Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Abandon ship: Obama pal Claire McCaskill skipping Democratic convention!

Hot Air ^ | June 26,2012 | ALLAHPUNDIT

I don’t get it. Why wouldn’t a first-term Democratic incumbent up for reelection in an increasingly red state want a photo op with the Unicorn Prince?

Claire McCaskill will not be attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, a McCaskill aide confirmed to TPM Tuesday. McCaskill joins a list of vulnerable Democratic politicians whose home districts are hostile ground for President Obama and who will be steering clear of the convention.

“In years when Claire is on the ballot, she has historically not gone to the convention,” the aide said, “because she believes it’s important to stay in Missouri to talk to voters.”
Turns out she didn’t go to the convention in 2004 either when she was running for governor, but c’mon. McCaskill’s no ordinary Democrat when it comes to Obama: She was among the first senators to endorse him over presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton in 2008, doing so just five days after Hillary’s big win in New Hampshire. That was a major vote of confidence in him coming from a key swing-state senator and prominent woman pol; Team Clinton “aggressively sought” her endorsement at the time but McCaskill stuck with Hopenchange. As recently as last October, notes National Journal, she was defiant in standing by her buddy O:
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., makes clear to the St. Louis Beacon that she won’t be running and hiding from President Obama, even as she faces a tough reelection bid in a state the president’s almost certainly not going to win.
McCaskill said she will be asking Obama to stump for her and help her raise money, but added that she doesn’t always agree with him.
Vulnerable Democrats in comparable positions should take notice. Opponents will tie McCaskill to Obama no matter what she does:
(Excerpt) Read more at hotair.com ...

Judicial Watch ^ | June 26, 2012

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it has filed a Motion for Intervention with its client True the Vote to defend the State of Florida’s efforts to clean up voter registration lists against an Obama administration lawsuit (The United States of America v. State of Florida and Ken Detzner (No. 4:12-cv-285)) .
Florida initiated a systematic effort to remove ineligible voters from its voter registration lists after Judicial Watch filed a letter of inquiry with Florida election officials on February 6, 2012.
Judicial Watch alerted the State of Florida that failure to maintain clean voter registration lists violates Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). In response to Florida’s efforts to comply with the NVRA, the Obama administration filed a lawsuit on June 12, 2012, asking a federal court to enjoin the state from continuing its purge of illegal voters.
According to Judicial Watch’s motion , filed jointly with Judicial Watch client True the Vote on June 26, 2012, with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division:
[Judicial Watch and True the Vote] seek to enter this lawsuit in order to demonstrate that, not only are the State of Florida’s list maintenance activities valid, proper, and timely, but that they also are required under federal law. Intervention will ensure that the organizational interests of Proposed Intervener True the Vote and the rights and interest of the members of Proposed Intervener Judicial Watch, Inc. are adequately protected and preserved.
As reported by The Associated Press , the State of Florida ordered the removal of 53,000 dead voters from its lists while identifying an additional 2,700 non-citizens registered to vote. Press reports suggest the number of non-citizen voters in the state could be as high as 180,000.
Judicial Watch’s actions in Florida are part of its 2012 Election Integrity Project. According to a comprehensive Judicial Watch investigation, in addition to Florida and Indiana, a number of other states also appear to have problems with inaccurate voter registration lists, including: Mississippi, Iowa, Missouri, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Alabama, and California. Judicial Watch has put election officials on notice in these states that they must maintain accurate voter registration lists consistent with Section 8 of the NVRA or face litigation to enforce the federal law.
On June 11, 2012, Judicial Watch (along with co-plaintiff True the Vote) filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Indiana for failure to comply with voter list maintenance provisions of the NVRA. J. Christian Adams, a former civil rights attorney with the Department of Justice, is of counsel to the groups on these legal actions. The groups are also represented in Florida by the firm, Radey, Thomas, Yon & Clark.
“The Obama Justice Department is evidently hostile to the idea of clean and fair elections,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It is shameful that the Justice Department is now in court trying to stop Florida from fulfilling its legal obligation to remove non-citizen, ineligible voters from the voting rolls. We look forward to defending the voting rights of our supporters, the rule of law, and election integrity from an unprecedented attack from this politicized Justice Department.”
“According to polls, most Americans agree that Florida should be making efforts to ensure people who are not eligible to vote are kept off of the voter registration rolls. Not only is this common sense, it is what the law requires. It’s disappointing that the Justice Department is more interested in taking extreme legal positions than protecting the integrity of the 2012 elections,” said True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht.
A recent report by non-partisan Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew) published in February 2012 indicates that approximately 24 million active voter registrations in states across the country – or one out of every eight registrations – are either no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate.

Mexico's Obama Rifles

Town Hall ^ | June 25, 2012 | reasonmclucus

Historian Tim Stanley in the "London Telegraph" suggests "The Fast and Furious scandal is turning into President Obama's Watergate". Stanley reminds everybody that President Richard Nixon was hurt by the ill advised cover up of the operation rather than by the second rate burglary itself.
A better comparison to a past scandal might be what is called the "Iran Contra" scandal. Both Iran Contra and Fast and Furious involved the United States helping groups in Latin American countries obtain weapons without the approval of the government of that country. In both cases drug money was used to purchase the weapons. The United States helped the Nicaraguan Contras obtain weapons to help the group overthrow what the Reagan Administration considered to be a communist government.
So far there is no evidence the United States wants the Mexican drug cartels it helped obtain weapons to overthrow the Mexican government. However, in the past U.S. policy was to restrict the ability of rebel groups from obtaining assistance if the U.S. supported a Latin America government and to allow or even encourage rebel groups to obtain assistance if the U.S. opposed that government. The 2,020 weapons purchased during Fast and Furious would have been enough to equip four battalions of troops.
The drug cartels continue to pose a major threat to the Mexican government. Obama's rifles continue to kill people.
Fast and Furious was conducted more like an operation to provide weapons to insurgents in another country than an operation to catch criminals. If the Obama administration had wanted to catch criminals it would have tried to keep the weapons under surveillance such as by implanting tracking devices and would have coordinated the operation with the Mexican government like the Bush administration had done in Operation Wide Receiver.
The U.S. Congress is currently investigating Fast and Furious. An international investigation by the Organization of American States or United Nations is needed because the operation involved the U.S. illegally aiding a criminal element in another country. Did the U.S. have an ulterior motive in helping the group? Were any of the U.S. officials involved taking money from the drug cartels obtaining the weapons? Did any U.S. official take an action that should be prosecuted before the World Court?
Watergate happened as I was beginning graduate school. I thought about doing a Master's Thesis on the subject until my adviser convinced me it wasn't practical to do a history thesis about an event that was still happening. One thing I remember from my research was that there was virtually no change in public opinion polls regarding how deeply people thought Nixon was involved in Watergate from early 1973 to early 1974 with most believing he was involved in some way. However, there was a change in how serious people thought Nixon's actions were.
Nixon's decision to invoke executive privilege to keep his White House tapes secret insured that some conversations would be interpreted as indicating involvement in Watergate. For example, a conversation with John Dean was interpreted as indicating Nixon's approval of Watergate even though the conversation didn't specifically refer to any such operation.
President Barack Obama's claim of executive privilege in the Fast and Furious operation strongly implies that he was directly involved in it. Obama is committing a major blunder if he is trying to protect Attorney General Eric Holder. If Holder has any loyalty to Obama, he should be willing to figuratively "fall on his sword" for his boss. Holder should have already taken personal responsibility for the misguided operation and resigned because as Attorney General he is responsible for what happens in his department. At the very least Fast and Furious indicates Holder failed to adequately supervise the department.
The timing of Obama's announcement of amnesty for children who grew up in the United States after being brought here illegally is suspicious. Obama's amnesty could be an attempt to distract people from the fact Obama's rifles continue to kill Mexican citizens. The decision could be an admission of guilt by Obama who wants to prevent children raised in the United States from being killed by Obama's rifles.


