Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quick Hits - January 29, 2012

The peaceful, tea party-like OccupyWallStreet protesters in Oakland, California, known as OccupyOakland, took to the streets of Oakland on Saturday.

Saturday’s protests — the most turbulent since Oakland police forcefully dismantled an Occupy encampment in November — came just days after the group said it planned to use a vacant building as a social center and political hub and threatened to try to shut down the port, occupy the airport and take over City Hall.

An exasperated Mayor Jean Quan, who faced heavy criticism for the police action last fall, called on the Occupy movement to “stop using Oakland as its playground.”

The OccupyProtesters hurled bottles, pipes, rocks, and 'improvised explosive devices' at police during their violent protest efforts to take over a building at the Harry Kaiser Convention Center before breaking into Oakland's City Hall and burning flags taken from City Hall.  The Oakland PD arrested over 300 of the Occupy thugs.  Occupy thugs complained that the police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at them - and refused to let them disperse to avoid arrest.

The Occupy movement, the partnership of union thugs, anarchist thugs, communist thugs, and hard left progressive thugs is promoting more violence in their efforts to wage a class war against the 1% - even though most of those who are leading and advocating the action of the movement are members of the 1%.  One of their missions, make the summer of 2012 look like the summer of 1968...

In another case of massive hypocrisy, a racist plays the race card when commenting about the President Obama / Arizona Jan Brewer 'discussion' on the tarmac of Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport earlier this week... video from Weasel Zippers...

The past Friday, the Eric Holder Department of Justice continued it's pattern of late Friday evening document dumps regarding its efforts to stonewall and obfuscate the Congressional investigation into the DoJ / ATF Operation Fast and Furious.  This was the program created by the DoJ / ATF to provide weapons acquired in US gun stores to Mexican drug cartels in order to create a justification for the DoJ and Obama Administration to enact far stricter gun control laws within the United States. Several thousands of weapons were provided to the drug cartels which were then used to murder over 400 people.

In testimony before Congress in May 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder said under oath that he only became aware of the Fast and Furious program 'a couple of weeks' before.  Included in the materials that were released on Friday were documents that indicated that Attorney General Eric Holder was briefed on the program the day that Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was gunned down by cartel thugs 18 miles inside the US in December 2010.  In addition, Holder was also told that the weapons used to kill Terry were obtained through the Fast and Furious gunrunning program.

Not only has Attorney General Holder lied to Congress under oath about his knowledge of the program, but the DOJ and Obama Administration is actively running a cover-up of the program in their contempt towards the law and Congress.

The latest series of polls on the GOP Presidential Primary in Florida, where voters go to the polls on Tuesday, show that Mitt Romney is expanding his lead over Newt Gingrich.  NBC News / Marist poll shows that Romney has a 15 point lead over Gingrich (42-27) with Rick Santorum (16%) and Ron Paul (11%) trailing the frontrunners by significant amounts.  Rasmussen's most recent polls reflect similar numbers - Romney at 44%, Gingrich at 28%, Rick Santorum at 12%, and Ron Paul trailing with 10% support.

In the NBC News / Marist poll, only 4% of the voters questioned say they are undecided so there appear to be view who have not made up their minds.  Rasmussen's poll asked voters which was the number 1 criteria for their decision as to which candidate to support?  The majority said that their decision was based which candidate had the best chance to beat President Obama.

Another factor clearly influencing the current numbers is the effects of the performance of the candidates in debates.  In South Carolina, Newt Gingrich surged past Mitt Romney on the boost he gained from 2 very strong debate performances combined with sub-par performances by Romney.  In Florida, where Gingrich had a lead from SC coattails, 2 sub-par performances by Gingrich countered by 2 strong performances by Romney have contributed to Romney's lead in Florida.

Newt Gingrich is hard at work trying to counter the 'negative' ads being directed towards him by the Romney campaign as he continues to rail against the former Governor from the positions of the hard left.  Gingrich gained the endorsement of former candidate Herman Cain yesterday at a campaign even in West Palm Beach, Florida, but questions remain if this endorsement will turn the tide for the former Speaker.

Yesterday, I referenced the new regulations being enacted by the California Air Resources Board mandating not only dramatically higher emission controls for automakers seeking to sell their cars in California, but also decreeing that 1 out of every 7 cars sold in California have to be zero emission cars - even though the Board has not indicated how they will force California citizens to buy zero emission cars in this ratio or better.

What's interesting about these excessive regulations are the rationale the Board is using to justify them...
Scientists say the reductions in greenhouse gases that will result from the new rules are necessary for the world to avoid the most catastrophic effects of human-caused climate change. Regulators say the rules will also drive innovation and, therefore, job growth, reduce U.S. dependence on oil from hostile countries, and save people money on the cost of gasoline and medical care.
It's a laughable example of bureau-speak crap referencing global warming / climate change and that more expensive cars will somehow increase jobs.  (Re reducing dependency on oil from hostile countries - Keystone XL pipeline and domestic production, both of which are fought by these same leftards.)

