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The race among Republicans for Speaker of the House is important because the only thing keeping Congress from sending an amnesty bill to Obama’s desk was John Boehner’s invoking of the informal Hastert Rule that he wouldn’t call an amnesty bill for a vote since a majority of House Republicans were against it. But that’s the Speaker’s call.

The frontrunner to succeed Boehner, Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, CA, represents the crops-rotting-in-the-fields donor class of Central Valley landowners who like a constant flow of fresh stoop laborers from south of the border so they can privatize profits and socialize costs (emergency room care, public schools, prisons, etc.). McCarthy has a terrible record on immigration.

But now McCarthy has suddenly dropped out of the race. The New York Times doesn’t offer much of a plausible explanation for why this just happened. But Charles C. Johnson’s Got News has a detailed theory. I certainly don’t know if it’s true, but it makes more prima facie sense than the NYT’s story.

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I actually like Mitt Romney, but I have no idea if he’ll make a good President. 

One concern I’ve heard is the notion that he’s a prime product of the general healthiness of Mormon culture. Mormons try to set up their lives to have a lot of good influences from other Mormons around them. But it gets pretty lonely in the White House, and it’s a new set of challenges. (Also, despite his looks, he’s not young anymore.)

By way of analogy, think of the late Neil Armstrong. He was a prime product of the general healthiness of mid-20th Century American culture (which Mormons continue continue to espouse, which is why they are considered so weird and creepy today). American culture had systems in place that produced a lot of competent, brave, altruistic, and modest people, few more so than Armstrong. And part of that modesty was that he didn’t much mind being viewed less as a unique superman and more as proof that the systems worked. He didn’t run for President.

Today, we have a sense that our society’s general systems don’t work that well, so we are more invested in longshot hopes placed upon space oddities like Obama.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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From Yahoo News, on the chairman of the upcoming Democrat Convention:

Is Antonio Villaraigosa poised to be America’s first Latino president? 

LOS ANGELES — When Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gavels the 2012 Democratic National Convention into session in Charlotte this September, his role as prominent cheerleader for President Obama will be clear. 

It is less clear, for now, if Villaraigosa has designs on the ultimate convention role in 2016–taking center stage to accept his party’s nomination on the final night.

I would think that a major downside in Villaraigosa’s mind when he considers the pros and cons of being President is the age of the news reporterettes who would cover him in the White House. Villaraigosa can never keep his hands off the lady media types assigned to him, but in L.A. they tend to be young ex-Miss USAs who have day jobs in local news while they try to break into the movies. (And here’s a previous reporterette who proved to be the last straw for the ex-Mrs. Villaraigosa.) But, in the White House, he’d be covered by veteran women who have clawed their way to the top over the decades, like Cokie Roberts and Helen Thomas. So, really, what’s in it for him, hot babe-wise? As Pascal, or maybe Woody Allen, said, the little head has its reasons of which the big head knows nothing.

A reader writes:

The media is scared that Romney is going to crush Obama in the white vote, and that the slip in the Hispanic vote is going to be enough to hurt Obama in southwestern swing states. These articles are discussing two city mayors, who both have flaws, as potential POTUS candidates in 4 years, which would be laughed out of the building in another time or western democracy. These articles are code for literate Hispanics to recognize that they are Democrats and must get in line like other members of the coalition of victims voting party.

Another possible motivation for these two articles so closely released is that it can focus on their Mexican roots, and deflect the possibility that the GOP just nominated a Cuban-American Hispanic for Senate over the establishment white guy in Texas and might be nominating a Cuban-American Hispanic for VP within the next month. It would be bad optics for the Dems if the GOP has two, great success stories involving Hispanics this month. Our mainstream media wants to focus on the difference between the GOP Hispanics and the Dem Hispanics, kind of like calling George Zimmerman a white Hispanic. They do this with female candidates. “Sure, the GOP rewards Latinos, but they aren’t really Latino”. After all, no one mentions how the GOP has 4 female govs to the Dems 2. The identity game is all disgusting, but the worst part is how it works.

