Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quick Hits - April 15, 2012

No, it's not Tax Day.  It's Sunday, and because of a District of Columbia holiday tomorrow, we have until Tuesday, April 17th to file our income tax returns.

As the Presidential election for November coalesces into the primary memes - what's becoming very clear is that without a record to run on, Barack Obama is going to embrace being the great divider that he has been since his inauguration.
In 2008, Barack Obama promised he would put an end to the type of politics that “breeds division and conflict and cynicism” and he would help us “rediscover our bonds to each other and get out of this constant, petty bickering that’s come to characterize our politics.”

As president, Obama has not only discarded this core commitment; he has turned it on its head. Republicans aren’t simply people with whom he has philosophical disagreements; they are members of the “Flat Earth Society” and have embraced a budget that demonstrates their “Social Darwinism.” The Republican philosophy is “simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.” The Republican vision is for elderly Americans unable to afford nursing home care, poor children, and children with autism and Down syndrome to “fend for themselves.” The GOP favors “dirtier” air and water. And Republicans in Congress consistently “put party before country.”

The president, then, has signaled that he is going to run a campaign built on crude caricatures and false claims, whether they are directed against Mitt Romney, Congress, or the Supreme Court. No individual or institution is beyond libel.

That this is damaging to our civic and political culture is undeniable and, for the president, wholly irrelevant. He is determined to win at all costs.

This includes lying, obfuscating, bullying, fearmongering, and 'cooking the books' of his Administration aided by the sycophants in the mainstream media. This is standard operating procedure for a narcissistic President, filled with hubris, who puts himself before the bests interests of the country on a daily basis because his ideology and agenda to 'fundamentally change' what he sees as a 'broken nation' - and by doing so, is breaking the nation.

Look at the attack by Hilary Rosen on Ann Romney - and all of the other 'stay at home Moms' that we have.  What on earth are they really thinking of when they make this callous sneering attack?
So when Hilary Rosen sneers out the words "stay-at-home mom," making them sound like an obscene epithet, I'm utterly certain that the image that pops into her head is brainless, duplicitous, lazy, useless leech Peg Bundy.
I have to agree. To the progressive left - who epitomizes the vapid stay at home Mom? Peg Bundy from 'Married with Children'.


Heh - that word seems to fit the past 6 weeks or so for the Obama campaign and their rhetoric to deflect away from their dismal record - on the economy, on energy policy, on unemployment, on fiscal responsibility, on leadership, on bringing the country together, and on foreign policy.

We've noted in the past that President Obama, that 'renowned orator' struggles mightily when he's off script and the TOTUS (Teleprompter of the United States).   He's apparently not the only one who fumbles badly when off script or talking points.  Obama campaign official David Axelrod appeared this morning on Fox News Sunday - and failed miserably under the questioning of Chris Wallace...

Like his boss, Axelrod seems almost at a loss to respond once the talking points are challenged. But I imagined his invitation to choose “between economy that produces a growing middle class and gives people a chance to get ahead and their kids a chance to get ahead and an economy that continues down the road we are on, and everybody else is running faster and faster just to keep pace,” might just become a Mitt Romney campaign ad. Obviously, the only thing left to do is to scare people that unless we re-elect President Obama we’ll be going back to the bad old days of President George W. Bush.

There was plenty more that Axelrod said that was downright wrong or misleading. He “accuses” Romney of wanting to the rich to pay at a lower tax rate; what he doesn’t say is both Romney and the Simpson-Bowles plan also take away deductions and credits so the rich won’t be paying less taxes relative to the rest of the population.

He uses the president’s favorite straw man: “No one can argue that it makes sense that people who are making a million dollars a year or more to pay less than the average middle class worker in this country.” And no one is. In fact the top 10% of earners have been paying roughly 70 percent of the taxes. The bottom 50 percent pay about 3 percent of the tax load.
Mr. Axelrod was not the only senior employee of President Obama who struggled under the questioning of the media on this Sunday's interview programs.  Tax cheat and Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner had his own challenges with the Administration / Campaign talking points while appearing on NBC's Meet the Press hosted by the sympathetic David Gregory.  Gregory twice had to ask the SecTreas whether he would call the economic policies of the Obama Administration a success...

