Monday, July 30, 2012

Quick Hits - July 30, 2012

Catching up across a busy day and a busy weekend....

Remember this, when President Obama told a fundraising audience that 'we've tried their economic plan and it didnt' work, we tried our plan and it worked'...

This audacious statement led to this Romney campaign advertisement...

Which then sent the WaPoo 'Fact Checker' Glenn Kessler into a rapid defense of President Barack Obama, accusing the Romney campaign of taking the President's words 'out of context' in their advertisement while assigning that advert 'Four Pinocchio's' as a gross misstatement.

Apparently, when the President said his plan worked, he didn't really really honestly mean that his plan worked, according to Kessler.  Funny, Kessler used a similar vapid argument when he said the the President didn't really mean...
“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.”
...when he said that either.  At least he's consistent in his bias.  But this is getting really pathetic....the WaPoo has become the LA Slimes...

The Hill is also back to shilling for the Obama campaign with a 'do not worry Democrats, we are still leading this thing' article touting a NY Times shill who makes his case by averaging the polls of critical swing states and concludes that if these polls are accurate, Barack Obama will win 10 of the 12 swing states and 330 electoral votes.

If these polls are accurate?

What do you think?  The majority of the polls at the core of this 'analysis' reflect between a D+7 and a D+12 skew - basically measuring a turnout and enthusiasm level for the President's re-election that exceeds that of his 2008 election when 'Hope and Change' delivered a 52.8% popular vote 'decisive win'.

Do we really believe enthusiasm will exceed 2008 in 2012?

The Orange County Register, representing Orange County, California (one of the 'red' areas of CA) has an editorial that highlights that the President's 'gaffes' are really a true reflection of what he really believes...
'Fairness. You have made enough. Redistribution. Spread the wealth around. Private sector is doing fine. We tried our plan, and it worked. You didn't build that.'
Read it all...

Some claim that the statements of Barack Obama all have a 'statute of limitations' on their effectiveness.  Does this apply today or has the statute of limitations run out?
“The fact that we are here today to debate raisingAmerica 's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign thatthe US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we nowdepend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to financeour Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debtweakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that,"the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden ofbad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deservebetter.”

~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006!
How does this statement reconcile with the President's 4 consecutive years averaging $1.3 trillion in budget deficits?  Adding $5 trillion, more than his predecessor did in 8 years, to the national debt in 38 months, and is on pace to add $6.4 trillion during his 4 year term in office? How about the last two budgets submitted by Barack Obama to Congress both included not only annual deficits >$1.2 trillion, but were on pace to add $10-$12 trillion more (with optimistic economic numbers as opposed to realistic economic projections) over the next decade?  Both of these were voted down unanimously by the U.S. Congress.

Charles Krauthammer highlight's 'This White House's arm's-length relationship with truth' as he win's game, set, and match in the kerfuffle of their own creation as the Obama WH furiously scrambled to claim that the President did not send back the bust of Sir Winston Churchill loaned to President George W. Bush in the wake of the 9/11 terror attack as a symbol of the special relationship with Britain and their alliance with us.

Rather than tell the truth about Barack Obama unceremoniously returning the bust to Britain in January 2009, the White House lied about the bust when it was being used as an example of the Administration's policies and actions which disrespected our ally -- weakening the partisan attacks against Mitt Romney over supposedly weakening the special relationship.  Charles Krauthammer called them on it - and it took but one phone call to the British Embassy in Washington DC to uncover the truth.

Staying on the subject of fundamental dishonesty, Pultizer Prize-winning author, David Maraniss, who wrote 'Barack Obama: The Story' and subsequently revealed that many of the events and people contained in Barack Obama's autobiographies are not true, is getting testy as his book tanks....
David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Barack Obama: The Story, is getting testy. And it is not hard to understand why. The Washington Post diva spent the last four years on his career book, released it in the heart of a heated re-election season, got the kind of exposure a Kardashian would envy, and now finds the book heading for the remainder racks weeks after its release. Oy vey!

As of this writing, the book ranks 1,696 on Amazon's bestseller list. By contrast, Edward Klein's unfriendly Obama tome, The Amateur, has outsold just every book this summer not centered on female bondage, spent weeks on top of New York Times top-ten list, and now ranks 55 on Amazon despite being out a month longer than The Story.

Rather than assess why his book tanked -- it is too honest for the left and too dishonest for the right -- Maraniss has turned his wrath on the people he seems to hold responsible for the book's failure -- namely, "obsessed conspiratorialists" like me.
At noted in the link, at least we're not all racists...yet...

Is this relevant to the 2012 campaign season?  A new book by Richard Miniter is claiming that Barack Obama put off his 'gutsy call' to get Osama Bin Laden three times at the insistence of senior advisor Valerie Jarrett before finally giving the order to proceed.
Barack Obama called off the raid to kill Osama bin Laden three times at the insistence of a top political adviser, according to a new book that aims to downplay the president's greatest achievement in office.

In 'Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him,' journalist Richard Miniter argues that Obama waffled and wavered in the run-up to the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL assault on the al-Qaeda leader's compound in Pakistan.

Mr Miniter says Obama missed opportunities in January, February and March to kill the mastermind the September 11 terrorist attacks -- and nearly called off the final raid as well -- because of the advice of adviser Valerie Jarrett, who has no national security background.
President Barack Obama's reelection campaign is apparently changing course and embarking on a new reelection campaign - to market his second term in office as Bill Clinton 2.0 - presumably without the cigar and the intern.  The key term here is the word - market - not run or operate as Bill Clinton 2.0.

Barack Obama is going to try to convince the American voter, with the increased assistance of former President Bill Clinton, that his economic plans for his second term are the same economic plans that Bill Clinton enacted in the 1990's that allegedly led to the economic growth of the mid-latter 1990's.

There are two problems with this approach.  One, Bill Clinton, in the wake of the sharp rebuke he took in the 1994 midterms, moved to the center and triangulated with the GOP from the center - or rather - took credit for the popular initiatives of the GOP Congress like Welfare reform and decreasing capital gains taxes in 1995-96 which played a major role in igniting the boom of the 1990's.  This welfare reform, by the way, is the same welfare reform that Barack Obama just gutted via Executive Order.  Those capital gains and dividend tax decreases - are the opposite of the capital gains and dividend tax increases that President Obama is endorsing / calling for in 2013.

Second, it's based on the revisionist history / fundamental misperception of the Clinton years which include the meme that the Clinton tax increases of 1993 helped fuel the economic boom.  The boom, however, did not start until after the GOP took control of Congress and forced the President to negotiate and compromise with them - leading to fiscal responsibility in the wake of the government shutdown, and the capital gains tax decreases which helped fuel the internet boom (which would go bust in 2001).

Will this work?  Perhaps for some, but the problem is, after the rebuke of 1994, Bill Clinton began to 'triangulate' in 1995 - well before his reelection effort in 1996.  After the voter's rebuke of President Obama in 2010, the President not only refused to 'triangulate', he trebled down on his hard left policies - to the point of acting without Congressional authorization in an unconstitutional manner.

As part of this new 'campaign', Bill Clinton is now going to be the headliner for the Democrat National Convention.  One problem - his headline speech is against the opening match of the 2012-13 NFL season, featuring the Super Bowl champs NY Giants facing off with the Dallas Cowboys.

