Thursday, June 21, 2012

Contempt adding to the Tsunami

What’s New Today

Story #1 is relates how we may have a landslide forming for the November election.  #2 opines that the president’s executive privilege claim smells like a cover up.  #3 looks at Fast and Furious and looks as to why the Holder Justice Department did it.  #4 shows that homes sales were down last month.  

Today’s Thoughts

The fed has reduced its forecasted growth for this year by about ½ of a percent.  Another year of disappointing growth.  

Al Sharpton blames Atty General Holder’s contempt problems on racism.  Did that surprise you?  

The Democrats are holding training classes on what they will do when SCOTUS invalidates Obamacare.  I guess they don't have a lot of confidence that it will be upheld.  

1.  Landslide in the Making?

We have grown unaccustomed to presidential landslides.  The three most lopsided presidential races since 1988 fell short of the conventional definition of a landslide, which would be a ten-point difference in the popular vote between the winner of the election and the next-closest candidate.

Obama in 2008 beat McCain by seven points and carried 28 statesClinton in 1996 beat Dole by eight points (although Clinton did not even get a majority of the popular vote) and carried 31 states.  George H.W.Bush had a seven-point advantage over Dukakis in 1988 and carried 40 states.  A quick perusal of the electoral maps in each race shows a closely divided nation and no real mandate for the victorious candidate….

…Contrast that smashing victory for Democrats in FDR's first midterm with what happened to Democrats in Obama's first midterm.  Republicans gained 64 seats in the House of Representatives and 6 seats in the Senate, as well as winning gubernatorial and state legislative races all over the nation.  The message to Obama was clear, even if he was not listening.  While Americans might have liked Obama personally, they clearly rejected the policies he was pursuing.

How bad was this midterm defeat?  Democrats fared worse in Obama's 2010 midterm election than Republicans did in Herbert Hoover's 1930 midterm.  The 1930, 1932, and 1934 elections are generally viewed as transformative elections, when America moved from a free-enterprise, business-friendly Republican nation into a New-Deal welfare-state Democrat nation.  Democrats would hold the White House for twenty straight years after the 1932 election and hold Congress for all but two of those years.
It was not just the Great Depression which wrought this revolution.  Hoover, unlike FDR, appeared tone-deaf to the suffering of Americans.  He went from an enormously popular man -- not just in America, but around the world -- to a president perceived to be doing nothing while our nation fell apart.  Hoover appeared to Americans in 1932 rather like Carter did in 1980 and George H. Bush did in 1992.

Obama is notably ignoring all the evidence of public unhappiness and promises to keep doing more of what he has been doing before…. 

It will be a landslide and not close like the pundits keep saying.  Its close now, but it shouldn’t be.  In a regular election Obama would be way ahead right now.  

2.  The Stench of Cover-up

The president illegally asserts executive privilege to protect an attorney general who's either a clueless political hack, malevolent or both, withholding answers of who is responsible for a Border Patrol agent's death.

President Obama's contempt for the rule of law hit a new low when, on the eve of a vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, he granted his AG's 11th-hour request to hide sought-after documents on Operation Fast and Furious under the cover of executive privilege.

"I write now to inform you that the president has asserted executive privilege over the relevant post-Feb. 4, 2011, documents," Deputy Attorney General James Cole says in a letter that GOP Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa received just before Wednesday's hearing and vote, a letter that apparently was not mentioned in a last-minute meeting between Issa and Holder Tuesday night.

Or maybe it wasn't the 11th hour at all, but just a long-planned final gambit in the cover-up of who made the decisions in a federally sponsored effort to provide Mexican drug cartels with sophisticated American firearms and who is ultimately responsible for the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry with these weapons?

As Fox News anchor Brit Hume recently noted, speaking of Fast and Furious on the web-exclusive "Panel Plus" segment of "Fox News Sunday," "The stench of cover-up on this gun-running operation is very strong indeed."…

I think Obama is looking to provoke the Republicans in congress so that he can complete the narrative that they won’t work with him and they are at fault for all the problems.  As long as the Republicans resist doing something foolish, Obama keeps chipping away at his reputation and making it easier for independents to vote him out of office. 

3.  Fast and Furious:  The plan

Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation "Fast and Furious" to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.

In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the "big fish." But ATF whistleblowers told CBS News and Congress it was a dangerous practice called "gunwalking," and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
ATF officials didn't intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called "Demand Letter 3". That would require some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or "long guns." Demand Letter 3 was so named because it would be the third ATF program demanding gun dealers report tracing information.

On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF's Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:

"Bill - can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks."

An anti-gun plan by a Democratic Administration that blew up in their face is what this turns out to be.  No wonder they aren’t cooperating with congress.  Holder lied and people died.  

4.  US home sales slipped 1.5 percent in May

Americans bought fewer homes in May than April, suggesting a sluggish job market could threaten a modest recovery in housing.

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales of previously occupied homes dropped 1.5 percent in May from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million.

Sales have risen 9.6 percent from a year ago, evidence that home sales are slowly improving. Still, the pace has fallen since nearly touching a two-year high in April and it remains well below the 6 million that economists consider healthy.

The monthly decline follows a report that employers added the fewest jobs in May in a year. Weaker hiring has slowed the broader economy and could lead some to reconsider buying a home, even with record-low mortgage rates.

"Not a surprise that existing home sales took a step back in May," said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. Lee noted that the level of home sales is still "descent." But she said "softening job growth could slow the housing recovery."…

There is nothing in the economic news that should bring hope to supporters of the current administration and we are running out of time where you can make a case that things are getting better.  They aren’t so far. 

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