Archive for August, 2012

Notre Dame and the U.S. Naval Academy In Ireland: Football Season Opener on Sept. 1, 2012

August 31, 2012

American visitors wait in line for the Book of Kells at Trinity College Dublin today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

American visitors wait in line for the Book of Kells at Trinity College Dublin today. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times


With the evenings getting shorter and the children back to school, it’s a sure sign summer is over. The Electric Picnic kicks off today, and the sold-out Navy vs Notre Dame game is on tomorrow. If you didn’t get tickets to either, there’s plenty of events happening around the country this weekend.

Notre Dame vs Navy events

If you couldn’t get tickets to the Notre Dame vs Navy Game in the Aviva, there are a number of related events taking place in Dublin city centre. Between 10am and 1pm there is live entertainment at the Meeting House square. At 11am the Notre Dame pipe band will perform at the Central Bank plaza. Hundreds of American football fans are expected to gather in Temple Bar to watch the big game. Notre Dame vs Navy

From The Irish Times

When Notre Dame and the U.S. Naval Academy square off in their football season opener on Sept. 1, the Fighting Irish will have an unusual home-field advantage. The game is being played in Dublin at the Emerald Isle Classic. But the teams will be on equal footing when it comes to travel arrangements. Dallas-based Anthony Travel Inc. is handling the trip for both athletic departments and the more than 10,000 loyal fans trekking to Ireland from all 50 states and Canada. read more

Saturday is game day, but students and fans won’t be filling Notre Dame Stadium for the first game of the season against Navy.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Saturday is game day, but students and fans won’t be filling Notre Dame Stadium for the first game of the season against Navy.

Instead, most will be staying at home or in their dorms despite many bars and restaurants opening early to fill up with fans and students from Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, and Holy Cross College.


“We’re just excited to be able to offer a slightly different take on our typical game watches, since most of them are how students end their day, versus how they get their day started,” said Legends of Notre Dame general manager Maureen Doyle.

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Clint Eastwood: Romney and Most of the Rest of America Love His Message!

August 31, 2012

Eastwood at the RNC (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By  | The Ticket

NEW ORLEANS—A top adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign downplayed tensions over Clint Eastwood’s rambling Republican National Convention speech, insisting the candidate thought the actor’s routine was funny.

Stuart Stevens, a senior strategist to the Republican nominee, said he was standing backstage with Romney as Eastwood delivered a speech in which he imagined a conversation he might have with President Barack Obama, who was represented onstage by an empty chair.

Stevens said Romney “laughed” at Eastwood’s remarks and “enjoyed” the routine. “He was laughing. … We were laughing,” Stevens said. “He thought it was funny.”

While the Romney campaign downplayed any negative effect of Eastwood’s remarks, aides privately acknowledged hand-wringing over the actor-director’s remarks, which weren’t preapproved by the campaign.

Multiple Romney aides, who declined to be named, said they expected Eastwood, who randomly endorsed Romney last month, to simply offer a full-throated endorsement of the former Massachusetts governor. But one aide acknowledged the campaign began to grow anxious as Eastwood began to ramble on well beyond his allotted five-minute speaking slot and said the campaign wasn’t informed about Eastwood’s plans to use a prop. An aide said the campaign believed when Eastwood requested a chair to take onstage that he was planning to sit in it.

But Stevens downplayed any tensions between Romney and Eastwood, who had offered to speak at the RNC. Asked if the candidate spoke to Eastwood after his speech Thursday night, Stevens said he wasn’t sure, but said Eastwood hung around to watch Romney’s speech and the actor was spotted at events after the festivities were over.

Stevens defended the choice to have Eastwood speak, insisting “the audience loved it.”

“These Hollywood people get a lot of pressure not to do this stuff, and for him to come out and step up and say I think this is important … the fact that he’s there shows he’s speaking his mind,” Stevens said. “If somebody wants to say I would have liked this different performance or that different performance, have at it. Some people didn’t like ‘Dirty Harry.’ Some people didn’t like ‘Gran Torino.'”

Asked if he was likening Eastwood’s movies to his RNC speech, Stevens smiled and called Eastwood, “an astonishing talent.”

Isle Spats Backdrop for Clinton’s Asia Trip

August 31, 2012


The Wall Street Journal

JAKARTA—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to tour parts of Asia over the coming week in what could be one of the Obama administration’s last chances to address escalating territorial disputes across the region ahead of November elections.

