Friday, October 12, 2012

Quick Hits - October 10, 2012

James O'Keefe, the activist filmographer whose undercover videos of a number of ACORN offices led to the outcry demanding the end of taxpayer funds being used to subsidize this partisan political organization, has released a new undercover video which shows a paid Obama campaign aide, a Director for Organizing for America, working to facilitate voting fraud...

J. Christian Adams, a former DoJ attorney from the Civil Rights Division of the DoJ, writes in his PJ Media column about the above footage...
The video, produced by independent journalist James O’Keefe, also shows Democratic activists helping register in New York an undercover reporter who says he’s going to vote twice — in Minnesota and in New York.

But the most arresting footage shows an Organizing for America staffer in the group’s Houston office providing a video journalist with an application to request a Florida mail-in ballot, even though the journalist has made it clear she intends also to vote in Texas.

O’Keefe, whose Project Veritas organization produced the video, identified the OFA staffer as Stephanie Caballero. Documents reviewed by, and included in the video, indicate that Caballero is on the payroll of the Democratic National Committee.

When the undercover reporter declares that she intends to vote twice in the general election, Caballero laughs. She asks the reporter, “Are you going to do what I think you’re going to do?”

“Well,” the reporter replies, “I mean, if no one’s going to know . . . .”

Caballero laughs and replies, “You’re so hilarious.”

“I have several friends who have done that and they said that it’s no problem so I figure . . . no one knows,” the undercover reporter says.

In response, the campaign worker seems to suggest that the legal problem of voting in two states is less important than the practical problem of what to say if you’re caught voting twice: “Come up with like, if anyone checks, say, ‘I don’t know.’”

“You can’t vote twice in a federal election,” said J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department elections lawyer and author of “Injustice,” a best-selling novel about voter fraud. “Obviously, this Stephanie Caballero doesn’t find it as offensive as I do that someone may be planning to vote twice.”

Specifically, Adams said, voting twice violates 42 U.S.C.1973i (e).

“It’s absolutely illegal to help someone double vote,” said Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He cited 42 U.S.C.1973gg-10.
One of the standard 'facts' provided by those on the left who oppose the passage / enforcement of Voter ID legislation or the regular review of voter registration lists to purge them of illegal voters, is that voter fraud is not a widespread problem.

This is a clear case of believing what they want to see (since voter fraud is most often conducted for and benefits progressive / democrat candidates) as opposed to addressing the evidence that voter fraud is far more commonplace than the far too few prosecutions reflect.  We know there are thousands who commit voter fraud in the manner depicted in the video - as well as those organizations who register voters to vote knowing full well that those persons are not legally permitted to vote because they are not US citizens.  [I've seen this first hand as a pro-Democrat organization tried to get me to register as a Democrat before I became a naturalized US citizen.  They only balked when I asked to register as a Republican.  When brought to the attention of the county registrar - nothing was done.]

We've seen clear cases of voter fraud changing the results of elections - ranging from the Governor's race in Washington to the Senate race in Minnesota in 2008.  There are counties across key swing states that have more registered voters on their rolls than they have total residents.  This isn't even O'Keefe's first effort at highlighting this - in January of this year, he highlighted how easy it was to commit voter fraud in the New Hampshire primary election.

Last week, I highlighted the tweet from former General Electric Chairman and CEO, Jack Welch, raising valid questions about the September jobs report numbers as cooked by the Department of Labor.  Today, Welch writes a column for the Wall Street Journal spiking the football over his questions about that jobs report....
Even if the BLS had a perfect process, the context surrounding the 7.8% figure still bears serious skepticism. Consider the following:

In August, the labor-force participation rate in the U.S. dropped to 63.5%, the lowest since September 1981. By definition, fewer people in the workforce leads to better unemployment numbers. That's why the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1% in August from 8.3% in July.

Meanwhile, we're told in the BLS report that in the months of August and September, federal, state and local governments added 602,000 workers to their payrolls, the largest two-month increase in more than 20 years. And the BLS tells us that, overall, 873,000 workers were added in September, the largest one-month increase since 1983, during the booming Reagan recovery.

These three statistics—the labor-force participation rate, the growth in government workers, and overall job growth, all multidecade records achieved over the past two months—have to raise some eyebrows. There were no economists, liberal or conservative, predicting that unemployment in September would drop below 8%.

I know I'm not the only person hearing these numbers and saying, "Really? If all that's true, why are so many people I know still having such a hard time finding work? Why do I keep hearing about local, state and federal cutbacks?"
Well, I suppose if one is so delusional as to believe that they won last week's Presidential debate, he would be delusional enough to believe in that September's jobs report, that the stimulus worked, that he saved the auto industry, and using Big Bird in political advertisements, against the wishes of Sesame Street, are the best  courses of action.

