Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quick Hits - April 12, 2012

When a political candidate does not have a record on which to run on - they are forced to change the meme away from the lack of a record or the dismal record and focus on something....anything else.

Karl Rove notes this in his weekly Wall Street Journal column where he predicts that the Obama campaign, without a successful record to run on, will take the lowest of the low roads in their campaign to get reelected this November.
Mr. Obama will build entire edifices on top of one fake premise, all dressed up in one big phony assumption. Take the House GOP budget plan. It increases federal outlays from roughly $3.6 trillion this year to nearly $4.9 trillion in 2022. In the AP speech the president called this a "cut" because he wants to increase spending to $5.8 trillion in 2022.

He warned that if the GOP's "cuts . . . were to be spread out evenly across the budget," then "Alzheimer's and cancer and AIDS" research would be slashed, 10 million college students denied assistance, and "thousands" of researchers and teachers "could lose their jobs." But Republicans don't cut across the board. Instead, their focus is on waste, duplication, programs that do not work, and on reform.

As he did Tuesday at Florida Atlantic University, Mr. Obama will attack "these same trickle-down theories" about taxes that almost led to "a second Great Depression." But if the Bush tax cuts were so evil, why didn't Mr. Obama repeal them during his first two years, when his party controlled both houses of Congress? Instead, in December 2010 Mr. Obama agreed to extend them for two more years.

To divert attention from his administration's many failures, Mr. Obama will also offer poll-tested nuggets that pit the many against the few. Take Tuesday's demands for the so-called "Buffett Rule," a new 30% tax on anyone making $1 million a year.

Political cartoonist Michael Ramirez highlights this as well in today's cartoon...

We saw this at work in early March.  Then it was the case of the Administration's assault on religious freedom - the Obamacare contraception mandate that requires all organizations, including religious organizations, to provide free contraception, sterilization, and abortafacient services to their employees regardless of any religious objections the organizations may have to those services.  As the outcry against the apparent violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution increased, suddenly the media and the Administration worked to change the focus.  This wasn't a war on religious freedom, but all those who opposed providing for a religious exemption of these services were instead waging a war on women.

However, there is a war on women that is underway. 

Hilary Rosen, a DNC strategist, frequent visitor to the WH, while appearing on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, attacked Ann Romney, the wife of likely GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, by saying that 'she never worked a day in her life' - making a class (and gender) warfare attack on Mrs. Romney.

Ann Romney took to Twitter to respond - saying that her choice to remain at home in order to raise the families five sons was a full time job and work.

Initially, Rosen doubled and trebled down on the attack, by continuing the class warfare shots at the Romney wealth and Ann Romney's 'privilege' to be able to remain an 'at-home' mother.  The focus was to continue the class warfare campaign rhetoric of the President around the wealth of Romney, around the conservative goal towards reducing taxes to keep as much as possible in the hands of the consumers / businesses as opposed to the government, and the concept of 'fairness' as defined by hard left progressives.

However, Rosen underestimated the real effect of her attack.  David Axelrod and Jim Messina, Obama's Campaign Directors released statements condemning the attack on Ann Romney.  The President released a half-hearted condemnation of the attack after Press Secretary Jay Carney failed to condemn the statement, and instead referred to prepared talking points highlighting the Administration's standard class / gender warfare lines and echoing that women staying home to take care of their kids are 'privileged' as opposed to those who work and take care of (fewer) kids.

Later today, Hilary Rosen released one of those apologies by those who need to apologize but aren't very apologetic.  Powerline notes Rosen's apology - and gives it the cluebat beating that it so roundly deserves while it addresses Rosen's 'fulsome' apology...
Let’s put the faux “war against stay at home moms” to rest once and for all. As a mom I know that raising children is the hardest job there is. As a pundit, I know my words on CNN last night were poorly chosen. In response to Mitt Romney on the campaign trail referring to his wife as a better person to answer questions about women than he is, I was discussing his lack of a record on the plight of women’s financial struggles. Here is my more fulsome view of the issues. As a partner in a firm full of women who work outside of the home as well as stay at home mothers, all with plenty of children, gender equality is not a talking point for me. It is an issue I live every day. I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone else who was offended. Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance.

