6/16/2012

Obama blames Republican deregulation moves for problems and then claims he is the real deregulator

Does anyone else see the tension in Obama's remarks here?  Obama's remarks on the economy in Cleveland, Ohio on Thursday are available at the White House website. 
During that decade, there was a specific theory in Washington about how to meet this challenge.  . . .  We were told that fewer regulations -- especially for big financial institutions and corporations -- would bring about widespread prosperity. . . . That’s what we were told.  So how did this economic theory work out? . . . 
 I have approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his.  And I’m implementing over 500 reforms to fix regulations that were costing folks too much for no reason. . . . 



More evidence of electoral problems for Obama

Dianne Feinstein's primary battle was never really in doubt and yet she got more votes than Obama.  From Michael Barone:
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who won 236,000 more votes than the unopposed Obama. . . .

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Another multiple victim car attack

From the Associated Press:

A woman suddenly drove her car into a crowded town square in northwest Ohio, injuring 20 to 25 people, some of whom were pinned under the car and freed when bystanders lifted it, authorities and witnesses said.
The chaotic scene unfolded after 9 p.m. Friday night when an unidentified woman drove her Oldsmobile sedan into a crowd of dozens gathered for a weekly community event featuring live music, Lima police said. The car appeared to be at a complete stop before it was driven into the square, witnessed told the Lima News. It also struck an old sculpture in the square at full speed.
When the car came to a rest, those nearby picked it up to free victims who were trapped. . . .
No one was killed. Police said some victims suffered serious injuries to legs, heads and necks. At least five were taken to hospitals, including at St. Rita's Medical Center and Lima Memorial Health System. Two are in serious but stable condition, two others are in stable condition, and the condition of a fifth person was not available. It's not clear what happened to the driver, who had a dog with her in the car, witnesses said. . . .
A story April discusses on a woman crashed into a grocery store injuring 10 people.

The woman who crashed into the Publix on Belle Terre Parkway was charged with careless driving Tuesday as the Florida Highway Patrol released a video showing her car shattering glass doors as it crashed into the supermarket and plowed through shoppers.
"When you see the video you realize it's a miracle no one got killed," FHP Capt. Jerry Crews said.
Ten Palm Coast residents were injured when 76-year-old Thelma Wagenhoffer's 2004 Toyota Camry "accelerated rapidly as it crossed the parking lot" and crashed into the Publix, the FHP said.
The car careened through the store for 40 to 50 feet -- at least, Crews said. . . .
Three of the injured remained hospitalized on Tuesday. . . .

While I have collected a couple stories in the past, I decided to take a few minutes and see what other stories are readily available.  Here is an old story from the end of February last year that I should have posted.
At least 16 bicyclists in a Critical Mass ride event in Porto Alegre, Brazil, were injured after a driver in a VW Golf car drove into the group at high-speed.  According to Sky News, the driver of the car, 47-year-old Richard Neis, has been apprehended by police and is claiming self-defense after being threatened by some of the cyclists. . . . 
Here is a case from last year in Egypt where 20 some people were killed or injured.

Another case in Egypt involving a Police van.


Here is a case from San Francisco in November 2010 about 2 minutes into the clip (fortunately only two people were seriously hurt).


Here is a case from New London, CT in July, 2006 that left 27 people hurt.



From Apeldoorn, Netherlands in the April 30, 2009.
A speeding car raced toward an open bus carrying the Dutch royal family during a holiday parade Thursday and plowed into spectators, killing five people and injuring 14 others in an apparently deliberate act . . .
These numbers were later revised to eight killed and 10 injured.

From Israel in September 2008

Fifteen people -- mostly Israeli soldiers -- were injured at an intersection in Jerusalem Monday night when a driver plowed his car into a group of people, Jerusalem police told CNN.
The driver was shot and killed at the scene by an Israeli soldier who was part of the group, police said. The driver of the black BMW was not immediately identified, but authorities said he was a young Palestinian from East Jerusalem's Jabal Mukaber neighborhood. . . .


New Zealand in 2007 had a car attack that killed two and injured 26 others.

A man accused of killing two people outside a party last year did so because God told him to do something to get away from people chasing him, the Crown said today.
Twenty-two-year-old Lipine Sila, a factory hand, pleaded not guilty to two charges of murder and eight of causing grievous bodily harm, at the High Court in Christchurch.
He is alleged to have driven into a crowd outside the scene of a party on Christchurch's Edgeware Rd on May 5 last year, hitting 28 people.
Sixteen-year-olds Hannah Rossiter and Jane Young were killed. . . .

