How people view Obama on the economy

From the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor survey:

43 percent said that Obama’s policies helped “avoid an even worse financial crisis and are laying the foundation for our eventual economic recovery,” while a 48 percent plurality said that his agenda ran up “a record federal deficit while failing to end the recession.”
The depth of the anxiety over the country’s direction should be as troubling for Obama as its breadth. At least 69 percent of adults at every income level felt the country was on the wrong track, as did at least 69 percent of adults at every age range above 30. (Younger people were hardly bursting with optimism: 58 percent of them said that the country was on the wrong track, about double the share who thought it was moving in the right direction.) Whites are registering historic levels of gloom: Nearly four-fifths of them believed that the nation was on the wrong track. But even about three-fifths of Hispanics agreed. Only a majority of African-Americans expressed positive views. . . .

Labels: ,

Obama continues fighting to keep visitor logs secret

Another broken Obama promise:

During the presidential campaign, Obama promised several times to open up records of lobbying, including a promise to "Make White House Communications Public: Obama will amend executive orders to ensure that communications about regulatory policymaking between persons outside the government and all White House staff are disclosed to the public."

From Politico:

The Justice Department filed a formal notice of appeal Friday afternoon regarding U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell's August ruling rejecting arguments that the so-called WAVES records belong to the White House even though they are maintained and used by the Secret Service.

The decision to appeal the ruling to the D.C. Circuit would appear to be in tension with Obama's repeated pledges to operate the most transparent administration in history. The White House announced in Sept. 2009 that it was voluntarily releasing the names of most White House visitors from Sept. 15 forward. However, the conservative group Judicial Watch sought information on visits before that date. . . .


Still only three co-sponsors in House for Obama "jobs" bill?

How can the media unquestioningly let Obama rail against Republicans for holding up the "jobs" bill when virtually no Democrats support the bill? From Politico:

After months without formal backing, Obama's $447 billion jobs proposal will pick up “dozens” of House co-sponsors when the lower chamber returns to Washington from next week's recess, according to the office of House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.).

The bill – written in the White House and introduced by Larson – wallowed in the House for weeks without winning any co-sponsors, even as Democrats marched to the House floor to call on Republicans to move it.

More than three weeks after it was introduced, it gained its second and third sponsors on Thursday in the form of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the Democratic whip.
The absence of any formal backing for what is the central plank of the Democrats' economic agenda hasn't been overlooked by GOP leaders, who have mocked the Democrats for urging a vote on legislation officially endorsed by so few members.

Even some Democratic supporters of the jobs bill have questioned why there hasn’t been a more coordinated push from leadership to get rank-and-file members to attach their names to the bill.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said many members have “caveats” of concern over certain provisions in the sweeping bill, but “given a concerted push, many of us would inevitably sign on, even with those caveats.” . . .

Labels: ,

How bad are retail sales?

Original graphs are available here. The data for Retail Sales are available here. Monthly population data are available here. The CPI data are available here.

Labels: , ,

CNN's John King asks a great question about Gun Walker case

I wouldn't have guess that John King would push on this issue, but Kudos for him doing it. From RealClearPolitics (with video clip):

KING: Well, Congressman Cummings, let's get to one of the questions here. Let's first listen to the attorney general. He came before this committee back in May. Here's what he said.


ISSA: When did you first know about the program officially I believe called Fast and Furious? To the best of your knowledge, what date?

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I'm not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.


KING: He says over the last few weeks.

That is on May 3, 2011. Listen to this interview the president of the United States, not the attorney general, the president of the United States, had with CNN Espanol back in March.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There have been problems, you know. I heard on the news about this story that -- Fast and Furious, where allegedly guns were being run into Mexico, and ATF knew about it, but didn't apprehend those who had sent it.

Eric Holder has -- the attorney general has been very clear that he knew nothing about this. We had assigned an I.G., inspector general, to investigate it. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: It begs the question, how did the president know about this in March, and how did the president know the attorney general knew nothing about this in march, when the attorney general says in May he just learned about it a couple weeks ago?

Labels: , ,

So why are Americans giving money to Greeks and other Europeans who can't control their government spending?