Um, perhaps not.  Let's ask ourselves this question - When your campaign strategery loses Matt Lauer, Chris Matthews, Bob Shrum, and earns four Pinocchios from the Washington Posts' sycophantic 'fact-checker', where exactly does that leave you?

This morning on NBC's Today Show, Matt Lauer grilled Obama campaign adviser (Baghdad) Bob Gibbs asking him, 'Is that the kind of political ad that a campaign releases when it feels that it has ideas and solutions on its side, or is that the kind of political ad a campaign releases when it simply wants to get attention?"

Richard Fernandez has blogged for years at The Belmont Club - and is one of my favorite daily reads.  What makes Richard a compelling blogger / writer is the links and examples he brings to highlight the key theme that he is trying to make in his daily posts.  Today, Richard looks at the state of the Obama campaign before and after the October 3rd Presidential debate and uses an example from history that highlights not only the differences of before and now in the campaign, but one of the key reasons why we are seeing progressives in full panic mode as the Obama campaign is reeling.

The historical link that Richard uses is brilliant.  He looks at the effects of the 'victory disease' on the actions of the Japanese in August 1942 and how their being inflicted by this disease over the time from Pearl Harbor (December 1941) to the devastating defeat at Midway (June 1942) led them to make even more catastrophic failures during their response to the US invasion of Guadalcanal in August 1942 which did turn the tide of the Pacific War against them and made their defeat inevitable.

The overconfidence of the Japanese, in this case Colonel Ichiki and his 28th Infantry Regiment, the first combat unit sent to attempt to retake the airfield on Guadalcanal from the Marines of the 1st Marine Division, led to the Battle of Tenyru where US Marines utterly destroyed the attack of Ichiki and his 800+ men and held onto what would become known as Henderson Field.

Richard notes the similarity between Ichiki's 'victory disease' and that of the Obama campaign - setting up a possible scenario to the October 3rd debate being the political equivalent of Midway, and the actions of the Obama campaign now, and in the near future, are going to be affected by their being infected by the 'victory disase' - leading to a series of missteps that will only confirm to all that the tide has turned and that Mitt Romney will be the victor on November 6th.

What makes this work is that this is how human nature does work....and history will repeat itself.

Yesterday, writing in the National Review Online, Victor Davis Hanson writes about the bankrupt state of California...
California has the nation’s highest gas taxes and fuel prices, and the tightest supplies — and reputedly one of the worst-maintained infrastructures, with out-of-date, overcrowded, and poorly maintained freeways. When I head home each week from Palo Alto, I feel like an Odysseus fighting modern-day Lotus Eaters, Cyclopes, and Laestrygonians to reach Ithaka, wondering what obstacle will sidetrack me this trip — huge potholes, entire sections of the freeway reduced to one lane, or various poorly marked detours? If the nation’s highest gas taxes give us all that, what might the lowest bring?

Although the state is facing a $16 billion annual budgetary shortfall, Governor Brown is determined to press ahead with high-speed rail — estimated to cost eventually over $200 billion. Such is his zeal that he intends to override the environmental lawsuits that usually stymie private projects for years. The line is scheduled to pass a few miles from my farm, its first link connecting Fresno and Corcoran, home to the state prison that houses Charles Manson.

Yet a money-losing Amtrak line already connects Fresno and Corcoran.

California schools rate among the nation’s lowest in math and English, but our shrinking numbers of teachers are among the country’s highest paid. One-third of the nation’s welfare recipients live in California, and 8 out of the last 11 million people added to the California population are enrolled in Medicaid, but we are also the most generous state in sending remittances to foreign countries — we contribute a third to a half of the estimated $50 billion that leaves the U.S. each year for Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. It is puzzling in the small towns of the San Joaquin Valley to see both federal and state medical centers and nearby offices that specialize in cash transfers to Mexico. But no one seems to see any disconnect between the public need for free health care and the private desire to send money to Mexico.
This is an accurate description of California - a once golden state now tarnished from decades of progressive leadership and policies.  In my sample ballot for the November election for LA County, which I received today, there are 11 state wide propositions and 3 county propositions that I'm asked to vote on in addition to the political offices.  Two of these state propositions, 30 and 38, are appeals from Governor Jerry Brown and the progressive apparatus of California to the voter to increase taxes on the resident's of California, already among the highest in the nation, to raise an estimated $8 billion in additional state revenues to cover a $16 billion (now -and growing) deficit.

I've laughed at the logic of a $8 billion 'revenue increase' as being presented as sufficient to fill a $16 billion hole - it's what the progressive call so often 'math'....which has no relationship to either math or reality.  But it allows them to kick the can down the road a little longer with the appearance of doing something to 'fix' a problem they caused - and have no real interest in fixing.

