Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Quick Hits - August 21, 2012 - BREAKING NEWS

The ramifications of Missouri GOP Senatorial candidate, Todd Akins, moronic, offensive, and asinine comment about 'legitimate rape' and pregnancy continue to dominate attention today.

Akins has until 5PM CDT time today to drop out without having to go through a court case - and observers are watching closely - including his opponent, Democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill, who has seen her race move from a likely lose to likely win.

Virtually all of the major GOP players, ranging from the Chair of the RNC, to the top 5 GOP officials in Missouri, to almost all of the leading GOP talk radio and commentary pundits, to the largest and active GOP Super-PACS have pulled their support from Akins.

The only ones, apparently besides Akins, who want the candidate to remain in the race are the Democrats.  Powerline offers this commentary:
But Akin’s Democratic opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill, seems quite content to have Akin stay in the race. Though claiming to be outraged by his remark, McCaskill declined, during an interview on MSNBC to call for Akin’s withdrawal. Making her true preference clear, she added that for Akin to withdraw would be “radical” after a hotly contested three-way Republican primary which Akin won “by a comfortable margin.” Translation: please, please, please, don’t withdraw.

Akin actually received only 36 percent of the vote in the Republican Senate primary. But McCaskill has her politics, if not her facts, absolutely right. She was basically political toast — trailing Akin by 11 points in the most recent poll — until Akin made his comment. Now, suddenly, she has probably has a decent shot at retaining her seat.

Moreover, McCaskill and the Democrats are financially invested in Akin. They reportedly poured more than $1 million into the Republican Missouri Senate primary by way of advertising designed to boost Akin among Republicans.

You have to hand it to the Dems; they continue to demonstrate considerably more savvy in the Senate candidate selection process than the Republicans do.
Other reports are indicating that McCaskill's team and the Democrats spent more than $1.5 million on ads promoting Akins over the other GOP primary candidates.

This morning, Akin released this advertisement titled 'Forgiveness'...


As DrewM notes on his post on the ad on Ace of Spades, this advert is even worse than the moronic 'I am not a witch' advertisement run by 2010 GOP Senate candidate in Delaware, Christine O'Donnell.

As I referenced yesterday, it is beyond difficult to put the toothpaste back into the tube once one has created a massive mess.  Akin created the mess because of his own mouth.  There is no excuse or rationale to dismiss his asinine comment.  It's offensive and stands alone in its stupidity.

There are times when morons like Akin have to bury their egos and accept that they've crossed the Rubicon of moronic statements.  Continuing to press forward regardless is nothing more than an example of narcissism - combined with a willingness to bring everyone else down with them if they have to go down.  This is a person who is basically giving the middle finger to every Conservative and Republican.  Period end. If he continues down this path, he'll be adding to himself the title of 'arrogant ass****' to accompany the title of 'asinine moron'.  If he continues down this path, he is going to make himself a complete pariah and kill his career.  But will his ego allow him to admit his mistake?

PPP, the far left pollster affiliated with the Daily Kos, rushed to release a poll on the Missouri race in the wake of Akin's asinine comment.  Their poll shows that Akin holds a tenuous 1 point lead over Claire McCaskill.  But rather than being a lifeline for Akin, it's really the kiss of death - confirming all we fear.  Because what PPP does to play to Akin's ego is oversample Republicans by +9.


Hot Air is reporting that Todd Akin, appearing on Mike Huckabee's radio program, is saying that he will be staying in the race - citing the above referenced PPP poll as one of the factors behind his decision to remain in the race.  

Todd Akin

This proves that Akin remains arrogant and irretrievably stuck on stupid.  He's done - and with it was one of the most likely Senate seat pick-ups for the GOP in November.  His ego and arrogance are more important to him than contributing towards winning the White House and winning control of the Senate.  He is now going to run as an albatross around the neck of all other GOP candidates.  Doing so only reinforces that he is really as moronic as his statement makes it appear he is.  He is giving all of us the middle finger - saying he's more important than the bigger picture.  Now he's just a leper - a pariah.... dead to us all.

Looking beyond Akin's asshattery, we turn to the after effects of the President's impromptu press conference yesterday with the White House Press Corps.  The Republican National Committee wasted little time releasing an advertisement responding to the baldfaced lie told by the President when he said that 'nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon'.

The advert highlights the continued challenges that the Obama campaign team have with the truth - the willingness to say anything - and the pass that they get from the press corps.  Barack Obama was not challenged one whit for making that comment - while everyone in the room knew full well what Stephanie Cutter said.  Just the same as the press corps also covered for Cutter's other massive lie around Joe Soptic and the vile 'Cancer' advertisement released by Priorities USA, a Super-PAC operated by former Obama WH staffers.

