Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Heavy News Day

Five stories caught my eye at glance and they all should be bad news for Obama. Emphases added.

1. Dozens Of Republican Senators Press Obama On Missile Defense | Fox News - AP
WASHINGTON – Forty-three Republican senators have written to President Obama saying they will oppose any efforts by the Obama administration to limit missile defense or pursue further reductions in nuclear weapons.

Obama was caught on tape Monday telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more flexibility to negotiate on missile defense after the November election. Seizing on those comments, Republicans said any concessions to the Russians would be counter to U.S. safety and security. They also said concessions would contradict the assurances Obama gave the Senate when he pressed for them to ratify the New START treaty in December 2010.

The senators, led by Jon Kyl, said any limits on missile defense would weaken the U.S. in dealing with potential nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran.
Comment: The GoP finally begins to wake up. Obama's gross incompetence on every foreign policy issue is now publicly combined with collusion with an unfriendly if not hostile power, and documented dishonesty before Congress for good measure.

2. Obama’s Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, has rough start at health care oral arguments | The Lookout - Yahoo! News by Liz Goodwin
Supreme Court justices battered Obama's solicitor general, Donald Verrilli Jr., with questions today, prodding him to explain why the government could compel Americans to buy health care insurance and not, for example, force them to purchase broccoli or burial insurance.

Verrilli appeared to stumble over his words at the beginning of his hourlong questioning, and took a drink of water less than a minute after beginning his statement before composing himself. After the oral arguments were over, some court watchers weren't exactly kind when assessing his performance.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said that the day's arguments were a "train wreck" for the Obama administration and that Verrilli seemed unprepared. "I don't know why he had a bad day," he said. "He is a good lawyer, he was a perfectly fine lawyer in the really sort of tangential argument yesterday. He was not ready for the answers for the conservative justices."

Time Magazine writer Kate Pickert wrote on Twitter that Verrilli "lost his footing a bit," relying on the liberal Justices to remind the other Justices of the key arguments for the law. Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein said Verrilli "lost big."

.....

At one point, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg interrupted Verrilli's response to Justice Antonin Scalia's hard-hitting questions about the limiting principle, appearing to try to help him out. "Mr. Verrilli, I thought that your main point is that, unlike food or any other market, when you made the choice not to buy insurance, even though you have every intent in the world to self-insure, to save for it, when disaster strikes, you may not have the money," Ginsburg said, articulating the government's argument that uninsured people are still part of the national health insurance market.

"That is definitely a difference that distinguishes this market and justifies this as a regulation," Verrilli responded. Later in the questioning, Ginsburg brought up that "a major, major point of your argument was that the people who don't participate in this market are making it much more expensive for the people who do." Verrilli again appeared grateful for the verbal cue, restating Ginsburg's argument.

.....
Comment: The implosion at the Department of Justice is now on display before the general public. Before this the people, except for a small number of enthusiasts and bloggers, only rarely heard about what Eric Holder has done, the botched effort to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York City got more exposure than the suppression of the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panthers, and the generally extraordinary partisanship and incompetency that have mark the administration have been hidden by supportive media. The raw desperate partisanship of Ginsburg, who like Kagan and possibly Thomas on the other side should have recused themselves from the case indicates the desperation of a movement facing repudiation. Thomas' role may be questioned because of his wife's lobbying. Ginsburg and Kagan have been active partisans on this issue in their own interest.

It is possible but unlikely that the Court could in rejecting Obamacare revisit the logic that supported the imposition of Social Security in 1935. Doing so would prove a nuclear bomb on American governance given how deeply entrenched in all aspects of American life programs and policies arising from the SSA are. Five Justices could rewrite that at any time if they so choose. The government lied to the Court about the same issues before the Supreme Court today 77 years ago. Whether or not anyone believes that public support for such a system is a good thing, the current US Social Security system, and all its elaborations such as Medicare, rest upon no Constitutional authority beyond a reading of the Commerce clause that was novel at the time and relied upon representations to the Court that were probably known to be false at the time.

