Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quick Hits - May 15, 2012

The latest New York Times / CBS News poll on the Presidential race is full of very disturbing news for the President and his reelection campaign.  Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama by 3 points, 46 to 43, in the poll of registered voters.  Romney also is leading the President by +2 with women overall and +7 with independent women.  This runs against the standard meme being presented by the President's campaign and liberal media that the GOP is losing the 'war on women' - and reflects a major increase for Romney.

Allahpundit, writing on Hot Air, speculates that this might be a backlash on the President's new position supporting same-sex marriage.  In the poll, 51% of those polled say that same-sex marriage should not be legal while 42% favor making same-sex marriage legal.  This also runs against the typical meme of the lamestream media which is trying to present the case that the majority of Americans are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.  Perhaps even more damaging is the 67% of those in the poll who believe that Barack Obama's sole rationale for making the announcements was based on political reasons.

Allahpundit notes the weighted sample of the poll, listed in the methodology which reflects 36% Democrat, 30% Republican, and 34% Independents.  This shows a +6 skew for the Democrats over the Republicans...which he notes is about what the national polls are using.  But with that, factor in this item which I highlighted in my May 4th / 5th QH post that breaks down the challenges with polls today...
According to Rasmussen’s polling, at the end of the month in which Obama took the oath of office (January 2009), Democrats enjoyed an 8-point advantage in party affiliation — as 41 percent of Americans then said they were Democrats, while only 33 percent said they were Republicans. Eleven months later, a few days after the Democratic Senate’s passage of Obamacare on Christmas Eve, the Democrats’ lead had dropped from 8 points to just 1.5 (35.5 percent Democratic, 34 percent Republican). By the end of the month in which the midterm elections took place — 7 months after Obama had signed Obamacare into law — the Democrats had lost their advantage altogether and actually trailed the Republicans by a point (36 percent Republican, 35 percent Democratic). Seventeen months later, not much has changed — Republicans now enjoy a 2-point lead, with 35 percent of Americans identifying themselves as Republicans and 33 percent identifying themselves as Democrats.

Over the last several cycles, Rasmussen has been one of the most 'on the money' polls. Basically, what the above indicates is that, according to Rasmussen, the accurate reflection of party identification effective December 2011 is 33D, 35R, and 32I. If we look at the NYT / CBS poll - we find that the Republicans are underrepresented by 5 points. It may be closer to the other national polls - but it's clear that this new poll skews towards the Democrats and Barack Obama by 5 or 6 points which is reflected in the Romney 3 point lead and other results. Without that skew - the news would be even worse for President Obama.

Which is probably why the Obama campaign team is attacking the New York Times / CBS poll as 'biased' and skewed...

Obama campaign deputy manager Stephanie Cutter dismissed today's CBS/New York Times poll showing that 67 percent of people believed Obama made his decision on gay marriage for political reasons. Only 24 percent said that Obama did it “mostly because he thinks it is right.”

Host Chuck Todd asked Cutter about the poll, admitting that the methodology of the poll was different, because it was a callback poll. "Put those caveats aside thats a lot of people saying that he did this for political reasons," Todd said, noting that it was a 3-1 margin.

"We can't put the methodology of that poll aside, because the methodology was significantly biased." Cutter insisted on MSNBC this morning.

When pressed by Todd, Cutter said that she didn't want to bored the viewers with talk of methodology, but repeated that she believed the poll was flawed.

"It's a biased sample, so they re-biased the same sample," she concluded.

It is a biased sample, just not biased against them. According to the Obama camp (David Axelrod), unless the poll uses 2008 level party affiliation (D+9 or more), the poll is biased against the President. According to conservatives / conservative bloggers, if the poll is skewed towards 2008 as opposed to a 2010 or 2012 breakdown as defined by Rasmussen, then that poll is biased in favor of the President. Of course, some other polls, like the USA Today / Gallup or the Washington Times / JZ Analytics (John Zogby) do not publish their full methodology - which also makes them suspect.

Media focuses on the poll results to define or direct the meme that they wish to advocate - the methodology of the poll masks that number. The focus on the NYT poll is that the +3 Romney over Obama is about the margin of error - so the meme is that it's tied. Look deeper, as I've done above, and Romney is opening some distance, winning the women's vote, and the President's politically motivated decision on same-sex marriage is not helping him. Factor in the stagnant economic recovery, the more than $5 trillion in new debt, and we've got a President who is in trouble...and moving in the wrong direction.

