Monday, March 5, 2012

Quick Hits - March 5, 2012

Thousands of protesters are already filling the streets of central Moscow to protest Vladimir Putin's election to the Russian Presidency.  They are planning rolling non-stop demonstrations similar to those in the Ukraine in 2004 or last spring in Tahrir Square Cairo.

Putin was elected to return to the role of President amid widespread claims of voter fraud taking place during the election.  Election monitors in Russia are reporting that the result was 'never in doubt' and that there were serious problems with the election.  Among the observations - ballot stuffing, carousel voting, and voter intimidation at one third of the more than 90,000 polling locations.

Unfortunately, other than protest, there is little that the Russian people are going to be able to do to stop the return of the soviet-style oligarchy that Putin represents.  He seems to envision himself as a benevolent Stalin - and wishes to return Russia to superpower status.

Gunmen, disguised as police and believed to be members of al-Qaeda in Iraq, raided checkpoints and homes in the Anbar province of Iraq killing at least 27 - including 2 senior officers who were dragged from their homes before being executed.  This brazen attack reflects the re-emergence of al-Qaeda in Iraq which has been growing (along with the violence) since the Obama Administration withdrew US security forces from Iraq in 2011.  During 2004-6, Anbar province was one of the most violent areas in Iraq until local leaders and the US surge defeated al-Qaeda in Iraq - forcing them out of Anbar.

Yesterday, President Obama addressed attendees at AIPAC.  This was a highly watched speech given the President's past actions regarding Israel, his efforts (and failure to act) regarding Iran, and the re-election campaign that the President is running...which makes every speech a campaign speech.  The Weekly Standard observed this from the President's remarks:
Five paragraphs acclaiming his own record followed, culminating in this: “Which is why, if during this political season you hear some questions regarding my administration’s support for Israel, remember that it’s not backed up by the facts. And remember that the U.S.-Israel relationship is simply too important to be distorted by partisan politics. America’s national security is too important. Israel’s security is too important.” And then he went back to singing his own praises again. 

There are other problems with the AIPAC remarks. In his State of the Union speech less than two months ago, Obama said, “America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.” This time he said, “I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” a weaker formulation. And neither time did he say flatly “America will prevent Iran”—not “determined,” not “have a policy,” but a flat statement: Iran will never get a nuclear weapon because America will prevent it. Moreover, Obama’s red line only works if we can all be sure our knowledge of Iran’s program is reliable and that there is no possibility they could weaponize without our knowing it. That may well be true, but would you bet your country on it?
Is our information reliable?  The IAEA is unsure of Iranian intentions.  They don't know if Iran is actively working on a nuclear weapons program because they are being prevented by the Iranians from visiting all of the facilities used by the Iranians for their nuclear program.  Like our own National Intelligence Estimates, unless one has 100% verifiable and confirmed knowledge of the existence of a weapons program or the intent of the Iranian leadership to develop a nuclear weapons capability, the base assumption seems to be that the position is to assume they don't.

This seems a foolish bet.  We do know that Iran is active in enriching uranium - saying they need nuclear power for their domestic energy needs even though they have huge energy reserves of oil and gas.  We do know that Iran is active in developing and improving their ballistic missile capability.  We do know that Iran is an active trading partner with North Korea - which needs energy and has nuclear weapon and missile technology to export / trade.  We've all heard the 'if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc...'

How about the left and President Obama applying the same philosophy regarding their preferences for greater gun controls in the US - since once does not know the intent of one seeking to purchase guns, let's significantly limit their availability in the name of violence prevention - and apply it towards Iran via our actions, not just words.

PJ Media's Roger L. Simon watched President Obama's speech in person while at AIPAC.  He notes, in this first time seeing President Obama in person;
This is one strange dude — part narcissist, part Chicago ward heeler, part neo-Alinskyite marxist, part talk show host smoothie, part nowhere man. The ideas might be there, traceable back to Ayers, Dohrn, and Reverend Wright, but he has pushed them far away, almost as if he were trying to forget them. They were no longer functional and had to go, but he is left with… what?

It’s hard to tell what he really thinks now because I suspect even he doesn’t know what that is. He is a kind of moving target, not just to us, but to himself. You expect to hate him, then you start to like him, then you start to hate him again. At the end, you don’t really know what you think, although in my case you revert to your previous view — extreme distaste.

I think this odd personality of the president’s accentuated the ambivalent manner in which his speech on Israel was received by the AIPAC audience.