Power Line ^ | JUNE 25, 2012 | PAUL MIRENGOFF

There’s been much speculation about whether the Obama administration has a Plan B ready in case the Supreme Court strikes down all or some of Obamacare. But it’s clear that the White House was ready today when the Court rejected its challenge to the constitutionality of an Arizona law requiring local law enforcement officers, during routine stops, to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally.
The White House promptly reacted to the decision, which also struck down three important provisions through which Arizona attempted to counteract the federal government’s unwillingness to do anything much about the flood of illegal aliens into the State. First, and predictably, Obama renewed his call for comprehensive immigration reform. Sen. Harry Reid quickly echoed the White House, tweeting that “[Republicans] must join [Democrats] to forge fair, tough, practical solutions.”
Next, the administration announced measures designed to undermine the portion of the Arizona law that was upheld, unanimously, by the Supreme Court. The Department of Homeland Security said it would exclude Arizona from a program known as 287(g), which allows the feds to deputize local officials to make immigration-based arrests. A Homeland Security official explained that the administration finds such agreements “not useful” in states that have Arizona-style laws. I guess the program is “useful” only in states that aren’t taking meaningful measures to identify illegal aliens.
Accordingly, local police in Arizona will have to rely on federal officials to arrest illegal aliens. But federal officials have made it clear that the feds will not respond to calls from Arizona law enforcement unless the person detained meets certain criteria, such as being wanted for a felony. Being an illegal alien is not enough. As Obama showed with his unilateral mini-DREAM act, this administration is no longer interested in enforcing the immigration laws except perhaps against illegal aliens who are shown to have engaged in felonious conduct.
In addition, the Justice Department set up a hotline through which people can complain about having their immigration status checked by Arizona law enforcement officials. Obama thus hopes to drum up complaints against Arizona law enforcement agents. He wants to make the federal government a party to the harassment of those trying to do what Obama won’t – enforce the law. Obama hopes to intimidate them into not using their authority to address the severe problem of illegal immigration — authority granted by the state legislature and upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court.
Given all of this, it’s quite clear that the Republicans should say “hell no” to Obama’s call for comprehensive immigration reform. Republicans must not permit themselves to be coerced into writing a new immigration law by Obama’s refusal to enforce the law we have.
Moreover, what is the point of legislating with a lawless administration? Legislation on an issue like immigration requires compromise, and that’s fine – I have no objection in principle to compromising. But suppose a compromise is reached. This president has demonstrated that his response would likely be to ignore the provisions the Republicans insisted upon – because ignoring them is “the right thing to do.” Immigration reform, if it is to occur, must await the election of a president who, unlike Obama, is willing to enforce the law as written, not just the portions of the law he finds palatable. Indeed, I’m tempted to say that the passage of compromise legislation on any important issue should await the election of such a president

Obama Immigration Pander Costing Him Support of White Democrats [ Harms unskilled single moms]

breitbart.com ^ | June 26 2012 | Mike Flynn

PPP, a democrat-leaning polling firm, is out today with a new poll of Ohio, a critical battleground this Fall. The top-line number getting the most attention is Obama's erosion of support over the past month. A month ago, Obama led Romney by 7. Today's poll shows the lead has fallen to just 3 and Obama remains below the important 50% threshold. Perhaps more interesting in today's poll, though, is the sharp drop-off in Obama's support among white Democrats.

(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

How will Obama’s Illegal Immigration Policy help Americans least able to compete for scarce jobs?
Which of these groups of Americans will benefit from Obama’s new actions on illegal immigration?

The Elderly.
The Unskilled.
The undereducated .
Those working on job training.
Inner city yuts.
College students.
Part time single moms.
Other than the carbon remaining here , what’s the difference between off shoring jobs and bringing offshore workers here?

Proposed Change to the 14th Amendment

VI / XXVI / MMXII | pansgold

Amendment XIV Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Proposed change to read:

Amendment XIV Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws unless the Federal Government denies the citizens of one state the same protections given to the other 49 states.

Call your congressman 1-202-224-3121

Even the Silicon Valley donors are starting to steer away from Obama (Running for the hills)