Who will win prime time - and can the Democrats find a way to skew the Neilsens?

The progressive pinheads of NBC's Today program today 'gushed' all over the Olympic Opening Ceremony homage to Britain's National Health Service - their government run and managed healthcare system...

MEREDITH VIEIRA: It is called, "Second to the Right," a reference to J.M. Barrie's children's book Peter Pan. It honors what Danny Boyle considers two of Britain's greatest achievements, children's literature and the National Health Service's publicly-funded health care system.

LAUER: Back in the states you might be saying, wait a second, we're locked in this kind of partisan debate over the future of health care in our own country. Here, they feel so strongly about their health care system, they're actually celebrating it as part of the Olympic opening ceremony.
Any mention of the costs associated with NHS busting the national budget?  How about of the 9 month wait one has to see a medical specialist if one does not have private insurance?  Or how about the 130,000 elderly patients per year who are, in effect, euthanized to reduce costs?  Or the rationing of medicines and treatment to control costs?
‘It’s no fun and games’… Horror stories about the NHS abound. A 2007 survey of almost 1,000 physicians by Doctors’ Magazine found that two-thirds said they had been told by their local NHS trust not to prescribe certain drugs, and one in five doctors knew patients who had suffered as a result of treatment rationing. The study cited one physician who characterized the NHS as “a lottery.” A new study this year by GP magazine supports that conclusion. Through Freedom of Information Act records, it found that 90 percent of NHS trusts were rationing care.

Rick Dewsbury of the Daily Mail was aghast at the worship of the NHS during Friday’s Olympic ceremony.
It's not just Britain's NHS - the Canadian healthcare system is another preferred model to what they want the U.S. healthcare system to turn into....but what about the facts?
Canadian health care spending unsustainable… A 2011 report by the Fraser Institute concluded that Canada’s health care system is spending at an unsustainable rate. Six of ten Canadian provinces are on track to spend half of their revenues on health care, according to the institute.

“We conclude that Canada’s health system produces rates of growth in health spending that are not sustainable solely through redistributive public financing,” the report concluded.

In 2011, health care spending consumed 50 percent of revenues in Canada’s two largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec.

By 2017, four more provinces — Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and New Brunswick — will spend half of their revenues on health care, according to the institute.

Total federal, provincial and territorial government health spending has grown by 8.1 percent annually, while the national GDP in Canada rose by only 6.7 percent during the same period.
More on entitlements and 'fiction - we have the progressive columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Hiltzik (who was once suspended for sock puppetry and lying in his columns), who has a column today that touts Social Security does not contribute to the $1.3 trillion deficit (average over the last 4 years) - when in fact it accounted for about $137 billion of the deficit in 2011.

Will we get a correction?  Doubtful.

By the way, the Social Security Disability program is going broke too - and more have been added to the disability rolls in the last three months than jobs were created...

In Israel earlier today, Mitt Romney pointed out the obvious - and the Palestinian Islamists raged....
Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians, outraging Palestinian leaders who called his comments racist and out of touch.

"As you come here and you see the GDP [gross domestic product] per capita, for instance, in Israel, which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality," the Republican presidential candidate told about 40 wealthy donors at a breakfast at the King David Hotel.

Palestinian leaders's reactions were swift and pointed.

"It is a racist statement, and this man doesn't realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation," said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Israel embraces capitalism and has a western style democracy.  They also embrace western values and while the 'Jewish State' is a secular nation - Christians and Muslims in Israel who embrace those western values have the same rights as Jews in Israel.  On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority is a corrupt organization that eschews capitalism, a western style democracy, and western values.  They promote the victim hood of their own people for their own power and financial gain - using them as fodder to get hundreds of millions of aid from the gullible or feckless (UN) that they skim and call for the destruction of the only successful state in the region.

But it's not their fault - it's the fault of the Joooos.....

Sharing the anti-Israeli sentiment is the institution known as the International Olympic Committee.... which continues to refuse to hold a minute of silence in honor of the 11 Israeli Olympic athletes killed 40 years ago at the hands of Palestinian terrorists at the Munich Olympics.  Some claim their hands were tied - when the only one's with hands tied were the victims of the terrorists...

The IOC doesn't limit their fecklessness to just anti-Semitism.  They also embrace political correctness - and want every country to win a medal because if they don't, someone may be disappointed....

Heavy fighting continues in the Syrian city of Aleppo - with the forces of Syrian despot Bashir al-Assad using artillery, tanks, attack helicopters, and bombers to hammer the city.  Nearly half of the nearly 20,000 Syrian dead, mainly civilians, in the 17 month uprising have occurred since a failed United Nations truce about 4 months ago.  The UN, moving from feckless to criminal in their incompetency...

Remember Greece?  It's been lost in the fiscal challenges facing the Eurozone from Spain and Italy.  According to one leading German politician, Greece cannot be saved from the hole it dug itself.
"Greece cannot be saved, that is simple mathematics," Michael Fuchs, deputy leader of the parliamentary group of Merkel's Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party told weekly business magazine Wirtschaftswoche." Indeed, truth hurts, especially when accompanied by math. Which sadly is the problem these days in a world where math and surreality can no longer coexist.
But with Greece already lost, will Germany pay the price to save the Euro (and Spain, and Italy, and perhaps  France)?

We close today's edition with a sampling from another great essay from Victor Davis Hanson - this one addressing what is taking place in California today - and how the Central Valley of California, once a major agricultural center for the country, is now emulating the experience of 'Road Warrior' - 
Sometimes, and in some places, in California I think we have nearly descended into Miller’s dark vision — especially the juxtaposition of occasional high technology with premodern notions of law and security. The state deficit is at $16 billion. Stockton went bankrupt; Fresno is rumored to be next. Unemployment stays over 10% and in the Central Valley is more like 15%. Seven out of the last eleven new Californians went on Medicaid, which is about broke. A third of the nation’s welfare recipients are in California. In many areas, 40% of Central Valley high school students do not graduate — and do not work, if the latest crisis in finding $10 an hour agricultural workers is any indication. And so on.

Our culprit out here was not the Bomb (and remember, Hiroshima looks a lot better today than does Detroit, despite the inverse in 1945). The condition is instead brought on by a perfect storm of events that have shred the veneer of sophisticated civilization. Add up the causes. One was the destruction of the California rural middle class. Manufacturing jobs, small family farms, and new businesses disappeared due to globalization, high taxes, and new regulations. A pyramidal society followed of a few absentee land barons and corporate grandees, and a mass of those on entitlements or working for government or employed at low-skilled service jobs. The guy with a viable 60 acres of almonds ceased to exist.

Illegal immigration did its share. No society can successfully absorb some 6-7 million illegal aliens, in less than two decades, the vast majority without English, legality, or education from the poorer provinces of Mexico, the arrivals subsidized by state entitlements while sending billions in remittances back to Mexico — all in a politicized climate where dissent is demonized as racism. This state of affairs is especially true when the host has given up on assimilation, integration, the melting pot, and basic requirements of lawful citizenship.

