Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quick Hits - November 15, 2012

The simmering conflict against Israel being conducted by Hamas has escalated to high in the wake of the IDF attacks in Gaza to counter the regular missile and rocket fire from the region into Israeli cities and towns.

Since midnight, Hamas has launched over 300 missiles - including one which hit the suburbs of Tel Aviv - in their response to the IDF counter-strike yesterday over the 100+ missiles fired in the previous 5 days at Israeli targets.  These strikes have killed 3 Israeli civilians.  The counter-strike killed the top military commander for Hamas.

Unsurprisingly, the usual anti-Israeli collection idiots has taken to condemning Israel.  Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is planning major demonstrations against Israel as the Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, is planning a supportive visit to Gaza.  Here in the United States - we have the useful idiots of Code Pink demonstrating against Israel and calling Prime Minister Netanyahu a 'war criminal' who is conducting 'genocide'.

But the best example of the fecklessness of the anti-Israeli morons comes from the New York Times who put their bias in plain view in the lede of their story on the escalating conflict....
Israel on Wednesday launched the most ferocious assault on Gaza in four years after persistent Palestinian rocket fire, hitting at least 20 targets in aerial attacks that killed the top military commander of Hamas, damaged Israel’s fragile relations with Egypt and escalated the risks of a new war in the Middle East.
[Bold added]

How dare those Israeli's defend themselves from 'persistent Palestinian rocket fire'.

The Hill's special team of Obama sycophants bring us another comedic classic in the guise of a 'news article' as they write their summary of the President's press conference yesterday -
'Obama gives no hint if he will lean to center or left during the second term'
One has to wonder just how effin' clueless these two nimrods really really are.  Did they miss the latest 'I Won' statement made by the President during the press conference when asked about taxes and the fiscal cliff?  Blogger JammieWearingFool brings the snark against the clueless Niall Stanage and Amie Parnes in his post...
Let’s see: The most radical leftist we’ve ever had in the White House gets re-elected and knows he has cadre of subservient media lapdogs to do his bidding. He’s calling for a massive tax increase, promoting a junk science agenda and plans to promote an incompetent hack as Secretary of State. He plays the class warfare card at every opportunity and we’ve never seen a president work so hard at dividing Americans. But other than that, nobody has any idea if he’ll be “leaning” left.
These feckless hacks work harder spinning the President's agenda than Robert Gibbs, David Axelrod, and Stephanie Cutter - and are the poster children for just a small part of what is wrong with journalism profession today.

Providing evidence that we have a similar problem within the field of college education - we have the sycophantic fawning over 'The One' by a college professor who is busy collecting an undeserved paycheck from Florida A&M University as she shills in a book she wrote that...
'Obama is an apostle sent by God himself to create 'Heaven on Earth''
Yes, Barack had worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people, especially those who elected him in 2008. His followers needed to re-elect him to a second term, so that he could continue to accomplish the promises he made, thus, realizing his vision of America as a more perfect political union or “heaven here on earth.”

Then, as I began to contemplate ways to assist Barack in his 2012 re-election bid something miraculous happened. I felt God’s (His) Spirit beckoning me in my dreams at night. Listening, cautiously, I learned that Jesus walked the earth to create a more civilized society, Martin (Luther King) walked the earth to create a more justified society, but, Apostle Barack, the name he was called in my dreams, would walk the earth to create a more equalized society, for the middle class and working poor. Apostle Barack, the next young leader with a new cause, had been taken to the mountaintop and allowed to see over the other side. He had the answers to unlock the kingdom of “heaven here on earth” for his followers. The answers were repeated – over and over – in speeches Barack had made from his presidential announcement to his inaugural address. Those speeches or his teachings contained the answers to the middle class and working poor people living in a “heaven here on earth.” For when the answers were unlocked and enacted, Apostle Barack’s vision of America would be realized.
No wonder so many of those under 30 believe in the Marxist-Socialist-Progressive utopian vision.  Between the media and education professionals - they are subject to non-stop fawning propaganda over this morally, ethically, and fiscally bankrupt agenda.  [More on this subject later....]

During the President's hour long press conference, his first in 8 months, where he took 7 softball questions and 1 tough one, the President spoke at length regarding the fiscal cliff, negotiations with the GOP led House, and taxes.  He wasted little time demolishing his campaign promise that he would be willing to work towards a compromise with leading Congressional Republicans - reminding all present that 'I Won' last week - and that, according to exit polls, more people support his tax and economic vision than the GOP tax and economic vision.  [At least the President waited until Feb 2009 before tossing down the 'I Won' gauntlet after his first electoral victory- here he couldn't wait more than 8 days to gloat and toss the gauntlet.]

President Obama also admonished the GOP plan saying that their 'math' doesn't work when it comes to addressing the effects of massive overspending and the unprecedented increases of the national debt over the past four years.