What's indicative of the complete intellectual and journalistic dishonesty of many in the mainstream media, is the very first question that was offered up when Barack Obama appeared for questions for the first time in 2 months.  Associated Press reporter, Jeff Kuhnhenn, opened the question with the softballs of all leading softballs - deigning to answer his own question on behalf of 'The One':
"You are no doubt aware of the comments that Missouri Senate candidate, Republican Todd Akin made on rape and abortion. I wondered if you think those views represent the views of the Republican party in general. They have been denounced by your own rival and other Republicans. Are they an outlier or representative?"
Is Kuhnhenn really trying to demonstrate that he's as ******* stupid as Akins?

ABC's Jake Tapper, one of the most vocal critics from the WH Press Corps of President Obama dodging their questions, didn't push very hard in his own question - asking about the rash of 'green on blue' shootings in Afghanistan that have killed 10 U.S military personnel in the last 2 weeks and then following up by asking about what steps the President will take between now and Election Day to boost the struggling economy.

One thing strange about Mr. Tapper... while he gave President Obama pretty much a pass during the press conference -on his blog on ABC News today, he struck at the President over his 'misleading statements about the campaign's ugly tone':
“I’m not sure all those characterizations that you laid out there were accurate,” the president said. “For example, nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon.”

But what Cordes said was that the Obama campaign “suggested that Mr. Romney might be a felon,” and she had it exactly right.

Last month, referring to documents filed with the Security and Exchange Commission by Bain Capital that consistently listed Romney as the CEO even though he had relinquished that power, Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said, “Either Mitt Romney, through his own words and his own signature, was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony. Or, he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people to avoid responsibility for some of the consequences of his investments.”

As for Cordes noting that the Obama campaign and the White House “have declined to condemn an ad by one of your top supporters that links Mr. Romney to a woman’s death from cancer,” the president said “I don’t think that Governor Romney is somehow responsible for the death of the woman that was portrayed in that ad. But keep in mind this is an ad that I didn’t approve, I did not produce and, as far as I can tell, has barely run.["] ...

But it’s not just the pro-Obama super-PAC, Priorities USA Action (run by two former Obama White House officials), that has cited Missouri steelworker Joe Soptic’s story – it’s also the Obama campaign.

On its website right now is a slideshow about the closure of GST Steel in which Soptic is quoted saying “I worked hard all my life and played by the rules, and they allowed this to happen.”

Soptic is described as an “employee for 28 years, whose wife died of lung cancer after he lost his GST health plan.”

Moreover, the Obama campaign held a conference call in May during which Soptic told his story.

If the president doesn’t “think that Governor Romney is somehow responsible for the death of the woman that was portrayed in that ad,” his campaign sure seems to be suggesting otherwise.

In short, the president’s responses were at best less than candid and at worse downright misleading.
CBS's Norah O'Donnell, hammered President Obama this morning over the President's response to a question on the negative tone of his campaign and the Priorities USA 'Cancer' advertisement that was asked by CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes and referenced in Tapper's blog post above.

"Look, this is a question that Obama has to answer for--which is about the tone of the campaign," O'Donnell said. "Many people believe that Obama was about 'hope' and 'change' in 2008, but it is true he ran a very negative campaign in 2008 as well."
One of the apparent reasons the White House [and campaign?] prefers President Obama to talk to fluff and local news organizations is that these organizations are far more willing to accept commands and limitations as to what the topic of the interview will be - a condition that the WH Press Corps may not be that keen to accept.
The reporters mostly made no effort to hide the arrangement. “The president invited me to talk about sequestration,” NBC 7 San Diego’s reporter told her audience. In the interview, she set Obama up with a perfectly pitched softball the president couldn’t have been more eager to take a swing at:

“What do you want individual San Diegans to know about sequestration?” she asked.

Donna Deegan of FCN Jacksonville initially seemed to apologize for not broaching the appointed subject right away.

“Mr. President, I know we were asked to talk about sequestration today,” she said, but then added she wanted to talk about something else first. Finally, she got to it: “Let’s talk a little bit about sequestration, because I know that’s why you invited us here,” she said.
After several stories in the past week, apparently trying to establish credentials to be considered 'unbiased', CNN's Soledad O'Brien returns to embracing DNC talking points about the economy and in particular defending the success of the 2009 $800+ billion dollar stimulus program - calling it a 'big thing' and that it 'improved the economy'.

This is the Keynesian spending program advocated by the President and his economic team (Sommers, Romer, Gooslbee, Geithner) that would ensure that unemployment (U-3) would never exceed 8% and by the summer of 2012 would deliver 4.0 to 4.5% GDP growth and a 5.6% unemployment rate.  What has it actually done - using an updated version of the graph that the President's economic team used in 2009...

Our U-3 unemployment rate, in July 2012, is 'officially 8.3%' - and that with the benefit of cooking the books regarding labor participation.  If the Administration didn't cook the books, that rate would be 11%.  As for growth?  The economy is struggling to grow at 1.5% annually - well below not only the Obama team projections, but this is now the slowest / weakest recovery since the Great Depression...

Historically, the deeper the recession, the stronger and faster the recovery...until this time when the policies and agenda of Obama Administration has inhibited the recovery.

Well, to be generous, O'Brien was partially right - $800+ billion being tossed down the drain is a 'big thing'.