Mrs. Clinton is scheduled to meet with leaders of Indonesia, East Timor, Brunei, China and Russia amid growing tensions over competing claims on the islands, shoals and open waters in Asia.

Her visit, say State Department officials, is to further underline the U.S. commitment to stability in the Asia-Pacific as the U.S. untangles itself from commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read the rest:

For China Boss, Deep-Water Oil Rigs Are a ‘Strategic Weapon’

August 31, 2012

BEIJING—When China launched its first deep-water oil rig in May, Cnooc Ltd.CEO +0.70% Chairman Wang Yilin delivered a message to employees and his Communist Party superiors about what it meant to Beijing’s ambitions abroad.

By  Brian Spegele
The Wall Street Journal

“Large-scale deep-water rigs are our mobile national territory and a strategic weapon,” he told a crowd gathered at Cnooc’s glittering headquarters in central Beijing as well as rig workers by videoconference.


CNOOC Chairman Wang Yilin (Bloomberg)

State-controlled Cnooc is using the rig to drill three wells this year in the South China Sea—an area with overlapping claims by China and other surrounding nations and an increasingly sore friction point between Beijing and Washington.

Mr. Wang now is spearheading Cnooc’s $15.1 billion offer to acquire Canada’s NexenInc., NXY.T -1.20% a blockbuster deal that needs U.S. regulatory approval because of Nexen’s energy assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

It is the latest deal in a dual role that Mr. Wang has assumed since taking Cnooc’s reins last year: running his company as a profit-driven multinational enterprise overseas, and promoting it as a political and strategic asset at home.

Global Presence

Tension between those two roles has sparked worries in China, where some people even inside his company fear that Cnooc’s politically charged moves in the South China Sea could be viewed as too aggressive. Mr. Wang has led Cnooc to defend China’s sovereignty claims there, despite competing claims in some parts of the sea by Vietnam, the Philippines and others.

That adds to other concerns in China’s oil industry, including worries that Cnooc moved to announce the Nexen deal before the U.S. presidential election, in which China has become a heated political issue.

“The timing just doesn’t look good,” said a person with close ties to China’s major oil companies. “If it doesn’t go through, the danger is really severe” for other Chinese companies with ambitions in North America.

Mr. Wang wasn’t available for an interview.

“We are respectful of the regulatory requirements across all the respective jurisdictions,” the company said. “We aim to comply with all of the regulatory and government processes and procedures and to cooperate with all regulatory authorities.”

Cnooc’s recent moves underscore how oil executives including Mr. Wang are using overseas deals to boost political credentials. They come as China has ordered state-controlled enterprises to seek business beyond its shores and as the Communist Party seeks younger leaders who are internationally savvy and competent in business.

“It’s going to be a feather in [his] political cap” if Mr. Wang is able to successfully complete the Nexen deal, said Erica Downs, who has written about China’s oil executives for the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Mr. Wang, 55 years old, appears to be vying for higher office, said analysts and people with direct knowledge of Cnooc’s operations, adding that he appears to have high-level political backing.

As China’s main offshore-oil company, Cnooc has been the Chinese company most involved with the South China Sea.

Cnooc in June said it was offering a new round of oil-and-gas blocks to foreign partners within what Vietnam says is its exclusive economic zone under the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Vietnam had already begun exploring the area and had signed deals with Italy’s Eni SpAENI.MI +1.61% and Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM +0.11% to explore there. China says its claims in the South China Sea and its islands have belonged to the country for hundreds of years.

While Cnooc regularly offers blocks for foreign investment in the sea, the move marked its most significant offer in disputed waters. Inside Cnooc, the decision to auction blocks near Vietnam was a controversial one partly because it was seen as too aggressive, said one of the people with direct knowledge of Cnooc’s operations.

Ultimately, the decision was driven more by the company itself than party or government higher-ups, the person said, adding that Cnooc felt pressured to act in part by intense public nationalism over sovereignty in the South China Sea.

With the Nexen deal, Cnooc would acquire the Canadian company’s deep-water operations in the Gulf of Mexico. That would provide Cnooc, which mostly operates in shallow waters, with deep-water expertise that could be applied to the South China Sea.

Mr. Wang began his career at China’s Petroleum Ministry after receiving a bachelor’s degree in petroleum geology and exploration from China University of Petroleum in 1982.

