Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Road to Ruin

What’s New Today

Story # 1 and #2 are the signs of desperation for today.  #3 has Mickey Klaus questioning what is the real floor under the two candidates for President this year.  #4 has Little Debbie (Wasserman-Shultz) avoiding the questions being asked to her.  #5 and #6 questions things we don’t know but should know about Obama.  #7 looks at Dick Morris’ take on the polls and #8 is the lesson we need to learn from Spain. 

Today’s Thoughts

Obama goes childish: “It’s like Robin Hood in reverse,” Obama told a crowd of about 500 supporters at a fund-raiser in Connecticut Monday night. “It’s Romney Hood!”

A new report from the conservative Government Accountability Institute (GAI) finds that President Barack Obama’s and Attorney General Eric Holder’s failure to criminally charge any top Wall Street bankers is likely a result of cronyism inside the Department of Justice and political donations made to Obama’s campaign.

A study from Ernst & Young found that letting tax rates for the wealthiest Americans lapse would sap $200 billion and some 700,000 jobs out of the economy, reduce wages by 1.8 percent and lead to a decrease in investment.  But it would be more fair according to the Democrats.

"Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own….So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property." -- Milton Friedman    Translation:  When was the last time you washed a rented car? 

If the goal is to stabilize the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at a low level by 2050 (in precise terms, at 450 parts per million or less), then the world would need to deploy a nuclear power plant worth of carbon free energy every day between now and 2050. For wind or solar, the figures are even more daunting.

1.  Signs of Desperation

Top aides on President Obama’s re-election team are terrified that there will be scores of empty seats when he makes his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, party insiders said.
Obama, once the biggest draw in politics, won’t likely attract crowds as large as those at the 2008 convention because voters have gone sour on the poor economy, insiders said. 

“It’s always a concern about making sure there aren’t empty seats, but this is different,” said one Democratic official familiar with the convention plans. 

“This is a different time than four years ago. It’s a different convention. And the president is viewed differently.”

The president will accept the party’s nomination on Sept. 6 in a Charlotte, NC, football stadium. that holds 80,000. 

“They’re worried they can’t fill the stadium,” the official said….

Now for the desperation part, the Democrats are raffling off seats at the convention for only $5.

2.  Signs of Desperation part 2

Yesterday during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Obama campaign chief David Axelrod told host Chris Wallace that he never used the term "recovery summer," during a heated exchange about the failing economy.

Wallace: Didn't this White House badly misjudge this recovery? I remember in 2010, two summers ago, you and Vice President Biden were running around talking about 'Recovery Summer.' That was the summer of 2010 and the fact is the White House said if you got the stimulus, the $800 billion that unemployment would stay under 8%. In fact, with the stimulus, unemployment has stayed over 8% for the last 42 months. That's three and a half years.

Axelrod: Chris, first of all, I wasn't running around saying anything other than that we were going to have to be persistent. That it took years to get in this mess, it was going to take years to get out --

Wallace: You talking about 'Recovery Summer' in 2010, sir.

Axelrod: Well you should show me the tape of me saying that. I've been very consistent about the fact that we need to be very persistent in our efforts here.

Vice President Joe Biden today will kick off the Obama administration’s “Recovery Summer,” a six-week-long push designed to highlight the jobs accompanying a surge in stimulus-funded projects to improve highways, parks, drinking water and other public works.

David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, said: “This summer will be the most active Recovery Act season yet, with thousands of highly-visible road, bridge, water and other infrastructure projects breaking ground across the country, giving the American people a first-hand look at the Recovery Act in their own backyards and making it crystal clear what the cost would have been of doing nothing.”

Splitting hairs is a sure sign of desperation.   

3.  Mickey Klaus Questions Assumptions

Undecideds in the Floorboards: I’ve never understood why  pundist can confidently assert that Obama and/or Romney have a “floor” of 45%, 46%, or 47%. How do they know? Isn’t it possible that lots of people who tell pollsters they’re “for” Obama (or Romney) harbor grave doubts and might not do what they say (or might change their minds)? With Obama, I’m not talking so much about a racial “Bradley Effect” as a similar effect produced when voters are reluctant to admit openly that they’ve given up on whatever hopes they had when they elected Obama in 2008. … 

An interesting viewpoint.   I think that many of the people who are undecided or weak supporters of Obama are looking for a reason not to vote for him.  Once they are giving permission to vote against the man, you will see a big movement to Romney.  I don’t expect this to be picked up until the final week of the race.  The other (abandoning Romney) is not likely to happen.  This election ultimately will be are you satisfied with Obama and what his 4 years have done for the economy and the country. 

4.  Little Debbie refuses to condemn Reid

DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was put on the spot today when This Week host George Stephanopoulos grilled her about Senator Harry Reid‘s claim that Mitt Romney has not paid taxes in ten years. Stephanopoulos asked Wasserman-Schultz if the Democratic leader of the Senate should be throwing out such scurrilous remarks or if they are unbecoming of someone in his position.

