Friday, August 31, 2012

Quick Hits - August 31, 2012

A Blue Moon is the second full moon in a single month.  It's a relatively rare event, and tonight we will experience a blue moon...

... miss tonight's and you will have to wait until 2015 for the next blue moon.

The big news is the wrapping up of the Republican National Convention for 2012, Mitt Romney's acceptance of the GOP nomination for President, moving testimonials about Mitt Romney, and some strong speeches to highlight the Republican / Conservative vision for the future of our country.  Running an abbreviated schedule because of the cancellation of the first day because of Hurricane Issac, the convention was marked by a few dismal speeches, many very good speeches, a compelling vision and path for our future, and a reprehensible and despicable performance by far too much of the mainstream media who remain unable to be objective or respectful as their political views are cogently sliced and diced.

As was the norm for the previous three days, the self appointed guardians of 'truth'  in the mainstream media, the 'fact-checkers', began to parse, spin, snark, and denigrate the speakers - many before they even finished their remarks.

Unsurprisingly, the WaPoo's biased 'fact-checker', Glenn Kessler, again breaks into a Clintonesque parsing of Romney's acceptance speech on the pages of one of the largest media entities shilling for Barack Obama. Kessler offers tortured logic elements at all turns of his criticism of the Romney speech.

He condemns Mitt Romney's noting of President Obama's April 2009 'apology tour' - by trying to spin that no apologies really took place because all of the claims of Obama apologies were either all taken out of context or misquoted, and besides, George W. Bush did go on the record for apologizing for some actions of the Untied States.

Because Mitt Romney failed to directly use the word 'underemployed' when he spoke about the dismal employment rates of the young today - according to Kessler, Romney lied.

He also cites Romney as a liar over his references in his speech to Barack Obama seeking to cut over a trillion from the defense budget, citing that some (but not all) of these cuts are the result of the 2011 Debt Ceiling agreement made between Congressional Republicans, Congressional Democrats, and the White House.... and since the Congressional Republicans agreed to sequestration, they aren't Obama's cuts.

Kessler rushes to defend the DNC talking point that Obama has 'cut taxes broadly for the middle class', citing the temporary extension of the 2001-2003 tax reductions and the temporary 2% payroll tax reduction which saved an average family about $40 per month.  Lost in Kessler's logic failures is that maintaining a tax rate at the same rate it was the previous year is not a tax cut.  Lost in that failed logic is also that within President Obama's key legislative achievement, Healthcare reform, are multiple tax increases on the middle class.  I suppose to Kessler, they don't count yet since they aren't being collected yet.

Finally, Kessler returns to the same lame DNC parsing over soaring gas prices....right out of the playbook of David Axelrod and Stephanie Cutter - and based entirely on the presumption that his readers are just 'effin stupid people.

The Investors Business Daily and The Weekly Standard, neither elements of the failing lamestream media, both open fire on the arrogant and biased hacks that present themselves as 'fact-checkers'...

IBD starts with a very simple question, 'If media 'fact-checkers' are just impartial guardians of the truth, how come they got their own facts wrong about Paul Ryan's speech, and did so in a way that helped President Obama's re-election effort?'
Case in point was the rush of "fact check" stories claiming Ryan misled when he talked about a shuttered auto plant in his home state.

Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler posted a piece — "Ryan misleads on GM plant closing in hometown" — saying Ryan "appeared to suggest" that Obama was responsible for the closure of a GM plant in Janesville, Wis.

"That's not true," Kessler said. "The plant was closed in December 2008, before Obama was sworn in."

What's not true are Kessler's "facts." Ryan didn't suggest Obama was responsible for shuttering the plant. Instead, he correctly noted that Obama promised during the campaign that the troubled plant "will be here for another hundred years" if his policies were enacted.

Also, the plant didn't close in December 2008. It was still producing cars until April 2009.

An AP "fact check" also claimed that "the plant halted production in December 2008" even though the AP itself reported in April 2009 that the plant was only then "closing for good."

CNN's John King made the same claim about that plant closure. But when CNN looked more carefully at the evidence, it — to its credit — concluded that what Ryan said was "true."

Besides mangling the facts, so-called fact-checkers often are unable to fairly discern a difference between statements of opinion and claims of fact. And then there is the problem that the journalists producing the pieces are being drawn from the same ranks that have brought us the overwhelmingly liberally biased political news we as Americans are tuning out.
The Weekly Standard's piece, 'Lies, Damned Lies, and Fact-Checking' hammers this as just the liberal media's latest attempt to control the discourse in this country - to their, and the candidates they support, benefit...
But it seems the most outspoken fans of media fact-checking operations come from within the media themselves. “Has anyone else noticed that the Associated Press has been doing some strong fact-checking work lately, aggressively debunking all kinds of nonsense, in an authoritative way, without any of the usual he-said-she-said crap that often mars political reporting?” Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent wrote last year.

Sargent was conducting a fawning interview with the AP’s Washington bureau chief Ron Fournier about the outlet’s fact-checking operation. “The AP, for instance, definitively knocked down claims that [Supreme Court Justice] Elena Kagan is an ‘ivory tower peacenik,’ ” Sargent wrote.

Not surprisingly, Fournier agreed with Sargent. “What we tend to forget in journalism is that we got in the business to check facts,” Fournier says. “Not just to tell people what Obama said and what Gingrich said. It is groundless to say that Kagan is antimilitary. So why not call it groundless? This is badly needed when people are being flooded with information.”

Sargent and Fournier’s ouroboros of self-congratulation inadvertently revealed a problem: When it comes to fact checking, the media seem oblivious to the distinction between verifying facts and passing judgment on opinions they personally find disagreeable.

…Just remember: The fact checker is less often a referee than a fan with a rooting interest in the outcome.
From, here's a very interesting video with limited edits of Paul Ryan responding to NBC about the 'fact-checkers' who rushed to parse his speech...

Even more hilarious is NBC's Chuck Todd in his 'analysis' of Paul Ryan's speech determining that the speech was 'technically factual' but 'distorted the truth'...

In packaging Obama campaign talking points, however, Chuck Todd had to concede the accuracy of what Ryan asserted in his Wednesday night convention address, humorously leading Todd to conclude that “what he said many times was technically factual” but, “by what he left out,” he “actually distorted the actual truth.”
Here's Mitt Romney's acceptance speech - you watch and decide... offers us their picks for the 'Best and Worst of the RNC 2012'....

Compare their picks / pans with those offered by the liberal DC paper, The Hill....

They see the 'winners' as Paul Ryan, Ann Romney, Condoleezza Rice, and RNC Chair Reince Priebus.  Mitt Romney they rate as 'mixed' - saying Romney's good, but not great (in their opinion) speech losing stature because of Clint Eastwood's 'distraction'.

As losers, they cite three 'big' ones.  First, they termed Chris Christie a loser because he referred to himself (using 'I' or 'me') more than 40 times during his speech - which begs the question of where they are when the Narcissist in Chief does the same?  Second, they toss the Senate Republicans in the mix because the GOP was unable to get Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race over his idiotic statement on abortion.  I think they're a little upset that Akin was a non-issue / non-entity at the convention - and that the GOP has a viable path to 51 seats in the Senate without Missouri,

Finally, we have one of the biggest things about the RNC that has so many of the left severely butthurt and cranky - Clint Eastwood.  'Bizarre', 'Rambling', 'Embarrassing' are just some of the adjectives being used to describe Eastwood's appearance.  Of all of the RNC speakers, Eastwood probably delivered the most 'red meat' to the viewers...referencing the Hollywood left as being 'Left of Lenin', and promoting such progressive heresy as saying 'We own this country', referencing the American people, and calling 'Clueless' Joe Biden 'the intellect of the Democrat Party'.

But what caused so many progressive heads to pop was Eastwood's use of an empty chair to denote the President - in a schtick that was well received by the audience that included having a conversation with the 'empty chair'.

We know this really hit home as the thin-skinned narcissist in chief's team, before midnight, had to respond by tweeting this picture -

- with the message 'This seat's taken...'

This wasn't the only 'outrage' directed towards Eastwood either.  MSNBC's Al Sharpton and Ed Schultz blasted Eastwood for 'belittling' and 'demeaning' Barack Obama....

Niall Stanage, one of the biggest Obama shills with The Hill, offered a political hack's commentary today in lieu of a factual news report - deciding that Eastwood's 'bizarre' performance took away from Romney's acceptance speech, and then spending the bulk of the piece creating a justification for his conclusion.  It's not journalism, but a fine job of DNC advocacy.

Speaking of DNC advocacy, the chair of the Democrat National Convention crashed the RNC, strolling up and down 'radio row' at the Tampa Bay Times Forum - promptly insisting that any conservative media be ushered away from her eminence.  When conservative radio media approached Debbie Wasserman-Schultz,  eager to ask the DNC chair a question or two, her handlers complained loudly to convention staff, questioning why DWS was in earshot of conservative media - at the Republican National Convention - on talk radio row?  So arrogant was DWS, her assistants reportedly required National Public Radio (hardly a conservative bastion) to give then a list of questions in advance so DWS could pick which ones would be permitted to be asked of her.

