Friday, June 1, 2012

Things go from bad to worse for Obama

What’s New Today

Story #1 tells about Obama’s kill list.  #2 shows how bad the economic numbers are.  #3 Talks about Obama surrogates and how they’ve fallen flat so far.  #4 has an endorsement of sort of Mitt Romney by Bill Clinton.  #5 looks at some of the other bad signs for Obama—no one seems to be paying attention to him even among the Democrats.  #6 Obama promised to spread the wealth and this year there are 129000 fewer millionaires.  #7 shows that Romney is not going to be a patsy to Obama and his Chicago crowd. #8 has Reagan endorsing Romney.

Today’s Thoughts

Remember the egg laying hen legislation I mentioned that the Senate was looking at?  It appears it is being pushed by vegans whose goal is the abolition of all animal farming.    $8 for a dozen eggs anyone (the price quadrupled in Britain when they did it)?

If the Obama administration is so confident Obamacare will pass muster with SCOTUS, why did he tell supporters he may have to revisit Healthcare in his second term?  Doesn’t he realize he won’t have a second term?

What would you call people who refuse to ban abortion done for sex selection only?  Perhaps they would be warriors in the war on women.  

Did you wonder what President Obama was thinking at the unveiling of the portraits of W and Laura Bush?  Do you think he’s wondering if four years from now President Romney will be hosting this event for him?

1.  Obama’s Kill List

Killing has never been so discriminating, so urbane, so cool.

The New York Times and Newsweek both ran long, largely admiring articles on how President Barack Obama selects individual terrorists to terminate with extreme prejudice. The administration’s “smart power” isn’t working out so well, but smart killing is a smash success.

Obama’s national-security team — as well as his top political adviser, David Axelrod — gather on “Terror Tuesdays” to go over an expanding “kill list” that the president examines with the aid of capsule biographies of the terrorists, or “baseball cards.” Then the president decides who lives and who — if we get him in our sights — dies.

Needless to say, had Dick Cheney consulted “baseball cards” to decide in weekly meetings attended by Karl Rove who deserved to have close encounters with drone-fired missiles, Nancy Pelosi would have drafted the articles of impeachment herself.

The Obama killings vindicate the core premises of the Bush war on terror: This is a war, and the protections of our criminal-justice system don’t apply to the enemy. In light of the kill list, it’s a wonder anyone ever objected to Bush-era detentions or interrogations. If we can pick someone off a roster of names and sentence him to death without due process, surely we can capture and hold that same person. If we can execute someone — and any of his associates who happen to be in the vicinity — from on high, surely we can keep him awake at night and otherwise discomfit him should he fall into our hands…

Although I do disapprove of drone attacks, it seems a little unseemly for the President of the US to be picking out the people who will live or who will die.  That actually sounds like something Sulla did in ancient Rome. I guess Obama really is a Chicago politician.

2.  The Economic Numbers and they aren’t good

As June begins and the election inches closer, the question bedeviling the president and his advisers is this: What case will Barack Obama make on his own behalf to undecided voters over the next five months?

That must have been on their minds yesterday, as they surveyed the cascade of disappointing data.
“All the economic data was bad,” wrote Joe Wiesenthal of Business Insider.

The gross domestic product for the first quarter of 2012 was revised down to 1.9 percent from the original 2.2 percent. The previous quarter saw a respectable growth rate of 3 percent; the revision means an already worrisome slowdown just worsened by about 14 percent.

The anemic nature of the economic recovery, as the American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis notes, can be measured by the fact that GDP growth in the past five quarters has been 0.4 percent, 1.3 percent, 1.8 percent, 3 percent and now 1.9 percent.

We also learned that initial jobless claims for the week rose to 388,000 — up from 370,000 the week before. The general consensus had been that it would remain around 370,000, so the higher number came as a troubling surprise.

Meanwhile, job cuts rose 53 percent from April to May, according to the firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas — the worst such monthly jump since September.

