Saturday, July 14, 2012

Quick Hit Catch-up Edition - July 10-13, 2012

Normally, July is one of the slowest times of the year for my business.  However, this past week, things have gotten quite busy.  This is good as the additional revenues are more than needed.  But it also has really limited my time to do the daily blog posts.  This weekend, it's catch-up time....

For 280 consecutive months before President Barack Obama took office - a span of more than 23 years - the portion of Americans who were employed ALWAYS exceeded 60% (according to official stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics).  In contrast, the July 6th release of the June 2012 jobs numbers show that under President Obama, the portion of Americans who are employed has remained BELOW 60% for 40 consecutive months.

According to Rasmussen Reports, the top three issues for America's voters at this point of the Presidential campaign season are the economy, healthcare, and corruption.  None of these bode well for President Obama as the economy continues to slow in a stagnant 'recovery', Obamacare continues to be very unpopular, and many believe that the Obama Administration has been the antithesis of the most open and transparent Administration ever.

In terms of healthcare, on the 11th, as expected, the House of Representatives voted by a 244 to 185 margin to repeal Obamacare.  All House Republicans voted to repeal the legislation and they were joined by 5 Democrats who crossed the aisle to also call for the repeal of the legislation.  The bill now moves to the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has quickly moved to bury it without a vote.

The DPMA, a non-partisan association of doctors and patients, recently conducted a survey of a random selection of 699 doctors nationwide about the Obamacare legislation.  83% of the physicians who responded have considered leaving their practices over Obamacare.  The Daily Caller reports...
The survey found that the majority have thought about bailing out of their careers over the legislation, which was upheld last month by the Supreme Court.

Even if doctors do not quit their jobs over the ruling, America will face a shortage of at least 90,000 doctors by 2020. The new health care law increases demand for physicians by expanding insurance coverage. This change will exacerbate the current shortage as more Americans live past 65.

By 2025 the shortage will balloon to over 130,000, Len Marquez, the director of government relations at the American Association of Medical Colleges, told The Daily Caller.

The GAO has issued a report that charges the Obama White House intentionally delayed the implementation of Obamacare mandated Medicare cuts until after the November 2012 election...
… A recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has laid bare the Obama administration’s effort to delay the impact of Medicare cuts in the health care law until after the 2012 election.

Under the new law, cuts to Medicare Advantage funding would force many seniors off their preferred health plans. This aspect of the law was originally intended to go into effect before the election in November, but fearing the political backlash, the administration launched an $8.35 billion “demonstration project” that would effectively delay the cuts until after the election.

Honesty and openness is NOT one of the strong points of this Administration.

In one example, we have the massive changes in the costs of the Obamacare legislation to the American taxpayer - changes which have occurred with each new estimate of the cost of the legislation as we learn more about the details and the regulatory impact of the 2700 page monstrosity. When initially presented by President Obama and the Democrat Congressional leadership (Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid), the American taxpayer was promised the legislation would only cost, over the first ten years, $900 billion dollars. But now we are finding that despite the efforts of the President and Congressional Democrats to obfuscate the costs, this legislation is a massive fiscal disaster looming over the nation. The latest estimate by the Congressional Budget Office indicates that between 2014 and 2023, the first decade of the complete implementation of the legislation, Obamacare will cost us $2.6 trillion dollars.

RealClearPolitics addresses this further in the article, 'The Invincible Lie'....
Anyone who wants to study the tricks of propaganda rhetoric has a rich source of examples in the statements of President Barack Obama. On Monday, July 9th, for example, he said that Republicans "believe that prosperity comes from the top down, so that if we spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, that that will somehow unleash jobs and economic growth."

Let us begin with the word "spend." Is the government "spending" money on people whenever it does not tax them as much as it can? Such convoluted reasoning would never pass muster if the mainstream media were not so determined to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil when it comes to Barack Obama.

Ironically, actual spending by the Obama administration for the benefit of its political allies, such as the teachers' unions, is not called spending but "investment." You can say anything if you have your own private language.

