What’s New Today
Story # 1 is today’s signs of desperation. #2 punches holes in Obama’s claim that Bush ruined the economy. #3 is the blame game with Obama blaming everyone for everything. #4 has Mother Jones turning on Harry Reid. #5 is another scandal in the Obama Justice Department. #6 looks at the ungrateful President. #7 compares Romney Hood with Pinocchiobamanomics. #8 looks at Obama’s method of paying people back.
Jimmy Carter’s prime time slot at the Democratic National Convention is raising consternation among Jewish groups. Carter’s anti-Israeli comments are well known in the Jewish community.
New Poll: Matching Obama against Romney in each of these key states shows:
Colorado: Romney at 50 percent to Obama's 45 percent; 5% more Republicans polled
Virginia: Obama at 49 percent to Romney's 45 percent; 7% more Democrats polled
Wisconsin: Obama edges Romney 51 - 45 percent; 7% more Democrats polled.
Virginia: Obama at 49 percent to Romney's 45 percent; 7% more Democrats polled
Wisconsin: Obama edges Romney 51 - 45 percent; 7% more Democrats polled.
What makes this interesting is that in Colorado there are 2% more Republicans than Democrats, in VA there are 3% more Republicans than Democrats and in Wisconsin there are 4% more Democrats than Republicans. This means it is closer in Colorado and Wisconsin than the poll indicates and in Virginia Romney probably is ahead.
1. Signs of Desperation
Earlier today, pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA released an ad in which Joe Soptic discusses how he lost his job because Bain closed a GST Steel plant in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2001, and notes that his wife passed away of cancer not long after, suggesting that she waited to see a doctor (she had stage 4 cancer by the time she received medical attention) because of the couple’s lack of health insurance.
Well, first it turned out that Soptic’s wife, Ranae Soptic, died in 2006 — five years after the GST Steel plant closed. And now, CNN reports that Soptic told them that Ranae Soptic had health insurance through 2002 or 2003, due to her job at a local thrift store (hat tip: Greg Pollowitz):…
Truth certainly has been a casualty in the Obama’s campaign. It reeks of desperation.
2. The Blame Game: Obama’s wrong to Blame Bush
It’s probably President Obama’s most politically effective line of attack against Mitt Romney.
The president argues that it was the unchecked, reckless, casino capitalism of the George W. Bush years — bank deregulation, tax cuts for the rich — that lead to the nation’s worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. And if Mitt Romney is elected in November, the Republican will bring those policies right back, risking another financial collapse.
Here’s what Obama said during that same speech where he told America’s entrepreneurs that “you didn’t build that”:
But I just want to point out that we tried their theory for almost 10 years … and it culminated in a crisis because there weren’t enough regulations on Wall Street and they could make reckless bets with other people’s money that resulted in this financial crisis, and you had to foot the bill. So that’s where their theory turned out.
But a book by Robert Hetzel, a senior economist at Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, says it wasn’t Bushonomics or greedy bankers or broken markets that caused the Great Recession. In The Great Recession: Market Failure or Policy Failure, Hetzel pins the blame squarely on the Federal Reserve and Team Bernanke.
Oh, the downturn first started with “correction of an excess in the housing stock and a sharp increase in energy prices” — the housing bust and the oil shock. Indeed, those two things were enough, in Hetzel’s view, to cause a “moderate recession” beginning in December 2007.
But only a moderate one. It was the Fed’s monetary policy miscues after the downturn began that turned a run-of-the-mill downturn into a once-in-a century disaster. Hetzel:
A moderate recession became a major recession in summer 2008 when the [Federal Open Market Committee] ceased lowering the federal funds rate while the economy deteriorated. The central empirical fact of the 2008-2009 recession is that the severe declines in output that in appeared in the [second quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009] … had already been locked in by summer 2008.
Not only did the Fed leave rates alone between April 2008 and October 2008 as the economy deteriorated, but the FOMC “effectively tightened monetary policy in June by pushing up the expected path of the federal funds rate through the hawkish statements of its members. In May 2008, federal funds futures had been predicting the rate to remain at 2% through November. By mid-June, that forecast had risen to 2.5%.
And it wasn’t just the U.S. central bank. Hetzel thinks all the major central banks — the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, sat on their hands as the global economy weakened. “The fact that the severe contraction in output began in all these countries in 2008:Q2 is more readily explained by a common restrictive monetary policy than by contagion from the then still-mild U.S. recession, Hetzel writes in a Fed Paper that inspired the book. “Restrictive monetary policy rather than the deleveraging in financial markets that had begun in August 2007 offers a more direct explanation of the intensification of the recession that began in the summer of 2008. Irony abounds.”…
So Obama’s basic premise is completely wrong. It started with the housing bubble (blame Fannie and Freddie) and was turned further south by the Fed. In both cases what we had was a failure of regulatory agencies and policies, not a failure of the market.