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told CNBC:

Through the IMF, of course, we're already playing a very major role. We're happy to see the IMF continue to play that role in support of a more forceful, comprehensive strategy where Europe's own resources—very ample resources—are deployed on a much more substantial scale. . . .

Labels: ,

Obamacare's spending gimmicks being exposed

It is already clear that Obamacare supposedly being paid for wasn't accurate. But the picture keeps on getting worse. The CLASS Act, Ted Kennedy's long-term care for the elderly, was to start collecting premiums five years before it would start paying benefits (and counting those premiums as deficit reduction even though they would eventually need to be paid out in benefits). This allowed Democrats to able to make the program appear to be in the black by $70 billion in its first ten years. All together that accounted for about half of the overall “deficit reduction” the Democrats claimed from the health care bill. From Politico:

“The Obama administration today acknowledged what they refused to admit when they passed their partisan health bill: The CLASS Act was a budget gimmick that might enhance the numbers on a Washington bureaucrat’s spreadsheet,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan declared that “the smoke and mirrors that the Democrats employed to sell their health care overhaul are finally falling away, one broken promise at a time. … Now it is time for Congress to do the responsible thing: Repeal the disastrous new law and replace it with true, patient-centered reforms.” . . .

But the fallout from the CLASS decision is not just political, but practical as well.

The Congressional Budget Office had scored CLASS as achieving $86 billion in savings over the next decade, because it would have collected premiums for five years before paying any benefits. In a conference call with reporters, Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee said the Office of Management and Budget would "likely reduce" the baseline budget for 2013 by taking CLASS out of the mix. . . .

Labels: ,

Obama claims: "investment paid off"

GM hasn't paid off the $50 billion direct investment let alone the $45 billion in special tax benefits or the "Cash for Clunkers."

President Obama went on a three-pronged attack on Friday, alternately touting passage of the free-trade agreement with South Korea, recounting the success of the auto bailout and taking a veiled swipe at Republican challenger Mitt Romney for his opposition to the bailout.

Speaking at a General Motors plant in Orion Township, Mich., a plant the president said would likely have shut down without government intervention, Obama said his plan to “retool and restructure” the auto companies was “an investment in American workers.”

“One of the first decisions I made as president was to save the U.S. auto industry from collapse,” Obama said to a standing ovation.

The president recounted the administration’s narrative about how the Orion plant, which produces the Chevrolet Sonic, was set to close before government loans helped the company restructure its debt — a move the White House said saved 1,750 jobs.

“Today, I can stand here and say the investment paid off,” Obama said. “The hundreds of thousands of jobs saved made it worth it … taxpayers are being repaid, and plants like this are churning out groundbreaking fuel-efficient cars like the Chevy Sonic.” . . .

Obama continued this theme in his Saturday radio address.

I’m here in Detroit visiting workers at a GM plant in the heart of a resurgent American auto industry.

Labels: ,

Obama administration refuses to provide all the information on Solyndra

There is a reason why past presidents haven't used email. It was always considered that paper and electronic documents would have to be turned over. This report from CNN leaves out this important difference in its story below:

House Republicans investigating the loan controversy had requested all internal White House documents about the issue. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee chair Rep. Cliff Stearns said that includes emails on the President's Blackberry.

On Friday the White House Counsel sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee explaining they won't comply with the request because it "implicates longstanding and significant institutional Executive Branch confidentiality interests."

The response is hardly a surprise given past administrations' refusal to comply with similar congressional requests. The difference here? President Obama is the first Chief Executive to carry a Blackberry, so it's the first time a White House counsel has - even indirectly - turned down an attempt to peek at his email. Neither the Blackberry nor his personal email is explicitly mentioned in the letter.

On October 5, Republican Chairmen Fred Upton and Cliff Stearns requested "all communications among White House staff and officials related to the $535 million loan guarantee to Solyndra" because they believed "the White House was closely involved in the monitoring of the Solyndra loan guarantee after it was issued."

They said these documents are necessary "to better understand the involvement of the White house in the review of the Solyndra loan guarantee and the Administration's support of this guarantee.'