3. Democratic lawmakers blast police in U.S. teen killing - Yahoo! News By Donna Smith | Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday blasted police handling of a racially charged case in which a neighborhood watch volunteer shot dead an unarmed black teenager in Florida, accusing local law enforcement officials of botching the investigation.

The lawmakers, speaking at a congressional forum attended by the parents of the slain teenager, called for the immediate arrest of 28-year-old George Zimmerman, the white Hispanic who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26 in what he said was self-defense.

Florida law enforcement officials have faced intense criticism in recent weeks from civil rights activists and others for not arresting Zimmerman, who remains at large and in seclusion. Police say a state "stand your ground" law that allows people to use deadly force when they perceive danger in any public place has prevented them from making an arrest.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown, who represents Sanford, the town where the shooting took place, decried the police inaction, saying she did not know if it was due to incompetence, a cover-up or "all of the above."

.....

Accounts of exactly what happened the night of February 26 have been confused. Zimmerman told police that Martin punched him, knocked him down and slammed his head into the sidewalk repeatedly before he fired the fatal gunshot.

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Comment: Most Americans identify with their police and want law and order. The Obama administration "lead from behind" and followed the lowest race baiters in seeking to exploit this story. It was only after they poured gasoline on the fire that it was reported that the photo shown to the public of an angelic child was 4 or 5 years old, with the real Tryvon Martin being a 240 lb football player who was expelled from school for drugs possession and who had boasted online of committing assault. In addition they launched this by now familiar theatrical episode before discovering that Zimmerman was not some old white guy, possibly German or Jewish (did someone at the White House try to score points by wondering if he was related to Bob Dylan?) but in fact a Hispanic, and for those who like such narratives the Neighborhood Block Watch and older guy going to school achiever and community supporter the Left claims to favor. All that goes out the window in the rush to exploit the rituals of pity and grievance used by the likes of Al Sharpton whenever there is a TV camera available.

Note that for this article Reuters violated their usual copybook by identifying him as a "white Hispanic." They never make that distinction as a normal practice. This may seriously alienate members of the Hispanic community from the Democrats. There is already a virtual war between Blacks and Hispanics in places like Los Angelas, with districts being effectively cleansed in the Bosnian sense of people from the less powerful group. The Democrats offer the Hispanics unlimited immigration and subsidized jobs in Health Care. The large and complex Hispanic collection of communities in the US may not fall into place as the junior partners in such a simple and venal bargain.

4. Unruly JetBlue Pilot Locked Out of Cockpit, Flight Diverted - Yahoo! News By JOSH HASKELL and CHRISTINA NG | ABC News
A JetBlue pilot acting erratically was allegedly locked out of the cockpit by his co-pilot, causing an airplane traveling from New York to Las Vegas to be diverted to Texas.

A passenger sitting close to the front of the plane told ABC News that the co-pilot walked out of the cockpit and went to the bathroom before the incident happened.

"The guy was in the bathroom for a while and the pilot inside the cockpit locked the flight door," the passenger said. "Passengers noticed the guy acting weird when he came out of the bathroom."

The unruly pilot then went to the cockpit and started pounding on the door. The passenger heard someone yelling "bomb" and "we're going down." The passenger believes it was the pilot who had been locked out.

A co-pilot remained in the cockpit and was flying the plane, designated as Flight 191, which was carrying 135 passengers and six crew members.

The passenger said it was a "crazy scene" that ended when a group of male passengers restrained the disorderly pilot at the front of the plane until it was able to land.

A government source told ABC News that the pilot was subdued by an off-duty New York City police officer and an off-duty JetBlue pilot who were traveling on the flight.

The off-duty pilot flight helped land the plane in Texas.

"At roughly 10 a.m. CT/11 a.m. ET, the pilot in command elected to divert to Amarillo, Texas, for a medical situation involving the captain," JetBlue said in a statement.

"Another captain, traveling off duty, entered the flight deck prior to landing at Amarillo, and took over the duties of the ill crewmember once on the ground," the statement said. "The aircraft arrived Amarillo at 10:11 am CT, and the crewmember was removed from the aircraft and taken to a local medical facility."

