Saturday, April 28, 2012

Quick Hits - April 28, 2012

Bill Whittle calls this the 'Best. Sentence. Ever.'

Love of theory is the root of all evil....

Theory doesn't trump reality.  When the data or reality doesn't match or fit with the theory, the problem is not the data or reality.  The problem is the theory or people promoting the theory.  It's about the one's who are so emotionally connected to the theory (ideology) that they are blinded by everything else - including reality.

We see this when one looks at the world (in geopolitics) or various conditions and see's things not as they are - but as they want them to be.  They are blinded to the reality of the situation by their investment into a theory or ideology to the point where they have to change what reality is in order to have it fit into their accepted beliefs.  In other words, they do not believe what they see as they only see what they want to believe.

There is another corollary to this that reflects an equal intellectual bankruptcy - which involves a violation of 'scientific method' of analysis.  Rather than postulating a hypothesis and then taking steps to empirically prove or disprove the hypothesis as correct - one postulates a hypothesis and then creates the case to prove the hypothesis as correct via changing the data / reality to fit the preferred conclusion.

To the progressive left in this election campaign, they see a Republican 'war on women' because that is not only what they want to believe - but that fits the meme that they believe they need to project in order to gain electoral support.  We hear about a Republican 'war on students' over the issue of extending a temporary interest rate reduction on a special type of student loan.  All of these 'wars' are promoted as evidence of 'unfairness' of the GOP - and are complete fiction. 

House Speaker John Boehner finally decides to take to the House floor to smack down the Democrats over their rank politicization and demonization tactics...

It is said that while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, no one is entitled to their own set of facts. Facts are facts. But facts can be used in a manner which maintain the validity of the facts (as opposed to say, the cooking of the books that we see in the Labor Department's unemployment numbers or the argument offered by those like Michael Mann re Climate Change where data was changed to fit the desired result). We see this is the spin of the White House over the dismal 1st Quarter 2012 Gross Domestic Product economic number - which at 2.2% fell well below the 2.6% that was the consensus expectation.

While 'in the tank' media outlets like National Public Radio make the laughable 'excuse' that slow growth is actually good - the WH took a different spin towards the number. They focused on this number being the '11th consecutive quarter of positive growth'. After all it is. 2.2% growth is a positive number. It's also higher than the level of growth of the 1st Quarter of 2011 (1.8%).

But real problems exist within this number that the Administration and their media sycophants do not want to highlight -starting with the fact that this remains the slowest economic recovery in the last century (at least). This growth number is closer to the 2011 annual GDP growth number of 1.7% than it is to the greater than 4% rate one would expect at this point. For example, the average growth rate in the 11 quarters of the Obama recovery is 2.4%. The average growth rate in the first 11 quarters of the Reagan expansion in the 1980's was 6.1%.

If we look even deeper into this number - we also see some real signs of concern. The Associated Press shills for the Administration by explaining to their readers that one of the reasons the 1st Quarter 2012 number was so low was because of 'government budget cutting' which resulted in lower government spending. However, the government spent $966 billion in the 1st quarter of 2012. This was 2% higher than the government spent in the 1st Quarter of 2011 - and 10% higher than the government spent in the 4th Quarter of 2011. The annualized GDP growth rate for the 4th Quarter of 2011 was 3.0%. In fact, the only reason the US government spent less than $1 trillion in the 1st Quarter of 2012 was because of defense budget cutting....the non-defense government spending continued to balloon.

There is even more bad news as we look even deeper into this dismal GDP growth number.  The 1st Quarter of 2012 saw a huge leap in auto sales that many do not believe is sustainable to future quarters.  This surge accounted for 1.1% GDP growth.  Businesses also increased spending - building up inventories which is also believe to not be sustainable into the next quarters.  This inventory build-up accounted for 0.5% GDP growth.  Without these 'unique' events - we would have an economy that is barely growing (0.6%).  

Who's to blame?  Simple.  We're hammered by the policies of the Obama Administration ('Fairness', 'Social Justice', Bigger Government = Better Government) and the Federal Reserve Bank (QE1, QE2, and Weak Dollar).

Haughty.  Hubris.  Narcissistic.  Nihilistic.  Arrogant.  Conceited.  Supercilious.  Contemptuous.  Ego Driven.  Self-absorbed. 

All of these terms seem to fit the mannerisms and approach of not only Barack Obama - but of those key players around Barack Obama. 

Consider Barack Obama's own words as he demonstrates that he remains a legend in his own mind...
Obama had always had a high estimation of his ability to cast and run his operation. When David Plouffe, his campaign manager, first interviewed for a job with him in 2006, the senator gave him a warning: “I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I’ll hire to do it,” he said. “It’s hard to give up control when that’s all I’ve known.” Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign’s political director. “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Obama told him. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

Or that of White House Press Flack, Jay Carney, who is a living embodiment of the 'Liar's Paradox'...

