Saturday, March 24, 2012

Quick Hits - March 24, 2012

It's Saturday which must mean there was another Friday late night document dump by the Obama Administration....

This one highlights the White House efforts to rearrange the deck chairs with the media as Solyndra sank - taking with it over half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds given it by the Obama Administration.
Several key White House offices were involved with the Obama administration’s messaging plans and other preparations as the collapse of the taxpayer-backed solar company Solyndra was imminent, newly released documents show.

The latest White House documents delivered to House Republicans on Friday again highlight the extent to which senior administration officials braced for the fallout as Solyndra – a company President Obama had personally visited – was about to go under.

A White House memo that noted the danger of “imminent bankruptcy” at the end of August 2011 says, “OMB, DPC and NEC have been working with press and OLA to be prepared for this news to break.”

Acronym translation: OMB is the Office of Management and Budget, DPC is the Domestic Policy Council, NEC is the National Economic Council and OLA is the Office of Legal Affairs.
During his testimony several months ago on the collapse of MF Global, which resulted in the loss of about $1.6 billion in client funds, the former CEO / Chairman of the firm, Jon Corzine, told Congress that he had no idea how client funds were lost and denied ordering the intermingling of client and company funds. 

A memo from those last days of MF Global has now surfaced stating that Jon Corzine gave 'direct instructions' to move more than $200 million from a customer account to settle a company overdraft in one of its European accounts.  This contradicts the testimony given under oath by the former NJ Senator and NJ Governor.

As I asked late last year as info regarding the collapse of MF Global became apparent - particularly after the testimony of Corzine, when will he get his 'perp walk'?  We can now add perjury to the charge of felony embezzlement that Corzine should face.

Then we have the House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight Ashbury)...

Speaking at Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Push Coalition, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi addressed recent comments by Newt Gingrich referring to Obama as the "Food Stamp President" because more Americans have fallen into poverty and had to seek government assistance. According to Ms. Pelosi, this was a "Badge of Honor".

Badge of Honor? Wonder whose caused all of those Americans to fall into poverty and need to seek government assistance? Walter E. Williams provides the information...
According to an American Community Survey, by the U.S. Census Bureau, the top 10 poorest cities with populations more than 250,000 are Detroit, with 33 percent of its residents below the poverty line; Buffalo, N.Y., 30 percent; Cincinnati, 28 percent; Cleveland, 27 percent; Miami, 27 percent; St. Louis, 27 percent; El Paso, Texas, 26 percent; Milwaukee, 26 percent; Philadelphia, 25 percent; and Newark, N.J., 24 percent.

The most common characteristic of these cities is that for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations. Some of them -- such as Detroit, Buffalo, Newark and Philadelphia -- haven't elected a Republican mayor for more than a half-century. What's more is that, in some cases for decades, the mayors of six of these high-poverty cities have been black Americans.

Thomas Sowell talks this also in his column about 'Race and Rhetoric'. In this, he notes that despite receiving a huge percentage of the votes from African-Americans, it's the policies of the left that has reversed the gains they had obtained...
While many politicians and "leaders" have claimed credit for black progress, no one seems to be willing to take the blame for the retrogressions represented by higher unemployment rates, higher crime rates, and higher rates of imprisonment today. Or for the disintegration of the black family, which survived centuries of slavery and generations of government-imposed discrimination in the Jim Crow era, but began coming apart in the wake of the expansion of the liberal welfare state and its accompanying social dogmas.

The time is long overdue to start looking beyond the prevailing political rhetoric to the hard realities.
Racial politics is rising its head in the death of Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida.  The prevailing meme being promoted is that Zimmerman murdered the younger Martin because of a racial bias - and is hiding behind Florida's law by claiming that he only shot Martin in self-defense.  From Jesse Jackson to Al Sharpton to the New Black Panther Party - the media is being saturated with the calls for 'justice' on behalf of Trayvon Martin - where George Zimmerman is not only being tried in the media, but convicted in the media.

However, this meme may not be the correct one for this situation.  As reported by a Tampa, Florida television station, there are the statements of the one eyewitness to incident that police need to factor into their investigation...

