Thursday, August 16, 2012

Quick Hits - August 16, 2012

Yesterday, a Pennsylvania judge ruled that the new state Voter ID law could be implemented for this Election Day, noting that 'the individuals and civil rights groups challenging the law had not met the heavy burden of proving that it so clearly violated the state constitution that it should not be implemented' - and that those without proper ID had time to obtain an acceptable ID prior to Election Day.

Opponents of the Voter ID law, mainly Democrats and pro-Democrat organizations, will likely appeal this decision to the State Supreme Court.  They contend that Voter ID laws 'disenfranchise' and 'discriminate' against minorities and are intended to suppress minority votes.  Proponents of the law contend that photo ID's are needed to ensure the legality and viability of elections by ensuring only legally registered voters are casting ballots.

The decision, by Commonwealth Judge Robert Simpson, was apparently heavily influenced by the 2008 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States which upheld an Indiana Voter ID law.

Also yesterday, a lone gunman attempted to enter the Washington DC offices of the Family Research Council.  Confronted by a security guard, the alleged gunman, Floyd Lee Corkins II, shot the guard in the arm before being wrestled to the ground and disarmed by the guard and others in the lobby.

The FBI is conducting an investigation - and the preliminary information suggests that there is a political motive behind the shooting.  Corkins is reported to be a leftist, a volunteer for a local LBGT group, and to have said to the security guard, 'I don't like your politics', referring to the Family Research Council.

Former NJ Governor, NJ Senator, head of Goldman Sachs, major Obama campaign bundler, and the CEO of the now bankrupt MF Global, Jon Corzine, is said to be not facing any criminal prosecution over his role in the failure of MF Global and the loss of $1.6 billion in client funds - used to cover corporate obligations.

Given the political connections of Corzine, in particular as a still active bundler for the Obama campaign, this is something that just causes head's to shake.  Officials at MF Global raided customer funds to the tune of $1.6 billion in an effort to keep the struggling firm afloat - and Corzine was the top man responsible for the actions of the company.  Someone needs to be held accountable for the embezzlement of client funds - and with Corzine, the buck has to stop at the top.  Instead, we now have Corzine contemplating starting a hedge fund to 'reestablish' his reputation.

I have a better way for him to 'reestablish' his reputation - stand trial for embezzlement and serve time.

Ecuador granted political asylum to Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.  Assange, has been hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since violating his bail and seeking protection from extradition to Sweden on charges of sexual assault.  Assange believes the Swedish charges are just part of an effort to extradite him to the United States over the release by Wikileaks of millions of classified memos and communications allegedly obtained by Bradley Manning and provided to Wikileaks.  [Manning is presently waiting for his military court martial to begin.]

The leftist and anti-American government of Ecuador states they believe Assange is a political prisoner.  Both the British and Swedish governments strongly objected to the decision to grant Assange asylum. Britain threatens to arrest Assange if he steps outside the London embassy, and the Swedish government called the decision 'unacceptable'.

Decisions have consequences, so its time that Ecuador learns that this decision will have consequences - economically.

Another Thursday and a new set of 'cooked book' stats from the Department of Labor regarding new jobless claims.  Last week's number of new jobless claims was quietly revised upwards from 361,000 to 364,000 and this week's 'seasonally adjusted' figure of 366,000 represents a 'slight increase' - but spun as good news as this is apparently a sign that hiring is improving [despite today's report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank] as the number remains below the 385K+ level seen several months ago.

On the political front, we're now at about 7 weeks since President Obama has met and taken direct questions from the White House Press Corps.  Last night, President Obama and his First Lady sat down with Nancy O'Dell of Entertainment Tonight for an exclusive interview...
[Nancy] O'Dell is seen hugging and laughing with First Lady Michelle Obama and pitching softball questions to President Obama about Mitt Romney's "attacks." She asked Obama if it was possible to move forward witout mudslinging and dirty politics and he responded by saying, "There's not a lot of mudslinging going on." Obama must have forgotten about the Super PAC ad released by his former White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton essentially accusing Mitt Romney of killing a man's wife.