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Government created drops in drug production

Have you wondered why there seems to be shortages of important medical drugs?  Well, it appears that the answer is actually pretty straightforward.  From the Washington Examiner:

President Obama's Food and Drug Administration has caused "a public health crisis" -- a prescription drug shortage over the past two years -- by increasing the number of threats issued to raid and close drug manufacturing plants, according to House investigators.
"This shortage appears to be a direct result of over-aggressive and excessive regulatory action," House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said  . . .
The committee report concluded that a significant portion of the drug shortage is a problem of the Obama administration's making. "Among shuttered manufacturing lines that occurred over the previous two years, the committee’s review did not find any instances where the shutdown was associated with reports of drugs harming customers," the report says, noting a 30 percent drop in the manufacture of certain prescription drugs at the largest manufacturers in the country. . . .
The FDA sent just 474 such letters in 2009, but that number spiked to 1720 in 2011. "A common sense approach to regulations must be restored at the FDA," the committee report advised . . . .

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6/15/2012

Median net worth of families plunges by 39 percent from 2007 to 2010

So how will people answer the question about how well off they are during the election?  From the Washington Post:
The recent recession wiped out nearly two decades of Americans’ wealth, according to government data released Monday, with ­middle-class families bearing the brunt of the decline.
The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged by 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on par with where they were in 1992.
The data represent one of the most detailed looks at how the economic downturn altered the landscape of family finance. Over a span of three years, Americans watched progress that took almost a generation to accumulate evaporate. The promise of retirement built on the inevitable rise of the stock market proved illusory for most. Homeownership, once heralded as a pathway to wealth, became an albatross. . . .
Their median net worth — the value of assets such as homes, automobiles and stocks minus any debt — suffered the biggest drops. . . .

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Dem Pollsters warn Obama on economy

James Carville and Stan Greenberg have a strongly worded memo for the Obama campaign:
We will face an impossible headwind in November if we do not move to a new narrative, one that contextualizes the recovery but, more importantly, focuses on what we will do to make a better future for the middle class. . . .

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6/14/2012

Pro-bailout parties look likely to win Greek elections

Obama's newest dishonest campaign ad


Obama's campaign has no shame in making this ad (original available here).  For a discussion of how dishonest this ad is, see here.

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Banning sodas is a lot different than refusing to let government money subsidize their purchase

5% of food stamps supposedly go to sodas.  Instead of regulating everyone's intake of sodas, why not ban letting food stamp dollars being spent on them?
food stamps, makes up about $80 billion of the $100 billion a year cost of the farm bill, providing aid to some 46 million people. . . .
From the Washington Post:

The 42 million Americans receiving federal food stamps use those benefits to buy $4 billion of soda every year, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. . . .

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Thank minimum wages: "More than seven in 10 US teens jobless in summer"

Government is making it very hard for younger people to get jobs.  The lack of training will impact them long into the future.  From Fox News:

Fewer than three in 10 American teenagers now hold jobs such as running cash registers, mowing lawns or busing restaurant tables from June to August. The decline has been particularly sharp since 2000, with employment for 16-to-19-year olds falling to the lowest level since World War II.
And teen employment may never return to pre-recession levels, suggests a projection by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The drop in teen employment, steeper than for other age groups, is partly a cultural shift. More youths are spending summer months in school, at music or learning camps or in other activities geared for college. . . .
Do you want evidence of the impact of minimum wage laws?
But the decline is especially troubling for teens for whom college may be out of reach, leaving them increasingly idle and with few options to earn wages and job experience. Older workers, immigrants and debt-laden college graduates are taking away lower-skill work as they struggle to find their own jobs in the weak economy. Upper-income white teens are three times as likely to have summer jobs as poor black teens, sometimes capitalizing on their parents' social networks for help.
Overall, more than 44 percent of teens who want summer jobs don't get them or work fewer hours than they prefer. . . .

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6/13/2012

Ramerez: Obama's growing nose

A handy partial list.

