Archive for October, 2012

With political references like these…

October 30, 2012

The Washington Post is a newspaper that thrives on a readership that lives largely off big government. Over the thirty years that I have lived in Fairfax, Virginia never once has the Post endorsed a Republican for the White House. This time is no different, though the tone of the Editorial was lukewarm to cold. ‘We recommend Obama while pinching our nose tightly in order to avoid the stench!’

Two leading columns published on October 29, 2012, summarize Beltway reservations about the man revered by the Post as the Second Coming of the Messiah in October 2008.

The first column is by Richard Cohen, a left-leaning Jewish columnist who tends to be more fair-minded than some of his far-left colleagues (Eugene Robinson and Etienne Dionne). Cohen adored Robert F. Kennedy and , in today’s column, he compares and contrasts RFK with Barack Obama”

“Kennedy had huge causes. End poverty. End the war. He challenged a sitting president over Vietnam. It could have cost him his career. It did cost him his life…Obama never espoused a cause bigger than his own political survival.  This is the gravaman of the indictment from the left, particularly certain African Americans…On the movie screen, Robert F. Kennedy’s appeal was obvious: authenticity. He cared. He showed it.  People saw that and cared about him in return. With Obama, the process is reversed.  It’s hard to care about someone who seems not to care in return…after watching Bobby Kennedy, I will vote for Obama with regret.  I wish he was the man I once mistook him for.” Richard Cohen, ‘The president who doesn’t care’, The Washington Post, October 29, 2012

Michael Gerson is a middle-of-the-road columnist who has not yet committed to either presidential candidate. Here are some of his expressed reservations about the Messiah’s behavior with respect to the passage of Obamacare:

“Obama placed a highly ideological debate on the size and role of government at the center of U.S. politics.  He contributed to extreme polarization in Congress and the public.  He exhausted his political capital on an issue that had little to do with the immediate economic crisis the country was facing.  He invited the backlash midterm election of 2010 – including the loss of 63 Democratic House seats – which effectively ended the creative period of his presidency. Obama achieved all of this with a quick and dirty legislative shove that further discredited the political process.  The final bill was passed through a maneuver – the reconciliation process – that embittered opponents and assured that a future GOP majority would engage in retribution….Obama tends to overestimate his own negotiating skills with Congress, which are poor…When the ideological stakes are highest, Obama jettisons bipartisanship with little thought or regret….Obama’s largest achievement turned out to be self-indictment.  He has not shown the leadership skills or the inclination to create consensus around large issues.” Michael Gerson, ‘In victory, Obama failed’, The Washington Post, October 29, 2012

With references like those from columnists initially sympathetic to his presidency, one can see why the Messiah struggles. A Messiah who apparently does not care for his own flock  can scarcely expect his flock to rally to his side when the multitude gathers to determine whether or not he should be electorally crucified.

Obama administration sets up US consulate in Benghazi for al Qaeda attack

October 29, 2012

As more information percolates into the public arena about the debacle in Benghazi, the worse it looks for Barack Obama.

This column focuses attention on the build-up to September 11, 2012, and suggests that the United States President was directly implicated in that fatal attack.

The story begins last winter, when the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli began to report back to Washington about the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi. As pro-Western Libyans attempted to form a fledgling democracy, so al -Qaeda-linked militants emerged to exploit the evident power vacuum.

Army National Guard Lt. Colonel, Andrew Wood was well aware of the growing threat to the Benghazi consulate and regularly relayed his concerns to Washington, without any discernible effect.

By June 2012, the Benghazi consulate compound consisted of one fragile wall and four under-secured buildings. It was guarded by five U.S. security officials, a few Libyan private security guards, and the Libyan February 17 Martyrs Brigade, which quartered in a nearby CIA annex.

The Tripoli Embassy watched and, under Obama administration orders,  did nothing as militants stepped up their attacks in Benghazi.  The International Red Cross buildings were repeatedly attacked, until the red Cross shut down its Benghazi relief operations.  A former Libyan guard turned terrorist  placed a home-made bomb at the U.S. consulate wall and blew a huge hole in that wall.  There was no response. Terrorists then attacked the British ambassador, with the consequence that Britain immediately evacuated all its personnel from Benghazi.

