Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Quick Hits - May 1, 2012

May Day...

They couldn't even wait until May 1 - the Occupy protests started early in San Francisco's Mission District last night as a band of occupiers turned violent...
A day that is expected to be filled with anti-establishment protests all around the globe began early last night with a roving band of “anarchists” smashing car windows and store fronts in San Francisco’s Mission District. The mini-riot (which was technically on April 30, but still) may have started as a “ruckus street party” organized by Occupy Oakland protesters who invaded their sister city last night, but whoever was responsible appeared to show little regard for the property of either the 1% or the other 99.

Various witness accounts say a group of between 50 and 100 people moved down Valencia St. smashing windows, throwing paint balls, and even attacking an unsuspecting police station.
This is as the occupiers self-identify themselves as socialists and radicals who oppose capitalism in a poll taken by Democrat pollster Doug Schoen...
A majority, 53 percent, oppose "American-style capitalism." Seventy-one percent would like to see "massive redistribution of wealth." What they want, in short, is a socialist society. Nearly 80 percent believe healthcare, education and retirement should all be guaranteed by the government "no matter what the cost." Schoen notes that this is up 14 points from last fall when he asked the same question and only 65 percent wanted this cradle-to-grave welfare society.

Schoen also reports some of the statements his team collected from the Occupiers while conducting the survey. One twenty-something grad student said the goal this year was to "fundamentally revolutionize American society [and transform it] into a cooperative—run by and for the ‘We the 99 percent.'"
The radicalization of the hard progressive left is, for all practical purposes, their normal approach.  In yesterday's Quick Hits, we talked about the 'Battle of Wisconsin' where the radical left / public sector unions are united in their efforts to push back the reforms that Republican Governor Scott Walker obtained in the wake of the state moving to the center-right after the 2010 election.  This video covers not only an education on the core issues that are in play in Wisconsin, but how the progressive left alliance of radicals and union thugs intend to use chaos and misrepresentation as an electoral tool...

Newsbusters.org highlights a moronic KOSsack Kiddie, Liberal Canuck, who ranted on the pages of the DailyKos about 'GOP President's fill 'graveyards of the world' with victims of US hubris...

These are the typical bleatings of the uninformed - who look out and whenever they see totalitarianism, prefer to blame those who stand up to the totalitarians as opposed to the one's who are actually murdering and killing. They are the one's who ignore the 100 million + killed by Josef Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, and Mao, preferring to blame those deaths on the US for even daring to fight the Cold War. They are part of the millions who live in freedom and liberty to be complete asshats because of the actions of the US and its allies to oppose totalitarianism over the last century. They are the one's who refuse to see that for hundreds of millions around the world - the United States remains a beacon of freedom, liberty, and opportunity that they want to emigrate to.

This is the progressive left.

A number of commentators are speaking their viewpoints about the launch of the new Obama Campaign slogan - Forward...and in particular it's interesting roots in political messaging...

From the National Review...
“Forward,” that is. I knew that sounded awfully familiar. From Wikipedia:

Vorwärts (“Forward”) was the central organ of the Social Democratic Party of Germany published daily in Berlin from 1891 to 1933 by decision of the party’s Halle Congress, as the successor of Berliner Volksblatt, founded in 1884.

Friedrich Engels and Kurt Tucholsky both wrote for Vorwärts. It backed the Russian Marxist economists and then, after the split in the Party, the Mensheviks. It published articles by Leon Trotsky, but would not publish any by Vladimir Lenin. . .

Vorwaerts lives on today as the house organ of Germany’s leftist SPD; you can read all about its illustrious history here
(in German).

And if you don’t think David Axelrod doesn’t know this, you really ought to think again.

The Washington Times and Brietbart.com also make note of the socialistic / communististc history that the slogan 'Forward' has had in promoting a hard left message.

President Obama hijacked a joint appearance / visit by the Japanese Prime Minister and turned it into a campaign event - doubling down on both 'spiking the football' on the anniversary of the SEAL raid which killed Osama Bin Laden and on the assertion that a President Mitt Romney would not have ordered the raid.

The efforts of the President, and his campaign, to seize on one of the very few successes of his term in office are starting to wear thin on a number of people.  Past and present members of the US Navy SEALS are starting to speak out about the President exploiting the mission for crass political purposes.

Even Obama supporters are starting to tire of the rampant politicization of the raid - as Arianna Huffington notes -
“I think it’s one thing to celebrate the fact that they did such a great job (with television specials). All that is perfectly legitimate. But to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.”

Remember then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaking out against the enhanced interrogation efforts of the CIA which provided valuable intelligence and helped save lives?

