Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quick Hits - January 4, 2012

Running a little late today as addressing some technical diving right on in now...

Key memes from yesterday's Iowa caucus voting...

  • Michelle Bachmann, with a dismal last place finish, drops out of the race...
  • Rick Perry, after a brief assessment - and the Bachmann drop-out, heads to South Carolina
  • Newt Gingrich declares war on Mitt Romney in New Hampshire
  • Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum finish 1st and 2nd with only 8 votes separating them
  • Obama Campaign - demonize the tea party 7x24
No real surprise with the decision by Michelle Bachmann to drop out of the race.  Too many unforced factual errors during her campaign, too many times reciting her resume as a mother / foster mother, and a lack of real leadership experience in the House gave her little chance once the debates started and the fight began in earnest.

Newt Gingrich's decision to go after Mitt Romney in the wake of his collapse reflects some of the real problems with a Gingrich candidacy - his temperament and decision making skills.  Gingrich's own background and history provided the fodder for the PAC messages against him - and his willingness to burn down the Romney campaign at all costs reflect poorly on Gingrich.

The focus will turn to New Hampshire.  Like Iowa, NH is going to be more symbolic than effective given the few delegates to be gained and the open nature of the primary where independents and democrats can vote in the GOP primary.

 Lost within the massive cable news attention and focus on Iowa / New Hampshire, is the highly controversial and very likely unconstitutional decision to recess appoint Richard Cordray to become the Director of the unaccountable to Congress consumer protection bureau that was created under the Dodd / Frank bill.  This is not the tossing of a gauntlet at Congress by the President, but a full declaration of war against Congress and it's powers under the US Constitution.

Under Article II, Section II of the US Constitution...
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
Recess appointments have been done by President's since the start of the country - as defined under the above constitutional clause.  As politics has become more divisive - recess appointments have been confrontational events - but done during the times that the Senate has been under an accepted definition of a recess - 3 days - which was defined by the Department of Justice lawyers looking into this for the Clinton Administration in 1993.  This is the same definition that the President acknowledged and accepted during his time as a Senator - and actively working to block nominees of President George W. Bush - just as the current Senate has done on some cases / nominees for the current Administration.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in an agreement with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, maintained the Senate in a pro forma session throughout the holidays to prevent the Senate from entering recess.  The Administration contends that 'The Senate has effectively been in recess for weeks, and is expected to remain in recess for weeks.'

Refer back to the above quote from the Constitution that defines the President's recess appointment powers....the work 'EFFECTIVELY' is not present.  The Senate is either in session or in recess.  In this case, it is in session - a pro forma session - but in session.

Just yesterday, the President's press shill Jay Carney warned that the President is ready to take 'small, medium, and large' actions without the consent of Congress to forward his agenda.  The effort to recess appoint an unaccountable to Congress director to a bureau is a declaration of war by the President not only against the GOP in Congress, but against the Constitutional powers and rights of Congress as a whole.  The LA Times, without citation, says the announcement made by the President is 'likely to be challenged in court'.  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is apoplectic about this - saying the President 'arrogantly circumvented the American people'.

This reflects the utter contempt that the President has towards the law, the Constitution, and the American people.  It's past time for Congress, and the American people to stand up for the contempt to this Administration and their progressive supporters.

Another one that encapsulates the arrogance and contempt of the progressives is the current chair of the Democrat National Committee.  Debbie Wasserman-Schultz attacked Mitt Romney as being someone who cares more about costing Barack Obama his job than providing jobs for the American people - cluelessly ignoring her role, and that of the President, to drive the civilian participation in the workforce to the lowest levels in 30 years - and that we have 2 million fewer working today than when Barack Obama took office.  The willingness to lie without concern or fear of accountability reflects on not only their lack of ethical character - but on that of the media which is busy carrying water for the Administration.

An example?  How about the reporter for Politico and The Hill, Amie Parnes who see's her job not as an objective journalist or a watchdog for the American people, but operating as an unpaid member of the President (and First Lady's) public relations staff with the job to be a vigilant protector of the President and First Lady.  In the latest shill for the Administration, last evening, she touts Obama's willingness to work with Congress - despite it's 'do nothing Congress' reputation - just as long as the GOP is willing to 'compromise' which is defined as the GOP surrendering their positions and accepting those of the President.  Ironic since this morning Obama gave Congress the middle finger in his usurpation of power.

Liberal harpy SoledadDuring an interview with Michelle Bachmann, she hammered Bachmann from the left on homosexuality before teeing up the OccupyWallStreet movement as 'non-partisan' and defends their actions as she assaults the Tea Party.

Are these actions / charges defensible?

In California, a state appointed review panel will recommend to lawmakers in Sacramento not to authorize $6 billion in bonds needed to begin construction of the California High Speed Rail Network.  The panel finds the program to be a waste of funds and without a viable business plan.

The challenge that California has is that lawmakers, including Governor Jerry Brown, are very likely to ignore the recommendation of the review panel.  They see the $120 billion boondoggle as a valued public service.  Of  course, their vision is also quite myopic.  Brown and the California Legislature have far more in common with the Roman Emperor Nero, playing the fiddle as Rome burns, than they do with a responsible group of individuals.  Our state has the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the nation, for the 7th consecutive year ranked 50th out of 50 in terms of business friendliness, running consistent $20-$25 billion budget deficits - and still refuses to address these issues beyond increasing taxes and driving more of the middle class and job creators from the state.

Turmoil in Nigeria is increasing.  Not only are protests turning violent over the decision by the Nigerian government to end a 2 decade old subsidy on gasoline to keep prices low, but the Nigerian jihadist group, Boko Haram, which bombed 2 Christian churches on Christmas Day, has issued an ultimatum to all Christians in northern Nigeria to leave the area in three days for face death if they will not convert to Islam.

The Obama Administration is reported to have agreed to release some top Taliban leaders currently being held at Guantanamo Bay as one of the conditions for starting peace talks with the Taliban over Afghanistan.  On top of the worries that the Administration is going to be willing to surrender Afghanistan (a modern 'peace in our time'?) in order for a political boost - they're releasing terrorists just to start the talks?  More of a sign of weakness than strength..

The United States officially closes 2011 standing at $15.22 trillion in debt and a debt to GDP ratio of 100.3%.  This is $5 trillion higher than the debt was on January 20, 2009.

On This Day in History

1896 - Utah is admitted as the 45th State in the Union.

1965 - President Lyndon Johnson unveils his Great Society initiative in his State of the Union address.

1974 - President Richard Nixon refuses to turn over tape recordings and documents that the Senate Watergate Committee had subpoenaed - marking the beginning of the end of the Nixon Presidency.

1995 - The first Congress entirely under Republican control since the Eisenhower era is seated - Newt Gingrich will become the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

1999 - The Euro officially debuts - Europe shares a common currency for the first time since the 9th century.

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