Democrat pollster and strategist, Pat Caddell, has an interesting article for's Big Government website that talks about the President's challenges with taxes, trust, and Obamacare...
Some Republicans are worried that the fight over Obamacare distracts from the issue of the economy. What these Republicans fail to realize is that healthcare and the economy are inextricably linked; Americans now realize that Obamacare was a detour on the road to economic recovery, so to remind them of one is to remind them of the other. And the two issues, compounded, are all the more powerful.

Other Republicans believe that the healthcare battle has been lost, that Obamacare is just another permanent ratcheting of the welfare state. What these Republicans fail to see is that the “ObamaTax” issue provides an opportunity to reignite healthcare into the white-hot issue that it was in 2010. And if the 2012 elections were to be a repeat of 2010, huge changes in the status quo would be not only possible, but inevitable.

This November, if President Obama goes before the voters on the defensive--that is, on a rickety platform of defending Obamacare as a tax increase--it is he who has a huge problem. After all, his healthcare program was sold as a boon to the middle class, with a few regulatory sticks included therein. But if Obamacare can be exposed for what it is--a huge tax increase, the reality of which Obamacare proponents did their best to obscure--then the probability of his survival shrinks dramatically. To be sure, such an exposing of Obamacare as the ObamaTax will not be easy; the White House and the Democrats, as well as their handmaidens in the Main Stream Media, will do their best to armor up against any attack on the tax issue.

So Romney must wield that cudgel, and wield it hard.
Now the issue is his character. The President promised no new taxes on the middle class, specifically saying that the mandate was a penalty, not a tax. Meanwhile, through the entire process of the legal challenge to Obamacare, Justice Department lawyers argued that the mandate was a tax. Indeed, his own Solicitor General asserted before the Supreme Court in March that the mandate was a tax.

It was a classic “bait and switch.” So thus the inevitable question: Was the President trying to deceive us when he said that the mandate was not a tax? Or were his aides deceiving him--telling him to say one thing while they said another?

Unfortunately, with this President, and his history, the only real conclusion is that the President was trying to deceive us.

What happened to 'Hope and Change'?

President Obama, as noted in the previous QH, has renewed his call for a one year extension of the personal income tax rate reductions that were enacted in 2001 and 2003 and which are currently slated to expire on January 1, 2013. He is asking Congress to only approve the extension of the current rates until January 1, 2014 and only for those who are earning less than $250,000 per year. By promoting a tax increase for those individuals earning more than $250,000 per year, the President is arguing that the move is needed for 'fairness' in paying income tax to the Federal Government. However, the Congressional Budget Office notes that not only are the 'wealthy' already paying more than their fair share of income taxes, but they have also lost the most the 2008-2009 recession and the stagnant economic recovery since the recession ended in June 2009....
Wealthy Americans earn about 50 percent of all income but pay nearly 70 percent of the federal tax burden, according to the latest analysis Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office — though the agency said the very richest have seen their share of taxes fall the past few years.

CBO looked at 2007 through 2009 — the latest years data are available, but enough to include the early effects of the last recession — and found the bottom 20 percent of American earners paid just three-tenths of a percent of the total federal tax burden, while the richest 20 percent paid 67.9 percent of taxes.

The top 1 percent, whom President Obama has made a target during the presidential campaign, earned 13.4 percent of all pre-tax income but paid 22.3 percent of taxes in 2009, CBO said. When tax burden is figured in, the top 1 percent took in only 11.5 percent of income.

In terms of actual earnings, the top 1 percent suffered the most in the recession, with their average earnings dropping from $1.9 million to $1.2 million. The lowest 20 percent saw their incomes drop from $23,900 to $23,500 during that time.

But what is most telling about the President's request, other than the current refusal of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to bring the President's request to a vote prior to November's election, is the fundamental dishonesty with the President's request - and his terming of the request as a tax cut for middle class Americans.