This is the same vapid ideologue who used her appearance at the RNC to hammer the Republicans for not scaling down the convention 'out of respect for Americans caught in the path of Hurricane Issac'...
“They could have taken things down a notch,” Wasserman Schultz said at a Democratic press conference rebutting the Republican convention. “I think it probably was an example of their continued focus on winning at all costs.”

While she said she agreed with the RNC’s decision to scrub the convention’s first day because of safety concerns, “parties and the special interest-funded bashes” still were held “in spite of the fact that our state was getting hit and Tampa was still in the path of the storm.”
What Debbie?  No comment about Obama spending the last three days on the campaign trail - a trail that hasn't included Louisiana or Mississippi, but was intended to limit the limelight being shown on the Republican convention?  How about Mitt Romney departing today for New Orleans - while Barack Obama campaigns in Texas - commemorating 'his' announcement ending US combat operations in Iraq?

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz visited the RNC with Sandra Fluke - the 30 something Georgetown Law student who wants everyone else to pay for her $9 per month birth control.  Fluke is apparently only willing to speak in controlled conditions - as she's chickening out on a debate with's Dana Loesch over women's issues...
“Is she afraid to be challenged on the ideas?” Loesch added. “That’s what it signals to me is that she’s unwilling to actually engage in a conversation with real conservative women. Is it because she’s afraid and doesn’t have the strength of her own conviction? That says to me quite a lot. I’m willing to put it on the line, why isn’t she?”

Loesch said she thinks Fluke is nothing more than a creation made by President Barack Obama as part of an effort to push liberal politics. “I don’t know of any other ‘private citizen’ who is represented by the Knickerbocker PR firm in Washington, D.C., which happens to be run by Anita Dunn, Barack Obama’s former communications director,” Loesch said. “I don’t know any private citizen who just happens to have that affiliation. This was an entirely fabricated narrative from the Democrats and they needed a face to put on it and so Sandra Fluke was the face that they put on it. I want to know if she’s woman enough to come talk to me.”
But the most reprehensible accusation made by the clueless DNC Chair has to be her calling the women who spoke at the Republican National Convention 'shiny packaging' to distract voters.

Reports are that the television ratings for the RNC are down, down significantly from the 2008 convention.  While there are those simple minded folks who try to use this to make the case that enthusiasm for the GOP is down considerably, the real meaning seems to be a continuation of middle America's dissatisfaction and lack of enthusiasm to view a biased and often deranged mainstream media.

Leading this has to be middle America's disgust towards the non-stop ranting and nonsensical raving over 'racism' at every turn as promoted by some of the biggest louts in media....

Was it racist for NBC to run commercials instead of the first three minutes of Marco Rubio's speech last night in their latest snub of a RNC minority speaker?

Even the U.S. State Department is seeing racism everywhere - now saying that if you go into a pub / bar and order a 'black and tan' - you're a racist...

...which brings us right back to the clueless nimrods who say, 'you oppose Barack Obama, you're a racist' or 'you're a Republican?  You're a racist'.

Michelle Malkin has a great take on this whole phony kerfuffle by the leftards in media in her column today, 'That's Racist - A Guide to What's Off Limits'.  Read it all as well as National Review editor Rich Lowry's editorial on 'The Race Canard'.

Unfortunately, these base and vile accusations will become all the more commonplace in the 67 days we have before the November election.  With the President in increasing trouble, the accusations of racism by simpletons will flood out as the defenders / supporters of the President seek to control and define the discourse.

How much trouble is the President in?

Barack Obama says, 'I didn't do a good enough job on selling America on the stimulus plan...'.  Mr. President, the issue isn't about selling the stimulus plan.  There was no interest to 'sell' the plan - it was rammed through the Democrat majority controlled Congress.  The problem with the stimulus was that it was an utter Keynesian failure.

The President, and his economic team, promised that the stimulus would generate a quick economic recovery.  We were promised an unemployment rate not to exceed 8% - and got 41 consecutive months of unemployment over 8%.  We were promised millions of jobs - and we have job creation that cannot keep pace with population growth.  We were promised economic growth, a GDP growth this summer of 4% to 4.5% - and in reality we are at 1.5% - 1.7%

Hot Air has a hard hitting piece on the jobs - looking back at the accusation made by John Kerry, who by the way apparently once served in Vietnam, who called the job creation during the Bush(43) first term (~5.6% unemployment, 300-500K jobs / month) the 'McJob Recovery' because the jobs being created were 'bad jobs' - and applying the same conditions to the Obama 'recovery'...
Today, the Obama administration keeps claiming to have added 4.3 million jobs by choosing to start from February 2010 rather than the start of the recovery in June 2009 or the passage of Barack Obama’s stimulus package in February 2009. The Obama recovery in full has only added less than 65,000 jobs per month, far below the level needed to keep up with population growth (125K-150K per month), and the civilian population participation rate has fallen to a 30-year low this spring. A new study now shows that even those jobs that have been added are the “McJobs” that Kerry inaccurately accused Bush’s recovery of generating:

First, the job market has not “turned around since then.” We’re not even keeping up with population growth in this recovery. The average jobs added per month since January has been 83,286 according to the BLS (Table A-1 seasonally adjusted), still a long way from keeping up with population growth. That’s not a recovery in jobs at all, which anyone looking at the participation rate (63.7%) would instantly recognize.

The data shows that even the paltry job creation of the Obama recovery has done little to advance the economy. Businesses won’t invest in job-creating activities that require more expensive labor until they can reliably calculate future costs, which in this regulatory and tax environment, they cannot do. That’s why companies are sitting on their capital, and why we won’t get anything but McJobs in significant numbers until those policies change. The only thing we can get with this job-creation environment is fries with our meal.
How much trouble is the President in?

The DeKalb County Democrat Party is giving away tickets to the President's acceptance speech in an Atlanta, GA bar, Manuel's Tavern.  Is this a sign of the enthusiasm towards the President?

How much trouble is the President in?

If you've lost Michael Moore....
In an appearance on The Huffington Post’s webcast on Thursday, filmmaker Michael Moore revealed that he is less-than optimistic about President Barack Obama’s chances against Mitt Romney.

Moore said the election’s going to come down to fundraising, and that Romney will have an edge over Obama.

“Mitt Romney is going to raise more money than Barack Obama,” Moore said. “That should guarantee his victory. I think people should start to practice the words ‘President Romney.’ To assume that the other side are just a bunch of ignoramuses who are supported by people who believe that Adam and Eve rode on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago is to completely misjudge the opposition.”
What if you've lost The Economist?

"One Question, Mr. President... just what would you do with another four years?"

Can Barack Obama cogently answer that question and get re-elected?  Perhaps we'll see next week at the Democrat National Convention in Charlotte, NC - but if that's the case, why hasn't that question been answered in the over year plus that the President has already been running for re-election?

Wrapping up - a few last videos....

First up, the latest from Bill Whittle in his 'Afterburner' series....

And an outstanding advertisement from American Crossroads that picks up on a meme from Paul Ryan's speech -

Today in History

1888 - Prostitute Mary Ann Nichols becomes the first victim of the London serial killer, 'Jack the Ripper'.

1916 - Harry Butters, the son of a prominent San Francisco industrialist, and an American serving in the British Army, is killed by a German shell during the Battle of the Somme, becoming one of the first Americans killed in World War I.

1939 - Nazi leader Adolf Hitler signs an order to attack Poland - German military forces move to the German-Polish frontier - some German troops staging an 'attack' on Germany while dressed in Polish uniforms.

1964 - California becomes the most populated state in the U.S.

1980 - Representatives of the communist government in Poland agree to the demands of the striking shipyard workers in Gdansk.  Lech Walesa led the striking workers, who went on to form Solidarity, the first independent labor union to develop in a Soviet bloc nation.  Solidarity grew to become a mass social movement to weaken the power and control of the communists over Poland and gain support from free nations, like the U.S., who under Ronald Reagan, imposed sanctions on Poland over that government's efforts to crack down on Solidarity.

1997 - Diana, Princess of Wales, is killed in a car crash in Paris.  Also killed were her driver, a bodyguard, and her companion Dodi Fayed.  The crash was determined to be caused by the grossly negligent driving of her driver, who also tested as being impaired by alcohol, and the pursuing paparzzi.

1998 - The DPRK (North Korea) fired a ballistic missile over Japan in a surprise missile test.  The fact that the missile's course took it directly over Japan escalated tensions throughout the region.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Quick Hits - August 29 & 30, 2012

Mark Twain once observed, 'It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.'

This is particularly fitting over the last two nights of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.  But it doesn't apply to the speeches delivered over those two nights by prominent Republicans and up-and-coming Republicans.  Nor do I associate that sentiment with my writings as I offer 'A View From The Ranch'.

Where this quote comes to play is in the rants, the odious commentary and incessant accusations, and desperate spins of biased and bigoted pundits to attack, demonize, marginalize, and just when you think they can't stoop any lower to define a despicable meme for the Republican Convention, they play the race card - and highlight who the real racists actually are.