But what's clear in the President's pontifications is that if someone's math isn't working - it's the math of the President and his uber-progressive agenda based around higher taxes, continued spending growth, and class warfare.

The liberal Tax Policy Center, which the President repeatedly touted during his campaign, said in an October 17, 2012 report that their analysis of one key aspect of the Romney / Ryan plan to cap itemized deductions would generate significant additional revenues for the Federal Government.  They found that if itemized deductions were capped for the 'wealthy' at $50,000 - over the next decade, $749 billion in additional revenues would be received.  If the cap was set lower, at $25,000, we would realize $1.286 trillion in additional revenues over the next 10 years.  Finally, if the cap was set at the level that Mitt Romney suggested at one point, $17,000, the Federal Government would receive an additional $1.747 trillion in revenues.

Barack Obama is making the case that the best and first solution would be to expire the 2001-3 tax reduction for the 'wealthy' (earning more than $200K individually, $250K families) - increasing their income rate by 10% - even though this would, in a best case and assuming the higher tax rate would not have a negative impact on the economy - only produce $823 billion in additional revenues over the next 10 years.

That's just $82.3 billion per year - a fraction of last year's $1.1 trillion budget deficit or the projected $1.4-$1.5 trillion FY2013 deficit.  So much for taxing the rich in order to reduce the deficit.

So, which plan would actually do more (and at less risk of damaging the economy) to raise additional revenues for the Federal Government?  Clearly, capping the maximum itemized deductions available to the 'wealthy' would do more towards addressing the growing debt issue - but this doesn't have the social / political cache of hiking the top tax rates for the 'rich'.

But what should be even more of a red flag for all of us is that even this step does very little to address the current size and scope of our deficit.  That is simply because we don't have a revenue problem - but a spending problem.  Short of massive across the board tax increases and tax changes - impacting every single American - there isn't enough money, income, or assets among the wealthy to cover the levels of fiscal irresponsibility the President and his supporters have made the new 'normal'.

The President really doesn't care about the fiscal cliff or the impact on the economy.  His primary interest is on his agenda and his legacy.  He no longer has to worry about voter accountability.

Which is probably one of the reasons that the bulk of the sycophants in the mainstream media are not talking about today's dismal new jobless claims numbers which shot up to an 18-month high - 439,000 - well above the expectations of a number around 375,000.  Last week's numbers were also revised upwards by 2%, to 361,000.

As we look at this agenda, let's look across the pond to Europe where they have spent most of the last half century embracing the same agenda - albeit at a smaller scale.  The Eurozone, in the 3rd Quarter of 2012, has fallen back into recession - and anti-austerity demonstrations in Spain, Portugal, and Greece have turned violent in the last several days.  Greece is running out of cash - and has failed to hit any of their economic targets.  Will they get yet another traunche of cash - or a needed 3rd bailout from the EU / ECB?  Or are we  finally looking at their default as they run out of road to kick the can down?

Despite the bleatings of the Marxist union thug leading the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, who claims that the 'fiscal cliff' is just a 'manufactured crisis' that does not really exist - we are facing not only the cliff but another recession in early 2013.

Dogmatic ideologues like many who lead or are members in today's unions refuse to see that despite their fanaticism and beliefs, economic laws, like those of physics, do not change based on the votes of the people.     Hostess Brands, Inc, the company that is responsible for producing 'Wonder' bread and the 'Hostess Twinkie' announced yesterday that they are asking a bankruptcy judge to allow the company to close and liquidate in response to a union worker strike that has shuttered a number of key production locations.  They are saying that they cannot afford the union demands regarding salary and benefits and remain in business.

This isn't unique for the private sector either - as features an article as to 'How Public Sector Unions bankrupted San Bernandino, California.'

And don't doubt that unions have a major role behind the United States Postal Service's record breaking $15.9 billion loss this year.

The House released a 97 page report based on their investigation of the failure of MF Global and the loss of $1.6 billion in client funds - laying the bulk of the blame on the former Chairman / CEO of MF Global, Jon Corzine.  The report terms the collapse of the firm 'avoidable' and point to Corzine's authoritative rule and his incredibly bad bets / excessive control on the trading of the company which generate the huge losses which drove the company into insolvency.  Corzine, a former NJ Governor, NJ Senator, Obama campaign bundler, and Goldman-Sach's Chief Exec, is still yet to be charged for his malfeasance which cost clients of MF Global $1.6 billion.  He should have had his perp walk months ago.

Hearings will take place today and tomorrow in both the House and Senate regarding the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the US Consulate and its Annex in Benghazi, Libya which resulted in the murder of 4 of Americans.  Among those testifying will be the outgoing Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and former CIA Director David Petraeus who resigned late last week.

The Administration has been actively lying about the Benghazi terror attack - and is continuing to do so as they prance around trying to spin their fecklessness and incompetence regarding the attack and subsequent efforts around pre-election political cover.

