Sunday, September 2, 2012

Quick Hits - September 1, 2012

The Republican National Convention continues to reverberate in the news - and across the blogosphere.  One of the biggest elements are not the acceptance speeches of Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan... or the speeches of others at the RNC, Marco Rubio, Suzanna Martinez, Condi Rice, and Rand Paul - but the short 12 minute 'mystery guest' appearance by Hollywood icon, Clint Eastwood.

Here's the video of Eastwood's RNC speech -

As noted in yesterday's QH, the descriptions of Eastwood's performance ranged from two thumbs up to the bipolar rants of the vapid Bill Maher, who one point called Eastwood a comedic genius for pulling off a hilarious routine to calling Eastwood an a**hole for his empty chair depiction of the President.

Also adding to the drama around this was the thin-skinned response by the President's team, on his twitter account of 'This seat is taken...' along with a photo of the President....

What me worry?

No, that's not quite the right one either.

Now we're getting closer...

In 'Left of Lenin' Hollywood land, the Dear Leader's faithful are continuing to hyperventilate., a film site, published an editorial that defined Clint Eastwood's 12 minutes on the RNC stage as 'unforgivable' and employed the standard pejorative of the left this election season, 'racist'....
What Eastwood did was add fuel to a raging fire — of confusion, of desperation, of bitterness, of, yes, racism — that too many other civilized citizens already find impossible to put out.
As notes at the above link, Hollywood's liberal 'elite' are as thin skinned and feckless as the nattering nimrods of MSNBC are - who will cry 'racism' in a Pavlovian manner whenever a conservative speaks. also notes the absolute stunning level of standards that this screed demonstrates is commonplace in Hollywood.  This comes from the same industry and idiots who gave the admitted, and still on the run, child rapist, Roman Polanski a standing ovation at the Oscars - but use a Bob Newhart style comedy schtick from 1968 to poke fun at the 'Dear Leader', he's eviscerated by the left of Lenin crowd and called a 'racist'.  It tells us all we need to know about the values of Hollywood - and the left.

The 'empty chair' meme is going to be one of the strongest coming from the Republican National Convention.   We're already seeing this meme resonate - particularly when combined with another vintage Obamaism - 'Leading from Behind'. wasted little time in highlighting this when the President made a 'sudden' schedule change - and decide to visit the Louisiana areas hardest hit by Hurricane Issac on Monday.  Also noted, the fact that the President's schedule change just hours after GOP candidate Mitt Romney made a visit to the region.

But this change is also opening the President up to questions.  On Friday, the President was in Texas, adjacent to Louisiana.  Why didn't the President visit on either Friday or Saturday.  One of the rationales offered was of the logistical concerns of a Presidential visit - and the disruption such a visit on the assistance and recovery efforts taking place in the wake of massive flooding.

Interesting.  This was also the rationale offered by President George W. Bush when he was assailed from the left over Hurricane Katrina - but then it was insufficient.  Today, for President Barack Obama it apparently is.  As is making 7 campaign stops and holding 8 campaign events since Issac's landfall - while his acolytes castigated the GOP for holding their convention.  I wonder why he's not visiting on Sunday?  A tee-time?

Well, as they say, if it weren't for double standards, the left would have no standards at all.

CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux wondered on the air if Barack Obama's hastily rescheduled trip to Louisiana this Monday would permit the President to come across as more empathetic than Mitt Romney, who visited on Friday...

On the surface, just who appears more empathetic at this time?  Mitt Romney, whose first major decision after the Friday morning convention wrap appearance was to jet to Louisiana, bypassing several scheduled campaign events in swing states, or Barack Obama's continued campaigning across three swing states plus Texas (to tout 'his' decision to end military operations in Iraq that were already set by outgoing Bush(43)) before making a schedule change to visit in two more days?  I would venture to say that if the President wanted to appear 'empathetic' and supportive of the victims of Issac, he would have moved on Friday as well.

MSNBC demonstrated itself as a deranged, bigoted, and massively far left biased network with their coverage of the RNC 2012.  But their acts of stupidity didn't end with the convention.

After the official end of the RNC 2012 convention, a MSNBC Producer physically assaulted two men, presumably supporters of Mitt Romney, after the latter heckled the angry and rabid host, Chris Matthews, offsite - asking, 'Hey Chris, how's that tingle up your leg?' - referencing Matthews 2008 comment when he gushed on air that a Barack Obama speech sent a tingle up his leg.  The comment prompted the MSNBC Producer to walk over and begin to shove the heckler.

Matthews has a particularly thin skin about this.  Earlier this year, he lost his temper with a C-Span host who asked him about his vapid 2008 comment saying, 'I hope you feel satisfied that you raised the most obvious that is raised by every horse's ass right-winger I ever bump into.'