We have several major media outlets (MSNBC, ABC) which effectively refused to show any member of a minority speaking during the first two days of the Republican convention.  On day 1, they ignored the superb speech by Congressional candidate Mia Love - and the standing ovation that the convention attendees gave Love when she completed her speech.  What was news?  The claim that two convention attendees, threw peanuts at an African-American camera operator working for CNN while supposedly saying, 'This is how we feed animals', and subsequently be ejected from the convention.

Two morons, acting like morons, were summarily ejected because they were morons.

That's a far bigger story than the one about the Washington D.C. Bureau Chief for Yahoo News.  David Chalian, not knowing he was in front of a 'hot mic', on the first evening of the convention, noted that Ann and Mitt Romney are 'happy to have a party with black people drowning'....

The comments were made during an ABC/Yahoo livestream, when the reporters believed that microphones were off.

The comments appear to be in reference to the Republican convention going on even as Hurricane Isaac hits the coast. Ann Romney addressed the convention last night; Romney is scheduled for tomorrow night.

Sources confirm that Chalian made the comments. Expect to see multiple statements from ABC and Yahoo News regarding this incident in the imminent future, sources say.

UPDATE: A Yahoo spokesman emails: "David Chalian's statement was inappropriate and does not represent the views of Yahoo!. He has been terminated effective immediately. We have already reached out to the Romney campaign, and we apologize to Mitt Romney, his staff, their supporters and anyone who was offended."
Did the other parts of the mainstream media also ignore the fact that Yahoo, to their honor, immediately and promptly sack their DC Bureau Chief who happened to let his own hatred and contempt for conservatives, Republicans, and the Romney's - not to mention towards blacks?

No, in fact several of the most clueless rushed to the defense of David Chalian.  One of these is the clueless idiot, Gwen Ifill, who has apparently taken a break from her non-stop whinging about not getting a spot to 'moderate' a Presidential debate this fall, removes all doubt about herself as she tweets the lame and biased David Chalian is 'God's gift to political journalism'. 

No card has been played as carelessly, shamelessly, or classlessly as the race card over the last 4 years by far too many of the liberal punditry or political chattering class.  The race card has been played with such callousness that it has weakened and diminished the despicable act of racism.  It's being used without evidence or examples of racism - which only reinforces the racism inherent of those who callously toss the pejorative around.

Throughout the progressive media nimrods stalking the halls of the Tampa convention site, the standard message they are trolling is one that the GOP stands for, supports, and is nothing but racist.  That is the primary meme being pressed by these ranting, delusional blowhards.  It started with the despicable race baiting and racism accusations made by the reprehensible Chris Matthews who foamed at the mouth during his attack on RNC Chair, Reince Priebus, and continued with additional rants by Laurence O'Donnell.

Where are the questions directed towards MSNBC and the race baiting of their 'talent' - or their decision to not highlight minority speakers like Mia Love, Condi Rice, Artur Davis, and Susana Martinez?  How about their decision to trash and denigrate Artur Davis simply because he decided over the last several years that Barack Obama was undeserving of his political support?  Or for that matter to ABC?

Matthews attacking Condi Rice re the 'birther' question...

At the progressively biased publication, The Atlantic, we're treated to their reporter, Elspeth Reeve, filing a delusionally headlined report about John Boehner at the convention - 'Boehner Says Out Loud He Hopes Blacks and Latinos 'Won't Show Up' This Election'....

The Weekly Standard asks, 'Is that what Boehner said?' and offers the full quote along with some commentary...
This election is about economics. And they may not show up and vote for our candidate but I would suggest to you they won't show up and vote for the president either.
Reeve's headline is grossly unfair.
Grossly unfair?  If only The Atlantic had the class of The Weekly Standard.  It's not only grossly unfair, but also a complete breach of any journalistic ethics.

But a complete breach of journalistic ethics is nothing new to Elspeth Reeves.  She's done that before - when she was a reporter / fact checker for another far left rag, The New Republic.    Reeves is the wife of one Scott Beauchamp.  Beauchamp was a soldier who served in Iraq during the Iraqi war and published a diary titled 'Shock Troops' in The New Republic - and was found to have fabricated the entire diary and events which were used to hammer President George W. Bush and those who supported the Iraq War.  Reeves was the one who promoted 'Shock Troops' to TNR - and failed to 'fact check' the fabrications.  Now here she is passing more lies to fit her political ideology.

Amie Parnes, of The Hill, another Obama shill, notes that the talking point about the right wanting a low turnout is now part of Barack Obama's stump speech as she proudly notes the President is 'refusing to cede the limelight to his opponent'.

Clueless and biased fact checkers determining 'facts' based on their own political ideology is becoming far more commonplace - particularly as Barack Obama continues to have no record to run on.

One of the most pathetic is the WaPoo's Glenn Kessler whose arrogance is nearly matched by his fecklessness.  Kessler has been working overtime to shill for Barack Obama's reelection efforts - and to denigrate and weaken the GOP assault on Barack Obama's dismal record in office.

He couldn't wait to assign Ann Romney '4 pinocchios' for her use of the President's line 'You didn't build that' - using the same tired Democrat / Obama campaign talking points in a failing Clintonesque argument about the phrase being 'taken out of context'.  As Kessler notes in his 'assessment', "Yes, it's a bit of a judgment call...' which then leads to the unsurprisingly conclusion that in his obviously dishonest and biased judgment, Ann Romney deserves to be called a liar by a hack.

Kessler also assigned the same '4 pinocchios' to both Rick Santorum and Artur Davis for their statements that Barack Obama waived the work requirements for welfare recipients in his executive order modifying the landmark 1996 legislation - calling it a 'gross simplification'.  If anyone is simple, it's got to be Kessler - who says that the references are worth 4 pinocchios because no one can conclude that Obama believes in government handouts and dependency....despite all of the evidence that he does via the soaring numbers of those government handouts and increased dependency...

What's also laughable is Kessler's pre-emptive defense - saying that when he 'rules' against Democrats, they express their outrage to him - and that is evidence that he is fair.  No, the evidence of one's fairness comes from the rationale that one uses to determine if something is true or false.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own set of facts.  In that, Kessler's bias is clear - no one without bias would have to leverage 'Clintonesque' parsing of words - like Bill Clinton's definition of the word 'is' is - as a justification for determining if something is true or false.  Saying because he can't see what Barack Obama is really thinking - and therefore deserves the benefit of the doubt is as asinine as the State Department / Obama looking at Iran's nuclear weapon program, and their continuing efforts to hide from the IAEA, and conclude, 'we don't really know they're making nuclear weapons because they haven't said they are officially making weapons'.

During the 2002-3 run up to the Iraq war, I used this example of how stupid that argument is.
You are walking down a narrow alley. You can only go forward or back. In front of you, you see your worst enemy in the world. This is a person who has repeatedly and openly threatened to kill you the next time he sees you. He sees you. Reaching into his pockets, he pulls out some metal items which he starts to assemble. You can see he is assembling a pistol. As he assembles the pistol, he reminds you that he is going to shoot you dead. You see he has the pistol nearly assembled. He has a magazine with bullets in it in his hand. He's moving to load the pistol - inserting the magazine and pulls back on the slide to chamber a round. He says he's going to put the barrel of the pistol on your forehead and pull the trigger.

At what point do you do something? Do you turn and run or attack him as he starts to assemble the pistol? Just prior to loading the pistol? Or do you wait because you can't be 100% certain he will really kill you?
Unsurprisingly, Kessler's 'fact check' of the second night of the RNC convention is as intellectually dishonest as his first night's 'check'.  This one is so vapid, one has to wonder if David Axelrod actually wrote it for Kessler.  He cites 'Wonkblog' as the authoritative source that Barack Obama's $850 billion stimulus plan, the one that was supposed to prevent unemployment from exceeding 8%, the one that was to deliver in the summer of 2012 a 5.6% unemployment rate and a 4%-4.5% GDP growth rate - a success.

A success?

Only to an ideologue.

Kessler also tries to spin the case that Solyndra was not a case of crony capitalism because of 'no conclusive evidence' of cronyism and yet more intellectually bankrupt parsing of the 'You didn't build that' comment.

With that, it's hardly a surprise that Kessler also shills for the Obama campaign team as he picks up on the meme (false of course) tweeted by Obama Deputy Campaign Manager, Stephanie Cutter (who is factually challenged in her own right), that Paul Ryan LIED when he said the GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin closed in 2009.....noting that GM announced it's closure in 2008 when BUSH was President - ignoring that Barack Obama twice promised to work to keep the plant opening.  Here's the real story, Glenn, from the local paper in Janesville - 
General Motors will end medium-duty truck production in Janesville on April 23 [2009], four months to the day after the plant stopped building full-size sport utility vehicles.

About 100 employees associated with the line learned of the layoffs Wednesday.

April will mark the end of vehicle production at the Janesville plant that traces its roots to 1919 and the Samson Model M tractor. Chevrolet production started in Janesville in 1923.
Kessler, wasn't alone in this, as many others picked up and try to promote Stephanie Cutter's effort to spin yet another Obama failed promise away.

