Thursday, January 12, 2012

Voting from the grave

What’s new Today

Our #1 story tells of another expose by James O’Keefe in the potential of voter fraud in the Granite state.  #2 is a story about Lil Debbie.  #3 Obama continues to play the blame game.  #4 tells us the White House is not yet in campaign mode.  Could have fooled me.  #5 tells us despite what the democrats say, income disparity is not getting much worse.  It’s an interesting read. #6 questions the notion that the left is more empathic.  They aren’t. 

1.   Voter Fraud?

The guerrilla gotcha artist who punked New Hampshire says his latest ploy — using dead people’s identities to get ballots in the Granite State primary — is no different than what any hard-hitting network news operation does.

It’s just another kind of investigative journalism, insists conservative video activist James O’Keefe, who is now facing a state investigation.

“There is definitely a double standard against citizen journalists,” said O’Keefe. His undercover stings embarrassed ACORN in 2009, when he posed as a pimp seeking criminal advice from the left-leaning community service organization — and prompted high-level resignations at NPR, after an O’Keefe team posing as Muslim donors taped an executive calling Tea Party conservatives “seriously racist, racist people.”

I notice a contempt and a hostility from the media establishment towards us,” O’Keefe told the Herald yesterday. “The journalism establishment is not very friendly to me or to our work product, when they’ve been using these tactics for decades.”…

Meanwhile, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office confirmed it is investigating the sting. “We are undertaking a comprehensive review of voting procedures with the secretary of state,” Associate Attorney General Richard Head added, declining to comment further.

Nashua City Clerk Paul Bergeron said he was angered by the “stunt.”

“I think successful prosecution would be a nice deterrent from this happening again,” Bergeron said….

It’s seem funny to me than whenever Democrats or people who represent their positions are caught in compromising situations, the Democrats almost always want to go after the people who shined a light on them. 

2.  Who’s to Blame?

An inter-party feud erupted Wednesday evening over whether the head of the Democratic Party blamed the Tea Party movement for the shooting one year ago in Tucson, Ariz. that killed six and injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

The left claimed that Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) was referring to the rancor of public discourse — a hot topic in the days after the shooting.

Republicans called it a pathetic attempt to score political points, and demanded an apology…

It’s funny how the Democrats always see the Right as the cause of all things evil.  Even Lil Debbie in her remarks said, “I hesitate to place blame, but I have noticed it take a very precipitous turn towards edginess and a lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement.”  Two things here: it hardly appears she was hesitating to place blame and her remarks to me look to lack civility. 

3.  You can fool all of the people, some of the time….

Last month the president went to Kansas to deliver a speech that told us precisely how he intends to frame his re-election campaign. By laying blame for our current economic challenges on a rogue and greedy business culture, the president hopes to convince a majority of voters that we have a fundamental lack of fairness and equality in America that can only be remedied through the expansion of government spending and the enactment of more laws and regulations.

It's a huge gamble — but one that I'm not yet willing to bet won't pay off.

Don't get me wrong; it’s not that I agree with the president. It's just that I've read enough history and heard enough people voice their frustration to know that it wouldn't be the first time a political figure has exploited the fears of people under stress by fueling the notion of economic boogeymen….

Obama is hoping to fool people again this time around.  I don’t think it will work because people now know what his solutions are and how well they work. 

4.  White House: No, we’re not campaigning

The White House has insisted time and again in recent days that it is not yet in campaign mode.

A business forum focused on keeping jobs in the United States that the president hosted Wednesday — the day after the New Hampshire primary — wasn’t a political event, the White House said.

Neither was last week’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a move that helped reignite Obama’s base. That surprise appointment came the day after the Iowa caucuses.

The president didn’t even watch the returns from New Hampshire that all but crowned Mitt Romney as the GOP presidential nominee, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Air Force One on Wednesday….

This article brings to mind the old joke about how you can tell when a politician is lying?  Their lips are moving. 

5.  The Income-Inequality Myth

As we listen to President Obama, Occupy Wall Street, and much of the mainstream media working themselves into a lather over inequality in America, one thinks of “Harrison Bergeron,” the 1961 short story by Kurt Vonnegut that posited a society based on perfect equality, “not only equal before God and the law . . . equal every which way.” The government employed a “Handicapper General” to ensure that no one was smarter, more athletic, or more productive than anyone else. Beautiful people were forced to wear masks, athletic people had to carry weights, and intelligent people wore radios in their ears to interrupt their thoughts with loud noises.