Hotair ^ | 06/26/2012 | Erika Johnsen

Although California is consistently ranked among the absolute worst states in which to do business --- their nanny-state regulations, budget deficits, and tax structure have earned the state the honorary title of the "ninth circle of business hell" --- it's well-established attraction for venture capital is sometimes cited as a a big factor in keeping the state afloat. Silicon Valley is definitely a well-monied hot spot, but it seems that the typically more liberal execs, entrepreneurs, and engineers are feeling slightly less enthusiastic about an Obama-second term than they were about Hopenchange in 2008, as some of them are starting to reverse course:
Although he is still raising far more money there than current Republican rival Mitt Romney, Obama in 2012 is finding Silicon Valley to be tougher terrain.
He lags behind his 2008 campaign in donations from workers at Internet, computer and telecom equipment powerhouses such as Google, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Cisco, according to a Reuters analysis of federal disclosures from the Obama presidential campaign committee.
The Obama campaign has raised $1.44 million through May from employees of 15 top tech companies, as compared to $1.6 million donated by the same companies’ staff four years ago. …
Romney has raised almost $340,000 during this election campaign from the 15 tech companies’ employees, far behind his opponent but already ahead of the roughly $240,000 that Republican presidential candidate John McCain picked up through May 2008.
Even the crunchiest of businesspeople are having difficulty getting excited about the coming reign of regulatory uncertainty being ushered in by President Obama’s two signature legislative monstrosities, ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank. Mitt Romney is the much more attractive candidate for the free-enterprising: his private sector experience and commitment to lower taxes and fewer regulations is a much more promising path for economic growth than President Obama’s punishing new Dodd-Frank oversight regime (which was created, by the way, as part of a sweeping effort to make big business look fully responsible for the entire financial crisis).
Although the Silicon Valley tech-savvy have been somewhat slower to make the about-face, big business in general has indeed been jumping on the Romney bandwagon lately:
Deep-pocketed financiers have abandoned President Obama and are flocking to Mitt Romney in droves, providing more donations to his campaign than any other industry except retired workers. (And that’s not really an industry.)
Individuals who work in the securities and investment industry have given the Romney campaign $8.5 million through the end of April, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.
Over the same time period, Obama has brought in only $3 million from securities and investment workers, and the industry is only the campaign’s fifth largest source of funds.
“They have basically ditched Obama,” said John Dunbar, the managing editor for politics at the Center for Public Integrity. “Romney is just a much friendlier candidate if you are a banker.”
The absence of Wall Street love is a departure from the norm for the Obama campaign. In 2008, then-Senator Obama raised almost $16 million from Wall Street. John McCain, the Republican nominee, received donations totaling only $9 million.
Heh. We learned this morning that the DNC is scaling back on their upcoming convention’s activities, but it’s because of, uh, logistics, and not the fact that they haven’t been able to reach their fundraising goals because they banned direct corporate donations — though it doesn’t seem like corporations would be all that excited about giving the Democrats money, anyways. Kind of funny that President Obama spends so much time denouncing big bankers and Wall Street “fat cats,” but he was perfectly willing to take their money when they were willing to give it.

Mayor Ray Nagin implicated in new document charging Covington businessman

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune ^ | June 26, 2012 | David Hammer and Gordon Russell,

Covington businessman Frank Fradella has been charged in a new bill of information that appears to implicate former Mayor Ray Nagin, who has been under investigation for months by a federal grand jury. Federal prosecutors this afternoon charged Fradella with one count of securities fraud and one count of conspiring to bribe a public official.
The new documents do not name the official -- rather, they call him "Public Official A."
But the official is clearly Nagin; the document describes him as an agent of the city of New Orleans from May 2002 through May 2010. That coincides with Nagin's tenure in office, during which he met frequently with Fradella.
In the documents, Fradella is accused of giving "payoffs," "kickbacks" and "bribes" -- some of them through wire transfers -- to the government official. The bill of information says the official used his office "to benefit the defendant's business" in exchange for those payoffs.
In accepting the payments, the documents say the official deprived New Orleanians of their "intangible right to honest services."
The documents say only that "in excess of $5,000" changed hands -- "but it was more than that," according to Fradella's lawyer, Randy Smith. Smith did not specify how much Fradella paid the official. The bribery conspiracy allegedly began in May 2007 and continued through March 2011.
Asked whether the public official mentioned in the documents was Nagin, Smith declined to answer directly, saying only: "Let's put it this way. He served from May 2002 to May 2010. It's not my right to name him. But if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's probably a duck."
Smith added: "There's been a lot of press about Mr. Nagin and my client, and some of it certainly will be part of this."
(Excerpt) Read more at nola.com ...

Obama warns on healthcare ruling (The petulant community organizer threatens...)

US Politics & Policy ^ | June 26, 2012 | Stephanie Kirchgaessner i

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Barack Obama suggested that any decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn his landmark healthcare law would send the country “backwards” and that Americans did not want to “re-fight” the battle over healthcare.

It was the first sign that beyond the White House’s (staunch defence of the Affordable Care Act) High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7ef1848a-bfd3-11e1-bb88-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz1ywVIV0a6

Mr Obama is prepared to use the law as a rallying cry on the campaign trail. It is a risky strategy: about half the country remains opposed to the legislation, although most voters like the consumer protections that are guaranteed under the law.
High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7ef1848a-bfd3-11e1-bb88-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz1ywVQbMYe
Political experts have said it is unclear how the Supreme Court decision will shape the presidential contest; while a move to strike down the law will undoubtedly be a blow to the Obama administration, some believe it will motivate Democratic voters ahead of the November general election.

The high court is expected to announce the fate of “ObamaCare” on Thursday, when it will either uphold the law, overturn it in its entirety or strike some provisions of the controversial legislation.
(Excerpt) Read more at ft.com ...

After Billions in Energy Spending, Where Are the Jobs?

Cost of Government Center ^ | 2012-06-26 | [Staff]

While President Obama travels the nation touting the success of his green energy jobs programs, new evidence from the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee suggests that not only has the “stimulus” failed to fulfill its stated goal, but that job creation was never more than an afterthought. Despite chronically high unemployment, over $11 billion has been spent thus far on the Section 1603 renewable energy subsidy program. Testimony from key administration officials and agencies shows that in reality, not only have very few jobs actually been created, but job creation was never the program’s priority:
  • Treasury: In administering the Section 1603 program, the Treasury stated that, “job creation is not one of the statutory requirements for eligibility and thus it is not a factor in the consideration process.”
  • Secretary of Energy Steven Chu: “Section 1603 has created tens of thousands of jobs.” But an internal DOE study done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that when you don’t include temporary construction and installation jobs, Section 1603’s $8 billion in grants to wind or solar projects only added 910 long-term jobs. That’s over 8.5 million dollars per job!
  • Treasury: “Because the 1603 program’s primary focus is on domestic renewable energy production, Treasury also does not report on the number of jobs created by the program.”
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: 61 percent of the wind power funded by Section 1603’s grants would have been deployed even without the program’s existence.
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Estimates of temporary construction jobs created in the green energy sector of the economy don’t even attempt to ascertain how many have been destroyed or misallocated from the impacts of the government’s intrusion into the marketplace.
  • Department of Energy: Some of the largest beneficiaries of Section 1603 have been foreign utilities like Spain’s Iberdrola, which has collected over a billion dollars in U.S. grant aid.
The takeaway for the taxpayer is simple. Despite Obama’s endless barrage of green energy jobs claims at campaign stops across the nation, the actual programs he created do not even pay job creation a passing glance. As we pass the fortieth straight month of unemployment remaining above 8 percent, Americans are still left wondering: where are the jobs?