Terrible governance was also a culprit, in the sense that the state worked like a lottery: those lucky enough by hook or by crook to get a state job thereby landed a bonanza of high wages, good benefits, no accountability, and rich pensions that eventually almost broke the larger and less well-compensated general society.
These are the effects of a progressive political leadership, viewpoint, and policies that have metastasized in California (and other places like Detroit, Cleveland, Gary, Toledo which are dominated by progressives).  Can we not see the pattern?  The cause and effect?  Do we not have the will to change this direction before we find ourselves so deep in a hole that we cannot climb out?

Today in History

1729 - The City of Baltimore was founded in Maryland.

1945 - The USS Indianapolis, a heavy cruiser, is sunk by a Japanese submarine enroute from Tinian (where she just secretly delivered critical components for the atomic bomb) to the Philippines.  About 300 of her crew of nearly 1200 died when the ship was sunk, nearly 900 went into the sea.  The secrecy of the ship's mission meant that rescue efforts were significantly delayed.  By the time the survivors were located, only 300 remained alive - sharks accounting for most of the dead.

1965 - President Lyndon Johnson signs into law, Medicare, a health insurance program for elderly Americans.  Former  President Harry Truman was enrolled as Medicare's first beneficiary and received the first Medicare card.

1974 - The Watergate scandal approaches it's climax.  Under orders by the SCOTUS, President Richard Nixon releases WH recordings subpoenaed by Congress, suspected to prove his guilt in the Watergate cover-up efforts, to the special prosecutor.  The same day, the House Judiciary Committee voted a third article of impeachment against the President - contempt of Congress in hindering the investigative process into the Watergate break-in and cover-up.

1990 - In Spring Hill, Tennessee, the first Saturn automobile rolls off the assembly line.

2001 - Lance Armstrong becomes the first American to win three consecutive Tours de France.

QH Weekend Edition - July 28 & 29, 2012

Round 2 of catching up on the news and information that we might have missed on a busy summer weekend....

The London Olympics opened the Friday night, July 27th with a massive progressive homage to the modern miracle that is Britain's National Health Service.

To the tens of thousands of bored attendees at the Olympic Stadium, including the Royal Family, and the tens of millions more watching around the world, the British Olympic hosts spent an incredible amount of time equivocating the adoption of Britain's National Health Service (government managed healthcare) with the Industrial Revolution.

Leni Riefenstahl, the Nazi film propagandist who was active in promoting Nazi Germany during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, would be quite proud of Danny Boyle's extravaganza. Granted, the ceremony did have a few high points - the appearance of the latest 'Bond Girl'....

as well as Rowan Atkinson' hilarious appearance with the London Symphony as his classic character, Mr. Bean.

The anti-Romney mainstream media in both Britain and the U.S. continue to focus on the candidate's 'Olympic gaffe' where he has apparently irreparably damaged the U.S. / British special relationship by pointing out that the London Olympic organizers are facing real challenges over their shortage of security personnel and the flap with large numbers of empty seats at supposedly sold out Olympic event venues.

The WaPoo continues to shill for the Obama campaign with their lead story on Saturday saying that Mitt Romney needs a 'breakout moment' during his visit to Israel to 'salvage' the 'campaign trip overseas'.
Romney’s missteps have drawn extensive mockery in Britain and public consternation from both Republicans and Democrats in the United States, and his campaign advisers were at a loss Friday to put a positive spin on the story — other than to look ahead to the next two stops on his tour.
Missteps pointing out what British papers have been pointing out? Yes, I can understand the 'we can criticize ourselves, but how dare you criticize us' - but the main thrust of this meme is coming from the left leaning elements of the US / British press that oppose conservative ideals and candidates.

What's most ironic is the litany of insults and gaffes from President Barack Obama towards the British that are conveniently ignored by the 'objective' press...

  1. At a Buckingham Palace state dinner in his honor, President Barack Obama continues to speak after toasting Queen Elizabeth II - and the band begins to play 'God Save the Queen'.
  2. The iPod gift to Queen Elizabeth II - with the iPod loaded with photos and speeches by Barack Obama.
  3. Presents Prime Minister Gordon Brown with a boxed set of DVD's - that can't be played in Britain.
  4. 'The Hug' - First Lady Michelle Obama breaks protocol to 'hug' Queen Elizabeth II.
  5. Booting the bust of Sir Winston Churchill out of the Oval Office in January 2009 - and did Jake Carney and other Obama drones really have to lie about this?
  6. Avoiding a formal meeting with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the President finally agreed to a very brief meeting in a kitchen...
  7. According to a U.S. State Department official in May 2009, there is no special relationship between the United States and Great Britain.
  8. Special Relationship II?  'We don't have a stronger friend and stronger ally than Nicolas Sarkozy and the French people.' - Barack Obama
  9. President Obama, in March 2009, was 'too tired' to host a state dinner and formal meeting with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown...British officials, meanwhile, admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.
  10. Compromising British Intelligence - while leaking U.S. National Security secrets to make the President look good, the WH / Administration compromised both Britain's MI5 and MI6 agencies by exposing sources and methods for Obama's political gain.
Dishonorable mention - repeatedly siding with Argentina over that country's renewed claims to the British Falkland Islands.

Hey, WaPoo, is this one of those breakout moments?  Or are you sputtering over the audacity of Mitt Romney?
Standing on Israeli soil, U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Sunday declared Jerusalem to be the capital of the Jewish state and said the United States has “a solemn duty and a moral imperative” to block Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability.
Did someone send a memo to WH Press Secretary Jay Carney that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel?

President Obama's Weekly Address....

... calls on the House GOP to approve the middle class 'tax cut' - as proposed by the President.  You know, the tax cut that occurs when the House GOP votes to keep the 'middle class' tax rates at the same level as they have been since 2003 (avoiding their increase on January 1, 2013), while hiking income taxes on the top  5% of wage earners as well as hiking capital gains, dividend, and estate taxes.

He accuses the GOP of holding 'tax cuts' more rampant rhetorical dishonesty.

A tax cut occurs when the current tax rates are decreased - resulting in people paying less in taxes.  A spending cut occurs when new spending levels are reduced to below current spending levels.

Postponing a tax increase and keeping the current tax policy in place is not a cut.  It's maintaining the status quo.  Spending the same today as yesterday is not a spending cut, it's maintaining the status quo.

Permitting taxes to increase is a tax increase. Even if that increase over the current rates is less than what may happen or less than what one party proposes, it's still an increase over the current rate.  Permitting spending to increase on a budget line item is a spending increase even if the amount of the increase is less than what would happen without action or is less than one party proposes.

This should not be that difficult to comprehend.

More rampant dishonesty?  How about the President's history of promises to 'pay down the debt'...

President Obama is currently running a campaign ad saying he has a plan to ‘pay down the debt in a balanced way.’ He has made this claim in public remarks as well. But his updated budget—submitted two weeks after the legal deadline—reveals just how dramatically false this claim is. These ads ought to be pulled down. His updated budget proposes a $10.6 trillion increase in gross debt through 2022, with debt remaining permanently above 100 percent of GDP. The picture in the out-years looks even bleaker. No change is proposed to our dangerously unsustainable debt course.

The President’s claim his tax hikes are for deficit reduction is shown to be false as well. His budget proposes to spend $46.2 trillion over ten years—an increase of nearly one-and-half trillion dollars above the current law baseline and a 57 percent increase above today’s spending levels. The President’s $1.8 trillion tax increase is not used to reduce the deficit but to fund this massive increase above what we are currently planning to spend.