After the ministry was dissolved and replaced by China National Petroleum Corp., Mr. Wang spent the 1990s and early 2000s as a CNPC executive in China’s ethnically restive yet resource-rich Xinjiang region, according to an official Cnooc biography.

A CNPC official said Mr. Wang kept a low-profile inside the company but was viewed as highly competent.

After rising to the No. 3 spot in CNPC in 2003, Mr. Wang landed the top job at Cnooc last year during a reorganization of the oil industry. Fu Chengyu, Cnooc’s former chairman, took the top spot at China Petrochemical Corp., better known as Sinopec Group; Sinopec Chairman Su Shulin was tapped to become governor of the southeastern province of Fujian; and Mr. Wang was elevated to run Cnooc.

The government routinely shuffles the heads of China’s major oil companies and other state-owned enterprises, serving to alleviate competition as well as to promote successful executives higher into the party or government.

Analysts said the move partly was designed to help bring Mr. Wang’s decades of expertise in China’s onshore oil fields to Cnooc. Cnooc typically has been focused offshore but has moved aggressively recently on land to target unconventional gas.

Mr. Wang is believed to have political backing as well. Zhou Yongkang, a member of China’s all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee and former CNPC executive, is believed to be among those helping Mr. Wang’s career, according to analysts and those with knowledge of Cnooc.

One person said Mr. Wang’s work on the South China Sea appeared to be an effort to brandish his political credentials, showing political higher-ups he could defend Beijing’s interests in one of the region’s most volatile disputes.

“It’s not a time when the other Chinese companies want to be making big moves in North America,” said Neil Beveridge, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. “To some extent, given the Nexen deal is in process, the other Chinese companies will have to stay on the sideline.”

Write to Brian Spegele at and Wayne Ma


The sixth-generation semi-submersible CNOOC 981, China’s first deep-water oil rig, began operations at a depth of 1,500 meters in the South China Sea this morning, reported China Central Television.  The CNOOC 981, which was started in April 2008 and inaugurated in May 2011, is an advanced new oil platform designed to tap deep-sea petroleum resources.

Obama In Real Trouble: Liberal Media Lining Up To (Try To) Hold Him Up

August 29, 2012

Above: Since his  “you didn’t build that” gaffe, Axelrod and the others of  The Liberal Team Obama have had the President Of The United States attached at the eyeball to a teleprompter.


The President of the United States (Above)  is a community organizer, by profession,  which is a guy who takes money from  money making, people hiring, tax paying businesses and gives it to, lets be kind, others. And Joe Biden has been a politician in Washington DC since, lets be nice, before most American voters below the age of 70 were born.

President Obama faces a tough new film critical of his life, experience, Presidency, and thinking….

“2016: Obama’s America,” a new film exploring the roots of President Barack Obama’s political views, took in $6.2 million to make it one of the highest-grossing movies of last weekend.

The film, written and narrated by conservative scholar Dinesh D’Souza, argues that Obama was heavily influenced by what D’Souza calls the “anti-colonial” beliefs of his father, Barack Obama Sr., a Kenyan academic who was largely absent from the president’s life.

The film makers say Obama’s presidency is an expression of his father’s political beliefs, which D’Souza first made in 2010 in his book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage.”

People are talking about this film and seeing it in great numbers.

The liberal media is already lining up to support, or try to support, Barack Obama; and to criticize the film and those that made it.

Judge for yourself….. see this film: “2016: Obama’s America.”

D’Souza interviews Paul Vitz, a New York University psychologist who has studied the impact of absent fathers on children. In Obama’s case, Vitz says, the abandonment meant “he has the tension between the Americanism and his Africanism. He himself is an intersection of major political forces in his own psychology.”


Most of what we know about Barack Obama before he was a community organizer we learned from a book he wrote about himself  while he was at Harvard on scholarship, I think.

In any event, anyone could have written a book about themselves having been elected the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review — and in receipt of a a six-figure advance from Simon & Schuster.

Barack Obama’s book would become “Dreams from My Father,” a book Time Magazine called the greatest thing since sliced bread.

In 2011, the book was placed on Time Magazine‘s top 100 non-fiction books written in English since 1923. A tremendous accomplishment for whoever wrote anything.

