Photo of the Day – Just in case you had forgotten Obama was “The One”

BuzzFeed caught this earlier:

Light behind BO

A light shines behind President Barack Obama as he speaks during a campaign event at Bayliss Park, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, during a three day campaign bus tour through Iowa.
Image by Carolyn Kaster / AP

Look familiar? It should. See more here. Here. Here. Here. Here.

This disturbing and obscene deification of a sitting President has got to stop – another reason to vote Romney / Ryan in November.

As a sidenote, it’s kind of an interesting picture to caption – so go for it. Doesn’t it look like he’s holding a crystal ball in his hand?

Egyptian jihad group calls for Christian genocide

**Posted by Phineas

Coptic cross

Via Raymond Ibrahim:

According to today’s issue of El Fegr, “Elements of terrorist, jihadi organizations distributed leaflets today inciting for the killing of Copts in Suez, Ismailia, and Upper Egypt, promising them [Copts] a tragic end if they do not return to the truth.”

An image of a copy of the letter appears on El Fegr’s website. Titled “An Urgent and Important Notice,” it begins by calling on “all brothers and sisters” to “kill or physically attack the enemies of the religion of Allah—the Christians in all of Egypt’s provinces, the slaves of the Cross, Allah’s curse upon them…” It proceeds to promise a monetary reward for whoever helps “achieve Allah’s rights against his enemies.”

(…)

This genocide has been called until Egypt’s Christians “return to the truth,” a reference apparently meaning that Egypt’s Christians must either embrace “the truth”—that is, Islam, which they must convert to—or else return to the truths of the religion, which holds that Christians must embrace their subhuman dhimmi status (Koran 9:29).

The ongoing persecution of religious minorities in the Muslim world is something rarely reported in our mainstream media, which instead hangs on every word about “Islamophobia” uttered by CAIR and its allies. But, unlike those claims, the persecution of Christians, Zoroastrians, Baha’is, Jews, and Buddhists in areas where Islam dominates or seeks domination is all too real — and often fatal.

One of the founding, core ideals of the United States is freedom of religion, the right to practice one’s faith -or no faith at all- without fear of punishment. We consider it a universal, unalienable right, pre-existing any government, endowed in all by Nature and Nature’s God.

It would be nice if the current administration could be bothered to speak out for that right, on behalf of those suffering genuine oppression.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Republican backstabbers* try to do to Paul Ryan what they did to Sarah Palin

**Posted by Phineas

Republican insiders “help” Paul Ryan

Hey, Congressman Ryan! Need some help pulling that knife out of your back that was stuck there by unnamed Republicans?

You’ve heard them on television and read them on POLITICO — cheerful, defiant statements from Republican political professionals about Mitt Romney’s bold masterstroke in tapping Paul Ryan as his running mate, and turning the 2012 presidential race into a serious, far-reaching debate about budgets and the nation’s future.

Don’t buy it.

Away from the cameras, and with all the usual assurances that people aren’t being quoted by name, there is an unmistakable consensus among Republican operatives in Washington: Romney has taken a risk with Ryan that has only a modest chance of going right — and a huge chance of going horribly wrong.

In more than three dozen interviews with Republican strategists and campaign operatives — old hands and rising next-generation conservatives alike — the most common reactions to Ryan ranged from gnawing apprehension to hair-on-fire anger that Romney has practically ceded the election.

It is not that the public professions of excitement about the Ryan selection are totally insincere. It is that many of the most optimistic Republican operatives will privately acknowledge that their views are being shaped more by fingers-crossed hope than by a hard-headed appraisal of what’s most likely to happen.

And the more pessimistic strategists don’t even feign good cheer: They think the Ryan pick is a disaster for the GOP. Many of these people don’t care that much about Romney — they always felt he faced an improbable path to victory — but are worried that Ryan’s vocal views about overhauling Medicare will be a millstone for other GOP candidates in critical House and Senate races.

Let’s get to the caveats: No one is asserting that Washington operatives in either party are oracles or seers. What’s more, it is not as if there is anything like unanimity in GOP circles about the merits of the Ryan pick, though the mood of anxiety and skepticism is overwhelming.

Most of all, if you are one of those people who thinks if someone has something negative to say, they should have the guts to put their name on it, you won’t find much to impress you in this article. Nearly all the Republican professionals interviewed for this story said they would share their unfiltered views only “on background” rules of attribution.

You can guess what the criticisms are: “too young;” “too radical;” and my favorite, “not ready to be president.” As if Joe Biden is ready for anything other than a straightjacket?? If this looks familiar, it’s because this is almost exactly what was done to Sarah Palin in 2008 by anonymous DC insiders who felt threatened by a genuine reformer and someone who wasn’t “in the club.”

Now it’s Paul Ryan’s turn: another young, charismatic reformer who actually believes one can be honest with the American people about the problems we face. More worried about preserving their cushy staff and consulting jobs than dealing with our looming fiscal train wreck, Republican “pros” run to Center-Left shill Politico to make their fears known (and suck up to the other side) –“But, oh, don’t quote me by name, but Ryan’s budget plan is just too radical, and his Medicare plan will scare the elderly, and… and… and can I still come to next week’s cocktail party?”

Bah! These “pros” make me want to puke.

Math. Doesn’t. Lie.