The Wall Street Journal on Saturday highlighted the President's very serious problem around his economic program, you know, the one that is 'working' [Think Charlie Sheen and 'Winning'].... The 1.5% President -

It's important to understand how unusual this kind of weak recovery is. Deep recessions like the one from December 2007 to June 2009 are typically followed by stronger recoveries, as there is more lost ground to make up.

The most recent comparable recession occurred in 1981-1982. Yet as the nearby chart shows, the Reagan expansion exploded with a 9.3% quarter and kept up a robust pace for years. By the 12th quarter of expansion, growth popped up to 6.4.%. At this stage of the Reagan expansion, overall GDP was 18.5% higher versus 6.7% for the Obama recovery, according to Congress's Joint Economic Committee.

Even comparing this recovery with the average since the end of World War II, the Obama growth rate is well below the norm of 15.2%. The U.S. is running about $1.5 trillion of economic output behind where it should be.

This may sound like an abstraction, but it is the difference between a robust job market and lost opportunity for millions of Americans. It is the difference between a small federal budget deficit and more than $1 trillion for four straight years. It is the difference between a rising or falling poverty rate.

ABC New's Jake Tapper wonders what would the 2004 Barack Obama, fresh off his Democratic National Convention Speech success, think of today's Barack Obama?

TAPPER: Jay, eight years ago, I think you were there, and I was in the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts. And I heard a fairly obscure state senator stand up and give a speech in which he talked about how, right then, there were spinmeisters and negative ad peddlers preparing to divide the country.

Given that the vast, vast majority of the ads that are run these days — from both sides, both Governor Romney and President Obama — are negative — I think in one New York Times story it said all of the ones that ran in Richmond over a certain period were negative, not one positive ad; and then there was a study that showed in a two-week period, 89 percent of the president’s ads were negative; 94 percent of Mitt Romney’s ads were negative — what would that state senator think about the campaign being run right now by this president?
WH Press Flack, Jay Carney, remains a deer in the headlights....or is this just a SNL parody with Baghdad Bob standing in as the WH Press Flack?  It's getting to the point where I can't tell the difference.

A WaPoo columnist, Jonathan Capehart, is up in arms because of a new Romney campaign ad.  His deepest fear?  That voters will think that it is okay to vote against Barack Obama and not be thought of as a racist.

I'm reminded of the line I heard last year - if you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove that you are not a racist, how about voting against Obama in 2012 to prove you are not an idiot.

Richard Fernandez of The Belmont Club offers another superb post - and one that should make you think.

In 'Making the Connection' he asks what is the common element behind these three people....

Interested in some conclusive proof of manmade global warming?  From Ace of Spades....

Today Anthony Watts and coauthors released a paper quantifying the impact of station quality issues and NOAA data adjustments on the USHCN temperature records that are one of the most important books in the warmists' bible:

A reanalysis of U.S. surface station temperatures has been performed using the recently WMO-approved Siting Classification System devised by METEO-France’s Michel Leroy. The new siting classification more accurately characterizes the quality of the location in terms of monitoring long-term spatially representative surface temperature trends. The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward. (emphasis added)
Cutting to the chase (from the PowerPoint slides accompanying the release):

Instead of adjusting the poorly sited station trends downward to the levels of the well located stations, the well sited station trends are adjusted upward to match the poor station trends. The “official” trend data is higher even than that of the raw data for non-compliant stations.

No result is too ridiculous as long as it helps The Cause, I guess.

Watts included a handy graph of the impact that can be used to beat warmists over the head (metaphorically of course).

A Sunday cartoon from Day by Day for your enjoyment....

Today in History


1868 - The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is officially adopted into the U.S. Constitution.

1914 - One month to the day of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.  This is recognized as the beginning of the First World War.

1943 - In just 43 minutes, British bombers drop 2,326 tons of bombs on Hamburg, Germany - igniting a firestorm that devastated 8 square miles of the city - and killing 42,000 German civilians.

1945 - A B-25 Mitchell twin-engine bomber crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City during a very heavy fog.  14 people are killed in the crash, 26 are injured.

1945 - The U.S. Senate approves the charter establishing the United Nations.

1976 - A 7.8 magnitude earthquake strikes Tangshan, China killing an estimated 250,000 people.


1588 - A British naval force under the command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake defeat the Spanish Armada off the coast of Gravelines, France - ending the threat of a Spanish invasion of England.

1909 - General Motors buys Cadillac.

1921 - Adolf Hitler becomes the leader of the National Socialist German Worker's (Nazi) Party.

1958 - U.S. Congress passes legislation establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a civilian agency responsible for coordinating America's activities in space.

1967 - A rocket accidently fired from a F-4 Phantom fighter bomber parked on the deck of the USS Forrestal preparing for an airstrike, starts a major fire that burned for nearly 24 hours.  134 sailors and pilots were killed in the fire, hundreds wounded, and more than 20 combat aircraft destroyed as the USS Forrestal suffers the worst loss of life on a U.S. warship since the end of World War II.

1972 - Far left and anti-American former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark visits North Vietnam as part of an international group investigating 'U.S. war crimes' against North Vietnam.  No 'war crimes' were uncovered in the anti-U.S. propaganda mission which highlighted the damage being done to North Vietnam by US bombers.

1976 - The 'Son of Sam' murders his first victim, Donna Lauria, and seriously injures Jody Valenti of the Bronx as they sat talking in a car.  The serial killer would terrorize New York City over the next year.

1981 - Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, weds Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.  The couple would divorce in August 1996.  Diana, Princess of Wales would be killed in a car accident in August 1997.

Mitt Romney is deal with the MSM

Mitt Romney settled in the day before the Olympic Opening Ceremony for an 'in-depth' interview with NBC New's Brian Williams.

To get a gauge on the interview, the usual festering hotbeds of extreme progressivism, Huffington Post and the Democratic Underground, were whinging over the 'softball' questions that Williams tossed towards the presumptive GOP Presidential nominee.

But what was most interesting in this interview were the answers of Mitt Romney - which continued to demonstrate that he is might not be the reserved, quiet, boring evil businessman that the left is portraying him as.  In fact, Mitt might actually have a sense of humor and timing as he, about 9 minutes into this interview, embraces his inner Newt Gingrich and hit's Brian Williams with a classic 'zinger'....

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Williams, quoting an unnamed Republican official who, according to the lefty site Politico, has official knowledge of the Romney campaign's search and vetting process for a Vice President candidate, said that the campaign is looking for 'an incredibly boring white guy', and asks Mitt Romney to comment on the Politico report.

Without missing a beat, and with a perfect deadpan delivery, Romney's response was, 'They told me you were not available....' to which Williams could only reply, 'Touche' as Romney chuckled. Mitt Romney then went onto to say the obvious, 'I can't given you anything on that front whatsoever'.

The zinger made it's point to Williams - and seems to reflect Romney's increasing comfort with the campaign and dealing with a generally hostile press.  It's not Ronald Reagan zinger level - but it's a big step towards that direction to disarm the hostility with a laugh / zinger.