But that night's adventures with Matthews didn't end with the producer shoving hecklers...
Just hours after a producer for deranged MSNBC host Chris Matthews was accused of physically assaulting Republicans outside the party’s national convention last night, Matthews himself has admitted to verbally confronting several GOP delegates at a restaurant in Tampa, Florida calling them a “douchebag convention.”

According to The Hill newspaper, the perpetually angry liberal television host confronted the delegates early Friday morning following taunting questions they asked about whether he felt “thrilled” following GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech.
Stay classy....

Mark Steyn's Friday column focuses on the shameless and vapid accusations of racism that filled the airwaves by hard left progressives in the lamestream media - particularly the clueless collection of MSNBC noobs.  He called it the 'Racist Dog Whistle' and wonders why only true progressives are the only one's who can hear 'racism' throughout the RNC 2012...
And so it goes with American racism: The less there is, the more extravagantly the racism-awareness lobby patrols its beat. The Walmart carding clerks of the media are ever more alert to those who “appear to be” racist. On MSNBC, Chris Matthews declared this week that Republicans use “Chicago” as a racist code word. Not to be outdone, his colleague Lawrence O’Donnell pronounced “golf” a racist code word. When Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell observed that Obama was “working to earn a spot on the PGA tour,” O’Donnell brilliantly perceived that subliminally associating Obama with golf is racist, because the word “golf” is subliminally associated with “Tiger Woods,” and the word “Tiger” is not so subliminally associated with cocktail waitress Jamie Grubbs, nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel, lingerie model Jamie Jungers, former porn star Holly Sampson, etc., etc. So by using the word “golf” you’re sending a racist dog-whistle that Obama is a sex addict who reverses over fire hydrants.

… On the matter of those racist dog-whistles all these middle-aged white liberals keep hearing, the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto put it very well: “The thing we adore about these dog-whistle kerfuffles is that the people who react to the whistle always assume it’s intended for somebody else,” he wrote. “The whole point of the metaphor is that if you can hear the whistle, you’re the dog.” And a very rare breed at that. What frequency does a Mitch McConnell speech have to be ringing inside your head for even the most racially obsessed Caucasian MSNBC anchorman to hear the words “PGA tour” as “deep-rooted white insecurities about black male sexuality”? That’s way beyond dog-whistling, and somewhere between barking mad and frothing rabid.
This is in the 'read it all' category...

PJ Media's J. Christian Adams, a former DoJ official, has a superb commentary that really highlights not only how the GOP has started to move inside the Democrat / Progressive decision loop, but how those steps are bringing out the vitriol from the left...  It's because the GOP is now, as the Tea Party demonstrated, using the Alinsky rules against the Alinskyites...

For example, Rule #5 - Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.

Case in point - the empty chair.

Rule #12 - Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Case in point - Obama's and his dismal record - followed by the old question, "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?"

It's a compelling case.

Next week, the attention will shift to Charlotte, North Carolina and the Democrat National Convention 2012.  We''ll hear all kinds of spin about enthusiasm and a unified party.  We'll hear speeches that accuse the GOP of taking the country back to the same policies that created the 2008 fiscal crisis, and that the President needs more time to turn the economy around and move the country 'Forward'.  We'll see the class warfare meme of 'tax cuts for the wealthy' and accusations of a 'war on women' being waged.

But what is most telling to someone who is paying attention to these issues and the differences between the parties, is going to come from those who will be the key speakers at the DNC 2012 event.  Will those speakers be able to compare to Rubio, Christie, Martinez, Paul, Love, Rice, Ann Romney, Scott Walker, John Kasich?  Will they bring forward positive speakers who will highlight an optimistic vision for the country - and have a track record of delivering on those promises like the slate of GOP governors who spoke?

Hot Air took a look at the confirmed line-up of speakers at the DNC...
Out of a list of 75 or so names, here’s what I’ve got — and I’m stretching even on some of these, just so that I’ve got something.

