Monday, July 9, 2012

Man Who Intro'd Obama at Rally Owes Former Employer Half-Million Dollars for Stealing! ^

Certain events in the 2012 campaign make you ask how would the media respond if a particular story was about Mitt Romney rather than President Obama.

Take this past Friday, when President Obama was introduced at an Ohio rally by a man accused to stealing trade secrets from his former employer.

According to a local CBS affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio, Daniel Potkanowicz has been ordered to pay $500,000 to his former employer after a judge ruled that Potkanowicz had stolen trade secrets.

Ooops! Government Overpays $14 billion in unemployment benefits

American Thinker ^ | 07/09/2012 | Rick Moran

Make sure you've taken your blood pressure meds before reading this.

CNN Money:
Overpayments are a rampant problem in the unemployment insurance system. The federal government and states overpaid an estimated $14 billion in benefits in fiscal 2011, or roughly 11% of all the jobless benefits paid out, according to reports from the U.S. Labor Department. Of the states, Indiana was the worst offender, making more improper payments than it did correct ones. Now, the U.S. Department of Labor and the states are in the midst of a massive effort to try to recoup some of their lost funds and avoid future overpayments. Where does the money go?
The vast majority of unemployment benefits do go to people in need. In 2010 alone they helped keep 3.2 million Americans out of poverty, according to the Census Bureau.
But of the overpaid funds, most end up in the hands of three types of people: Those who aren't actively searching for a job, those who were fired or quit voluntarily, and those who continue to file claims even though they've returned to work. Any of those circumstances would make a person ineligible for benefits.
The overpayment typically results from an administrative error made either by the government, the employer, the worker or a combination of the three.
In much rarer situations, people deliberately defraud the system, using fake documents or identities. Common scams involve prison inmates, illegal immigrants or even the deceased.
Ryan Greminger, 36, of Richmond, Ind. collected unemployment benefits while serving two years in a county jail for a drug-related crime.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...


Big Government ^ | 9 Jul 2012 | John Nolte

President Obama is obviously panicked. Last month Obama and his supporters spent a lot more than Mitt Romney, but even with that cash advantage and the media on their side, the polls haven't budged. Moreover, the President and his campaign have been running around frantically trying to find something that will stick to Romney, be it provable lies about his outsourcing and outright smears involving offshore accounts. Still, Obama can't get above 47% and Romney hasn't even started campaigning in earnest or spending the $160 million he has on hand.

Today, in yet another desperate attempt to win a news cycle as opposed to do his job and what’s best for the country.

Obama will use the high-profile setting of the Rose Garden to call for a huge tax increase on those making $250,000 or more, which will, of course, hit who knows how many small business owners.

Naturally, Obama and his Media Palace Guards will spin today's announcement as a call to keep in place the Bush-era tax cuts for those making under $250,000 a year (a middle class tax cut), but it's really a call to raise taxes on our nation's job creators.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Obama to seek one-year extension for some of Bush tax cuts!

Reuters ^ | July 9, 2012 | Reutters

President Barack Obama will call on Monday for a one-year extension of Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 a year, according to a White House official, seeking to spare the economy the impact of taxes going up on January 1.

Obama, a Democrat, will make the request in a statement at the White House, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Republicans in Congress, however, are unlikely to be swayed, as they have consistently argued that the Bush tax cuts should be extended for everyone.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...


Federal agencies can no longer buy Apple products for their offices.

According to a recent announcement, Apple will be pulling all of their products from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), the leading green consumer electronics standard. EPEAT is designed to mitigate the negative environmental and social impacts of electronics manufacturing by requiring that products meet eight environmental “performance categories,” including product lifetime, toxic materials, and recyclability of components and packaging materials.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

4GW: "Know Your Enemy." Fourth Generation Warfare Messaging As Practiced by the Collectivists

Sipsey Street Irregulars ^ | 7/8/12 | Dutchman 6

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War.

Strategically, 4GW (Fourth Generation Warfare) attempts to directly change the minds of enemy policy makers. This change is not to be achieved through the traditional method of superiority on the battlefield. . . (4GW) victories are accomplished through the superior use of all available networks to directly defeat the will of the enemy leadership, to convince them their war aims are either unachievable or too costly. 