While I was on a U.S. Navy scholarship at college I didn’t have time to write a book about myself — or anyone else — and if I had been stupid enough to do that and confess, I am sure the U.S. Navy would have withdrawn my scholarship. In a heartbeat.

My U.S. Navy Commanding Officer at the university would have had me up on charges for theft if I wrote a book about myself using scholarship time, paper and computers — when the U.S. Navy was paying for me to study and learn — not to tell others about myself.

But I guess Harvard and liberals could have different values….

What do you think?

Teleprompter obscures U.S. President Barack Obama as he speaks during a campaign event at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio August 21, 2012. Mr. Obama was on a two-day campaign trip to Ohio, Nevada and New York. during which we discovered he cannot spell “Ohio.” REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Marco Rubio: GOP Has Immigration ‘Challenge’

August 29, 2012

By George Stephanopoulos | ABC OTUS News

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told me this morning that he agreed with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who said Tuesday that“you can’t just trot out a brown face or a Spanish surname and expect people are going to vote for your party or your candidate.”

Villaraigosa was referring to the number of prominent Hispanic Republicans slated to speak at the Republican National Conventionthis week, but Rubio said the mayor’s message applies to both parties.

“I think what he’s saying, quite frankly, is true for both parties,” said Rubio, who spoke to me this morning on “Good Morning America.” “Policies matter and, look, the Republican Party does have a challenge. We can’t just be the anti-illegal immigration party, we have to be the pro-legal immigration party.

“We have a broken system of immigration that needs to be fixed and we have a legal immigration problem because we have millions of people who are in this country without documents and we have to deal with that in a way that honors our legacy both as a nation of compassion and a nation of immigrants but also as a nation of laws. That’s a real challenge. That’s not an easy thing to do. We’re going to confront that not by pandering, not by making unrealistic promises but by trying to find a balanced approach to how to deal with it.”

Recent polls show that Mitt Romney, the GOP nominee for president, is struggling with Latino voters. Hispanics are a growing minority in the United States and a key demographic in Rubio’s home state of Florida, a crucial swing state in the presidential election. Romney has expressed views on immigration seen as being to the right of former President George W. Bush – who was for comprehensive immigration reform – while President Obama, who has much higher support among Latino voters, issued an executive order earlier this year that would allow some undocumented immigrants legal status.

Rubio told me this morning that Romney would replace this policy.

“I think he’s going to replace it. That’s what I think you can expect from the Romney presidency and I think the obligation of some of us in the Congress is to find that permanent solution,” Rubio, 41, said. “It was something I was working on, that I continue to work on, an alternative to the DREAM Act that allows us to continue to deal with that issue but not in a way that’s amnesty and not in a way that encourages illegal immigration in the future.”

Rubio, who is Cuban-American, is among several Hispanic Republicans who have prominent roles at the Republican National Convention this week. Rubio will introduce Romney Thursday night on the final night of the convention in Tampa, Fla., before the former Massachusetts governor formally accepts the GOP nomination for president.

“I hope to present to the people of the United States in the few minutes that I have, two things. A very unique human being, Mitt Romney, who has lived his life in a way that’s not just admirable but really a role model, irrespective of how people may feel about his policies, they may disagree with him on policies, but you look at the way he’s lived his life as a husband, as a father, as a member of his community, really a role model for younger Americans and what we should all aspire for our kids to be,” Rubio said.

“And then, also, the choice that America has between two very different views of government’s role in our economy. That’s really what this election is about. It’s not just a choice between a Democrat and a Republican, it’s a choice between two very different futures. I hope I can do that for him.”

Get more pure politics at and a lighter take on the news .

SEAL Book Says Bin Laden Was Unarmed, Killed Outside His Bedroom

August 29, 2012

This image released by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency shows a scale model of the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden was killed.  The once-classified model is an exact 1 inch to 7 feet and each object in the model existed

AP Photo/National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency)

Several news outlets have finally got their hands on a copy of the new book about the raid on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound, and the details emerging contradict many of the earlier reports about what happened inside the house on the night the al Qaeda leader was killed.  No Easy Day is set to be released September 11, but The Huffington Post’s Marcus Baram picked up a preview copy in a used bookstore, which is a common way to find pre-released books. The Associated Press bought a copy as well.