This is also a stretch but a 3rd motivation is this: the Dems have no bench right now for the POTUS race in 2016. I’ve seen articles mention Cory Booker as apotential 2016 POTUS candidate (he’ll run for US Sen in 2014). Booker’s problem is that he is single, in his 40s, and despite being an Ivy educated and wealthy black man, just hasn’t found the right girl. That rumor is why black voters threw every rumor at him they could when he first ran for mayor of Newark because they couldnt publicly say, “we don’t like him because we think he’s gay”.

No worries about Villaraigosa on that regard!

Booker is the mayor of Newark, which is an absolute hell hole. The Dems have few statewide office holders that have the gravitas for the POTUS position (Govs of Oregon/Colorado are weird) or that the media could plausibly argue has gravitas as they did with Obama. That is why there is a lot of talk about Clinton running at the age of 69. She is all they have, but I think HD TV would destroy her visually unless they give her the Barbara Walters filter. 

Not quite, as they will have Gov. Andrew Cuomo sitting in the catbird seat as a two term governor with smarts, some lib bonafides, budgetcuttign bona fides and an aggressive attitude that his father never had. The Dem establishment doesn’t like Cuomo, but they may have to run him. He’d be a Romney type candidate for the Dems in 2016 (only there because of his dad). I actually don’t mind Cuomo, but he has a real big problem: he has a smarmy face you just want to punch. Smiling blank screen Latinos might be the way go to!

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Politicians 
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From the Washington Post:

Julian Castro, Latino mayor of San Antonio, to keynote DNC convention

By Nia-Malika Henderson, Tuesday, July 31, 6:01 PM 

Eight summers ago, a fresh faced politician took to the podium for a keynote address at the Democratic convention that launched him onto the national stage and a path to the White House. 

Among the viewers of then Sen. Barack Obama’s national debut was Julian Castro, now mayor of San Antonio, who will follow in Obama’s footsteps as keynote speaker at the Democratic convention this year in Charlotte. 

In picking Castro, Democrats are acknowledging the power of the Latino vote in the 2012 race for the White House and the changing demographics across the country. In attempting to fill Obama’s shoes, Castro, 37, is set to raise his national profile and lay the foundation for possible statewide or national ambitions. 

“He could be the first Latino President or Vice President and it would be reasonable to suggest that Julian would be well positioned to be the Democratic nominee for Texas Governor, ” said Walter Clark Wilson a professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio. 

Back in May 2010, I wrote a article about Castro as the next Obama-like Blank Screen to be touted for President, and pointing out what a joke this all was:

Despite all the national hype about Mayor Castro, he holds a largely meaningless job with few duties. “The daily business of San Antonio is conducted by a professional city manager,” Chafets notes. Indeed, San Antonio’s city manager is paid $275,000 annually, while the mayor earns about $3,000. Not surprisingly, only 9.83 percent of San Antonio’s registered voters bothered to vote in the Mayoral contest last year.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: 2012 Election, Politicians 
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A very old way to summarize politicians’ personalities is to speculate upon which section of the Sunday newspaper they would most look forward to reading. I believe Teddy Roosevelt joked that he always read the sports section first because it was the only place he had a 50% chance of being right.

For the rather opaque Mitt Romney, it seems likely that he would turn first to the business news.

Off the top of my head, I’ll give my impression of some other famous politicians:

Richard Nixon would likely have been most interested in the NFL news (he was well ahead of the rest of the country in his pro football obsession), international news, and domestic politics. 

Bill Clinton would read the entire newspaper, but would be most interested in the movie news.

Ronald Reagan would be most interested in the Op-Ed page. (Nobody seems to remember this about Reagan, but he really liked arguing. He made a perfectly good opinion page pundit himself between being governor and president.)

George W. Bush would turn to the sports page first during baseball season.

George H.W. Bush would be interested in the international page, the baseball, tennis, and golf news, and the business news.