These networks will be employed to carry specific messages to . . . policy makers and to those who can influence policy makers. Intifada I showed how a sophisticated opponent can tailor specific messages to several audiences simultaneously based on strategic requirements. Although tailored for various audiences, each message is designed to achieve the basic purpose of war: change an opponent's political position on a matter of national interest. The fights in Iraq and Afghanistan are showing similar characteristics. In each, the insurgent is sending one message to his supporters, another to the mass of the undecided population, and a third to the coalition decision makers. -- The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century, COL. Thomas X. Hammes, USMC, pp. 208-209.

Readers may recall my Independence Day essay on the the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare and Fourth Generation Warfare. They may also recall my post of yesterday The Little Blue Book. Well, I have now finished it and am ready to present an analysis of it.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Target Donates 100% of Gay ‘Pride’ T-Shirt Sales to Group Advocating Same-Sex Marriage!

Cybercast News Service ^ | July 6, 2012 | Gabriella Hoffman

For June “Pride Month,” dedicated to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons, the Target Corp. announced it would sell “gay pride” t-shirts and donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the Family Equality Council (FEC), a group that, among other issues, supports same-sex marriage and works to remove restrictions against LGBT persons adopting children.

In June, Target Corp. agreed to sell t-shirts in its stores nationwide for $12.99 to help the Family Equality Council raise $120,000 towards the defeat of the Minnesota Marriage Amendment in the Great Lakes State this November, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
The t-shirts, 10 varieties, promoted pro-gay themes such as the rainbow coupled with the word “Pride” or “Harmony” and “Love is Love.” A typical ad for one of the t-shirts read: “PRIDE Mens Heather Grey Rainbow Colorblock Crew Graphic T-Shirt. Target will Donate 100% of PRIDE Merchandise Sales to Family Equality Council. Free shipping when you spend $50.”
Target’s communications director, Molly Snyder, told “Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business and has a long history of supporting the LGBT community through giving, volunteerism and event sponsorship and participation. Over the past year, we heard from our team members and guests that they’d like to see an assortment of Pride merchandise available at Target.” …
The Family Equality Council was created in 1979 to advance gay rights and similar causes. It supports same-sex partnerships, adoption of children by homosexuals, and anti-bullying measures in schools, among other issues. …

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

The State of the Race, Four Months Out (Obama in Trouble)

Weekly Standard ^ | 07/09/2012 | Jay Cost

Give the media enough time, and they will spin straw into gold – for Democrats, naturally. And so it has been over the last two weeks since the Obamacare ruling was handed down. We have seen media pundits debate whether the ruling hurts Mitt Romney. We have seen them criticize Team Romney for not being johnny-on-the-spot with a reaction to a ruling that virtually nobody expected. We have seen them speculate that Team Obama’s Bain attacks are working, despite a dearth of hard evidence and no serious indication from the Romney campaign that they are worth responding to. And on and on it goes.
With the media consistently confusing and obscuring the true state of the race, it is worth reviewing the key facts that will determine the parameters of the fall campaign.

There are four, in particular.

(1) Barack Obama is an unpopular president. You might never pick up on this if your only sources for information are NBC Nightly News and the New York Times. But that does not make it untrue:
Which president was the last one to win reelection with a job approval less than 50 percent among the electorate?
Don’t worry if you are having trouble answering. It’s a trick question. Since they’ve been asking the question, the exit polls and the National Election Study have not found such a victor.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

ObamaCare is Shovel-Ready for You!

American Thinker ^ | July 9, 2012 | Stella Paul

I've been gobbling berries like crazy ever since June 28, when Chief Justice John Roberts gifted us ObamaCare. I figure I'd better fortify my body with antioxidants before they drop all 2,000 pages of Obama's "law" on my head. But every time I read what's coming, I feel sick.

It seems that over in Merrie Olde England, the National Health Service is simultaneously imploding into some kind of fiscal Death Star and terrifying the populace. If you obsessively read the British papers (I do), you'll know that just last Saturday they informed us that NHS let a 22-year-old hospital patient die of thirst; forgot about a young woman they'd left in a back room on a trolley, who was screaming with pain and bereft of food or water; and let an 18-year-old girl die of infection when the nurses neglected to give her the prescribed antibiotics. This is one day's news!

What gets me is that NHS is the biggest business in England, employing 1.7 million people. Can't they find someone to empty a bedpan? Apparently not.