The Mother of all ObamaCare Lies


Military Gay Pride: Behavior Once Grounds for Court Martial Now Celebrated

Christian Post ^ | 06/26/2012 | By Alex Murashko

The U.S. Department of Defense's recognition of Gay Pride Month less than a year after the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) is the new "stark reality" that behavior once considered by the military as grounds for court martial is now celebrated, says the director of a chaplain alliance group.

"For the first time ever, the Department of Defense is making a positive event over behavior (sodomy) that had been a court martial offense a year ago," Chaplain (Col.) Ron Crews, USAR retired, executive director for the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, told The Christian Post on Monday. "Now the DoD is wanting to honor that behavior. That's the stark reality that we're living in now."

The Pentagon announced it will hold its first-ever Gay Pride event Tuesday. Plans for the event include a keynote speech by the DoD's lead lawyer, Jeh Johnson, followed by a panel discussion called "The value of open service and diversity," according to CNN.
Crews said the chaplain alliance is concerned about a couple of areas inside the U.S. military since the repeal of DADT, a transition period he calls the "new environment."
"During the repeal process the Department of Defense told Congress and they also told us that the homosexual community would not be considered as a separate class within the military, but yet by this celebration they are making the LGBT community a separate class," Crews said. "They told us one thing during the repeal and now they are doing exactly the opposite, which makes me wonder what else did they say prior to repeal that is going to change?"
His concerns go beyond the military's Gay Pride celebration.
"We're still in the early stages of how all this is being worked out. We're going to need some time to see what it means when a chaplain says 'no' to providing marriage or pre-marriage counseling to same-sex couples," Crews insists.
Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers, released a statement Monday in which he said that he believes the military's Gay Pride events will be optional and should not be considered a threat to the evangelical community.
"The honorable concept of free expression of religion shows its dark side when teachings against homosexuality result in divisions in our military," states the atheists and freethinkers association. "While we should not encourage these divisions, it may be prudent to offer the evangelical community space to consider its attitudes and sensibilities as the rest of the military takes time to end discrimination and honor the silent service so many lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) service members have endured for so long."
MAAF stated that they use "LGB" to refer to lesbian, gay, and bisexual while "other designations may add LGBT or LGBTQQI to identify gender identity and sexual orientation like transgender. These additional designations are not yet accommodated by the military."
Torpy told CP in an email exchange that it should be expected that "those with anti-gay religious beliefs" will object when military leaders accept and support LGB service members.
"Individuals come to the military and leave the military as individuals, private citizens with beliefs, families, interests, and whole lives that are not defined entirely by their military service. They are certainly not defined by military policy," Torpy said. "Military leaders took decades to change this policy. Current military leaders took at least two years to work through this policy change. It is unsurprising that some individuals within the military are still struggling to reconcile their anti-gay beliefs with a military that is now suddenly accepting of LGB people."
Crews is leery of the process and views the current White House administration's actions regarding gays in the military as deceptive. He questions how the military will react when a chaplain refuses to take part in an event such as Gay Pride Month. Chaplains in Crews' association will not participate, he said.
"Military celebrations usually require or have a place for a chaplain to provide an invocation or something," Crews said. "Associates of the Chaplain Alliance would not be able to participate in those types of ceremonies. We're concerned that if a chaplain says 'no,' how will Command view that? We are trusting that commanders will honor and respect that chaplains prerogative to say 'no' that he would not participate."

Gallup and Rasmussen agree: Consumer confidence plunging in June

Hotair ^ | 06/26/2012 | Ed Morrissey

And it's not as if it was all that terrific before now, either. Gallup's weekly survey of consumer confidence shows a steep 10-point drop from -16 at the end of May to -26 today:

Gallup's Economic Confidence Index was -26 for the week ending June 24, down slightly from -24 the week before. Americans' confidence has now receded for four straight weeks, and is at the lowest point since late January.
U.S. economic confidence last week was hardest hit June 19-21, when it fell to -28, but it bounced back to -25 over the weekend. The midweek slide may have resulted from the anticipated Moody's downgrade of several major banks and one of the worst trading days of the year on Thursday. However, the market rallied back on Friday, which may have led to the weekend improvement in confidence.
Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index consists of two measures — one assessing current economic conditions and the other assessing the nation’s economic outlook. Americans’ perceptions of current economic conditions worsened to -31, down four from the previous week, with 44% saying the economy is poor and 13% saying it is excellent or good. Attitudes about the economic outlook were down marginally last week, at -21.
Rasmussen sees the same trend:
The Rasmussen Consumer Index, which measures consumer confidence on a daily basis, held steady on Tuesday at 81.2 after falling to its lowest level since January Sunday. The Consumer Index shows little change from a week ago but is down 12 points from a month ago and three months ago.
Today’s level of confidence is 16 points below the 2012 high water mark and is just two points above the lowest level of this year.
Thirty-two percent (32%) of consumers rate their personal finances as good or excellent while 23% rate them as poor.
Their current level is also ten points below their May rating. The results of both polls show a growing discontent with the economy and fear of its future — a bad sign for an incumbent President standing for re-election in four months. Unless consumer sentiment reverses soon, these indexes indicate that Americans will take a decidedly negative view of Obama’s economy into the voting booth with them.
They may be helped along with that evaluation by the Obama administration itself. CNN reports that the USDA is now advertising to get people to enroll in the food-stamp program:
More than one in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the federal government wants even more people to sign up for the safety net program.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been running radio ads for the past four months encouraging those eligible to enroll. The campaign is targeted at the elderly, working poor, the unemployed and Hispanics.
The department is spending between $2.5 million and $3 million on paid spots, and free public service announcements are also airing. The campaign can be heard in California, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, and the New York metro area.
Well, with that kind of messaging, small wonder consumers think the economy is getting worse. After all, it’s not as if hardly anyone is on food assistance these days, or that those numbers are growing smaller. Even without advertising, enrollment in the food-stamp program has exploded and continues to rise, Veronique de Rugy explains at Mercatus Center:
While the weak economy has played a role in the increase of food-stamp spending, this factor only tells part of the story. Food-stamp enrollment increased, and spending doubled, as unemployment and the poverty level dropped modestly between 2007 and 2011.
In the end, nothing changes the program participation and its costs more permanently than changes to food-stamp legislation. Both the Bush and Obama administrations expanded eligibility through the 2002 and 2008 farm bills and the 2009 stimulus bill. As the data show, spending after changes in eligibility grew by $169 billion between 2002 and 2007 and by $235 billion between 2008 and 2011.
De Rugy includes this helpful chart:

The last eligibility changes came in 2009, with the stimulus bill that was supposed to keep unemployment below 8%. One need only look at the final two years of this chart to gauge its success. Assistance continues to increase throughout this “recovery,” as Obamanomics produces a jobless stagnation rather than economic growth. Consumer confidence measure simply reflect the reality of American life in the third “Recovery Summer.”

