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Chad’s Morning Brief: Mitt Romney on Foreign Policy, Tax Increase on Beer, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of October 9, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11 am.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

1. Romney’s Speech (link)

Mitt Romney gave a great foreign policy speech yesterday. Romney outlined his own views on foreign policy as well as criticized President Obama’s approach. According to Reuters:

Romney, speaking before the white-uniformed cadets at Virginia Military Institute, questioned Obama’s handling of the episode in Libya last month in which U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed after the U.S. consulate in Benghazi came under militant attack.

The former Massachusetts governor also accused Obama of failing to use U.S. diplomacy to shape events in Iran, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Russia and elsewhere.

“The president is fond of saying that, ‘The tide of war is receding,’” Romney said. “And I want to believe him as much as anyone. But when we look at the Middle East today … it is clear that the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the president took office.”

Romney’s speech was short on specifics, but in broad terms he laid out his national security priorities before the second of his three debates with Obama, which will be at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on October 16 and will include discussion of foreign policy.

Romney also said he would increase military assistance and coordination with Israel, which has threatened a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.

Romney pledged that his administration would work to find elements of the Syrian opposition who share U.S. values and ensure they obtain weapons needed to defeat President Bashir al-Assad’s forces. Syrian rebels have accused the United States and Western allies of sitting on the sidelines of the conflict.

“Iran is sending arms to Assad because they know his downfall would be a strategic defeat for them,” Romney said. “We should be working no less vigorously with our international partners to support the many Syrians who would deliver that defeat to Iran – rather than sitting on the sidelines.”

Romney sounded Presidential and more importantly, he sounded like a leader. It’s been a while since we’ve had someone in the Oval Office that wanted America to lead. Did you hear the speech? What did you think?

2. Beer Tax Increase? (link)

The Center for Public Policy Priorities wants to help out struggling schools. The liberal think tank is calling on Texas to raise taxes on beer in order to help fund education.

The proposal would not change the sales tax on bottled or canned beer. It would only apply to sales of draft beer – currently a $6 tax on a 31-gallon barrel. Lavine said the tax increase should keep up with the price of beer, which he added has nearly doubled since 1984.

It’s just one example of ways more revenue could be raised if lawmakers modernize the tax code, Lavine said.

The CPPP has not suggested how much the beer tax increase should be or how much money it could rake in. Lavine said the dollars generated could aid schools.

The idea falls flat with some Republican lawmakers who deal with school finance issues. Democrats have generally supported restoring the $5.4 billion in cuts to public education made last session to help decrease a massive revenue shortfall.

We all know that raising the tax on the barrel would increase the price for consumers as well. With that said, I don’t think this proposal will be taken seriously.

3. Is It Over? (link)

Democrats continue to freak out about President Obama and his debate performance last week. Andrew Sullivan is still one of those freaking out and now he wonders if Obama just tossed the entire election away.

Look: I’m trying to rally some morale, but I’ve never seen a candidate this late in the game, so far ahead, just throw in the towel in the way Obama did last week – throw away almost every single advantage he had with voters and manage to enable his opponent to seem as if he cares about the middle class as much as Obama does. How do you erase that imprinted first image from public consciousness: a president incapable of making a single argument or even a halfway decent closing statement? And after Romney’s convincing Etch-A-Sketch, convincing because Obama was incapable of exposing it, Romney is now the centrist candidate, even as he is running to head up the most radical party in the modern era.

I have to admit, it’s pretty funny reading this and other stories like it. Either Democrats really are running scared or they are trying to act like it’s over in order to rally support. Either way, this election isn’t over.

4. Gallup Economist on Job Numbers (link)

A lot of people are questioning the job numbers that were released on Friday. The latest is an economist with Gallup.

Gallup’s chief economist says that Friday’s jobs numbers should be “discounted” and suggests a new method of measuring unemployment that would paint a more accurate employment picture.

“The government’s Establishment survey shows there were 114,000 new jobs created in September — very close to the consensus of 113,000 — and not sufficient to lower the unemployment rate,” Dennis Jacobe wrote Friday.

“Friday’s BLS report of a drop to 7.8% in the Household survey seemed to surprise everyone, as has been the case on many occasions this year.”

Jacobe sounded a skeptical note about the nearly 900,000 jobs created, as reported by the Labor Department’s seasonally adjusted household survey.

“This surge in hiring seems surprisingly large given the current economy,” Jacobe wrote.

“The obvious conclusion is that a new employment measure is needed,” he added later.

Thoughts?

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These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11 am on NewsTalk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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