The Daily Mail in the UK has this report about Global Warming / Climate Change that reflects there has been no global warming for the past 15 years...
The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

Victor Davis Hanson references this further in his weekly column, 'What We Don't Want to Hear Anymore'...
Please, No More Green Initiatives

If incandescent light bulbs are really toxic, unreliable, and expensive, then the public will start buying the cheaper, greener, and more economical fluorescent alternative. When the technology is mastered and solar panels are a bargain, they will sell. When gas hits $5 a gallon, we will want more Priuses. Mr. Chu, please no more sermons on California agriculture ($17 billion in exports this year) blowing away. We don’t object to government incentives or tax credits, but please no more subsidized green plants, no more government laws outlawing good products, no more federal buying of perfectly good cars to crush.

Green is now synonymous with hucksterism, whether the Al Gore “cry wolf” corporatism, or the academic grandee snagging grants (while worried in email over the con), or the campaign bundler suddenly wanting government cash for some sort of Mr. Chu’s Pet Rock-like solar panel plant. Mr. President, almost everything you said in your State of the Union address about energy was misleading. Gas has risen over 80% since you took office. The only reason that it has not gone even higher is that your economic policies ensured slow growth (1.7%) and thus curbed fuel demand. Meanwhile, some brilliant entrepreneurs discovered how to frack and horizontally drill on mostly private land; so oil and gas production went up despite radical curtailment of federal oil and gas leases by 40%. How strange: after going after the gas and oil industry for three years, the president still could not,as promised, get electricity prices to “skyrocket” or gas to reach “European levels,” and so takes credit for those who resisted his own agenda.
Circling back to America's Greece, California, here's more evidence that the middle class / business exodus from California is likely to increase over the next several years.  The California Supreme Court is slated to rule on the validation of State Senate redistricting maps that were drawn up by a stacked 'independent' board which gerrymandered the districts to facilitate the Democrats a 2/3rd majority in the State Senate.  This is critical as the State Constitution requires a 2/3rd majority in the Senate to approve all tax increases on California's residents.  The only thing holding us back from even higher taxes are the 3 seats the Democrats are short of this threshold.  If they gain this supermajority, taxes in California will skyrocket.

In Europe, even The Economist is starting to see the real source of the fiscal crisis that exists in the Eurozone..
Two problems stand out. One is the scale of European public spending. If America is a defence superpower, spending almost as much on defence as the rest of the world combined, Europe is a “lifestyle superpower”, spending more than the rest of the world put together on social protection. Big governments tend to slow growth, says the World Bank, unless they are as effective as Sweden’s. Ageing will add to the burden. For Mr Gill, Europeans can still choose to work shorter days and take longer holidays than Americans, but they can no longer afford to retire early.

It would help if Europe were more productive. But this is the second area of concern. Having almost closed the productivity gap with America in the mid-1990s, Europe is again being left behind. This trend is most alarming in southern Europe, where productivity has actually dropped. A simple explanation is that Mediterranean countries enjoyed easy “catch-up” growth by importing technology. New growth needs the harder graft of innovation and enterprise. Southern economies with cumbersome regulation, poor administration, overreliance on tiny family businesses and an over-protected labour force are bad at this. Fixing that will be the work of a generation, not a summit.

As long as Europe tries to hold onto its Euro-socialism dogma of massive entitlements, excessive government regulations, and an over-protected labor force, they will be unable to generate the economic growth that is needed to help start to end the crisis. Europe needs to look no further to the Thatcher / Reagan approach - particularly towards how Thatcher took the UK from it's near fiscal death to economic strength by undoing the catastrophe of the Attlee / Wilson socialistic vision.

As Argentina continues to set its sights on the Falkland Islands, and the potential for developing oil fields around those islands, the former Chief of the British Army warns British armed forces today would be unable to reclaim the Falklands if Argentina seizes them again.
General Sir Mike Jackson believes the demise of jets capable of launching from aircraft carriers would make it "just about impossible" to recover key strategic strongholds.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Sir Mike said British defences on the Falklands have improved "by a factor of several tens" since 1982. But the 67-year-old conceded losing the islands - which Argentina calls the Malvinas - is not out of the question, saying, "never say never".

Violence continues to escalate in Syria as at least 33 are killed in a town close to Damascus as the Syrian Army launches an offensive against rebels opposing the Assad regime.

On This Day in History

1820 - King George III dies.  He was determined to be permanently insane in 1810 when his son, the Prince of Wales, was name regent.

1861 - The territory of Kansas was admitted to the Union as the 34th state - granted statehood as a free state.

1936 - The Baseball Hall of Fame elects its first members - Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson, and Walter Johnson.  Today - 278 individuals are members of the Hall of Fame comprising of 225 players, 17 managers, 8 umpires, and 28 executives / pioneers.

1964 - The movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb had it's premier.

2002 - During his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush defines the 'Axis of Evil' - Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.

In the works - A post about the comments by Sarah Palin on the state of the GOP Presidential race...

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