Interior secretary: State fracking oversight just isn’t good enough for me!

Hotair ^ | 06/26/2012 | Erika Johnsen

There are few things that can make me quite as outrageously perturbed as the unmitigated gall of a big-government bureaucrat presuming that he knows better than everybody else. I often make the case that when it comes to energy-and-environment issues specifically, big government is an especially poor steward in which to place your environmental faith, as inefficiency and incomplete knowledge tend to compromise their many "well-meaning" activities and instead directly cause environmental degradation. And hey, here's a perfect example of just the sort of infuriating, unadulterated baloney I'm talking about, straight from Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on the administration's upcoming fracking regulations.
State level oversight of hydraulic fracturing or fracking is not sufficient and criticism leveled at the Obama administration for its proposed rules is not valid, Salazar told Reuters in an interview. …
“There are some who are saying that it’s not something we ought to do, it should be left up to the states. That’s not good enough for me because states are at very different level, some have zero, some have decent rules.”
The Obama administration unveiled long-awaited rules in May to bolster oversight on public lands of oil and natural gas drilling using fracking technology, running into criticism it was creating a duplicate layer of bureaucracy and infringing on states’ rights. …
“Shale gas has provided the United States the opportunity to have 100 years of supply that is domestically produced. If we are going to develop natural gas from shale, it has to be done in a safe and responsible manner,” Salazar said…
Yes, Secretary Salazar — because those stupid, shortsighted states couldn’t possibly have their own best interests at heart, and couldn’t possibly possess the knowledge to steward their own resources, and couldn’t possibly survive without your completely dispassionate federal wisdom. Please, condescend to tell everyone what to do and apply the same top-down prescription to every individual situation so we can all sleep more soundly at night, not having to worry about figmental ecological emergencies.
The Obama administration is constantly justifying their ever-increasing regulatory agenda by claiming that “we need to make sure things are being done in a safe and responsible manner.” But has the federal government ever been able to prove that states are not able to effectively handle their own fracking business? No, the federal government merely needs to placate the powerful, well-monied, frack-hating environmental lobby.
They really are stuck between a rock and hard place on issues like fracking and the Keystone pipeline — how to make it look like they support private-sector projects that would undeniably bring much-needed jobs and economic growth to the country, but avoid rousing the ire of the highly vocal green movement? But nothing justifies their power-grab-happy tendency to undermine federalism at every available turn.

Noted Researcher Urges New Scientific Study of UFOs (note the source)

Market Watch/Wall St Journal ^ | 6/26/2012

UFO researcher Robert Hastings recently addressed The Society for Scientific Exploration's 31st Annual Conference here. His presentation, "Unexplained Aerial Incursions at Nuclear Weapons Sites Demand a Renewed Scientific Interest in the UFO Phenomenon," examined declassified U.S. government documents confirming ongoing UFO activity at American nukes-related facilities since 1948.

In September 2010, Hastings' "UFOs and Nukes" press conference drew worldwide media coverage when seven U.S. Air Force veterans revealed dramatic incidents during which several ICBMs mysteriously malfunctioned just as disc-shaped craft were observed hovering near them.
CNN streamed the press event live:

Following the conference in Boulder, Hastings said:
"Among the 130 veterans I have interviewed are nuclear missile launch officers who report UFOs monitoring and even disabling their weapons. To dismiss these accounts as mere fantasies or fabrications is to suggest that those who held the fate of the entire planet in their hands during the Cold War were dangerously demented or otherwise untrustworthy. Surely, this was not the case. Similar incidents have been revealed by Soviet military veterans.
(Excerpt) Read more at marketwatch.com ...

Obama campaign uses company with operations in India and China to book travel

By Alex Pappas - The Daily Caller 1:24 PM 06/26/2012
A new ad from President Obama’s re-election campaign calls Mitt Romney “Outsourcer-in-Chief,” accusing the former businessman and presumptive Republican presidential nominee of overseeing companies that shipped jobs to China and India while leading Bain Capital.
But while Obama tries to hit Romney on this issue, records show that Obama’s campaign is using a travel booking company this year that have operations in India and China.
Federal Election Commission reports show that Obama for America made numerous payments to the corporate travel company Egencia as recently as May. They were made to Egencia’s Bellevue, Washington office.
Egencia is a corporate travel division of the online travel company Expedia and, according to its website, has call center operations “around the world.”
“Our customer service team consists of hundreds of travel consultants around the world dedicated to superior service and value to your travelers,” the company says.
“Egencia is active in the Asia-Pacific region,” Egencia president Rob Greyber told the Investor’s Business Daily in 2009. “We have operations in both China and India as well as Australia.”
The company’s website shows that it has jobs openings for software development, engineering and analytics work for its office in Gurgaon, India.
Egencia, at one point, contracted with a company to handle calls at a center in Pensacola, Fla. But the Pensacola News Journal reported in 2011 that the company Tata Business Support Services closed and laid off all of its 180 employees.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/26/obama-campaign-uses-company-with-operations-in-india-and-china-to-book-travel/#ixzz1yvSxukii


Express ^ | Tuesday June 26,2012 | Jo Willey

STRESSFUL lifestyles could be the key trigger for incurable Alzheimer’s disease, scientists believe.

Even the trauma of bereavement or moving home could bring on dementia.