In fact, Kessler is sooooo good at 'fact checking - he's already fact checked the Romney acceptance speech - 10 hours before it is scheduled to be delivered by Mitt Romney...

As John Nolte of Breitbart.comn notes:
Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post's dishonest fact-checker, somehow found yet another shark to jump today. As if to prove the era of fact-checking as over; as if to prove that no amount of satire can begin to adequately come close to the clownish reality of these appallingly biased fact-checkers -- today Kessler fact-checked Romney's convention acceptance speech 10 hours before Romney is scheduled to give it.

This is not an "Onion" parody or me trying to be funny or prove an earlier point. This is Kessler's actual headline:

Previewing the ‘Facts’ In Mitt Romney’s Acceptance Speech

The details of Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night are not known, but he’s been road-testing various claims about President Obama’s record for months. Here are five dubious assertions that he frequently makes on the campaign trail or in his campaign advertisements. (Republicans, no worries! We will also do this exercise for Obama next week.)

"No worries?" Does Kessler think he can buy us like he's been bought? Does Kessler think we're going to be content with this just because he's going to do something just as irresponsible, unprofessional, and immoral to Obama? And does Kessler think for a single moment we believe Obama won't be let off the hook?

To his credit, though, somehow, the very same Kessler who called Romney a liar for stating a president who didn’t visit Israel didn’t visit Israel, was able to control himself and not preemptively award Romney Pinocchios for something he hasn't yet said. But what Kessler is doing here is even more sinister and corrupt.

This feckless, impotent little fact-checker is bullying Romney; putting him on notice and threatening him. Kessler's firing a warning show across Romney's bow with the message: "You cannot say this stuff because I have deemed it untrue. And if you do, I will call you a liar."

This isn’t journalism, this is extortion.

But let's also give credit when credit is due, particularly with 'fact checking'.  I do need to acknowledge that yes, we're due for a Blue Moon on Friday, August 31st, because PolitiFact, has taken the aforementioned Stephanie Cutter to task for her outright lies.  In a better late than never moment, PolitiFact, a week after Stephanie Cutter made the laughable claim that the Obama 'recovery' created more jobs than the Reagan 'recovery' - PolitiFact finally reviewed the claim....
Even using Cutter’s cherry-picked formulation, job creation under Obama has dramatically trailed the pace set by Reagan. In fact, adjusting for the size of the workforce, Reagan’s recovery was more than four times bigger than Obama’s has been so far. We rate Cutter’s claim False.

Here's the chart I used to expose Cutter's lie the day after it was uttered...

Enough with the feckless lamestream media and the dishonest 'fact checkers' who tell us what / how to think with a strong bias behind their message.

Just a few more items to cover quickly before we need to wrap for this double edition....

Chris Christie delivered a superb speech - but not the fire and brimstone that many expected.  This wasn't a speech for the GOP base, it was a speech for the independents to see the choice they have this November 6th...
We believe in telling hard working families the truth about our country's fiscal realities. Telling them what they already know - the math of federal spending doesn't add up.

With $5 trillion in debt added over the last four years, we have no other option but to make the hard choices, cut federal spending and fundamentally reduce the size of government.

They believe that the American people don't want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties and need to be coddled by big government.

They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them.

We believe in telling seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements.

We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren.

Seniors are not selfish.

They believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren. So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election.

Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.

We believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed to put students first so that America can compete.

Teachers don't teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children. We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what's best for our nation's future - demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom.

They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense.

They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children.

They believe in teacher's unions. We believe in teachers.
Paul Ryan's 'home run' speech -

Did you watch MSNBC last night?  or ABC?  Then you missed Condi Rice's excellent speech - delivered, by the way, without a teleprompter.  [How many are touting her oratorical skills? Not enough.]

Finally, two business news items that reflect on the record of President Barack Obama - a record since January 2009 that has done massive damage to the United States and millions of her citizens.

First, a study that demonstrates that the record high level of US Corporate taxes are driving our businesses abroad... and President Obama is openly supporting raising these rates even higher in 2013 and beyond.

Second, it's Thursday, and another release of new unemployment claims for the past week.  This week's number, 374,000 new unemployment claims filed, after seasonal adjustment.  
Initial claims were unchanged from last week - thanks to the now ubiquitous upward revision of the previous week's data. This is the highest print in six weeks and the third week in a row that the claims data has been greater than expected. The market is unsure - is this enough pre-FOMC to make a real difference or just more 'seasonal' noise? One thing is sure - the trend is higher in the last six weeks, hardly a positive sign (as the 4-week moving average rises 1,500 to 370,250) - and after the standard upward revision today's 374k claims will be 377k by next week.
There are three more monthly reports before the election on November 6....and things aren't getting better despite the 'cooking of the books'.

Today in History


1533 - Francisco Pizarro executes the last Incan Emperor, Atahuallpa, and marks the end of the 300 years of the Inca civilization.

1842 - The Treaty of Nanking is signed between China and Great Britain - ends the First Opium War and gives the island of Hong Kong to the British.

1949 - The USSR explodes their first atomic bomb.

1965 - Gemini V, piloted by Gordon Cooper and Charles (Pete) Conrad, ends a record setting 8 day mission in space.

2005 - Hurricane Katrina makes landfall on the US Gulf Coast, devastating the region (Louisana and Mississippi).


30BC - Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, takes her own life after the defeat of her forces by Octavium, the future first Emperor of Rome.

1780 - American General Benedict Arnold secretly promises to surrender the fortifications at West Point, NY along the Hudson River, to the British.

1862 - Confederate forces under General Robert E. Lee defeat the Union army at the Second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Virginia.

1918 - Vladimir Lenin survives an attempted assassination by a member of the Social Revolutionary Party.  In reprisal, purges were launched against members of the Social Revolutionary Party and other political parties opposing the Communists - accelerating the rush to civil war.

1963 - The U.S. - USSR 'hotline' goes into operation.

1965 - Thurgood Marshall was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the Supreme Court, becoming the first African-American justice on the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Quick Hits - August 28, 2012

Today's the first full day of the Republican Party convention in Tampa, Florida - starting at 2 PM Eastern and continuing non-stop until about 11 PM Eastern.  Featured speakers today include Ann Romney and NJ Governor Chris Christie - both appearing prime time tonight.

The mainstream media is running their full anti-GOP spin this morning...

... humping Barack Obama's leg as they propagandize DNC / Obama talking points in order to try to sway the electorate away from looking at the dismal record of President Barack Obama.

All three major networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC, have already taken to the forefront of doing the bidding of the DNC in an effort to rescue the foundering Barack Obama Presidency and campaign.

Making the rounds across all three networks, RNC Keynote Speaker, New Jersey's feisty Governor Chris Christie, had to respond to the standard talking point accusations against the Romney campaign.

Norah O'Donnell, of CBS News, demonstrated her cluelessness on economics and tax policy when she attempted to 'gotcha' Chris Christie with the tired class warfare meme of Romney's plan being 'tax cuts for the wealthy'...
CBS’s Norah O’Donnell had trouble grasping that Mitt Romney’s plan for tax simplification included lower overall tax rates, but not necessarily a lower tax burden on wealthy individuals.

Three times, O’Donnell claimed to Christie that Romney would cut taxes for the rich: “ He says he's going to cut everybody's tax rates by 20%... He said he will cut everybody’s taxes by 20%...So, he will cut the wealthiest Americans' taxes?”

Christie attempted (probably without success) to teach her the difference between an individual’s top marginal tax rate — the rate they pay on their last dollar of income — and their overall tax bill after taking deductions into account: “He’ll lower rates, but that with the elimination of deductions, that those who are making more than $250,000 a year will essentially pay the same amount of money under Mitt Romney that they're paying right now under Barack Obama.”

[O’Donnell level of economic literacy is questionable. Last month, readers may recall, she bizarrely claimed that leaving tax rates at current levels would “cost taxpayers” an “additional $850 billion over the next ten years.” Also in July, she needed to be corrected by Paul Ryan when she falsely claimed his budget included “$810 billion in cuts to Medicaid” while “giving tax cuts to the wealthiest.”
At least Chris Christie didn't take the clue by four to O'Donnell that Obama's plan to increase taxes on the wealthy, supposedly to address his record setting 4 consecutive years of trillion dollar or more annual budget deficits, comparable to buying a full U.S. Navy carrier battle group each day, only addresses one half of one percent of his average annual deficit.

Appearing on ABC, Chris Christie's record was attacked by former Clintonista, George Stephanopoulos...

STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, the Democrats are already ready for you to talk about the New Jersey experience. They're pointing out, ahead of your speech, that New Jersey is near the bottom of states in unemployment. 48th in unemployment. 47th in economic growth.