In her letter Friday, White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler said, "the three federal agencies most directly involved in the Solyndra loan guarantee, the Department of Energy, the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of the Treasury, are all cooperating with the Committee's investigation into the Solyndra loan guarantee.” . . . .



Another White House Insider Pushing for Solyndra

I don't find this as interesting the fundraiser pushing for the money or the emails warning Obama not to visit Solyndra. From Fox News:

“I thought the White House might want to take advantage of this event to highlight a highly successful public/private partnership.”
-- Obama adviser David Prend in an email to a White House aide encouraging the president to publicly embrace Solyndra, a solar-panel manufacturer that Prend’s investment firm partly owned.

The latest figure to emerge in Soylndra green-jobs scandal is David Prend, a co-founder of the Boston-based venture capital firm Rockport Capital, who used his role as a green energy adviser to the Obama administration to push for a half-billion-dollar subsidized loan for Solyndra even though his company was a major investor in the solar-panel manufacturer.
Emails obtained by congressional investigators show that Prend was perhaps the first to push for Solyndra inside the administration, touting the company in a February 2009 meeting with Carol Browner, President Obama’s former global warming and energy czar. At the time, Prend’s firm held a 7.5 percent stake in Solyndra.
Prend also pushed for Solyndra to be included in a Navy contract as part of the administration’s plan to switch the military to green energy. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Navy effort came in the spring of this year, long after it was clear that the company was kaput. The Navy seemed to be on the cusp of including Solyndra in the $1 million pilot project, but had to drop the well-connected firm as bankruptcy approached in September. . . .


"Saved or Created" Jobs becomes "Jobs supported"

Ed Morrissey has the story available here.

Labels: ,

Biden claims that without new jobs bill that crime will rise

Do the number of police matter in reducing crime? Sure. But it looks as if Biden is having some simple trouble with the numbers here. From Fox News:

. . . "Let's look at the facts," Biden said. "In 2008, when Flint had 265 sworn officers on their police force, there were 35 murders and 91 rapes in this city. In 2010, when Flint had only 144 police officers, the murder rate climbed to 65 and rapes, just to pick two categories, climbed to 229.
"In 2011, you now only have 125 shields. God only knows what the numbers'll be this year for Flint if we don't rectify it," he said.
Biden made the comments as part of an effort to talk up the Obama administration's $447 billion American Jobs Act, which stalled in the Senate Tuesday night. The package includes $5 billion for police and first responders.
FBI statistics show that the number of law enforcement officers in Flint has sharply declined over the last few years, as Biden said. The number went from 201 in 2008 to 132 in 2010. If civilian employees are counted, the numbers are a bit closer to what Biden cited.
The rise in violent crimes like murder and rape, however, was not as drastic as Biden suggested, according to FBI statistics.
The FBI reported 32 cases of murder and non-negligent manslaughter and 103 cases of forcible rape in 2008. That's similar to what the Flint Police Department reported -- which were the exact numbers Biden cited Wednesday.
But the FBI reported the number of murders at 53 in 2010, with the number of forcible rapes actually dropping to 92. According to the FBI, the Flint "metropolitan statistical area" -- which includes the surrounding county as well as the city -- recorded 225 forcible rapes in 2010. However, that would also mark a decrease from the 239 recorded in the broader area in 2008.
A representative from Biden's office said the 229 number came from the Flint Police Department. . . .

Total crime is down between 2008 and 2010 from 9186 to 8649.
Violent crime is up from 2,297 to 2412 (a 5 percent increase)
Murder and aggravated assaults are up, but rape and robbery are down.
Property crime is down from 6,889 to 6,237

For Michigan as a whole, violent, property crimes are down. Murder and rapes are up, Robbery and Aggravated Assaults are down.

UPDATE: Biden makes more comments.

"Do you regret using the rape reference to describe Senate opposition" to the bill, Jason Mattera asked Biden as he left a rally with police unions and others who have faced the budget ax in recent months.

"I didn't use ... no, no, no," Biden responded. "Let's get it straight, guy. Don't screw around with me. Let's get it straight."

"You didn't use a rape reference," said Mattera, of the conservative news organization Human Events.
"No, let me explain," Biden said, pointing toward Mattera. "I said rape was up three times in Flint. Those are the numbers. Go look at the numbers. Murder is up; rape is up; burglary is up. That's what I said."