So even when Obama mouths the right words, you’re not convinced he actually believes them. The president seems to recognize this dissonance — and it makes him angry. That was clearly on display in the Israel speech when I and those around me detected a self-righteous edge when Obama recited the litany of things he had done for Israel, how he, Barack, was the most pro-Israel president of all (oh, mirror, mirror, on the wall) even if he had not deigned to visit the country since assuming his office, preferring Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, or just about anywhere else.

Unspoken in all this — and probably bringing an extra je ne sais quoi to the anger — was the unspoken goal of his speech, retrieval of the Jewish vote that, according to a recent Pew poll, was starting to drift toward the Republicans for the first time in decades.

President Obama putting politics before the best interests of the United States? I'm not's not only politics all of the time for this President, it's campaigning all of the time.

Over the weekend, Breitbart 2.0 took place - the re-launch of Breitbart.TV and the BIG (Government, Hollywood, Journalism, and Peace) websites.  As part of Breitbart 2.0, also launched is this part of the Breitbart legacy - 'The Vetting of Barack Obama'...
Prior to his passing, Andrew Breitbart said that the mission of the Breitbart empire was to exemplify the free and fearless press that our Constitution protects--but which, increasingly, the mainstream media denies us.

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” – “Who guards the guardians?” Andrew saw himself in that role—as a guardian protecting Americans from the left’s “objective” loyal scribes.

Andrew wanted to do what the mainstream media would not. First and foremost: Andrew pledged to vet President Barack H. Obama.

Andrew did not want to re-litigate the 2008 election. Nor did he want to let Republicans off the hook. Instead, he wanted to show that the media had failed in its most basic duty: to uncover the truth, and hold those in power accountable, regardless of party.

From today through Election Day, November 6, 2012, we will vet this president--and his rivals.

This leads into the first part of the vetting process located at the above link - Obama and Saul Alinsky. Read it all.

Now ask yourself - why wasn't this vetted in 2007-8? Why does this information and these connections of Barack Obama have to be hidden / masked? Why did the fourth estate, journalism, so completely fail to do their job - in the same thorough manner in which they vet conservative candidates?

As you do, you're also going be asking yourself if this is really important? After all most of us know from his record over the last three years that he is not the moderate he claimed to be during his campaign in 2008. We now know what 'fundamental change' is - and why he believed the country needed 'fundamental change'....well, most of us do.

This is important because there are still many who do need to learn this - and realize that his 'American dream' has no relationship with the traditional 'American dream' or 'American values'. This needs to be done because of the malfeasance of the mainstream media to protect and inform the American people...but unfortunately, for too much of the MSM, politics comes before country or even professional ethics.

Ethics in journalism?

When it comes to polls and poll results, the devil is in the details.  Take for example the latest NBC / WSJ poll which will be touted across the MSM over the next several days - showing that Obama has once again exceeded 50% support for his job approval ratings. 

Devil in the details...the poll was taken of 800 adults - not registered voters or likely voters, adults.  Then there is the demographic breakdown of those who took the poll - and this exposes how rigged the poll is.  43% of the respondents voted for Obama in 2008, 31% voted for McCain, and 18% didn't vote at all...but Obama only won in 2008 by 7 points over McCain - not 12.  In fact, 32% of those polled didn't even bother to vote in 2010 midterms.

But the most revealing example of the vapidity of the poll comes from the party breakdown.  According to the poll details, those responding to the poll had 27% affiliated with Democrat Party, 20% with the Republican Party, and 49% called themselves 'Independents'.  Only in a pro-Obama pollster's dream world does this breakdown exist....not in the real world. 

Moving from here to domestic politics, I've mentioned before that one of the absolute most clueless people engaged in national politics has to be the vapid Congresswoman and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.  She is making Howard Dean appear fair and balanced.  Yesterday, on 'Meet the Press', DWS attacks conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh over his comments last week calling student activist / shill Sandra Fluke a 'slut'...

REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FLORIDA): Then the other news in contraception this week was Rush Limbaugh criticizing a young law student who stood up and said, look, at Georgetown Law School, not only am I required to pay for my own health insurance because Georgetown Law requires all students to pay for health insurance, but contraception's not covered. And what did he do? He called her a slut. A slut. And now I'm sorry, I know he apologized, but forgive me if I doubt his sincerity given that he lost at least six advertisers. And the bottom line is that the leading candidate on the Republican side for president couldn't even bring himself to call Rush Limbaugh's comments outrageous and call him out and ask him to apologize.

