Saturday, April 7, 2012

Quick Hits - April 7, 2012

“A man’s admiration of absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

I find this an appropriate quote to start today's QH - and a quote that reflects so well an explanation for the contempt that our President has for the American people, American values, and the Constitution.

It's not that the President speaks in 'shorthand' as his Press Secretary spins - or that we don't understand him because he is a 'law professor'.  How many times were we told since his 2004 Democrat National Convention speech that he is one of the greatest orators ever by a slobbering press?  While Barack Obama was once a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago, the editor of the Harvard Law Review, he is not really a law professor in the WH, or an economist in the WH, but an Alinsky-ite community organizer who sees, acts, and focuses everything around politics and ideology.

Byron York, writing for the Washington Examiner, makes the case that to Barack Obama, legal precedents are not about legal precedents, but are all about politics...
In 1996 Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act by huge bipartisan votes -- 342 to 67 in the House and 85 to 14 in the Senate. President Bill Clinton signed the measure into law.

Now, the Obama administration says DOMA, which permits states to refuse to recognize gay marriages from other states and also creates a federal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, is unconstitutional. In Boston on Wednesday, Stuart Delery, an attorney for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, urged the First Circuit Court of Appeals to find DOMA violates the Constitution by discriminating against gays and lesbians. "I'm not here to defend [the law] on any standard," Delery told the court.

What was striking about Delery's request that a federal court strike down DOMA was that just a day or two before, President Obama railed at the very notion that a federal court would strike down any law passed by Congress.

The answer is, of course, that the administration is making a political argument for its positions, not a legal one...

Two items of legislation passed by Congress - DOMA and Obamacare - yet the Administration takes opposite positions with these regarding the Judicial Branch. Why? Because of politics. It's politically expedient for the President, facing reelection, to seek to make DOMA disappear via judicial action. But the President also needs to maintain one of his signature legislative achievements, regardless of how narrowly it took place despite the supermajority he enjoyed in Congress, because if it doesn't - he's left with defending his economic record.

That economic record is hardly defensible, again despite the cheerleading being done by the mainstream media and the shenanigans being done with the BLS numbers to create a perception that doesn't match reality.

Zerohedge offers an interesting report card on the President's economic record - focusing on looking at where we are now 51 months after the start of the last recession and comparing this to previous recessions - including the equally deep recession of  1980-1981.
Recovery? What Recovery? 4 years after central banks have progressively injected over $7 trillion in liquidity into the global markets (and thus, by Fed logic, the economy), and who knows how many trillion in fiscal aid has been misallocated, to halt the Second Great Depression which officially started in December 2007, the US "recovery" is the weakest in modern US history! How many more trillions will have to be printed (and monetized) before the central planners realize that fighting mean reversion by using debt to defeat recore debt, just doesnt't work? Our guess - lots.

Incidentally, the US has now generated 3 million jobs since the trough of the recession in September 2010, until which point it had previously lost 8 million. Unfortunately, since the real labor force has grown by 4.6 million over the same period, or at the conventionally accepeted 90,000 labor pool entrants per month for 51 months, despite what the BLS may say, because America is after all growing, this means that the Obama administration has created a negative 1.6 million jobs net of demographics, which in turn have cost the US a modest $5.1 trillion in new debt, or an even modest $3.1 million in debt for every job lost.

The mainstream media and the Administration is actively trying to spin this recovery as being one that is generating jobs - driving down the unemployment rate. But that is deceptive because of the drop in the labor participation rate.  If the BLS used the same level of labor participation that was in effect when the President took office - we would now be sitting at a 10.9% unemployment level and the reelection campaign would look even more challenging for Barack Obama.

I, and other pontificators, have noted that in many ways, President Barack Obama's term in office is reminiscent of that of President Jimmy Carter - the last one term Democrat President.  While half of today's voters do not recall the Carter Presidency - there are those of us who do recall the domestic challenges, the 'malaise', the inflation, the unemployment, as well as the foreign policy disasters with the Iranian hostage crisis being the most immediately visible.  These comparisons have to make those working the Obama reelection campaign very nervous....along with the far lower than anticipated fundraising.

But its not just the campaign that is nervous.  The sycophants in the press are also concerned with this meme - as the biased Alexander Bolton notes in an article in the liberal paper, The Hill today...
Democrats say the political prognosis for President Obama is much better than it was at the same point in former President Jimmy Carter's first term, even though the pace of the nation's job growth has slowed.

Obama was set back Friday by disappointing jobs numbers but the economy still created jobs at a faster pace than under Carter or former President George H.W. Bush, two of only four presidents to lose re-elections in the last 100 years.

Hmm - created jobs at a faster pace than Carter or George H.W. Bush? How is that possible given not only the graphs above which disprove that - but net of demographics, the Barack Obama's policies has created a negative 1.6 million jobs during his term in office.

But accuracy is not the message that Mr. Bolton wants to convey. Instead its a meme and a perception coming from one of the most biased at The Hill. Most biased? Perhaps you can decide how biased Mr. Bolton is from when he writes...
The economy is creating more jobs than it did in 2000, when former Vice President Al Gore (D-Tenn.) fumbled the handoff of the White House from Clinton, or 2004 when George W. Bush held off a strong challenge from Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.).

Fumbled the handoff... not lost the election when he lost Florida - but 'fumbled the handoff' from Bill Clinton. Riiight.

NBC News has announced that they have dismissed the 'seasoned' producer who was responsible for the deceptive and unethical editing of George Zimmerman's 911 call the night that Trayvon Martin was shot to death.  The edited call was done in such a way as to portray Zimmerman as a racist.
A person with direct knowledge of the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly said Saturday on the condition of anonymity that the producer was fired. The producer was not identified. An NBC spokeswoman declined to comment.