The United States, under direct orders from Washington, remained as the only Western power in Benghazi. Colonel Wood fought a useless long-distance battle of emails and phone calls with the State Department, begging the government to beef up its security presence. His requests were repeatedly denied by Christine Lamb, an Obama hack in charge of international programs in the State Department’s mis-named Bureau of Diplomatic Security.

By August 2012, Colonel Wood and his three site security teams had been pulled out of Libya, no doubt because he had irritated the Obama administration, perhaps even the President.  Also gone were three of the State Department’s mobile security teams,  pulled out on the instructions of the same Christine Lamb.

Ambassador Stevens had also been reporting repeatedly to the Department of State  about increasing violence if Benghazi. On September 11, 2012, in his last words to Washington, Ambassador Stevens expressed growing frustration with police and security forces unable to control Benghazi. Two hours later, the Benghazi consulate suffered the consequences of Obama and his administration cutting and running from Benghazi in favor of campaign-time for the  November 6 presidential elections.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, David Petraeus and Christine Lamb, your hands are all running with the blood of patriotic Americans. Like Lady Macbeth, you will never be able to wash all that blood from your guilty hands.

Hat Tip: Rowan Scarborough, ‘Lack of Strike Force impeded Benghazi response’, The Washington Times, October 29, 2012

Corrupted by disability entitlements

October 28, 2012

Since 1948, male labor force participation has plummeted in the United States from 89 per cent to 73 per cent.  Today some 27 per cent of adult men do not consider themselves part of the workforce.  Indeed, labor force participation ratios for men in the prime of life are now lower in America than in Europe.

A major factor behind this low participation ratio is the defrauding of disability entitlements.  In 1960, an average of 455,000 workers were in receipt of disability payments.  In 2011, this average had climbed to 8.6 million – more than four times the number of individuals receiving basic welfare benefits under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Of those securing disability transfers in 2011, , nearly 50 per cent were disabled because of ‘mood disorders’ or ailments of the ‘musculo-skeletal system and the connective tissue’. It is all but impossible to disprove an individual’s claim to be suffering from sad feelings or back pain!

In 1960, approximately 134 Americans were engaged in gainful employment for every officially disabled ‘worker’. By December 2010, there were just over 16 gainfully employed workers for every officially disabled ‘worker’.

How can this be, given the dramatic improvements  in public health and the massive reduction in physically demanding work?  The answer, in large part, is that disability has become an important profession across the United States.

Between January 2010 and December 2011, the U.S. economy created 1.73 million non-farm jobs. Over the same period, it created 790,000 additional disability recipients. Lest we suppose that this is a product of the recession, it is noteworthy that, over the 15 years ending in December 2011, the United States added 8.8 million non-farm private sector jobs. Over the same time period, it added 4.1 million ‘workers’ on the disability rosters.

For such corruption to occur, a networked conspiracy must be sustained between individuals who do not wish to work, and doctors, and  health care professionals who certify dubious disability claims. The conspiracy network must also extend to a judicial system that sets disability standards capable of sustaining such a level of fraud.

‘Shirkers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose except your conscience!’

But do be careful not to be seen on the golf course, or playing the pool table. And never smile in public. Remember how difficult it is to bend those badly disabled backs, and how dark and unforgiving the world around you always appears to be.

Hat Tip: George F. Will, ‘The Gimme Society’, The Washington Post, October 28, 2012


David Petraeus and Leon Panetta refuse to help consulate during Benghazi attack

October 27, 2012

David Petraeus, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Leon Panetta, Defense Secretary, evidently have forgotten the commitment that runs through the United States military system: never leave anyone behind.  The two bumbling Obama appointees  allegedly rejected repeated requests for CIA and Delta Force  help during the attack on the Benghazi consulate by terrorist forces.

Fox News has learned, from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi, that an urgent request went out from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and the subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself. Both requests apparently were denied. The CIA Director twice told the CIA operators to stand down rather than help the Ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 pm in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.

Former Navy SEAL, Tyrone Woods and at least two other CIA agents, ignored those disgraceful orders and made their way to the consulate, which at that point was on fire.  Shots were exchanged.  The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained and radioed once again for military back-up support. This request also was denied.

