Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quick Hits - January 15, 2012

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the ditzy chair of the Democrat National Committee is getting some support from an unexpected source...
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Wednesday morning that he feels “sorry” for Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for having to defend President Obama’s economic record.

“She’s got to stand up for the president’s record, and it’s pretty bad,” Romney said Wednesday morning on CNN. “You’ve got almost 2 million people that have lost their jobs under this president. You have median income that’s dropped by 10 percent over the last four years. You’ve got 24 million people out of work or [who] have stopped looking for work.
“This is a failed presidency. People know that.”
That's right - Mitt Romney is giving DWS a bit of a break for having to defend and support the record of President Obama. Of course, with a record like that, the Democrats could either choose to double down on the failure - or seek to address the problems. They've selected the double down...

As is the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid - (D-Las Vegas). Reid wishes to send a clear message to the House GOP leadership - drop the Tea Party and the the Tea Party influence and learn to legislate, partner, and compromise. There is something to be learned about those who the progressives target with such bile...why they fear them, why they need to tear them down, to demonize and discredit them at every possible opportunity. It comes from more than just an arrogance towards power and 'leadership' - it reflects their own insecurities and failures.

Fox News host, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee hosted a Republican Presidential Forum on Fox last night where all of the candidates, except for Ron Paul who declined his invitation, had a solo 12 minutes with the host and answering questions from about an audience of about 800 people.  During this show can more evidence that the tactics of Newt Gingrich to do anything possible to smear Mitt Romney is working against the Gingrich candidacy.  During his appearance, Gingrich was roundly booed by the audience for attacking Mitt Romney on his activities at Bain Capital despite the rules established by Huckabee to ban personal attacks.

Speaking of Fox News, the network is hosting tomorrow nights South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary debate which will be aired at 9PM Eastern.

The President's troubles over the politicization of his green energy agenda with billions of taxpayers funds does not appear to be ending with the latest of Solyndra or the under publicized failure of Solar Millennium - which cost the American taxpayer 4 times what was lost with Solyndra.  The total exposure could exceed $6.5 billion.  Richard Fernandez, at Belmont Club, notes that there are still 11 bullets left in the chamber thanks to the President's approach of, "damn the Solyndras, full speed ahead!"  
Perhaps even the President sees it coming, hopes the crash won’t affect him politically. It was reported that administration knew in advance that Solyndra was doomed but exerted pressure on the company to keep going until the 2010 elections had passed, the better not to shake the faith of the true believers. In the end it was all about ‘optics’ and not at all about sunlight.
The concept of 'optics' over results is key to the efforts of not only this Administration or the progressives. 

The same interest in appearances over results exists within California - around the High Speed Rail Project.  Despite the lack of a viable or realistic business plan, California's fiscal disaster which makes an 'investment' like this unaffordable, the lack of private investors to sign on to cover their third of the costs, and the federal government's own fiscal challenges - Governor Jerry Brown and the progressives want to push forward with the $120 billion boondoggle.  They all reference the 'importance' of the need for this transportation network - yet avoid addressing the real purpose beyond optics - that of rewarding their political supporters, the big unions.

Included within the framework for the High Speed Rail Network are platinum contracts for union workers to construct the network - paying union wages as opposed as market wages...
“What may have once seemed a worthy project has been exposed as a high-speed marketing charade to the sophisticated voters of California,” Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point, said at a press conference this week. At the conference, she introduced legislation to halt state debt funding of the High-Speed Rail project. “The Legislature would be wise to do their job and stop the financial and real property carnage.”
Ensuring that optics remain the focus - and hiding the economic malfeasance endemic in this project are 2 members of the California High Speed Rail Network Board who also just happen to be senior union officials - Robert Balgenorth (Head of the California State Building and Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO) and Russ Burns, a leading member of the Operating Engineers Union Local #3.

Lost in this are any lessons to be learned from Europe's experiences with trying to have government 'partner' around green energy - or high speed rail projects.  The Spanish initiatives for high speed rail are quite similar to the approaches and arguments made for California's, but the results do not bode well for the California initiative.