“Geithner finally said that they have proven “remarkably successful,” even though nominal unemployment has been above the 8% mark that Barack Obama promised his policies would prevent for 38 straight months, and real unemployment rests somewhere between 11-12%...”
Then appearing on ABC's This Week, Geithner said that he believed the economy is 'gradually getting stronger' but 'we can't tell yet' if growth will stall in mid 2012 like it did in mid 2010 and mid 2011.

Remember the Washington Post / ABC News poll that I and others have been hammering because of the huge undersampling of Republicans to skew the results to fit a preconceived desired result?  The one that undersamples Republicans more than the 2008 results - and 12 points less than the 2010 numbers?  I mentioned after reviewing the details of the poll that there were a number of questions that were originally redacted - to be used to float stories later on to promote the Obama reelection.  Here's one result from that poll that is not being touted by either WaPo or ABC News - 76% of those who responded still believe that the country is in an economic recession as of April 5-8th, 2012.

76% of a poll significantly skewed to be pro-Obama - believe that the economy has not recovered one bit despite trillions of additional debt / spending promoted by the Obama Administration.  That - not the so-called GOP 'war on women' is the issue that will decide November's election.
ABC News, however, has floated out another 'major story' based on the results of their bogus poll.  This one features the headline on the ABC News website of 'Tea Party Movement Looks Stalled; Half Like It Less As They Hear More'.  The opening point...
A major force in the 2010 midterm elections, the movement has stalled in public popularity, its support well below a majority and decidedly lukewarm. And Americans by a broad 23-point margin say the more they hear about the Tea Party movement, the less they like it, rather than liking it more.

That negative buzz has worsened from a 9-point gap in an ABC News/Washington Post poll as the movement was gathering speed two years ago. And its avenues for resurgence may be limited: Interest in learning more about Tea Party is down 7 points from spring 2010.
Interest in learning about the Tea Party is 7 points down from what it was in the spring of 2010 - in a poll that undersampled Republicans by 12 points?  Remember what happened in November 2010 - with a significant contribution by that reviled Tea Party?  The Tea Party may not be dominating the news cycles as they did opposing Obamacare in the spring of 2010 - but the core beliefs and anger at this Administration and their policies still are seething throughout middle America.  But hubris and arrogance makes this impossible for the progressives to see or understand.

Getting hit by a clue by four does hurt - and the hard left progressive editor of 'The Nation', Katrina Vanden Heuvel learned this on today's ABC This Week - courtesy of the Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot...

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL, EDITOR THE NATION: No one's talking about putting all one's faith in government, but government has an important role to play in shared prosperity. Private-public partnerships are terrific. The administration wanted it with the infrastructure bank, which would have put thousands of people to work. But the Republicans are roadblocks in that process.


MELODY BARNES, FORMER OBAMA DOMESTIC POLICY ADVISER: ... to Katrina's point, all through this -- this first term, what I saw, sitting in the White House, is that one policy initiative after another to try and spur job growth, to try and help the states, on jobs often and frequently occupied by women, was pushed back on by Congress. Efforts around equal pay pushed back on by Congress. About seven, nine Republicans voted for that initiative when the president signed it the first piece of legislation he signed when he walked in the door.


PAUL GIGOT, EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR WALL STREET JOURNAL: We've had the largest expansion of federal government spending since the nineteen, I mean, enormous that I can remember in this administration. The first two years it had open field, Democratic, vast Democratic majorities. You got what you wanted. You got a huge expansion of federal government. How is that working out for the economic security of women?


GIGOT: It hasn't. Real incomes are down.
So much for blaming the 'Republican Congress' eh?

Want to visit the White House?  Donate generously to the President's campaign and you will get to visit - often - not to mention a likely job in the Administration or seeing your green energy business / investment get millions or billions of taxpayer funds. 

