Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Quick Hits - April 3, 2012

President Obama delivered what is likely to be a typical campaign stump speech earlier today at The Associated Press Luncheon in Washington DC.

Demonstrating once again he can say anything with a perfectly straight face, he targeted the GOP House budget promoted by Rep. Paul Ryan,  calling it a 'trojan horse' that seeks to 'impose a radical vision' on the United States.
"It's nothing but thinly veiled Social Darwinism," Obama will say at an Associated Press lunch, according to prepared remarks released by the White House. "It's antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who's willing to work for it, a place where prosperity doesn't trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class."
The President is attempting to present himself as a 'fighter for the middle class' - noting once again that it was government programs and investments that made America great.  The President also attacked the concept of 'trickle down economics - calling it a complete failure.  He proceeded to define his plan and economic approach as being for the 'middle class' and the right choice for the country.

Unfortunately for the President, not only do actions speak far louder than words, so do statistics and facts.

His plan?  Does the President refer to his FY2013 budget that was rejected by the House of Representatives by a 414 - 0 vote?  That's right - ZERO effin votes for the President's budget....NONE of the House Democrats wanted to go on record in an election year supporting that pos.

Representative Paul Ryan responded to the Obama attack by accusing the President of 'cash for clunker economics noting the President's plan is to....
“Take money from successful businesses. Take money from families. Take it to Washington and swish it around,” the House Budget Committee chairman explained. “Then send it back to your favorite constituencies.”

The Wall Street Journal notes in today's edition that the President's economic policies has produced the 'worst economic recovery in history...'
It would be difficult to argue that government polices over the past three years have enhanced confidence in the U.S. business environment. Threats of higher taxes, the constantly increasing regulatory burden, the failure to pursue an aggressive trade policy that will open markets to U.S. exports, and the enormous increase in government spending all are growth impediments. Policies have focused on short-run changes and gimmicks—recall cash for clunkers and first-time home buyer credits—rather than on creating conditions that are favorable to investment that raise productivity and wages.

Robert Reich, the former Obama Economic Transition Board advisor and former Clinton Administration Secretary of Labor, says that the Obama economic plans and recovery are not a boon for this country's middle class, but a 'massive boondoggle for the 1%...
According to an analysis of tax returns by Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, the top 1 percent pocketed 93 percent of the gains in 2010. 37 percent of the gains went to the top one-tenth of one percent. No one below the richest 10 percent saw any gain at all.

In fact, most of the bottom 90 percent have lost ground. Their average adjusted gross income was $29,840 in 2010. That’s down $127 from 2009, and down $4,843 from 2000 (all adjusted for inflation).

With President Obama - these speeches demonstrate so much about his character - testiness, preachiness, arrogance, an overdependence on strawmen, and hypocrisy.

These traits were also on display yesterday at the White House when President Obama took questions with Mexican President Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Harper...

...one of which led the President to make an attack on the Justices of the Supreme Court warning them about 'unelected' judges overturning Obamacare - and that any decision striking down the Act would be 'unprecedented'. He also said that the SCOTUS should not act without 'judicial restraint' and overturn 'a duly constituted and passed law'.

Senator Mike Johanns called the remarks by the President an effort to intimidate and threaten the Justices if they consider overturning one of his signature pieces of legislation.

The Weekly Standard takes a clue by four to the President's historically challenged argument....
When Hamilton envisioned how the “complete independence of the courts” should play out, he likely didn’t have in mind this scene: a future president standing between two foreign leaders at a press event, fancifully informing the Supreme Court justices that if they fail to uphold his signature legislation they’ll be defying “the opinion of legal experts across the ideological spectrum,” and opining that “the justices should understand” what policy advantages the individual mandate allows for. And Hamilton almost certainly didn’t envision having a president seemingly call into question the very existence of the power that the author of Federalist No. 78 outlined as being “essential” to limited government.

Contrary to Obama’s contention, however, the Court’s power to strike down unconstitutional congressional acts has repeatedly been exercised (sometimes legitimately, sometimes not). Here is just a smattering of cases in which the Court has struck down all or part of an act of Congress: Marbury v. Madison (1803), Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), Myers v. U.S. (1926), Schechter Poultry Corporation v. U.S. (1935), Bolling v. Sharpe (1954), U.S. v. Lopez (1995), Clinton v. City of New York (1998), U.S. v. Morrison (2000), and Boumediene v. Bush (2008).

The WS article also notes that from the founding to 2002 - there were 158 cases where the Supreme Court of the United States voided all or part of an act of Congress.

It's unseemly for a President to consider making a pre-emptive

The hypocrisy of the President with this attack is also stunning.  Obamacare is rife with actions and regulations being decided by unelected bureaucrats - like the political appointees of the Independent Payment Advisory Board created within the legislation who despite being unelected, are empowered by the bill to make decisions on treatment options and access to care - including rationing of care, services, and medication.  Or how about the unelected bureaucrat, Kathleen Sibelius, who as SecHHS, decided that the 1st Amendment protections for religion were immaterial in her order that religious organizations need to provide free contraception, sterilization, and abortions regardless of their religious objections to those services.

Coming from a former Professor on Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago, this reflects the thin skin of the President and his ego. Either the President doesn't know the Constitution or has a complete and utter contempt towards the Constitution. I suspect it is far more a case of the latter.

Then there were the comments from Mexican President Calderon - who made a public pitch urging the President and Congress to pass tougher gun laws in the United States.  I wonder if Eric Holder wrote the script for the answer to that question?