More than other presidents, John F. Kennedy would turn to the society page. 

What about Obama? During NBA season, the sports page would be a priority. But I think what would be distinctive versus other presidents is that Obama would turn quickly to the book reviews, especially the new novels. The man has really good taste in contemporary literary fiction. 

One thing to note about Obama’s literary tastes are how WASP, even Congregationalist they are. According to Michiko Kakutani, his Facebook page during the last election said his favorite books were: “Shakespeare’s plays, Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” and Marilynne Robinson‘s “Gilead” are mentioned on his Facebook page, along with the Bible, Lincoln’s collected writings and Emerson’s “Self Reliance“”

Obama’s is about the WASPiest list imaginable. What’s interesting about this is not the politically obvious, unthreatening choices: Bible, Shakespeare, Lincoln, but the other three. 

There’s no diversity, other than that Marilynne Robinson is a woman, but she’s from Idaho and is a convert to Congregationalism. Indeed, Gilead, which won the Pulitzer Prize for 2004, is about an elderly Congregationalist minister in small town Iowa. I haven’t read any of Robinson’s three novels, but a few weeks ago I read the preface she’d written for some proto-feminist cult novel and … yes, she is an excellent essayist. 

I read Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” when I was 13 or 14 for Brother John Doran’s American Literature class, and I have to say that was the worst piece of prose style I’ve ever seen. I asked Br. John if we should try to write our essays in the manner of “Self-Reliance” and he half laughed, half harrupmhed: “Well, of course not. I’d flunk you if you wrote like Emerson. But, it’s an American classic, so you have to read it.”

We all read Melville’s most famous short story Bartleby the Scrivener, about a clerk who starves himself to death, which was a big hit with Br. John’s class. Bartleby’s relentless response to any and all entreaties:  “I would prever not to” quite appealed to the 1970s adolescent male mind.

When Obama went to the Martha’s Vineyard bookstore last summer, he bought Daniel Woodrell’s latest mystery novel. He’s the author of Ozark crime stories, such as Winter’s Bone, which provided most of what was good in the successful indie movie that launched Jennifer Lawrence’s career has a hillbilly hardass.

One recent book Obama has announced he is reading is The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by English author David Mitchell, author of the acclaimed Cloud Atlas. This is an attempt at a more commercial Shogun-style historical novel about the Dutch trading post in Nagasaki harbor during the Shogun period of 1601-1853. It helps you learn a little bit about the Dutch, a nationality whom Americans tend to think we must know all about, but generally don’t, and the Japanese. But the novel really takes off in the last quarter when an English Royal Navy frigate sails in (modeled upon the 1808 Nagasaki Harbor Incident). Mitchell ought to think about taking up the sea story mantle of C.S. Forrester and Patrick O’Brian. He’s brilliant at putting you inside the head of an extremely competent captain as he weighs courses of action and makes decisions in real time.

Obama’s two favorite things to do in the whole world are:

- walking to the bookstore and spend a leisurely afternoon browsing through the new titles;

- being President.

It’s kind of an odd combination.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Politicians 
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A commenter points us to this Intrade betting market chance showing Marco Rubio’s probability of being the Republican Veep spiking last week, before falling off a little bit. Today, Rubio endorsed Romney. Rubio is at 33% and nobody else is above 10%. I’m guessing that is somewhat due to punters hypothesizing in complicated fashions about the Trayvon thingie involving a White Hispanic in Florida. 

Helluva a way to pick a potential President …

Admittedly, I haven’t paid much attention to Rubio, but doesn’t he have Good-Looking Local Small-Timer written all over him? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The guy is only 40-years-old and doesn’t particularly appear to be a quick learner, either. 

I realize the neocons and the Tea Partiers both like him, but still … If he was the exact same guy, but just had an Italian rather than Spanish surname, I’d think he’d be getting talked up as a potential Lt. Governor, not as Vice-President heir apparent. 

Is this the best we can do?