The book, written by ex-Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette (under the pseudonym Mark Owen), is a first-person account of the raid on the Abbottabad compound where bin Laden had been in hiding for years. According Bissonnette’s version of events, there was no extended firefight between SEAL Team 6 members and bodyguards and bin Laden himself never got the chance to confront or even see the soldiers before they killed him. Instead, he was shot in the hallway outside of his bedroom, then “disappeared into the dark room.” By the time the soldiers entered, he was already dying of wounds to the head. Bissonnette says he and another team member then shot him several more times in the chest to ensure he was dead.

The book also says that while there were two guns found in bin Laden’s room, neither was loaded and he never had a chance to defend himself. Bissonnette even calls him a “pussy” for not being prepared to defend or kill himself. Even though bin Laden was killed without resisting, the SEAL were instructed beforehand that it was not an assassination mission and that bin Laden should have been brought back alive, if possible.

Bissonnette is also critical of President Obama in his story, saying that no one on the team was a fan of the president and that they believed he and other leaders would inflate their own roles in the story. Even before the raid began, the SEALs joked about how they would help Obama get re-elected and also speculated about who would play them in the Hollywood movie. Despite their personal feelings about Obama, however, the SEALs did agree that he made the right call, saying “Although we applauded the decision-making in this case, there was no doubt in anybody’s mind that he would take all the political credit for this too.”

They also complained that after a White House meeting with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden  (“he reminded me of someone’s drunken uncle at Christmas dinner”) the President invited them to return some other time for a beer, but that call never came.

Oil, China, Clinton: The South China Sea

August 29, 2012

By Andrew Quinn

WASHINGTON | Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:01am EDT

(Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will venture to the South Pacific this week as she takes Washington’s bid to reassert itself against China to a remote corner of the world where the power rivalry is increasingly apparent.

Clinton will lead a U.S. government team to the Cook Islands for the August 31 meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum, a group of 16 independent and self-governing territories scattered across a huge expanse of ocean east of New Zealand, the State Department said on Tuesday.

Clinton’s trip will also include stops in Indonesia, Brunei, East Timor and China, all of which are expected to include discussions on the South China Sea, where competing territorial claims by Beijing and its neighbors have created Asia’s biggest potential military flashpoint.

“We don’t want to see the disputes in the South China Sea or anywhere else settled by intimidation, by force. We want to see them settled at the negotiating table,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told a news briefing.

“And we have also consistently been calling for increasing transparency in the Chinese military posture.”

Beijing has accused Washington of sending the wrong signals on the South China Sea, part of its push back against the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia that many Chinese analysts see as a campaign to contain rising Chinese power and influence in the region.


In the South Pacific, Clinton will have a chance to personally emphasize the benefits of U.S. friendship to a group of tiny nations that regularly line up with Washington on international issues but which are also now being heavily courted by Beijing.

The United States hopes to boost the forum as a regional alliance to combat shared threats such as climate change, encourage economic development and protect marine stocks in the face of overfishing.

China has nevertheless been scaling up its economic assistance to Pacific Island states, pledging a total of more than $600 million since 2005, according to figures compiled by Australia’s Lowy Institute.

Clinton’s hosts in the Cook Islands — a self-governing territory associated with New Zealand — will be able to show off a new, Chinese-financed courthouse and police headquarters while other island states have received grants for official cars, airport repairs, hospital construction and language courses.

While much of China’s historic engagement with the region has been to counter diplomatic advances by its rival, Taiwan, it has now moved beyond that, said Denny Roy, a senior fellow at the East West Center in Hawaii.

“It is now probably more accurate to see the growth of Chinese influence in the South Pacific as not necessarily part of a scripted and controlled plan by the Chinese government,” Roy said.

“It has become broader, part of China’s economic and government interests going abroad and seeking the room that comes with being an emerging power.”

Clinton’s trip will take her out of the United States as Democrats gather next week for a convention to nominate President Barack Obama for a second term. Clinton, who as America’s top diplomat was not expected to attend, has said she plans to step down at the end of Obama’s current term.

But she will stand in for Obama himself at a meeting of leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Vladivostok on September 8-9, the State Department said.

(Editing by Warren Strobel and Cynthia Osterman)


Times of  India

BEIJING: China’s largest state-run oil firm has opened 26 new offshore blocks for cooperation with foreign companies, which included those in South China Sea, where the country is locked in a dispute with Vietnamover sovereignty.

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) today said it has opened 26 new offshore blocks for cooperation with foreign companies.