QH Doubleheader - July 26 & 27, 2012

The combination of a few emergencies and a summer weekend has left us a few days behind.  So, we're now into catch-up mode with a few doubleheaders.  As we go through these, there are a couple of items that I'll be holding for some supplemental posts when time permits...

Markets on Thursday and Friday soared on news from Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank, who has pledged to do 'whatever it takes' to protect the Eurozone from collapse - including steps to fight what he termed 'unreasonably' high government borrowing costs....
"Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough," he told an investment conference in London.

"To the extent that the size of the sovereign premia (borrowing costs) hamper the functioning of the monetary policy transmission channels, they come within our mandate."

When asked what probability he would assign to the euro zone having the same number of members it has today in two years, he added: "I don't venture into speculations about things like changes in the treaty. The treaty was meant to have the number of countries that we see today, so frankly I can't really estimate the probability of that."

"We think the euro is irreversible."

However, like many other remarks by Eurozone officials intended to boost confidence in the Euro currency and Eurozone, this one was also sufficiently lacking in details as to just how the ECB was going to address the challenges being faced in Greece, Spain, and Italy - particularly the soaring yields on Spanish and Italian sovereign debt. In particular, is what is the real German position? Are the German people willing to risk their own economy (which is slowing) to bail out those of Southern Europe? If so, what are they seeking in return?

ZeroHedge has a guest post that asks just what is being sacrificed by ECB President Draghi and Fed Chair Ben Bernancke to maintain the Euro and the European Union / United States banking cartel?

Apparently everything of value: Liberty, democracy, and sovereignty.

A brief commentary by longtime correspondent Harun I. on Mario Draghi's market-moving statement: “Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough.”

Nice, Mr. Draghi, but at what cost? And who will ultimately bear this cost? It is already far beyond the measure of mere money; democracy, truth and sovereignty have all been destroyed to prop up the central bankers' Status Quo. We can presume Mr. Bernanke and the Federal Reserve are in on the propaganda campaign, and so we need to examine the words and promises of these two central bankers, as well as what they have not said.

Is talking about printing money as good as actually printing money? It would seem so. Is promising to "do whatever it takes" as good as actually doing whatever it takes? Once again, it seems so; global markets leaped at the "news" that the financial Status Quo was going to be "saved" yet again.

What if it is beyond saving?

In Spain, the jobless rate has 'edged' up to 24.6% - basically 1 in 4 working adults in the country is unemployed. A national bailout is looking more and more likely as demonstrations continue - with the left demanding an end to austerity and continued borrowing / spending even though the costs to service that borrowing is well beyond the country's ability to repay. Tied to the Euro, the even lack the option of devaluing their currency as a tool to try to right the ship.

As the President race approaches 100 days before the November election, these days saw an onslaught of press reports and shots at both candidates - ranging from more 'gaffes' from Barack Obama and his team regarding the direction of the country to a largely mainstream media manufactured 'gaffe' of Mitt Romney who has supposedly insulted Britain's by highlighting the challenges of their Olympic preparations being raised by the British media.

The Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll, one of the more accurate of the polls, is showing that Mitt Romney is opening a slight lead on Barack Obama, with a +5 advantage. At this same point in 2008, Barack Obama held a similar +5 advantage over John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee.

This is not the only challenging information from polls that is facing the Obama campaign. Despite the rash of polls with a significant Democrat skew (NPR D+7; NYT/CBS D+6.5; NBC/WSJ D+11) reflecting a level of Democrat enthusiasm beyond that of even 2008's coronation of Barack Obama, buried within the NBC / Wall Street Journal poll data is information that the Democrat enthusiasm is far below that of 2008.
A senior Romney campaign adviser reached out to Townhall and offered the following analysis of the NBC/WSJ numbers:

This poll shows Democrats with an 11-point partisan advantage. In the 2008 election (the best D Presidential year in ages) the partisan advantage was -7, the 04 election was dead even. The ’12 election will likely be no worse than -3 to -4. Of the last 62 national polls conducted, dating back to the beginning of April, just three have had partisan advantages as wide as 11-points. Further, among those who voted in 08, their reported 08 ballot was 56% Obama -44% McCain, reinforcing how tilted this sample is.

That last data point is especially damning. For what it's worth, the latest tracking polls from Rasmussen and Gallup show Romney leading Obama nationally by three and one, respectively. NYT/CBS has Romney up one, and NPR has it exactly tied in the battlegrounds (where NBC/WSJ gives Obama an eight point lead).

For the first time in three presidential cycles, Republicans' intensity outstrips Democrats'. In 2004, Democrats were extremely eager to oust President Bush, with enthusiasm levels approaching 70 percent. They failed -- barely, by a few thousand votes in Ohio. Over the next four years, GOP enthusiasm tanked, hitting a nadir in 2008. Republicans got trounced. The two parties' motivation numbers began to converge as the 2010 election approached, drawing exactly even by election day. Due to ascendant enthusiasm and a strong showing among independents, Republicans delivered a thumping to their rivals. As we're closing in on the final quarter of the 2012 presidential contest, Republican enthusiasm has recovered to its highest point since the successful 2004 election. More importantly, their counterparts' excitement is fading into 2008 GOP territory.

By a 51-48 tally, Senate Democrats overcame 2 defections to win passage of a measure to extend the current income tax rates for those families earning under $250,000 annually, and raise income tax rates for those earning more than this amount as well as also increasing the top tax rates on dividends, capital gains, and estate taxes.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Senate turned aside a Republican proposal, by a mostly party-line vote of 45-54, that would have extended all current rates on income, capital gains, dividends and the estate tax, also for a year. Two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Scott Brown (Mass.), voted against both plans, and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) voted for the two proposals. Pryor is up for reelection in 2014.

“All sides agree on the need to extend the tax cuts for the middle class — this legislation reflects that consensus,” the Obama administration said in a policy statement.

GOP lawmakers, meanwhile, have accused Democrats of seeking a tax hike on small businesses, and said that the current sluggish economy should convince policymakers not to raise anybody’s taxes at the end of the year.

Republicans lambasted Democrats for leaving the estate tax out of their tax proposal, with the tax’s parameters scheduled to get much less generous at the end of the year.
Senate Democrats had been calling to reinstate 2009 estate tax levels, which have also been endorsed by Obama. But with some Democrats suggesting they prefer the current estate tax policy, party leaders dropped the proposal from their plan.

There is a fundamental dishonesty in how the Democrats, and Barack Obama, are conducting themselves in this debate over addressing the looming fiscal cliff of 'taxmageddon'. Keeping tax rates at the same level as they have been since 2003, effectively a decade ago, is not a tax cut. Postponing a tax increase is not a tax cut. Deciding to not increases taxes is not a tax cut. But lost in this 'preserve a middle class tax cut' in the name of 'fairness' - when the top 5% already pay nearly 60% of all federal income taxes - is the fact that for those top 5%, they are seeing an increase not only in their income taxes, but also substantial tax increases on capital gains, dividends, and estate taxes. On top of this, nearly 1 million members of this group are small business owners - the foundation of our national economy.

