Monday, September 24, 2012

Quick Hits - September 19, 2012

Back in catch-up mode for posts....

The primary meme from the feckless mainstream media is the latest of the monumental 'gaffes' that have doomed the Presidential aspirations of Mitt Romney and ensure that 'The One' will be reelected.  This latest is a video tape of a Romney fundraiser from last May released and promoted by the hard left 'Mother Jones' organization and the equally rabid left David Corn who claim that it 'ends the Romney campaign'.  In the video, Mitt Romney tells the audience of contributors that 47% of the country does not pay federal income taxes and that those preferring to receive and exist on government entitlements are going to vote for Barack Obama.

But there is a kerfuffle behind the video.  Close examination of the video shows that it suddenly ends effectively mid-statement as Romney makes his case - as the candidate later described, 'inelegantly'.  The video then picks up at least a minute or two later.

How inelegant was Mitt Romney in that answer?  With the missing materials, what really is the full context of his statement?  After all, when we see the Romney campaign hammer Obama on things like 'You didn't build that...', the immediate hew and cry is that the evil Romney campaign has taken the President out of context and is misrepresenting the President's entire meaning.

Seeking the full context, the Romney campaign demanded that David Corn and 'Mother Jones' release the full unedited tape so that the voters can see the context and decide on their own.  Corn and 'Mother Jones' then responded that they did release the full tape - but subsequent information that is coming out today shows that their claim that they have released the full tape is nothing but a flagrant lie...because they released all they had and the person who made the tape at the fundraiser had a 'technical challenge' during that portion of the Governor's remarks.

When GOP activist filmmaker James O'Keefe took hidden videos that devastated Planned Parenthood as well as the ease with which voter fraud could be committed in New Hampshire during the Presidential primaries, we heard all of the whinging over 'context', 'selective editing', and related accusations to deflect what we were seeing and protect some progressive organizations and memes.  Through, the full unedited videos were released.  They reflected in the light of full 'context' that there was no selective editing and that the accusations / points highlighted were not only in context, but if anything, full context made the actions even more of a concern.

Yet there is little to no outcry over Mother Jones and David Corns blatant lies about their video - saying the video offered was complete and unedited when it is clearly edited either by deliberate action or by a technical glitch.

Rather than address what is a complete journalistic ethical violation almost as brazen as Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, and CBS News using fraudulent documents to smear a Republican President just a few weeks before Election Day, the sycophants in the mainstream media embrace another 'Fake, but accurate' meme to support a Democrat incumbent President unable to get 50% support except in the most cooked polls.

Both CNN and ABC focused on hyping the Romney tape as a 'monumental gaffe' and a 'political earthquake'...

Not holding back, Sawyer hyped, "Today there was a political earthquake in the presidential race and all because of a small camera secretly recording from the side of a room."

A political earthquake? ABC's over-the-top language started earlier in the day on Tuesday. Good Morning America's hosts pushed the "bombshell rocking" the campaign that is sending out "shock waves."

Later on World News, Sawyer introduced reporters Jon Karl and Jake Tapper to "bring us two perspectives on this seismic day."

Karl highlighted Rush Limbaugh suggesting, "This is such an opportunity to espouse conservatism and to explain. And we know Romney's got it in him because of what he said to these people."

Tapper, it should be pointed out, made the connection to 2008 comments by Barack Obama about small town voters. The then-candidate suggested "because of tough economic circumstances, they get bitter. They cling to religion and guns and xenophobia."
Are nearly half of Americans so beholden to entitlements that they will vote for the candidate who promises to expand entitlements regardless of the national fiscal status?  Or are so many of Middle America just 'bitter' clingers who focus on religion, guns, and xenophobia?

Let's look at who pays federal income tax in chart that is the specific claim made by Romney.

46.4% of Americans do not pay federal income taxes.  But 28.3% do pay payroll taxes which are based on income.  10.3% are elderly, 6.9% have incomes less than $20,000, and 0.9% are in other categories.

Romney's claim is that 47% don't pay federal income taxes.  This is true.  But the spin is to read between the lines and as Romney goes on to talk about the cycles of dependency that growing entitlements have created with a growing number of our population - he is not making the case that all 47% fit into this group.  But he is raising a core issue with conservatives - that government is getting too big and too active in expanding entitlements well beyond those of a temporary safety net.  He is also looking back at the record and perceptions that come from the War on Poverty that was launched in the mid-1960's as part of President Lyndon Johnson's 'Great Society'.  He is also looking at a very progressive and bloated federal income tax code that is in desperate need of a major reform - a reform that he proposes results in fewer deductions, fewer tax loopholes, lower tax rates at all levels and a broader tax base than one of just 53.6% of the population - most likely with a minimum federal income tax payment so that all 'have skin in the game'.

Zerohedge, the financial blog, has a superb post at this LINK that highlights all anyone needs to know about who pays what in federal taxes in the United States.  A sample of some of the materials:

The top 1% of income earners in this country earn 17% of the all the income earned - but pay 37% of the federal income taxes.  The next 4% (2%-5%) of income earners,earn 15% of all of the income earned, but pay 22% of the federal income taxes.  So, the top 5% of wage earners account for 32% of the total income earned, but pay 59% of the federal income tax burden.  This is the definition of a progressive income tax.