I never lie.... which Hot Air's Allahpundit asks a very simple question...
Has anything illuminating ever come out of a Q&A at the daily briefing? I’ve never understood the point of it. If the White House has substantive information to share with the press, they can circulate it in written form or bring out an informed expert from the relevant department to expand on it. They can and should also have a press office to field queries from the media, but there’s no obvious reason to me to have a press secretary go out there day after day and tapdance around questions with artful half-truths. It’s pure theater, cat and mouse for political junkies. Carney himself is candid about it, explaining that while he can’t lie, he can hold back plenty of information in order to keep confidential matters confidential. How much “credibility” is there in that? You’re a paid flack whose job is to protect the administration by omitting whatever key facts can be safely concealed. I understand a president’s need for some sort of liaison to the press but let’s not kid ourselves that anything useful is happening here. At least on the record.
Does one lie by omitting key facts in order to present reality as one wants it to be?

In 1988, Joe Biden was forced to withdraw from the Democrat Presidential Primary race over a scandal that developed from his plagiarism of British Liberal Party Leader Neil Kinnock. It was not a simple gaffe around similar words or ideas - or even a failure to acknowledge a source. It was a level of plagiarism that would have resulted, if done by a university student in a paper, an academic review / expulsion.

Old habits are hard to break - as now Vice President Joe Biden seems to be back on that plagiarism horse...

This is the new Obama campaign advertisement that is touting the 'gutsy' call of President Obama to launch the raid to capture Osama Bin Laden.  It's narrated by former President Bill Clinton - and suggests that a President Mitt Romney would not have launched the mission that sent Seal Team 6 into Pakistan to kill the al-Qaeda leader.

Vice President Biden also is on the campaign trail promoting this same meme...
"I think nothing speaks more powerfully to the differences between President Obama and Governor Romney than one of the defining moments in the past four years, the hunt for Osama bin Laden," Biden said Thursday at a campaign event in New York City.

He quoted Obama's pledge as a candidate to making crushing al Qaeda "our biggest national security priority.”

Biden added, "I was a little bit more direct. I said, we’d follow the S.O.B. to the gates of Hell if we had to."
Interesting choice of words Mr. Vice President.

As a reader highlighted - this is taken almost word for word from Senator John McCain during a 2008 campaign GOP Presidential Primary debate....

This is also the same Joe Biden who...

...advised President Obama against conducting the Osama Bin Laden raid...

And about that 'gutsy call'....let's revisit the article that highlights the details of the memo from then CIA Director Leon Panetta on the mission orders...
Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault.

The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 am.

As notes in their commentary...
Only the memo doesn’t show a gutsy call. It doesn’t show a president willing to take the blame for a mission gone wrong. It shows a CYA maneuver by the White House.

The memo puts all control in the hands of Admiral McRaven – the “timing, operational decision making and control” are all up to McRaven. So the notion that Obama and his team were walking through every stage of the operation is incorrect. The hero here was McRaven, not Obama. And had the mission gone wrong, McRaven surely would have been thrown under the bus.

The memo is crystal clear on that point. It says that the decision has been made based solely on the “risk profile presented to the President.” If any other risks – no matter how minute – arose, they were “to be brought back to the President for his consideration.” This is ludicrous. It is wiggle room. It was Obama’s way of carving out space for himself in case the mission went bad. If it did, he’d say that there were additional risks of which he hadn’t been informed; he’d been kept in the dark by his military leaders.

Finally, the memo is unclear on just what the mission is. Was it to capture Bin Laden or to kill him? The White House itself was unable to decide what the mission was in the hours after the Bin Laden kill, and actually switched its language. The memo shows why: McRaven was instructed to “get” Bin Laden, whatever that meant.

President Obama made the right call to give the green light to the mission. But he did it in a way that he could shift the blame if things went wrong. Typical Obama.

We ARE watching an Orwellian Ministry of Truth at work with this Administration, it's leading players, and the 'mainstream' media that is in an ideological lock step with them.  Need we mention the double-standard that would be in play if the party affiliation of these officials were Republican? 

After all - now the focus is - 'We got Bin Laden'...not 'We lost the Middle East'.

I see that the Pakistani spy agency, the ISI, is on the same wavelength when it comes to taking the truth to new levels.... as they report that they were the one's who gave Bin Laden's location inside Pakistan to the US Central Intelligence Agency.  Really?  It wasn't the personal courier who led us to Bin Laden - or that we got the info on the courier from 'enhanced interrogation methods;?

This Day in History

1789 - Master's Mate Fletcher Christian leads a mutiny on board the HMS Bounty.  Setting Captain William Bligh and 19 loyal sailors adrift in the Pacific Ocean in a 23 foot long open long boat, the mutineers sail east to Tahiti and then onto Pitcairn Island where they burn the HMS Bounty.  A number of mutineers are found years later on Pitcairn Island and taken to England for trial.  Today, descendants of the mutineers live on the remote Pitcairn Island.  Captain Bligh successfully navigated his long boat 3,600 miles to Timor and rescue - a stunning feat of seamanship.

1945 - Benito Mussolini, the former fascist dictator of Italy, is shot to death by Italian partisans who capture him and his mistress as they tried to flee Italy to Switzerland.

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