To O'Dell's credit, she also asked about Vice President Joe Biden's "they're [Romney/Ryan] are going to put ya'll back in chains comment," to which Obama said, "His phrasing is a distraction from what's at stake."
ABC News' Jake Tapper fires back at the President - saying that the President 'disses WH Press Corps'...
President Obama hasn’t formally taken questions from the White House press corps in more than two months, while on the campaign trail in Iowa yesterday he made time for reporters from People Magazine and Entertainment Tonight.

His last news conference was at the G20 in June, when he answered six questions from three reporters on the European debt crisis, the conflict in Syria, and the notion of politics stopping at the water’s edge.

The White House press corps has not formally been given the opportunity to ask questions of the president on U.S. soil since his appearance in the Briefing Room on June 8 (when he said “the private sector is doing fine.“)

His last formal White House news conference was on March 6.
This is strange given the work that is being done by major elements of the mainstream media to support President Obama and provide direct assistance to his campaign.  If he starts to lose key elements of the mainstream media - those like Tapper or the recently asking tough question CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer, or other respected journalists - it cannot bode well for his reelection efforts.  It's generally accepted that the pro-Democrat / pro-Obama support by the majority of the mainstream media is worth 3-5% of the popular vote on Election Day.

One 'reliable' pro-Obama media entity remains the WaPoo.  On both it's front page and on it's editorial pages, the leftards are taking to blaming the divisive and base accusations that are now part of the standard message from the Obama-Biden team on the Republicans - saying these actions are 'justified' because the GOP used these tactics in 2008 when they accused Barack Obama with associating with terrorists (Bill Ayers) or the 2004 Swift Boat Vet accusations against John Kerry's Vietnam record and anti-war protests. highlights a powerful editorial from the Investor's Business Daily which directly responds to the progressive projection / moral equivalency argument to justify their wallowing in gutter politics...
For months, the Obama campaign has offered the public nothing but lies and distortions about Romney's record and his position on the issues.

In a series of ads, statements and comments to the press, Obama and his backers labeled Romney an outsourcer, a felon and a tax cheat. They said he wants to "gut Medicare," outlaw all abortions, even in the case of rape and incest, and put people "back in chains."

And then an Obama super-PAC ad blamed Romney for causing a woman's cancer death. There's no evidence to back up any of these claims, and most have been thoroughly debunked. But they just keep rolling them out.

So on Tuesday, Romney forcefully hit back at Obama for "wild and reckless accusations that disgrace the office of the presidency . .. President Obama knows better, promised better and America deserves better."

So which candidate is the press complaining about?

In a front page story on Wednesday, the Washington Post attacked Romney, not Obama, for adding "an even uglier tone" to the campaign.
The Associate Press's Steve Peoples and Politico's Juana Summers do their bit to shill for the Obama campaign in their reports of Paul Ryan's appearance at Miami University in Ohio, his alma mater.  Both reported that the crowd at the campaign stop amounted to 'several hundred' or 'hundred's of supporters' in an effort to downplay the event - and the enthusiastic crowds at GOP events since Ryan was added to the ticket.

Local news affiliates covering the event, and without a need to shill for the President, reported the crowd was in the 'thousands' - with one citing a Secret Service estimate of 5,500.  Another said 'more than 4,000 people gathered'.

"I don't think I show bias in my TV show. I think I am aggressive with people about trying to find the facts behind what they say," O'Brien said. "Am I a liberal or conservative? I'm neither.
Clueless, vapid, and in denial....oh, and clearly a liberal.

RealClearPolitics is featuring an article that is looking at the President's three days campaigning in Iowa, a battleground state that he won in 2008, and has 6 electoral votes in play.  Three days is a big commitment for a single swing- particularly with only 6 electoral votes.  During these three days, Barack Obama realized some sparks of the 2008 enthusiasm, but the state remains deeply divided...
If Obama’s three-day trek across Iowa proved that he could still rekindle a spark from 2008, the unscripted moments of his journey also proved that the Hawkeye State, like much of the rest of the country, is deeply divided over the president’s re-election.