ABC's Jake Tapper took to the White House Press Flack to task on taxes - and Jay Carney demonstrates just what a vapid tool he really is...
TAPPER: You used the word “giveaway,” and President Obama, in his statement yesterday, used the word “giveaway,” referring to the extension of the Bush — lower — the lower Bush tax cut rates for the — I guess, the top 1 or 2 percent of the country, people making over $200,000 a year or couples making 250. What do you say to a small-business owner who says, that’s not a giveaway; that’s my money, and by the way, I’m going to need some of that money in order to help pay for health care of individuals that I’m now mandated to do; it’s not giving anything away; it’s allowing me to keep my money?

CARNEY: Well, the phrasing of the question leaves out a few things, which is, one, this tax cut that the Senate passed and that the president supports would go to 97 percent of small businesses in America, 97 percent. Further, this president has cut the taxes of small businesses in America 18 times, independent of this. So he’s — his focus on assisting small businesses, which he considers the engine of economic growth in this country, the engine of job creation in this country, has been intense and will continue to be.

TAPPER: Yes, I left out people I wasn’t talking about.


TAPPER: I’m not — the question is this: Why is it a “giveaway”? Why are you guys using — you and President Obama — using the term “giveaway” when even if you support the Senate Democrats’ bill, it’s not technically a giveaway; it is allowing people to keep the tax cut that they got in 2001 and 2002?

CARNEY: Right, but these are tax cuts that we cannot afford, that do not, by — as — by the estimates of credible, independent economists do not measurably help the economy and do not — in the way that tax cuts to working and middle-class Americans help the economy.

And you know, we have to make choices. And it is a — it is a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans that we simply can’t afford.

And this is before Carney's painful attempt to not admit what the CIA Fact Book says - that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel...

American Businesses Built America.  The American entrepreneur built America.  The Government did NOT build America.

During the week, as highlighted in an earlier QH, Barack Obama declared that while the Bush / GOP economic plan, which is being touted by Mitt Romney (according to Barry) has not worked, his economic plan has worked and is working.

Here's a Romney campaign ad discussing that point...


Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of all goods and services produced in the economy, grew at a weak 1.5% annual rate, the Commerce Department said Friday -- a sharp slowing from the first quarter's 2% pace and the fourth quarter's 4.1%.

Unemployment: The jobless rate in June was 8.2%, the same rate for May. In April it was 8.1%, a tick better than the 8.2% of March.

Since Obama was sworn in, the unemployment rate has never been below 7.8%, its level the first day he walked into the White House. It has been 8% or higher for 41 straight months, and the Congressional Budget Office expects it to stay above that level through 2014.

Last month, at least 5.3 million Americans had been without jobs for more than six months. When Obama took office, only 2.6 million had gone jobless for more than half a year. Today about 30% of the unemployed have been looking for work for a year or more.

Worse, if the millions who have stopped looking for work because they can't find any were still counted, the real unemployment number would be closer to 17%.

GDP: The economy grew a meager 1.9% annualized in the second quarter, down from 2.2% in the first quarter. It grew only 1.7% for all of 2011.

America was promised a "recovery summer" in 2010, but the economy limps on. Obama came into office during a recession, but it ended in June 2009. His recovery has been called the worst since the Great Depression.

Of course, as all things with the Obama Administration, there are questions about methods and procedures particularly with the history of 'cooking the books' - revising data in order to fit a predetermined end result and message.
In fact, today's GDP number will be revised and re-revised in the next two months, then re-re-re-revised at the annual revisions in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In other words, the number after (and likely before) the decimal comma is irrelevant. One thing however stands, and that is the trendline change in actual GDP compared to the change in debt used to "buy" said GDP. Which is why we present our favorite chart showing how much more total federal debt was added per quarter over the GDP. Bottom line: in Q2, the US added $274.3 billion in debt while adding $117.6 billion in GDP (from the revised data: Q1 GDP of $15,478 billion rising to just $15,595 billion in Q2). Probably what is more indicative, is that in Q2 the delta change between debt and GDP rose from 2.28x in Q1. But that too is largely noise and will be revised. What won't be revised is that over the past two years, the US has added 2.42x more debt than it has added GDP.
How bad is this 'recovery'?  Compare it to the challenge that Reagan faced when trying to reverse the effects of Carternomics - the closest disaster to Obamanomics...

So, expect the new shift - with President Obama running on Bill Clinton's record as opposed to his own...

Eric Holder's Department of Justice is continuing their war on the states seeking to enact Voter ID legislation to require all voters show photo identification in an effort to prevent voter fraud.
In states that have voter ID laws, the real-world results show that minorities have not been disenfranchised by any means. States that require ID to vote have offered free IDs to anyone who does not have one already.

Georgia, which has had voter ID since 2007, allows six different forms of ID to vote. And there has been no stampede of would-be voters who lack identification: “The number of photo IDs issued by Georgia to individuals who did not already have one of the forms of ID acceptable under state law is remarkably small, averaging less 0.05 percent in most years, and not even reaching three-tenths of 1 percent in a presidential election year.”

What happened to minority voting after the law went into effect? In the 2008 presidential election, Hispanic voting in Georgia increased by 140 percent over the 2004 election. African-American voting increased by 42 percent. That is also a higher rate of increase than in other states without voter ID. Von Spakovsky notes:

The increase in turnout of both Hispanics and blacks in the 2008 presidential election after the voter ID law became effective is quite remarkable, particularly given the unproven and totally speculative claims of the Justice Department that the voter ID requirements of Texas and South Carolina will somehow have a discriminatory impact on Hispanic and black voters. In fact, Georgia had the largest turnout of minority voters in its history.

On a related note, Eric Holder scolded a Capital Hill intern for taking notes during a lecture he was delivering...and, by the way, all attendees to the lecture were required to provide a photo ID to prove that they were who they claimed to be before being allowed into the lecture hall. Hey, isn't that racist?

Where is the outrage over Chick-Fil-A and the actions of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino?

This is nothing but liberal fascism - and where is the real outrage? Banning a business from doing business in a city (or at all if we look at growing national protests against Chick-Fil-A restaurants) because they embrace social values and beliefs that differ from one's progressive liberal beliefs? By all means, don't patronize the establishments, but in this day and age, today's liberals believe banning is the legitimate choice?

I'm not seeking to ban Newsweek, the struggling weekly news magazine that was acquired from the Washington Post a couple of years ago by the Daily Beast, because it's a liberal propaganda machine. But, the magazine has announced that it will end it's print edition because of high costs and declining subscriptions / sales - but mainly cratering subscriptions and sales.

The consumer has decided that they will no longer pay for crap.

Today in History


1908 - U.S Attorney General Charles Bonaparte issued an order that created an investigative agency what was the forerunner of the FBI.

1944 - The first V-2 rocket hits England - the first of 1,400 rockets to land between this date and the end of the war strikes England.  Over 2,500 civilians were killed as a result of V-2 rocket attacks.

1947 - President Harry Truman signs the National Security Act - merges the Navy Department and War Department into the Department of Defense; Establishes the National Security Council; and Establishes the Central Intelligence Agency.

1948 - President Harry Truman signs executive orders that prohibit discrimination in the U.S. Armed Forces and the federal government.

1956 - Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal.


1794 - Maximillien Robespierre, the architect of the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, is overthrown and arrested by the National Convention.  He and 21 followers are guillotined the next day.  Over the next several days, another 82 are executed.  With those, the Reign of Terror ends - after claiming over 40,000 lives across France.