Federal income taxes on individuals is the primary source of revenue for the federal government.  The second largest is the payroll taxes - which is supposed to be funding Social Security Insurance.  Then comes other taxes and fees.  All told in 2011, based on this chart, the Federal Government brought in $2.3 trillion in revenues.  It spent far, far, far more than it brought in - which is why we have the deficit and debt challenges that we currently do.

The progressives, led by President Obama, say we need to increase taxes in the name of 'fairness', 'social justice', and increase federal revenues.  But there is a problem with this approach...

Where Mitt Romney did little more than talk about the conservative viewpoint about the problems we face, a dramatically growing federal government, a massive expansion of the entitlement state, a growing cycle of dependency - and the willingness of these people to vote for those who promise to continue / expand that path as opposed to voting for those who seek to reign in government, spending, and entitlements to provide a temporary safety net for those in need, Barack Obama is doing the exact same with his vision for not only expanding government, entitlements, but in his core belief of 'wealth redistribution' which was highlighted earlier this week in QH.  In that audio from 1998, Barack Obama directly says he is 'all for' wealth redistribution.

That's the President's appeal to progressives and the progressive base.  It's fundamentally wrong and against traditional American values, but he's expressing his point of view just as Romney expressed his.  But because the nattering nitwits in the mainstream media are primarily progressives first, and the race is close, they toss their journalistic integrity out of the window to spin the story.

Unsurprisingly, NBC / MSNBC are leading the way in bias and stupid - this time coming from the increasingly shrill Andrea Mitchell....

Yes, that is Mitchell's 'official' position...

What makes this clearly an example of Mitchell's lack of ethics and shilling for Obama is that NBC's Chuck Todd had already aired it on MSNBC earlier in the day.  Both Jay Carney, the WH Press Flack and Ben LaBolt, the Obama Campaign Press Flack have confirmed its Barack Obama.  They aren't trying to spin or run away from the fact that Barack Obama wants wealth redistribution.

The real story here is not Mitt Romney's comments made at the May fundraiser.  He is stating a problem and advocating a conservative solution to the problem - and noting that the entitlement society makes it harder and harder for conservatives to get elected. [Look at Greece or Italy or France - when faced with austerity or maintaining the course assuming that someone else will pony up the cash - many voters prefer to keep taking 'free' money from the government as opposed to austerity.]

The story also is not Barack Obama advocating an expansion of government and an expansion of government entitlements and services - he believes that the wealthy have enough money for themselves as well as nearly everyone else....and that the role of government is to ensure that their wealth is given to those in 'need'.

This is what the 2012 election is about.

It is about, as Barack Obama above calls for in 1995, 'Democracy with a small 'd'' while pushing for a society based on collectivism and the 'common good'.  Where unions and collective bargaining encapsulates the 'common good' and previews the message of his 2012 campaign by urging society to collectively move 'Forward'...

Has the mainstream media aired this video of Barack Obama and his 'real' beliefs?

Of course not.

They will not even how photos of the 18 foot tall  Champagne bar that was the focal point of Obama's Beyonce / Jay-Z fundraiser in NYC because, as the NY Post notes in their report of the fundraiser, the campaign is prohibiting photos of the club before / during the fundraiser.  But courtesy of the UK's Daily Mail...which also notes that the tower, with the $800 per bottle of champagne, is worth more than twice the median US income...

In other news, the United States drops 10 spots in the latest ratings of Economic Freedom to 18th place, it's lowest position ever on the rating.  Canada moves into the top 5, tying Australia.

Countdown for blaming this on George W. Bush..... 5, 4, 3, 2, .....

Speaking about blaming George W. Bush, what does it say about the President who increased the national debt by the largest amount of any President in our history, and larger than the first 41 President's combined - and doesn't know what the current debt level is and lies about the source of this level of debt?

This Day in History

1777 – The First Battle of Saratoga is fought – largely to a draw, although the British held the field, the Americans had inflicted more than double the casualties on the British than they suffered. Battle was notable for the massive disagreement between the American commanders – General Horatio Gates in command, and General Benedict Arnold, his second in command. While many in the army attributed the successes of this day to Arnold, Gates did not mention Arnold at all in his reports to Congress and the Governor of New York. This led to a massive argument, and Gates relieving Arnold of his command. {This is said to be the start of Arnold’s considerations to change sides – which he would do in 1780}

The second Battle of Saratoga would be fought October 7 and result in a major American victory. The victory would also convince France to recognize the US and join in the fight against the British.

1881 – 80 days after being shot while walking through a railroad waiting room in Washington DC by a failed office seeker, President James Garfield dies from complications of the wound and blood poisoning. Vice President Chester A. Arthur would be inaugurated as the 21st President of the United States on the 20th.

1957 – A 1.7 KT nuclear device is detonated in an underground tunnel at the Nevada Test Site, a research facility about 65 miles north of Las Vegas – it is the first underground nuclear test – and produced no radioactive fallout.

1985 – 8.0 Earthqauke strikes Mexico City, destroying 400 buildings and killing up to 40,000 people.

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