At the core of the so-called 'War on Women' is the Obamacare / HHS contraception mandate that orders all institutions, regardless of moral or religious objections, to provide free contraception, sterilization, or abortafacients to their members on their health insurance coverage.  This is seen by the right as a massive violation of the 1st Amendment rights of religious institutions who oppose contraception, sterilization, or abortion.

Hot Air notes that a Catholic University has announced that rather than comply with the Administration mandate, they will drop all health insurance coverages for their employees and students...
“The Obama Administration has mandated that all health insurance plans must cover “women’s health services” including contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing medications as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA),” the university says in a new post on its website. “Up to this time, Franciscan University has specifically excluded these services and products from its student health insurance policy, and we will not participate in a plan that requires us to violate the consistent teachings of the Catholic Church on the sacredness of human life.”

“Additionally, the PPACA increased the mandated maximum coverage amount for student policies to $100,000 for the 2012-13 school year, which would effectively double your premium cost for the policy in fall 2012, with the expectation of further increases in the future,” FUS continues.

“Due to these changes in regulation by the federal government, beginning with the 2012-13 school year, the University 1) will no longer require that all full-time undergraduate students carry health insurance, 2) will no longer offer a student health insurance plan, and 3) will no longer bill those not covered under a parent/guardian plan or personal plan for student health insurance,” the college said.

This is likely the first of many who will take these steps...

Then we have another recent kerfuffle - the one promoted by President Obama and Congressional Democrats that the 'evil' Republicans are blocking the extension of the temporary student loan interest rate reduction that is currently set to expire July 1st for federally subsidized student loans. The current legislation reduces the interest rate from 6.8% to 3.4%. The sticking point over the extension is how to pay for the nearly $6 billion annual cost. Republicans are in favor of extending this - paying for it by eliminating an $8B Obamacare slush fund. But as the President tries to make 'hay' on this - did you know that in the President's FY2013 budget, the interest rate for these loans will be back to 6.8% the summer of 2013. Their intent is to use this as an election issue now - and once Obama is reelected, the issue is no longer important.

Do you remember the Valerie Plame kerfuffle?

Since the movie only made $9.4 million in its domestic run, perhaps not.  Valerie Plame was the CIA analyst who suggested her husband, Joe Wilson, be sent by the CIA to Niger to investigate the British intelligence claim that Saddam Hussein, prior to 2003, was attempting to purchase yellowcake uranium from Niger.  After spending a week poolside, Wilson made a big press announcement that 'Bush lied'.  Plame's relationships and role in the kerfuffle was leaked to the press - which opened up an investigation that led to VP Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff 'Scooter' Libby being accused of leaking Plame's info for political revenge - and ultimately convicted for perjury....but it wasn't Libby that released the info.  That was done by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, as known by Secretary of State Colin Powell, which both covered up for political purposes.

The focus on the story remains for many the acts of the 'evil' Bush Administration attacking Plame to damage her husband's credibility...even though this is not the case or the truth.  Powerline notes this history - and adds that there is an Administration who will leak classified information to gain a political advantage...
“So the Obama administration, desperate to revive its sagging re-election hopes, deliberately put the life of a British agent in jeopardy–not someone who commuted to a desk job in the CIA, but someone who had infiltrated al Qaeda. ‘Despicable,’ indeed. And damaging to American security, as al Qaeda in Yemen now knows it was infiltrated, and by whom; and knows that we know about its latest bomb technology. Heads should roll, but with the Obama administration investigating itself, don’t hold your breath. Who knows? Maybe someday Hollywood will make a movie.” Don’t hold your breath for that one, either.

This is why Barack Obama is called the 'Narcissist in Chief'....