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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Long-time Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich has lost in the Democratic primary. I never quite got his appeal, but the old dog must have had something going for him, as judging by Mrs. Kucinich, who now has time to fulfill her rightful destiny of starring in a syndicated TV show entitled “Boadicea, Warrior Queen.”
(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Politicians 
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In Taki’s Magazine, I review The Real Romney, the new biography of the candidate:

The Creepily Normal Mormon 

In his new book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, master social scientist Charles Murray flavors his statistical portrait of the widening gap between the classes with some human interest by referring to the bottom 30% of American whites as “Fishtown” (after the gritty Philadelphia neighborhood) and the upper 20% as “Belmont” (after the leafy Boston suburb). 

Perhaps coincidentally, Belmont, MA has been home for the last four decades to GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney and his lovely wife Ann, ever since Mitt was at Harvard earning his JD and MBA degrees. 

Indeed, this patrician paterfamilias is almost a cartoon embodiment of Murray’s thesis about elites losing touch with the rest of America …

Read the whole thing there.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Books, Politicians, Romney 
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Audacious Epigone looks through the federal campaign contribution database to find out whom individuals identifying their occupations as “lobbyist” have donated to:
Presidential candidate Lobbyist $
1. Rick Perry $25,500
2. Tim Pawlenty $11,770
3. Newt Gingrich $11,500
4. Mitt Romney $8,000
5. Rick Santorum $3,000
6. Herman Cain $2,500
7. Barack Obama $1,150
8. Jon Hunstman $500
9. Michelle Bachmann $250
10. Charles “Buddy” Roemer $100
So, the smart money, the professional insiders whose stock in trade is knowing which way the political winds are blowing, have invested most heavily in Rick Perry and longtime iSteve favorite T-Paw. Heckuva job, lobbyists!
By the way, is it too late for Mitch Daniels to jump in? I’ve got another anecdote about the famously sensible Indiana governor’s lifelong love affair with drugs that I haven’t used yet, and it would be a shame to have to wait until the next Presidential Timber rounds in 2015.
(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Politicians 
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So, Santorum won Iowa, Romney New Hampshire, and Gingrich South Carolina, with Paul hanging in there in all three. In other words, Republican voters haven’t made up their minds yet, and why is that so intolerable? 47 states haven’t had a say yet and the election isn’t for almost 300 more days. 
There’s such a market for media prognostications in election campaigns (Perry Is Obviously Unbeatable! Romney Has the Big Mo!) that there is always a lot of irritation when voters in the first few states don’t wrap things all up. But why shouldn’t primary campaigns go on for months and months like the Democrats in 2008?
Does it really do a party good to have momentum run away with the decision in the winter? For example, John F. Kerry’s sudden emergence as the Inevitable victor in the winter of 2004 didn’t do the Democrats any good. For about three weeks he appeared to be Mr. Unstoppable, but after that he just turned out to be as big a stiff as he’d been before his hot spell. John McCain fluked his way into the nomination by February 5, 2008 by winning narrowly in some winner-take-all states, and then just got older for the next nine months. 
The reforms that we really need are ones that would let new candidates get onto all future primary ballots after the first few states are done with. All we’ve learned so far is what we knew at this point in 2008: Romney seems like the most plausible President among the current contenders, but he doesn’t inspire many people.