Hilary Rosen

As Powerline notes - use the modern definition of 'fulsome' - and it is the perfect adjective for Rosen's apology.

Hilary Rosen's firm is connected to former WH Communications Director Anita Dunn, who was dismissed after expressing her admiration for the bloody dictator of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong, is also apparently connected for doing PR and communications work for one of the Administration's earlier sham cases to promote division - the feckless Sandra Fluke.

Sandra Fluke was brought onto the national stage during a fake Congressional testimony dog / pony show in order to take the Administration's Obamacare Contraception mandate, which was a frontal assault on religious freedom, and spin it into a GOP 'war on women' because Conservatives wouldn't give Fluke free contraceptive, sterilization, or abortifacient services via her $60,000 per year Jesuit run University health coverage.  From all appearances, this is all part of the class / gender / racial warfare meme that the Administration is going to focus on for it's reelection campaign.

The focus on these issues, along with the 'Buffet Rule', and now with the Trayvon Martin tragedy, and we have an Administration and campaign that needs to promote class, gender, and racial warfare to mask just how fundamentally ineffective and destructive their policies and agenda has been on this country since January 2009.

Even the leftist columnist for the Washington Post, Dana Milbank, is seeing the vapidity of the Administration's argument to focus attention on these deflection tools - writing today about the 'Buffet Rule'.  In his column, Milbank notes that, 'The plan is a mere gimmick, and the President knows it.'

Working against the rhetoric flooding the airwaves from the Administration, campaign, and sympathetic media talking heads, are some real data and information that shines a bright light on the misdirection being run to protect the President.

These include the results of the statistical analysis that women have taken a disproportionally hard hit in the unemployment numbers since the Obama Administration was sworn in.  However, what is most eye catching around the hypocrisy of the class, gender, racial warfare promoted by the Administration is the report that women working in the Obama White House earn 16% less than the men working in the Obama White House.

Or how about revisiting the reports of women who used to work in the Obama White House, including the aforementioned Anita Dunn, who point out that for women, the Obama White House is a hostile workplace...
“This place would be in court for a hostile workplace,” former White House communications director Anita Dunn is quoted as saying. “Because it actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women.”

“I felt like a piece of meat,” Christina Romer, former head of the Council of Economic Advisers, said of one meeting in which Suskind writes she was “boxed out” by Summers.

Dunn told Suskind that the problems began during the 2008 campaign. At one point she was viewing a television ad with other campaign officials and was shocked to see no women in the spot.

“There isn’t a single woman in this ad,” Dunn said. “I was dumbfounded. It wasn’t like they were being deliberately sexist. It’s just there was no one offering a female perspective.”

The ad was later reshot, with women included.

“The president has a real woman problem,” an unnamed high-ranking female official told Suskind. “ The idea of the boys’ club being just Larry and Rahm isn’t really fair. He [Obama] was just as responsible himself.”

Misdirection. Hypocrisy. Class warfare. Gender warfare. Racial warfare.
These are the paths that the Obama Administration see to their reelection.

Then we have these comments from the President's Secretary of Labor.  She's been leading the charge to 'adjust' the national unemployment data in order to make the President's numbers look much better by reducing the labor participation rate in order to achieve the desired 'official' unemployment numbers.  In this video, she is trying to explain the American dream - and failing miserably...

“At this critical moment in time,” Solis tells the National Action Network convention today, “we have to understand what the President is fighting for.” So what’s it all about? “It’s about fairness in the workplace,” Solis insists, “it’s about fairness in education, and it’s about fairness in terms of what services are provided by government. And if we can’t have a say-so in that,” Solis warns, “then this isn’t the dream that all of us have aspired to be a part of.”

The American dream is not about collectivism - or unbridled government power - or even 'fairness' and 'equality' in the manner she and the Administration are pushing for it.

The American dream is about limited government, capitalism, and most importantly, fairness and equality opportunity. It is the Obama vision that focuses on division, larger government, centralized economic planning, and fairness / equality in results.

Is this Bush's fault too?

