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Jason Kurtz
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Hero to the lovers of $4 tomatoes!

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"But even a clumsy candidate might have beaten Obama if not for a simple factor that could not be overcome: the GOP’s growing extremism. The Republican strategy of making the election a referendum on the president’s handling of the economy was perfectly sound. The problem was that the Republican Party couldn’t pass the credibility test itself. For many voters disenchanted with Obama, it still was not safe to vote for his opponent.

This failure began with the spectacle of the extended primary season, which was dominated by candidates with views far outside the political mainstream. Rick Santorum rejected the separation of church and state. Newt Gingrich challenged the notion of judicial supremacy. Michele Bachmann claimed the government had been infiltrated by radical Muslims. Donald Trump refused to recognize the validity of Obama’s birth certificate. Rick Perry wanted to take down more parts of the federal government than he could successfully name. In the debates, the country saw the GOP talking to itself and sounding like a bizarre fringe party, not a responsible governing one.
 
Romney is not a right-wing extremist. To win the nomination, though, he had to feign being one, recasting himself as “severely conservative” and eschewing the reasonableness that made him a successful, moderate governor of the country’s most liberal state. He had to pass muster with his party’s right-wing base on taxes, immigration, climate change, abortion, and gay rights. Many of his statements on these issues were patently insincere, but that was hardly reassuring. Romney’s very insincerity and flexibility made it improbable that he would stand up to the GOP’s hyper-partisan congressional wing once elected any more than he had during the primaries.

Romney’s pandering to the base made it possible for the Obama campaign to portray him as a right-wing radical from the start of the campaign. Fear that he didn’t have the base locked down kept Romney from moving smoothly to the center once he had secured the nomination. It further encouraged his choice of Paul Ryan, a popular figure with the Tea Party. And when Romney tried, much too late, to move closer to the center, Republican Senate candidates, like Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, kept popping up with disgusting reminders of the GOP’s retrograde views on gender issues. For women, Latinos, and young voters tempted to abandon Obama, the old Romney might have been a plausible alternative. The new Romney, fettered by a feverish GOP, was too risky a choice.  According to exit poll results, Romney won men as expected, but lost among women by 11 points—too large a gender gap to be overcome."

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443819404577635534214396076.html - The other Amazon news will get all the press today, but in the long run this is more important for consumers.

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http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/revolt-of-the-rich/

"Yet for the president’s heresy of advocating that billionaires who receive the bulk of their income from capital gains should pay taxes at the same rate as the rest of us, Schwarzman said this about Obama: “It’s a war. It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.”  

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My Guardian piece on what the Apple-Samsung verdict may mean. Hint: It's very bad for competition. 

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