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting insight into CIA Director Petraeus's last days which raise more questions around the dishonest actions of the Administration to spin not only the political fallout from the terror attack, but the failure of the Administration's policies in Libya and their apparent abandonment of at least 2 of the 4 killed during the 8 hour long attack.

During his final days as the Director of the CIA, David Petraeus saw his relationship with the chiefs of other US intell / security agencies and the National Intelligence Director, James Clapper, turn extremely contentious over the issue around the CIA breaking it's silence on the Benghazi attack and subsequent messaging in order to counter the criticism being leveled at the Agency and Petraeus.

The Agency was chafing at the decision by the White House / Administration to blame the nearly two weeks of messaging that the attack was nothing more than a demonstration that accidently turned violent over an obscure You Tube video placed on the internet in June that was seen as insulting to Islam on bad intelligence from the CIA - and that not until more information was received did the WH / Admin know this was a deliberate terror attack timed for the 9/11 anniversary.

Director Petraeus and his aides at the CIA wanted to push back hard at this message and release it's own timeline of the September 11 attack as well as what it knew when.  DNI James Clapper wanted Petraeus to remain silent - but Petraeus ordered his aides to proceed.  All of this started around October 26th, when the CIA released their own timeline - and culminated in Clapper telling David Petraeus on November 7th 'that the right thing to do would be to step down'.  The Director would resign on the 8th, which President Obama would accept and announce on the 9th.

But the official reason given for the Director's resignation is the effects and knowledge of the extramartial affair between David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell that took place between November 2011 and the early summer of 2012 -with Clapper's spokespeople saying quite clearly that the resignation had nothing to do with the CIA explaining its role during the Benghazi terror attack and messaging afterwards which raised more questions.

As I noted yesterday, one of the challenges about lying is that one is then committed to telling the same lie in exactly the same manner going forward if they hope to keep the fact that it is all a lie hidden.  Lies which beget new questions only point out the fact that someone is lying.  That remains the real issue here (as it did in Watergate, or does with the Fast and Furious scandal).

If the CIA, as their original timeline and via the testimony of David Petraeus to Congress on September 15th,  was telling the truth that the Benghazi attack was from a demonstration sparked by the You Tube video and not a terror attack - why did President Barack Obama define it as a terror attack from the Rose Garden on September 12th as he famously contended in the 2nd Presidential debate?

This is no different from the question we asked yesterday regarding the President's statement about US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice's appearance across half a dozen Sunday talk shows making the same claim - and the President's assertion that she only made the appearances at the request of the White House and had no 'real role' regarding Benghazi.  If no 'real role' - then why send out Ambassador Rice?

What is now coming out in the wake of the resignation of Director Petraeus is that the White House / National Intell apparatus / CIA allies of the WH are now attacking the management and leadership style of David Petraeus during his tenure leading the CIA - opening a new front to discredit David Petraeus prior to his Congressional testimony which could reflect a less than kindly view on the actions of the Administration over Benghazi.

We're seeing that his 14 month tenure was marked with real challenges behind the scenes as few close to the President trusted or supported David Petraeus as he was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.  This is a common reaction within a hierarchy that is focused on control of all things - in particular control of the messaging and protecting the President - and someone who is seen as being a challenge to control.

Adding to this being the real reason behind pushing Petraeus out - and the ongoing efforts to discredit his tenure in the event that Petraeus retaliates against the Administration tomorrow - DNI James Clapper was told on November 2nd about the months long FBI / DoJ investigation into David Petraeus and his affair with Paula Broadwell.  This is 5 full days before Clapper told Petraeus that he needed to resign.  Looking at the timing, it seems far more plausible that the request had less to do with the affair / investigation and far more with the growing efforts of Petraeus and his CIA aides to not let the Administration toss him and his Agency under the bus regarding the Administration's lies about Benghazi.

Which brings us to another question that we need to ask / get answered -  Is it believable that the President of the United States was not notified by either the Director of the FBI or the Attorney General that the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency was currently under FBI investigation?  After all, even the DNI was told about this on November 2nd - prior to Election Day.  Didn't even the DNI mention this to the President on the basis of the national security risk?

In addition to being a entity that promotes the political control of information - the Obama Administration, from the top down and throughout the highest levels of the Executive Branch, appear to embrace a very strong practice of compartmentalization of key agenda items and initiatives.

It's as if it is designed to provide not only plausible deniability for Barack Obama and his closest advisers, but also provide legal and political protection for those times that their actions and agenda ignite a scandal - like the politicization of the DoJ, Fast and Furious, Solyndra and Crony Capitalism, DHS counter-terrorism failures, State Department policy failures, EPA, Dept of Interior, and etc.

If someone appears to move out from that CYA mode - then they become a nail and the rest of the Administration becomes the hammer.  And that is what is appearing is happening to David Petraeus - with the sycophants in the media now focusing on the sensationalism of the affairs / relationships as opposed to the malfeasance of the Obama Administration.

It's going to be a very long 4 years....

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