The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours – enough time for planes based at Sigonella Air Base, just 480 miles distant, to arrive. Those planes were not dispatched.  Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special Operations forces were ordered to wait, among them Delta Force operatives.

If these allegations hold up, whether or not President Obama wins the November elections, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and CIA Director David Petraeus should be fired for cause. America does not desert its operatives when they come under fire. That is known as cowardice, and would have been  rewarded by firing squad executions in better times.

P.S. I strongly recommend readers to read the comment by Commander Robin Petersen, USN. There is something badly wrong in the state of Denmark!

United Kingdom did not suffer double-dip recession

October 26, 2012

Britain’s economy grew 1 per cent between the second and third quarters of 2012 according to official statistics, following two quarters of allegedly negative growth.  Keynesian economists across the globe – most notably the left-leaning Lawrence Summers – have been gloating and salivating about this so-called double-dip recession – in the Financial Times and the Washington Post claiming that Britain’s austerity program was the cause and that some big-time government spending was the absolutely essential solution.

In reality, it now appears that the British economy has been growing, albeit sluggishly, throughout 2012. Most notably, the extremely long Jubilee Bank Holiday distorted the statistics. Once the distortions are accounted for, the economy will be seen to have grown steadily at about 0.3 per cent throughout the first three quarters of 2012.

No economist, Keynesian or other, would expect an austerity program immediately to elevate the growth rate of an economy. As public sector employment declines it takes time for private enterprise to pick up the slack. However, as the debt crisis diminishes, and as debt downgrades are avoided, interest rates remain lower than would otherwise be the case. And that is the oxygen required for private venture capital to create long-term jobs and wealth.

Green shoots are discernible in the latest statistics. The UK service sector grew at a relatively vigorous 1.3 per cent in the third quarter. Output in production industries – including oil extraction and manufacturing – rose 1.1 per cent. Only construction output declined, and that is predictable given the over-expansion of that sector during the last Labor Government.

Well done, Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, for maintaining a steady course through the transition squalls. You are now in calmer waters due, not least, to the steadfastness of your commitment to cleaning up the debt crisis that you inherited from your predecessors.

China shuffles its military deck of cards

October 25, 2012

Two weeks prior to the meeting of the 18th Congress, where China will announce its new Standing Committee of Seven that will constitute its central autocracy for the next decade (in the absence of a successful coup d’etat or civil war) the current Standing Committee of Nine has re-shuffled the deck of cards that comprises its military top brass. The shake-up is significant, with military leaders moving up and down the deck in a move that demonstrates the internal turmoil within and between the current and upcoming leadership coalitions within the Communist Party.

Two major factors have triggered this deck re-reshuffle. First, and most important, is the increasing military aggression of the Inner Kingdom, not least in the South China Sea, and the shift required of this aggression from army-based to naval-based and aircraft-based dominance within the Central Military Commission. The second is the recent emergence in  and removal of the Joker from the CPC pack of cards, namely Bo Xilai, the Supreme Villain about whom nothing further need now be said, save to note that any military official closely linked to Bo Xilai henceforth will exercise no role – other than that of a coup d’etat –  in the upcoming deck of cards.

On October 23, 2012, a mouthpiece for China’s Defense Ministry announced that General Ma Xiaotian has been appointed as air force chief – all but guaranteeing him one of the 12 seats on the Central Military Commission.  General Ma is a sycophant to the CPC leadership, He has served loyally as deputy chief of general staff, and is considered a safe pair of hands, far-distanced from Bo Xilai.

Simultaneously, the Defense Ministry announced that General Zhang Yang has been appointed as head of the armed forces’ powerful General Political Department – another post that all but guarantees the occupant a seat on the Central Military Commission.  General Zhang was a dark-horse candidate for the position. His star rose as Bo Xilai’s declined.  His appointment essentially rules out top brass roles for two generals who were close to Bo Xilai – General Liu Yuan and General Zhang Haiyang .  General Zhang has shown a considerable talent for staying out of politics, and for deferring unquestioningly to any clear signal from the Standing Committee of  Nine.

