Saturday, December 31, 2011

Quick Hits - December 31, 2011

Today is the last day of 2011 - and from a personal observation, Good Riddance to 2011.

One of the customs for the 'End of Year' (EoY) is to reflect back on the previous year - and make predictions / resolutions for the upcoming year.  Let's start with the reflection on 2011...

Hot Air has a post highlighting the best news bloopers of 2011...

The Heritage Foundation has a look at who / what were Naughty or Nice in 2011...

On the Naughty front - they note:
  • The Obama Administration's willingness to circumvent the constitutional lawmaking process
  • Runaway Administration bureaucrats - costing the American people billions
  • Progressives and progressivism run wild - in particular OccupyWallStreet
On the Nice front, they've highlighted:
  • Congress begins to re-establish their Constitutional muscles
  • Grassroot Constitutionalism remains strong - Tea Party hasn't disappeared
  • GOP House tries to rein in the runaway Administration bureaucrats
  • The unconstitutional 'nullification' movement was soundly defeated
From PJ Media we have two excellent recaps of 2011 - one is based on the President's National Security record for 2011 - which makes the Carter Administration look brilliant.  The other provides us with the Top Ten 2011 Examples of Media Malfeasance.  (More later in this post on media malfeasance)

Judicial Watch has the list of the 'Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians' for 2011 along with a dishonorable mention list.  Included on the list are:
  • Representative Spencer Bachus  (R-AL)
  • Former Senator John Ensign (R-NV)
  • Representative Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
  • Attorney General Eric Holder (D)
  • Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL)
  • President Barack Obama (D)
  • Representative Laura Richardson (D-CA)
  • Representative David Rivera (R-FL)
  • Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA)
  • Representative Don Young (R-AK)
Dishonorable Mentions on the list include:
  • Former Senator John Edwards (D-NC)
  • Representative Barney Frank (D-MA)
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R)
  • Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano (D)
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY)
  • Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY)
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius (D)
The above link has the full rundown on the 'charges' for each supporting their selection on this list.

Investor's Business Daily has the list of the 10 best Michael Ramirez political cartoons for 2011 - some of the top 10 include:

Visit the link for the full list...

As noted in yesterday's post, one of the top news stories for 2011 was based on the debt crisis, both in the US and in Europe.  The Euro crisis will be with us throughout 2012.  Germany's Der Spiegel news magazine has a grim look at the Euro crisis  - noting that the fundamental problem for the EU is based on the architecture of their model - not on their implementation.  Specifically, Der Spiegel castigates the leadership because of the lies they keep telling themselves about the Euro zone...
Since its inception, the euro zone has been built on lies, the most grievous of which is the idea that the common currency could work without political union. But Europe's politicians are currently suffering under a different but equally fatal delusion -- that they have all the time in the world to fix the crisis.
Today is the 10th Anniversary of the establishment of the Euro as the everyday currency for those 17 countries in the Euro zone.  Given the nature of the crisis, will the Euro reach it's 11th birthday?  or 20th birthday?  Today it's at a 17 month low against the US dollar.  The 'PIIGS' are as bad as before - with no real progress to addressing their fundamental challenge - and the risks / cascade effects of default are even greater.  France is on the verge of a credit downgrade from AAA.

As we look and wonder about the future of the Euro zone and the Euro, we still need to look at the US and the speed that we are making the exact same fundamental mistakes - and have to wonder if the US will reach it's tercentennial?  Or if, come January 19, 2017 and Barack Obama is still President of the United States, will the US survive to the start of the 21st century's third or fourth decade?

President Obama, facing his re-election year, is going to make Congress his battleground as he has demonstrated in the last several months.  He is going to be running based on a do-nothing Congress - laying blame for all of the challenges and problems being faced on Congress's inability to do anything - in particular rubber stamp his proposals. 
Obama to press ahead on his agenda without Congress – Exec Order, Regulation He is expected to once again push lawmakers to pass elements of his jobs bill that were blocked by Republicans last fall.

If those efforts fail, the White House says, Obama’s re-election year will focus almost exclusively on executive action. Earnest said Obama will unveil at least two or three directives per week — a continuation of the “We Can’t Wait” campaign the administration began this fall — and seek to define Republicans in Congress as gridlocked and dysfunctional.
Part of this game is being played out with the national debt.  In response to a joint request from Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the President has agreed to postpone his official request to enact the last $1.2 trillion national debt limit increase

Facilitating the agenda and games that the President will be playing will be the compliant and supportive elements of the mainstream media that Obama has in his pocket.  Two of the most biased of the inside the beltway reporters, Erza Klein and Chris Hayes, are revealing just how much a part of the President's strategy they, and others of the DC Media are.  In this case, they are boasting of the 'inside baseball' acts around the temporary Social Security Payroll Tax Reduction kerfuffle from December 2011...
Erza Klein / Chris Hayes reveal what the DC Media knew: Obama was willing to let payroll tax cut expire… Yesterday, on MSNBC, left-wing journalists Chris Hayes of The Nation and Ezra Klein of the Washington Post–no strangers to Democrat-media collusion–revealed that they had been part of an off-the-record White House briefing in which it was made clear that President Barack Obama planned all along to let the temporary payroll tax holiday expire, and then blame Republicans.
The meeting may have been the one first revealed on December 19, 2011 by ABC News’s senior White House correspondent, Jake Tapper, who tweeted that day that “a group of progressive media stars” had attended a private meeting at the White House with the President.
However, if Hayes is to be believed, the message of that meeting may have extended far beyond the “progressive” media niche at MSNBC, and reached a broader audience in Washington.
According to Hayes, “everyone in Washington” knew that Obama wanted the payroll tax extension to fail–and yet the same journalists eagerly covered the subsequent payroll tax debate as if Republicans were the only obstacle to an extension. The result of the media’s collusion was a year-end political victory for Obama and the Democrats at the expense of House leaders, the Tea Party, and Republicans in general.
As the Wall Street Journal notes, 'The Spenders' won in 2011...

How tough is the economy that the President is trying to run away from?

Just 55.3% of Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 have jobs today.  The 'youth' vote was one of the largest bloc's supporting the President in 2008.  Will they accept that Congress and the GOP are to blame for this statistic?

The President's problems aren't limited to the domestic policy and economy.  He had some real challenges internationally that reduced the effect and bounce he gained from the special forces mission which killed Osama Bin Laden.  Even that mission had consequences - as the mission rebooted the relationship we had with Pakistan.  Caroline Glick, writing in the Jerusalem Post, notes Obama's many failures in the Middle East, and Richard Fernandez notes the 'Perils of Leading from Behind' - a cornerstone phrase of the President's foreign policy.  With the US abandonment of Iraq now complete - is the President seeking to do the same in Afghanistan?

On This Day in History...

1600 - Queen Elizabeth I decrees the founding of the East India Company...

1775 - American forces under General Richard Montgomery and Colonel Benedict Arnold are defeated by British forces in their effort to capture Quebec City...Montgomery is killed in the attack.

1879 - Thomas Edison has the first public demonstration of his incandescent light bulb.  On January 1, 2012, the 100 watt incandescent light bulb is banned - with consumers supposed to use mercury filled CFL lights instead (as the EPA passes massive anti-mercury regulations on fossil fuel power plants).

1968 - The Soviet TU-144 supersonic airliner makes its first flight - beating the Anglo-French Concorde by several months.

1972 - Baseball star Roberto Clemente dies in a plane crash while flying relief supplies to earthquake ravaged Nicaragua.

1999 - The United States turns over ownership and administration of the Panama Canal to Panama.

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