Government Healthcare at Work - A Woman, aged 23, dies of cervical cancer that went undetected for too long because she was deemed too young for a pap smear test that could have detected the cancer.
“Government legislation was changed in 2003 to mean regular smear tests are only given to women aged over 25, where previously all women over 20 were given the tests.”
Similar efforts are being made by government bureaucrats in the US, at the FDA regarding expensive cancer drugs, or treatments like deferring and limiting smear tests, mammograms, colonsocopy, and other tests based on the claim of age when costs are the real driving factors.  Much was made around the claimed falsehood of 'death panels' during the Obamacare debate - and we would be foolish to not admit that government bureaucrats are going to make life / death decisions regarding patient treatment measuring the costs if the Government takeover of 1/6th of our economy takes effect in 2014.

I have very little respect for the current NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg.  A former Democrat, he changed affiliation to Republican to have a clear path to the Mayor's office, only to change himself to Independent when the Republicans started to take him to task for his 'nanny state' approach to governance.  He's a poster child for arrogance and has an annoying habit of smear attacking those who he dislikes.  He is an apologist for terrorists - and a bully.  His latest target to bully - Meredith Graves.
One of the most disturbing features of the US justice system is its ever more grotesque loss of proportion, at the federal level and in far too many states and municipalities. On his radio show this week, Derb discusses the case of Meredith Graves, the Tennessee nurse who, upon visiting the 9/11 memorial in New York and seeing the signs forbidding firearms, asked the staff if she could check her pistol (lawful and licensed in her home state). She was handcuffed, arrested, and now faces three and a half years in jail for firearms possession – for the crime of being unaware that the Second Amendment does not apply in New York City.

Asked about the case, New York’s thuggish mayor decided to add insult to injury: Let’s assume that she didn’t get arrested for carrying a gun. She probably would have gotten arrested for the cocaine that was in her pocket.
As noted in the link, Ms. Graves indicated that the white powder in her pocket was from aspirin.  Tests conducted by the NYPD confirm the powder was aspirin powder as Ms. Graves indicated.  But despite this, because he took heat from his rules and unwillingness to accept Ms. Graves voluntarily surrendered the weapon, this loathsome slug has to continue a disingenuous attack on Ms. Graves.

This is how progressivism works and what they stand for.  It reminds us who the real fascists are.

In yesterday's post, I speculated how this year we would see $5 a gallon gas prices as commonplace.  To support that claim I offer this report from Chicago that says we will hit that level by Memorial Day.  That report doesn't reference the EPA regulations on sulfur that will add to the increase in price - just that the policies of the Administration regarding energy and the tensions in the Middle East will drive the price up.  I hope voters factor in the Administrations mismanagement regarding energy and Iran when they go to the polls in November...

Iran is continuing to ratchet up tensions in the Gulf region as they have strongly warned Gulf nations not to replace its oil on the marketplace.

Consensus is growing among the members of the Arab League that military intervention is needed in Syria.  Among the countries supporting military intervention either diplomatically or with armed forces are Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, and Morocco.

The death toll in the sinking of the Costa Concordia has risen to 5 as two more bodies were found, while the missing and unaccounted have dropped to only 17.  Reports are that the Captain of the ship, currently under arrest by Italian authorities, abandoned the ship soon after the accident and well before the majority of the passengers and crew evacuated the ship.
On This Day in History

1559 - Elizabeth Tudor is crowned Queen Elizabeth I at Westminister Abbey in London.  She would rule until 1603.

1870 - The first appearance of the donkey as the symbol of the Democratic Party

1929 - Martin Luther King, Jr. was born

2009 - The Miracle on the Hudson - Captain 'Sully' Sullenberger would successfully ditch his US Airways airliner onto the Hudson River after losing both engines to bird strikes just a minute into his flight.  All passengers and crew survived the landing in the river with the worst injury being 2 broken legs. 

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