5 GS-15 level employees of the GSA spent between 5 and 7 days in Hawaii on the taxpayer's expense to attend a 1 hour ribbon cutting ceremony for a new government facility.  This comes on top of the head of the GSA, and two of her immediate direct reports, losing their job over the GSA spending over $800,000 on a training conference for 300 people in Las Vegas - which included 6 'scouting trips' (over $140,000 in travel costs). 

When the Las Vegas boondoggle became public (the WH learned of it in May 2010), after the resignation of the department head, termination of the 2 direct reports, and suspension of 4 other managers, the Administration then went to blame the malfeasance of the GSA on the previous Administration.

The GSA, by the way, is the internal executive branch department that is supposed to be promoting efficiency and responsibility towards taxpayer funds throughout the Federal Government.

George Zimmerman was charged yesterday with 2nd degree murder over the tragic shooting death of Trayvon Martin - and surrendered to the authorities shortly after the charges were announced.  Today, he will make his first court appearance - and according to his attorney will be pleading 'Not Guilty' on the charge.

Syria remains tense as the latest ceasefire deadline passes.  While the daily artillery bombardments of several Syrian cities and towns did not take place, there were some isolated issues and small arms fire which reportedly claimed several lives.  There are concerns about the commitment to the ceasefire by the Assad regime - they remain not in full compliance with the UN plan as the military units remain deployed and not withdrawn to their bases.  Given the past history of Assad - one has to have a great deal of skepticism as to how long the ceasefire will last.

Chinese saber rattling is escalating in the South China Sea as the country continues its efforts to intimidate and expand its economic zone into the territorial waters of other nations bordering the South China Sea.  The latest is between China and the Philippines over a prime fishing area called the Scarborough Shoal.  China is claiming the territory, which is less than 200 miles from the Philippines - and has dispatched naval warships to order Filipino ships to leave the area.  Manila is responding by ordering additional naval warships to the area. 

In 1979, the PRC launched a limited invasion into Vietnam in order to reinforce their claims to what China claimed were 'disputed' islands in the South China Sea.  Since then, in addition to Vietnam, the PRC has tried to use their military might to intimidate Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, as well as Vietnam and the Philippines to gain key fishing, mineral, and oil rights.

In about one week, the Freedom Tower, now being constructed at Ground Zero in NYC will complete it's 101st floor.  When this floor is done, the building will be 1254 feet tall - and become the tallest building in NYC.  The current tallest building, the Empire State Building, stands at 1250 ft.

From Ace of Spades -
They told me if I voted for John McCain, we'd have a cretinous buffoon a heartbeat away from the presidency. And they were right!

"He has been one of the leading legal scholars," Biden said of Franken today, according to the pool report. He also said that Franken "is deadly serious" as a senator...
Al Franken - one of the leading legal scholars?

Then there is this moron who decided to commit career suicide for $5,000....
Career suicide for $5K?

Joe Muto, a former producer on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” was fired today, less than 24 hours after Gawker revealed that it had a mole within the Fox organization. What’s even more incredible: Gawker paid only $5,000, as Jeff Bercovici of reports, to induce Muto “to commit career suicide.”

That’s well under $200 per hour – which, to be certain, is probably more than Muto was making at Fox, but then again, he worked as the Fox Mole for less than a day, and worked for Fox for eight years.

This deal ended up sour for both ends. While Gawker may have made its money back in ad revenue – they got terrific traffic on the Fox Mole post – their pipeline is gone. And as for Muto, he’ll likely never work in the media again.

Who is the moron of the week? Joe Biden or Joe Muto?

I think its a tie.  They're equally moronic.

This Day in History

1633 - Physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei is convicted of heresey.

1861 - Confederate shore batteries surrounding South Carolina's Charleston Bay open fire on the Federal Fort Sumter located in Charleston Bay - igniting the American Civil War.

1945 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies while on vacation in Warm Springs, Georgia.  He was 63.

1975 - The US Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is evacuated as Khmer Rouge forces attack the city - 276 people are evacuated including 159 Cambodians and 35 foreign nationals.

1981 - The space shuttle Columbia is launched from Cape Canaveral - becoming the first reusable manned spacecraft to travel to space.

1982 - The British Navy begins to enforce a blockade around the Falkland Islands

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