Sunday, June 24, 2012

Quick Hits - June 24, 2012

Fast and Furious:  

'This is Watergate - - with three hundred dead bodies...'

Bill Whittle, in his latest 'Afterburner' video blog post, makes a very convincing case that the primary motivator for the DoJ and Obama Administration towards launching Fast and Furious was to create the 'justifications' needed to sway public opinion to support the Administration enacting draconian gun control laws throughout the United States. I think that Mr. Whittle's case is very compelling.

Former US Attorney, Andrew C. McCarthy details what we do know about Fast & Furious, the information that we do know which demonstrates a cover-up is underway, why there is the need for a cover-up, and the implications of the executive privilege declaration in an effort to protect President Obama - and to a lesser extent, Attorney General Holder.

Read it all - where there's smoke - there's fire.

Thursday afternoon, appearing on Hugh Hewitt's national syndicated talk radio program, Mark Steyn noted that President Obama and AG Holder have 'blithe contempt' for the United State constitutional system of checks and balances...

“I’m not surprised — I think there is a kind of blithe contempt that Obama and Eric Holder in particular, have for the checks and balances,” Steyn said. “And by the way, I don’t attach a lot of significance to the sort of niceties of checks and balances. But I would say that as a general rule in free societies, the restraints on power are as much social as anything. They depend on those in power observing a kind of etiquette and deference to codes and conventions. And if you hold, basically, the entire history of the United States until you took power in contempt, which is what Eric Holder and Barack Obama do, I believe, then they don’t have that deference and discretion towards the codes and conventions, and the result is what we’ve seen in the last few days.”

Appearing today on the Sunday morning news programs, Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee said he expects bipartisan support in the House for the contempt vote on Attorney General Holder this week.  If so that would reflect a major point of view change by the House Democrats who usually embrace a lockstep approach to provide support for embattled Democrats.

As I've noted, there are increasing examples of coordination of efforts between the White House / Obama Campaign and major media elements.  Politico, for example, is seeing a major drop in visits to their site as they have become far more partisan in the actions - with their WH correspondent being suspended from his position by Politico for his tweets.  This latest report details another effort by the WH and Washington Post to coordinate an anti-Romney attack...

The false meme (according to the Washington Post's own 'fact checker' which gave the claim '4 pinochio's) is the accusation of Romney's 'outsourcing'...
The media coordinating with one another to create and control narratives that benefit Obama is in and of itself corrupt. After all, these outlets are all supposed to be in competition with one another and yet they all cover the same stories in the same way. Hmm…?There is something worse, though, and that's when the media coordinates with the Obama campaign, which is something the fallen Washington Post has been caught doing once again.

Is Jonathan Turley invoking his inner-FDR with his Op-ed calling for an increase in the size of the Supreme Court of the United States - saying that something as important as Obamacare's constitutionality shouldn't be decided on by just 9 people?

In 1938, after suffering several major defeats of New Deal legislation as the SCOTUS declared them unconstitutional, FDR announced a plan to 'stack' the SCOTUS - expand the size of the court with, of course, he picking the new justices...which coincidentally would create a new court that would rubber stamp his legislative initiatives.

Now with the real concern that today's SCOTUS will announce this week its decision to find Obamacare's individual mandate unconstitutional and perhaps invalidate the entire legislation by ruling the mandate could not be severed from the bill, Turley wants a larger, more progressive SCOTUS, to protect progressive legislation and overreach.

CNN political contributor Hilary Rosen got a much-needed education about voter ID laws from George Will on ABC's This Week Sunday.
When Rosen echoed the dishonest Democrat talking point that voter ID laws are considered "under the civil rights statutes" to be voter suppression, Will smartly replied, "Let the record show that the Supreme Court, with Justice John Paul Stevens, liberal Justice writing it, said that there is no Constitutional flaw in photo ID voter laws" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

HILARY ROSEN, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Now we’re getting to the real issue. This is why Republicans don't like Eric Holder because he has challenged voter ID laws under the civil rights statutes as voter suppression rules that they are. Because he has challenged the Arizona, you know, discriminatory immigration law. Because he has refused to implement the discriminatory anti-marriage law. So, you know, Eric Holder has shown a lot of backbone in the justice department and the Republicans hate it. So, what do they do? They call for his resignation. They throw him with document requests that are impossible to respond to. They just throw more and more stuff at him to distract him from doing the things that actually the president and the people hired him to do.

WILL: Let the record show that the Supreme Court, with Justice John Paul Stevens, liberal Justice writing it, said that there is no Constitutional flaw in photo ID voter laws.

ROSEN: You know, they’re going to have to review them in the courts. Thirteen states, George, have instituted new statutes since the Republicans took over those state legislatures in 2010 purely for the purpose of limiting voting.

WILL: To legal voters.

This is similar to the other very vapid argument made by progressives that Republican's oppose immigration...

During a discussion about President Obama's recent edict concerning young illegal immigrants not being deported, Clift said of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, "If he’s elected president, he will be leading a party that is largely anti-immigration."