Scientists funded by the Alzheimer’s Society are investigating the link and hope their findings could lead to new drug treatments to fight the disease.
A study at the University of Kuopio in Finland has found that the long-term effects of stress may be the biggest cause of the disease.
When stressed, our blood pressure rises as our heart beats faster and levels of the hormone cortisol in the bloodstream also increase.
Experts believe once cortisol enters the brain it starts to kill off cells there, leading to Alzheimer’s.
"All of us go through stressful events. We are looking to understand how these may become a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s"

Professor Clive Holmes at the University of Southampton
The Finnish scientists found that patients with high blood pressure and high cortisol levels were more than three times as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those without these conditions.
Professor Clive Holmes at the University of Southampton, who is leading the new research, said: “All of us go through stressful events. We are looking to understand how these may become a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s. Bereavement or a traumatic experience, possibly even moving home, is also a potential factor. This is the first stage in developing ways in which to intervene with psychological or drug-based treatments to fight the disease.
“We are looking at two aspects of stress relief – physical and psychological – and the body’s response to that experience.”
The study will monitor 140 people aged over 50 with mild memory problems over 18 months. They will be assessed for levels of stress and any movement from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. About 60 per cent of those with this impairment go on to develop Alzheimer’s.
The study is part of a £1.5million package of six grants being given by the charity to find the cause of the disease, a cure and a way to prevent it.
Alzheimer’s Society research manager Anne Corbett said: “The study will look at the role chronic stress plays in the progression from mild thinking and memory problems – mild cognitive impairment – to Alzheimer’s disease.
“We feel this is an important area of research that needs more attention. The results could offer clues to new treatments or better ways of managing the condition. “It will also be valuable to understand how different ways of coping with stressful life events could influence the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”
Research has shown that stressed middle-aged women are 65 per cent more likely to develop dementia.
Scientists at Gothenberg University in Sweden found those who complained of repeated periods of stress, including irritation, anxiety or sleeping problems were significantly more likely to develop dementia in old age than those who led worry-free lives.
As part of the new study, researchers will track the volunteers’ levels of cortisol, released by the body in response to chronic stress. A number of illnesses are known to develop earlier or made worse by chronic stress including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and multiple sclerosis.
Stress can lead to high blood pressure which increases the risk of a heart attack because the heart has to work harder to pump more blood around the body. Cholesterol is also linked to the condition as it is a by-product of cortisol.
Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Understanding the risk factors for Alzheimer’s could provide one piece of the puzzle we need to take us closer to a treatment that could stop the disease in its tracks.”

Arizona Immigration Ruling~Direct Assault on State Sovereignty

KRISANNEHALL.COM ^ | June 26, 2012 | KrisAnne Hall

Never has a ruling by the Supreme Court been more aptly titled as an “Opinion,” because that is exactly what Justice Kennedy and his cohorts have delivered in Arizona v. United States. It is nothing more than an open display of judicial activism. The majority opinion is not a legal explanation on the Constitutionality of Arizona’s laws, but is an ideological dissertation on this current administration’s view of immigration.

Not only is this ruling devoid of any appeal to the Constitution, it is very dangerous. It is an aberration of fundamental Constitutional principles and a brazen assault on state sovereignty! Chiefly, Kennedy takes the Supremacy clause of the Constitution, which declares that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and translates that principle into the supremacy of the Federal government over the states. There couldn’t be anything more contrary to our founders’ intent. Let me repeat: this opinion is a monumental assault on the sovereignty of the states.

(Excerpt) Read more at krisannehall.com ...

Prediction: Global Warming Will Cause Everything!

The American Thinker ^ | June 26, 2012 | Daren Jonescu

The following news headline appeared on the internet last week: "Scientists warn global warming will fuel spread of ticks that carry Lyme disease."

The corresponding article begins this way:

Another effect of climate change may be crawling up your leg this summer as you frolic in the woods.
Scientists say our warming world is speeding the spread of ticks that carry potentially debilitating Lyme disease.

Okay, given that many in the climate change fraternity -- including, famously, Phil Jones of East Anglia University -- have been forced to concede that global warming has been on "pause" since 1995, how exactly is it "speeding the spread" of disease-carrying ticks?
Don't read this news article for an answer. In fact, from the third paragraph on, the article is a straightforward discussion of the slow spread of the tick population into various southern regions of Canada, and the new risk of Lyme disease that this brings. There is no further mention of global warming, and no attempt is made to establish a significant relationship -- or even a coincidental one -- between the movements of the ticks and changes in mean annual temperatures in the relevant regions.
So why mention global warming in this context at all? Because the first rule of all modern discourse related to weather, disease, happiness, poverty, famine, wildlife, or almost anything else is that tribute must be paid to the god Climate Change Theory. One cannot discuss the spread of disease without mentioning climate change. So the article mentions it. No further reason is required. It is simply a matter of faith, of public policy, and of good breeding to acknowledge climate change as a preface to any observation about anything.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

The Again...

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Car Racing?

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Belly up Economics

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Our Dreams?

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Up a tree

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Nothing to see?

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Look at what you've done!

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The Right Light

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Executive Privilage

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Germany Rejects Obama's Criticism in Euro Crisis

Spiegelonline ^ | 6/25/2012

In a sign of tensions between Berlin and Washington, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Sunday that President Barack Obama should focus on cutting America's own budget deficit before advising Europe on how to tackle its debt problems.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble rebuffed recent criticism of Germany's handling of the euro crisis from Barack Obama, telling the US president to get his own house in order before giving advice.

"Herr Obama should above all deal with the reduction of the American deficit. That is higher than that in the euro zone," he told German public broadcaster ZDF on Sunday night. It is easy to give advice to others, he added,

Obama, worried about the impact of the debt crisis on the global economy and financial markets -- and on his own prospects for re-election --has been urging Europe to step up its efforts to tackle the problem.
In the interview, Schäuble also reiterated his opposition to euro bonds, saying countries must remain individually liable for their public debt as long as they were taking sovereign decisions on how the money was being spent.
"If you spend the money from my account, you won't be frugal with the money," said the finance minister. He added that he was against devoting large sums of money -- for example from the European Central Bank -- to fight the crisis. The roots of the crisis needed to be fought credibly, he said, adding that that was succeeding in Ireland and Portugal, which have both received international bailouts. "It's not succeeding so well in Greece,"he added.
Schäuble said a new structure needed to be found for the single currency, and that reforms could come quickly. He added that credible decisions could be taken at the
(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...

55% Want U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold Arizona Immigration Law, only 26% want it dropped!

Rasmussen Reports ^

Most voters still want an immigration law like Arizona’s in their own state and hope the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the legality of the Arizona law this week.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 55% of Likely U.S. Voters would like to see the Supreme Court uphold the law that Arizona adopted to reduce illegal immigration in the state.

Just 26% would like to see the high court overturn the law. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided.

(Excerpt) Read more at rasmussenreports.com ...

Feds cut ties with Arizona agencies, won't assist in many illegal immigrant calls (IMPEACH OBAMA!)