I wonder why the Mexican President didn't comment about 'Fast and Furious' - the Obama Administration program where the US government permitted thousands of guns to be run from the US to Mexican drug cartels - and there be used to kill hundreds (perhaps over a thousand) of Mexicans in addition to two US agents.  Instead the Mexican President locks onto the talking point of the Administration that 'Fast and Furious' was supposed to create the case for.

Combined with Calderon's continued positions regarding encouraging illegal immigration to the US and massive ($15B +) cash flows from these illegals into Mexico - neither Calderon or his government are friends of the US.

Canada is our number one supplier of oil.  (Mexico is third, with Saudi Arabia the second).  Today, Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper is reminding us that unfriendly acts have repercussions, Mr. Obama...
Thanks to Obama’s ‘no’ on Keystone, the price of Canadian crude will go up for the US – friends treating us as we treat them…. “Look, the very fact that a ‘no’ could even be said underscores to our country that we must diversify our energy export markets,” Harper told Harman in front of a live audience of businesspeople, scholars, diplomats, and journalists. …

Harper also told Harman that Canada has been selling its oil to the United States at a discounted price.

So not only will America be able to buy less Canadian oil even if Keystone is eventually approved, the U.S. will also have to pay more for it because the market for oil sands crude will be more competitive.

“We have taken a significant price hit by virtue of the fact that we are a captive supplier and that just does not make sense in terms of the broader interests of the Canadian economy,” Harper said. “We’re still going to be a major supplier of the United States. It will be a long time, if ever, before the United States isn’t our number one export market, but for us the United States cannot be our only export market.

“That is not in our interest, either commercially or in terms of pricing.”

Thank you, President Obama for your leadership - and anti-fossil fuel 'green' energy policies.

In another example of Presidential arrogance and contempt towards the laws of the United States, the President's reelection campaign is returning to their violation of campaign finance laws.  During the 2008 campaign, contributors on the campaign website were able to enter their credit card information without any of the security or identification checks that are considered normal for online payment processing.  In 2008, the campaign received millions of illegal contributions - from overseas and from those who already reached their legal maximum of contributions.

Today, the President's reelection site is once again removing all checks, verifications, and tracking of online contributions.  So anyone can make contributions to the campaign - even if they are grossly illegal.

The President's Chief of the GSA (General Services Administration) was forced to resign yesterday, 2 of her top deputies fired, and 4 other GSA managers were placed on administrative leave over reports of lavish and outrageous spending at a training conference in Henderson, Nevada for 300 that cost taxpayers $823,000 - including $130,000 in travel for 6 scouting trips and thousands more on food and beverages.  The conference spending exceeded all federal limits on conference spending.  Congressional lawmakers were quick to note that this scandal is fresh evidence that the White House tolerates wasteful spending.

The GOP Presidential primary race hits two states and the District of Columbia today.  Voters go the polls in Wisconsin and Maryland in 'winner take all' contests that will award 98 delegates.

Frontrunner Mitt Romney is holding a 7.5 point lead in the Wisconsin RealClearPolitics average over Rick Santorum going into today's contest.  Despite these numbers, Santorum is hoping to surprise Romney - but if not, has vowed to remain in the race.

Mitt Romney has a decisive 17 point lead over Rick Santorum in Maryland according to Rasmussen's latest poll. 

In the District, Rick Santorum failed to qualify for the ballot - but in a strawpoll earlier this week, Mitt Romney got 72% of the vote to Santorum's 8.1%.

If these races go as expected, Rick Santorum will be in a very deep hole - needing over 70% of the remaining delegates to catch and pass Mitt Romney.  Calls should increase for the GOP to unify behind one candidate - but unfortunately due to the egos of both Santorum and Gingrich - they will resist this completely.

Argentinian demonstrators in Buenos Aires threw firebombs at the British embassy to mark the 30th anniversary of the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands.  The Argentinian President Kirchner continues to stoke up the diplomatic battle over the ownership of the territory - as well as stoking up popular opinion in Argentina against Britain....just as the government did 30 years ago in an effort to mask their economic and domestic policy failures.

In the UK's Telegraph - Vice Admiral Sir Time McClement, the first officer of HMS Conqueror which attacked and sank the Argentinian cruiser General Belgrano during the war, comments about the controversial attack which also resulted in the deaths of over 350 sailors...saying he has no regrets for his role in the sinking.

Al Gore's Current TV is finding out why CNN sacked Elliot Spitzer, the former Governor of New York, and also known as 'Client Number 9'.  Spitzer was slated to replace the dismissed egomaniac Keith Olbermann for Current TV's 8pm prime time news / opinion program.  On his debut show, Spitzer pulled only 47,000 total viewers - and just 10,000 in the key 25-54 age demographic....far less than the pitiful ratings of Olberidiot.

On This Day in History

1860 - The Pony Express starts operation

1865 - The Confederate capital of Richmond, Va is captured by the Union Army

1882 - Famous criminal Jesse James is shot down by Bob Ford in order to claim a $5,000 reward

1936 - Bruno Hauptmann is executed for the 1932 kidnapping and murder of Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr.

1942 - Japanese forces launch a major offensive against US and Filipino forces holding the Bataan Peninsula

1946 - Japanese General Masaharu Homma, the commander responsible for the Bataan Death March, is executed for war crimes.

1948 - President Harry Truman signs into law the Foreign Assistance Act of 1948 - also known as the Marshall Plan.  This would provide $12 billion in assistance for Western Europe.

1986 - The US National Debt hits the $2 Trillion mark.  Since then, it's grown nearly 8 fold.

1996 - The 'Unabomber', Ted Kaczynski, is arrested for his mail bomb terrorism

2010 - The iPad goes on sale in the US

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