"And if the Republicans don't pass this bill, then rape will continue to rise?" the reporter asked.
"Murder will continue to rise; rape will continue to rise; all crime will continue to rise," Biden said.
Asked by Mattera whether it was appropriate to use such language, Biden scoffed and walked away. . . .

Jay Carney joins in:

"I think it would be hard to find anyone that doesn't agree," White House press secretary Carney said about Joe Biden's remark that rapes will increase if Congress does not pass Obama's latest stimulus bill.

Carney was asked about Vice President Joe Biden saying rapes and murders will rise if the president's jobs bill is not passed.

"I think everyone will agree with the equation that fewer police officers on the street has a direct effect on the crime rate. We saw this in the 1990's. I do know that any lawmaker up on Capitol Hill will contest that simple fact or any American who makes that assessment in their local communities. Would you want fewer or more law enforcement officers on the job? Do you think that having more officers on the job would have a positive impact on crime? That is the point that the President absolutely shares," . . .

Labels: ,

Grover Norquist on Romney and Cain

If Romney isn't willing to take a strong stand to control spending during the Republican primary, when is he going to do it? From the Washington Examiner:

Former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., "thinks there's some sort of virtue in not criticizing Bush's [big spending] mistakes," Norquist said. Romney could correct that mistake, but Norquist was even less sanguine about Cain's 9-9-9 plan. "Having three taxes, all of which can grow - it's like having three needles in your arm taking blood out, it's much more dangerous than having one," Norquist explained.

Norquist praised Cain for trying to get rid of a "redistributionist" tax code, but warned that Congress could hijack Cain's plan. "What if the Demcrats win the House, the Senate, or the presidency . . . and say let's keep all three [taxes]?" Grover asked. "All three would grow over time." . . .

Labels: ,


Interview with Larry Elder on KABC in LA at 10:35 AM PDT/1:35 PM EDT

I will be on Larry's show to discuss the shooting in Seal Beach yesterday. Larry's show is available here.

I will also be on Southern California's KPCC at 2:08 PM PDT/5:08 PM EDT. The audio of the show is available here starting at the 47:15 minute mark.

Labels: ,

"People Should Pay My College Tuition Because ‘That’s What I want'"


Some Wisconsin bars requiring valid driver's license or passport

Just something to file away. From Madison, Wisconsin:

Some Downtown bars now only let in patrons who have a current, valid driver's license or U.S. passport, a policy bar owners say has significantly helped improve security after a spike in violence that hit the region over the summer.
"It really helps with curbing incidents in your bar," said Jimmy Hahn, who's worked crowd control for several Downtown bars for decades.
He defended the policy against some patrons turned away who claim it unfairly bars racial minorities from entry.
"It's not racist," he said. "I turn away every race that has a (state) ID card."
State-issued IDs, as well as those issued by colleges or other entities, don't cut it for entry. . . .
Jay Wanserski, who owns Wando's, 602 University Ave., said he put the policy in place shortly after a July incident during which four of his bouncers were hospitalized when a large group of people attacked them outside the bar, the latest in what some described as an unusually violent summer Downtown. . . .


"Come clean" Lawrence O'Donnell

Lawrence O'Donnell on his MSNBC show introduced Jon Gruber this way the other night.

Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC host: "Alright, come on. Come clean. You were in the room with President Obama discussing healthcare reform and you did in fact work with the Romney administration in Massachusetts. Come on Professor, you've got to tell us the truth."

Jonathan Gruber, MIT professor: "The truth is that the Affordable Care Act is essentially based on what we accomplished in Massachusetts. It's the same basic structure applied nationally. John McDonough, one of the other advisers,who work in both Massachusetts and advised the White House said 'it's the Massachusetts with three more zeros.' And that's basically a good description of what the federal bill did." . . .