- Why only a one year extension - from January 1, 2013 to January 1, 2014? Does he intend, if reelected in November 2012, to increase taxes for all taxpayers in 2014? if not, then why not make the request to make the tax rate for those earning under $250,000 per year permanent?

- What about the other aspects of the 2001 / 2003 tax reduction legislation that the President's proposal does not address? The massive increase in estate taxes. In capital gains and dividend taxes?

- Just how is a request to keep the tax rate that one pays in 2013 the same as one paid in 2003-2012 a tax cut? Isn't a tax cut where one pays a lower rate than one paid in the previous year(s)? Is this another dishonest application of one's 'own language' by saying the avoidance of an increase is a 'cut'?

Unfortunately, the dishonesty of the President, his Administration staffers, and his campaign staffers is not just limited to these examples. Much of the week's campaign news has centered on the dishonest personal smear attacks being leveled at Mitt Romney where he's being called a 'criminal', an 'outsourcer', 'a felon', and fundamentally 'dishonest' over Romney's actions while in charge at Bain Capital, after departing Bain Capital, and the fact that Romney's financial affairs include overseas investments and accounts.

Much of the feckless mainstream media is also complicit with the Obama campaign in leveling these smears with the Washington Post (WaPoo) and Politico leading the way. All of this comes from supposed news organizations that pride themselves on journalistic ethics and integrity. But even more telling, this is coming from a President and campaign that has for years promised that they would not resort to personal attacks, smear attacks, dishonest and unethical attacks, and repeatedly called for 'toning down the political rhetoric'.

These smears are designed to do one thing - distract the attention of the American voter from the dismal nature of their top three issues - the economy, Obamacare, and the corruption within the Administration / government including rampant crony capitalism.

What is ironic about these smears is that, for example, as the Washington Poo leaps into the morass, it's own fact checker, once again, analyzes the attack and denotes (this time) three Pinocchio's on the attack - reflective of the base dishonesty at work. This is after the same fact checker assigned the WaPoo's previous attack on Romney's Bain tenure four Pinocchio's.

Not only is the WaPoo's fact checker noting the dishonesty of the Obama campaign smears, but so are CNN Money,, the Columbia Journalism Review, ABC News, and Time Magazine - to name just a few that have close ties to the left. has this post noting how one senior Romney adviser responds to the overrated and increasingly vapid Andrea Mitchell of NBC / MSNBC News over the Obama campaign attempts to smear Mitt Romney....

It really has been hysterical watching the Obama-loving media the past few weeks defend the President using bogus information reported by the Washington Post falsely accusing Mitt Romney of outsourcing jobs while at Bain Capital.

This has become so comical that former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu (R) couldn't hold back the laughs as Andrea Mitchell did exactly that Tuesday on the MSNBC program bearing her name (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ANDREA MITCHELL, HOST: Isn't it a winning issue for the White House fundamentally, granted that the Politifact folks and the Washington Post pointed out that the President's campaign ad on that issue had a lot, a lot of questions and a lot of questionable attack lines...

JOHN SUNUNU: No, they said it was wrong. A lot of questions is not right. It was wrong.

MITCHELL: Okay, if, but the point is that doesn’t, isn't Mitt Romney more vulnerable than the President on this issue because there still is, the whole question of private equity of outsourcing? You could argue about when he left Bain Capital, and, you know, whether he was still getting money from Bain Capital and what some of the companies in Bain were doing, companies that did end up working overseas and sending jobs overseas.

SUNUNU: [Laughs]

MITCHELL But isn't it a bigger problem for Republicans than for the White House?

SUNUNU: No. When you've sent $500 million to Fisker and it goes to Finland immediately. When you send the solar money and it goes to Mexico. When you send the turbine money and it goes to Denmark. And we can go on all day. There is $29 billion worth of purchases that came out of this administration, outsourced jobs to foreign countries. Mitt Romney outsourced zero. Obama outsourced 29…


SUNUNU: Zero. He wasn't there when those issues came up.