The other day, my heart broke when I read that "thousands of dementia sufferers are being abandoned" by NHS -- but then the next day, I read about the Liverpool Care Pathway and realized that anybody too addled to know what's going on may be lucky.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

With Little to Say, Obama Eats Grits in Rust Belt ^ | July 9, 2012 | Michael Barone

"A step in the right direction." That's what Barack Obama said in Poland, Ohio, about Friday's Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment report, which showed only 80,000 net new jobs and unemployment remaining at 8.2 percent.

The thought will occur to many, not all of them Obama detractors, that this was at best a baby step. It's not enough to keep up with population growth, much less to restore the low unemployment rates of most of the 1990s and 2000s.

Another thought will occur to professional amateur political strategists: Why did the president's campaign schedule a two-day bus tour of northern Ohio and western Pennsylvania to coincide with the day the unemployment numbers were announced?
Sure, Ohio and Pennsylvania are important states politically. They have 18 and 20 electoral votes, and Obama carried them in 2008 with 51 and 54 percent of the votes.
And current polling shows Obama with only 46 percent in Ohio and 47 percent in Pennsylvania when paired against Mitt Romney.
Obama's bus tour was aimed at the historically Democratic Rust Belt territory. Since the United Steelworkers, United Auto Workers and United Rubber Workers organized the steel, auto and rubber factories on Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown and Toledo, this has been prime Democratic territory.
Even in 1984, when Ronald Reagan was winning a 59 to 40 percent landslide, this Rust Belt -- 19 counties of northern and eastern Ohio and 14 counties of western Pennsylvania -- voted 52 to 47 percent for Walter Mondale. It was 12 points more Democratic than the national average.
If these 33 counties had been a single state, they would have cast 19 electoral votes for Mondale, more than doubling the 13 he won from his native Minnesota and the District of Columbia.
In the 1980s, the Rust Belt was still smarting from factory closings and heavy job losses in the recession of the late 1970s. Most of those lost union-wage jobs never came back, and angry laid-off factory workers and their families were unpersuaded by the Reagan campaign's claim that it was "morning in America."
In the years since, the economy of the Rust Belt has changed. The biggest employers in Cleveland and Pittsburgh these days are not steel mills but hospital complexes.
There has been considerable outmigration of young people, and from 1980 to 2010, the population of these 33 counties declined by 7 percent, while the national population increased by 36 percent. If they were a single state, they would have 14 electoral votes, down from 19 three decades ago.
The aging electorate of the Rust Belt remains Democratic, and these counties voted 56 to 42 percent for Barack Obama. But that means that they were only 3 percent more Democratic than the national average.
The polling data suggests that Obama is not running as strong in the Rust Belt counties this year. The bus tour was undoubtedly aimed at pushing his numbers up.
But he seems to have been left with little to say. No wonder he resorted to making jokes about his family and adding, "People've been commenting: I need to gain some weight."
As if to compensate, he ate some grits -- a staple once you get an hour or so south of Washington, but not so much up north.
But what else could he talk about? Certainly not the Environmental Protection Agency's rules shutting down coal-fired electric plants. Nor his decision blocking the Keystone oil pipeline.
He could hail the development of fracking in the region's Marcellus shale natural gas formation in the region, except for the fact that regulators in his administration seem intent on shutting it down.
He could repeat his calls for "investment" in education, but even if you don't regard that as a political payoff to the teacher unions, the dividends are going to be a long time coming in.
And calls for investment in infrastructure may lead people to recall his chuckling admission that there are no shovel-ready projects, thanks to regulatory and legal roadblocks.
The uncomfortable fact is that Obama doesn't have a convincing economic story to tell. The recovery summer promised for 2010 and for 2011 and again for 2012 has yet to arrive.
Obama needs majorities in the Rust Belt counties to carry Ohio and Pennsylvania again. But last week's bus tour shows he's having difficulty in this historically Democratic territory.

Of Two Minds

 Charles Hugh Smith

If the economy continues declining into late October, there may be two landslides in the making: the stock market and the presidential election. The stock market is precariously close to slipping into a landslide. If the economy and stock market both continue declining into late October, the presidential election could also turn into a landslide--against the incumbent.
There is nothing particularly partisan about this possibility; people who vote tend to vote their pocketbooks, and a re-election campaign that boils down to "hey, it's not as bad as The Great Depression" is unlikely to inspire great loyalty in voters who are already culturally predisposed to tire quickly of presidents, wars and a tanking economy.