Is it true that Gruber work with the Romney administration on Romney care? Well, Gruber helped advise both Romney and Democratic state legislators. Is it true that he met with Obama to discuss what happened in Massachusetts? Yes, but Gruber was a lot more involved than O'Donnell indicates and he was involved in such a way that might affect how accurately he portrays events. Namely, that Gruber was paid almost $400,000 by the Obama administration to help them push Obamacare. Even worse, Gruber has already been attacked for making public statements without making this deep involvement with the Obama administration clear. What is of greater concern now is that the Obama administration is targeting Romney and they may be using Gruber coming forward right now to achieve that goal.

Democrats might be using Gruber to try to weaken Romney's chances of getting the Republican nomination.

MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the leading academic defenders of health care reform, is taking heat for failing to disclose consistently that he was under contract with the Department of Health and Human Services while he was touting the Democrats' health proposals in the media.

Gruber, according to federal government documents, is under a $297,600 contract until next month to provide "technical assistance" in evaluating health care reform proposals. He was under a $95,000 HHS contract before that. . . .

Gruber claims that the money didn't influence his policy recommendations, but he misses the point. He should have revealed that he was getting $392,600 from the Obama administration and then let the viewers of the shows that he was on make the call. Here is what Kate Pickert wrote on a blog for Time Magazine:

Still, if I had known Gruber had such a contract, I would have disclosed this fact to readers when I quoted him. (For the record, I would have still quoted him and I was aware that he was one policy expert among many who advised Congress. Quoting him in an Oct. 13, 2009 story I identified him as "a respected MIT economist who has advised lawmakers on health reform.") But the attribution should have gone further. I'm of the belief that readers should have as much information about sources as possible within the confines of journalistic writing. . . .

A blog at the Washington Post has this:

I wasn't aware of that, and if I had been, I would've made sure it was disclosed when I quoted Gruber. On the other hand, the implication that Gruber is somehow a paid shill for this bill belies a fairly long and consistent record in support of health reform, and in particular, this type of health reform. . . .

What surprises me is how sympathetic these discussions are towards Gruber. I can't find any correction or note on this in the newspaper or main website for the Washington Post. Here is a critique of Gruber's piece. So how much of the media is mentioning the amount of money that Gruber received? A Google News Search at 2:30 AM the day after the story on Gruber broke got 10 hits searching on ""Jonathan Gruber" $296,600 OR $400,000 OR $392,600." Five of those ten were to the leftwing blog (FireDogLake).

Personally, I don't think that the $392,600 altered Gruber's views, though I would be willing to bet that Gruber supports campaign finance regulations because he claims that even much, much smaller amounts can corrupt politicians. However, the amount of money that he was given is also pretty amazing for an academic doing consulting for the government. A Google News Search on "Jonathan Gruber" for 2008 and 2009 found 240 hits, most very prominent places.

In defending himself, Gruber told Politico: “I have been completely consistent with my academic track record.” Did Gruber alter his position on health care regulations over time? Say since 2007? It appears that the answer is "yes." Merrill Goozner, a health care policy blogger and NYU professor, notes:

Hmmm. What about this March 2007 paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, which he co-authored. It looked at the effect of higher out-of-pocket co-pays for retired public employees in California. Gruber found that they led to higher hospitalization rates as old folks with chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease cut back on physician visits and necessary drugs.

These offset effects are concentrated in patients for whom medical care is presumably efficacious: those with a chronic disease. . . Our findings suggest that health insurance should be tied to underlying health status, with chronically ill patients facing lower cost-sharing.

What will happen after the excise tax hits high-cost insurance plans, according to Gruber today? 80 percent of employers will ratchet down plan benefits to keep their costs under the tax cap. The only way they can do that is by raising co-pays and deductibles and eliminating benefits. The extra money employers save will be returned to workers as higher wages, which they can choose to either use to pay for health care or pay other bills. And as his own research points out, many will choose to cut back on necessary care, and some will wind up in the hospital.

“There’s literally no evidence out there that people are going to suffer,” he told the Washington Post earlier this week. He should re-read his own paper.

Labels: , , , ,

On the bad investment decisions the government is making on

Michael Barone has some useful numbers and points to remember available here. $67 billion for 160 miles? $420 million per mile?

It hasn't failed because of a lack of willingness to pony up money. The Obama Democrats' February 2009 stimulus package included $8 billion for high-speed rail projects. The Democratic Congress appropriated another $2.5 billion.