Wasserman-Schultz admitted she did not know who Reid’s source was, but said that Romney could easily clear the whole thing up by releasing his returns to prove he paid taxes. She suggested that the scant returns Romney has already provided may be “just for show.” Stephanopoulos sympathized with her position, but found it bewildering that she could defend what Reid said.

She continued to insist that Romney could answer everyone’s questions by releasing his returns, adding that a candidate for the presidency should have an obligation to make such things known to the public. 

Stephanopoulos tried to get Wasserman-Schultz to say if she would repudiate Reid’s remarks, to which she replied, “Everybody is responsible for saying the things that they have information on.”

DWS’s comments sound like someone saying the police shouldn’t have to have a warrant to tap your phones since if you aren’t doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.  But that isn’t the way the American system works.  We are a government of law.  Reid is completely out of line and little Debbie is a shill for him.

5.  What’s sauce for the Goose:  Thing we need to know about Obama

Harry Reid wants to see more of Mitt Romney's past income-tax filings.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to see 23 years of his taxes.  This, from the die-hard supporters of a candidate who will not release his college transcripts or so much more.

I want to know how Barack Obama got into Columbia University for undergraduate school.  I want to see his application.  Did he seek extra consideration, as did Elizabeth Warren in applying for her academic opportunities, by claiming to be a member of a demographic group favored by affirmative action?  I imagine that he did not falsely claim special treatment on a theory of being foreign-born, but I would like to know for sure.  It is immaterial where he was born -- I want to know whether he claimed on his applications, as his book publisher later would write about him, that he had overcome the disadvantages of being foreign-born.  What did he write to the dean of admissions of Columbia University about his childhood, his education, his background?  Every college-transfer application to Columbia requires that the student write a narrative, tell his story, explain why he deserves a crack at the Ivy League after a brief sojourn at a lesser institution.

I want to know who funded his college education.  Columbia costs an arm and a leg.  Did Barack Obama have benefactors, admirers of his youthful promise, paying his way?  Did he take loans?  If so, how did he qualify?  Or did he win exceptional scholarship and grant-funding?  If he received assistance -- and good for him if he did -- what was the narrative that he presented to qualify?  Did he speak of the challenges of being reared in Hawaii, a black youngster reared by a white grandmother who stood in as surrogate for his mom?  Did he speak of having overcome educational disadvantages overseas?  Did he boost his appeal for assistance by claiming to be foreign-born?  Like Harry Reid and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, I also want to know more about the leader of the free world.

During his time at Columbia, what were his grades?  Everyone is entitled to a bad grade or two or three.  You run into a tough professor or one who, though brilliant, is garbled and incoherent.  Or someone whose code you simply cannot crack.  However, a student who glides from Columbia University into Harvard Law School typically will have quite impressive a string of fabulous grades.  I want to know what his grades were at Columbia.  We all gained the opportunity to learn Al Gore's grades at Harvard, as well as John Kerry's and George W. Bush's grades at Yale.  We learned that Bush, a "C" student with a 77 average, had scored one point higher than Kerry, who graduated with a 76 GPA.  Bush got a "D" in astronomy, while Kerry scored four “D” grades as a freshman.   That year alone, Kerry scored 68 in each of two history courses and a 69 in political science.  Indeed, the media could compare them.  I want to know Barack Obama's grades at my alma mater.  It seems that a 78 average is all it would take to register Barack Obama as a genius on the "American Presidency Academic Scale."  Why is a brilliant thinker, whose ostensible brilliance raised him to be president of Harvard Law Review even though he never published any scholarship on his own, holding back?

Wasserman Schultz wants to see Romney's tax returns from 23 years ago?  I want to see Barack Obama's application to Harvard Law School.  Did he simply attach a fabulous, superlative transcript of straight As earned at Columbia with letters of recommendation from the university's most prominent faculty members, along with a sparkling grade on the uniform Law School Admissions Test?  If so, good for him.  He should be proud to share it with the public.  I want to see it... 

I guess Mitch McConnell should come out that he had a source that told him Obama’s grades put him in the bottom quartile of his class at Columbia. Or perhaps we should look at Wayne Roots gut instinct in the next article.

6.  Why we need to know more about Obama

Normally I don't give a rip about the "I know something you don't know about Obama" story, but this one is absolutely fascinating. Wayne Root over at the Blaze penned this beauty. Here's a how he concludes:

Why are the college records, of a 51-year-old President of the United States, so important to keep secret? I think I know the answer.

