Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Quick Hits - July 31, 2012

Open warfare appears to be breaking out between the Romney campaign and the Obama sycophants in the mainstream media that are covering the presumptive GOP candidate.

As the Obama re-election campaign continues to struggle - even in polls with a substantial skew towards the Democrats, the mainstream press is matching the desperation of the Obama campaign.  We have seen this manifest during Mitt Romney's international trip to Britain, Israel, and Poland - as each day was met with more and more left leaning media elements screaming 'gaffe' pretty much anytime the GOP candidate said something that the left doesn't like.

The kerfuffles started last week with Romney expressing concerns regarding how prepared the London Olympic committee was for the games - citing the very issues that British papers had been questioning in the weeks before the games.

Then the media's fabricated angst grew to another level as the candidate visited Israel and expressed not only his support, but the support of a Romney Administration towards Israel and the challenges that beleagured nation faces from it's Arab and Persian neighbors.  In addition to providing unambiguous support towards Israel, something Barack Obama has not done, he was accused of another series of 'gaffes' when he clearly defined Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and accurately hammered the fundamental differences between embracing a western-style democracy and capitalism versus a 7th century dogma and corruption as the reasons for the differences between those in Israel and those in the Palestinian Authority or neighboring Arab states.

The conflict then broke into open contempt towards not only Mitt Romney, but insulting the people of Poland, as the media horde screamed questions at the GOP candidate just after finishing paying his respects at Poland's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw.

In the above video, Romney press aide, Rick Gorka, chides the obnoxious media pool for their demonstration of disrespect.  As The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol notes - 'tell me you don't sympathize with the pithy comments by his aide, Rick Gorka...'

As is 'par for the course' the story is not the obvious bias and contempt from the media sycophants covering the Romney trip, but the fact that Rick Gorka chided them and told them to 'Kiss my a**'.

As a result, we have failing institutions like the WaPoo promoting the Romney trip as a 'disaster' - leveraging either strawmen or known anti-Romney surrogates (when the decide to use a named source) to 'prove their case'.

Fred Barnes scores Mitt Romney's trip as saying the candidate went '2 for 3' on his trip to Britain, Israel, and Poland.  According to Barnes, the only misstep by Romney was the criticism of the London Olympic preparations.  The main point around the definition of this as a misstep is that while it's fine for a Briton to criticize the preparations and country, it's a different matter for a foreigner to do so.  Barnes also notes that those most upset with the Governor's actions on the trip are the mainstream media elements who are clearly in the tank for Barack Obama - noting that what they termed gaffes (Jerusalem is the capital of Israel / cultural differences between Israel and Palestinian Authority) are nothing more than statements that upset the progressive ideological sympathies of the leftards in the press.

Oh, proclaiming Jerusalem is the capital of Israel is a gaffe?  Was it a gaffe, then, when candidate Barack Obama called Jerusalem the capital of Israel before backtracking on the point in 2008?
While campaigning for the presidency in 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama called Jerusalem the capital of Israel when addressing a pro-Israel audience, just as Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney did this week.

On June 4 of that year – one day after announcing he had secured the required number of delegates to win the Democratic nomination – Obama delivered a speech at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference.

Any negotiated agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, he said, “must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state with secure, recognized, defensible borders. And Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided.”
Once again, if it were not for double standards, the left would have no standards at all.

Mitt Romney pushed back at the media's obvious bias in a statement yesterday -
Mitt Romney on Tuesday accused the media of looking to protect President Obama by focusing on the GOP candidate’s high-profile gaffes during his week-long foreign tour rather than more substantive policy issues he discussed.

"I realize that there will be some in the fourth estate or in whichever estate who are far more interested in finding something to write about that is unrelated to the economy, to geo-politics, to the threat of war, to the reality of conflict in Afghanistan today, to a nuclearization of Iran," Romney told Fox News. "They'll instead try to find anything else to divert from the fact that these last four years have been tough years for our country."
Heh - we've been pointing that out for months.

Add this to yet another sign of the desperation that is gripping the Obama re-election campaign tighter and tighter, with the President adding even more fundraisers to his schedule.
The Obama campaign, worried about the growing cash advantage for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and the outside groups backing him, is adding a series of big money fundraisers to the president’s schedule in coming weeks.