Yet, DWS has no problem appearing with Bill Maher, who called Sarah Palin a 'dumb twat' and the 'c' word.  Has she, as a woman so concerned with women's rights called out Bill Maher for his offensive slurs?  Of course not - there is one rule for those who support Democrats and another for those who support Republicans...and she wonders why she has little real credibility outside the progressive echo chamber?

Demonstrating intellectual honesty is liberal columnist and FNC contributor Kirsten Powers who writes in her latest column, 'Rush Limbaugh Isn't the Only Media Misogynist'....
Did you know there is a war on women?
Yes, it’s true. Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, Matt Taibbi, and Ed Schultz have been waging it for years with their misogynist outbursts. There have been boycotts by people on the left who are outraged that these guys still have jobs. Oh, wait. Sorry, that never happened.

Read it all - as Powers proceeds to detail examples from each of those media progressives that go to the slut level (Ed Schultz calling conservative radio host Laura Ingraham a 'right-wing slut) and well beyond - all without outcry from progressive defenders of women's rights.  Kudos to Kirsten Powers.

Touching back on something that DWS said during her rant with David Gregory, she and other Democrats are dancing with glee now that 7 advertisers have abandoned the Rush Limbaugh program over his reference to Fluke - despite Rush's apology for the use of that term on Saturday.  The companies that have cancelled or suspended their advertising on the Limbaugh program include ProFlowers, Sleep Train, and Carbonite.

Hard left activists on the Daily Kos and throughout social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook are mounting an organized campaign to target other Limbaugh advertisers.

Republicans are starting to organize to fight back with campaigns of their own against the advertisers who are abandoning the Limbaugh program - but are continuing to advertise with progressive media hosts / programs that are equally or more misogynistic in their statements.  For example, Carbonite, the online backup company, is continuing to advertise on Ed Schultz's radio program even though he used the same slur at Laura Ingraham.

My thought - advice?  Dump Carbonite if you are a customer.  There are equally good alternatives out there for the same need - Mozy and IDrive.  And do the same with with other advertisers who abandon Limbaugh - but still advertise on HBO or MSNBC or CurrentTV or Progressive Talk Radio.

It's the day before Super Tuesday and we're looking at Ohio being a must-win for..... Rick Santorum.

Polls are showing that Mitt Romney's momentum is continuing to grow.  Fresh off of the endorsement from the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA) and Senator Tom Coburn (OK), the latest Quinnipiac poll in Ohio now shows that Romney has a 3 point lead over Santorum - eliminating a double digit Santorum lead from 2 weeks ago.

PPP's latest Ohio poll has Romney ahead by 1 point.  Both polls are within the margin of error - but the momentum has shifted. 

In Tennessee, we're also seeing more signs of a Romney surge in that state - with that race seeming to close to the margin of error.  Of the Super Tuesday major battles, Romney trails significantly only in Georgia - where Gingrich is running strong in his home state (and his must-win).

If the trend continues, tomorrow will be a very good day for Mitt Romney in terms of delegates - made even more so because of the failures of the Santorum campaign in Ohio (where they are disqualified from 18 delegates) and Virginia (where they are not on the ballot).

Despite the meme from the mainstream media, the damage being done to the GOP by this close and hard fought primary battle is far from critical.


Are there money concerns in the Obama campaign?  The Obama campaign and the DNC are telling Congressional Democrats that they are on their own regarding campaign cash.  Unlike 2008 and 2010, neither the Obama campaign or the DNC will be providing funds ($30M requested by Reid / Pelosi for Congressional Democrats) as they apparently need every penny for the President's re-election campaign....which is on pace to fall well short of the $1B goal set.

Remember this? 

McCain 2008 advertisement predicting $4 / $5 gallon gas if Barack Obama is elected President.

Don't blame me - I voted for McCain.

On This Day in History

1770 - Boston Massacre takes place when British troops fire on a crowd in Boston killing 5.

1918 - Bolsheviks move the capital of Russia from Petrograd (St. Petersburg) to Moscow.

1946 - Winston Churchill delivers his 'Iron Curtain' speech condemning the Soviet Union's policies in Europe and declares, "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent."

1953 - Josef Stalin, the brutal leader of the USSR since 1924, and one of history's greatest mass murderers, dies in Moscow.

1966 - Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler has the #1 pop music song in the country with his 'Ballad of the Green Berets'.

1982 - John Belushi dies in Los Angeles from a drug overdose.  He was 33.

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