But what is not laughable about this is the announcement today from the Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, one of the largest in the country, and one that is suffering from huge budget issues related to it's refusal to confront the massively powerful California Teacher's Association - the union which has a stronger interest in taking funds from the pockets of taxpayers via the politicians they elect.

The Superintendent is saying that unless voters pass Prop 30 or Prop 38, LAUSD schools will be closing 2 months early because they will lack the funds to operate for those 2 months.

He is, simply, extorting voters to vote to continue to feed the progressive beast that dominates California - to do more of the same as has been done before.  Passing either of these tax increase propositions will not fix the state's fiscal crisis or address the educational funding crisis.

What will address the problems in California are exactly the same steps that Governor Scott Walker put in place in Wisconsin in the past year.  Weaken and defang the greedy public sector unions.  Eliminate major elements of collective bargaining.  Eliminate not only payroll deductions of union dues, but eliminate the requirement that all teacher's have to be a member of the union.  Prevent the unions from donating union dues collected by members towards political causes without the express permission of that union member - renewed annually.  Restructure the pensions of the union members in a manner similar to how the Obama Administration restructured the pensions of non-Union members of GM, Delphi, and Chrysler in their takeover of the auto industry.

Unfortunately, I doubt that there is enough will in California to take these steps...which is why so many of the middle class are fleeing the state for greener pastures.  Fairness doesn't mean fairness, and social justice doesn't lead to justice.

From the Washington Times on WSJ's Stephen Moore's new book - 'Who's the Fairest of Them All?  The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America...
The Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore has just come out with a new book titled Who’s the Fairest of Them All?: The Truth about Opportunity, Taxes, and Wealth in America and he reveals some interesting information about how much the top ten percent of income earners in the United States pay in federal income taxes as opposed to any other industrialized nation in the world.

According to Moore, these earners pay almost half (45 percent) of the country’s total taxes. This conclusion flies in the face of the liberal concept that top earners in the U.S. are not paying their “fair share” in taxes. Moore explains:

“The United States is actually more dependent on rich people to pay taxes than even many of the more socialized economies of Europe. According to the Tax Foundation, the United States gets 45 percent of its total taxes from the top 10 percent of tax filers, whereas the international average in industrialized nations is 32 percent. America’s rich carry a larger share of the tax burden than do the rich in Belgium (25 percent), Germany (31 percent), France (28 percent), and even Sweden (27 percent).”

Moore also delves into what the “47 percent” of America actually pays and receives from the federal government and that the perception that the middle class is shrinking is a myth. In fact, the actual trend has been an upward mobility and a better standard of living for the middle class and lower income earners in the last 25 years.
Today In History

1793 - The death toll during a Yellow Fever outbreak in the city of Philadelphia reaches 100 on this day.  By the time the outbreak passes, over 5,000 will perish.

1899 - The Boer War begins between Great Britain and the Boers (Afrikaners) of the Transvaal and Orange Free State in southern Africa.

1942 - The Battle of Cape Esperance takes place off the coast of Guadalcanal as a US Navy surface task force under the command of Admiral Norman Scott engage a Japanese force attempting to deliver supplies and reinforcements to the Japanese forces on the island.  In a confusing nighttime melee, the US sank a Japanese cruiser and three destroyers at the cost of a single destroyer.   Several other US ships were heavily damaged in the fight - as the result of both friendly fire and poor tactical decisions during the engagement.  This was one of a series of hard fought surface naval fights during the bitter fight for Guadalcanal.

1954 - The Viet Minh, under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, takes control of North Vietnam under the provisions of the Geneva Conference in July which confirmed the withdrawal of the French from Indochina and partitioning Vietnam into North and South Vietnam.

1968 - Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission launched after the loss of the crew of Apollo 1 in a launch pad training fire, takes off for 11 days in orbit around Earth.

1975 - Saturday Night Live debuts on NBC.

1986 - President Ronald Reagan of the US and Premier Mikhail Gorbachev of the USSR meet in a summit at Reykjavik, Iceland over the fate of medium range missiles based in Europe.  While progress was being made, a sudden demand by the Soviets that the US halt it's 'Star Wars' program (SDI) brought the meeting to a halt as the US President would not commit to abandoning missile defense and objected to the Soviet's 'moving the goalposts' midway through the summit.

2002 - The Nobel Committee, putting politics first, awards former US President Jimmy Carter the Nobel Peace Prize "for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."  In reality, it was a slap to the Presidency of George W. Bush and a reward for a former American leader who was, and is, renowned for his support of enemies of the United States.

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