ABC 15 ^ | 6/26/2012 | By: Lori Jane Gliha

The Department of Homeland Security has announced changes to its relationship with Arizona’s local law enforcement following Monday's Supreme Court ruling.

Just hours after the Supreme Court released its decision on SB1070, the Obama Administration made a big move by ending existing agreements with Arizona police agencies.
DHS officials will no longer respond to the scene of a state or local traffic stop when those agencies request help enforcing immigration law.
They will respond over the phone to help verify someone's immigration status, but they will not go to the scene unless the person is a convicted criminal, has previously been removed from the country, or is a recent border crosser.
Responding to the move, Gov. Jan Brewer said she was not surprised President Barack Obama has "once again abandoned the citizens of Arizona."
"The Obama administration has fought the people of Arizona at every turn – downplaying the threat that a porous border poses to our citizens, filing suit in order to block our state from protecting itself, unilaterally granting immunity to tens of thousands of illegal aliens living in our midst, and now this."
(Excerpt) Read more at abc15.com ...

7 Reasons Americans Are So Complacent About Our Country's Impending Bankruptcy

Townhall.com ^ | June 26, 2012 | John Hawkins

America is on track to go bankrupt. Just like Greece. The signs are all around us. We've lost our AAA credit rating. Trillion dollar deficits are the new normal. The Fed is buying 61% of our own debt. Barack Obama's 10 year budget will leave Americans with “more debt than has been accumulated by all previous Presidents in American history combined.” Nobody on the Left or Right seems to believe we'll ever pay off all of the money we owe. Life as we know it is very close to ending and yet Americans seem to be infected with a tragic stoicism. Like turkeys being led to the slaughter, most Americans seem content to put their necks down on the butcher's block and wait for the ax to fall. There are reasons for this puzzling inactivity in the face of an avertable catastrophe.
1) They're being misled by people with bad motives: What do you think would happen to Paul Krugman if he were to tell everyone that he is still a liberal, but the Tea Party and Paul Ryan are right about the deficit and Barack Obama and the Democratic Party are wrong? His column at the New York Times would be gone within six months. Do you think Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would continue leading their caucuses after 2012 if they insist on serious deficit reduction? Not a chance. What about a Democrat running in a liberal district who talks like Jim DeMint on deficits in a primary up against another Democrat who wants more spending? Who do you think would win? The big spender, right? Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in this country whose personal welfare depends on encouraging as much government spending as possible and even if the country goes bust in the process, they're hoping to have enough money in the bank to be able to move somewhere else by then anyway.
2) They think it's far off in the future: Most people think bankruptcy is a problem we'll be leaving to our kids after most of the people reading this column are dead and gone. That's not so at all. If you were a betting man, 5-15 years would be the likely timeframe on a default with it practically guaranteed to happen within 25 years without major changes -- although that may be far too optimistic. America is already stretched to the breaking point and who knows what sort of unexpected event could push us over the edge in the next few years? Maybe the crack-up of the EU, a European bank collapse, an organized effort to keep other nations from buying our debt, another, even more devastating 9/11 style attack, a dramatic surge in oil prices caused by an Israeli/Iranian war, etc., etc. Just as the mortgage crisis caught us flat footed and caused much more damage than we expected, a new crisis that occurs while America's economy is still puttering along as it has been during the Obama years could lead to a much deeper economic spiral than we anticipate.
3) Crisis fatigue is rampant: This is the most important election ever! Tune in at 6:00 P.M. to find out which ordinary product you use will kill you! George Bush is Hitler! Republicans want you to die! Racism today is as bad as the sixties! If you oppose gay marriage, you want to drag homosexuals to death behind your truck! If you disagree with Obama, you're a racist! Your freedom is at stake! Global warming is going to kill us all! Modern Americans are deluged with phony crises and ginned-up outrages all day long. That's why it's not a surprise when a real crisis as serious as anything we've ever faced in our nation's history comes along, many people have trouble distinguishing it from the fake dangers they hear about on a daily basis.
4) It's too confusing to comprehend: Most Americans don't even remotely understand the scope of the problem. They think we can raise taxes on the rich, cut a few bucks off foreign aid, and everything will take care of itself. When you start talking about unfunded liabilities, GDP, and trillions in debt to people who don't know much about economics and don't follow politics very closely -- which probably describes more than half of the American electorate -- you might as well be explaining the ins-and-outs of heart surgery. In other words, they may get it in the most general sense, but they don't really understand it, and they probably aren't going to opt for it unless they become convinced they're going to die otherwise.
5) It's painful to stop and easy to continue: It doesn't matter how reasonable the spending reductions you're suggesting are, if you want to cut ANYTHING in D.C., it will set off squawks of protest from the vultures who are having meat snatched out of their greedy mouths. However, if you really want to make people angry, start hacking money out of the three biggest expenditures in the budget: defense spending, Social Security, and Medicare/Medicaid/CHIP. We MIGHT be able to get by without cutting defense significantly since it's a relatively stable expenditure, but unless significant changes are made to both Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid/CHIP, both of which are rapidly increasing in cost, this country is going bankrupt. That's reality. Of course, it's also reality that making changes to both of those programs is unpopular, easy to demagogue, and scares most politicians more than a special prosecutor talking to their favorite hooker.
6) We still seem to be a rich country: America is a like a guy who lives in a five million dollar mansion with a dozen servants, drives a Ferrari, and hands out hundred dollar tips to waitresses and bellhops. The only problem is the mansion and the Ferrari aren't paid for, he's borrowing the money for the servants and the tips, and he has no hope of ever paying off the debt he's accruing while he lives a lifestyle he can't afford. Superficially, he looks to be very rich, but when the bill comes due, life is going to change for him in a hurry.
America is that guy and the bill is going to come due.
7) They don't see how it will affect them: Most Americans don't have the slightest clue how a default would change their lives for the worse. They don't understand that it would lead to another Depression, their life savings could become worthless almost overnight, their taxes would skyrocket, their standard of living would drastically decrease, Medicare and Social Security checks could stop, and we could have widespread disorder. In Greece, some government workers haven't been paid in months, government road projects are being abandoned, healthy businesses can't get credit, and medicine is in short supply. Unless something changes, Americans won't have to imagine what that will be like because we'll be living it soon enough.

Why The Newsroom is Good News for Republicans

Sultan Knish ^ | June 25, 2012 | Daniel Greenfield

The last time Aaron Sorkin had a high-profile political television show, liberals used it to cope with the decline and fall of the Clinton Presidency and the long winter of the Bush Years. The West Wing was a coping mechanism for the death of a liberal dream, and so is The Newsroom. Both are an escape into fantasy to avoid dealing with the harsh reality.