The mystery eyewitness said that he saw Trayvon Martin attacking and on top of George Zimmerman before he was shot - and that Zimmerman was the one who was yelling for help and being beaten by Martin...
His statements to police were instrumental, because police backed up Zimmerman's claims, saying those screams on the 911 call are those of Zimmerman.

"When I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point," John said.

Sanford police say Zimmerman was bloody in his face and head, and the back of his shirt was wet and had grass stains, indicating a struggle took place before the shooting.

It seems the default assumption may be incorrect - and its never a good thing when the mob / media decides to act on the basis of incomplete information...or to promote an agenda.

Yesterday's QH focused on political theater - where the theater was being used to drive a particular political meme or agenda as opposed to facts or cogent debate.  The theater around the Administration's assault on religious freedom over their contraception, sterilization, and abortafacients mandate from Obamacare requiring these services for free for all women regardless of an organizations moral or religious objections is an example - particularly around the kerfuffle of Rush Limbaugh calling the shill Sandra Fluke a 'slut' and 'prostitute' for her call for free contraception since women students at Georgetown University Law School cannot afford $9 per month contraception.

This has highlighted the double standard in both media and politics regarding statements made by progressives and those offered by conservatives.

Rush Limbaugh comes under astroturfed assault by progressive operations like Media Matters for America - while progressives like Bill Maher and Louis C.K. get a pass for using far more vile vitriol at conservative women like Sarah Palin.

This reaches the point where an unapologetic loathsome and tiresome Maher has to take to the pages of the NY Times to demand 'Get off my back, America' and partisan nitwits at CNN demolish their own credibility trying to spin differences between the what is unacceptable when spoken by a conservative is entirely permissible when done by a progressive.
Bill Maher and Louis C.K. must have an "unfettered right" to spew their vitriol at politicians like Sarah Palin, insisted Obeidallah in a op-ed. Such insults "come with the territory" of running for office, he told CNN host Brooke Baldwin on Thursday afternoon's Newsroom.

Obeidallah believes there is a "war on comedy" stemming from outrage over crude and vile insults made by comedians like Bill Maher and Louis C.K. Concerned for the safety of America's "proud tradition" of political satire, Obeidallah pleaded on CNN that "political comedy must be protected like political speech. It's that important."

However, in his column he trashed conservative Rush Limbaugh for attacking law student Sandra Fluke. So there should be a double-standard for entertainers who attack women politicians and those who attack regular women?

"Political comedians must be afforded the unfettered right to satirize our politicians – even if their jokes include crude words such as the ones that Maher and C.K. used about Sarah Palin," wrote Obeidallah in his column titled "Stop the War on Comedy."

"When you're attacking a public figure, someone in politics, someone like Sarah Palin who would run to be a heartbeat away from the leader of the free world, you know what? It comes with the territory," he stated on CNN Newsroom Thursday.

Also lost in the differences - When Fluke participated in the political theater of a ‘congressional testimony’, she stepped into the same public arena as Palin – and did so with a vapid argument demanding her right to get free contraception via the taxpayer was more important than the rights of the taxpayer – or religious organizations to object to her or her friends getting free contraception.  She was no 'innocent' - unlike say, Bristol Palin, who continues to get vitriol from the left just because of who her mother is.

Fortunately, there are some on the left who are not accepting this vapid doublestandard.  Kirsten Powers, a liberal columnist and Fox News Contributor, responded to Bill Maher's whiny NY Times Op-Ed by demanding from Maher that he 'Please start apologizing'...

Greg Gutfeld, the host of FNC's Red Eye and a member of 'The Five' opened yesterday's broadcast of 'The Five' with a stinging and entirely on point slap at not only Media Matters for America's pathetic theatrical efforts towards Rush Limbaugh, but also the Los Angeles City Council.  In yesterday's QH I briefly touched on the dim City Council's decision to appeal to the management of the regions press organizations to suppress racist and sexist slurs....Gutfeld goes off on them in a well deserved clue by four smackdown...