Yet for all the sound and fury — and beating drums in Zuccotti Park — almost everything that people presume about inequality in America is wrong.

For example, nearly all reporting on income inequality in America has suggested that the incomes of the rich have been rising, while incomes for the rest of us have been stagnant or even declining. But that may represent a significant misreading of the data.

Most studies of inequality, including the recent widely reported study by the CBO, rely on IRS-reported taxable income. But, as studies by the Cato Institute’s Alan Reynolds and others show, reports of skyrocketing incomes among the top 1 percent of earners may be distorted by changes in the tax code that have resulted in more wealth being reported as taxable income. These tax changes caused businesses to switch from filing under the corporate tax system  to filing as individuals, and executives to switch from accepting stock options taxed as capital gains to nonqualified stock options taxed as salaries. Simultaneously, the reductions in income-tax rates in 1986 caused much previously unreported income to show up on tax returns….

Similarly, many studies looking at low-income Americans fail to account for non-cash social-welfare benefits such as food stamps, housing subsidies, and Medicaid. Fully accounting for all of these factors suggests that the gap between rich and poor may not be nearly as large as thought, and that inequality may not be growing at all….

The last paragraph is important.  Non-cash means-tested social-welfare programs will amount to $900 BILLION this year (it doesn’t include Medicare, SS, etc.).  This is an 8% shift of income from the taxpayers to the poor and has been one of the fastest growing parts of the non-entitlement spending by the government.  And while we deduct taxes when we look at income, we don’t add in government programs.  The method used is designed to distort the data the way that understate what the poor have to live on and exaggerates income inequality.  BTW when I saw the bit about the ‘Handicap General,’ you’ve got to imagine that Richard Trumka would be lobbying Obama for that job. 

6.  Empathy and the Left

Lest you doubt that we’re headed for the most vicious election year in memory, consider the determined effort, within ten minutes of his triumph in Iowa, to weirdify Rick Santorum. Discussing the surging senator on Fox News, Alan Colmes mused on some of the “crazy things” he’s said and done.

The short life of Gabriel Santorum would seem a curious priority for political discourse at a time when the Brokest Nation in History is hurtling toward its rendezvous with destiny. But needs must and victory by any means necessary. In 2008, the Left gleefully mocked Sarah Palin’s live baby. It was only a matter of time before they moved on to a dead one….

…In 1996, the Santorums were told during the pregnancy that their baby had a fatal birth defect and would not survive more than a few hours outside the womb. So Gabriel was born, his parents bundled him, and held him, and baptized him. And two hours later he died. They decided to take his body back to the home he would never know. Weirdly enough, this crazy weird behavior is in line with the advice of the American Pregnancy Association, which says that “it is important for your family members to spend time with the baby” and “help them come to terms with their loss.”…

Indeed, flaunting their empathy is what got Eugene Robinson and many others their Pulitzers — Robinson describes his newspaper column as “a license to feel.” Yet he’s entirely incapable of imagining how it must feel for a parent to experience within the same day both new life and death — or even to understand that the inability to imagine being in that situation ought to prompt a little circumspection.

The Left’s much-vaunted powers of empathy routinely fail when confronted by those who do not agree with them politically. Rick Santorum’s conservatism is not particularly to my taste (alas, for us genuine right-wing crazies, it’s that kind of year), and I can well see why fair-minded people would have differences with him on a host of issues from spending to homosexuality. But you could have said the same thing four years ago about Sarah Palin — and instead the Left, especially the so-called feminist Left, found it easier to mock her gleefully for the soi-disant retard kid and her fecundity in general. The usual rap against the Right is that they’re hypocrites — they vote for the Defense of Marriage Act, and next thing you know they’re playing footsie across the stall divider with an undercover cop at the airport men’s room. But Rick Santorum lives his values, and that seems to bother the Left even more.

Never mind the dead kid, he has six living kids. How crazy freaky weird is that?...

The left gets no points for their real empathy.  It appears they have empathy only for those who subscribe to their political views and if they happen to be a woman or a minority, the left has special vitriol for them. 

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