Pethokoukis pounced, "No, I think they’re anti-illegal immigration. They’re not anti-immigration. They’re not anti-immigration. That’s a talking point. They’re pro-immigration. That’s just wrong."

The Egyptian electoral commission announced this morning that Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, won the Presidential election.

The real impact of this is yet to be seen as last week, the ruling military council substantially reduced the power of the elected President and the week before, the Egyptian highest court ordered Parliament dissolved because of electoral issues. The Muslim Brotherhood was the largest party in Parliament – which was controlled by the Islamists.

WH Statement issued by Jay Carney:

"The United States congratulates Dr. Mohamed Morsi on his victory in Egypt’s Presidential election, and we congratulate the Egyptian people for this milestone in their transition to democracy."

"We look forward to working together with President-elect Morsi and the government he forms, on the basis of mutual respect, to advance the many shared interests between Egypt and the United States. We believe that it is important for President-elect Morsi to take steps at this historic time to advance national unity by reaching out to all parties and constituencies in consultations about the formation of a new government. We believe in the importance of the new Egyptian government upholding universal values, and respecting the rights of all Egyptian citizens – including women and religious minorities such as Coptic Christians. Millions of Egyptians voted in the election, and President-elect Morsi and the new Egyptian government have both the legitimacy and responsibility of representing a diverse and courageous citizenry."

I wonder how that reconciles with Morsi's call for Jerusalem to be their new capital?

Turkey is calling for a NATO meeting after Syria downs a Turkish Air Force F4 aircraft flying in international airspace...

Turkey is saying that Syria gave no warning to the Turkish jet, and that this was a 'hostile act' by Syria.

Is this the incident needed to provide NATO with the reason to get militarily involved with Syria - and what will Syria's patron's - Russia, China, and Iran do?

Germany has told Greece to stop asking for more help and get on with implementing the reforms it has already promised as tensions mount before this week's crucial summit of European Union leaders...
In unusually blunt remarks, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said: “The most important task facing new prime minister [Antonis] Samaras is to enact the programme agreed upon quickly and without further delay instead of asking how much more others can do for Greece.”

His comments highlight Germany’s growing impatience with the eurozone’s problem nations in what is shaping up to be another significant week for the single currency bloc.

A formal request from Spain for up to €100bn (£80bn) of emergency funding for its banks is expected on Monday, while the week ends with a two-day summit in Brussels where German chancellor Angela Merkel is again expected to dig in her heels over the eurobonds championed by France’s new president, Francois Hollande. Such bonds would mutualise the debts of the 17 eurozone nations, effectively leaving Germany on the hook for more spendthrift members.

Writing in the Telegraph today, Liam Halligan makes a strong case that the Eurozone nations are stuck in a 'doom loop' - and that the Euro was a very bad idea yet fiscal union is far worse and will fail, but not before it spreads bitterness across Europe...
'These global economic problems have their roots in the fools’ paradise we all used to live in,” observed Lord Peter Mandelson on Friday, to a packed seminar at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

“Pretty much everyone borrowed and spent beyond their means and that’s now catching up with us,” continued the former Cabinet Minister. “And it’s the inter-twining of the sovereign debt and banking crises that makes any eurozone resolution extremely difficult.”

…The euro was a very bad idea yet fiscal union is far worse. If attempted, if will fail, but not before it spreads bitterness across Europe. The idea of fiscal union is, anyway, nothing but a fig-leaf for yet more ECB money-printing – an action that would spark another asset price “sugar rush”, but do nothing to solve bank and sovereign insolvency, nor address the fundamental contradictions at the heart of the eurozone.

Monetary union must be scaled back. Those peripheral countries that want to should exit and devalue. Then we clean up the mess, and we all move on.

Today in History

1314 – Scottish forces led by Robert the Bruce defeat England’s King Edward II in the Battle of Bannockburn in Scotland.

1812 – Napoleon’s Grande Armee invades Russia – with 500,000 soldiers. Fewer than 100,000 would return to France.

1915 - On June 24, 1915, young Oswald Boelcke, one of the earliest and best German fighter pilots of World War I, makes the first operational flight of the Fokker Eindecker plane

1945 - On this day in 1945, Soviet troops parade past Red Square in celebration of their victory over Germany. As drums rolled, 200 soldiers performed a familiar ritual: They threw 200 German military banners at the foot of the Lenin Mausoleum. A little over 130 years earlier, victorious Russian troops threw Napoleon's banners at the feet of Czar Alexander I. Also on this day, British bombers destroy the ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ – built by thousands of maltreated British and allied prisoners of war.

1948 – The Soviet Union blocks all road and rail traffic to and from West Berlin - For a few tense days, the world waited to see whether the United States and Soviet Union would come to blows. In West Berlin, panic began to set in as its population worried about shortages of food, water, and medical aid. The United States response came just two days after the Soviets began their blockade. A massive airlift of supplies into West Berlin was undertaken in what was to become one of the greatest logistical efforts in history.

1966 – Senate passes landmark National Traffic and Motor Safety Vehicle Act – creates the first mandatory federal safety standards for motor vehicles.

2010 – Apple releases the iPhone 4

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