CHRISTIE: Yeah. Except that in the last 12 months, George, we're ranked fourth in the country in terms of the number of private sector jobs that have been created, according to CNBC. That we've had 90,000 new private sector jobs created since I've been governor. And this is from a state where we've raised taxes and fees 115 times in eight years and had just stifled our economy. So, we're not going to turn that around overnight. But like I've said before, the New Jersey comeback has begun.
One of the newest memes being promoted by the intellectually dishonest mainstream media are the accusations of the Republican's 'celebrating' in Tampa as now Hurricane Issac hits Louisiana / Mississippi.  The storm, on a direct path to hit New Orleans on the 7th anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina hit, is being used as a prop to highlight the GOP as being uncaring....while Barack Obama, who is campaigning in Ohio and Colorado today (Virginia tomorrow), is given a complete pass.

NBC News, in particular, is rolling in the pigs trough on this one - as the insufferable Andrea Mitchell whinges about Katrina and promotes the image of a detached President George W. Bush flying above a flooded and devastated New Orleans in Air Force One...

The equally vapid and tedious co-host of MSDNC's 'Morning Joe' program, Mike Brzezinski demonstrates that the stupid doesn't fall far in the Brzezinski family as she takes to ranting during a debate in today's program when the deplorable Priorities USA 'Cancer' advertisement comes up in the discussion...

The discussion this morning centered on Mitt Romney’s recent Medicare ads and whether or not they would be effective in the crucial battleground state of Florida. While the discussion offered a good punch counter-punch discussion between host Joe Scarborough and panelists John Heilemann and Sam Stein, Mika appeared particularly upset that too much time was spent discussing an Obama Super PAC ad implying that Mitt Romney was responsible for the death of a former employee’s wife instead of a Romney ad criticizing President Obama for gutting Medicare.

Brzezinski complained that her show was now discussing the Romney ad, “finally, after it made a dent in the polls.” Mika decided to take her frustration that the Romney ad is hurting Obama in the polls a step further by exclaiming, “Just because we're here [at the GOP convention] I didn't take a Republican stupid pill.”
No worries Mika, there's lots of room in the trough next to Andrea...

Today's Investor's Business Daily features TWO editorials castigating the mainstream media for their deplorable actions and bias during this campaign cycle.  Michael Ramirez, the political cartoonist whose latest is featured above, notes that the media's one-sided coverage of the Presidential campaign offers clear evidence of bias...
As White House reporter for ABC News Jake Tapper recently commented, "The media is failing the country."

I agree.

A July 16 Rasmussen poll revealed "59% of likely U.S. voters believe Obama has received the best treatment from the media so far" and "51% expect most reporters to help Obama." Only 9% expect the media to help Romney.

The media should, at bare minimum, be expected to reveal the truth. But it won't even do that.

Still the media focus nonstop on unsubstantiated reports about Mitt Romney's tax returns — not on anything substantial.

MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin, when asked about Mitt Romney's tax returns on the Today Show, said, "The press still likes this story a lot."

He added, "The media are very susceptible to doing what the Obama campaign wants, which is to focus on this."

The fact the media are susceptible to do what any campaign wants is disturbing enough.

But the way the media focus relentlessly on gaffes and ignores substantive issues when covering one side, while ignoring gaffes and issues critical of the other side, does serious damage to the integrity of news reporting.

In a letter to Dr. James Currie in 1786, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost."

But what of a press that limits itself to only covering news that favors its own political ideology?
In the other commentary, the IBD Editorial Board asks a simple question, 'Will Powerful Media Re-elect Obama, Subverting Will of People?" and uses the frothing rabid attack by MSNBC's Chris "Tingles" Matthews on RNC Chair Reince Priebus as the latest exhibit...
NBC dropped this stink bomb on GOP turf during an official GOP celebration. Never before have we witnessed such palpable bias exhibited by a major media personality in such an official setting.

Such advocacy journalism is also on display in the major print media. The departing New York Times ombudsman, writing last week in his final column, admitted Times staffers are so in the tank for Obama and Democrats that their leftist advocacy "bleeds through" into their coverage.

Times public editor Arthur Brisbane called the paper's newsroom "a culture of like minds." The same could be said for the entire old media still controlling campaign coverage.

They say this race is Romney's to lose. Yet the elite are not only rooting for him to lose, they are actively sabotaging his campaign. Big media polls have been caught oversampling Democratic voters. And all three presidential debates will be hosted by like-minded liberals, including known GOP-hater Candy Crowley of CNN. Fox was snubbed.

If the major media won't give a Republican presidential candidate a fair shot, what does that say about our democratic process? Are voters really participating in a free election if the media elite are rigging it for their candidate?
For far too many, the concepts of 'journalistic integrity' and 'journalistic ethics' are ignored or broken - yet we are being asked to consider these nattering nitwits as 'professionals' and offering unbiased cogent factual reports of current events.

There's a reason why the nightly news broadcasts, once receiving over 20 million nightly viewers, only get about a third of that total today - despite a total audience that is double of what it was when they had their largest viewership.

There's a reason why major print publications ranging from the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times are not only hemorrhaging dollars, but have a fraction of the readership they had at their peaks - even though the market is two or three times larger.

There's a reason why Newsweek, a weekly news magazine launched in 1933, sold in 2010 for just $1.

I would say that the stunning part is that these supposedly 'smart' people don't see the reason - but then, if they were actually that 'smart' and disconnected from their ideology, they wouldn't be in this position in the first place.

I'm now waiting for a renewed series of exploding talking heads as some of the latest polls coming out looking at the various Senate races are showing that, despite the pariah Todd Akin, the odds of a GOP Senate majority are improving...
That is part of the reason why Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, predicted Monday that the GOP could win back the Senate even if Mr. Akin loses his race.

“We can take the Senate without Missouri,” Mr. McConnell said at a Gannett newsmaker session in Tampa, Fla., ahead of the Republican National Convention. “It’d be a lot easier to take it with Missouri.”

Democrats and independents who align with them now control the Senate, 53-47. But in the 33 Senate seats up for election in November, Democrats must defend 21, plus the two independents’ seats in Vermont and Connecticut.

In New England, Scott Brown is expanding his lead over Fauxcahontas, and Linda McMahon now has 2 polls showing her with a lead in Connecticut.  Of the remaining states, Montana and North Dakota could very easily trend Republican - particularly with the higher GOP enthusiasm that is in play for November.

Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia are all swing states for the Presidential election, and the GOP Senatorial candidates are showing momentum - as is Mitt Romney in each of these.

Also not helping is President Barack Obama's record....

Consumer confidence in the U.S. Economy has crashed to a new nine month low - hitting the lowest level since November 2011....'US consumer remains unimpressed, unhappy, and unemployed'...

Adding to the debacle known as the 'Obama Economic Recovery' comes a new report that was quietly released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  This report finds that just 56% of the 6.1 million workers laid off between January 2009 and December 2011 from jobs they had previously held for at least 3 years have found work.    Half of those 56% who did find work now earn less money then they did at their previous jobs - and of that group, one third experienced pay cuts of 20% or higher.

During this same period of time, an additional 6.7 million people lost jobs that they held for 3 years or less - with 12.9 million total jobs lost between January 2009 and December 2011.

This all part of the 'economic recovery' that created more jobs than Ronald Reagan's recovery while household incomes dropped at a greater rate than during the 2008-2009 recession / fiscal crisis.

Change you can believe in?

An Israeli court today cleared the Israeli Defense Forces and the State of Israel from any fault in the 2003 death of pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement member, Rachel Corrie, who was killed as she attempted to halt an IDF bulldozer from destroying a structure in Gaza that hid a terrorist smuggling tunnel...

... ruling that Corrie inserted herself into a dangerous situation.

Spain's Catalonia region made a demand to the Spanish central government today for a 5 billion Euro bailout - insisting that the 'gift' be provided without conditions to Catalonia.

As ZeroHedge notes, this is not good news for the Eurozone crisis....
The data out from Spain this morning should be one serious wake-up call for anyone exposed to Europe. The fourth largest economy in the Eurozone is getting hammered and for anyone that has doubted that they will need a full scale bailout; think again. The numbers are a disaster. One year ago the Central Bank of Spain was borrowing $71.53 billion from the European Central Bank. In the last figures available, July, the Central Bank of Spain was borrowing $530.8 billion (an increase of 86.5%) from the ECB either directly or through the Target2 funding which impacts the Bundesbank and Germany quite directly. In other words Germany is now at a huge risk which is not just their 22% ownership of the ECB but a direct and full risk of impairment or default by Spain in the Target2 funding provided by the Bundesbank.
The Economist today has more information on the unprecedented devastation inflicted on the suburb of Daraya by the Syrian military - and their use of 'scorched earth' tactics in the Assad's regimes efforts to utterly crush the rebellion against the Syrian dictator's iron rule.

[I note that leftist organizations like the International Solidarity Movement remain utterly silent, and completely hypercritical, over the atrocities being committed by Bashir al-Assad against his own people.]

French President Francois Hollande becomes the first Western leader to publicly urge Syrian rebel forces to begin to form a provisional government which can they be recognized and openly supported by western nations in their battle against the Assad dictatorship...
Hollande said he hoped an internationally recognized alternative Syrian government would speed the fall of President Bashar al-Assad. The United States supports such a unified movement, but on Monday it declined to endorse Hollande’s proposal, which would provide Western backing to a decentralized movement that could include extremist elements.