This story was written before the Unemployment numbers for May came out.  The last three months we have had job gains of 120,000, 77,000, and 69,000.  The three month total is 23,000 jobs more than the economy created in January.  If you look at the three month rolling total, in February the three previous months had been 670,000 jobs.  In March the number dropped to 570,000 jobs, in April it dropped to 424,000, and this month it dropped to 266,000.  In the first four months of 1984 Reagan saw a gain of 1,564,000 jobs.  It’s not morning in America but perhaps it is mourning in America. 

3.  Obama attack surrogates go flat

…Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday, Patrick called Bain “a perfectly fine company.”

“They have a role in the private economy, and I’ve got a lot of friends there … on both sides of the aisle,” Patrick added. “I think the Bain strategy has been distorted in some of the public discussions.”
“I think the issue isn’t about Bain. I think it’s about whether he’s accomplished in either his public or private life the kinds of things he wants to accomplish for the United States,” the Massachusetts governor said.
“It’s never been about Bain,” Patrick emphasized during another Thursday appearance, on CNN’s “Starting Point.”

Afterward, the Romney campaign couldn’t resist a dig.

“It’s clear the Obama campaign has no message and no vision when their surrogates continue to repudiate the Obama campaign’s attacks on free enterprise,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “We appreciate all of the Obama surrogates who have praised Mitt Romney’s record.”…

But the Massachusetts-based assault on Obama’s rival started with a whimper not a bang when Patrick lavished praise on Romney during “Morning Joe.”

Patrick, who followed Romney as governor in 2007, called the GOP presidential nominee a “gentleman” and said, “He’s always been a gentleman to me, and the people who know him well and personally speak very warmly of him. I haven’t had a lot of interaction with him, but the transition [to Patrick’s governorship] was smooth.”…

With a campaign that is going negative, Obama surrogates seem to undermining Obama’s message as much as reinforcing it. 

4.  Clinton: Romney had a sterling business career

Well, Cory Booker is no longer the top Obama supporter to go off message about Bain Capital. Talking about private equity firms, Bill Clinton said in an interview tonight, “I don’t think that we ought to get into the position where we say ‘This is bad work. This is good work.’” And that wasn’t all he had to say on the subject, reports CNN:

Clinton said there was no question Romney was capable of performing the “essential functions of the office.”

“The man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold,” Clinton said.

Unlike some fellow Democrats, Clinton acknowledged Romney’s time at Bain Capital formed a “good business career.” He also acknowledged that the nature of private equity meant some companies inevitably fail.

“There is a lot of controversy about that,” Clinton told guest host Harvey Weinstein. “But if you go in and you try to save a failing company, and you and I have friends here who invest in companies, you can invest in a company, run up the debt, loot it, sell all the assets, and force all the people to lose their retirement and fire them.”

The former president continued, “Or you can go into a company, have cutbacks, try to make it more productive with the purpose of saving it. And when you try, like anything else you try, you don’t always succeed.”

The surrogates who undermine Obama’s message sound a lot more believable than those who stick with the script.  I’ve read some articles where some people question whether John McCain was trying to lose in 2008.  In this case you have to wonder if Clinton is trying to get Obama to lose in 2012. 

5.  Is Anyone Paying Attention to President Obama?

President Obama has been running around lately touting a "to do" list he says must be passed "now" to get the economy rolling. If you haven't heard about it, don't worry. Neither has his fellow Democrats.
In early May, Obama started issuing an urgent plea for Congress to pass a short, five-item "to do" list that, he said, had to be done "right now" to "speed up this recovery and to create jobs."
And throughout the month, he urged "everybody" to "pick up the phone, write an email, tweet, and remind your member of Congress we can't afford to wait until November to get things done."

Apparently nobody in the audience bothered, since even Obama's fellow Democrats are ignoring this list.

In fact, almost a full month after Obama started his latest campaign, not one of the items on his "must do now" list has been scheduled for a vote, according to a report in Roll Call. And just one — some business tax cuts — has made it onto the Senate calendar for June — a calendar set up by Democratic leader Harry Reid.
Democrats are paying so little attention to Obama these days they don't even have a clue what's on that list, let alone the sense of urgency Obama has put behind it.

