Friday, May 25, 2012

Obama's disasterous three weeks

 Today’s Thoughts

"They believed the $11 billion tax cut would, by putting more money into people's pockets, stimulate the economy and thereby increase tax revenues, and the money government would have available for these programs."  Robert Caro on the 1963 Democrats on tax cuts. 

Elizabeth Warren has finally played the M card.  How does she know she’s Native American?  Her mom told her.  

"Houston, it looks like we got us a Dragon by the tail," may go down with “God Speed, John Glenn,” and “One small step for man” in space history as the first private commercial space craft was hauled in by the Space Station today.  

"Journalists who wept when he won the election now grind their teeth in despair. ... The gap between sizzle and steak never seemed so large." Noemie Emery in the Weekly Standard on President Obama.

What’s New Today
Story #1 tells us that as we learn more about President Obama the worst he looks to the Democrats who will run alongside of him this fall.  #2 explains why this knowledge may have taken so long as the liberal cocoon seems to keep reality from the left.  #3 looks at how Obama seem greatly weakened even from three months ago.  #4 focuses on the last three weeks of Obama’s campaign and see chaos.  #5 turns around Obama’s scrutinizing Romney’s private equity and looks at Obama’s record in public equity (Romney’s doing much better).  #6 looks at how Hollywood views big business and capitalism vs reality.  And #7 looks at the supporter of the Paycheck Equity Act. 

The Truth is coming

We are rapidly approaching the moment at which Washington reevaluates the Obama campaign’s reputation for competence and expertise. Every week, one or several of Obama’s surrogates trip over their own words; every day, Jim Messina and David Plouffe and David Axelrod must scratch their heads in wonder at the mess they are creating. One gaffe is an isolated event. Two is an embarrassment. But three or more form a pattern, one that is damaging not only Obama’s precarious chances for reelection but also the fortunes of the Democratic Party….

What resulted—the stimulus, Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, the relentless pursuit of higher taxes on wealth, the bashing of hedge funds and private equity—has turned much of high finance against the Obama administration and even the Democratic Party at large. Cory Booker was performing triage. He was trying to sustain the dying embers of a Clintonite, pro-business Democratic Party. He understood that Obama and his Keystone Kops are turning the New Democrat dream into ashes. And Booker, like other Democrats, is terrified by the answer to the following question: Who else will Obama bring down with him?

It’s tough to remember less than four years ago, the Democrats were celebrating and talking about being in power for the next twenty years.  I think the last sentence is a very poignant one.  How bad is it going to be in November for the Democrats? 

The Liberal Cocoon

…But cocooning has an asymmetrical effect on liberals and conservatives. Even in a cocoon, conservatives cannot avoid liberal mainstream media, liberal Hollywood entertainment and, these days, the liberal Obama administration.

They're made uncomfortably aware of the arguments of those on the other side. Which gives them an advantage in fashioning their own responses.

Liberals can protect themselves better against assaults from outside their cocoon. They can stay out of megachurches and make sure their remote controls never click on Fox News. They can stay off the AM radio dial so they will never hear Rush Limbaugh.

The problem is that this leaves them unprepared to make the best case for their side in public debate. They are too often not aware of holes in arguments that sound plausible when bandied between confreres entirely disposed to agree.

We have seen how this works on some issues this year.
Take the arguments developed by professor Randy Barnett of Georgetown Law that Obamacare's mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. Some liberal scholars like Jack Balkin of Yale have addressed them with counterarguments of their own.

But liberal politicians and Eric Holder's Justice Department remained clueless about them. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asked whether Obamacare was unconstitutional, could only gasp: "Are you serious? Are you serious?"

In March, after the Supreme Court heard extended oral argument on the case, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin was clearly flabbergasted that a majority of justices seemed to take the case against Obamacare's constitutionality very seriously indeed.

Liberals better informed about the other side's case might have drafted the legislation in a way to avoid this controversy. But nothing they heard in their cocoon alerted them to the danger…

A good example of this is the latest meme of Obama that he is the fiscal conservative and (believe it or not) the deficits are Bush’s fault!  You have to be in a cocoon to think that you could get traction on that when the deficits have doubled under your administration. 

The Weakened President

Like a Seurat painting or a pixilated photograph coming into focus, there are now enough tiny dots of independent data to begin to form a preliminary picture of Barack Obama’s re-election effort — and the emerging image is bleak.

Tuesday night, two more Democratic primaries brought bad news to the sitting Democratic president. More than four of every 10 Democrats who went to the polls in Arkansas and Kentucky voted against him. Obama was able to secure only 58 percent of the primary vote in each state.

This follows the 41 percent showing in the West Virginia primary for a felon sitting in a Texas jail, and the fact that 20 percent of Democratic voters in North Carolina’sprimary actually voted “no preference” rather than pull the lever for their party leader and president….

….What does it mean, then, when a president with unserious challengers who should be getting 90 percent of his own party’s primary vote instead can’t get over 60 percent in three successive states?

It means Big Trouble, is what it means.

It also means we know what is going to be said if he loses — that it won’t be because of the sluggish economy, or the $2.5 trillion in new spending, or the failed stimulus.
We will be told, as we were this week, that he wasn’t be judged on the content of his candidacy, but on the color of his skin.