The latest appeal reflects growing frustration — in France and elsewhere in Europe — with international inaction to stop the bloodshed in Syria. On Monday, at least 148 people were killed in an offensive by Syrian government forces in Damascus and the surrounding area, according to opposition activists. At least 42 people died in an aerial bombardment in the northeast suburb of Zamalka.
If only these European nations would speak out / take more direct action against those nations that are protecting and enabling Syria - Russia, China, and Iran.

Today in History

1833 - Slavery was banned by the British Parliament throughout the British Empire.

1939 - The first successful flight of a jet-propelled airplane took place.  The plane was a Heinkel He178.

1957 - Senator Strom Thurmond, DEMOCRAT from South Carolina, opens a one-man filibuster against the 1957 Civil Rights bill which he terms 'unconstitutional' and 'cruel and unusual punishment'.  Thurmond would speak for 24 hours 18 minutes - a record that still stands.

1963 - Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his 'I have a dream' speech at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

1972 - American swimmer Mark Spitz wins the first of his 7 gold medals in the 1972 Summer Olympics.

1988 - Three Italian Aermacchi MB-339 jets collide in midair during an air show at Ramstein Air Base in Germany while performing a complex maneuver called the 'pierced heart'.  The aircraft, part  of the Frecce Tricolori, Italy's military stunt-flight team, spun unto the crowd killing 70 and seriously injuring 246 spectators in one of the worst air show disasters in history.

1996 - A divorce decree was issued in Britain for Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales - officially ending their 15 year marriage.

Quick Hits - August 27, 2012

Today is the first day of the Republican National Convention.  However due to the threat of Hurricane / Tropical Storm Isaac on the Tampa, Florida area, the activities for the day have been postponed and the convention restructured to consolidate 4 days of speeches into 3 days.

The storm is passing well to the west of Tampa, and apparently is on a direct path towards Louisiana / Mississippi - with a direct hit on New Orleans a real possibility.  This week is the 7th anniversary of the region being hit by Katrina - which devastated the city of New Orleans as the Democratic political leadership of then Mayor Ray Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco utterly failed.

In one of the stupider observations of Isaac's change of course, actor Samuel L. Jackson tweeted:
Unfair Shit: GOP spared by Issac ! NOLA prolly Fucked Again! Not understanding God's plan!
... before trying to backtrack / blame his moronic tweet on those who highlighted it.

The Republican National Committee has announced a revised schedule for the remaining three days of the convention - which is at this link.

The media swarm was in full effect on Monday, even if the Convention activities were minimal.  One of the most notable examples of media bias and moronic behavior came, unsurprisingly, on MSNBC, as the feckless and vapid Chris "Tingles" Matthews led an inquisition of RNC Chair Reince Priebus during the 'Morning Joe' program.  Matthews collapsed into full frothing meltdown mode - accusing the GOP / Mitt Romney of racism in one of the most pathetic plays of the race card this election season...

The fact that Chris Matthews would play the race card in such a manner is hardly unsurprising as he remains one of the most pathetic hard left commentators on the air.  That supposed Republican Joe Scarborough would permit him to do so in such a manner on his program speaks volumes about Scarborough - as it also does for the supposed 'dean' of NBC News, former Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, who also sat quietly as Matthews skewered the slim remains of NBC News' credibility.

It wasn't until later in the day for Matthews to get his comeuppance - being delivered by Newt Gingrich who had little time or patience for another Matthews play of the race card.... also highlights another new low point being reached by NBC News, as their Senior Political and White House Correspondent Chuck Todd, on Sunday's NBC Nightly News broadcast, decides to invoke a false meme around President George W. Bush and Hurricane Katrina to denigrate the Romney-Ryan ticket in a particularly vapid cheap shot...
Well, look, there are folks with the Romney campaign who think, "Boy, Romney can't catch a break." Ever since he named Paul Ryan, got a little bit of momentum, after the Ryan pick, and then he's disrupted by two storms -- one, a political storm in Todd Akin which we just brought up, but now an actual storm. And when you think, as this storm moves to and closer to Louisiana, the specter, the sort of shadow of Bush and Katrina does hang over this convention. It is something organizers are concerned about.

And don't be surprised if Tuesday gets changed again. They've already gotten rid of Monday, but they could change it again and have to squeeze it into some form of, say, two and a half days, Lester, basically, out of sensitivity.
The desperation of the media over the trend within the Presidential election is only matched by the increasing desperation within the Obama Campaign team.  The increasing requests for campaign contributions coming out of the campaign are ratcheting up the desperation and reaching new levels of whininess as they continue to trail the RNC / Romney-Ryan team in fundraising.

Both Weasel Zippers and Powerline focus their analysis on one of the most recent email pleas sent by the Obama Campaign team...
[Name redacted] –

When I’m out there talking to voters, we talk about what we’ve done, what we plan to do over the next four years, and why the other guys have dangerous plans to go back to the policies that failed America for almost a decade.

But there is another question that keeps coming up, and you need to know about it: “Why do I see so many more ads for the other guys?”

You don’t need me to tell you that the Romney campaign is outraising us — that billionaire ideologues and corporate interests are piling on tens of millions more in negative ads trashing us, and that all of it means that undecided voters in battleground states like Iowa could be seeing false, misleading, negative attacks at a rate almost twice as often as they hear from us.

Last week, when I was in Iowa, voters told me they were feeling it. The numbers back it up: Our side is getting outspent 2-to-1 on the air there.

But the folks asking me about this don’t want an explanation — they want to know what I’m going to do about it.

And the fact is that solving this problem is up to you.

You’re getting this email because you know what the stakes are in this election. You know the facts about what we’ve done to prevent a deeper crisis and to start building an economy that works for the middle class.

We’re losing this air war right now.

I don’t have as much time to campaign this time as I did in 2008, so this whole thing is riding on you making it happen.

Thank you,

As highlighted by the bold, one of the messages of this email plea is that it Barack Obama loses in November, it will not be because of his fault - his failed policies - his misguided, arrogant, and feckless effort to 'fundamentally change' the country.  No, it will because his supporters will be the one's who failed - failed to turn out as they did in 2008 and anoint him, 'The One', for another term as the Dear Supreme Leader.

At Powerline, they focus their attention on the whiny tone of the narcissist in chief...
Four years ago, when he broke his promise to accept public funding of his campaign and became, as I have termed him, the greatest money machine in the history of politics, and outspent John McCain four or five to one through the heart of the campaign, you didn’t hear any whining about being “outraised,” or about “billionaire ideologues and corporate interests.” Before they found out through bitter experience that he is a lousy president, the corporate interests were on Obama’s side. Many of them still are.

It also should be noted that the ads Obama is whining about–the ones that “trash” him–simply point out his terrible record as president. He is the one running a smear campaign, not Romney…

Obama’s plea exhibits his trademark dishonesty. The fact is that so far, he has vastly outspent Mitt Romney. It is true that in the last couple of months, Romney has outraised him. Altogether, however, Obama still has hauled in something like $300 million more than Romney. Obama decided to use his money advantage by blanketing the airwaves pre-convention, in hopes of “killing Romney,” as one of his advisers put it, before Romney had a chance to introduce himself to voters. Unfortunately for Obama, that strategy hasn’t worked. While he did succeed in damaging Romney’s image with lots of voters, Obama’s smear campaign can’t wipe away the memory of four years of failure.
Speaking of the narcissist in chief, we see all we need to of his character in his commemoration of the passing of Neil Armstrong on Saturday at the age of 82.  Armstrong, the commander of Apollo 11, was the first man to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969.

How did Barack Obama commemorate Armstrong's passing?  With a photo of himself...

Demonstrating far more class than Barack Obama, jazz singer, Diana Krall, also made her own commemoration of the passing of Neil Armstrong during her concert Saturday evening at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, CA.  She offered the signature song, 'Fly Me to the Moon' in tribute of that great American hero - here's a more upbeat cover of that classic by Krall...

Late last week, the Washington Post began to tease their latest WaPoo / ABC News poll on the state of the Presidential election.  QH noted the tease and report, while offering the caveat that this poll had a long history this election cycle of oversampling Democrats on a D+7 - D+9 basis.  Today, the full results of the poll are out - and when we look at the big picture - there is very little good news in this poll for the President.

At the top, the poll shows that Mitt Romney has moved to take a one point lead on Barack Obama, 47-46, across registered voters who participated in the poll, and a 4 point lead among self-described Independents in the poll.

But this alone is not the real story - or the real bad news contained in the poll.  That comes courtesy of the D+9 oversample that the poll is based on.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air cuts to the quick in his analysis of the poll and oversample...
As mentioned, this poll has a D+9 sample, with Republicans ridiculously undersampled at 22%. The 2008 election had a split of D+7, 39/32,29, and the 2010 midterms had a split of 35/35/30. The likelihood of getting a D+9 turnout in this election is nil, as is the likelihood of an electorate that is comprised of 22% Republicans. Even if we saw it, Obama would still only get 46% of the vote as an incumbent, hardly a gratifying position for Team Obama.