If anyone should have questions about Obama’s record at Columbia University , it’s me. We both graduated (according to Obama) Columbia University, Class of ’83. We were both (according to Obama) Pre-Law and Political Science majors. And I thought I knew most everyone at Columbia. I certainly thought I’d heard of all of my fellow Political Science majors. But not Obama (or as he was known then- Barry Soetoro). I never met him. Never saw him. Never even heard of him. And none of the classmates that I knew at Columbia has ever met him, saw him, or heard of him.
But don’t take my word for it. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2008 that Fox News randomly called 400 of our Columbia classmates and never found one who had ever met Obama.

Now all of this mystery could be easily and instantly dismissed if Obama released his Columbia transcripts to the media…. 

I can only think of one answer that would explain this mystery.

Here’s my gut belief: Obama got a leg up by being admitted to both Occidental and Columbia as a foreign exchange student. He was raised as a young boy in Indonesia. But did his mother ever change him back to a U.S. citizen? When he returned to live with his grandparents in Hawaii or as he neared college-age preparing to apply to schools, did he ever change his citizenship back? I’m betting not.
If you could unseal Obama’s Columbia University records I believe you’d find that:

A)   He rarely ever attended class.
B)   His grades were not those typical of what we understand it takes to get into Harvard Law School.
C)   He attended Columbia as a foreign exchange student.
D)   He paid little for either undergraduate college or Harvard Law School because of foreign aid and scholarships given to a poor foreign students like this kid Barry Soetoro from Indonesia.

If you think I’m “fishing” then prove me wrong. Open up your records Mr. President. What are you afraid of?...


This certainly turns Harry Reid’s outlandish charges on its head.  Perhaps we should start demanding the truth from Obama.

7. Morris:  What the polls actually say

The media is trying to create a sense of momentum and of inevitability about the Obama candidacy. One benighted Newsweek reporter even speculated about a possible Democratic landslide.

On Friday, I saw the real numbers. These state-by-state polls, taken by an organization I trust (after forty years of polling) show the real story. The tally is based on more than 600 likely voter interviews in each swing state within the past eight days. 

The trend line is distinctly pro-Romney. Of the thirteen states studied, he improved or Obama slipped in nine states while the reverse happened in only four. To read the media, one would think that Romney had a terrible month. In fact, the exact reverse is true.

Romney is currently leading in every state McCain carried plus: Indiana, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Nevada, North Carolina, and Colorado. If he carries these states, he’ll have 228 electoral votes of the 270 he needs to win. 

To win the election, Romney would then have to carry Florida where he trails by two points, and either Virginia (behind by two) or Ohio where he’s down by only one.
If he carries all three of these states and also wins all the others where Obama is now at 50% or less – Iowa, New Mexico, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey — he will get 351 electoral votes, a landslide about equal to Obama’s 363 vote tally in 2008….

Obama has his supporters (mainly Democrats).  But the opposition is equaled by Republicans while Obama is losing with independents.  So how do current polls find Obama ahead?  The sample have significantly larger number of Democrats (anywhere from 6-12 percent higher number) than Republicans.   Obama is in trouble right now.  Voters are looking for permission to vote against Obama and the campaign will provide them with the excuse.  When this happens watch the polls point to a Romney victory, big time.

8.  Renewable Energy:  Lessons from Spain

Spain is planning to correct its renewable energy experiment gone wrong by spreading the pain, a powerful lessons for a White House with an incoherent energy policy that has often cited its model as one to emulate.

This week Obama’s campaign bashed challenger Mitt Romney for planning to end tax incentives for wind power if elected. “By opposing an extension to the wind production tax credit, Mitt Romney has come out against growth

Obama’s expectations though are based on European policy support models that are being revised and corrected. Ahead of November elections, both candidates must realize America’s energy policy more than ever demands a coherent policy based on its best interest not ideological imperatives.

Putting renewable on steroids can come to damage a country’s power sector, consumers, and the renewable industry itself, and in Spain’s case, even a national economy.

Public support for renewable power in America thus should be reconfigured to achieve realistic economic or geopolitical net gain, not winning elections.

During the first two years of his administration, President Barack Obama and top officials praised Spain as a successful model to create employment and improve energy security. So did everyone else, for that matter, but it’s time to heed the lessons….

…Furthermore, Spain’s generous subsidies already attracted more than twice as much installed capacity than its peak demand of 40 GW, and much cheaper fossil fuel and nuclear generators are being left idle to pay for renewable output.

In this context, the country has no choice but to pull the plug on its renewable experiment. More than a decade of robust Spanish growth ended in 2008 as a construction boom went bust leaving millions without a job and as the global economic crisis further undermined the economy.

Gross national product in 2012 and 2013 is expected to further contract and unemployment, already the highest of any rich nation at 25 percent, is expected to continue growing and to become increasingly hard structural, according to the OECD….

It turns out that for every “green” energy job created, 2.2 jobs were destroyed in Spain.  With the latest technological advances in conventional energy extraction we in fact may be at the beginning of the carbon fuel age rather than at peak oil.

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