Today in History

July 10th

1778 – In support of the American Revolution, French King Louis XVI declares war on Great Britain.

1913 – The highest temperature ever recorded in the US – 134 F at Death Valley, CA.

1925 – The so-called ‘Monkey trial’ begins in Dayton, Tennessee – with John Thomas Scopes, a high school science teacher, under accusation of teaching evolution in violation of Tennessee state law. The trial, which featured William Jennings Bryan assisting the prosecution, and Clarence Darrow the defendant, was one of the most famous in U.S. history. Scopes was found guilty, but the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned the verdict in 1927 on a technicality.

1940 – The German Luftwaffe begins their bombing campaign against Great Britain – in their attempt to gain air superiority to support an invasion by the Germany Army. The Battle of Britain would last for 3 ½ months.

1943 – Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily takes place.

1985 – French agents, in scuba gear, plant a bomb onboard the Greenpeace vessel, Rainbow Warrior. The bomb explodes, sinking the ship and killing one person onboard. The French sank the ship prior to it departing from New Zealand to protest French nuclear weapons tests in the South Pacific.

July 11th

1533 – English King Henry VIII is excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Clement VII

1804 – Alexander Hamilton is fatally shot by Aaron Burr in a duel held in Weehawken, NJ. Hamilton would die from his wounds in the 12th. Hamilton, according to reports, fired into the air as opposed to firing at Burr. Burr, in turn, shot Hamilton in the stomach. At the time, Aaron Burr was the Vice President of the United States. While he was charged with murder in both NY and NJ, Burr returned to Washington DC to complete his term in office. However, popular opinion turned against Burr after the death of Hamilton.

1945 – Fulfilling agreements reached at various wartime conferences, the Soviet Union promises to hand power over to British and U.S. forces in West Berlin. Although the division of Berlin (and of Germany as a whole) into zones of occupation was seen as a temporary postwar expedient, the dividing lines quickly became permanent. The divided city of Berlin became a symbol for Cold War tensions. On the 11th of July, the USSR announced that it would hand over all civilian and military control of West Berlin to the US and British. Later, the US and British would further divide their zones of occupation to create a French zone.

1979 – Skylab, America’s first space station comes crashing down on Australia and into the Indian Ocean, five years after the last manned mission to the station took place.

1998 - U.S. Air Force Lt. Michael Blassie, a casualty of the Vietnam War, was laid to rest near his Missouri home. He had been positively identified from his remains that had been enshrined in the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington, VA.

July 12th

1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signs into law a measure calling for the awarding of a U.S. Army Medal of Honor in the name of Congress – today, this medal remains known as the ‘Medal of Honor’ and is the nation’s highest recognition of bravery beyond the call of duty. Since 1862, more than 3,400 men and one woman have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

1943 – 900 Russian tanks clashed with 900 German tanks at Prokhorovka, the largest tank vs. tank engagement of the Battle of Kursk. When it was over, 300 German tanks, and many more Russian tanks, were wrecked on the battlefield – but the Russians stopped the German Kursk offensive, marking the turning of the tide in their fight against the Germans.

1984 – Walter Monday, the presumptive Democrat Presidential nominee to challenge Ronald Reagan in 1984’s Presidential election, selects Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate – the first time a woman is selected as the Vice Presidential candidate.

1995 – A heat advisory is issued in Chicago, marking the start of a record breaking week long heat wave that will kill nearly 1,000 in Illinois and Wisconsin.

July 13th

1863 – Opponents of the draft during the Civil War began three days of riots in New York City – during the riots, more than 1,000 would be killed or injured.

1985 – The Live Aid concert took place at both Wembley Stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia in a 16 hour ‘superconcert’ that was viewed by more than 1 billion people across 110 nations…raising $125 million for famine relief for Africa.

2010 – George Steinbrenner, the iconic owner of the New York Yankees since 1973, dies. During the tenure of ‘The Boss’, the Yankees won 7 World Series championships and 11 American League pennants, and grew to be the first ‘billion dollar’ team.

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