There is even more bad news in the internals. Until Ryan joined the ticket, Romney had a deficit among the definitely-decided voters, a small one of 3-5 points. That has disappeared, and now Romney gets 82% certainty to Obama’s 84%. Romney’s running ten points better than John McCain did at this point — as Obama is over his own 2008 performance.

Even worse, the gender gap on which Obama is counting is not materializing. The only two issues on which he reaches 50% against Romney are “social issues” (52/38) and “women’s issues” (51/35), but that’s not translating into an electoral advantage. The pollster memo which accompanies the ABC story shows unmarried women breaking sharply for Obama (57/32), but married women favoring Romney by 15 points (55/40). The split among single and married men is similar, with Obama up 10 points among singles (51/41) but down 24 points among marrieds (35/59). That translates overall to just a six-point lead for Obama among women, 49/43, while Romney takes a nine-point lead among men, 51/42.

As if that wasn’t bad enough news, Obama’s draw among younger voters has substantially decreased as well. He only leads the under-40 vote by 13 points, 51/38. Obama loses the seniors by eight, 43/51. For the first time in a while, the Republican leads in the college-graduate demo too, 49/47, although that’s obviously a virtual tie. Obama has dominated among college graduates until now.
This poll hits just as another poll is published from Michigan which clearly demonstrates that this state, won by Barack Obama by a 16.4% margin in 2008, is now not only in play, but is a toss-up.  With this poll being based on likely voters, which is more representative than the usual 'registered voters' sample, it's one that we need to take seriously.

No wonder the President's campaign's tone has become whinier and whinier.  I wonder if the President has taken to roaming the halls of the White House, talking to the portraits of previous President's, and complaining about how the ungrateful people of this country are failing to see how magnificent he is.

The WaPoo's article touting their poll makes no mention of the ridiculous D+9 oversample.  It also makes no note of the delusional 22% GOP turnout that the poll is based on.  In fact, it fails to mention their blatant attempts to 'cook the books' on the poll.  Instead, the continue with the meme that the race is 'too close to call' - downplaying the evidence from their own cooked polls of a clear enthusiasm and momentum advantage owned by the Romney-Ryan ticket.  Even more dishonestly, they devote an entire paragraph to the diversionary issue of Romney's tax returns - which even this stacked poll's respondents clearly show is a non-issue despite the media and Obama Campaign team flogging it incessantly.

Hot Air has another excellent post featuring a look at the advertisements in the Presidential race offered by both teams by Frank Luntz.  Luntz's analysis is showing that several of the more recent advertisements by the Romney-Ryan team and the Super-PACS supporting them are proving to be very effective with swing and independent voters... particularly those that highlight disappointed and disenfranchised former Obama voters...

Has President Obama earned your vote?

It's OK

This approach may also have the benefit of closing the Romney-Obama likeability gap. A Gallup poll on attack ads this week found that 44 percent of Americans think Obama’s attacking Romney unfairly while only 40 percent believe Romney’s attacking Obama unfairly. Among independents, the number who think Obama’s attacking unfairly rises to 46 percent while Romney’s number falls to 38 percent. Up against a guy with Obama’s charisma cachet and media protection, this is an encouraging sign.
On the international front, today we have reports of a massacre on an 'unprecedented scale' in Syria as fighting continues unabated between Syrian rebel groups and the despotic regime of Bashir al-Assad.  Evidence is being uncovered that over the weekend, Assad's troops 'executed 300 men, women, and children' in the conflict's bloodiest day.

This as international organizations like the UN remain unable and unwilling to take a strong stand against the Syrian strongman - and he remains protected by Russia, China, and Iran.

Today in History

1789 - The French National Assembly adopts 'The Declaration of the Rights of Man'.

1859 - The first oil well was successfully drilled in the U.S. by Colonel Edwin L. Drake near Titusville, PA.

1894 - The Wilson-Gorman Tariff Act was passed by the U.S. Congress.  The provision within the tariff for a graduated income tax was later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

1939 - Nazi Germany delivers an ultimatum to Poland, demanding that the Poles cede the 'Polish Corridor' and the city of Danzig to Germany.

1990 - The U.S. State Department ordered the expulsion of 36 Iraqi diplomats.

2001 - Work begins on the construction of the U.S. National World War II Memorial on the National Mall of Washington D.C. between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Quick Hits Weekend Edition - August 25 / 26, 2012

A special weekend edition today of Quick Hits - as we recap the developments over this weekend, and prep for the Republican convention in Tampa.... which is being delayed by one day because of the disruption expected by the passage of Hurricane Issac to the west of Tampa, Florida.

RNC Chair, Reince Priebus announced that Monday's events will be cancelled - with speakers scheduled for Monday being worked into the remaining schedule of events...
“The reason why we ultimately ended up making this decision was for the safety of our delegates and guests,” he said. “We couldn’t really be assured of total safety over all the bridges over open water with sustained winds. The Secret Service took tents outside down and understandably so, but what that meant was fewer entrances into the building and people standing outside for a long time in the driving rain and wind.”

“If you get the arena here behind us full and things end up deteriorating on Monday and you can’t get people back, that’s a problem,” Priebus added. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Priebus told reporters on Saturday that the decision to cancel Monday’s events was "unanimous” and was taken among “members of the RNC, Romney staff, and officials who are conducting the convention.”
Before we spend time looking at the political and international news, there is a sad news event that has to be acknowledged...

... Neil Armstrong, the commander of Apollo 11, and the first man to walk on the moon, died on Saturday at the age 82 from complications of cardiovascular disease.
One small step for 'a' man, one giant leap for mankind.
Armstrong, a quiet hero who shunned the spotlight, was a U.S. Naval Aviator and test pilot who personified the 'right stuff' throughout his career.  He made few public appearances, but did speak out against the policies of the Obama Administration towards NASA and manned space flight.

His family released a statement on Saturday -
"Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

Unfortunately, the nattering nitwits at NBC News, just could not get the announcement of the passing of this American hero right...

On the political front, the Barack Obama and his campaign continued their attacks on Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

The latest Obama campaign advertisement features Republican women who have thrown their support to Barack Obama based on the GOP positions on 'women's rights' - specifically contraception...

However, there's an interesting twist in this advert.... One of the so-called Republican women has been a registered Democrat since 2006!  [UPDATE - 2nd Woman in ad also said to be a long time Democrat!]
One of the women in the Obama campaign's new video of Republicans supporting the president because of GOP positions on women's rights appears not to be a Republican at all.

Maria Ciano who is featured in the web video has been a registered Democrat since October 2006 according to voter registration records.

"People like me and my family have realized that the Republican Party once was inline with our views, but are no longer," the Colorado resident says in the video.

The video is one component of a larger Obama campaign push on women in light of the recent controversy surrounding Todd Akin.
The President also continued his attacks on Romney-Ryan via his weekly radio address, pushing back on the subject of Medicare...
President Obama, accused by the Republican Romney-Ryan ticket of cutting Medicare to fund his health care reforms, used his weekly Saturday radio address to defend the Affordable Care Act.

“As part of the Affordable Care Act … we’ve extended the life of Medicare by almost a decade,” the president said. “And I’ve proposed reforms that will save Medicare money by getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care system and reining in insurance companies – reforms that won’t touch your guaranteed Medicare benefits. Not by a single dime.”

Without mentioning Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan by name, the president criticized Republican plans for Medicare reform.

“They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program,” he said. “And it would effectively end Medicare as we know it.”

The president’s remarks came after two weeks of Mr. Romney, Mr. Ryan and other Republicans hammering the president on the Affordable Care Act’s reduction of $716 billion in Medicare spending over the next decade.

The president dismissed the attacks on his signature legislative accomplishment as “misinformation” and “overheated rhetoric.”
Interesting choice of words / projection - 'misinformation' and 'overheated rhetoric'.

Speaking of 'misinformation' and 'overheated rhetoric', the President, in a major interview with the Associated Press, continued to blame the GOP for the partisan divide, and notes that, 'I'm prepared to make a whole range of compromises' in his second term.

Compromises?  From the same candidate who promised building unity in the United States if elected and whose response to the GOP leadership in negotiations was, 'I won'!?

In the same interview, President Obama also accused his GOP challenger of having 'extreme' ideas....
In an interview with The Associated Press, Obama said Romney lacks serious ideas, refuses to "own up" to the responsibilities of what it takes to be president, and deals in factually dishonest arguments that could soon haunt him in face-to-face debates.
How are we to reconcile these statements with the oft-forgotten comment to the Russian President promising  'more flexibility' in a second term when he would not be constrained by the needs to run for another election?

After all, prior to running for President, Barack Obama spent years claiming he was born in Kenya in order to promote his book sales...

How about his record?  Barack Obama claims to be fighting for the middle class as part of his 'fundamental change', but in reality, 2009 to present have been brutal on the middle class....
A key driver of higher wages in the 1980s and 1990s was a surge of capital investment in computers, plant and equipment, which made Americans workers more productive. When Mr. Obama pledges to raise taxes on investment income (capital gains, dividends and small-business profits), he is making it costlier to innovate and modernize. That plays out over time into slower gains in productivity and wages.