On an episode of Seinfeld, George is stung by an insult but is unable to think of a retort, so he spends days trying to come up with the perfect comeback, until he finally thinks of it and travels around the country to get the chance to deliver it. The Newsroom, set in the past, and jumping in right before the political balance tilted toward the Republicans in the mid-term elections, is the same thing.

The Newsroom is Sorkin's sad attempt to win an argument by rewriting history and coming up with all the comebacks that his side couldn't think of two years ago. It's the sad and pathetic spectacle of an ideology creating its own fantasy version of its reality in which it won the argument.
Unlike The West Wing, The Newsroom isn't set in an alternate world in which the universe innately favors liberals. Instead it's set in an alternate version of the past, in which liberals were smarter and won all the arguments that they ended up losing here. And the existence of The Newsroom is the greatest possible concession that the argument was lost.
There's no reason for Republicans to look down on The Newsroom. It's a safer outlet for liberal anger than Occupy Wall Street. It's a miniature universe in which they are smarter, nobler and better than everyone else. Children have fantasy worlds like that. There's no reason that liberals shouldn't. Not only does it give them the security of believing that they really were superior, but it prevents them from learning any useful lessons from their defeat.
It's never a bad thing when your enemies escape into a delusional state, to a world of their making in which they are in complete control of everything. It makes it more likely that they will cede at least some control over the real world. And it's not only an admission of defeat, but of emotional and mental fragility. Adults don't need to build fantasy worlds to escape the effects of their failures on their precious self-esteem. That's for overgrown children who are used to getting trophies for just showing up.
The Newsroom is the kid that everyone hated losing his race for class president and creating a fantasy world in which he won the election and everyone cheered his obnoxious tantrums. It may not be good for him, but it's good for us because it means he hasn't learned to win. All that he's learned to do is manage the emotional experience of defeat through delusional tantrums of superiority.
Propaganda that tells you that you won, when you actually lost, is corrosive; it inhibits any serious self-evaluation. And without some soul-searching and error-checking, the same mistakes are bound to be repeated over and over again. Seventeen years after the Clinton Presidency was nearly torpedoed by universal health care, his party's successor, who defeated the woman who shaped the initiative, went down the same road, but with much less caution.
That kind of stupidity would not have been possible if the winners had learned any lessons from the past. But the winners had been living on The West Wing, in which liberal speeches and principles are all it takes to win. Where the good guys never lose, because the scripts are written that way. Rather than living in the real Clinton Years, many of them had been living in the imaginary version. Now, rather than remembering the actual Obama Years, they will remember The Newsroom's fictional version of them. And they will make the same mistakes all over again.
HBO, which has invested big in liberal propaganda, knows exactly what it's doing. At a time when customers are dropping cable, particularly the high-priced packages, it is insulating itself with a built-in audience. Forget MSNBC or Comedy Central with their tantrums against real-life Republicans, on HBO, liberal audiences can go on safe safaris to see experienced liberal great hunters taking potshots at imaginary Republicans.
When the real-life Republicans are just too scary, the good liberal viewer flees to HBO, where the Republicans are just waiting to be deflated with a smarmy line about school prayer, science or terrorism. Just as the family sitcom reassured viewers about the state of the nuclear family, HBO reassures liberals about the state of their ideology, nurturing them and coddling them, until they are ready to reemerge at the next political rally.
The message that The Newsroom feeds to liberals is that they didn't have enough self-esteem, they weren't as self-confident, as abrasive and as biased as they should have been last time around. And that's a welcome thing, not for anyone who still harbors hope that a sane two-party system will prevail, but those who want to see liberals destroy themselves, their institutions and their ambitions.
If liberals acted in public life the way that they do on The Newsroom, they would be signing their own political death warrant. The Newsroom's message to the media is to be more openly biased. And who wouldn't welcome that? The media's last shreds of credibility come from its pretense that it is neutral. The day that news anchors routinely take to the air, announce their political affiliation and begin to rant about Republicans is the day that the last pieces of their empire come crumbling down. The day that every news channel is MSNBC is the day that they will all have to divide the MSNBC audience among themselves.
The liberal media is already following that path, and their newspapers, magazines and news shows are turning into ghettos because of it. The Newsroom berates them for not following it quickly enough. And the faster they go down that road, the less influence they will retain. If I wanted to destroy the liberal media, I would encourage them to follow The Newsroom's model. And while they won't listen to me... they will listen to Aaron Sorkin.
The real topic of The Newsroom is egotism and it's the perfect mirror for the destruction of the administrations of two egotistical Democratic chiefs who self-destructed because they had as little impulse control as The Newsroom's protagonist. The celebration of self-destructive behavior is self-destructive and it programs the Democrats to seek out the next cycle of egotistical, self-destructive politicians.
A failure to recognize one's own flaws means an inability to change. Hell is being trapped in one's own flaws forever. And that is The Newsroom, it is a hell that liberals have made for themselves, a Sisyphean exercise in which they roll the boulder endlessly up the hill, only to be flattened by it, and then resume the same exercise without having learned anything in the process except to push the boulder even faster next time.
The Newsroom reeks of its own smugness. It is entirely self-reflective. Its politics are a matter of identity. And that identity creates its own universe. There are universes like that already in cloistered urban centers, in ideologically-gated communities and in academia. And when their inhabitants mistake the larger world outside as being no different than their universe, the contest between the ideology and the world begins.
To the sociopath, the universe is a solipsistic place. So too the modern liberal sees the world as a place on which to force his own sense of internal identity. He reacts to the "otherness" of those who don't share his political identity by trying to stamp them out. If he can't physically destroy them, then he retreats to physical and mental enclaves where he destroys them intellectually over and over again, fighting battles against legions of ghosts and shadows, mocking and ridiculing them out of existence, until he is forced to face them in real life and attempts to treat real people the way that he treated the imaginary obstacles to his ego.
With The Newsroom, the cycle continues as, anticipating defeat, liberals retreat to a safe place in an imaginary version of the past, in which they can line up all their enemies and knock them down like rows of toy soldiers, in which everything seems clear and certain, and their side always wins. Their hibernation is a good sign. It's a sign that they are afraid they are about to lose.
Bears leave hibernation in the spring, but, since the spring, liberals have begun crawling into their own caves, arranging the cushions, closing the blinds and shutting away the world, for the better world glowing from their television screens.