Sunday, August 5, 2012

Quick Hits - August 5, 2012

Tragedy as a mass shooting took place earlier today at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
A mass shooting has occurred at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc., just outside Milwaukee.

At least four people have been reported injured in the mass shooting and no suspect has been identified. Hospitals in the area were told to be ready for up to 20 shooting victims, according to police radio reports.

"An officer arrived and engaged a suspect. That officer was shot multiple times. He is expected to survive," said Brad Wentlandt, the police chief of Greenfield, Wisc., at a hastily-arranged briefing for news media.

"The officer exchanged fire with the shooter. That shooter was put down."

Some members of the temple are still inside the temple and are hiding, believing that a gunman may still be inside the building, according to ABC News affiliate WISN.
UPDATE - 7 dead!

Senior Obama campaign strategist, David Axelrod, appeared on Fox News Sunday this morning - and promptly began lying...

Asked by host Chris Wallace about the state of the economy and the message of the Obama campaign around the current status of the economy, the subject turned to the claims of the Administration that the summer of 2010 was promised to be 'recovery summer'.  Axelrod quickly responded that, 'We never used the phrase recovery summer in 2010...'

In a flashback at the above link, Weasel Zippers highlights a 2010 report by the left wing site Politico that highlights Axelrod's lie...
Vice President Joe Biden today will kick off the Obama administration’s “Recovery Summer,” a six-week-long push designed to highlight the jobs accompanying a surge in stimulus-funded projects to improve highways, parks, drinking water and other public works.

David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, said: “This summer will be the most active Recovery Act season yet, with thousands of highly-visible road, bridge, water and other infrastructure projects breaking ground across the country, giving the American people a first-hand look at the Recovery Act in their own backyards and making it crystal clear what the cost would have been of doing nothing.”
Axelrod also was forced to defend the Democrat lawsuit challenging an Ohio law on early voting for U.S. service members - and termed Mitt Romney's portrayal of the case as 'shameful'.
The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee filed the suit to block a new state law allowing men and women in uniform to vote up until the Monday right before an election, while the cutoff on early voting for the rest of the public is three days earlier.

“The way Gov. Romney stated [the situation] is completely false,” Axelrod said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s shameful that Gov. Romney would hide behind our service men and women.”

Axelrod’s comments were the most recent in a back-and-forth since the suit was filed last month in a federal court in the battleground state of Ohio.

“President Obama's lawsuit claiming it is unconstitutional for Ohio to allow servicemen and women extended early voting privileges during the state's early voting period is an outrage,” Romney said Saturday.

Obama campaign officials said the suit doesn’t attempt to restrict the voting rights of military members. The officials said they filed the suit to try to even the playing field for all Ohio voters by allowing early voting up until Monday for everyone, including members of the military, because they believe a two-tiered, early-voting process is unfair.
Also appearing on Fox News Sunday was Ted Cruz, the GOP Senate candidate for Texas, the Tea Party candidate who upset the Texan Lt. Governor to gain the nod to challenge for the seat of retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. 
Fresh off his come-from-behind Senate primary victory, former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R) said the Tea Party movement that helped propel his campaign is even stronger now than it was two years ago.

"This is part of a tidal wave that began in 2010 and that tidal wave is only stronger in 2012," he told Fox News's Chris Wallace Sunday morning. "Those protests died down. I think the reason is the Tea Party went to work."

Cruz said the movement would work hard on Mitt Romney's behalf to defeat President Obama this fall in order to "get the boot of the federal government off the neck of small business."

The Cuban-American candidate, who is heavily favored to win election, also said that Romney could make inroads with Hispanic voters based on shared values.
Also commenting on the Tea Party in 2012, is ABC News contributor George Will who noted in a discussion with the host of ABC News George Stephanopoulos that the 'constant writing off of the Tea Party' is an example of 'journalistic malpractice'.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: Before we go, George, Ann Coulter talks about energizing the base. I think we saw one base that was certainly energized this week by the -- in Texas, the Tea Party had a big victory by the election of Ted Cruz. He's going to be the Republican Senate nominee, almost certainly the next senator from Texas.