We now have confirmation that Nancy Pelosi was lying. She was briefed on the enhanced interrogation tactics employed by the CIA in 2002 - with multiple sources confirming not only was she present at the briefing, but that she raised no questions or objections to the tactics. 2 other members of the House Intelligence Committee confirmed her attendance, a CIA report on the briefing listed her as being present, a 2007 Washington Post account of the meeting confirmed she was present, and now, Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA Counter-Terror chief who conducted the briefing confirms she was there.
In his new book, “Hard Measures,” Jose Rodriguez reveals that he led a CIA briefing of Pelosi, where the techniques being used in the interrogation of senior al-Qaeda facilitator Abu Zubaida were described in detail. Her claim that she was not told about waterboarding at that briefing, he writes, “is untrue.” “We explained that as a result of the techniques, Abu Zubaydah was compliant and providing good intelligence. We made crystal clear that authorized techniques, including waterboarding, had by then been used on Zubaydah.” Rodriguez writes that he told Pelosi everything, adding, “We held back nothing.” How did she respond when presented with this information? Rodriguez writes that neither Pelosi nor anyone else in the briefing objected to the techniques being used.

Another progressive Democrat who puts politics and lying ahead of what is best for the country.

President Obama's reelection campaign continues to struggle as more bad economic news is coming down the path - as well as reminders that the efforts of the President and his economic team have failed to address the challenges the country faces.  (Hence the request for us to look 'Forward'...)

Bloomberg is reporting this morning that the President has failed to stem the middle class slide that he blamed on the policies of President Bush and the GOP....
As a candidate in 2008, Obama blamed the reversals largely on the policies of Bush and other Republicans. He cited census figures showing that median income for working-age households --those headed by someone younger than 65 -- had dropped more than $2,000 after inflation during the first seven years of Bush’s time in office.

Yet real median household income in March was down $4,300 since Obama took office in January 2009 and down $2,900 since the June 2009 start of the economic recovery, according to ananalysis of census data by Sentier Research, an economic-consulting firm in Annapolis, Maryland.

Victor Davis Hanson notes that of that 'expert' economic team assembled by the President to put the nation's economy on the 'right path' are not only no longer part of the team - but their policies and predictions of recovery based on massive government expansion and spending have not solved our challenges...
Austan Goolsbee, Christina Romer, Larry Summers, Peter Orszag — have long fled the administration, and have proved mostly wrong in all their therapies and prognostications of 2009. Despite the stimulus of borrowing over $5 trillion in less than four years, near-zero interest rates, and chronic deficits, the U.S. economy is in the weakest recovery since the Great Depression and mired in the longest streak of continuous unemployment of 8 percent or higher — 38 months — since the 1930s. The Mexican economy is growing more rapidly than is ours. Why did not massive annual $1 trillion–plus deficits spark a recovery, as government claimed an ever larger percentage of GDP, and new public-works projects were heralded by the administration?

Much of the answer is found in the collective psyche of those Americans who traditionally hire, purchase, or invest capital. An economy is simply the aggregate of millions of private agendas, of people sensing and reacting to a commonly perceived landscape. Yet since January 2009, that landscape has been bleak and foreboding.


Remember last summer's debt ceiling battle? Get ready to revisit it late this summer as we are on the path to hit our $16.4 trillion debt ceiling around Labor Day. Labor Day? Wasn't the ceiling increase last year of $2.1 trillion supposed to delay this debate until after January 2013? Yes, it was. But government spending is far higher than envisioned during the negotiations last year - which moves the deadline to about 2 months before the November election. This will make this, and the then nearly $6 trillion increase in the national debt under the Obama Administration (greater than the first 42 President's combined), a major political issue just as the election race enters the post convention final stretch.

But this isn't the only economic 'D-Day' that is coming. On October 26th, the 3rd Quarter 2012 GDP estimate is due to be released - and will that reflect a dynamic and vibrant recovery marked by strong growth - or will the pattern established by the Administration over the past three years continue?

All of this comes before the real 'Taxmageddon' - January 1, 2013 when the American taxpayer and consumer is facing over $500 billion in new taxes (the end of the Bush / Obama tax cuts, restoration of the marriage penalty, higher capital gains and dividend taxes, higher estate taxes, the end of the temporary 2% Social Security Payroll tax reduction, etc...).

Powerline highlights today a very interesting and informative 'Primer on Energy' that takes a realistic look at the United States energy resources - as opposed to the myopic and biased look of the anti-fossil fuel Administration.  Not only do we have more than abundant energy resources - which can be leveraged to stimulate and grow our economy, but we can do so while maintaining our strong record towards improving our conservation (not wasting energy) and reducing our pollution footprint.

An excerpt:
The reality is that we have more combined oil, coal, and natural gas resources than any other country on the planet. We have enough energy resources to provide reliable and affordable energy for decades, even centuries to come. The only real question is whether we will have access to our abundant energy resources, not whether sufficient resources exist. … According to the Congressional Research Service, we have the most fossil fuel resources of any country on Earth, but most of these resources are off-limits due to federal policies.


Energy use per person in the United States fell 12 percent between 1979 and 2010 from 359 million BTUs to 317 million BTUs per person.


