Monday, January 16, 2012

Quick Hits - January 16, 2012

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States...

Dr. Martin Luther King was a force for the peaceful movement to provide civil rights to all Americans regardless of their race, or creed, or national origin.  A key meme of his message was for the United States to become a nation where people would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. 

This is a message that gets lost far too often - particularly when the race card is played on a regular basis.  This is also a message that is founded within traditional conservative principles embraced by true conservatives today - despite the machinations of the bitter hard left to revise history and blame the Republicans for segregation and Jim Crow - both established and supported by Democrats for over a century.

The Heritage Foundation notes on this day, MLK's conservative principles - and how they go beyond just race...
Third, King firmly embraced the core principles of America’s founding. Unlike so many modern liberals beset with nihilistic multiculturalism, King did not talk about remaking America. His dream was one “deeply rooted in the American dream,” as he said, and one that hearkened back to America’s founding principles

Unlike so many modern liberals beset with nihilistic multiculturalism, King did not talk about remaking America. His dream was one “deeply rooted in the American dream,” as he said, and one that hearkened back to America’s founding principles. It was not a rejection of our past but a vision of hope based on the principles of our past.

“When these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters,” King wrote in his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail,” “they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.”

Dr. Aleva King, a niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believes that today, Dr. King, because of his values and core beliefs, would be a pro-life social conservative. It is always difficult to project a figure from the past and bring them into the present to assume their positions - but when one looks at the approaches and values of the progressives, the willingness to use the race card, the perpetuation of the cycle of dependency, their nihilism, perhaps she is right.

Former Utah Governor and US Ambassador to China under President Obama, Jon Huntsman, withdrew from the GOP Presidential Primary race this morning and endorsed Mitt Romney as the candidate with the best shot of defeating President Obama in November.   In his departure, Huntsman also levelled a scathing attack on the GOP party -
"Rather than seeking to advance that common goal by speaking directly to voters this race has degenerated into an onslaught of negative and personal attacks not worthy of the American people and not worthy of this critical time in our nation's history," he said.
He said that "the current toxic forum of our political discourse doesn't help our cause" and called on the remaining five candidates to cease attacks on each other. He added that the Republican party must return to being "a party of ideas".
The full slate of Huntsman campaign anti-Romney attack videos were quietly removed from its website and You Tube account late on Sunday night....just more of the 'do as I say, not as I do' from politicians...

Huntsman's campaign never struck a chord with the GOP voter - and I suspect that this is a point of angst for the candidate as it seems he blames the voter for the failure of his campaign than looking objectively at himself.  He projected contempt towards the Tea Party and an elitist approach combined with perception of running from the center / center-left of the GOP.  Rather than simply dismissing his tenure as Ambassador to China of being a duty - he saw it as a badge of honor and differentiation - which tied him to the positive comments about President Obama that was one of the biggest factors of his inability to reach center-right GOP voters.  The failure of his campaign is not the problem of the voter - but the failure of the candidate.

Polls are starting to show clearly that the negative campaign efforts by Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry are hurting those candidates far more than helping them.  This poll shows that Gingrich is seen by the majority of running the nastiest of these campaigns. 

The latest InsiderAdvantage poll from South Carolina of likely registered voters was released late Sunday night and shows that Mitt Romney is extending his lead in South Carolina.  The front runner polled at 32% support, a gain of 9% from the last InsiderAdvantage poll, opening an 11 point lead over Newt Gingrich at 21%.  Gingrich remained at the same level of support compared to the last poll.  In third place is Ron Paul, 14%, followed closely by Rick Santorum, 13%.  Jon Huntsman polled in 5th at 6%, and Rick Perry trailed him at 5%. 

The South Carolina primary is Saturday, the 21st.  Rick Perry, who passed up the New Hampshire primary to focus on South Carolina is likely to be the next candidate to drop as it is very unlikely he will gain double digit support in SC.  The hole he dug himself early in the campaign with his poor debate performances and illegal immigration stances has proved to be too difficult for him to overcome. 

Ron Paul will not be able to continue to tout third place finishes as victories - and is finding that there is a clear limit to his support based on his crackpot policy ideas which appeal only to the fringe.  I suspect that he will remain in the race to the end to see how much he can influence the convention.  Like 2008, I doubt he would support the likely GOP nominee - Romney but will defer on a 3rd party run as to not cripple the career of his son, Rand.  Will he endorse someone like anti-Semitic nutcase Cynthia McKinney (who he endorsed in 2008) in 2012?  With Paul, it's a distinct possibility.

Newt Gingrich will continue to split a portion of the vote with Rick Santorum as he continues to be the nasty attack dog trying to derail the Romney campaign out of spite.  The best course would be for social conservatives to unite behind Santorum and provide Santorum with a strong 2nd place finish going into the Convention to ensure that Romney's campaign against Obama reflects the values of this center-right country.

The Washington Times notes today that the current Congress logged the most futile legislative year in 2011 on record...
The Senate’s record was weakest by a huge margin, according to the futility index, and the House had its 10th-worst session on record.

Of the bills the 112th Congress did pass, the majority were housekeeping measures, such as naming post office buildings or extending existing laws. Sometimes, it was too difficult for the two chambers to hammer out agreements. More often, the Senate failed to reach agreement within the chamber.
This will provide ample fodder for the President's campaign strategy to run against a 'do-nothing' Congress - as long as the focus never settles on the utter failures of the Democrat-majority Senate which was the foundation of the do-nothing Congress.  Over thirty bills passed by the House of Representatives continue to sit untouched by the Harry Reid Senate, which also spent yet another calendar year failing to pass a federal budget as is required by law.