3. The Blame Game: State, Local governments and Congress to blame
In an interview with Black Enterprise magazine, President Barack Obama blames state and local governments, as well as Congress, for over 14 percent black unemployment.
"Black unemployment still stands at nearly 14%. How do you communicate that the economy is headed in the right direction?," the editor in chief of Black Enterprise asks Obama.
"Most economists will tell you that there is no doubt the economy has gotten stronger, but we are digging ourselves out a deep hole. There are a lot more things we could be doing. To get them done, we need cooperation of Congress. We got the payroll tax portion of [my American Jobs Act] done, but what we didn’t get done is the assistance I was proposing to the states to help them hire back teachers, firefighters, and first responders, because one of the weakest parts of this recovery has been state and local government hiring," Obama responds.
"Given the weaknesses of the construction industry, the American Jobs Act proposed that we rebuild schools, roads, bridges, airport, and ports. That would provide small businesses with opportunities as contractors and vendors in this rebuilding process. Again, Congress needs to act."
According to the BLS, black unemployment in the month of July was at 14.1 percent….
Have you noticed how often Obama says I when talking about accomplishments, but he never seems to take responsibility for failures. That not leadership, it’s scapegoating.
4. It’s Time to Stop Celebrating Harry Reid
Here is Harry Reid on Mitt Romney's taxes: "I was told by an extremely credible source that Romney has not paid taxes for 10 years." PolitiFact rates this a Pants on Fire Lie.
An awful lot of liberals disagree. Typical reasons include sophistry ("PolitiFact doesn't know that Romney paid any taxes"); revenge ("Romney's been telling lots of lies, so why shouldn't we?"); disingenuousness ("All Romney has to do is release his tax returns to clear this up"); or lying as a virtue ("Politics ain't beanbag").
Come on, folks. Reid didn't say I'll bet Romney didn't pay any taxes. He didn't say he talked to someone familiar with high earners who told him Maybe Romney won't release his returns because he didn't pay any taxes. He made a flat statement of fact. He said he has an "extremely credible source," which in this context means someone with direct knowledge of Romney's taxes who decided to pick up the phone and dish about it to Harry Reid. Does anyone really believe this? Really? Then, as if that weren't enough, Reid made his little bluff even less plausible by deciding that Romney didn't just avoid all taxes for one year, he avoided them for ten years. Yeah, baby, that's the ticket! Put these two things together with the fact that Reid hasn't even tried to make his fairy tale sound believable (it's just some guy he talked to) and this is not a story that a five-year-old would credit. It's just Reid making stuff up in order to put pressure on Romney, and I think we all know it.
Can I prove this? Of course not. Given the epistemological limits of proof, I can't prove Barack Obama was born in the United States either. Nevertheless, I feel safe saying that anyone who claims to have an "extremely credible source" that Obama was born elsewhere is either crazy or lying. The same is true for Reid, and Reid isn't crazy. It's simply vanishingly unlikely that he's telling the truth, and no one — not liberal or conservative — would spend even ten seconds on a story so patently far-fetched if it were anybody but Reid and the background were anything but the frenzy of a presidential campaign….
When Mother Jones turns on you and you are a Democrat, you know you’ve jumped the shark. What’s the outcome of this? Does this put pressure on Romney or does this take credibility away from future charges the Obama campaign will make?
5. Justice Department Perjury?
Late last month, the Obama/Holder Justice Department suffered another embarrassment, and showed that its leaders probably merit criminal prosecution, in a too-little-noticed spin-off from the infamous New Black Panther Party case. As I have written repeatedly, the politicized leadership of the Holderites is thoroughly corrupt, and a menace to the very cause of justice.
The embarrassment came in the final court action of a long-running suit brought by the indefatigable Judicial Watch. The watchdog group had pressed requests based on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to force the Department of Justice (DoJ) to divulge more information about its seemingly inexplicable, and certainly unexplained, decision to drop voter-intimidation cases against the Panthers for their actions outside of a Philadelphia polling place in 2008. As it has done in numerous other instances, the Obama administration stonewalled, claimed spurious "privileges" against disclosure, and prevaricated wildly through its embarrassingly unprofessional press office and via sworn testimony by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez. Yet Judicial Watch prevailed in part, even against a none-too-friendly judge, thus forcing the release of some of the withheld records.
The latest ruling from federal district judge Reggie Walton involved Judicial Watch's request for the government to pay its attorneys' fees as a result of Judicial Watch's partial win. The judge agreed that the government ought to be liable for at least some of those fees. In doing so, he wrote the following passages, which would be deeply embarrassing for any administration with the grace to feel embarrassment, especially if an establishment media weren't pathetically in the pocket of said administration:
The documents reveal that political appointees within DOJ were conferring about the status and resolution of the New Black Panther Party case in the days preceding the DOJ's dismissal of claims in that case, which would appear to contradict Assistant Attorney General Perez's testimony that political leadership was not involved in that decision. Surely the public has an interest in documents that cast doubt on the accuracy of government officials' representations regarding the possible politicization of agency decision making.