China’s CO2 emissions increased by 167 percent between 1999 and 2009, while CO2 emissions from the United States decreased by 4.4 percent over the same 10-year period.

Wrapping up today's summary report, we focus on two new examples of the hubris of progressive left.

First, we start with former CBS Evening News anchor, Dan Rather, who was dismissed in 2005 by the network for his role in promoting fake documents said to from the Texas Air National Guard that highlight George W. Bush was AWOL / a deserter during his service with the TANG.

Rather appeared yesterday on ABC's Good Morning America to collect a number of softball questions, and assert that he was not only wrongly dismissed, but that 'Fake, But Accurate' remains the key meme - saying that regardless of the documents, he knows former President Bush was a deserter while in the TANG....

Rather then cancelled a scheduled interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly - apparently concerned over the possibility that the top rated news commentator would not offer him softballs..

Bill O'Reilly and former CBS News reporter Bernie Goldberg discussed Rather's last minute cancellation on last night's The O'Reilly Factor...

As an example of one of the non-softball questions O'Reilly was prepared to ask, he offered that if the meme 'Fake, but Accurate' is really the case, then why didn't Dan Rather win in his years long legal battle with CBS News over his dismissal - a case that the Judge found without merit and cost Rather more than $5 million personally in legal fees in a failed effort to clear his name?

Rather will be remembered as he is - a disgraced partisan hack who accepted obviously fraudulent documents in his rush and personal bias to smear a politician he did not like.

The other scandal brewing comes from Massachusetts and involves Elizabeth Warren, Obama's original choice to head up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and now the Democratic candidate for Senate contesting Scott Brown's US Senate seat.

Warren is facing questions about her heritage after the revelation last Friday that she not only described herself as a Native American minority in professional law school directories in the 1980's and 1990's, but that Harvard Law, where Warren taught, also promoted Warren as a Native American minority in their efforts to highlight their 'diversity'.

Throughout the weekend, the Warren campaign was unable to provide any real proof of her claim that she was a Native American.  Today, the campaign has noted that since Warren's great-great-great grandmother was a Cherokee, her 1/32nd ancestry is sufficient to make her claim as being a Native American accurate.

This is quite interesting - as while much of the media seems to accept this new 'evidence' that isn't really evidence - there still is a double standard.  For Warren 1/32nd is enough - but when we look at George Zimmerman, of the Trayvon Martin race baiting, his 1/8th black ancestry is insufficient to stop the media from calling him a 'white hispanic'.

The Warren camp thinks that it's sexist of Scott Brown to ask if Warren was lying about her minority status or tried to leverage a fake status to get a competitive advantage against other non-minority candidates for her jobs.  That seems typical of the misdirection we see from politicians who are caught in their lies - and respond by lashing out as opposed to admitting their folly.

The Boston Herald today hammers Warren on her hubris and arrogance...
You’ve played the Indian card. You’ve grabbed for minority cred without enduring the minority grief. It’s poached diversity. It’s glommed onto, what, five generations removed, assuming there were some facts way, way back when, as your campaign aides claimed last night.

How long before wise guys in feathered headdresses start dancing around parking lots at your events? Somebody told me yesterday your campaign needs to lie low and “circle the wagons.” Whoops. That same someone quickly realized it was the pioneers who circled the wagons when your Cherokee ancestors were blazing across the prairie on the warpath.

Here’s the problem for you, Liz: We’re not talking some elaborate, arcane, confusing financial irregularity here that nobody can understand. Everybody gets this. It’s letting everyone think you’re something that you’re not. It’s letting stand the idea that you’re part of an aggrieved class of people. It’s a sin of omission, which is not as bad as a sin of commission — like, you know, the typical political ploy of pumping up resumes with fake claims of combat heroism and purple hearts. But it’s a huge problem nonetheless.

You’re running against a Republican most everybody likes in a state filled with lock-step Democrats. And your chief selling point was your upright character. You were the self-described crusader who would take on corrupt greed heads on behalf of the beleaguered middle class.

Character does count - and Dan Rather, Elizabeth Warren both fail in this measure. 

This Day in History

1898 - The US Asiatic Squadron under the command of Commodore Thomas Dewey attacks and destroys a Spanish fleet in the first major battle of the Spanish-American War at Manila Bay, Philippines.

1931 - Built in just over one year, completed ahead of schedule and under budget, the Empire State Building in New York City is dedicated by President Herbert Hoover.  It was the tallest building in the world until the opening of the World Trade Center Twin Towers.  During the peak building times of its construction, the structure grew by 4.5 stories a week.

1960 - A US U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, was shot down by a Soviet surface to air anti-aircraft missile while on a flight over the Soviet Union.  Powers was captured by the Soviets and tried for espionage.

1999 - A group of US mountain climbers on Mount Everest locate the body of George Mallory.  Mallory died in June 1924 while trying to become the first person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.  At the time of the discovery, it was unclear if Mallory died on the ascent or descent.

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