The New York Times has an article today that is exposing how President Obama, despite his bleats that his is one of the 'most ethical administrations', that 'does not accept donations from lobbyists' or hire lobbyists, and does not support 'special interests' - does just that.
Although Mr. Obama has made a point of not accepting contributions from registered lobbyists, a review of campaign donations and White House visitor logs shows that special interests have had little trouble making themselves heard. Many of the president’s biggest donors, while not lobbyists, took lobbyists with them to the White House, while others performed essentially the same function on their visits.

More broadly, the review showed that those who donated the most to Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party since he started running for president were far more likely to visit the White House than others. Among donors who gave $30,000 or less, about 20 percent visited the White House, according to a New York Times analysis that matched names in the visitor logs with donor records. But among those who donated $100,000 or more, the figure rises to about 75 percent. Approximately two-thirds of the president’s top fund-raisers in the 2008 campaign visited the White House at least once, some of them numerous times.

Ah, Barack Obama - our 'Man of La Mancha' - singing 'The Impossible Dream'...

Activists opposing the Assad regime in Syria are reporting that the Syrian military has resumed its shelling of residential districts of Homs today - threatening to end the 'ceasefire' that both the rebels and Assad government agreed to earlier in the week.  Activists have posted videos on the Internet showing the effects of artillery and rocket strikes on these civilian neighborhoods.  6 United Nation observers are on their way to Syria - but questions remain as to what access they will have as the regime has been prohibiting access to these areas by foreign observers, aid workers, or journalists.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban launched a series of coordinated attacks across as many as seven sites throughout Kabul, the Afghan capital, and three other provinces.  The attacks targeted NATO bases, parliament, and western embassies - using what the Taliban called were 'scores of suicide bombers' in their 'spring offensive'.
In the attacks outside of Kabul, the assailants reportedly were dressed as women, concealing their weapons under burqas as they stormed government buildings, police facilities and an airport

The insurgents -- armed with suicide vests, rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns -- took control of construction sites in at least three locations in Kabul, using the sites to launch attacks on nearby military and diplomatic compounds.

One attack centered on the city's diplomatic neighborhood near the British, Turkish and Iranian embassies. A second attack targeted the area of the Afghan parliament building, while a third appeared to be aimed at an international military base on the outskirts of town, The Wall Street Journal reported.

This Day In History

1865 - The 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln died from the severe head wound he suffered when shot by John Wilkes Booth the evening of the 14th. 

1912 - The RMS Titantic sinks 2 hours 40 minutes after striking an iceberg about 400 miles from Newfoundland, Canada.  She was carrying 2,206 passengers and crew - and only 20 lifeboats.  1,517 perished on board the ship or of hypothermia in the frigid North Atlantic waters as she sank.  The first rescue ship, SS Carpathia, arrived on the scene 1 hour after the Titantic went down and rescued the 705 passengers who made it into the lifeboats.  The tragedy prompted major changes in safety and ship's operations.  This video is the reconstruction of what happened to the ship based on all information - including an extensive review of the ship's final resting place.

1920 - During a mid-afternoon armed robbery of a shoe company in South Braintree, Massachusetts, a paymaster and security guard were shot and killed by one of the robbers.  Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two anarchists, were arrested for the crime - and convicted on the basis of foresnic evidence despite their efforts to say their arrests were politically motivated (which garned massive support from the progressives of the day).  They were sentenced to death and executed in August 1927.

1947 - Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier in the Major Leagues as he takes to the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn New York.

1952 - The 'Buff' - the B-52 bomber, takes its maiden flight.  The bomber, now in service for 60 years, had 744 aircraft built - of which 90 remain on active duty.  The youngest of the active duty aircraft is about 50 years old.

1998 - Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge leader who was behind the 'Killing Fields' of Cambodia that murdered one third of the country's population, dies of natural causes while under house arrest by Khmer Rouge rivals.

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