Premier Hu, despite the fact that he will step down as president within the next two weeks, is expected to retain the chairmanship of the Central Military Commission. The new president, Xi Jinping, will serve as deputy chairman to that Commission, thereby ceding dominance to his predecessor over a crucial aspect of CPC policy..

Behind the scenes, the card deck re-shuffle is the outcome of a power struggle between past president Jiang, current president Hu, and upcoming president, Xi. Jiang – the pro-market reformer who consolidated on the reforms introduced by Deng – is the most attractive of the three from a Western perspective. Hu has proved to be something of a socialist retread, dampening market reforms and promoting government enterprise. Xi is a princeling blank sheet, who must have panicked at the rise of Bo Xilai, and whose principal goal during the coming 10 years will be to loot as much wealth for his extended family as is compatible with political survival.  Xi has performed modestly well in the wealth stakes so far. His extended family has purloined some $1.4 billion, most of which is secreted, together with his offspring,  outside the Inner Kingdom.

Given the refocusing of China’s military power on naval and air forces and materiel, President Obama should be much less dismissive than he was this week in Florida about reducing the number of naval vessels in the U.S. fleet. He might want to review the U.S. fleet situation after Pearl Harbor, when the United States could not effectively pursue an aggressive naval policy simultaneously in the Atlantic and the Pacific theaters. If the U.S. fleet is preoccupied with the Pacific in coming years, what will happen in the Mediterranean if the Middle East does erupt into serious unrest?

The Central Military Commission will retain no doubt whatsoever  that the number of blue-ocean vessels matter, Mr. President. And the Commission will be be the one that calls the shots in that theater, not you,  or your successor, if current U.S.  fleet reductions are implemented.

The Cato Institute in transition: Ed. Crane steps down

October 24, 2012

After 35 years of building  The Cato Institute into the leading libertarian think tank in the world, Ed. Crane  stepped down from its presidency in October 2012 at age 68.

Ed Crane founded the Institute in San Francisco in 1977 with money provided by Wichita businessman and libertarian Charles Koch.  His initial budget was $800,000 and his staff numbered 10 dedicated souls. In 1981, he relocated the think tank to Washington in order to promote the case for small government in the heart of Satan’s city.  Cato’s annual budget is now $21 million and its staff is now 127.  Funding is now far more diversified, with the Koch Brothers providing a relatively small amount of the total budget. Credit for this expansion and budget diversification is largely due to Mr. Crane.

Ed Crane has provided exceptional leadership to the Institute, allowing his scholars to pursue their independent paths to freedom. For this reason more than any other, The Cato Institute has muscled its way into the top echelons of media influence, holding its own both when libertarian views are popular and when they are less so. Audiences flock to his conferences and readers revel in his publications because they largely trust the honesty and good judgment of those who toil under his benificent leadership.

Ed Crane’s final months at Cato were marred by an aggressive bid for control over The Cato Institute by Charles and David Koch, who seized on the 2011  passing of William A. Niskanen,  Chairman of the Institute,  to claim a two-third majority in the voting shares that controlled the nonprofit organization. The Koch Brothers initiated court action in Kansas to enforce their claims.

Wisely, Ed Crane negotiated a deal with the Koch Brothers that replaced the share system with a self-sustaining board of directors, more traditional in the nonprofit world. To complete the deal, he generously fell on his own sword .  Hence, there follows a retirement that comes well before its time.  His successor – at least for the time-being – is John Allison, the former CEO of BB & T Bank.

Lovers of liberty will watch warily as The Cato Institute transitions into its new organization. No one can replace Ed. Crane, great champion of liberty that he is. Hopes must rest on the willingness of the Koch Brothers to keep their distance, and on the ability and willingness of John Allison to preserve and protect the esteem of this great free market institute.

To Ed Crane, all lovers of liberty  will send this heart-felt message:

Tibi salutem damus!  We salute you!

Decisive win for Romney in the third debate

October 23, 2012

The third presidential debate – primarily on foreign policy – should have been an easy victory for an incumbent president.  After all the President has been center-stage in making foreign policy. Challengers frequently show themselves to be less well-informed and less confident. In consequence they tend to look less presidential.

Not so in this debate. Governor Romney from the outset exuded a mastery of detail and a confidence in communication that demonstrated presidential caliber. In contrast, President Obama utilized an aggressive slash and burn approach that simply diminished his stature.