The Heritage Foundation’s Rory Cooper tweeted that Obama had casually dropped his own name into Ronald Reagan’s official biography on www.whitehouse.gov, claiming credit for taking up the mantle of Reagan’s tax reform advocacy with his “Buffett Rule” gimmick. My first thought was, he must be joking. But he wasn’t—it turns out Obama has added bullet points bragging about his own accomplishments to the biographical sketches of every single U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge (except, for some reason, Gerald Ford). Here are a few examples:

On Feb. 22, 1924 Calvin Coolidge became the first president to make a public radio address to the American people. President Coolidge later helped create the Federal Radio Commission, which has now evolved to become the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). President Obama became the first president to hold virtual gatherings and town halls using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.

In a 1946 letter to the National Urban League, President Truman wrote that the government has “an obligation to see that the civil rights of every citizen are fully and equally protected.” He ended racial segregation in civil service and the armed forces in 1948. Today the Obama administration continues to strive toward upholding the civil rights of its citizens, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, allowing people of all sexual orientations to serve openly in our armed forces.


In a June 28, 1985 speech Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multi-millionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.

In Orwell's 1948 classic, this was called the work of the 'Ministry of Truth'....but for us, today, it's just 'fundamental change'.

More government principles....this time from the Department of Homeland Security, whose cabinet secretary, Janet Napolitano, remarked after the Christmas underwear bomber on board a Delta international flight had his bomb misfire, that the 'system worked'...
President Barack Obama’s Homeland Security secretary, Janet Napolitano, has presided over the hiring of at least four senior staffers and advisers who have no law enforcement experience but align politically with the president.

Jordan Grossman was a special adviser and deputy to the deputy chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, for instance, yet his resume shows no law enforcement experience. Before Grossman got his post in January 2009, he was a “special assistant” at the Obama-Biden presidential transition team after working for Obama’s 2008 election campaign.

Before that, Grossman worked as a research assistant at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, a communications think tank at the University of Pennsylvania. Grossman also interned for the left-wing Center for American Progress, and for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

He lists no law enforcement experience on his resume, even though the Obama administration had hired him into a senior law enforcement role.

No law enforcement experience but align politically.....great qualification for being part of the Department of Homeland Security.

There are two standard memes promoted by progressives when officials call for steps to stop voter fraud.  One is the 'racism' around the request to demand people provide an ID when they vote.  The other is that since there are so few cases of voter fraud actually prosecuted, there must not be a problem with voter fraud.  Both are canards.

In Florida, state election officials are examining about 180,000 people who they say may not be US citizens, but are registered to vote in the state.
State officials are updating Florida’s voter rolls ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November. Florida is home to a large Latino population and is expected to be a critical swing state in the contest between Democratic President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Florida’s Division of Elections said it is checking the citizenship of voters by comparing its databases with those of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which keeps track of whether a licensed driver is also a U.S. citizen. …

Officials in Florida have so far identified more than 2,600 potential voters who may not be U.S. citizens and sent their information to local election authorities, Cate said.

This work is being hampered because of stonewalling being done by the Department of Homeland Security...
The Department of Homeland Security is stonewalling Florida’s effort to clean up its voting rolls 12 years after George W. Bush won the state’s electoral votes by a razor-thin margin.

The state asked DHS in September to check the citizenship of 180,000 registered people who have Florida driver licenses but may not be citizens, Chris Cate, communications director for the Florida Department of State, told The Daily Caller.

Florida’s stalled request comes amid efforts by Democratic legislators and advocates to stop popular and court-approved voter-identification laws. The Democrats argue that the laws and related procedures are intended to keep black and Latino voters from casting ballots.

Then there is the latest expose by James O'Keefe and his Project Veritas which is highlighting voter fraud in North Carolina...

One part demonstrates that non-U.S. citizens living in the United States can register to vote by falsely claiming to be citizens — and have done so — and that those illegally registered voters can obtain ballots at polling places.

Public records also show that one of those individuals cast votes in North Carolina in 2008 and 2010.

That part of the video focuses on two North Carolinians who submitted jury duty forms asking to be excused on the grounds that they are not citizens. But their voter registrations appear valid, and state election workers offered their ballots to actors shown in the film.

Federal judge finds that the National Labor Relations Board abused the law....
When the final rule came up, the NLRB's lone Republican commissioner, Brian Hayes, did not cast a vote. He was given only a matter of hours on the NLRB's electronic ballot system before the Democratic majority went ahead and published it that day, without anyone requesting a response.