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Greeks want to buy guns for self protection as country deteriorates

People are talking about buying hunting rifles, not able to buy pistols.  This is from The Australian newspaper:

MILOS, a gentle-natured civil servant in a Greek government agency, made a startling confession over a beer in an outdoor cafe in central Athens yesterday."I'm thinking of buying a gun to protect my family," he said in a late-night discussion about the tense lead-up to Sunday's national election. "I have never even considered owning a gun before, but I am seriously worried about what might happen after the election."
Gun-shop owners in Athens say the 37-year-old father of one is not alone, reporting rising interest in purchases for personal safety. . . .
Street violence and petty crime have risen during a savage slump that has cut average incomes by 20 per cent, and the leftist radicals who like to hijack peaceful protests over the economy are now being overshadowed by neo-Nazi thugs who have carried out at least one attack a day on immigrants and political opponents in the past week.
With fears Sunday's election could plunge the nation deeper into economic distress, there are widespread concerns the nation is about to see new levels of street crime and political violence.
Criminologist Vassilis Karydis, an academic at the University of Peloponnese, said there had been a rise in "attacks on people in the street to steal things like wallets, mobile phones and jewellery".
"There has certainly been a rise in robberies in the home, which is partly a rational response by criminals to the fact that many people, especially the elderly, have lost faith in banks and are keeping large amounts of money in their homes," he said. "Many (of the culprits) are jobless immigrants and some are drug addicts." . . .

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This is too funny: An oil lobbyist is classified by the Obama administration as "a green job"

MLive Media Group does an important investigation into data problems with justifiable homicide data

I have long been concerned about the problems with the FBI's justifiable homicide data, so it is nice to see John Barnes at MLive Media Group do a careful investigation of this data.  
Officially, there were 117 justifiable homicides involving civilians in Michigan from 2000 to 2010. Another 95 were killed by police, according to the statistics.
One reason those numbers are low is simple, MLive’s investigation found.
Police are reporting the cases as criminal homicides. When it’s later determined to be justifiable, they don’t change the easy-to-recode electronic records. It’s as simple as changing a “1” to a “4.”
That was the case in Kalamazoo County, where FBI statistics show only one justifiable homicide between 2000 and 2010. There were eight, three by civilians and five by police, MLive found.
“It’s all a data-input problem,” Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley said. “What happens is when the initial reports are generated, it’s coded as a homicide. It never gets recoded.” . . .
See also this piece from Monday. 

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Children raise by homosexual parents apparently have some real problems

A new study finds significant problems in children raised by homosexual parents.

Those who knew that their mothers had had a lesbian relationship fared significantly worse on measures of educational attainment and household income, reported more depression, used marijuana more, more often reported forced sexual encounters, felt less close to their biological mother, felt less safe and secure in their family of origin, had more often pled guilty to a minor criminal offense and were more likely to be on public assistance.
Those who knew their fathers had had a gay relationship were more likely to have been arrested, to have thought recently about suicide, to feel depressed, to report sexually transmitted diseases and to have experienced forced sex.
Twenty-three percent of young adults who knew their mother to have had a gay relationship reported being forced to have sexual contact with a parent or adult caregiver, while only 2 percent of intact families with a mother and father reported such contact.  For female young adults, that figure leapt to 31 percent (while only 3 percent of young women from intact heterosexual families reported this). . . .
Keith Ablow has a general discussion beyond what is quoted above about this research.

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So are Democrats just trying to adjust expectations on the economy?

AG Eric Holder: Emails Using Words ‘Fast and Furious’ Don’t Refer to Operation Fast and Furious

From CNS News: 

Attorney General Eric Holder claimed during congressional testimony today that internal Justice Department emails that use the phrase “Fast and Furious” do not refer to the controversial gun-walking operation Fast and Furious.

Under questioning from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who read excerpts of the emails at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Justice Department oversight, Holder claimed that the phrase “Fast and Furious” did not refer to Fast and Furious but instead referred to another gun-walking operation known as “Wide Receiver.”

However, the emails refer to both programs -- "Fast and Furious" and the "Tucson case," from where Wide Receiver was launched -- and reveal Justice Department officials discussing how to handle media scrutiny when both operations become public. . . .

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House Democrat puts forward bill to end "Stand Your Ground" laws

With no explanation for why the Zimmerman/Martin shooting was related to "Stand Your Ground" laws, Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) has introduced a new bill to ban these laws.  Wasn't it just over the last month or so that Democrats were talking about letting states make these decisions?