In this Computer Age, there’s no reason that we need the huge lead times that dominate the current nominating process. The party that re-engineers the nominating process to be longer and more flexible, and thus more dramatic, would gain a modest advantage. In Presidential politics, nothing besides the economy, war, and whether or not the public is kind of sick of your party moves the needle much. But I could well imagine that the party that comes up with a primary process that climaxes in June rather than January on average might average a percentage point better in November over the long run.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Politicians 
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The NYT has an article on the upcoming House primary match between the San Fernando Valley’s two incumbent Democratic Congressmen, Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) and former House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman (D-Hollywood Hills), that completely misses the main news story: Why are two lavishly funded Jewish liberals with 44 years in the House between them having to slug it out for political survival when they had reigned in side by side Valley districts since 1997?
Because of the Hispanic Electoral Tsunami, that’s why. I read a half dozen articles per week about how the rising tide of Latinos will doom Republican politicians, but they are also taking districts away from white Democratic politicians, too, including full-time Friends of Israel like Berman and Sherman. But that concept would be too confusing and disturbing for NYT readers, apparently, to be fit to print.
After the 2000 Census enumerated the vast Hispanic population of the northeastern San Fernando Valley, it looked certain that either Berman or Sherman would lose his seat to a Latino. But Rep. Berman hired his brother to redistrict the entire state of California in a giant game of political Tetris. Mike Berman managed to craft two interlocking districts for Sherman and Berman in which there weren’t quite enough Latinos in either to mount a serious primary challenge. Sherman got many of the middle class parts of the Valley, amenable to his regular guy retail pol routine. Berman got a hi-lo district of the Hollywood Hills and the poorest, least likely to vote Mexican parts, since Berman’s idea of campaigning is a cocktail fundraiser at the Katzenbergs with Ehud Barak as special guest.

It was a brilliant solution to the Latino Threat, but all good things have to come to an end. Gov. Schwarzenegger put an initiative on the ballot handing redistricting over to a nonpartisan commission of citizens, in large part to prevent exactly this kind of insider dealing. It passed easily. After the 2010 Census, the commission said, in effect, “Hey, there are a lot of Hispanics in the northern and eastern parts of the Valley, so they should have their own Representative. And the white people who live in the Hollywood Hills and the western part of the Valley can have their own district. But, they’ll have to pick between Berman and Sherman. They can’t have both anymore because the Latinos get one seat.”

This time, Berman (who is a very smart guy: I tried to stump him with a question when I was 16 and he just swatted me away) and his old frat brother Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) have come up with a new solution: Sherman should move to the exurbs of Ventura County and run in a district that doesn’t have an incumbent, but that might go Republican in the fall. Sherman isn’t biting. He likes where he lives and doesn’t see why the Latino Tidal Wave should drive him to the exurbs.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Politicians 
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After Newt Gingrich’s frontrunnership implodes as people get bored for the umpty-umpth time with Newt’s incessant yammering, Republicans will need somebody new to fill the Anybody But Romney hot seat. Obviously, Ron Paul is unthinkable, so I’ve found the perfect modern Republican candidate. He’s handsome, he’s a successful politician, he has a Spanish-surname to appeal to the Hispanic Electoral Tsunami, and he appears to be as dumb as a box of rocks. 
Granted, he’s not, technically, an American, but that kind of nativist prejudice should have no place in our forward-looking GOP. I suppose you could also object that Enrique Peña Nieto is currently busy being the favorite for president of Mexico on the former ruling party’s PRI ticket, but clearly the GOP should make him an offer. You don’t find a perfect fit like this everyday. From the LA Times:

The front-runner in Mexico’s presidential race stumbled in a high-profile way at a world-class book festival on Saturday, when, over several minutes, he appeared unable to correctly name a book that’s influenced his life, besides the Bible. 

And even then, Enrique Peña Nieto fumbled, not citing an “author” or a prophet whose biblical verse has particularly touched him. Instead, he merely made a vague reference to “some passages of it.” 

He also confused the names of two well-known Mexican authors, Enrique Krauze and Carlos Fuentes, in a four-minute episode that ended with the candidate red-faced, saying, “The truth is, when I read a book I often don’t fully register the titles.”

He’s such a synergistic fit that maybe Peña Nieto could run on both the PRI and GOP tickets simultaneously. After all, as a great man from Texico might have said, “Literary values don’t stop at the Rio Grande.”

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Mexico, Politicians 
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At the VDARE blog, I write:

Central to contemporary Democrats’ self-image is their conviction that they are more intelligent and refined than Republicans. Thus, millions of Democrats fell hard after their 2000 and 2004 Presidential defeats for an absurd hoax claiming that Blue States like Connecticut have average IQs as much as 26 points higher than Red States like Utah. 