If the economy and stock markets are both slip-sliding away, the opponent need only be "not the incumbent" to win.
Presidents facing re-election in deteriorating economic conditions find their support in the critical non-partisan middle is a mile wide and an inch deep. A recessionary economy acts like a drought on that shallow lake of support, and when it dries up then the incumbent loses, and often loses big.
Let's consider the critical backdrops of the economy and stock market: household income and corporate profits. Market bulls like to tout rising profits as the reason the market can keep climbing higher in a global recession, but before we get too euphoric let's recall that the earnings of 90% of American households have been flat since 1970.
All those fabulous profits were built on two now-crumbling edifices: astounding levels of household debt and a declining U.S. dollar that boosted the critical overseas profits (40% of all profits) via currency devaluation. Now that the dollar has broken out of a multi-decade downtrend and has been rising for a year, those tailwinds have turned into headwinds.
I have yet to read even one market bull who has considered the negative impact of the strengthening dollar on overseas profits. That is a fatal flaw in their argument for ever-higher profits and stocks.
Can the top 5% push corporate profits into the stratosphere?

Scarlet Letter

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Belittling America

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our freedom

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...what was in it!

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Government Intrusion

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Food Stamps

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Gives a damn?

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speed bump

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Raise your...

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GTFO 2012

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...Worth a thousand words!

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Atlas Shrugs ^ | July 8 ,2012 | Pamela Geller

Earlier this week, I warned Atlas readers of Obama's attack on the second amendment ( ). Now this -- defund the UN, now. and oust Obama. That's our clarion call.

"Exclusive report: Iran elected to top post at UN Arms Trade Treaty conference" UN Watch
Human rights group urge Ban Ki-moon to condemn "scandalous" election.

GENEVA, July 8 - Iran was elected to a top post on the UN Arms Trade Treaty conference, revealed UN Watch today in an exclusive report. The Geneva-based human rights group is calling on UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the conference on the same day, to condemn the selection of the Tehran regime.

Although the U.N. conference website and summary fail to name the 15 members elected to the bureau on July 3rd, UN Watch has discovered that the countries elected to the five regional groups include Iran, Japan, and South Korea for the Asian group; Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria for Africa; Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Ukraine for Eastern Europe; Australia, Netherlands and Switzerland for the Western Europe & Others Group; and Mexico and two others for Latin America. (See U.N. webcast here, announcing election of Iran at minute 4:45.)
The United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, which opened last week and runs until July 27, promises to deliver a new agreement to regulate the transfer of arms.
“Right after a UN Security Council report found Iran guilty of illegally transferring guns and bombs to Syria, which is now murdering thousands of its own people, it defies logic, morality and common sense for the UN to now elect this same regime to a global post in the regulation of arms transfers,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental monitoring group based in Geneva.
"This is like choosing Bernie Madoff to police fraud on the stock market. And the U.N.'s scandalous choice of Iran is exactly why we fear that Syria's declared bid for a U.N. Human Rights Council seat is not impossible."
UN Watch called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the conference on the same day as the election, to condemn the decision to give Iran a position of responsibility in regulating the arms trade.
"He should remind the conference that the Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its probited nuclear program, and that Iran continues to defy the international community through illegal arms shipments to the murderous Assad regime," said Neuer.
"Syria continues to be the central party to illicit Iranian arms transfers," the Security Council report recently found, citing the discovery of Iranian shipments to Damascus of assault rifles, machineguns, explosives, detonators, 60mm and 120mm mortal shells and other items.
Neuer expressed concern that the UN's election of Iran "injects ambiguity about the U.N.'s position on illicit Iranian arms transfers, fuels Iranian propaganda, and grants international legitimacy to a regime that tortures student activists, hangs gays and subjugates women."
Iran is already boasting about the UN election in its state-controlled media.
IRNA announced that Iran was elected "as deputy for the talks to regulate global arms trade treaty. Some 193 participating countries unanimously voted in favor of Iran during the 4th day of the meeting." ISNA also ran the report. The Tehran Times declared that Iran "is assisting the president of the Arms Trade Treaty Conference in the general conduct of the business of the conference."

Majority feel Obama has changed country for worse (1-in-5 RATS agree)

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The Hill ^ | 7/09/12 | Sheldon Alberts

Two-thirds of likely voters say President Obama has kept his 2008 campaign promise to change America — but it’s changed for the worse, according to a sizable majority.