It is also expected to add more fundraisers than usual after the Democratic Convention, which takes place Sept. 3-6, The Hill reports.

Obama already is amping up the money-raising itinerary. On Monday afternoon, he traveled to New York for dinner with 60 attendees that cost them $40,000 per person. Last week Obama combed for cash in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and several spots on the West Coast.
This is as the President has already held more fundraisers for his reelection than all five of his immediate predecessors have done combined for their reelection efforts.

The President and his Attorney General, Eric Holder, had their credibility take a hit as a Federal Judge in the District of Columbia confirmed that President Obama's political appointees in the Department of Justice did interfere with the prosecution of two New Black Panther party members on charges of voting intimidation.
Today a Federal DC Judge confirmed that President Obama's political appointees in the Department of Justice did in fact interfere with the prosecution of two New Black Panther party members after they were filmed outside of a Philadelphia polling place in 2008 wielding a billy club and intimidating voters. This is something the Justice Department has denied up to this point. More from the Washington Examiner:
The ruling came as part of a motion by the conservative legal watch dog group Judicial Watch, who had sued the DOJ in federal court to enforce a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents pertaining to the the New Black Panthers case. Judicial Watch had secured many previously unavailable documents through their suit against DOJ and were now suing for attorneys’ fees.

From the judge: The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ’s dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez’s testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision. Surely the public has an interest in documents that cast doubt on the accuracy of government officials’ representations regarding the possible politicization of agency decision-making.
In past Quick Hit editions, we've highlighted PJ Media's excellent series investigating the unprecedented level of politicization that has been taking place in the Obama / Holder Department of Justice.  Now, several political appointees of the President, including a major campaign bundler, now face serious risk of charges of perjury for their testimony under oath that was fundamentally false about the decision process within the DoJ to stop pursuing charges against these 2 members of the New Black Panther Party after they had been found guilty of voter intimidation.

Quietly, it was announced that the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and the Obama White House have reached an agreement on a 6 month continuing budget resolution to fund government operations at the start of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2012.

This marks yet another year without a formal budget and maintains the current spending levels - nearly 40% higher than they were in FY2007 and committing the country to yet another year of deficits exceeding $1 trillion.  More troubling, the agreement also postpones any steps to address the federal government spending or the very fiscally challenged entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

It's yet another reminder of just how important this November's election is - not only for the occupant of the White House, but for gaining conservative control of Congress.  Deficits exceeding $1 trillion cannot become the new 'normal'.

Yesterday, much of India was crippled by major electrical grind issues with knocked out power for 370 million people - more than the entire population of the United States.  Today, India's power problems not only continued but expanded as 20 of India's 28 states were without power - affecting 700 million people as electrical suppliers continue to struggle to meet the growing demand for electricity and the country faces infrastructure challenges.

Greece's Deputy Finance Minister warned the Eurozone that the country, which is fundamentally bankrupt, is 'on the brink' with its cash reserves at 'almost zero'.  The country is facing a major bond payment due at the end of August - and additional bailout funds from the 'Troika' are not expected to be forthcoming as Greece has failed to honor their commitments towards austerity as required in the last bailout package.  The country's economy remains in dire straits with high unemployment and shrinking GDP.  High unemployment is not unique to Greece as Spain's rate is nearly 25% and across the entire Eurozone, the rate has now hit a record level of 11.2%.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel received a setback in her efforts and desires to leverage German wealth to try to save the Euro and Eurozone as a new poll shows that the German people are losing faith in the struggling currency and union.
Angela Merkel was last night said to be ‘profoundly disturbed’ after a poll showed that a majority of Germans want to ditch the struggling euro. Sources in Berlin said the German chancellor was shocked by the evidence of growing Euroscepticism in her country, at a time when Germany is under huge pressure to bankroll a rescue of the single currency. The poll in a German newspaper found that 51 per cent of Germans think the country should return to the deutschmark. It is the first poll to show that more want to leave the euro than stay in it. Only 29 per cent thought Germany would be better off staying inside the 17-strong eurozone.
Today marks the 100th birthday of Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 94.  The Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore penned an excellent commentary on Milton Friedman, calling him 'The Man Who Saved Capitalism'...
In the 1960s, Friedman famously explained that "there's no such thing as a free lunch." If the government spends a dollar, that dollar has to come from producers and workers in the private economy. There is no magical "multiplier effect" by taking from productive Peter and giving to unproductive Paul. As obvious as that insight seems, it keeps being put to the test. Obamanomics may be the most expensive failed experiment in free-lunch economics in American history.