– Cory Booker, who hasn’t held statewide office;

– Julian Castro, who also hasn’t held statewide office but apparently is the best Democrats can do by way of a Rubio-esque Latino political rising star;

– Tammy Baldwin, who’s far left even by the standards of the House Democratic caucus and is highly likely to lose to Tommy Thompson in this year’s Wisconsin Senate race;

– Kamala Harris, the AG of California and certified union stooge, who’ll likely follow Jerry Brown as Democratic administrator of the state’s Greece-like fiscal disintegration

That’s basically it. I’m a little curious to see Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, just because he’s scrapped with Chris Christie a few times. And of course there’s Fauxcahontas, the great liberal hope of the future, who’s already 63 and has run a sufficiently dismal campaign that she’s trailing Scott Brown in the bluest of blue states. Beyond that, it’s nothing but no-names; exhausted party retreads a la Pelosi and Kerry; Charlie Crist and Linc Chafee for comic relief; and a few NARAL/Planned Parenthood types to remind America what’s really important with unemployment still stuck above eight percent. That’s what’s on tap this year from the Party of Youth and Fresh Ideas.
The best that the Democrats can hope for, as far as I can see, is apathy.  Apathy in the voter to pay attention, and being in such apathy, that they will make up their mind in late October or early November based on the drumbeat of pro-Obama propaganda that will come flooding out of the mainstream media.

Of course, that message is also going to be countered from unexpected places.  Last week, appearing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Dennis Miller eviscerated the host when the Leno started talking politics and promoting the phony 'GOP War on Women' meme....
"At this point Biden's so silly they ought to put one of those plastic dog collars around his neck so he doesn't hurt himself," joked Miller. All "Jay the Joke Killer" could add was, "I like Joe." Ya, whaddya like him for, he gives you punch lines? Leno, save the punch lines for one of your mechanics---we'd like to have a VP that is actually competent and doesn't sound like he spent the last six years sparring Rampage Jackson without headgear.

It gets better.

Leno believes Republicans have a War on Women (he's not joking.) I always thought he was smarter than that; I knew Letterman wasn't, but I thought Leno was. Miller talked about how he likes Barack Obama's execution of the War on Terror (by maintaining the Bush Doctrine) and all Leno could say was, "I think he (Obama) has compassion for regular people, if the Republican Party is missing anything it's this sort of, War on Women."

Leno was serious about that. Let's just vote for the spirit of Mother Teresa, and we'll have everything we need there. We would have compassion taken care of, women taken care of, and Chicago's dearly departed could come out of the graves again and have a candidate they could relate to.

Miller's retort to Leno's "War" charge?

War on women? With Sandra Fluke? She’s 30, for God’s sake. She’s still in school. She wants me to kick in ten bucks a month for her birth control? Here, I’ll give you ten. Just shut up for a second, okay? [Cheers and applause] This woman, Jay, the war on women, for God’s sake.

Oh, it gets better still.

Leno then brings up Rep. Todd Akin and claims that "[Akin] was saying what the [Republican] platform is ... it shows what many believe."

Jay, stick to car jokes. Your politics are about as funny as four missing lug nuts on your Duesenberg SG.

Miller capped off his spectacular appearance by saying of Obama, "it's been an inept four years." "I wanna help the helpless, but I don't give a rat's ass about the clueless anymore, Jay."

Did I mention that the feckless Sandra Fluke is a scheduled speaker at the DNC?

PJ Media's Michael Ledeen has a strong commentary that highlights the intellectual bankruptcy of the progressives today...
If you’re one of those leftists, unable to sort out how the world works nowadays and unable to win an honest debate with your political and intellectual opponents, it makes you very angry, and you lash out at them with a violence that often surprises observers who are less engaged in the political or intellectual wars. The left has died as an intellectual force worth taking seriously. Its mission belongs to another time. It is reduced to fighting for political power alone, and its weapons are what we recently called “the politics of personal destruction.” It’s the only way they can hope to win. None of us should be surprised when the leftists accuse the righties of pushing old women off of cliffs, or murdering cancer-afflicted employees, or waging war on women, and so forth. They have to destroy their opponents one by one. They no longer have a “movement” of any significance.

That’s what happens when you become an anachronism. For me, the greatest line of the week was Ryan’s, the one about the fading Obama poster on the wall of an unemployed young American.

Once upon a time, the left was able to lay claim to intellectual and moral superiority, and to look at the conservatives with imperious disdain. No more. Their heroes are fading to the point where a cultural icon, from Hollywood of all places, sees that the seat of authority is entirely empty, and that it’s time to just let its nominal occupant go. Away.
Beyond, the politics, domestic economics also deserves some attention as yesterday, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, speaking in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, made a strong case for the Fed to take up a third round of Quantitative Easing (QE) after the mid-September Fed meetings to stimulate the economy...
Fed Chairman Bernanke, speaking Friday at the central bank's annual retreat here, offered a vigorous defense of the Fed's $2.3 trillion in bond purchases since 2008, estimating they helped lead to more than two million jobs—and signaled that he is strongly considering another installment.

"Central bank securities purchases have provided meaningful support to the economic recovery," he said adding later that, "we should not rule out the further use of such policies if economic conditions warrant."