I think Obama’s embrace of gay marriage is also another factor that the left will use to show it wasn’t Obama or the left’s agenda that caused the loss, but the prejudices of the American People.

Obama Stumbles out of the Gate

Nothing inspires Democrats like the Barack Obama swagger — the supreme self-confidence on stage, the self-certainty in private.

So nothing inspires more angst than when that same Obama stumbles, as he has leaving the gate in 2012.

That’s the unmistakable reality for Democrats since Obama officially launched his reelection campaign three weeks ago. Obama, not Mitt Romney, is the one with the muddled message — and the one who often comes across as baldly political. Obama, not Romney, is the one facing blowback from his own party on the central issue of the campaign so far — Romney’s history with Bain Capital   And most remarkably, Obama, not Romney, is the one falling behind in fundraising….

Everyday things look worse and worse for Obama.  I have said for a year Obama will lose by more than he won by in 2008 based upon the economy.  But it could be worse.  He looks to drag down the Democratic Party with him as Democrats get discouraged and fail to come out in the numbers they will need for other contests.   

Private vs Public Equity

Despite a growing backlash from his fellow Democrats, President Obama has doubled down on his attacks on Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital. But the strategy could backfire in ways Obama did not anticipate. After all, if Romney’s record in private equity is fair game, then so is Obama’s record in public equity — and that record is not pretty.

Since taking office, Obama has invested billions of taxpayer dollars in private businesses, including as part of his stimulus spending bill. Many of those investments have turned out to be unmitigated disasters — leaving in their wake bankruptcies, layoffs, criminal investigations and taxpayers on the hook for billions. Consider just a few examples of Obama’s public equity failures:…

… Amazingly, Obama has declared that all the projects received funding “based solely on their merits.”  But as Hoover Institution scholar Peter Schweizer reported in his book, “Throw Them All Out,” fully 71 percent of the Obama Energy Department’s grants and loans went to “individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party.” Collectively, these Obama cronies raised $457,834 for his campaign, and they were in turn approved for grants or loans of nearly $11.35 billion. Obama said this week it’s not the president’s job “to make a lot of money for investors.” Well, he sure seems to have made a lot of (taxpayer) money for investors in his political machine. 

All that cronyism and corruption is catching up with the administration. According to Politico, “The Energy Department’s inspector general has launched more than 100 criminal investigations” related to the department’s green-energy programs.
Now the man who made Solyndra a household name says Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital “is what this campaign is going to be about.” Good luck with that, Mr. President. If Obama wants to attack Romney’s alleged private equity failures as chief executive of Bain, he’d better be ready to defend his own massive public equity failures as chief executive of the United States.

I dropped the specific example but by going to the link you can read about them.  The more I see of the Obama campaign the more hopeless it looks. 

Hollywood and Big Business

Jack Andraka, a 15-year-old kid from Maryland, just won the world's largest high school science competition by creating a new test for pancreatic cancer, one of the nastiest and most lethal forms of the disease.

According to various news reports, the winning submission at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is "28 times cheaper" than existing tests and far, far more accurate. Andraka received $75,000 for his efforts, and he's applied for a patent as well. That will probably earn him far more in the years to come.

This comes on the heels of another teen wunderkind. In December, Angela Zhang, 17, won the Siemens Science Competition for inventing a new way of finding and attacking cancer cells. Some people think it might actually lead to a cure for cancer some day.

Zhang and Andraka can probably spend the rest of their high school careers playing video games in the basement, given that their college search is going to be pretty stress-free from here on out.
But that's the real world for you. Impressive kids -- or grown-ups -- invent fantastic things, potentially benefitting millions of people, if not all of mankind. The inventors are rewarded, consumers benefit, and the economy grows. Woo-hoo!

Of course, the real world isn't the world many people imagine it to be. In the Hollywood version of this tale, Zhang would have disappeared when rumors of her invention hit the boardrooms and star chambers of Big Pharma. Bruce Willis would have to come out of retirement as the rogue agent willing to put his life on the line to keep Andraka safe from the goon-squad ninjas of Bristol-Myers Squibb or the wet work teams from Pfizer….

Sadly this is humorous but tragically true.  The Hollywood left like most of the left looks at profit as evil and big business as being flawed by human nature.  Of course human nature goes away when someone goes to work for government. 

Paycheck Fairness Act

A group of Democratic female senators on Wednesday declared war on the so-called “gender pay gap,” urging their colleagues to pass the aptly named Paycheck Fairness Act when Congress returns from recess next month. However, a substantial gender pay gap exists in their own offices, a Washington Free Beacon analysis of Senate salary data reveals.

Of the five senators who participated in Wednesday’s press conference—Barbara Mikulski (D., Md.), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.)—three pay their female staff members significantly less than male staffers.
Murray, who has repeatedly accused Republicans of waging a “war a women,” is one of the worst offenders. Female members of Murray’s staff made about $21,000 less per year than male staffers in 2011, a difference of 35.2 percent….

I’ve always heard Patty Murray isn’t the brightest bulb in the pack and this certainly seems to reinforce that perception. 

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