Equally illogical is the superstition that government can create prosperity by having Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke print more dollars. In the very short term, Friedman proved, excess money fools people with an illusion of prosperity. But the market quickly catches on, and there is no boost in output, just higher prices.

Next to Ronald Reagan, in the second half of the 20th century there was no more influential voice for economic freedom world-wide than Milton Friedman. Small in stature but a giant intellect, he was the economist who saved capitalism by dismembering the ideas of central planning when most of academia was mesmerized by the creed of government as savior.

Friedman was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for 1976—at a time when almost all the previous prizes had gone to socialists.
Yet, despite the common sense aspects of Friedman' approach towards economics, despite the number of examples that we have which provide real world proof that Keynesian / 'Free Lunch' economics do not work, we still have those who insist on doing the same thing again and again while expecting different results.

Today's case in point, the new French President, Francois Holland, who believes he was elected to be the CEO of French automaker Peugeot when he was elected to the French Presidency this past May...
Earlier this month PSA Peugeot Citroën announced it would shutter an assembly line in Aulnay-sous-Bois, north of Paris. Citing its high labor costs and sharp international competition, the company warned that some 8,000 jobs in France would have to go. Both President François Hollande and Minister of Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg declared the decision to be "unacceptable."

"The State won't let it happen," Mr. Hollande told a French television interviewer after Peugeot's announcement.

The main tactic so far has been to publicly rebuke Peugeot's management as "cheaters," with Hollande officials now accusing the company of concealing or even lying about its labor costs.

To fix all this, Messrs. Montebourg and Hollande have come up with the Socialist trifecta of bullying, subsidies and protectionism. That may be the easiest political gamble. But France's failure to adapt its economy to the modern world is real, and the consequences are now painfully obvious. Fixing the problem will take more than "green" spending sprees and blaming Asia.

The government so far has refused to consider basic economic principles and the cost of statism on industry. Until it does, it can't begin to helpfully address France's crisis of competitiveness. The Hollande administration, try as it might, simply cannot replace all private employers in France with senior civil servants, all willing consumers with taxpayer subsidies, and all private investment with state-run banks.

They should know this already. France has been here before, in 1981, when its last Socialist president set out to tax, spend and regulate his way to the centrally planned economy he thought best. By 1983, both financial markets and voters had forced President Mitterrand to change course.

Rather than meddling more in private industry, President Hollande and his administration might do better to learn the lessons of 1981 and consider their own job descriptions. Their role is to provide a fiscal and legal background for companies to thrive—and in these areas, France isn't lacking in work to be done, starting with the tax and labor codes.
Today in History

1715 – A hurricane strikes the east coast of Florida, sinking 10 Spanish treasure ships and killing nearly 1,000 people. All of the gold and silver onboard at the time would not be recovered until 250 years later.

1917 – The Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendale, is launched as 15 British and French divisions attacked entrenched German positions. After months of fighting, the offensive was called off and termed a victory by the British commander in chief, Sir Douglas Haig. During the offensive the British suffered some 310,000 casualties compared to 260,000 casualties on the German side. This remains one of the costliest and most controversial offensives of World War I.

1945 – Pierre Laval, the puppet leader of Vichy France, surrenders to American authorities in Austria, who extradite him to France to stand trial. Laval was convicted of treason by the French High Court of Justice and condemned to death. Laval attempted suicide by poison, but was nursed back to health in time for his execution in October 1945.

1975 – The President of the Teamsters, Jimmy Hoffa, disappears in Detroit, Michigan, never to be heard from again. Though popularity believed to be the victim of a Mafia hit, conclusive evidence was never found.

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