“Alright, so Media Matters — that tree house of trolls who continue to disappoint their parents — are spending $100,000 on ads to unseat Rush Limbaugh,” Gutfeld said. “Remember, Rush doesn’t hold an office — he hosts a radio show. So it’s a campaign against someone simply because he hurts their feelings. Now, to parrot my acting coach, what’s the motivation? Is it really about decency? No, this is simply manufactured outrage masquerading as concern. Remember, Rush already apologized, but that didn’t matter because Media Matters really wants annihilation. After all, Rush excels at exposing tools like them. So they want his scalp.”

And regarding the joke known as the LA City Council...

“But worse, the sparrow’s nest of chirping bird brains known as the L.A. City Council just passed a resolution urging the press to curb racist, sexist slurs. Well, why don’t they say what they really want to ban? Their parents. I haven’t seen such a pathetic bunch since the Academy Awards. Folks, we’ve got to wake up — the national debate is being steered by unelected group of operatives willing abetted by politicians who are supposed to raise our standard of living, but instead focus on raising awareness. I’d start a campaign to get them fired but I have a life.”

GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is looking to rebound from his decisive loss Tuesday in the Illinois Primary with a win in today's Louisiana primary.  He is leading in the polls but will likely gain any significant ground on the frontrunner Mitt Romney's large lead in delegates from the 20 that are at stake today.  Newt Gingrich, who finished second in Mississippi and Alabama two weeks ago, is polling far behind both Santorum and Romney.

Rick Santorum continues to attack Mitt Romney on being a flip flopper / Obama lite using the 'etch a sketch' reference that started with the Romney Campaign's Communication Director.  However, he's also finding that his own statement made midweek that since Romney and Obama are virtually indistinguishable in their policies, we might as well stay with Obama has put him on the defensive.  He spent much of Friday trying to walk back the comment - to the point that he is getting very testy about questions on his gaffe.

From Louisiana, the race will move to primaries in Maryland, Washington DC, and Wisconsin on April 3rd.  98 delegates are up for grabs - and all three contests are winner take all.  Rick Santorum failed to qualify for the DC primary (19 delegates), and according to Rasmussen's latest poll from Wisconsin, he trails Romney by 13 points (Romney 46, Santorum 33).

In Syria, Assad's military has resumed their shelling of the battered city of Homs in addition to continuing to shell other cities and towns.  Members of the opposition to Assad tell western reporters that these daily indiscriminate bombardments of residential neighborhoods and that the majority of the Free Syrian Army troops that were in Homs were driven out by the assault on the city last month - 'We only have a few rebels here left, there is nothing they can do.'

UK's Telegraph newspaper has video released by the French of the inside of Mohammed Merah's apartment in Toulouse after the 32 hour standoff between Merah and French police ended in a hail of gunfire.  The French Islamic terrorist was shot dead by a sniper while on the balcony of his flat and shooting at police as they stormed the flat.  More than 300 rounds were fired during the final gunbattle.  Merah suffered more than 20 wounds including a fatal head shot, while 5 French police officers were wounded.  The police report that Merah had turned his apartment into a 'war zone' using furniture to create 'barricades, secret nooks, and lairs'.  They also reported that Merah was confirmed as the killer of 7 as the weapon used in the killings was recovered in his car.  There are also reports that Merah did upload to the internet the videos he took of the murders he committed.

On This Day in History

1603 - Queen Elizabeth I dies after ruling England for 44 years.  King James VI of Scotland ascends to the throne as King James I.

1664 - A charter to colonize Rhode Island was granted to Roger Williams in London.

1765 - British Parliament passes the Quartering Act - requiring the American colonies to house 10,000 British troops in public and private buildings.

1975 - North Vietnam launches it's 'Ho Chi Minh Campaign' - the final push from the South Vietnamese Central Highlands to the capital city of Saigon.  By April 27th, Saigon was completely surrounded and fell on April 30th. 

1989 - The Exxon Valdez runs aground on a reef in Prince William Sound in southern Alaska - creating the worst oil spill in US territory.  11 million gallons of oil was released in the grounding.

1999 - NATO commences airstrikes against Yugoslavia with the bombing of Serbian military positions in Kosovo.  The attacks are in response to a new wave of ethnic cleansing by Serbian forces against Kosovar Albanians.

2001 - The first version of Apple Computer's MAC OS X went on sale.

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