Friday, January 20, 2012

Quick Hits - January 20, 2012

The morning after another GOP Presidential Primary debate and the day before votes are cast in the South Carolina primary...

Last night's debate was, what the 17th or 57th GOP Presidential Primary debate?  Clearly for me, debate fatigue is setting in - and we've got 6 or 7 more debates scheduled in the next 30-40 days.  Hugh Hewitt makes the call that I've been touting for several debates - appealing to the RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to stop the madness / stupidity of letting Obama sycophants in the mainstream media moderate GOP Presidential Primary debates.  I thought the moderation team from ABC News of Diane Sawyer and George Snuffleopolous were incredibly bad, but CNN's John King took the very low bar that they set - and tunneled under it.

Hewitt, is particularly torqued off with the moderation effort of John King since he hosted King on his talk radio program Wednesday afternoon and asked King about his approach and general topics that he would be asking the four remaining Republican candidates.  King named plenty of serious and pertinent topics - and didn't ask a single question on them during the debate.

Republicans need to ask themselves why does an interview of a GOP candidate's bitter and angry ex-wife gets more attention in a nationally televised candidate 2 days prior to voters going to the polls than the country's $15.2 trillion (soon to be $16.4 trillion) national debt?  Or the 4th consecutive fiscal year with annual budget deficits of more than $1.2 trillion?  Or the defense cuts that Administration officials admit will increase our risk of war?  How about the 15.6% real un/under employment rate?  Or the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline for partisan political reasons - costing a quarter million jobs?  The do-nothing Harry Reid Senate?  The partisan and racial politics in the Department of Justice?  Fast and Furious?  Solyndra and Solar Millennium?  The EPA's regulatory overreach and enactment of cap and trade?  The DoE spending tens of billions to build the 'green energy' industry - and not creating any jobs - just more expensive electricity?  Dodd / Frank?  Iran?  China?  The Administration's failed pro-radical Islamic Mid Eastern policies?  The Administration's refusal to enforce laws it dislikes?  Defacto amnesty?  Suing States it doesn't like?  Incompetence in cabinet agencies like HHS, DHS, Treasury, DoJ, Transportation...

Why not ask the question posed by Rick Perry, the former candidate?

"Are you better off today than you were $4 trillion ago?"

The list of pertinent questions is quite long - but with the exception of an audience member's question on repealing Obamacare - the questions offered by CNN's John King would have to be 1000 times more intelligent to even be called fluff.  In fact, letting pro-Obama sycophants drive the tenor and direction of GOP debates, a party and conservative philosophy they openly hold in contempt, is beyond asinine.  The GOP needs to find other sources and persons to moderate debate than FNC's usual crew - and people like Rush Limbaugh, Charles Krauthammer, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Bennett, Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, Rich Lowry, Paul Gigot, and others are perfectly capable of moderating a debate that will focus on real issue as opposed to serving the interests of President Obama.

Charles Krauthammer talks about this and the other missteps of the GOP in his weekly column, on the GOP's suicide march...hitting at both the biased mainstream media define the message away from the President's pitiful record as well as the supposed 'real' conservatives, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich attacking Mitt Romney from the left - doing the bidding of President Obama and facilitating Obama's re-election.

Quick Debate scorecard:

Ron Paul - C - Paul got far less time than the other candidates - and benefited from not going to far or too long into his loony foreign policy viewpoints.  Paul started down this path by saying that bringing all US troops home would solve domestic economic issues - but this wasn't followed up by King.

Rick Santorum - B- - Many are saying that Santorum won.  Nope.  He was decent, but too whiny in many of his points.  For the supposed conservative candidate, he also makes far too many attacks from the left and advocates big  government approaches and solutions.

Mitt Romney - B - Mitt did the best of all of the candidates by focusing on the real target - Obama and his policies.  He was better at defending his successes (and wealth), but still has to get better at addressing the insufferable questions about releasing his tax returns. 

Newt Gingrich - B - Newt hit his high point on the first question, slamming King for opening with the question about his ex-wife's ABC interview.  The only way that question could have been answered better would have been to invoke Bill Clinton in the answer.  From there - Newt was glib, inaccurate, and overly grandiose in his self-promotion.

CNN John King - F - Utter fail by King as noted above.