But Congress is turning off the spigot. The Republican-controlled House has appropriated zero dollars for high-speed rail. The Democratic-majority Senate Appropriations Committee has appropriated $100 million in its budget recommendation. . . .

The feds insist California build a 160-mile segment in the Central Valley that is estimated to cost at least $10 billion and will have virtually no riders. The estimated cost of the whole project has zoomed from $43 billion to $67 billion, and there seems to be no prospect of any more public- or private-sector money. . . .

UPDATE: This is an entirely instate route. Why should there be any federal funding? From the WSJ:

The Obama administration's push for high-speed trains is foundering, as Congress moves to clamp down on funding and a showcase California project encounters new hurdles. . . . Florida canceled a planned Tampa-to-Orlando route in February.

California envisioned a $45 billion high-speed system extending from San Francisco to Southern California, with trains running by 2020. The state's original business model assumed it would get one-third of its funding from the federal government, although it received no such commitment. So far, the project has received roughly $3 billion from the U.S. government, with little more likely to come. . . .

Labels: , ,

How many more Solyndra's are there?

Did the Obama administration push out cash at the last moment to keep money losing solar companies in operation? From Fox News:

With the Solyndra scandal still swirling, the Obama administration is under pressure to reveal the financial condition of the solar companies that received $4.75 billion in similar federal loan guarantees on the last day of the program.
Republican lawmakers on two House committees are seeking details about the loans given to First Solar, SunPower Corp. and ProLogis. Of those three companies, troubling financial revelations have emerged about SunPower, which received a $1.2 billion loan, more than twice the money approved for Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy last month after receiving a $528 million loan.
The Energy Department says on its website that the $1.2 billion loan to help build the California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County, a project that will help create 15 permanent jobs, which adds up to the equivalent of $80 million in taxpayer money for each job.
But the Energy Department stands by the project.
This project underwent many months of rigorous technical, financial and legal due diligence by career employees in the DOE loan program,” Energy spokesman Damien LaVera said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “It was approved for one reason only: because it meets all the requirements of the program – helping America win the clean energy race and create entire new industries for American workers.”
In April, the Energy Department gave SunPower a conditional loan guarantee, even though the company was receiving financing in the capital markets. Shortly after the conditional guarantee, French energy giant Total bought a majority ownership in SunPower and extended a $1 billion credit line to the company. . . .

While I have referenced many Solyndra articles on this blog, David Boaz has a long list available here.



Obama tried to apologize to the Japanese for Nagasaki and Hiroshima?

Possibly even the Japanese realize that the bombings on net saved a lot of Japanese lives. From IBD:

Leaked cables show Japan nixed a presidential apology to Hiroshima and Nagasaki for using nukes to end the overseas contingency operation known as World War II. . . .

Another stop on the tour was in Japan, where Obama in November 2009 bowed to the emperor, something no American president had ever done. It could have been worse if plans to visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima to apologize for winning the war with the atom bombs had come to pass.

A heretofore secret cable dated Sept. 3, 2009, was recently released by WikiLeaks. Sent to Secretary of State Clinton, it reported Japan's Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka telling U.S. Ambassador John Roos that "the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima to apologize for the atomic bombing during World War II is a 'nonstarter.'"

The Japanese feared the apology would be exploited by anti-nuclear groups and those opposed to the defensive alliance between Japan and the U.S.

Whatever Tokyo's motive, Obama's motive was to once again apologize for defending freedom, this time for winning with devastating finality the war Japan started. . . . .

From the NY Post:

In a September 2009 cable prior to Obama’s official visit to Tokyo, our ambassador informs Washington that Tokyo had denied Obama’s bid to go to Hiroshima to publicly apologize for America’s dropping the atom bomb there -- in short, to turn the defeat of Japan into a matter of national humiliation for America.
The Japanese government told the ambassador this would be a “non-starter,” because the gesture would encourage domestic anti-nuclear groups and leftist groups opposed to Japan’s military cooperation with the United States. . . .
A president who is either ignorant or blind to the fact that if we hadn’t used the bomb and had been forced to invade Japan instead, at least 2 million Japanese would have died in a full-scale invasion of Japan, instead of the 300,000 killed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- not to mention the 1 million US casualties that the War Department and Joint Chiefs of Staff calculated would come in that assault.
And a president who thinks that such groveling is the way to build good relations with an Asian ally -- when a far better way passed him right by. . . .