Mr. Becker claimed that Mr. Hayes had "effectively indicated his opposition" and therefore he was "present" even though he was not, in fact, present. Basically, the NLRB argued that the quorum requirement was satisfied because there were three members in office when the rule was "approved."

This novel interpretation earned a stinging rebuke from District of Columbia federal Judge James Boasberg. "According to Woody Allen," he writes, "eighty percent of life is just showing up. When it comes to satisfying a quorum requirement, showing up is even more important than that. Indeed, it is the only thing that matters." He adds that the NLRB's majority position was an attempt to end run "a limit on the agency's power to act" and "would render the three-member quorum requirement meaningless."

Change you can believe in....

Stupid coming from MSNBC anchors is nothing new.  Newsbusters.org has a post about a liberal fascist at MSNBC, anchor Rachel Maddow, who believes that democracy is the greatest thing ever when it goes her way, but is a failed system when it doesn't.  But that hypocrisy doesn't compare to this triple dose of Chris [Thrill up my leg] Matthews stupid and arrogance....

The first is the Hardball anchor lecturing an African American minister who as the absoluate temerity to oppose same-sex marriage...

I hope you evolve...

Or how about using a phony Winston Churchill quote to promote the progressive agenda?

Or after repeatedly mocking Sarah Palin for being too dumb for Jeopardy - appears on Jeopardy and absolutely bombs...
With the category "Law and Order," the answer was, "A U.S.D.C is one of these, charged with the jurisdiction of a specific region."

Matthews responded, "What is a U.S. attorney?"

And this guy has the nerve to ridicule anyone. Where do you find "attorney" in the acronym "U.S.D.C.?"

Obviously, the correct response was district court.

Then, in the same category, another answer was, "In 1986, the Supreme Court ruled that the 'hostile environment' type of this can be sex discrimination."

Matthews responded, "What is a hostile workplace?" This brainiac thinks the same word can be in both the answer AND the question.

Of course, the correct response was sexual harassment.

And then the fun really began in the category "6-Letter World Capitals" with the answer, "St. Basil's Cathedral is there."

Readers are once again reminded the category was "6-Letter World Capitals."

Almost astonishingly, the pompous and holier-than-thou Matthews responded, "What is Istanbul?"

The correct response - containing six letters and not eight! - was Moscow.

Then there is Elizabeth Warren - who still is ignoring the first rule of hole digging....

The Boston Globe has finally acknowledged that the document that supposedly confirms Warren is 1/32 (or 1/64) Native American doesn't exist - in a correction that was buried inside the paper...
Correction: Because of a reporting error, a story in the May 1 Metro section and the accompanying headline incorrectly described the 1894 document that was purported to list Elizabeth Warren’s great-great-great grandmother as a Cherokee. The document, alluded to in a family newsletter found by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, was an application for a marriage license, not the license itself. Neither the society nor the Globe has seen the primary document, whose existence has not been proven.

But since it doesn't go beyond that to contest the unsubstantiated claim or Warren, or her decade plus long use of the classification for affirmative action benefits (as did UPenn and Harvard), it's still not much of a correction.

Victor Davis Hanson, writing about Warren notes...
I guess some of us are on a different planet, because both Warren and Harvard University seem to have been unethical at best and unlawful at worst — if she or anyone from the Law School (no less!) signed forms or affidavits attesting to Warren’s Native American status in accordance with federal affirmative action/diversity guidelines.

But she has a "D" after her name for her party affiliation - so, the media continues to try to avoid letting facts confuse Warren's claim.

This Day in History

1864 - Students from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA participate in the Battle of New Market - 247 cadets marched from the school, and fought in the battle - capturing 2 Union artillery guns, at a cost of 9 dead and 48 wounded.  The Confederates won the battle, forcing the Union troops to withdraw and relieving pressure on the Rebels in the Shenandoah Valley.

1942 - Gasoline rationing begins in 17 Eastern states.  By the end of 1942, gas rationing would be in effect across all of the United States.

1948 - Hours after announcing the creation of the State of Israel, military forces from Transjordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon attack the new country.

1972 - George Wallace, Governor of Alabama and Democrat candidate for President, is shot and paralyzed at an outdoor rally in Laurel, Maryland.

1988 - The USSR begins its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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