1953 - The U.S. led United Nations coalition, the People's Republic of China, and the DPRK (North Korea) sign an armistice to bring the fighting in Korea to an end.  A technical state of war still exists between North Korea and South Korea.

1974 - The U.S. House of Representatives charges President Richard Nixon with the first of three articles of impeachment for obstruction of justice after he refused to release WH tape recordings that contained crucial information regarding the Watergate break-in scandal and cover-up.

1980 - The Shah of Iran dies of cancer while in exile in Egypt.

1990 - The last Citroen 2CV rolls off the production line in Portugal - aka 'Tin Snail', the car made its debut in 1948 with 5,114,959 produced worldwide.  Front wheel drive, a lightweight air cooled engine, and a 4 speed manual transmission were key features of this low cost auto.  Poor crash test and anti-pollution test results led to it's demise.

2003 - Actor-Comedian-Entertainer Bob Hope dies at the age of 100.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quick Hits - July 25, 2012

“If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen.”

This phrase continues to reverberate within the Presidential campaign.  President Obama, demonstrating once again his trait of being 'thin-skinned', told the attendees at a West Coast fundraiser yesterday that he's losing patience over Republican attacks on his comment.
President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he’s losing his patience over the Republican attacks aimed at his “you didn’t build that” comment.

“I have to tell you, I generally have patience with what the other side says about me, that’s a requirement of this job,” Obama said during a $5,000-per-plate fundraiser here, according to the pool report.

“And if you don’t like folks talking about you, you probably shouldn’t run for president. The one thing I do have no patience for is this argument that somehow what I’m criticizing is success… I want to promote success,” Obama said.

And the government delivers 'success', Mr. President?

The other message that the President and his team is driving forward around this comment is that it was 'taken out of context' by those who are using it as a political football.

Football? Hmm, let's apply something from the National Football League and go to the instant replay in this new American Crossroads PAC advertisement....

Both Hot Air and The Weekly Standard address the similarities of the comments made by the President and by the progressive Massachusetts Senate candidate, Elizabeth Warren, in posts and, in the case of the Weekly Standard, with video.

As The Weekly Standard notes...

While Barack Obama has taken to swing state airwaves to walk back his recent comments that business owners “didn’t build” their businesses, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is not backing down from similar comments she made last year.

In a 2011 video that went viral on left-wing blogs, Warren told a group of supporters that “there is nobody in this country who got rich on their own.

“Of course I stand by those remarks,” Warren said.

What's interesting about Warren's remarks and in contrast with those of Barack Obama is how they are delivered. Hot Air observes...
Where Warren’s delivery demonstrates anger and contempt for those who claim credit for their own success, Obama tries a somewhat softer approach of humor and disdain. Both, however, perfectly communicate the same idea: small businesses are parasites that only succeed through the beneficence of government, and therefore government has the right to seize whatever capital it wants from that success.

Yet, with all of this, Obama Senior Campaign official, David Axelrod, is insisting today that the 'You didn't build that' remark is helping the President's campaign.

But then, David Axelrod today also was insisting, with a straight face, that the real reason people are thinking the President is running a negative campaign is because of Romney's negative ads against the President, not because of the 19,000 + negative ads and the less than 150 positive ads the Obama campaign ran in one week....

That's almost as classic, Mr. Axelrod, as the President's latest campaign stump speech on the economy, and the efforts to link Mitt Romney's economic plan with George W. Bush's economic plan...
“We tried that and it didn’t work,” Obama said of Mitt Romney’s proposed tax cuts and spending cuts, which he dismissed as a Bush-style “top down” economic policy. “Just like we’ve tried their plan, we tried our plan — and it worked,” he added later in the speech. “That’s the difference. That’s the choice in this election. That’s why I’m running for a second term.” Obama made these comments in Oakland, where the unemployment rate was 13.7 percent in May 2012. The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent — up from 8.1 percent in May — for the second straight month.

It worked? WTH?

That's working?  Must be a variation of Charlie Sheen's 'winning'....

Mitt Romney delivered a major foreign policy speech yesterday to the VFW - and received a very positive reaction from the crowd including cheers and a standing ovation.

"In dealing with other nations, he has given trust where it is not earned, insult where it was not deserved and apology where it was not due", however, nails the Washington Post for their exceptionally biased and denigrating reporting on the Republican candidate's speech, with the WaPoo calling the speech outdated and unrealistic.
WAPO: The lofty appeal to a mid-20th-century view of U.S. power stood in sharp contrast to Obama’s more calculated, realist approach to diplomacy. A Washington Post-ABC News poll published in May found that 48 percent of Americans supported Obama’s handling of foreign affairs, while 46 percent did not.
This is the relevant paragraph of the transcript:
ROMNEY: I am an unapologetic believer in the greatness of this country. I am not ashamed of American power. I take pride that throughout history our power has brought justice where there was tyranny, peace where there was conflict, and hope where there was affliction and despair. I do not view America as just one more point on the strategic map, one more power to be balanced. I believe our country is the greatest force for good the world has ever known, and that our influence is needed as much now as ever. And I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century.
The Post was alarmed that Romney used harsh words to attack Obama:
Romney told the VFW audience, which heard from Obama the previous day, that “the last few years have been a time of declining influence and missed opportunity.” He used words such as “diminished,” “devastation,” “faltered,” “misjudgment” and “abandonment” to describe the president’s record.
[Ed note - That May poll, by the way, had the usual significant D+7-8 skew in the sampling...]

NBC News followed right down the path of the Washington Post. Again, highlights the commentary by Andrea Mitchell about Mitt Romney's speech...
NBC / MSNBC Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent (and Obama sycophant) Andrea Mitchell downplays the positive reception Romney received by VFW… "...this is a conservative group....This is a very conservative foreign policy group and there's no question that they would be predisposed, I think, more towards being in the Republican camp than the Democratic camp."
Another major element of today's political news is the effect that the latest version of the NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll is having on the race - finding that Barack Obama is now up by 6 points over Mitt Romney (49% to 43%).....'s Big Government asks a simple, but serious question...
Serious question: Does NBC just think we are all idiots? Have they been under a rock for the last decade and not realize that they no longer can control the information we hear?  
Do they think they can breathlessly report that their latest poll has Barack Obama leading Romney by 9-points and not mention that they are using a D+11 sample? Its only July. What games will they play in October? Use polls that only sample French adults?  
Today, NBC/WSJ released their latest poll on the presidential contest. They “find” that Obama is leading Romney by 6-points, 49%-43%. They use this finding to opine a great deal about the current state of the presidential campaign. 
What they don’t report, however, is that their poll sample is way overweighted for Democrats. Their sample is D+11, 46% Democrat, 35% Republican–a level we haven’t seen in the electorate since the post-Watergate GOP meltdown.
Why is this an issue? Hot Air provides the needed context...
The 2008 national exit poll sample, taken when Hopenchange fever was at its zenith, was 39D/32R/29I, or D+7. This one, after three years of Obamanomics dreck, is somehow D+11 if you include leaners and D+12(!) if you don’t.  
Anyone feel like taking these results seriously?   
And yet we soldier on, my friends, reminding ourselves at every step that lame content is still content.
One interesting takeaway: The attacks on Bain are driving Obama’s favorables down too, even with a very Democratic sample.
NBC News Chief Political Correspondent Chuck Todd did have to admit, while appearing this morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe program that 'our sample was a little Democrat heavy'.

