Monday, July 23, 2012

Quick Hit Weekend Edition - July 21-22, 2012

The tragedy in Aurora, Colorado is dominating the news cycles this weekend.

We now know the names of the 12 victims of the shooting Friday night at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie.  Of the 58 injured, 11 remain in critical condition.  Police finally entered into the alleged shooter's booby-trapped apartment and are uncovering large amounts of evidence.

Little remain known of James Holmes' motives for the shooting rampage, but it is becoming very apparent that the shooting rampage was something that he had been planning and working towards for some time.  All of the weapons used or possessed by the alleged shooter were purchased legally within the previous 60 days from Denver area gun and sporting goods stores.  Over the Internet, Holmes acquired not only all of the tactical gear he was wearing, but over 6,000 rounds of ammunition for the AR-15, two .40 Glock handguns, and the Remington 12 gauge shotgun - in addition to a 100 round drum magazine for the semi-automatic rifle.  All of these internet purchases were also legal.

There has been some speculation that the booby-traps in his apartment were an attempt to either create a diversion for his attack - or a second point of attack.  The front door was connected to trip-wires and to improvised explosive / flammable devices that would have gone off if the door was opened.  A resident of the building reported that just before midnight, very loud music started playing in his apartment.  If someone attempted to enter the apartment to stop the music, another tragedy could have resulted.  The music stopped on its own just before 1am - and police apparently arrived around 2am, after he was apprehended and apparently tipped them off to the booby-trap.

During the rampage, according to police, the AR-15 semi-automatic weapon jammed during the attack...
The semiautomatic assault rifle used by the gunman in a mass shooting at a midnight showing of the latest Batman movie jammed during the attack, a federal law enforcement official told The Associated Press, which forced the shooter to switch to another gun with less fire power.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to in order to discuss the investigation, said the disabled weapon had a high-capacity ammunition magazine. Police have said that a 100-round drum magazine was recovered at the scene and that such a device would be able to fire 50 to 60 rounds a minute.

I find myself less concerned about the motives of the Holmes to conduct this crime than with the fact that we need to expedite his trial and eventual punishment without the process descending into a circus. I, and the rest of us, need to be more focused on the victims of this attack. We need to remember and pray for the victims and their families. We need to hope for the recovery of the injured. We also need to look at the bravery of many whose night out at a movie was turned into a war zone.

Among these are the examples of bravery and self-sacrifice of three men who died during the rampage while acting as human shields for their loved ones. Their loved ones survived because of their selfless act.

President Obama announced that he would be making a stop at Aurora, Colorado on Sunday to meet with the families of the victims before continuing on to his pre-planned West Coast campaign swing.

Reverberations are also continuing from the irresponsible and unethical act by ABC News 'journalists' Brian Ross and George Stephanopoulos who aired a report Friday morning on Good Morning America that linked James Holmes to the Colorado Tea Party. The problem was that the James Holmes who is a member of the Colorado Tea Party was not the same James Holmes who is the alleged shooter.

The falsely accused James Holmes reported that he is getting death threats from lefty loons - and while ABC News did 'apologize' for the incorrect report, neither ABC News senior executives, Brian Ross, or George Stephanopoulos have contacted Mr. Holmes to offer a direct apology to ABC News calling him the Aurora shooter.

On my Friday QH post noting the irresponsible action of Ross and Stephanopoulos, I called for both of them to be dismissed for their report.

Conservative Talk Radio host Mark Levin, on his Friday broadcast, also made the same demand for the immediate dismissal of both Brian Ross and George Stephanopoulos...

MARK LEVIN: Most of us when something as tragic as what happened in Aurora this morning takes place, our hearts go out to the dead, to the families, to those who are injured. We want to know who they are, we want to know who did this, we want to know why it was done and so forth. Some of us say a prayer.

What most of us don’t do is search for political scapegoats. And the scapegoat seems to always be the same – us.