. . . The House Democrat who represents Trayvon Martin’s district will soon propose legislation repealing the nation's “Stand Your Ground” laws, which are under a microscope following the shooting death of the Florida teenager earlier this year.
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) said eliminating such laws might have prevented February’s fatal confrontation between the 17-year-old Martin, an unarmed African-American, and George Zimmerman, 28, an Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer . . . 

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6/11/2012

Newest Fox News Op-ed: Two mistakes in Obama's press conference last week

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:

“The private sector is doing fine. Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government,” President Obama claimed on Friday. His solution to fix the public sector was more government spending.
When people started screaming, Obama clarified his remarks and said “It’s absolutely clear economy is not doing fine,” but he just couldn’t bring himself to disown his statement about the private sector generally doing “fine.” His clarification still asserted that there is “good momentum in the private sector.” But private sector employment growth has fallen in each of the last four months, reaching a pitiful 82,000 in May.
President Obama is also wrong about his other claim that state and local governments are doing poorly relative to the private sector. . . .

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Obama claims that he really wanted to go to Wisconsin but had “The truth of the matter is that as President of the United States, I have a lot of responsibilities"

"The truth of the matter"?  Really, is Obama really serious?  He would have “loved to have seen a different result” and he was able to go and campaign in neighboring states where he had to fly over Wisconsin but "the truth of the matter" is that he was just too busy to go to Wisconsin?



This piece at Fox News documents how much time Obama spent in neighboring states.

“I’ve got a lot of responsibilities,” Obama said in answer to a question from a reporter from Green Bay, one of a handful of swing-state journalists granted four-minute, stopwatch-timed interviews with Obama on Monday.
Those responsibilities apparently include dinners with Sarah Jessica Parker and Wall Street tycoons, but not a trip to Waukesha to help out Barrett.
On the Friday before the Wisconsin election, Obama even flew over the state as he jumped from a campaign speech and three fundraisers in Minnesota to Chicago, where he spoke at three more fundraisers. Six fundraisers in adjacent states on the same day, but no time for Barrett? . . .

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6/10/2012

Eric Holder defends Photo IDs to get into Federal Court Houses, but sees problem with requiring Photo IDs to vote

So if requiring a photo ID is discriminatory, is it OK to make it difficult for people to have their day in court?  What if they are a witness or involved in a civil case or supposed to serve on a jury?  Isn't Mr. Holder worried that Photo ID requirements will bias the legal system?  Josh Gerstein has this at Politico:



. . . At a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing Thursday, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) asked Holder about the practice, which has been standard procedure at most, if not all, federal courthouses for the last decade or so.
“If I were to go to the federal courthouse here in D.C., either as a party or as an attorney, wouldn’t I have to show a government-issued photo ID?” Lungren asked.
“That’s not been my experience, here in DC. I don’t — you know,” Holder replied.
“Some federal courts — are you aware that’s required in some federal courts in this land?” Lungren said.
“I don’t know,” Holder replied.
“Is your Justice Department investigating the discriminatory effect of those laws?” Lungren asked, after citing other places where one is told to show ID, like the airport and even when visiting the Justice Department itself.
Holder said Lungren’s comparison was off the mark, because the right to vote is the “most fundamental constitutional right.” . . .
The attorney general also insisted that visitors do not need photo ID to enter Justice Department headquarters. (You’ll certainly be asked for it. Trust me.)
“That’s not true in the government. That’s not true with the Justice Department,” Holder told Lungren. “if you were to show up at the Justice Department somebody could vouch for you and you could come in to the department and we could have a very civil, I’m sure, conversation.”
“Is that right? I havent tried that with TSA. That doesn’t work very well,” Lungren shot back. . . .
Meanwhile in Chicago, "New Law Requires Photo ID To Buy Some Drain Cleaners."  Apparently, just don't buy drain cleaners at hardware stores.
 A new state law requires those who buy industrial drain cleaners and other caustic substances to provide photo identification and sign a log.The law does not apply to most drain cleaners that consumers typically buy at grocery stores, but only to high-grade industrial cleaners that are normally only sold at hardware stores. . . .

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A note on unions from Wisconsin's exit polls

Clarence Page has this discussion in his column today:
Exit polls showed union voters supported Barrett by a 71 to 29 percent margin over Walker, but their coattails didn't reach deep into their own families. Barely half — 51 percent — of nonmember voters who live with a union member voted for Barrett. Voters with no union ties supported Walker by a margin of about 20 points. . . .

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"Is Barack Obama to blame for the weak economy?"

The Economist magazine lets people vote on the question here.