The Court therefore concludes that the DOJ has failed to show that its withholding of some documents from Judicial Watch prior to the filing of this lawsuit was legally correct or had a reasonable basis in law…
So the Justice Department is working outside the law. It’s time for Holder to go.
6. Maureen Dowd: The Ungrateful President
…“Needy politicians, like Bill Clinton, recharge at political events,” says Alter. “But, for Obama, they deplete rather than create energy.”
Richard Wolffe, the author of Obama portraits, “Renegade” and “Revival,” agreed: “The very source of his strength as an individual, that he willed himself into being, that he’s a solitary figure who doesn’t need many people, is also clearly a weakness. There are people who’ve worked with him for years who don’t understand why he gives so little back.”
From the first time Obama made a splash with an anti-apartheid speech at Occidental College, says David Maraniss, author of “Barack Obama: The Story,” he has been ambivalent, even perverse.
“He realized that he could stir crowds while also thinking to himself that it was all a game and posturing,” the biographer said. “He is always removed and participating at the same time, self-conscious and without the visceral need or love of transactional politics that would characterize Bill Clinton or L.B.J. or even W., in a way.”
What will save him, Maraniss believes, is his fierce competitive will. “His is cool and Clinton’s is hot, but they burn at the same temperature inside,” he said. “So he does some of what he finds distasteful, but not all of it, and not all of it very well.” …
Obama may be passionate, but he appears to be lazy and ungrateful. Obama’s solution to a problem is not to roll up his sleeves, but to give a speech. His ability to stir crowds may be his greatest strength, but it is also his greatest weakness the one that has resulted in a failed presidency.
7. Romneyhood vs Pinocchiobama
As he escalates his class war re-election campaign, President Obama has taken to calling Mitt Romney's economic plan "Robin Hood in reverse" or "Romney Hood." The charge is that even though Mr. Romney is proposing to cut tax rates for everybody across the board, Mr. Romney will finance this by imposing a tax increase on the middle class. His evidence is a single study by the Tax Policy Center, a liberal think tank that has long opposed cutting income tax rates.
The political left always says Daddy Warbucks gets all the tax-cut money. So this is hardly news, except that the media are treating this joint Brookings Institution and Urban Institute analysis as if it's nonpartisan gospel. In fact, it's a highly ideological tract based on false assumptions, incomplete data and dishonest analysis. In other words, it is custom made for the Obama campaign.
***The heart of Mr. Romney's actual proposal is a 20% rate cut for anyone who pays income taxes. This means, for example, that the 10% rate would fall to 8%, the 35% rate would fall to 28% and all the brackets in between would fall as well. The corporate tax would fall to 25% from 35%.
The plan says these cuts would be financed in a revenue-neutral way. First, by "broadening the tax base," which means reducing or eliminating tax deductions and loopholes as in the tax reform of 1986. The Romney campaign doesn't specify which deductions—no campaign ever does—but it has been explicit in saying that the burden would fall most on higher tax brackets. So in return for paying lower rates, the wealthy get fewer deductions….
It always amazes me how the left creates tax loopholes (target tax cuts is what they call them) and then rails against those loopholes when people take advantage of them. And when Republicans lower tax rates on everyone, suddenly they are only lowering them for the rich. But that is Pinocchiobamanomics.
8. Payback Obama Style
In recent days, the scope of the Obama White House's cronyism has become shockingly apparent. A trove of emails shows it deprived thousands of workers of their pensions to benefit unions, then lied about it.
The news site The Daily Caller has obtained internal government emails that show the U.S. Treasury Department, led by Timothy Geithner, pushed in 2009 to end the pensions of 20,000 non-union employees of GM's Delphi auto parts unit as part of the auto bailout.
What's truly outrageous is that, while those workers were cheated of their full pensions, union employees of the same Delphi company got their pensions paid.
This financially ruinous favoritism of union workers over nonunion workers is blatantly unfair, illegal and a violation of Constitutional guarantees of equal treatment under the law. And the reason is political.
By its own reckoning, organized labor spent nearly $400 million to get Obama elected in 2008, more by far than any other interest group. So it's no surprise the White House punished nonunion workers and rewarded union members when it came time to "bail out" GM.
Total value of the auto industry bailout to the unions was, by one estimate, $26 billion. For the unions, their $400 million was money well spent indeed….
Just another example of cronyism and why the growth of government is so harmful to a merit based society. The feds spend 24% of the nation’s GDP and with Obamacare control another 15%. That is a recipe for corruption.