GEORGE WILL: Another example of journalistic malpractice in this country - the constant writing off of the Tea Party, which just goes about its business of electing senators. They'll elect Cruz, they'll probably elect Mourdock in Indiana, they'll probably elect Deb Fischer in Nebraska. Often, George, the most interesting and important fights in American politics aren't between the parties, they're within the parties. People say about Ted Cruz, well, he's part of the anti-intellectual Tea Party. Well, Princeton, Harvard, clerked for Justice Rehnquist, I don't think so.
Fox News contributor, Karl Rove, was asked during an appearance on Fox as to why President Obama has not taken steps to denounce the attacks and base accusations being directed at GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney by the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid....

Hot Air's Ed Morrissey, in his post on the issue, offers this analysis...
I can think of three answers:

• Obama and his campaign asked Reid to make the attacks in order to get the smear out without having Obama’s/Team Obama’s own fingerprints on it

• Obama didn’t initiate it, but he’s comfortable with the smear and desperate to get some traction on Romney

• Obama’s afraid to tell Reid to stop, and risk angering his class-warfare base The last one is a little difficult to believe, especially with prominent progressives in the media scolding Harry Reid for his baseless attacks and ridiculous, changing explanation of his source(s).

Rove listed a website that anyone can visit to see the last 10 years of Mitt Romney’s financial records including how much he paid in taxes. Frustrated with the tactics of the Obama campaign, Rove said, “For the majority leader of the Senate of the United States to go out and say this is a sign of both the desperation of the Democrats and more important than that, the complete lack of character, the slime ball nature of the Senate majority leader. And Harry Reid ought to be disgusted and embarrassed and ashamed because he shamed the great institution that he claims to lead.”

Rove said that President Obama is held responsible for the quality of his campaign even if he’s not the one verbalizing these accusations. He continued, “I not only don’t see the president disavowing it, I see his closest political adviser joining in this shameful activity. So the president hurts himself by this. What happened to all those promises of elevating politics … this is personal, this is shameful, this is despicable, this is Chicago-style thugs.”
The NY Times offers this surprising view of the Obama campaign - noting that the record spending of the campaign is shrinking its coffers.

Blogger John Taylor says that this is 'still a recovery in name only' and provides some detailed charts to substantiate his claim...

Zerohedge takes a look at the current economic conditions, and then takes a look at where we would be if the same path is followed until 2016 - near the end of a 2nd Obama term as President...
For a presidential election taking place when the US debt/GDP has for the first time in 70 years crossed above 100%, in which over 50 million Americans collect food stamps and disability, in which M2 just crossed $10 trillion, in which total US debt is about to pass $16 trillion, and when total nonfarm employees in America (133,235,000) are the same as they were in April of 2005, it is quite surprising that economics has not taken on a more decisive role in the electoral debate. But while both candidates may, for their own particular reasons, not want to bring up the slow motion trainwreck that is the US economy now, in 4 years whoever is running for president will not be so lucky, because as the US debt clock shows, assuming current rates of progression, things are about to get far, far worse.

To wit, this is how America will look like in 2016:

• Total US debt: $22.2 trillion (an increase of over $6 trillion from today)

• Total debt per US taxpayer: $180,000

• Debt to GDP: 130% (30% higher than today)

• Food stamp recipients: 50 million

• M2: $14.3 trillion (an increase of over $4 trillion from today)

ABC News has the details on the President's executive order to implement 'The Dream Act' and change the nation's immigration laws without the benefit of Congress passing legislation.
The Obama administration will formally begin granting some young undocumented immigrants legal status and work permits later this month under a controversial new policy first announced by President Obama in June.

The Department of Homeland Security today announced details of the application and approval process for the DREAM Act-like program, outlining specific eligibility requirements and a $465 fee. It will begin Aug. 15.