Consider the toll from America's corporate tax rate, which is the highest in the industrial world. A 2011 study by economists at the American Enterprise Institute found that because of the capital flight from the U.S. as a result of this high rate, "every additional dollar of tax revenue [from the corporate tax] leads to a $4 decrease in aggregate real wages." American workers would be the biggest beneficiaries of tax reform.

The new income data reveal other eye-opening trends. The group that has suffered the most during the Obama Presidency has been black Americans, whose real incomes have fallen by more than 11%.

Mr. Obama also likes to say that government workers like teachers are hurting and the private economy is doing "just fine." But the data indicate that over the past three years households with government workers saw their incomes decline less than households with private workers. The public-private pay gap is now wider than ever ($77,998 government versus $63,800).

Every age group has seen a decline in income—except the elderly. Those between the ages of 65 and 75 saw an average 6.5% gain in income, though most are not working and collect Medicare and Social Security.

The last time incomes fell this fast was during the late 1970s under Jimmy Carter, and it's no coincidence that economic policies then and now are so similar.
...or his expansion of the entitlement state?

Speaking of entitlements, Zerohedge has an excellent post highlighting interactive graphics created by the California Healthcare Foundation which show who paid for the nation's healthcare and how much its costs have shifted since 1960.  Combined with data from The Economist, we see that American healthcare costs have increased roughly 100 times, from $27 billion in 1960 to $2.7 trillion in 2010.

For example, when it comes to prescription drugs, in 1960, these were primarily paid for 'out of pocket' - 96% of all expenses related to prescription drugs were out of pocket. Today, only 19% of all prescription drug expenses are paid 'out of pocket' and the federal government pays for over half of prescription drug costs.  In hospital care - when Ronald Reagan was President, the federal government paid only about one third of these costs - private insurance and out-of-pocket covered the rest.  Today, the federal government pays about one half of the cost of hospital care - with private insurance and out-of-pocket covering far less of the overall costs.

A sign that the President is in trouble or a sign of the contempt that Barack Obama has towards his opposition?
Obama to break with precedent and will campaign heavily during the Republican convention – usually candidates lay low during the opponent’s conventions as a simple courtesy – but Barack Obama will break with this and wage an aggressive campaign in an attempt to upstage the Republican convention.
Stephen Hess, a scholar on the presidency at the Brookings Institution, downplayed the suggestion by some that the 24/7 news media cycle is responsible for breaking the unwritten rule about not campaigning during an opponent’s convention.

“I prefer to think of the new habit of campaigning during opponents’ conventions as just another example of disrespect for the forms of behavior that define civilized conduct,” Mr. Hess said.

Does this mean America is really a center-right country?  More of America is reading 'red' books over 'blue' books....

Surprised?  70% of the President's 19 million Twitter followers are actually fake...

Remember when Obama Deputy Campaign Manager, Stephanie Cutter, falsely claimed that the Obama jobs record created more jobs than the Reagan recovery? asks where are the mainstream media's 'fact checkers' on that claim?

The outgoing public editor of the New York Times, in a final column, notes that progressivism bleeds through the fabric of the New York Times....
When The Times covers a national presidential campaign, I have found that the lead editors and reporters are disciplined about enforcing fairness and balance, and usually succeed in doing so. Across the paper’s many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.

As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.
Which prompted the NYT Executive Editor, Jill Abramson, to strongly respond that she doesn't accept that there is a progressive bias in the New York Times....bringing us today's Pauline Kael moment.

In the 'sore loser' moment, we have the yawns associated with the former Governor of Florida, who lost in 2010 to Marco Rubio in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, Charlie Crist, announcing that he is endorsing Barack Obama for President.  Crist remains one of the poster children for 'Republicans in Name Only'.

Where's Nanny Bloomberg on this?

10 of the 11 victims of Friday morning's shooting outside NYC's Empire State Building were shot by the two members of the NYPD - who fired a combined 16 shots to kill the gunman who ambushed and murdered his former boss.  All of the injured are expected to survive - but one has to really wonder about the level of training of NYPD members if they will fire in this manner on a crowded rush-hour sidewalk.  It appears that the gunman was seeking 'suicide by cop' and did not fire on or return fire on the officers at the scene.

Rich Lowry, the editor of the National Review, had a classic smack down this week written in response to threats by Michael Mann, the creator of the 'hockey stick' global warming climate graph, to sue the National Review...
So, as you might have heard, Michael Mann of Climategate infamy is threatening to sue us.

Mann is upset — very, very upset — with this Mark Steyn Corner post, which had the temerity to call Mann’s hockey stick “fraudulent.” The Steyn post was mild compared with other things that have been said about the notorious hockey stick, and, in fact, it fell considerably short of an item about Mann published elsewhere that Steyn quoted in his post.

So why threaten to sue us? I rather suspect it is because the Steyn post was savagely witty and stung poor Michael.

Possessing not an ounce of Steyn’s wit or eloquence, poor Michael didn’t try to engage him in a debate. He sent a laughably threatening letter and proceeded to write pathetically lame chest-thumping posts on his Facebook page. (Is it too much to ask that world-renowned climate scientists spend less time on Facebook?)

All of this is transparent nonsense, as our letter of response outlines.

… My advice to poor Michael is to go away and bother someone else. If he doesn’t have the good sense to do that, we look forward to teaching him a thing or two about the law and about how free debate works in a free country.

He’s going to go to great trouble and expense to embark on a losing cause that will expose more of his methods and maneuverings to the world. In short, he risks making an ass of himself. But that hasn’t stopped him before.
In a major battle over patent rights, a California jury sided with Apple over Samsung, and awarded Apple $1.05 billion in compensation from Samsung for that company's infringement of Apple patents.
In a huge victory for Apple, a California jury has found that Samsung infringed on Apple patents when it created 25 tablets and smartphones and awarded Apple $1.05 billion in compensation. Samsung is likely to appeal. A similar trial in Samsung’s native South Korea, also found that Samsung did infringe on Apple patents, but also found wrong-doing by Apple. Samsung calls the decision a ‘loss for consumers’ as the decision will limit / prevent innovation and competitive tablet / smart phone products from being developed. Apple touts the recognition that those who innovate and obtain patents see their intellectual property protected.
CNET features this link of the infringing devices by Samsung... and a scorecard.

At least 200 people were killed Saturday in Daraya, a suburb of Damascus that has been the focus of what the Syrian rebels term is a 'scorched earth' campaign being waged by Syrian forces against rebels.  This is the latest of a series of atrocities that continue to be committed by forces loyal to the Syrian dictator, Bashir al-Assad.

The website, WeaselZippers, highlights a story that indicates the jihadists responsible for a wave of terror attacks along the Israeli-Egyptian border in the Sinai, were recently released by the new Egyptian President Morsi, who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Egyptian security officials claimed on Saturday that several of the terrorists involved in an attack on a border post with Israel earlier this month are Jihadis who had been recently released from prison by the Egyptian president.

The sources told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency that forensic authorities have determined the identities of some of the seven terrorists who were killed by the Israeli army during the assault on August 5, and can confirm that at least three of them are Egyptians.
Sunday is the 40th anniversary of the Opening Ceremonies that launched the 20th Summer Olympic Games held in Munich, West Germany.  The games were marred by a terrorist attack by members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization on the Israeli Olympic team that resulted in the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches.  There is now a report that in the aftermath of this terror attack, the West German government met with representatives of the PLO and demanded a quid pro quo from the PLO representatives...
In its Sunday issue, Spiegel reported that the talks were initiated at the behest of the West German government, located at the time in Bonn, for fear that Black September would commit additional acts of terror on German soil.

According to the report, just several months after the murders, the government proposed a secret meeting between a Black September official and then-German foreign minister Walter Scheel, the aim of the which was to create a “new basis of trust.”

Germany’s government demanded a quid pro quo: the PLO would cease terror attacks on German soil in exchange for a political upgrade of the PLO. In addition, the German government would pull the plug on any criminal charges for the murders in Munich.
Deals with contemptible.

Today in History

August 25

1814 - The U.S. Library of Congress is destroyed by invading British forces.

1941 - Soviet and British forces invade pro-German Iran

1944 - Paris is liberated by American and Free French troops as they capture the headquarters of the German commander of the city - who disregarded Hitler's orders to destroy the city.  Charles De Gaulle arrives in Paris to celebrate the liberation in a parade on the 26th.

1950 - U.S. President Harry Truman orders the government seizure of U.S. railroads to avert a strike by railroad workers.

1990 - Military action against Iraq over its invasion and annexation of Kuwait was authorized by the United Nations Security Council.

August 26

55 BC - Julius Caesar leads a seaborne invasion and the Roman conquest of Britain.

1946 - George Orwell publishes 'Animal Farm'

1957 - The first Edsel, made by the Ford Motor Company, rolls off the assembly line.

1972 - The 20th Olympic Summer Games opens in Munich, Bavaria, West Germany.

1992 - A 'no-fly zone' was imposed over the southern third of Iraq by the U.S., France, and Britain in order to protect Iraqi Shiite Muslims.