This may help explain why Bill Clinton is insistent that he personally “wrote and rewrote” his lumpish new book, Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy. Since, as the subtitle implies, Democrats are smart, a super-successful Democrat like Bill Clinton must be a natural prose stylist in little need of a competent ghostwriter. In reality, however, Clinton’s verbiage is embarrassingly amateurish, especially when compared to George W. Bush’s 2010 bestseller Decision Points. 

Clinton seems to believe that being able to extrude long sentences demonstrates intelligence. Thus, on p. 6 of Back to Work, I tripped over a sentence of 85 words. Forewarned, I began to track Clinton’s XXXL-size sentences. By page 20, I had found additional leviathans of 91, 105, 110, 98, 118, and a full 200 words. On pp. 23-24, Clinton discharged a blue whale of a sentence lasting 346 words, after which I gave up looking.

Read the whole thing there.
(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Books, Politicians 
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My new VDARE column is a review of the ex-President’s new book Back to Work. 

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Books, Politicians 
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The recently elected senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been talked up a lot as a VP nominee, because he’s handsome (which appears to be GOP priority #1 these days), has a Spanish-surname, and got his start working for a Cuban-American Congresswoman who is half-Sephardic by ancestry so you know he’s sound on the World’s Most Important Issue: West Bank settlements. 
Putting a Cuban on the GOP ticket to win the growing Mexican vote makes about as much sense as when Newt Gingrich got the House to pass a statehood for Puerto Rico bill in 1998 to win the Mexican vote. 

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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A few follow-ups to my earlier posting about James Q. Wilson’s review of Steven Pinker’s upcoming The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.
The “intelligent” v. “intellectual” distinction regarding Bush that some have accused Wilson of ignoring is a red herring because Pinker repeatedly explicitly refers to Presidents’ IQs, as guesstimated by Dean Simonton in 2006, a study that Pinker finds more authoritative than I do. So, Wilson is correct to point to more direct evidence of IQ (such as scores on IQ tests, admissions tests, and Yale grades) that is largely ignored by Simonton and Pinker in favor of ratings of the “integrative complexity” of samples of Presidents’ speeches. 
Of course, most of the Presidents didn’t write their own speeches, and they all had ulterior motives for whatever cognitive style they chose to project in their speeches. For example, Eisenhower successfully projected an image of bland Middle American straight-forwardness, when he was global strategist, a master Machiavel, “a far more complex and devious man than most people realized,” as Nixon admiringly noted.
Second, this isn’t an argument about how bright Bush was in an absolute sense, it is an argument about how bright Bush was relative to Kerry. As Howell Raines, former head man at the NYT wrote in the WP in 2004 in “The Dumb Factor:”

“Does anyone in America doubt that Kerry has a higher IQ than Bush? I’m sure the candidates’ SATs and college transcripts would put Kerry far ahead.”

In reality, there’s a whole bunch of evidence that Kerry is bright enough, but was overrated because he’s a liberal Democrat. For example, both went to Yale, where Bush’s grades were very slightly higher. Then Bush got into Harvard for his professional degree (not by much apparently, judging by how happy his parents are over the news in Oliver Stone’s fairly reliable biopic “W”). In contrast, Kerry, who was an antiwar celebrity already, had to get his professional degree at Boston College law school. One of his professors there remarked on the incongruity of seeing this glamorous figure in his plebian classroom. (Bush had more family pull, but John Forbes Kerry was hardly without connections, either.)
Finally, JFK (Kennedy, not Kerry) was a helluva guy. I like him. But what did Nixon have over him other than cunning and health? Charm? Physical coordination? Hair? Wit? Wealth? Family connections? Sex appeal? Nixon had nothing else going for him. 
The two men had been House freshmen together in 1947 and got to know each other fairly well. They had long seen each other as peers, rivals, and, to a certain extent, friends. And when they ran against each other in 1960, that was the voters’s judgment too: overall, in their very different ways, they matched up pretty well against each other.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: IQ, Politicians 
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Steve Camarota has done a very useful piece of research for the Center for Immigration Studies:

Governor Rick Perry (R-Texas) has pointed to job growth in Texas during the current economic downturn as one of his main accomplishments. But analysis of Current Population Survey (CPS) data collected by the Census Bureau show that immigrants (legal and illegal) have been the primary beneficiaries of this growth since 2007, not native-born workers. This is true even though the native-born accounted for the vast majority of growth in the working-age population (age 16 to 65) in Texas. Thus, they should have received the lion’s share of the increase in employment. As a result, the share of working-age natives in Texas holding a job has declined in a manner very similar to the nation as a whole. 

Among the findings: 

Of jobs created in Texas since 2007, 81 percent were taken by newly arrived immigrant workers (legal and illegal).  

In terms of numbers, between the second quarter of 2007, right before the recession began, and the second quarter of 2011, total employment in Texas increased by 279,000. Of this, 225,000 jobs went to immigrants (legal and illegal) who arrived in the United States in 2007 or later.  

Of newly arrived immigrants who took a job in Texas, 93 percent were not U.S. citizens. Thus government data show that more than three-fourths of net job growth in Texas were taken by newly arrived non-citizens (legal and illegal).  

The large share of job growth that went to immigrants is surprising because the native-born accounted for 69 percent of the growth in Texas’ working-age population (16 to 65). Thus, even though natives made up most of the growth in potential workers, most of the job growth went to immigrants.  

The share of working-age natives holding a job in Texas declined significantly, from 71 percent in 2007 to 67 percent in 2011. This decline is very similar to the decline for natives in the United States as a whole and is an indication that the situation for native-born workers in Texas is very similar to the overall situation in the country despite the state’s job growth. 

Of newly arrived immigrants who took jobs in Texas since 2007, we estimate that 50 percent (113,000) were illegal immigrants. Thus, about 40 percent of all the job growth in Texas since 2007 went to newly arrived illegal immigrants and 40 percent went to newly arrived legal immigrants.

A commenter in the one newspaper that has covered this study argues:

In reading the study, they came up with 2 sets of findings depending on how they compared the data: gross vs net showed 29% immigrant growth taking 81% of the new jobs and a net vs net comparison showed 31% immigrant growth taking 54% of the new jobs. The second finding is the more valid comparison (as noted above) but only the first is being reported in most of the media reports and headlines. 

An interesting part of their conclusion: 

“This analysis shows that job growth was significant in Texas. But, depending on how one calculates the impact of immigration, between 2007, before the recession began, and 2011 more than three-quarters or more than half of that growth went to immigrants. This is the case even though the native-born accounted for more than two-thirds of the growth in the working-age population. Some may argue that it was because so many immigrants arrived in Texas that there was job growth in the state. But if immigration does stimulate job growth for natives, the numbers in Texas would be expected to look very different. The unemployment rate and the employment rate show a dramatic deterioration in the Texas for the native-born that was similar to the rest of the country. Moreover, if immigration does stimulate job growth for natives, why have states that received so many new immigrants done so poorly in recent years? (See Table 2.) For example, unemployment in the top-10 immigrant-receiving states in 2011 averaged 8.7 percent, compared to 8.1 percent in the other 40 states. Moreover, unemployment is 7.2 percent on average in the 10 states where the fewest immigrants arrived since 2007. These figures do not settle the debate over the economics of immigration. What they do show is that high immigration can go hand in hand with very negative labor market outcomes for the native-born. And conversely the native-born can do relatively well in areas of lower immigration.”

So, I’m going to suggest caution in quoting that 81% figure. You can read the report here and make up your own mind.