The blocks were the second batch made available by CNOOC for cooperation, with one block located in Bohai Bay, three in the east China Sea and another 22 in the South China Sea, official Xinhua news agency reported quoting a statement from CNOOC.

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) today said it has opened 26 new offshore blocks for cooperation with foreign companies.

China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) today said it has opened 26 new offshore blocks for cooperation with foreign companies

The 26 blocks cover a total area of 73,754 square km, the statement said.

It also said that foreign companies may access data concerning the blocks after applying. Data will be available for viewing until November 30.

In June, CNOOC opened a total area of 160,124 square km as its first batch of offshore blocks in the South China Sea for cooperation.

Vietnam, which claims sovereignty in the same area of the South China Sea has already termed CNOOC’s action as illegal when the oil company has announced for the first time its plans to allot some blocks forexploration in June.

The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said the move was “illegal” and a serious “violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty” adding that the oil blocks were “deep inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and not a contested area”.

Earlier China had protested to India over ONGC taking up oil exploration in the blocks claimed by Vietnam. India, however, said it is a commercial deal.

According to CNOOC report the company is aiming to meet a production target of between 330 million and 340 million barrels of oil equivalent this year.

Production in the first half totalled 160.9 million barrels, down 4.6 per cent year on year, it said.

China’s Official Media Slams Mitt Romney

August 29, 2012

TAMPA – China’s state-controlled media lashed out at GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney Monday, warning that his policies would poison U.S.-China relations.

“By any standard, the U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s China policy, as outlined on his official campaign website, is an outdated manifestation of a Cold War mentality,” read a commentary in Monday’s China Daily. “It endorses the ‘China threat’ theory and focuses on containing China’s rise in the Asia-Pacific through bolstering the robust U.S. military presence in the region.”

From The Cable (Foreign Policy)

Above: Ann Romney blew a kiss after being greeted by her husband, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, on stage Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

Read more here:

The Chinese state-owned outlet said that Romney was “provoking” China by promising to supply Taiwan with aircraft and other military platforms and called his China approach “pugnacious.”

“[H]is China policy, if implemented, would cause a retrogression in bilateral ties and turn the region into a venue for open confrontation between China and the U.S.,” the commentary stated.

China Daily also compared Romney’sapproach with President Barack Obama‘s “pivot” toward Asia. The current administration is adding “fuel to the fire” in the South China Sea by involving itself in regional disputes, the commentary argued, but Romney’s China policies would sour relations even further.

“It requires political vision as well as profound knowledge of Sino-U.S. relations as a whole, to make sensible policy recommendations about what are widely recognized as the most important bilateral ties in the world,” the commentary states. “Romney apparently lacks both.”

The China-East Asia page of the Romney campaign website promises that a Romney administration would increase U.S. naval presence in the Pacific and increase military assistance to regional allies “to discourage any aggressive or coercive behavior by China against its neighbors.”

The Romney campaign is also vowing to shine a brighter light on China’s human rights abuses.

“Any serious U.S. policy toward China must confront the fact that China’s regime continues to deny its people basic political freedoms and human rights. A nation that represses its own people cannot be a trusted partner in an international system based on economic and political freedom,” the website reads.

But as the China Daily commentary notes, campaign rhetoric and government policy aren’t always the same thing. U.S. presidential candidates of both parties have long taken a more strident tone toward China on the campaign trail, only to dial back their rhetoric while in office.

Nor is the Romney team’s position on China clear, as top campaign advisors disagree on how to deal with the Middle Kingdom’s rise as a world power.

The two co-chairs of Romney’s Asia-Pacific policy team, former State Department official Evan Feigenbaum, a moderate realist, and Aaron Friedberg, a hawkish scholar, evince sharply different views on China.

At the top of the Romney advisory structure, generalists like former U.N. Ambassador John Boltonare much more wary of a rising China than realists such as former World Bank President Bob Zoellick, who as a top State Department official urged China to become a “responsible stakeholder” in world affairs.

As for Romney, he has promised to brand China a currency manipulator on day one of his presidency and the RNC draft platform posted by Politico calls on China to move toward democracy and condemns its South China Sea claims.

“We will welcome the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous China, and we will welcome even more the development of a democratic China,” the draft platform reads. “Its rulers have discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth. The next lesson is that political and religious freedom lead to national greatness. The exposure of the Chinese people to our way of life can be the greatest force for change in their country.”

