Saturday, September 15, 2012

Quick Hits - September 14 & 15, 2012

Radical fundamentalist Muslims continue to demonstrate and wage violence against symbols of the United States throughout the Middle East - ranging from US fast food restaurants in Lebanon to US Embassies and Consulates in nearly a dozen Muslim nations.  A number of these attacks resulted in successful breaches of several US Embassies where the US flag was taken down and desecrated while the black flag of al-Qaeda was raised in its place.

As Red State's Erick Erickson noted in a tweet yesterday, 'I long for the days before YouTube when our embassies weren't stormed in the Middle East.'

Through WH Press Flack, Jay Carney, the official message of the WH remains that the once obscure video, posted on YouTube in June, are the cause for the protests, demonstrations, and attacks against the US diplomatic facilities across Northern Africa and the Middle East.  The Administration says they requested Google, the parent company of YouTube, to remove the video, but Google refused to comply.

All of this spin and focus by the Administration on a YouTube video that had, on 9/11/12 fewer viewers than demonstrators in Cairo is little more than a reinforcement of the incompetence and naivete of the Obama Administration when it comes to its foreign policy agenda in the region and with the radical Islamic elements that remain active in waging jihad against the US and Western Civilization despite the claims that the 'War on Terror' is effectively over.

British papers, The Telegraph and The Independent, are reporting that US intelligence had warnings from both Egypt and Libya that actions were being planned against US diplomatic facilities timed around the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.  The Administration is vehemently denying these reports, yet, in these denials, they are continuing to demonstrate little more than deeper incompetence and seeing things only as they want them to be as opposed to seeing things as they are.

Even US intelligence has indicated that the Benghazi consulate attack which resulted in the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans was pre-planned and unrelated to the anti-Muslim YouTube video.  That consulate had been the target before of an IED attack, and other Western diplomats were targeted in at least 3 other attacks during the past summer.

Warnings were also received of expected 9/11 anniversary demonstrations in Egypt, where the 9/11 truther Muslim Brotherhood President, Mohammed Morsi, turned a blind eye and permitted violent demonstrators to storm the US Embassy and replace the US flag with the black flag of al-Qaeda.  This apparently finally prompted President Obama to reach out directly to President Morsi and remind Morsi that in order to continue to receive billions in US aid, including a new plan for the US, which is borrowing $1.2 trillion this year, to borrow an additional $1 billion to cover forgiving $1 billion of Egypt's debt to the US, Morsi must deploy Egyptian military and security forces to protect the US.

This prompted the Egyptian government to embrace the usual double-standard of operations we used to see exclusively from the Palestinian Authority - using social media in English to discourage demonstrations against the US while Arabic language social media messages encouraged demonstrations against the US in Tahir Square.

In a clear effort to continue to try to spin this foreign policy crisis away from affecting the Presidential campaign, the Obama campaign and elements of the mainstream media remain fixated on the YouTube movie and Mitt Romney's statement on the storming of the US Embassy in Cairo released about 15 hours after the Embassy was overrun.  Even though we now know that Obama Administration, the State Department in Washington DC, and Mitt Romney denounced the multiple messages released by the US Embassy in Cairo that condemned the creators of the video, apologized for the US having First Amendment free speech rights, and empathized with those who stormed the Embassy, apparently the fact that Romney did so before the Obama Administration reflects that Romney is not ready to be President.

It's an asinine partisan argument - but all that the President's team can do as conditions move outside of their beliefs and ability to effectively manage.... as well as demonstrating that the President is far more interested and concerned with his reelection than protecting the US diplomatic personnel and facilities or confronting an evil.

We should be able to clearly see that the ongoing violence in the region is a planned and coordinated effort by radical Islamic jihadists - in government and in non-governmental organizations like Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and their offshoots, that was designed to operate on and around the 11th anniversary of the 'victory' over the 'Great Satan', in response to the drone attacks of the Administration on key terror leaders in Yemen and Pakistan, and to take advantage of a feckless Administration that has its attention focused on a reelection campaign and not the war that is being waged.

How important is reelection to Barack Obama?  In the midst of the ceremony held yesterday at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington DC where the bodies of the four Americans killed in Benghazi were returned to the US, Barack Obama's official twitter account sent out a tweet suggesting the followers of the President's twitter account support his reelection by buying campaign sweatshirts.

Yesterday we also got another reminder that the Administration's domestic and economic policies are as feckless as their foreign policies.  In the wake of the announcement on the 12th by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that the Fed was embarking on an open-ended $40 billion / month third round of quantitative easing in order to stimulate a stagnating national economy, credit rating companies Standard & Poors and Egan Jones took another round of steps downgrading the US credit rating.