Boston Herald Editorial:

We shouldn’t be surprised that President Barack Obama wanted to visit the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to apologize for the atomic bombs dropped on them in World War II. Obama has been willing to “blame America first” for almost anything wrong with the world, but these visits would have marked a new low.

Fortunately, the Japanese government refused to permit such abasement. Obama had to be content on his 2009 world apology tour with lamenting (in his Cairo speech to Muslims of the Middle East) a “colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims” (Which part of the Middle East was colonized by Americans again?) and with begging Iran, in a totally ineffective televised plea, to play nice. . . .

Labels: ,

Shades of Atlas Shrugged?

From a speech by Obama:

"Anybody in America should be able to make it if they try. But none of us make it on our own. Somebody — an outstanding entrepreneur like a Steve Jobs — somewhere along the line he had a teacher who helped inspire him. All those great Internet businesses wouldn’t have succeeded unless somebody had invested in the government research that helped to create the Internet. We don’t succeed on our own. We succeed because this country has, in previous generations, made investments that allow all of us to succeed."

Obama might not realize it, but the US was around for about 90 years until we public schools. Highways were all privately built up until around 1900. The subway system in NYC was virtually all built and run by private companies until government regulation drove them out of business and the government took them over (of course once the government took them over the regulations that drove the private companies out of business were then removed).

Labels: , ,

A partial list of Eric Holder's bad decisions

Marc A. Thiessen has a list in the Washington Post available here.

Labels: ,

Numerous Senate Democrats Oppose Obama's "Jobs Bill"

From the Hill.

Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Jon Tester (Mont.) voted against limiting debate.
"Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) voted to cut off a potential GOP filibuster but said he nevertheless opposes raising taxes on ordinary income, especially during a time of recession."
"Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, supported Reid’s bid to begin debate on Obama’s jobs package but voiced misgivings over its substance."


Incomes have fallen more after recession than they fell during it

I have been pointing out how incomes have continued falling after the recession, but it is nice to have a specific comparison with during the recession. From the NY Times:

In a grim sign of the enduring nature of the economic slump, household income declined more in the two years after the recession ended than it did during the recession itself, new research has found.
Between June 2009, when the recession officially ended, and June 2011, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 6.7 percent, to $49,909, according to a study by two former Census Bureau officials. During the recession — from December 2007 to June 2009 — household income fell 3.2 percent. . . . .

In a separate study, Henry S. Farber, an economics professor at Princeton, found that people who lost jobs in the recession and later found work again made an average of 17.5 percent less than they had in their old jobs.
“As a labor economist, I do not think the recession has ended,” Mr. Farber said. “Job losers are having more trouble than ever before finding full-time jobs.”

Mr. Farber added that this downturn was “fundamentally different” from most previous ones. Historically, other economists say, financial crises and debt-caused bubbles have led to deeper, more protracted downturns. . . .

Labels: ,

Romney supports the TARP bailout

There were a lot of Economists who opposed TARP (see here): "Interviews conducted with a dozen prominent academic economists, Obama supporters as well as McCain supporters, found little support for the bailout bill. Indeed, even the one economist who supported the proposal passed by the Senate Wednesday night had serious reservations." Yet, Romney announced on Tuesday that supports this subsidy.

Labels: ,


Number of Concealed Carry Permits by County in California

With Governor Jerry Brown signing a law that banned the open carry of unloaded guns, in some counties people are effectively banned from carry a gun for protection in any way. For example, no civilian in San Francisco has a concealed handgun permit. In Los Angeles, only 220 people have permits. Relatively rural Kern county has given out 3,789 permits.
The information was obtained by the CalGuns Foundation and their discussion is available here.

Labels: , ,

Will there be a backlash for protests outside "tycoons'" homes?

You might remember Nina Easton reporting on this gruesome experience.

Now we have this. Will people get upset with these thuggish tactics?

Protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement plan to leave their downtown Manhattan headquarters Tuesday and head uptown as part of a "Millionaires March" visiting the homes of some of New York City's wealthiest residents.
Between 400 and 800 people are expected to take part in the demonstration targeting the homes of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, billionaire businessman David Koch, financier Howard Milstein, hedge fund maven John Paulson and News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, Crain's New York Business reported. . . .

Labels: ,

Wall Street protesters getting paid?

Hot Air has this interesting post. How many of the tea party people were paid to attend their rallies?



Perry ad on Romney Care

Roger's Newest piece in The Dartmouth: "Learning to Live Together"

Roger's latest piece is on the preferential treatment given to LGBT students in being admitted to Dartmouth. The piece is available here.



"Supreme Court Justices Find Government Line in Church-State Case 'Amazing'"

This is a pretty stunning act by the Obama administration, something that shock both Justices on the right and left of the political spectrum. An extreme regulatory overreach by the Obama Justice Department. From ABC News:

The high court is being asked to decide whether Cheryl Perich and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may sue the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in Redford, Mich., for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. . . .

Lawyers for the EEOC and for the teacher say Ms. Perich was fired in retaliation for filing a discrimination lawsuit against the school. They say there is no "ministerial exception" that would allow religious organizations to fire with impunity an employee whose job primarily involves teaching secular subjects to her students. . . .

Leondra Kruger, an assistant solicitor general, said the government was basing its argument on a section of the First Amendment that guarantees the freedom of individuals to associate with each other.

Some justices took issue with the position, wondering why the solicitor general's office wasn't analyzing the issue through the First Amendment's religion clauses. The two religion clauses bar the government from establishing a state-favored religion, while prohibiting laws that infringe the free exercise of religion. . . .

At one point, Justice Elena Kagan asked Ms. Kruger whether she believed that a church has a right grounded in First Amendment religious protections to hire and fire employees without government interference.

Kruger answered that the government was basing its argument on the freedom of association, rather than the parts of the First Amendment that deal with religious freedom.

"We don't see that line of church autonomy principles in the religion clause jurisprudence as such," Kruger replied. "We see it as a question of freedom of association."

The position surprised several justices, including Justice Kagan, the Obama administration's former solicitor general, who said she found the comment "amazing." After the hearing, one representative of a religious association called the government's position a "full frontal assault on religious liberty."

Chief Justice John Roberts first raised the issue when he asked whether the administration considered anything "special about the fact that the people involved in this case are part of a religious organization."

Ms. Kruger said, no, that there was no difference whether the group was a religious group, a labor group, or any other association of individuals.

"That's extraordinary. That is extraordinary," Justice Antonin Scalia declared. "We are talking here about the free exercise clause and about the establishment clause, and you say they have no special application?" . . .

Labels: , ,

Romney's changing positions on many issues


Something to remember with all the talk about collapsing bridges

With Obama saying that we have to spend more government money to prevent bridges from collapsing, I thought that I should link to a piece that I wrote a few years ago available here.


Rahm Emanuel denies knowledge about Solyndra scandal even though there is some evidence that he might have been

From WLS:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is denying any knowledge of a developing scandal in Washington that dates back to his days as President Barack Obama’s chief of staff. . . .

From the Washington Post:

In an Aug. 19, 2009, e-mail, an aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel asked Spinner if he could discuss any concerns among the investment community about Solyndra. . . .


More on Democrats being uncomfortable with Obama's Jobs Bill

It is pretty amazing that Democrats are willing to go to this length to keep from voting on Obama's jobs bill. From The Hill:

Partisan anger hit a boiling point in the chamber this week after Republicans refused to allow final passage of a China currency bill unless Democrats voted on President Obama’s jobs package, as originally drafted.
Triggering what has come to be known as the chamber’s “nuclear option,” Reid overturned Senate precedent that allowed Republicans to force votes to proceed to non-germane amendments. He did so by voting with 50 of his Democratic colleagues to overturn a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian.

The controversial procedural tactic hasn’t been used in years. In a chamber where it requires the consent of all 100 senators to dispense with the reading of a bill, changing the rules unilaterally is considered bad form. . . .

Labels: , ,