Ann Romney’s Speech at the Republican National Convention, Tampa, August 28, 2012

August 29, 2012

A transcript of Ann Romney’s remarks Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention, as provided by the Republican Party:


I want to talk to you tonight not about politics and not about party. And while there are many important issues we’ll hear discussed in this convention and throughout this campaign, tonight I want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts.

I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family. I want to talk to you tonight about that one great thing that unites us, that one thing that brings us our greatest joy when times are good, and the deepest solace in our dark hours.

Tonight I want to talk to you about love.

I want to talk to you about the deep and abiding love I have for a man I met at a dance many years ago. And the profound love I have, and I know we share, for this country.

I want to talk to you about that love so deep only a mother can fathom it — the love we have for our children and our children’s children.

And I want us to think tonight about the love we all share for those Americans, our brothers and sisters, who are going through difficult times, whose days are never easy, nights are always long, and whose work never seems done.

They are here among us tonight in this hall; they are here in neighborhoods across Tampa and all across America. The parents who lie awake at night side by side, wondering how they’ll be able to pay the mortgage or make the rent; the single dad who’s working extra hours tonight, so that his kids can buy some new clothes to go back to school, can take a school trip or play a sport, so his kids can feel. like the other kids.

And the working moms who love their jobs but would like to work just a little less to spend more time with the kids, but that’s just out of the question with this economy. Or that couple who would like to have another child, but wonder how will they afford it.

I’ve been all across this country for the past year and a half and heard these stories of how hard it is to get ahead now. I’ve heard your voices: “I’m running in place,” ‘’we just can’t get ahead.”

Sometimes I think that late at night, if we were all silent for just a few moments and listened carefully, we could hear a great collective sigh from the moms and dads across America who made it through another day, and know that they’ll make it through another one tomorrow. But in that end of the day moment, they just aren’t sure how.

And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It’s how it is, isn’t it?

It’s the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right.

It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together. We’re the mothers, we’re the wives, we’re the grandmothers, we’re the big sisters, we’re the little sisters, we’re the daughters.

You know it’s true, don’t you? You’re the ones who always have to do a little more.

You know what it’s like to work a little harder during the day to earn the respect you deserve at work and then come home to help with that book report which just has to be done. You know what those late night phone calls with an elderly parent are like and the long weekend drives just to see how they’re doing. You know the fastest route to the local emergency room and which doctors actually answer the phone when you call at night.

You know what it’s like to sit in that graduation ceremony and wonder how it was that so many long days turned into years that went by so quickly.

You are the best of America. You are the hope of America. There would not be an America without you.

Tonight, we salute you and sing your praises.

I’m not sure if men really understand this, but I don’t think there’s a woman in America who really expects her life to be easy. In our own ways, we all know better!

And that’s fine. We don’t want easy. But these last few years have been harder than they needed to be. It’s all the little things — that price at the pump you just can’t believe, the grocery bills that just get bigger; all those things that used to be free, like school sports, are now one more bill to pay. It’s all the little things that pile up to become big things. And the big things — the good jobs, the chance at college, that home you want to buy, just get harder. Everything has become harder.

We’re too smart to know there aren’t easy answers. But we’re not dumb enough to accept that there aren’t better answers.

And that is where this boy I met at a high school dance comes in. His name is Mitt Romney and you really should get to know him.

I could tell you why I fell in love with him — he was tall, laughed a lot, was nervous — girls like that, it shows the guy’s a little intimidated — and he was nice to my parents but he was really glad when my parents weren’t around.

That’s a good thing. And he made me laugh.

I am the granddaughter of a Welsh coal miner who was determined that his kids get out of the mines. My dad got his first job when he was six years old, in a little village in Wales called Nantyffyllon, cleaning bottles at the Colliers Arms.

When he was 15, dad came to America. In our country, he saw hope and an opportunity to escape from poverty. He moved to a small town in the great state of Michigan. There, he started a business — one he built himself, by the way.

He raised a family. And he became mayor of our town.

My dad would often remind my brothers and me how fortunate we were to grow up in a place like America. He wanted us to have every opportunity that came with life in this country — and so he pushed us to be our best and give our all.

Inside the houses that lined the streets of our town, there were a lot of good fathers teaching their sons and daughters those same values. I didn’t know it at the time, but one of those dads was my future father-in-law, George Romney.