Last fall, in the wake of the failure of the debt ceiling talks to implement a competent plan to bring fiscal responsibility to the US, both of these credit companies downgraded the US from the AAA top level of credit worthiness.  This was the first time in US history where it had been downgraded from the top credit level.  S&P announced that it was downgrading the US again, this time from AAA- to AA+ as Egan Jones downgraded the country from AA- to AA.

Both cited the continuing fiscal irresponsibility of the United States as being core to their decisions to downgrade in addition to doubts that a third round of open-ended quantitative reasoning being an effective economic stimulant.  They noted that the US continues to have an annual budget deficit of over $1.1 trillion,  about 8% of GDP, while the country has a Debt to GDP ratio of 104% - and is trending to increase to 110% over the next 6 months.  Government spending remains in the range of 24% of GDP - a record post World War II.  The Democrat controlled Senate has not passed a budget in over 3 1/2 years - and we're functioning on continuing resolutions that maintain the irresponsible government spending established in 2009-10.  The President offers no leadership either.  His budget proposal does nothing to address spending or debt - and was unanimously defeated in the House 0-414, and in the Senate 0-97.

But in this Presidential election campaign - where is the objective reporting of the downgrades or the dismal fiscal condition this Administration and their Congressional lackeys have placed us in.

One thing about progressives - they have no real compulsion with doubling down on failure.  The first attempt, or first dozen attempts fail - it's not because of a failed policy, but because the brilliant and perfect solution just wasn't implemented properly.  Even with the will of the voter speaks - that's not sufficient to overturn a progressive agenda item because the people are just to damn stupid to know what is brilliant - and then unelected and unaccountable judges need to step in to 'right wrongs'.

We saw this in California over the debate on same-sex marriage.  After a plurality of Californian voters voted to define in the State Constitution that marriage is defined as being between one man and one woman, a gay judge ruled under the equal provision clause that this was wrong and threw out the results of the will of the people.

This same overreach is taking place once again in Wisconsin - but not to facilitate same-sex marriage.  In Wisconsin, a progressive judge has overturned the Wisconsin law passed in 2011 by the state legislature and  signed into law by Governor Scott Walker, which removed collective bargaining 'rights' from public sector unions.  This law was a cornerstone of the Walker plan to restore not only the state's fiscal condition, but to also turn around the fiscal condition of hundreds of Wisconsin school districts which were being raped by Wisconsin's teachers unions.

In 2011, to oppose the law, Democrats in Wisconsin's legislature fled the state.  Public sector unions led massive demonstrations, including 'occupying' the state capital building and causing significant damage to the facility.  After the legislation was signed into law by Scott Walker, the progressives launched a series of recall elections - appealing to the people of Wisconsin to toss out 'vulnerable' Legislative Republicans.  The voters of Wisconsin voted to keep the GOP in the majority.  Then a recall election was launched against the Governor, Lt. Governor, and several other GOP Senators in the legislation.  This was also defeated by the people in Wisconsin as they saw that the law was responsible for the state's significantly improved economic conditions.

In June 2011, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the legislation was constitutional and overturned a Wisconsin judge's ruling which invalidated the law on a procedural technicality.  Yesterday, just three months after a state-wide election to decide on the validity of the law, another Dane County judge in Wisconsin tossed out the primary elements of the law and invalidated it.

This latest judicial overstep rules that the while workers do not have a constitutional right to collective bargaining, the laws restrictions on public sector unions denied them equal protection / equal rights that are available to non-union workers.  As is commonplace in equal protection arguments, the jurists assume wide latitude in interpretations - even when the legislation they dislike legally limits that discretion.  [It's fundamentally no different than what President Obama did with his Executive Order undoing 1996's Welfare Reform legislation.  That legislation specifically defined what work requirements were needed and that only Congress could change the provisions.  Obama decided to ignore that via his XO.  It's all about the progressive will - not the will of the people.]

So, as is now commonplace, despite the decisions of the elected representatives of the people, despite the vote of the people expressing their will, one person has decided that they know better.

Just as the Supreme Court overturned the last example of judicial overreach in Dane County, this one will be overturned as well.  But what does it say about the progressive attitude towards governance or judicial activism?

The will of the people apparently only counts when they support the progressive agenda.  Without the will of the people, then all that counts is the will and interest of the progressive.  This is, as Jonah Goldberg termed it, liberal fascism.

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