The producer's dismissal follows an internal investigation that led to NBC apologizing Tuesday for airing the misleading audio.

NBC News has not released the name of the producer at this point - and this is a good first step by the network. However, this should not be also the last step as there are far more people involved who should have stopped this deceptive edit before it was broadcast...including those involved with the Today program and Brian Williams.

The NBC New producer who is now jobless is not the only media person who is trying to define the story by painting Zimmerman as a racist. CNN's Ashleigh Banfield, subbing for Anderson Cooper, was equally deceptive and unethical when she twice falsely claimed that an eyewitness she just interviewed said the alleged assailant was Hispanic - when the eyewitness said no such thing during that interview...

The full transcript of Friday's AC 360 shows that the only reference to the alleged assailant being Hispanic came from Banfield. The eyewitness only identified him as the "larger man."

Something else to consider that Banfield didn't raise with the eyewitness is that Martin is 6' 3". Although Zimmerman weighs about 40 pounds more, he is only 5' 9" tall.

Was it possible from the eyewitness's vantage point and how dark it was that "larger" meant taller and not heavier?

Banfield never asked that.

Regardless, it is tremendously unacceptable for Banfield to put words in the mouth of an eyewitness she had just interviewed.

As the producer involved in NBC's selective editing of the Zimmerman 911 tape has now been fired despite remaining anonymous, will CNN discipline Banfield for this disgraceful breach of journalistic integrity?

There should be a zero-tolerance policy for the news media when it comes to this level of unethical behavior. But, unfortunately, I believe that the media holds their audience and customers with the same level of contempt that President Obama holds us. They see themselves as above accountability - and cannot understand that their falling ratings, subscription levels, and ad revenues are because of a customer backlash over being held in contempt.

Why is the Obama Administration funding the Muslim Brotherhood?
…the Egyptian Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, has released a 93-page platform that proposes to put every aspect of human life under sharia-compliant state regulation. The document is unmistakably anti-Western and virulently anti-Israeli in its orientation — structuring civil society on the foundation of “Arab and Islamic unity”; making the “strengthen[ing] of Arab and Islamic identity” the “goal of education”; making treaties (including, of course, the Camp David accords, by which the secular, pro-American Sadat regime made peace with Israel) subject to approval by the population (i.e., the same people who just elected Islamists by a landslide); and describes Israel, “the Zionist entity [as] an aggressive, expansionist, racist and settler entity.”

This is the Muslim Brotherhood — the rabidly anti-American organization President Obama has courted for nearly four years and on whom he just decided to rain down a billion-and-a-half more American taxpayer dollars. It was two years into Obama’s term that Shater’s superior, MB Supreme Guide Muhammad Badi, delivered a fiery sermon — in Arabic, of course — reminding Muslims of “Allah’s commandment to wage jihad for His sake with [their] money and lives, so that Allah’s word will reign supreme and the infidels’ word will be inferior.” Applying this injunction, Badi exclaimed that jihad — which he called “resistance” — “is the only solution against the Zio-American arrogance and tyranny.” Wounded by jihadists in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States, Badi pronounced, “is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise.”

Sounds like an indispensable ally to me.

The Administration is giving the MB in Egypt $1.5 billion. As feckless as Jimmy Carter...

In Syria, the violence continues to escalate - the Government continues to slaughter civilians throughout the country prior to the UN deadline for a peace plan intended to bring an end to the violence...
The renewed violence erupted a day after U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon claimed the crisis in the country is getting worse and claiming more lives every day, despite assurances from Damascus that its troops had begun withdrawing under the plan.

Arab League mediator Annan said 'more far-reaching action is urgently required' to halt all forms of violence by the April 12 deadline, following a withdrawal of the military's heavy weapons and troops from cities two days earlier.

But activists reported tank fire in at least three urban centres on Friday - the town of Douma near Damascus, the restive city of Homs and Rastan, north of Homs.

ABC News is reporting...
Syrian government shelling and offensives against rebel-held towns killed at least 53 civilians across the country on Saturday, activists said, as the U.S. posted online satellite images of troop deployments that cast further doubt on whether the regime intends to comply with an internationally sponsored peace plan.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has accepted a cease-fire deadline brokered by international envoy Kofi Annan, which calls for his forces to pull out of towns and cities by Tuesday and for both government and rebels to lay down their arms by 6 a.m. local time Thursday.

But the escalating violence of the past few days has fueled accusations that Assad is rushing to stamp out as much of the year-old uprising against him as he can before next week's cease-fire.

Protected by Russia and China, Syria continues to face no real repercussions for Assad's carnage against his own people.  If Assad chooses to ignore the peace plan - what will really happen to him?

This Day in History

1776 - Captain John Barry, commanding the warship Lexington, makes the first American naval capture of a British warship when he takes HMS Edward off the coast of Virginia.

1945 - The largest battleship in the world, the IJN Yamato, is sunk by US carrier aircraft as it sailed on a one-way suicide mission to try to disrupt the US invasion of Okinawa.

1954 - President Eisenhower gives his 'domino theory' speech - referencing his concerns that the fall of French Indochina to the communists could create a 'domino' effect  in SE Asia.

1980 - The United States breaks diplomatic relations with Iran and imposes economic sanctions on the country in response to the seizure of the US Embassy and its personnel on November 4, 1979.

1994 - Civil war and genocide erupts in Rwanda.  In 3 months, Hutu extremists would brutally murder 500,000 to 1,000,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutu's.

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