For Quick Hits today, we start with the a run of political news....
The effects of the last couple of weeks in the GOP Presidential Primary campaign continue to shake up the field -with the major influences being the accusations against Herman Cain for committing sexual harassment towards at least 4 women in the late 1990's. No new accusations have come forward, and one accuser seems to be backing off a major press conference since only 1 other accuser will join her for the event. A voice stress analysis test suggests that Cain is telling the truth.
Nevertheless, the effects of the accusations and nearly two week focus by the media on these accusations is being seen in the most recent polling. Herman Cain has seen his numbers in Iowa drop by 11 points in just the last 5 days, leaving him with only a 4 point lead over Mitt Romney in that state. Because of his gaffe in the last debate, Rick Perry's fortunes continue to fade while the candidate continues to work on damage control. On the basis of yet another very strong debate performance, Newt Gingrich is starting to surge. He's moved into 2nd place in South Carolina, passing Mitt Romney. Barring any more major debate gaffes, the race will enter the primary / caucus stage being one between Romney, Cain, and Gingrich.
PJ Media's Roger L. Simon is making very interesting and compelling case that the GOP needs to 'End the David Axelrod Debating Society'. As opposed to the current structure with most debates being hosted by antagonistic media elements, the debate field needs to be winnowed down to the three leading candidates and the format needs to be far closer to the Lincoln Douglas format structured around one major topic per debate.
Victor Davis Hanson talks about 2012 and the State of Conservatism: "It's going to be a nasty, mean campaign."
Torn between the pressure of his Environmentalist base and his Union base, President Barack Obama has reverted to past form and voted 'Present' on the issue of the Keystone Pipeline. This is a major pipeline project to facilitate the transfer of Canadian oil from Alberta to US refineries in Texas. The President, unwilling to chose between these major supporters, will hold off on any decision until after the 2012 election.
One possible effect of this delay, which is damaging to Canada, is that they decide that China is a better market for their oil than the United States. This is an irresponsible decision from a President who has made far too many irresponsible decisions.
Another irresponsible decision made by the President and his Administration is their meddling into the marketplace by using taxpayer funds via the Department of Energy loans to determine 'winners and losers' in the marketplace by their promotion of companies in 'green energy' like Solyndra. That decision cost taxpayers about $537 million dollars. Now we have information that the Obama DoE made loans of nearly $2.5 billion dollars to help bail out Spain's solar energy marketplace.
Powerline Blog has a very interesting report about Socialized Medicine - and the effects of 'death panels' established to help control costs in the UK's National Health Service. As noted about socialized medicine - It may kill you, but at least it's free. Unless you pay taxes, then it just kills you.
38 Congressmen are now demanding the immediately resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder over his failures regarding the DoJ / ATF Fast and Furious Operation. Holder's recent testimony did nothing to address the questions, and in fact, his efforts only generated more and new questions regarding the operation and the DoJ cover up. One of his latest approaches to deflect attention is to define Fast and Furious as a 'failed' operation. It's not a 'failed operation' - it was a wrong and criminal operation from the get go.
Elements of the mainstream media are at work providing cover for the Attorney General - the NY Times report spikes many details of the hearing info including Holder's admission that his previous testimony in May was 'inaccurate'.
Stock Markets are rallying today as Italy and Greece make austerity moves. However one has to ask if these moves are reflective of real progress towards austerity or the tacit approval of the markets for the appearances of austerity as they figure out how to kick the can a little further down that road?