 states against Barack Obama in 2008. Assuming Mitt Romney wins them all back in 2012, a strong possibility, he will start with 180 electoral votes (seven more were allotted to these states due to redistricting). That means he needs to capture 90 additional electoral votes—270 in all—to beat Obama.

States Romney can win

The most likely states he can win are Florida (29 electoral votes), Ohio (18), North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Indiana (11), Colorado (9), Iowa (6), and New Hamp- shire (4). Total: 105 additional electoral votes, 15 more than the 270 Romney needs.

A good shot at pennsylvania

Romney strategists believe they also have a good shot at Pennsylvania (20), Mich- igan (16) and Wisconsin (10). The Romney camp mentions several reasons, includ- ing the fact that George W. Bush lost these states narrowly in 2000 and 2004. But others note that such optimism flies in the face of recent history, since Republicans haven’t captured any of these states in the last five presidential elections.

Romney’s ohio worry

Trailing Obama narrowly in the state, Romney is thinking seriously about making Rob Portman, the popular Ohio Republican senator, his vice presidential pick. The key reason: No Republican candidate has won the White House without winning the Buckeye state. Portman has a great public service resume, having served in the House, the Senate and in the White House under Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. A budget and tax expert, he is also liked by social conservatives and the tea party people in his home state. Nor is he identified with the state statute that weakened collective bargaining rights for public unions. Though backed by conser- vatives, the law was overturned by voters in November, 62 percent to 38 percent.

the Hispanic vote issue

Gov. Romney is deeply concerned about whether Hispanics will be inspired to go to the polls en masse and vote for Obama. He recently told an audience in Palm Beach, Fla., that if this group goes overwhelmingly for the president, this “spells doom for us.” A Washington Post poll shows that only 32 percent of Hispanics have a favorable view of Romney while 39 percent give him an unfavorable rating. Obama is seen in a positive light by 67 percent of Hispanics. Romney’s Hispanic problem is why he’s also thinking of putting Florida’s Republican senator, Marco Rubio, on the ticket. Some believe Rubio’s dynamic personality, personal story and rising national profile could give Romney the lift he needs in the Hispanic community and beyond.

the lift he needs in the Hispanic community and beyond. Mitt Romney’s Plan of Attack Continued

Mitt Romney’s Plan of Attack

Continued from 17

authority and prestige in office and if you use it effectively, it makes it rela- tively easy for a president to get re-elected. But President Obama has not used the power and prestige of the office to prepare for his re-election. “Last year—do you remember what the topics of the State of the Union were last year? Three of them. The most compelling and centered issues in America’s life as a nation: High speed rail, high speed Internet, and countless green jobs. The last one doesn’t sound too good after Solyndra. The first two are just plain weird. “I defy you to tell me what the theme of this year’s State of the Union was. You think what are the two biggest signature accomplishments of president Obama— the stimulus bill, which got not one word in this year’s State of the Union address, and the Affordable Care Act,

which got 44 words and two sentences. “Obama campaign strategy: Kill Rom- ney. We’re going to see this. We’re going to see it every day of the campaign. And it is not going to work to President Obama’s advantage unless and until Mitt Romney stops replying to it. They want to see where these attacks are going. We’re going to have this con- stantly throughout the campaign. “Third key strategic ingredient for Romney campaign: understand it’s not merely enough to set the record straight or to use the president’s own words and own statements and his own pledges and promises and state- ments to hold him accountable, but it’s also very important for the American people to get a sense of who Mitt Rom- ney is and what it is that he’ll do. They want to know what he’s going to do in office. They want to know that he’s got an idea of what he wants to achieve.

“Romney’s going to be tested. What’s he all about? How authentic is he? Who is he? You don’t have to agree with someone 100 percent of time to kind of cave and say, you know what, ‘I trust him.’ “Romney needs to lay out an agenda. And it needs to be what he believes. This is not just about Obama did or didn’t deliver. It’s not just about going toe to toe with Obama, ‘as he throws a punch at me I can defend myself and push back.’ It’s going to have to be ‘what is it am I going to do if I get elected.’ And that’s really tough for people to do. That’s conventional politics. “The stuff of laying out a vision some- times comes across to the media as prosaic. That’s strategic.”

A few useful tactics “First of all, (the Romney camp) has to worry about money. I add it all up, Obama is likely to have $1.2 billion dol- lars. So Romney has to worry about

to have $1.2 billion dol- lars. So Romney has to worry about ▲ Karl Rove COuRTEsy

Karl Rove


money and close the gap. He can’t be

like McCain

million to $525 million. So Romney needs to narrow that gap. “Romney also needs to be careful about his travel and what states he focuses on. One way to look at this is 12—that’s how much closer the electoral college is going to be in 2012 if Romney only wins the states that McCain car- ried. Because between ’08 and ’12 we reapportioned the electoral college. “This is going to be one of the most interesting contests in recent memory.”

Obama vs. McCain $850