PJ Media's Roger L. Simon notes that these political debates have just become another reality show like Jersey Shore or Housewives of Beverly Hills.  We watch waiting for the train wreck - like Perry forgetting the 3rd department he would eliminate - and can't see that the real train wreck is the entire premise of letting people who despise you manage a vehicle we believe is going to promote our values and vision.

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives committee investigating the DoJ's Fast and Furious program which delivered US weapons to Mexican Drug Cartels, issued a subpoena for Patrick J. Cunningham, the former chief of the Criminal Division of the US Attorney's office in Phoenix, Arizona to testify about his involvement in the Fast and Furious gun running program.  Cunningham had previously refused to testify.  Faced with the subpoena, Cunningham has now, through his attorney, indicated that he will comply with the subpoena to appear before the committee, but will plead the Fifth and refuse to answer any questions.

House investigators were hoping that Cunningham would provide information that the DoJ has refused to provide - details on who approved the project and the real goals / aims of the project.  The investigation has been hampered by the active cover-up and lying by senior Department of Justice officials.

This is not the only scandal brewing within the Obama Administration Department of Justice...not even the first of half a dozen.  The latest links Attorney General Eric Holder and one of his chief subordinates, Lanny Breuer, the head of the DoJ's Criminal Division, to lenders who apparently engaged in fraud when foreclosing on mortgages after the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008.  Despite the claims of the Administration towards going after companies (many of whom are major donors to the Obama campaign) - the DoJ is doing very little.

Why isn't this getting more attention?  Here's another item that should be discussed in detail by the Republican Presidential candidates - the MetLife lesson.  MetLife, the financial services / insurance company, entered the mortgage business in 2008.  Even with the challenges coming in that industry, they believed they could make money on their investment and expansion into that line of business.  And they did.  However with the implementation of Dodd / Frank, the pressure and efforts of many State Attorney General's (primarily Democrats), and the Administration's regulatory environment, MetLife has found that it is easier and far less expensive to close their mortgage business than it is to comply with the current conditions.  There is no market where MetLife can sell this business - so MetLife has closed down this division.  4,300 people are now out of a job.

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled today in the dispute over how Texas redraws its electoral maps on the basis of the 2010 census which provides the state with 4 additional Congressional seats.  The GOP majority in the State Legislature drew up a new redistricting map which Democrats and minority groups opposed.  A Texas judge tossed out the Legislature's solution and 3 judges redrew the maps to favor Democrats and minorities.  The SCOTUS tossed out the solution done by the judges - and ordered them to redraw the maps taking into consideration the wishes and design of the Legislature.

France is weighing a complete and immediate withdrawal of their troops from Afghanistan in the wake of an attack on French soldiers by an Afghan Army soldier who opened fire on the French, killing 4.  This is the second fatal attack in a month involving an Afghan Army soldier turning his weapon on French troops.  President Nicholas Sarkozy has ordered a halt to all French operations in Afghanistan as he considers whether to remain or leave Afghanistan.

During World War II, in the Pacific theater, over 400 Navajo served in the US Marine Corps as 'codetalkers' - using their language as a code for communicating between combat units.  Every Pacific assault done by the Marines, from Guadalcanal to Pelieu to Saipan to Iwo Jima to Okinawa, had codetalkers performing their essential functions.  Their code was fast, efficient, and never broken by the enemy.  Their service was so valuable to the US, that it remained a military secret until 1992.

This past Tuesday, the last of the Navajo codetalkers, Keith Little, passed away at the age of 87.

Rest in Peace Mr. Little.  Semper Fi and Thank you.

This Day in History

1937 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated for his 2nd term as President of the United States. This was the first inauguration on January 20th - the new date set by the 20th Amendment to the Constitution which was ratified during FDR's first term.

1942 - This is the date of the Wansee Conference where top Nazi officials meet to discuss the details of the 'final solution' of the 'Jewish question' - the plan to exterminate Jews in Europe.

1981 - Minutes after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States, the Iranian government released the 52 American hostages they seized from the US Embassy in Tehran and held for 444 days.

1996 - Terrorist Yasir Arafat was elected as the President of the Palestinian National Council and proclaimed as the 'head of state' for Palestinians.

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