Throughout the debate, Romney avoided the pitfall of making statements that might brand him as a bellicose warmonger. For the most part, he  stayed close to current American policies, while repeatedly underscoring the importance of a strong economy for a credible U.S. foreign policy. He focused always on the big picture and on the future. Too often the President was reduced to making small points and slashing at alleged past statements by the Governor.

To my mind, the most telling thrust by Romney was that emphasizing the importance of Israel to U.S. foreign policy and noting the daylight between the two countries engineered by the President. “Your apology tour of the Middle East, Mr. President, omitted Israel. That omission was noted throughout the Arab world.’

The second most telling thrust by Romney was his forthright warning to China that a Romney administration would immediately brand the country as a currency manipulator, thereby allowing the introduction of trade sanctions.  This will be welcome news in the mid-West where so many jobs have been lost to artificially cheap imports, counterfeiting and intellectual theft.

One could sense how the debate was going by the features of the two candidates. Throughout the debate, Governor Romney smiled without smirking, and hugged the high ground in repartee. The President began with a smile and a confident delivery. As the debate proceeded his face became taut to the point of meanness, his smile disappeared and his neck muscles bulged with irritation.

Governor Romney did not offer any red meat to the bellicose  right-wing of his party in this debate. But that would have been a strategic error. Americans, at this moment in time, are not looking for new wars. They pray fervently for peace. Both candidates leaned into that prayer, albeit acknowledging that any attack on Israel, by any nation or group, would be met by US military  retaliation. And that is as it should be.

A good debate with meaningful commentaries by both candidates. A clear win for Governor Romney.

George McGovern: Why Mr. Smith should never go to the Oval office

October 22, 2012

In 1939, Hollywood premiered a movie entitled: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. The movie features James Stewart as an ultimately naive Leader of the Boy Rangers who, because a coin toss ends balanced on its edge, makes his way to Washington, DC as Senator. The movie depicts how Mr. Smith transforms the Senate from corruption to high-mindedness because, in his naivety, he refuses to back down under pressure, and exposes the dirty dealing that is so deeply embedded in that chamber of government.

Hollywood movies rarely embrace reality. Hollywood producers are far too isolated from the real world to be able to understand the forces truly at work outside their artifactual studios. The world of Hollywood is the world that could produce and promote Argo, a  make-belief movie about a fictional world.

The example of George McGovern clearly shows that Mr. Smith should never go to Washington. For McGovern was the ultimate naif, a decent but unworldly man who went for the White House gold and very quickly came to serious grief.

George McGovern was born in July 1922 in the farming hamlet of Avon, South Dakota, the son of a minor-league second baseman turned Methodist minister.  He died aged 90 years in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. South Dakota and corn was his natural habitat. Indeed, one of his two important contributions would be the programs he co-sponsored with Bob Dole to  feed the hungry –  food stamps in the United States  in the 1960s and international feeding programs in the 1990s, – and the food programs that he directed first on behalf of the Kennedy administration and later for the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program.

His other important contribution came much earlier during World War II when he flew 35 missions over Europe as a bomber pilot,deservedly winning the US distinguished flying cross for services to his country. Unfortunately, this wartime contribution turned George McGovern into a fully-blown pacifist, a naive position to take in the middle of a dangerous Cold War.

McGovern served two terms as Democratic Party Congressman for South Dakota, between 1956 and 1960, lost the 1960 election, but returned to Washington in 1962 this time to the US Senate, where he focused primarily on what mattered to South Dakota, namely agricultural issues.  By 1965, however, McGovern was in full-throated, anti-war rhetoric, co-sponsoring several resolutions to bring the Vietnam War to an early end.

When Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated McGovern was urged to step into his shoes for the 1968 presidential election. However, his candidacy never really surfaced in the maelstrom of the Chicago convention debacle.  Undeterred, McGovern decided to run again in 1972, riding the wave of anti-Vietnam demonstrations and flower-power philosophy.  He became known as ‘the candidate of acid, abortion and amnesty.’