In a 2006 article, I explained why the then-current boom in Las Vegas wasn’t doing American workers much good:

What [economist David] Card doesn’t grasp is that illegal immigration is denying Americans the traditional wage premium for undergoing the pain of moving to a boomtown.{NYT writer Roger] Lowenstein can’t see it either, as he writes: “Immigrants do help the economy; they are fuel for growth cities like Las Vegas …”

Imagine you are an American blue-collar worker in Cleveland, making $10 per hour. You know the local economy is stagnant, so you’re thinking about relocating to fast-growing Las Vegas. But your mom would miss you; and you’re not a teenager anymore so you don’t make new friends as fast as you once did; and you really like the wooded Ohio countryside you grew up around and the fall colors and the deer hunting; and there’s this girl that maybe you could get serious about, but her whole family is in Cleveland and she’d never leave. 

So, you decide, you’ll leave home behind if you can make 50 percent more in Las Vegas, adjusted for cost of living. That seems fair. 

But, then you look through the Las Vegas want ads and discover you’d be lucky to make 10 or 20 percent more because the town is full of illegal aliens. They’re moving from another country, so it’s not much skin off their nose to move to Las Vegas rather than some place slower-growing. 

Well, forget that, you say. I’ll stay in Cleveland. 

Unfortunately, too many economists forget that too. They can’t—or won’t—put themselves in other people’s shoes and see how the world really works. 

That doesn’t seem to hurt them professionally. But it can hurt America.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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… where’d the GOP get all these male model types? Rick Perry is 61 and Mitt Romney is 64. Scott Brown, who launched the GOP resurgence by winning Ted Kennedy’s seat, is 52, but looks like like a wily veteran big league pitcher of 37. And he really was a male model, posing nude in Cosmo in 1982 .

Heck, George Clooney looks older than these guys.
And, of course, on the distaff side there’s Bachmann and Palin.  
Do successful people not get old anymore, or does the GOP have some master plan to only run good-looking candidates? 

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Politicians 
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From my new VDARE column:

How did we wind up with another lightweight in the Oval Office? … 

Obama’s chief economic advisor Larry Summers complained repeatedly to a rival Administration economist, Peter Orszag: 

“’You know, Peter, we’re really home alone.’ Over the past few months, Summers had said this, in a stage whisper, to Orszag and others as they left the morning economic briefings in the Oval Office. … ‘I mean it,’ Summers stressed. ‘We’re home alone. There’s no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes.’” 

Of course, Summers, like Timothy Geithner, was one of those insiders who helped get the country into the financial mess that it’s in. But how was Obama—a man of so little financial acumen that he didn’t start putting his own retirement savings into a tax-sheltered SEP account until 2007, the head of a family that had kept going deeper into debt despite a $200,000+ income—supposed to out-argue the famous economist?

Read the whole thing there.
In the kingdom of the obtuse, the butterknife is the sharpest tool in the drawer.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: IQ, Obama, Politicians, Race 
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If you are a potential Republican Presidential candidate, you are likely to get your college transcript and/or test scores leaked to the press. For some reason that doesn’t seem to happen to Democratic candidates. 
For example, everybody in the media could just tell that John Kerry had higher grades at Yale than George W. Bush. In 1999, The New Yorker printed Bush’s GPA (77, a C+) and SAT score (1206, about 1300 post 1995. But nothing came out about John F. Kerry except a cryptic page in his data dump of military records recounting his scores on the Naval Officer Qualifying test in 1996. In 2004, I pointed out they were even lousier than Bush’s on the Air Force Officer Qualifying test in 1968. When asked about my analysis by Tom Brokaw, Kerry replied that he must have been out drinking the night before. In 2005, however, it emerged that Kerry’s grade point average at Yale was a 76.
While President Obama’s grades and test scores are carried around in the nuclear code football chained to an Air Force officer’s wrist (just kidding, nobody knows where they are), Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Texas A&M transcript has already been leaked, and he hasn’t even announced he’s running. It makes for pretty good reading. For example, Perry got a C in Phys. Ed. his fall semester of his sophomore year, but by his spring semester, he was all the way up to a B. So, he’s a quick learner.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Politicians 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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