Somehow those of us who are law-abiding, who preach the value of the individual, who oppose things like abortion and defend the greatest healthcare system in the world because we embrace a culture of life, somehow we’re to blame. It doesn’t matter if the murderer is mentally ill as in the Tucson case, if he’s disgruntled about something including himself or whatever. They look for reasons to find out if he has any connections to us.

So the media go hunting for reasons to make disgusting allegations. It’s cold-blooded, there’s no compassion, they’re looking to make news, they’re looking to drive ratings. This is just bizarre, and it’s time to call them out on it.

[A few minutes later, Levin did:]

When you have rogue, politically-motivated reporters like Brian Ross and George Stephanopoulos - and somehow Stephanopoulos is getting a pass – both of ABC News trying to turn this into yet another disgusting attack on the Tea Party, trying to draw connections between the killer and the Tea Party, it doesn’t get any lower than that. Boy these people hate us, don’t they? I mean, they really hate us.

Truth is, if ABC News corporate had an ounce of integrity it would fire both of them right now.

The Investor's Business Daily notes that the lame apology offered by ABC News is far from being 'good enough'...
There's also the question of why Ross' first instinct was to go trolling around Tea Party sites. That, as much as Stephanopoulos and Ross' decision to go on the air with the bogus information, reveals the enormity of the media bias at work here.

This is the same bias that was on glaring display after the Gabby Giffords shooting, when reporters tried — falsely and based on no evidence whatsoever — to pin the shooting on heated Tea Party rhetoric.

It's the same bias that pushed the mainstream press to trumpet unfounded claims that Tea Partyers hurled a racial epithet at a black congressman. And that propelled these same reporters to cover up actual crimes — rapes, murders, destruction of property — perpetrated by their "Occupy Wall Street" friends.

Shortly after Ross' report, ABC News apologized "for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted."

Sorry, but that's not good enough. If ABC News was genuinely sorry, it would take a hard look at how such a fantastically biased report could have made it on the air in the first place.

The statue honoring the late Penn State University football coach, Joe Paterno, was taken down by the University in the wake of the report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh that detailed efforts done by Paterno and other University officials to bury sex abuse allegations against the now convicted retired assistant football coach, Jerry Sandusky. In addition to the statue being removed, the NCAA is reportedly going to announce their ruling on the future University's football program in the near future.

Earlier in the week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the High Speed Rail Measure committing the state down the path of spending between $68 billion and $120 billion to build a high speed rail network between San Francisco and Los Angeles at a time when the state is struggling with a $16 billion state budget deficit. Governor Brown is also continuing to push for the passage of a tax increase measure that will be on the November ballot for Californians, increasing taxes by $7.5 billion to 'solve the deficit'.

As the Governor did this, the California city of Compton is contemplating becoming the fourth CA city in the last 6 weeks to file for bankruptcy.

Progressive Democrats in California's San Francisco Bay Area are looking at invoking 'Big Brother' in their latest effort to 'raise government revenues' which is standard progressive-speak for increasing taxes. The are looking at requiring Bay Area drivers be tracked by a GPS device installed in their cars and taxed per miles driven - with higher rates for rush hour or city driving. They are justifying the effort as a 'better' way to reduce traffic, reduce pollution, and raise revenues. The starting number is a tax of 10 cents per mile driven.

Hmm - the United States is partnering with Mexico to boost US Food Stamp rolls...

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had a very difficult time trying to respond to a reporter's question as to why the Democrats, who are actively pushing for a tax increase on the 'wealthy' to 'solve the deficit', did not pass this in 2009-2010 when they had a strong Congressional majority...
At a press conference in the Capitol today, Senate Democrats continued to make their push to raise income taxes on individuals, as well as small businesses that file with the IRS as individuals, earning more than $250,000 per year. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid couldn't explain why he didn't pass this bill in 2009 or 2010 when Democrats had huge majorities in the House and Senate and could have actually sent it to President Obama to sign into law.

TWS: Leader Reid, when it comes to the Bush tax cuts...why didn't Senate Democrats push through this bill back when you controlled the Senate, the House, and the presidency?