"What time frame did he put on that to-do list?" Sen. Bob Casey asked the Roll Call reporter. "Do you have a copy of the list?" Sen. Mary Landrieu asked. "Wasn't that on the list?" Sen. Carl Levin asked, in reference to student loans (which isn't on Obama's "to do" list)….

What’s become clear even to the Democrats is that Obama was a mistake.  They and the country would have been better off with Hillary and will be much better off with Romney. 

6.Obama makes good on leveling the playing field as US lost 129,000 Millionaires last year

America’s millionaire population declined last year for the first time since the financial crisis, according to a new report. 

The population of U.S. millionaire households (households with investible assets of $1 million or more) fell to 5,134,000 from 5,263,000 in 2011, according to The Boston Consulting Group’s Global Wealth study.
Total private wealth in North America fell by 0.9 percent, to $38 trillion. 

The ultra-rich were the largest losers in dollar terms. Households in North America with investible assets of more than $100 million saw their wealth decline 2.4 percent. Their population declined slightly to 2,928 from 2,989. 

 I don’t think this is what people were looking for in hope and change. 

7.  These Aren’t Your Father’s Republicans

One of the most heartening aspects of the early stages of the presidential race has been the Romney campaign’s aggressiveness. Nothing discourages activists more than getting out front of a candidate who, it later turns out, isn’t willing to do what it takes to win. A number of Republicans of recent years could be said to fit that description, most recently John McCain. But not Mitt Romney.

We’ve seen it over and over: the Obama campaign will launch an attack, and in next to no time, the Romney team hits back–twice as hard, as President Obama and Glenn Reynolds both like to say. It happened with the smear of Ann Romney, it happened with the dog on the roof, it happened with the silly “war on women,” it happened with the administration’s clumsy attack on Bain Capital, and it happened again today with the Democrats’ attempt to denigrate Romney’s service as Governor of Massachusetts.

A campaign can resemble a boxing match. Obama thinks he sees an opening and takes a swing at Romney. But before he can do any damage, he realizes he has walked into a counterpunch. Bam! Romney rocks him, and Obama retreats in disarray. Romney has shown himself already to be a top-notch counterpuncher.
His campaign has shown itself to be tough in other ways, too. When reporters pressed Romney to repudiate Donald Trump because he has been a “birther,” Romney flatly refused. (Maybe Obama should be asked to repudiate his literary agent, who also, evidently, is a “birther.”) This is exactly the right course. When Obama apologizes for Bill Maher and urges his SuperPac to return Maher’s million dollars, then Romney can at least consider repudiating someone who supports him–if, that is, he can find anyone remotely as unsavory as Maher.

We saw another manifestation of the Romney campaign’s aggressiveness today when David Axelrod made what was supposed to be a surprise appearance in Boston to attack Romney’s record as governor. Word of the event leaked out, and Romney supporters were out in force, embarrassing and at times drowning out Axelrod….

It appears Romney has seen the movie the Untouchables.  In that movie, Sean Connery character tells Eliot Ness, “They send one of yours to the hospital; you send one of theirs to the morgue.  That’s the Chicago way.”  This won’t be a repeat of 2008.

8. Reagan endorses Romney

Nancy Reagan endorsed Mitt Romney Thursday, after a private meeting over lemonade and cookies in Los Angeles.

The former first lady’s office put out a statement congratulating Mr. Romney on notching the 1,144 delegates necessary to become the GOP nominee. She said that her late husband, Ronald Reagan, would have approved of a Romney presidency.

“Ronnie would have liked Gov. Romney’s business background and his strong principles, and I have to say, I do, too,” Mrs. Reagan said in the statement. “I believe Mitt Romney has the experience and leadership skills that our country so desperately needs, and I look forward to seeing him elected president in November.”

This is significant.  Nancy Reagan’s endorsement is the final signal for Republicans to rally around Mitt Romney.  It makes him more bulletproof to Obama’s negative campaign. 

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