Embracing the progressive math around the stimulus program is the Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood.  LaHood told The Daily Caller that he is 'very proud' of the Department of Transportation's implementation of their share of the 2009 stimulus bill - noting that they put 65,000 people to work with $48 billion in federal funds.  

Yes, he's 'proud' of the fact that they spent $738,461 to create each and every job.

That's as vapid as the claim around 'jobs saved or created'.  Couldn't this moron have created 7x the jobs by just giving 480,000 people $100K each?  Or 960,000 jobs by giving each worker $50K each?

Investors Business Daily has an article in today's edition that takes Steve Croft and CBS's '60 Minutes' program to task for their revisionist historical look at the 'causes of the 2008 financial crisis'.  
On Sunday's "60 Minutes" it was asserted that the September 2008 failure of Lehman Bros. triggered the chain reaction that caused the global financial and economic crisis of the past four years.

While correspondent Steve Croft presented detailed interviews to support this claim, nowhere was it mentioned how the U.S. government, dating back to the Carter administration, mandated banks to make loans to people with poor credit and that this created a glut of subprime mortgages that went toxic when the housing bubble burst in 2006-2007.

The public has the right to understand this, yet the media never touch it.
There is, in my opinion, already a definitive look at the reasons for the 2008 financial crisis - and that is the May 2011 book, Reckless Endangerment, by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner.  This book lays out the blame where it belongs - and it's not in just one place....but on the backs of leading Democrats, feckless regulators, and greedy businessmen who exploited the system for personal gain.

This Sunday, the Republican National Convention kicks off in Tampa, Florida.  The may see a storm or hurricane of a different nature - as tropical storm Issac - may bear down on the city.  Matt Drudge also is reporting that in addition to this natural storm, Vice President Joe Biden will be making campaign appearances in Tampa on Tuesday, the second full day of the convention.  Classy.

When the Republican convention ends next week, Mitt Romney will be released from the campaign spending limitations that he is currently on.  His campaign, after several months of strong fundraising, is now sitting on a little more than $180 million of cash - compared to Barack Obama's campaign which has about $120 million...and two consecutive months of the Romney campaign out raising them.

This gives the Romney campaign a $60 million surplus - and that is before the full effects of the fundraising numbers for both campaigns in August - where it seems very likely that the Romney campaign will again significantly out do the Obama campaign.  (July, Romney raised over $30 million more than Obama).

Romney has this warchest for spending in the roughly 60 days that will be left in the campaign. Pro-GOP and Pro-Romney Super-PACs will also have considerable funds to spend even as they ramp up their spending in key battleground states over the last 4-6 weeks.  Donations to these Super-PACs are also increasing.  This is in contrast to the donations to the pro-Obama Super-PACs like Priorities USA which are struggling to offset their current burn rates and grow their cash on hand.

Another sign that Obama is in real trouble?  His campaign has spent nearly $75 million in a major push in battleground states against Mitt Romney in the last 3 months - and have little positive gains to show in key poll numbers in their effort to define Mitt Romney prior to the Republican convention.  The Obama campaign is not going to replace these funds.

Could it be that Barack Obama is going to be hoisted on the campaign finance petard that he destroyed himself in 2008 when he broke a promise and ignored public campaign finance limits?

Townhall.com's Guy Benson has an excellent post up today that addresses 8 arguments being made against Mitt Romney's candidacy - and takes a hard look at those arguments.  His opening paragraph...
The American people face an important choice in November. They will either re-elect President Barack Obama for another four-year term, or they will replace him with Governor Mitt Romney. Rather than recapitulate the case against a second term for the incumbent, let's scrutinize eight of the top prevailing arguments against electing his Republican challenger. Each of the following anti-Romney indictments has been advanced -- explicitly, or through surrogates -- by the president's campaign and the Democratic Party. Below you'll find my sincere attempt to address these criticisms in a balanced and honest way, even as I openly and transparently admit my conservative leanings at the outset. I will attempt to rate each claim as as either true, fair, unfair, or false -- and will aim to offer verification of my facts through embedded links to credible, reliable, and non-partisan sources:

Read it all - then ponder his closing questions...
Questions: I'll leave you with two thoughts to consider: First, what does it say about the incumbent's job performance that his campaign is so heavily reliant on discussing subjects other than his track record in office? Second, what does it say about the president's challenger that so many of the high-profile attacks against him have been grossly distorted, or entirely fabricated?
Today in History

1831 - Nat Turner leads a slave rebellion in Virginia that would result in 60 white deaths and at least 100 black deaths, the largest number of fatalities to occur in one uprising prior to the Civil War.  The rebellion would be suppressed within 2 days - but Turner would avoid capture until October 30.  He would be tried and convicted for making an insurrection on Nov. 5, and executed on November 11, 1831.

1959 - Hawaii becomes the 50th state of the United States.  President Eisenhower orders the U.S Flag to display 50 stars.

1991 - The hard-line communist coup against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev ends in failure.

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