REID: The tax cuts weren't about to expire then. So that's why we're doing it now.

TWS: You could have foreseen this issue two years ago.

REPORTER: What are you talking about? They expired at the end of 2010.

REID: And that's why they were extended one year.

TWS: Why didn't they vote when you could have pushed this bill through and had it signed into law?

REID: Next question.

More media bias when it comes to taxes -

Here, useful idiot Norah O'Donnell of CBS News openly scoffs at Representative Paul Ryan, and shows her own vapidity when she cannot distinguish the difference between tax cuts and tax hikes...

The Heritage Foundation has an excellent report on just what 'Taxmageddon', the massive increase in taxes that will occur on January 1, 2013 if no action is taken by Congress or the President, will do to the average American family beyond the half-trillion dollar tax increase, the loss of 750,000 jobs, and the loss of a full point of GDP growth...
Families will see their taxes go up by more than $4,100—just in 2013—because of Taxmageddon. How will families pay for this huge tax hike, on top of all the other taxes they already pay, and still make ends meet?

Taxmageddon will undoubtedly have a devastating impact on the U.S. economy—from destroying jobs and reducing economic growth to bringing on another recession. This is true even if Congress adopts President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on job creators by allowing the Bush-era tax policies to expire for incomes over $200,000 ($250,000 for married filers). Families will suffer directly from these impacts. As Heritage’s Curtis Dubay explained:

There are almost 13 million Americans out of work today. President Obama’s tax increase would needlessly add almost three-quarters of a million people to that already much too large number. Even those with jobs wouldn’t escape the pain of President Obama’s tax increase, as they would see their wages suffer.

Also, if you can avoid it, don't die in 2013. The Estate tax rate, currently 0%, are set to soar to 55% on January 1, 2013 , the pre-2001 tax cut level with an additional 5% surtax for estates valued between $10 and $17 million.

ZeroHedge is reporting that the total cost of US Government regulation is now at $1.75 TRILLION....
In their Ten Thousand Commandments 2012 report which was released in June, the CEI estimates the cost of US government regulation at $US 1.75 TRILLION. That is just under half (48 percent) of the budget of the federal government. It is almost ten times the total of all corporate taxes collected and almost double the total collected from individual income taxes. It is also one-third higher than the total of all pre-tax corporate profits. It is the hidden cost of doing business in an interventionist economy. The fact that the cost of complying with these regulations is substantially higher than the total of corporate profits is a stark illustration of the end result of economic intervention. That end result is capital consumption.

The Syrian dead toll for July reaches 2,750 in the bloodiest month of the uprising against Syrian despot Bashir al-Assad. In the 16 months of the uprising, the death toll now stands at over 19,000. China and Russia remain firmly behind Assad as they block efforts in the United Nations to take stronger action against the regime. The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria is actively working to position itself to take power if or when Assad's regime falls. Some are believing the Assad regime has reached the tipping point as fighting rages around Aleppo and Damascus, but with the support coming to Assad from China, Russia, and Iran - there will be more carnage ahead.

In Egypt, the new Muslim Brotherhood President has pardoned 572 convicts including members of Islamic terror groups, Islamic Jihad and Jama's Al-Islamiya - which have American blood on their hands.

While Greece continues to be in economic crisis, Spain's woes have the attention of the Eurozone and global markets. Mass demonstrations took place across Spain this week protesting against the austerity measures of the Government which is trying to end the entitlement program and bring its books into balance. Reports are that Spain will run out of cash in just 40 days...
What is most concerning however, as FAZ reports, is that "the money will last [only] until September", and "Spain has no 'Plan B". Yesterday's market meltdown - especially at the front-end of the Spanish curve - is now being dubbed 'Black Friday' and the desperation is clear among the Spanish elite. Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo (JMGM) attacked the ECB for their inaction in the SMP (bond-buying program) as they do "nothing to stop the fire of the [Spanish] government debt" and when asked how he saw the future of the European Union, he replied that it could "not go on much longer." The riots protest rallies continue to gather pace as Black Friday saw the gravely concerned union-leaders (facing worrying austerity) calling for a second general strike (yeah - that will help) as they warn of a 'hot autumn'. It appears Spain has skipped 'worse' and gone from bad to worst as they work "to ensure that financial liabilities do not poison the national debt" - a little late we hesitate to point out.