Illegal immigrants younger than 30 who came to the United States before age 16, have lived here for at least five years continuously, attend or have graduated from high school or college, and have no criminal convictions are eligible to submit requests for so-called deferred action (legalese for an official exemption from deportation).

The administration said documentation provided by each applicant will be reviewed individually on a case-by-case basis at one of four service centers run by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. It’s unclear how long each review will take, but some immigrants are expected to receive temporary legal status before Election Day.

While the “dreamers” will not obtain a path to citizenship or the right to vote, Obama’s policy shift – circumventing Congress with executive action – has been widely seen as a politically motivated nod to Hispanics who have long sought the change.
$465 is the price for amnesty.

Remember the Sandra Fluke kerfuffle?  She was the one who demanded that Americans pay for her birth control pills because she couldn't afford to go to the nearest Walmart to spend $9 per month - and as a student at the $40,000 per year Georgetown Law School, she could not get covered for birth control under her student insurance because the Catholic institution opposes birth control on religious grounds.  Talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh ignited an outcry in the liberal establishment media when he called Fluke for the partisan   'useful idiot' that she is.  In this outcry, several advertisers of the Rush Limbaugh radio program dropped their support for the conservative.  One of these was the online backup service 'Carbonite'.

We find out now that the rash decision by the management of Carbonite to drop the Limbaugh program damaged the company's bottom line...

Syrian rebels are saying that the 48 Iranians captured in Damascus are not religious pilgrims, but are affiliated with Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards unit.  Iran has been suspected as being very active in arming and supporting the brutal regime of Syrian strongman Bashir al-Assad.

Today's final item comes from the UK's Daily Mail newspaper - which is hosting a heartbreaking video of a chimpanzee in Welsh Mountain Zoo who is asking zoo visitors to open the door to his enclosure to let him out....

Alex Bailey from Manchester, who recorded the interaction at the Welsh Mountain Zoo, interprets the signs as a direction to free the chimp, The Telegraph reported.

One chuckling man taps on the window and copies the chimp's actions, mimicking the animal's mimes of opening the window.

A bystander can be heard giggling and saying: 'He wants us to open it'.

But the chimpanzee is more focused on trying to make itself understood, as it longingly looks at the people in front of him.
The above link has the video....

Today in History

1858 - After several unsuccessful attempts, the first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean is completed.  On August 16, U.S. President James Buchanan and Britain's Queen Victoria would exchange formal introductory and complimentary messages.  Unfortunately, the cable would stop working in September 1858.  It would not be until 1866 when the first permanent cable would be laid.

1864 - The U.S. Navy gains a decisive victory in the Battle of Mobile Bay - with Admiral David Farragut leading the attack to secure of the last major Southern ports.  Faced with heavy defensive fire from the defending Confederate forts, Farragut rallied his forces with the cry, 'Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead.'

1914 - The world's first electric traffic signal was installed on the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio.

1962 - Actress Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her home in Los Angeles, California.  She was 36 years old.  After a brief investigation, the Los Angeles Police Department concluded her death was 'caused by a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs and that the mode of death is probably suicide'.

1981 - President Ronald Reagan fires 11,359 federal air traffic controllers who went on strike on August 3rd demanding more pay and shorter work weeks.  The President declared the strike illegal and gave them two days to return to work.  When they failed, he terminated them and also barred them from being rehired.

2002 - Divers recovered the turret from the USS Monitor, one of the first ironclad warships, which sank in a storm off North Carolina's Cape Hatteras in December 1862.  In March 1862, the USS Monitor engaged the CSS Virginia in the first battle between ironclad warships in Virginia's Hampton Roads.

2011 - Standard & Poors downgraded America's AAA credit rating to AA+.  This is the first time in U.S. history that the nation's credit rating was downgraded - bringing the country to a ranking below such countries as Liechtenstein and on par with Belgium and New Zealand.  S&P also placed the U.S. on a 'negative outlook' which means that not only did the agency not believe the country had a chance of regaining the top rating, but that additional downgrades could be forthcoming unless the country changed its fiscal path.

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