We are running out of time before the clock strikes midnight and we turn into a Greek pumpkin. The Republican ticket is the only one even close to offering a real solution, and yet these “wise old hands” are doing everything they can to tear it down — and for what? So they can a have a frisson of excitement from playing “Secret Source?” For a pat on the head and a reassurance that they’re still important?

As a friend suggested, I wonder how many of these “loyal-but” Republicans are ex-McCain campaign staffers?

God save us from our enemies, for our “allies” are bad enough.

RELATED: A similar story in The Hill. Ed Morrissey reports on an IBD article that argues Ryan’s plan is hardly radical, no matter what pants-wetting Republican insiders might say.

*I had another word in mind, beginning with “chicken,” but this is a family show.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Paul Ryan and the GenX Factor: An opportunity for the GOP with younger voters?

The USA Today reports on the Rep. Paul Ryan and his potential for bringing young voters to the GOP:

At 42, Paul Ryan is the first national candidate clearly on the GenX side of the generational line, closer in age to teen Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas than he is to 69-year-old Joe Biden, the man Ryan wants to replace as vice president.

Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s choice of the Wisconsin congressman as his running mate complicates for both parties a cross-generational argument that has largely been swinging between 20-something Millennials and seniors older than 65.

And it has sharpened the 2012 debate over the way Americans retire, get health care and care for the disadvantaged — and who pays for it. Substantively and symbolically, Ryan does this in a way that perhaps no other politician could have.

[…]

Ryan represents a new breed of politician willing to rewrite New Deal and Great Society promises. He favors limited-government solutions that might go beyond even those of Ronald Reagan, whom Ryan often quotes but was too young to ever vote for. His plan to cut federal spending by $5.3 trillion over the next decade and to gradually convert Medicare to a government subsidized program instead of a government-run one have long made him both a darling of the right and a target of the left.

[…]

Jay Zeidman, a co-chair of Maverick PAC, a Republican political action committee aimed at young professionals, said his group has seen an increase in Web traffic and sign-ups since Romney announced his selection. The 29-year-old said Ryan not only appeals to young voters because he’s young and energetic, but because he has the ability to start the conversation about entitlement reforms with a new generation of voters.

“He translates why it will matter to us,” Zeidman said.

Brad Dayspring, a senior adviser to the YG Action Fund, a conservative super PAC, said Ryan’s appeal is both style and substance.

“He’s the guy you’d see walking around the House, his ear buds in, listening to Led Zeppelin one minute — and then the next he is grilling Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on a complex budget issue,” Dayspring said.

[…]

Ryan is 6-foot-2, lean, with a clip of Wisconsin in his voice. He has been described as a workout fiend, and his energy and age — along with a young family — would automatically enhance the generational themes that imbue every campaign.

But his 27-year age gap with Biden will be striking when they debate in October. In Biden, the Democrats have a senior citizen messenger who can carry the attacks on Ryan and Romney to his own age cohort. By contrast, Ryan gives Republicans a youthful messenger who comes from a generation that will bear many of the costs of today’s decisions.

I am so looking forward to the coming weeks and watching the contrasts between O’Biden and Romney/Ryan play out on TV, in speeches, in ads, etc. and ultimately in the debates, but I’m especially interested in how the Ryan pick plays with younger voters – who are hard for conservatives to win over thanks to a pop culture that is overwhelmingly left wing in nature. I remember back in 2008 how fawning media types predicted Obama’s young age and his “cool factor” made him an “inspirational figure” for younger voters, which was especially frightening considering his radical left wing policy views. Those policy views have played out in a way that has not benefited the young people who pulled the lever for him the first time around. For example, youth employment is out of control, and ObamaCare will be paid for, in part, on the backs of youths who don’t have insurance and who won’t get it. Furthermore, young people in the future will be paying dearly for checks this administration has written on a whole host of other issues that it cannot cash.

Ryan is like any other politico who has made bad decisions along the way during his time on the US House, taking some stances on issues that have been at odds with the Tea Party. But once Obama took office and made health care “reform” his top priority, it looks as though Ryan turned his attention to the fact that this country is in danger of falling off of a fiscal cliff if it didn’t get its spending priorities in order, and he offered bold and debatable possible solutions to the table, saying: “Look at these. Let’s talk about it. Let’s put these tough issues on the table. Let’s be honest with the American people about where we stand.” In turn, Democrats have labeled Paul Ryan as a “radical right winger” who wants to “end Medicare”, and push old ladies off a cliff — standard scare tactics and talking points without a shred of actual evidence to back it up. In other words, while Ryan has tried to move forward with solutions, Democrats have offered more of the same. Their strategy is a war of words over actions. Ryan’s budgets have passed the US House. Can we say the same for Barack Obama? Nope.

But in doing all that he has in the last few years, Ryan has explained his positions in a plain-spoken way that has the potential to appeal to voters who are turned off and/or are confused by “politi-speak.” Not only that, but his charm, his genuinely easy-going nature, his good personality and looks, and his middle class background could make him a big hit with younger generations.

This is one of the main reasons I was so excited about Mitt Romney’s announcement that he had picked Paul Ryan. Conservative ideals can only continue to take root and advance if we have plenty of young people who are willing to fight the same battles we have, and Ryan’s veep candidacy brings me hope along those lines. Assuming Romney gets elected, and then re-elected, that’s 8 years for Paul Ryan to make the huge positive impact on younger generations that we know he can. And beyond that, who knows what the future holds?

I, for one, am eager to find out.

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Related Reading: Kerry Picket – Ryan’s generation x-cellent