Ya Think Chuck? 11-12 points heavy? This isn't polling. This isn't intended to provide us with a snapshot of the current status of the race, but is entirely intended to influence the race. This isn't news, it's propaganda. racist idiots if we intend to not vote for Barack Obama.

 The Washington Post also demonstrated their increasingly shrill bias as one of their leftist columnists dedicated his column to whinging about the GOP supported Voter ID initiatives in a number of states. Harold Meyerson's column was titled, 'GOPS Voter ID Tactics Could Undermine a Romney Win'...but the WaPoo's web editor decided that the article would get more attention if Voter ID was called 'voter supression' and 'could undermine a Romney win' would be better with the blurb, 'A Romney Presidency would be illegitimate'.

But this pales to the despicable Gary Trudeau, the cartoonist behind the over-the-hill Doonesbury strip which today depicts Pennsylvania's Voter ID law effort as a return to 'Jim Crow'. Trudeau should know quite well that it was the Democrats and the Democrat Party that developed, pushed for, and defended 'Jim Crow' laws - but then for loons like Trudeau, facts and truth mean little.

On this subject, former DoJ Voting Rights Division Attorney, J. Christian Adams, writing for PJ Media, provides a closer look at the Eric Holder / DoJ attack on Pennsylvania over their effort to enact a law that requires voters to provide a photo ID to confirm their identity when they cast a ballot. Said Adams...
The Eric Holder Justice Department has done it again, this time in Pennsylvania. Not content to use Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act to shake down Texas and South Carolina, the DOJ yesterday sent a demand to the Keystone State for stacks of documents regarding Pennsylvania voter ID.     
This letter was a highly irregular and purely partisan exercise designed to stoke Obama’s electoral base in Philadelphia. It is also designed to placate the civil rights industry, which has quietly simmered about the lack of enforcement of the Voting Rights Act to help minorities over the last three years. (See, Wade Henderson – Cat Got Your Tongue?)      
The demand letter to Pennsylvania was sent pursuant to 42 U.S.C 1974. This law requires election officials to preserve election records for 22 months after an election. It is designed to ensure that no racial discrimination occurred in the conduct of a particular election. 
For example, poll books from 1966 would have to be kept for 22 months to ensure that both black and white voters who were properly registered were actually allowed to vote. Like so much with this Justice Department, the partisans have perverted the law and demanded far more than the law allows, so much so that even liberal former DOJ lawyers are surprised.
Note that Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez signed the letter. Normally, when I worked on cases involving 42 U.S.C. 1974, either the trial lawyer or section chief would sign the letter. It may be that Chris Herren, the current section chief, would do neither what the career partisans below him wanted nor what the political gangsters above him wanted. Internal dissent may be afoot, and with good reason.
One of the standard arguments from the progressive left is that there is not a voter fraud problem - based on the few prosecutions that are done on that basis. But this is nothing more than a canard. In Virginia, the Romney campaign is raising questions about a left-wing 'non-profit' group sending pre-populated forms to Virginia residents, dead Virginians, pets (living and dead), and others ineligible to vote.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign is asking Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to launch an investigation into voter-registration forms that are being sent to Virginia residents and addressed to deceased relatives, children, family pets and others ineligible to vote.   
The errant mailings from the Washington-based nonprofit group Voter Participation Center have befuddled many Virginia residents, leading to hundreds of complaints.    
The organization has been mass-mailing the forms — pre-populated with key information such as names and addresses — to primarily Democratic-leaning voting blocs such as young adults, unmarried women, African-Americans and Latinos.
Europe is sleepwalking towards imminent disaster, warn top economists...
The euro has completely broken down as a workable system and faces collapse with “incalculable economic losses and human suffering” unless there is a drastic change of course, according to a group of [17] leading economists...  
...“The sense of a neverending crisis, with one domino falling after another, must be reversed. The last domino, Spain, is days away from a liquidity crisis,” said the economists. They include two members of Germany’s Council of Economic Experts and leading euro specialists at the London of School of Economics, all euro supporters.
“This dramatic situation is the result of a eurozone system which, as currently constructed, is thoroughly broken. The cause is a systemic failure. It is the responsibility of all European nations that were parties to its flawed design, construction and implementation to contribute to a solution. Absent this collective response, the euro will disintegrate,” they added in a co-signed report for the Institute for New Economic Thinking.    
The warning came as contagion from Spain pushed Italy’s borrowing costs to danger levels, with two-year yields rocketing 40 basis points to more than 5pc. The Milan bourse tumbled 3pc, led by bank shares. Italian equities have been in freefall since it became clear two weeks ago that the EU’s June summit deal had failed to break the nexus between crippled banks and sovereign states.     
The crisis is starting to ricochet back into Germany, where the PMI manufacturing index for July fell to its lowest since mid-2009.  
Doubts are emerging about the creditworthiness of the German state itself.
With this, we have an editorial by a Senior fellow in Economic Studies at the far left Brookings Institute embraces John Maynard Keynes, Paul Krugman, Francois Hollande, and Barack Obama suggesting that the best course for America is to not only to go over the taxmegeddon cliff on January 1, but that we need to enact a new stimulus package (and probably increase taxes further). I guess he also believes that the President's 2009 plan worked out so well. Hey, it worked in Europe too, right?

Pentagon Islamic Adviser Reappears as Political Leader for Syrian Muslim Brotherhood-Dominated Group..
Louay Safi has been fairly influential in government circles. For several years, he was only one of two endorsing agents for the Pentagon’s Muslim military chaplain program as Director of Leadership Development for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He was also responsible for teaching about Islam to American troops deploying to Afghanistan and Iraq. So it was particularly curious last year when Safi reappeared last August as the director of the political office of the newly-formed Syrian National Council (SNC), which is dominated by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
Wrapping up today’s report, we have yet another hyperventilating media headline to consider, ‘Greenland Ice Melt ‘Unprecedented’, says NASA… …but if this is so, what about this paragraph in the linked story?
"Ice cores from [Summit Station in central Greenland] show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time," says Lora Koenig, a Goddard glaciologist and a member of the research team analyzing the satellite data.

What is it with journalists these days?

Today in History

1861 – The Crittenden-Johnson Resolution passes the US Congress – stated the limited aims of the Civil War was that the war was being fought to preserve the Union and not the end of slavery. The Resolution would be repealed by Congress in December 1861. The resolution was undertaken to keep Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri, all slave states, in the Union.

1909 – French aviator Louis Bleriot made the first flight across the English Channel in a monoplane – traveling from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes.

1914 – In response to the Austria-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia, Russia declared that it would act to protect Serbian sovereignty.

1943 – Italian Fascist Dictator, Benito Mussolini was overthrown in a coup and arrested.

1999 – Lance Armstrong wins the Tour de France for the 1st time, becoming only the 2nd American to win the race.

2000 – An Air France Concorde jetliner crashes in flames just after takeoff in Paris, killing all 109 souls aboard. The fire was caused by a catastrophic tire failure which punctured the aircraft’s fuel tanks. The jet exhaust ignited the fuel…