The Obama Administration decision to gut the country's defense budget will not be negatively impacting primarily the Army and Marine Corps.  Although not specifically addressed, the cutbacks will make it impossible for the Navy to continue to operate the 11 Carrier Battle Groups that is currently mandated by Federal Law.  The cuts will force the Navy to operate as few as 9 Carrier Battle Groups which will severely hamper our ability to protect ourselves and free trade on the world's international waters.  This is also not the first time that this Administration has just decided to ignore laws that it finds inconvenient towards the implementation of their agenda.

The hard left progressive candidate challenging Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, Elizabeth Warren, is a walking case of hypocrisy.  She once called herself the 'intellectual founder' of the OccupyWallStreet movement representing the 99% taking on the 1%.  Yet, not only is she quite comfortable taking large sums of political contributions from Wall Street bankers, she's also one of the 1%....

Elizabeth Warren can’t have it both ways - Lizzy has suggested she believes it takes a village to get rich. Her experience indicates it actually takes a part-time job at Harvard. In 2009, her salary was $350,000 and she earned $429,000 for 2010 and 2011.

She also raked in $136,000 in royalties from her books, $10,000 for lecturing at a Boston law firm, $90,000 for consulting for a Florida law firm and $43,000 for working for Traveler’s Insurance. 
Wait one minute; I thought insurance companies were evil, according to the Obama administration.

Let’s not forget the Oklahoma transplant earned a hefty salary for part-time government work. As a special adviser for President Obama, she was compensated $165,000 from September 2010 through August 2011 and she received $192,000 for serving on the Congressional panel overseeing TARP.

So we can say that based on her own experience, she’s at least part right. No one gets rich on his or her own . . . when they are working for the government. Because that’s taxpayer money…

The only thing that could make her a more hypocritical class warrior is if she anchored a yacht in Rhode Island.

Facts are inconvenient things.

The owners of the sunken luxury liner, Costa Concordia, are accusing their Captain of gross negligence that led directly to the ship striking rocks and sinking last Friday.  The Captain remains in custody of the Italian authorities.  The death toll of the accident remains at 6 with 16-17 persons still unaccounted for.  Divers are conducting a thorough search of the ship which lies on it's starboard side.  More reports are coming from survivors of the utter chaos that was taking place as the ship listed to starboard.

French officials are reporting that Iran is actively at work sending arms shipments to Syria to provide direct support for the Assad regime.  This is in violation of the UN arms embargo against Iran regarding arms shipments.  A strongly worded letter protesting this is likely to follow from the UN if it remains to past forms.

 The Pakistani Taliban leader has been reportedly killed by a US drone strike inside Pakistan on January 12th.  Taliban officials are denying the death of their leader, but radio intercepts point otherwise. 

The New York Post is reporting that the Federal Reserve Bank has already started on their 3rd program of Quantitative Easing (QE3) in their efforts to bail out the European Union Central Bank and troubled Euro zone banks...
* The Fed essentially borrows or is backed up by US taxpayers, already in debt through mortgages, credit cards, student loans.

* The ECB in turn borrows from the Fed and then leverages that money up under its ECB umbrella.

* The ECB then lends it out to 523 of Europe’s most overleveraged banks.

* The desperate banks keep some to fortify their balance sheets, and use the rest to buy sovereign debt in some of the most overleveraged countries in the world, like Italy and Spain, which were just downgraded Friday by S&P.

So after the long laundering of US dollars, the Fed now is investing in and lending to Europe’s most desperate banks, which have in turn invested some of that money in the debt of some of Europe’s weakest countries.
Tying ourselves to a sinking ship....

Ultimately, it's time for politicians to admit that the problems in Europe are directly related to the failed architecture of a socialistic / progressive form of government as opposed to yet another failed implementation of socialism / progressivism. 
But that will not happen because the EU’s politicians are so imbued with an ideological attachment to the euro. They are desperate to keep the single currency because they regard it as the key engine of integration. Nothing can be allowed to stand in the way of a single federal superstate.
“Monetary union is a stepping stone on the way to a united Europe,” said Wim Duisenberg, first head of the European Central Bank. If the euro breaks up their dream of unification is over so they will not allow its demise at any price.

Effectively the economies of Europe are now being destroyed by the fanaticism of the federalist politicians. The Western democracies used to abhor such communist dictators as Stalin and Chairman Mao, who inflicted mass suffering through their ideological fixations. But today the euro zealots have adopted a similarly unyielding approach. As a result the livelihoods of the European peoples are being sacrificed on the altar of political dogma.
Key meme for Americans - your President, and his progressive supporters today, are insisting that this political dogma remains the 'solution' and are speeding this country down the same path at Mach 3. 

On This Day in History

1861 - The Crittenden Compromise dies in the US Senate - this was the last ditch effort to avoid Civil War by asking the recently victorious Republicans to surrender on their key anti-slavery position to permit a reboot of the 1820 Missouri compromise and permit slavery in some western states.  With the death of this 'compromise', Civil War is inevitable.

1919 - Prohibition takes effect

1942 - Actress Carole Lombard is killed in a plane crash while returning to Los Angeles from a war bond tour.

1945 - Adolf Hitler takes refuge in his bunker complex under the Chancellery building in Berlin.  He will remain in that bunker until his suicide 105 days later...

1970 - Curt Flood files his historic lawsuit against Major League baseball challenging the player reserve clause.  His victory in the lawsuit paves the way for free agency...and a huge increase in player salaries.

1979 - Abandoned by President Jimmy Carter, facing army mutinies and violent civilian demonstrations, the Shah of Iran flees the Iran.  Ayatollah Khomeini will arrive in Iran as a conquering hero to establish the 'Mad Mullah' radical Islamist theocracy.

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