A new poll for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.

The results signal broad voter unease with the direction the nation has taken under Obama’s leadership and present a major challenge for the incumbent Democrat as he seeks reelection this fall.

Conducted for The Hill by Pulse Opinion Research, the poll comes in the wake of last month’s Supreme Court decision that upheld the primary elements of Obama’s signature healthcare legislation.

It found 68 percent of likely voters — regardless of whether they approve or disapprove of Obama — believe the president has substantially transformed the country since his 2009 inauguration.

The feeling that Obama has changed the country for the worse is strongest among Republicans, at 91 percent, compared to 71 percent of Democrats who support Obama’s brand of change.

Strikingly, 1-in-5 Democrats say they feel Obama has changed the United States for the worse.

Compared to the sentiment about Obama’s impact, fewer people see presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney as a candidate who will change the country dramatically if elected.

Still, 50 percent of people think Romney will bring a “significant” level of change — a finding that may reflect the desire among anti-Obama voters for a reversal of the president’s policies.

Debate about Obama’s first-term legacy has intensified since the Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate to be constitutional.

The healthcare legislation, once fully implemented, would usher in the most sweeping changes to the nation’s social safety net since the 1960s.

To Obama’s supporters, the ruling was a validation of his 2008 campaign theme of “change we can believe in.” At that time, Obama hinted at his ambitions to become a transformative president in the mold of Ronald Reagan.

“I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it,” he told the Reno Gazette-Journal in January 2008.

Beyond the healthcare law, Obama won passage of the Dodd-Frank financial industry reforms, generally viewed as the biggest Wall Street regulatory changes since the 1930s.

In the absence of major immigration legislation, Obama recently eased deportation rules for young illegal immigrants brought to the country as children.

Obama’s ambitions for big change fell short in other areas. He has been unable to pass climate change legislation or repeal the Bush-era tax rates.

On social issues, Obama recently became the first president to endorse gay marriage.

Independent of voter opinions about how the country has changed, The Hill Poll found an overwhelming majority of voters — 89 percent — view the choice between Obama and Romney as important in terms of the future impact on the country.

Almost half (47 percent) say they are paying more attention to this year’s election than the 2008 vote. Republicans are generally paying more attention than Democrats — 56 percent to 44 percent — to the 2012 campaign compared to 2008.

Among centrists, views are evenly split on how Obama has changed the country — with 40 percent saying the United States is better today and 42 percent saying it is worse off. Eighty percent of liberals think Obama has changed the country for the better.

There is a marked difference of opinion along racial lines, with just 29 percent of whites saying Obama has changed the country for the better compared to 92 percent of blacks.

The poll was conducted among 1,000 likely voters on July 5 and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Krauthammer: Israelis will attack Iran if they think Obama will win re-election!

Daily Caller ^ | Krauthammer

On Friday’s “Special Report,” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer warned that Americans should expect Israel to attack Iran if President Barack Obama’s re-election appears likely.
Krauthammer explained that there could be a punitive response from the Obama administration, which would be less likely before he is re-elected.

“If they think Obama will win reelection I think it’s likely they will attack before, because afterwards there is no way to tell how Obama would punish Israel and they would be vulnerable to sanctions and other measure of the United States,” he said.

Krauthammer reminded viewers of the time frame advanced by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta earlier this year, and explained how that is a sign that “the clock is running.”

“The window is between now — remember, the Secretary of Defense said earlier in year that Israel would have attacked by now, attack in April, May, June,” he continued.

“The clock is running. They are simply waiting to make sure that the sham negotiations are declared over, rather than put on life support — to say all options have been tried and now we have to defend ourselves.”

The States Can Still Kill Obamacare

American Spectator ^ | 7-9-12 | David Catron

By taking aim at its insurance exchanges, the law's Achilles' heel, they can do it in.

Now that conservatives and libertarians are beginning to recover from the injuries they sustained by banging their heads against walls, desks, and other hard objects on June 28, perhaps it's a good time to introduce a ray of hope that might have seemed absurdly Pollyannaish during the dark hours immediately following the Supreme Court's surreal Obamacare ruling.

Although the voters can put an end to the madness on November 6, the states don't need to wait until Election Day to take aim at a point of vulnerability that remains in place despite the Court's latest caprice.

They can refuse to implement the law's insurance exchanges!

(Excerpt) Read more at ...