Mitt’s dad never graduated from college. Instead, he became a carpenter.

He worked hard, and he became the head of a car company, and then the governor of Michigan.

When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in the way of our life together. I was an Episcopalian. He was a Mormon.

We were very young. Both still in college. There were many reasons to delay marriage, and you know? We just didn’t care. We got married and moved into a basement apartment. We walked to class together, shared the housekeeping, and ate a lot of pasta and tuna fish. Our desk was a door propped up on sawhorses. Our dining room table was a fold-down ironing board in the kitchen. Those were very special days.

Then our first son came along. All at once I’m 22 years old, with a baby and a husband who’s going to business school and law school at the same time, and I can tell you, probably like every other girl who finds herself in a new life far from family and friends, with a new baby and a new husband, that it dawned on me that I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into.

That was 42 years ago. Now we have five sons and 18 grandchildren and I’m still in love with that boy I met at a high school dance.

I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a “storybook marriage.” Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or breast cancer.

A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage.

I know this good and decent man for what he is — warm and loving and patient.

He has tried to live his life with a set of values centered on family, faith, and love of one’s fellow man. From the time we were first married, I’ve seen him spend countless hours helping others. I’ve seen him drop everything to help a friend in trouble, and been there when late-night calls of panic came from a member of our church whose child had been taken to the hospital.

You may not agree with Mitt’s positions on issues or his politics. Massachusetts is only 13% Republican, so it’s not like that’s a shock.

But let me say this to every American who is thinking about who should be our next president:

No one will work harder. No one will care more. No one will move heaven and earth like Mitt Romney to make this country a better place to live!

It’s true that Mitt has been successful at each new challenge he has taken on. It amazes me to see his history of success actually being attacked. Are those really the values that made our country great? As a mom of five boys, do we want to raise our children to be afraid of success?

Do we send our children out in the world with the advice, “Try to do… okay?”

And let’s be honest. If the last four years had been more successful, do we really think there would be this attack on Mitt Romney’s success?

Of course not.

Mitt will be the first to tell you that he is the most fortunate man in the world. He had two loving parents who gave him strong values and taught him the value of work. He had the chance to get the education his father never had.

But as his partner on this amazing journey, I can tell you Mitt Romney was not handed success.

He built it.

He stayed in Massachusetts after graduate school and got a job. I saw the long hours that started with that first job. I was there when he and a small group of friends talked about starting a new company. I was there when they struggled and wondered if the whole idea just wasn’t going to work. Mitt’s reaction was to work harder and press on.

Today that company has become another great American success story.

Has it made those who started the company successful beyond their dreams?

Yes, it has.

It allowed us to give our sons the chance at good educations and made all those long hours of book reports and homework worth every minute. It’s given us the deep satisfaction of being able to help others in ways that we could never have imagined. Mitt doesn’t like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as a privilege, not a political talking point. And we’re no different than the millions of Americans who quietly help their neighbors, their churches and their communities. They don’t do it so that others will think more of them.

They do it because there IS no greater joy.

“Give and it shall be given unto you.”

But because this is America, that small company which grew has helped so many others lead better lives. The jobs that grew from the risks they took have become college educations, first homes. That success has helped fund scholarships, pensions, and retirement funds. This is the genius of America: dreams fulfilled help others launch new dreams.

At every turn in his life, this man I met at a high school dance, has helped lift up others. He did it with the Olympics, when many wanted to give up.

He did it in Massachusetts, where he guided a state from economic crisis to unemployment of just 4.7%.

Under Mitt, Massachusetts’s schools were the best in the nation. The best. He started the John and Abigail Adams scholarships, which give the top 25 percent of high school graduates a four-year tuition-free scholarship.

This is the man America needs.

This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can’t be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.

I can’t tell you what will happen over the next four years. But I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment:

This man will not fail.

This man will not let us down.

This man will lift up America!

It has been 47 years since that tall, kind of charming young man brought me home from our first dance. Not every day since has been easy.

But he still makes me laugh. And never once did I have a single reason to doubt that I was the luckiest woman in the world.

I said tonight I wanted to talk to you about love. Look into your hearts.

This is our country. This is our future. These are our children and grandchildren.

You can trust Mitt.

He loves America. He will take us to a better place, just as he took me home safely from that dance. Give him that chance. Give America that chance.

God bless each of you and God Bless the United States of America.