… The truth is that Iowa remains a critical swing state that is very much up for grabs -- an analysis confirmed by Obama’s decision to spend three full, precious days of the dwindling campaign there this week.

Obama’s team hopes that devoting attention to Iowa now will help put the state back in the president's column so they can focus on the bigger, more valuable (electorally speaking) swing states such as Ohio, Florida and Virginia between now and Election Day.

If Obama is forced to return to defend Iowa again, however, he and his team may hear that haunting Springsteen refrain playing in their heads on November 6: “Lights out tonight, trouble in the Heartland . . .”
Remember that auto industry bailout that the President continues to tout as one of his biggest accomplishments - even though his Dept. of Treasury slashed 20,000 non-union worker pensions at Delphi to fully fund union worker pensions, even though taxpayers on sitting on about $40 billion in total losses between the GM and Chrysler bailout...Louis Woodhill in Forbes notes:
President Obama is proud of his bailout of General Motors. That’s good, because, if he wins a second term, he is probably going to have to bail GM out again. The company is once again losing market share, and it seems unable to develop products that are truly competitive in the U.S. market.
The American Enterprise Institute reminds us of the root of the 2008 financial crisis....
“When it comes to a government centered society and its deleterious consequences, our Government Mortgage Complex is the undisputed poster child. There has been no greater economic failure than the collapse of the housing market due to decades of government intervention and crony capitalism. Voters need to be reminded about how this disaster came about. It began with the premeditated assault on high-quality, credit-worthy prime mortgages. The perpetrators were Fannie Mae, community groups, and Congress, each of which had the means, motive and opportunity for undertaking this assault.”
Chris Dodd may be out of the Senate, and Barney Frank retiring this December, but the mindset and more importantly the agenda that created this environment remains strong and active within the Obama Administration and his progressive allies.

Before I wrap up, I do want to offer a brief apology.  One of my pet peeves on websites are auto-starting video's - particularly those who inflict 20-30 second adverts before starting the main video.  Some of the video's I've embedded are these type's of video's - and I am sorry for using them.  I will try to avoid using these types of video's in the future.

With that, let's wrap up with a video - the latest in the excellent series by Bill Whittle's 'Afterburner' - this one titled 'A Great Way to Win and Lose'...

Today in History

1780 - Continental soldiers suffered one of their worst defeats in the Revolutionary War as they are routed by 2,239 British soldiers under the command of General Cornwallis at Camden, South Carolina.  Of the 3,000 Patriot soldiers, 900 were killed and 1,000 captured.  The British only lost 68 killed and 245 wounded - and they captured over 22 wagonloads of equipment, 2,000 muskets, and large amounts of ammunition from the Continentals.

1812 - American General William Hull surrenders Fort Detroit and his entire army to the British without a fight.  Hull's decision to surrender was a serious blow to American morale.  Detroit would be recaptured in September 1813.  In 1814, Hull would be court-martialed for cowardice - and sentenced to death.  However, President James Madison remitted the sentence on the basis of Hull's service during the Revolutionary War.

1948 - Baseball legend George Herman 'Babe' Ruth dies from cancer in New York City at the age of 53.

1977 - The 'King of Rock and Roll' Elvis Presley dies at his home, Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee at the age of 42.  The cause of death was said to be a heart attack brought on by his addiction to prescription drugs.

1987 - Northwest Flight 255, a DC-9 jetliner, crashes on take-off from Detroit Metropolitan Airport, after the flight crew apparently rushed a check list and failed to deploy wing flaps for take-off.  154 of the 155 people on board the aircraft died in the crash and 2 in a car on Interstate 94 were killed when the aircraft crashed onto the freeway after failing to gain altitude on take off and striking light poles and a rental car facility.

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