The captain is now in FBI custody.
Comment: The world is not safe or rational and hopey changey juvenilia can't be indulged. Also the Democrats now own the burdens of transportation security, and the associated annoyances. They can't blame Bush. Anything that reminds the public of what they must endure under the now unionized workforce controlled by the Democrats, and how the world remins dangerous even if the incident here was simply one sick pilot, is bad for Obama.

An earlier version of the story reported the pilot as yelling about Iran and a bomb but that was apparently scrubbed. Anything that reminds the public about the real threats would only increase the pressure on an administration, and their allies in the media, now desperately sticking fingers in more holes than the little Dutch boy did.

5. Americans angry with Obama over gas prices - Yahoo! News By Patricia Zengerle | Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than two-thirds of Americans disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling high gasoline prices, although most do not blame him for them, according to a Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Tuesday.

Sixty-eight percent disapprove and 24 percent approve of how Obama is responding to price increases that have become one of the biggest issues in the 2012 presidential campaign.

In the past month, U.S. fuel prices have jumped about $0.30 per gallon to about $3.90 and the Republicans seeking to replace the Democrat in the November 6 election have seized upon the issue to attack his energy policies.

The disapproval reaches across party lines, potentially spelling trouble for Obama in the election, although the online survey showed voters hold oil companies or foreign countries more accountable than politicians for the price spike.

"Obama is getting heat for it but people aren't necessarily blaming him for it," said Chris Jackson, research director for Ipsos public affairs.

Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents all disapprove of the president's handling of gas prices, according to the online poll of 606 Americans conducted March 26-27.

Eighty-nine percent of Republicans said they disapproved, as did 52 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of independents.

"People are unhappy that they are having to pay $3.90 a gallon. They want somebody to be able to lash out at and the president is as good a person as anybody," Jackson said.

BLAMING OIL COMPANIES

The most common reason cited by voters of all political stripes for the rising cost was oil company greed.

Overall, 36 percent of respondents said "oil companies that want to make too much profit" deserve the most blame for higher energy prices. Twenty-eight percent of Republicans said so, as did 44 percent of Democrats and 32 percent of independents.

Twenty-six percent of all respondents said a range of factors was equally to blame, including oil companies, politicians, foreign countries that dominate oil reserves and environmentalists who want to limit oil exploration.

There was little difference in that result across party lines. Twenty-seven percent of Republicans, 24 percent of Democrats and 32 percent of independents said all of those factors were equally to blame.

Republicans have hit Obama particularly hard for his decision to block TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL Canada-to-Texas pipeline as a sign that his energy priorities are hurting America.

Hoping to placate car-loving Americans, Obama toured U.S. oil country last week to tout his "all of the above" energy strategy that includes room for oil and gas development in addition to support for renewable fuels.

In Oklahoma, he pledged to accelerate approval of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. Republicans immediately dismissed the campaign-style stop as a stunt, saying Obama does not have the authority to really jump start the project.

Jackson said Obama has little to fear, at least according to historic trends, from gas prices alone if the U.S. economy continues to recover from deep recession.

Previous spikes in fuel prices have not affected U.S. presidential election results. But economists warn that higher gas prices could slow the overall economy, which would toughen Obama's chances of winning re-election.

The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points for all respondents.

(Editing by Alistair Bell and Eric Beech)
Comment: Finally we come to the story that ties together the total failure of the Obama government on every level. Foreign and domestic policy, political professionalism, even simple optics, all are exposed as amateurish, even those elements that the Democrats supposedly excelled at such as messaging instead of actual achievement. Most important the public is now starting to understand. Obama has been consistent on one thing. He has opposed anything that would increase American energy production or make America a safer richer and more powerful place. Billions have been poured down ratholes like wind farms and electric cars. Real work that would increase the safe and clean energy available, and the number of real union jobs, building modern refineries and power plants and pipelines and mining, has been stonewalled.




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