However, supported by Hollywood far-left celebrities such as Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty, and organized by future Democratic Party stars such as Gary Hart, Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham, McGovern’s campaign amazingly gathered steam. He beat out a slew of better-known candidates – Ed. Muskie, Eugene McCarthy and Hubert Humphrey – and was nominated for the Presidency in Miami Beach by what can only be called the far-left rump of the Democratic Party.

And then, inevitably, he met his Waterloo. Almost without campaigning, Richard Nixon thrashed George McGovern in the most one-sided presidential election in the history of the Republic.  Nixon won the popular vote by 61 per cent to 38 per cent and he won the Electoral College by  520-17. The only state that George McGovern carried was the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.

Thereafter, George McGovern’s name became a byword for lost causes and radical politics.  America was spared from international disaster by the wisdom of its electorate. With George McGovern in the White House in 1972, Soviet troops might well have marched down Constitution Avenue and the Hammer and Sickle might well have flown at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

No, Mr. Smith should never go to the White House. His proper place is with the Boy Rangers or  in taking care of  corn crop subsidies for South Dakota.

Economic recovery and presidential steel essential to effective U.S. foreign policy

October 21, 2012

The foreign policy of the United States has unraveled during the first term of President Obama. In the Middle East, the United States has sacrificed loyal allies – Mubarak in Egypt and Gaddaffi in Libya – while leaving known enemies – North Korea, Iran and Syria – untouched.  The Russians and the Chinese are openly contemptuous of a weak and stumbling one-time giant. In short, the United States is now regarded much as it was regarded in 1976-1980, the Jimmy Carter years.

This rising contempt truly reflects history repeating itself.  Jimmy Carter allowed the United States to be rolled by the Mad Mullahs in Iran and by the USSR in Afghanistan. No wonder that  Allan Drury was writing novels that depicted Russian troops marching down Constitution Avenue  (Come Ninevah-Come Tyre). Barack Obama has allowed the United States embassy to be threatened in Cairo and the United States consulate to be rolled in Benghazi without a single Black Hawk raining messages of death down on those threatening, firing and bombing American property and living Americans. What does he think is brewing for U.S. interests in Israel and across the Gulf states?

A common factor in 1976-1980 and 2008-2012 is weakness in the presidency. Neither Jimmy Carter nor Barack Obama is viewed as a Julius Caesar or a Ronald Reagan, a fearless imposer of the Pax Romana and the Pax Americana across a respectful  and fearful world. In itself, that is good reason for Americans to think twice before electing Obama to a second term. Barack Obama does not possess the steel in his soul to demand of any evil Empire that it must reform itself from within or confront American might at its gates.

A second common factor, however, is the state of America’s economy. Over the period 1976-1980, America suffered from serious stagflation – high rates of unemployment and high rates of inflation coupled to low rates of economic growth.  With insufficient treasure the Eagle’s talons would not be red with the blood of those who openly invaded its interests. Over the period 2008-2012, an American Eagle bleeding from its self-induced financial crisis and staggering under a failed Keynesian response, is viewed as a stumbling creature, with clipped wings and blunted talons.

So in tomorrow’s presidential debate over foreign policy, viewers should focus on  two issues. First, is a ruthless comparison of the valence characteristics of the two candidates. Who will be the more feared on the international stage, and why? Who has the greater steel in his spine? Who is more likely to unleash the dogs of war, should American interests fundamentally be challenged? Second, is a ruthless comparison of the salient economic policies of the two candidates. Who is more likely to provide a framework for economic growth that will form the basis for an effective foreign policy. Because with insufficient treasure, the American eagle cannot fly.

In 1980, in a truly dangerous world, the American people chose wisely. Ronald Reagan and not Jimmy Carter would lead America back from weakness to strength, from contempt to respect based on fear. And on the world stage, respect based on fear is the only important quality. Jimmy Carter’s expressed ‘love’ for all mankind quickly turned to contempt among those who bore no good will to America, and never would.

In 2012, let us pray that Americans once again will choose wisely, in order to return the United States from weakness to strength, from contempt to respect based on fear. The choice is not as easy this time round. For Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan. But he is the better of the two candidates, because his policies will bring treasure to America and treasure converts into foreign policy strength always provided that the president is not a Jimmy Carter,  peanut-farmer wimp.