On Friday, the yields of 10 year Spanish bonds soared to 7.3% - well above the level considered affordable. The Spanish stock market lost 6% and credit rating firm Egan Jones cut the credit rating of Spain's sovereign debt from CC+ to CCC+.

Finally, here's an example of a responsible act of principles by a member of the media. Earlier in the week, I reported that the International Olympic Committee, once again, surrendered to the bullying by Muslim nations to not hold a minute of silence or commemorate in anyway the 11 Israeli Olympic athletes and coaches murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, Germany.

In 1972, the IOC, under threat of boycott by the 10 Muslim nations attending the games, also refused to take any steps to honor or commemorate those killed in the massacre.

Bob Costas, of NBC Sports, says that if the IOC will not observe or commemorate the massacre of the Israeli athletes and coaches, he will.
First, NBC’s lead Olympics anchor, Bob Costas, said he’ll publicly call out the International Olympics Committee for refusing the request.

And, Costas added, if the IOC fails to allow a moment of silence during next Friday’s opening ceremonies, he’ll hold one instead on NBC’s telecast as the Israeli team enters the arena.

“I intend to note that the IOC denied the request,” he said. “Many people find that denial more than puzzling, but insensitive, [so] here’s a minute of silence right now.”

Good for him.

Then, in the wake of Costas’ announcement, the White House joined in, saying, “We absolutely support the campaign.”

Eleven athletes and coaches were killed in a botched German attempt to rescue them from Palestinian terrorists.

Ankie Rekhess-Spitzer, widow of the slain fencing coach, has long sought an official commemoration of the tragedy.

She says the IOC called such a gesture “political” and “told us the Arab delegations will get up and leave. To which I said, ‘It’s OK; if they don’t understand what the Olympics are all about, let them leave.’”

Kudos to Bob Costas - and once again, the International Olympic Committee demonstrates that it has no clue whatsoever about the values, principles, and meanings of the games.

Today in History


1861 - The first major land battle of the Civil War takes place in Manassas, Virginia - aka The First Battle of Bull Run. Confederate forces under the command of General Pierre G.T. Beauregard rout a larger Union force under the command of General Irwin McDowell.

1925 - The Scopes 'Monkey Trial' ends in Dayton, Tennessee. John T. Scopes was found guilty of violating the state law for teaching Darwin's Theory of Evolution by a jury. The conviction would later be overturned.

1997 - The U.S.S Constitution, which was commissioned in the U.S. Navy in 1797, and is the oldest commissioned warship in service, as part of her bicentennial, made her first voyage under her own sail in 116 years.

2011 - Space shuttle Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center in Florida - marking the end of the last flight of NASA's space shuttle program.


1812 - British troops under the command of Sir Arthur Wellesley (Duke of Wellington) defeated the French at the Battle of Salamanca in Spain - liberating the city of Madrid from French control.

1934 - 'Public Enemy No. 1' John Dillinger is killed by FBI Agents outside Chicago's Biograph Theater.

1937 - The U.S. Senate blocks the proposal by President Franklin Roosevelt to add more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.

1943 - Forces of the 7th Army, under the command of General George S. Patton, capture Palermo, Sicily.

2003 - US forces engage in a firefight at a large house in northern Iraq and kill the son's of Saddam Hussein - Oadi and Qusai. The Iraqi Dictator remains in hiding and on the run from US forces.

2011 - Norway was shocked as Anders Behring Breivik goes on a bombing and shooting rampage that killed 77 people - many of them young campers at a summer camp. Breivik claims to have been motivated by his disgust towards multiculturism and Muslim immigration.

Note - A technical issue delayed the publishing of this report from late Sunday afternoon until late this afternoon.  My apologies for the delay.

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