… Skeptics inside the Fed and out have deep concerns about whether the monetary policies that so far have failed to deliver strong growth could fuel higher inflation, financial instability or a damaging drop in the value of the dollar. Mr. Bernanke delivered point-by-point rebuttals of these and other concerns.

However, if this was Mr. Bernanke's closing argument in the case for more easing, it likely left many skeptics unpersuaded. Wall Street analysts estimate that a $500 billion bond-buying program might help bring the unemployment rate down by a few tenths of a percentage point at most.

"The Fed is at a point where another round of quantitative easing would be a mistake," said Martin Feldstein, a Harvard University professor and former economic adviser to President Ronald Reagan.
The two previous rounds of QE did some minor stimulation of the economy - but also caused additional damage to the economy with the weakening of the US dollar and increasing inflation (which is greater than the 'official' numbers we are being told).  But interestingly, Ben Bernanke had some very specific data claims that the previous QE resulted in - claims that do not reflect well on Barack Obama's campaign rhetoric around the economy...
In his Jackson Hole, Wyoming presentation today, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, as reported by Paul Wiseman at the Associated Press, made the following claim in connection with the Fed's programs of "quantitative easing" (QE): "Bernanke argued Friday that collectively, such measures have succeeded. He cited research showing that two rounds of QE (quantitative easing) had created 2 million jobs and accelerated U.S. economic growth."

I'm not inclined to automatically believe Big Ben's word. But if he's right, and if the allegedly positive effects of QE started being felt at about the time the recession ended, that would mean that the fiscal policies of the Obama administration are responsible for the remnant. Of course, Wiseman at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, didn't ask the next logical question, so I will. Guess how big that remnant is?
For many, there are numerous concerns about the words of the Fed Chair - particularly as it seems that the Federal Reserve is evolving from being a Central Bank for the United States, to becoming the central economic planner for the United States...
But the Fed has crossed a bright line. Open-market operations do not have direct fiscal consequences, or directly allocate credit. That was the price of the Fed's independence, allowing it to do one thing—conduct monetary policy—without short-term political pressure. But an agency that allocates credit to specific markets and institutions, or buys assets that expose taxpayers to risks, cannot stay independent of elected, and accountable, officials.

In addition, the Fed is now a gargantuan financial regulator. Its inspectors examine too-big-to-fail banks, come up with creative "stress tests" for them to pass, and haggle over thousands of pages of regulation. When we think of the Fed 10 years from now, on current trends, we're likely to think of it as financial czar first, with monetary policy the boring backwater.

A revealing example of where we are going emerged last spring, admirably documented on the Fed's website. Using its bank-regulation authority, the Fed declared that the banks that had robo-signed foreclosure documents were guilty of "unsafe and unsound processes and practices"—though robo-signing has nothing to do with the banks taking too much risk.

The Fed then commanded that the banks provide $25 billion in "mortgage relief," a simple transfer from bank shareholders to mortgage borrowers—though none of these borrowers was a victim of robo-signing.

The Fed even commanded that the banks give money to "nonprofit housing counseling organizations, approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development." Why? Many at the Fed see mortgage write-downs as an effective tool to stimulate the economy. The Fed simply used its regulatory power to help meet that policy goal.
Don't we have enough lessons from history that show us that centralized economic planning doesn't work?

Today in History

1807 - Former Vice President Aaron Burr was acquitted of charges of treason against the United States for plotting to annex parts of Louisiana and Mexico to create a new country.  He was acquitted on the grounds that while he had conspired against the U.S., it was not an 'overt act' - a requirement of the law governing treason.

1864 - The Union Army commanded by General William Tecumseh Sherman captures the strategic Confederate city of Atlanta.

1923 - Approximately 100,000 people were killed in a major earthquake striking Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan.

1939 - At 440am local time, 1.5 million German soldiers invade Poland and launching the Second World War.  Britain and France are faced with the decision to honor their guarantee of Poland's independence made in March, 1939 and declare war on Germany or to back down on their promise.  These nations would not declare war until September 3rd.

1983 - A Korean Air jetliner, KAL007, on the last leg of a NYC to Seoul flight, drifted 200 miles off course and crossed into Russian airspace over the military sensitive area of the Kamchatka Peninsula.  The Soviets dispatched 2 fighters to investigate - one of which fired a heat seeking air to air missile at the jetliner.  Hit by the missile, the airliner spun into the Sea of Japan killing all 269 on board the aircraft.  Global outrage followed directed that the USSR.  This was the second time that the Soviet Union had shot down a KAL jetliner.

1985 - A joint U.S. and French expedition led by Robert Ballard locates the wreck of the RMS Titanic about 400 miles east of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic.

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