Trifecta: Bask in the joy of President Obama getting thrown under the bus by his own Marxist mentor.
Hundreds of dead Mexicans? A friendly government destabilized? An American border patrol officer killed? Nothing to see here:
President Barack Obama has asserted executive privilege over documents sought by a House committee investigating the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting, according to a letter to the panel Wednesday from Deputy Attorney Gen. James Cole.
The move means the Department of Justice can withhold the documents from the House Oversight Committee, which was scheduled to consider a contempt measure Wednesday against Holder.
“I write now to inform you that the president has asserted executive privilege over the relevant post-February 4, 2011, documents,” Cole wrote in a letter to committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California.
People exercising their First Amendment rights? Scandal!
Democratic President Barack Obama’s top campaign lawyer filed a complaint with the federal election regulator on Tuesday, demanding that the well-heeded and high-spending Republican advocacy group Crossroads GPS disclose its donors.
This is civil lawfare on American soil, and it’s been going on for a long time.
Oh, and let’s not forget the hypocrisy.
The latest Bloomberg poll says pretty much everything the White House doesn’t want to know. Here’s the beef:
In general, do you think things in the nation are headed in the right direction, or have they gotten off on the wrong track?
Right direction – 31
Wrong track – 62
Not sure – 7
Which of the following do you see as the most important issue facing the country right now?
13 Health care
18 The federal deficit
3 Gay marriage
4 Gas prices
45 Unemployment and jobs
1 None of these
3 Not sure [Emphasis added although really unnecessary]
Also note that health care is a very distant third place, and doesn’t differentiate between people who care about it because they don’t have insurance, or people who care about it because they think ObamaCare is a steaming pile. So much for the President’s “signature” accomplishment.
That’s an awfully deep hole to climb out of in just four months.
We have a Tax Freedom Day each year, to mark the day when the average American taxpayer has earned enough income to pay his taxes, and may spend the rest of the year working for himself.
What we need is a Student Loan Freedom Year, to mark how many years after graduation before a student loan victim has earned his freedom from bondage.
How about it? Who’s got the numbers?
IBM once built the world’s best portable keyboard. Its official name was “TrackWrite,” but everybody called it “the butterfly” because of the way it spread its wings when you opened the computer. John Karidis designed it for the ThinkPad 701 back in 1995, and watch this baby in action.
It’s so well engineered, that there are still butterflies in perfect working condition, even though the last one was produced in 1996. That’s right: although the 701 was IBM’s best-selling laptop, the butterfly keyboard was abandoned after only one year. TrackWrite was a wonderful indulgence for a laptop with a 10-inch screen, but the very next year after it was introduced, 12-inch screens became the new norm — and bigger screens allowed for a full-sized keyboard without any fancy engineering.
Just like a real butterfly, the TrackWrite was beautiful but short-lived.
That’s the first thing I thought of when I watched Microsoft introduce its new Surface tablet computers last night: A gorgeous keyboard without a market. Microsoft has designed what is undoubtedly the best portable keyboard ever… for a touch tablet. In fact, if you go to Microsoft’s promo page, this is the very first image you’re presented with.
That’s how MS wants to introduce you to their new tablet — a tiny little screen with a great big keyboard. Scroll down the page a bit, and Microsoft reminds you that “some activities call for a keyboard.” The description continues:
Surface comes with an integrated Kickstand and a revolutionary, 3mm thin, pressure sensitive cover that doubles as a fully functioning keyboard and trackpad. Your Touch Cover connects to your Surface with a single magnetic click. Now you can chat with friends and respond to emails comfortably.
It’s really a very nifty piece of kit, and it’s included for free. Apple charges you a less-than-nifty $69 for their wireless keyboard, and it doesn’t attach to anything at all, not even with magnets. But you have to wonder if Apple doesn’t still have the right approach.
Turns out, President Obama’s DREAM usurpation isn’t quite what he’s telling you it is. Here’s Mickey Kaus with the details:
1) The decree doesn’t just apply to illegal immigrants who were “brought to this country by their parents.” It also would give work permits to those who snuck across the border by themselves as teenagers. “Through no fault of their own” is a talking point for DREAM proselytizers, not an actual legal requirement. 2) The same goes for the phrase “and know only this country as home.” That’s a highly imaginative riff on the decree’s actual requirement, which is for 5 years “continuous residence.” It turns out “continuous residence” doesn’t mean what you think it means. “Immigration attorneys have been successful in getting immigration courts to whittle this down to a point where it is almost meaningless,” says CIS’s Jon Feere. As an illegal immigrant you can go back homeabroad for multiple 6-month stints during those five years
It’s one thing to make things easier for culturally American illegals. But this? What Obama has done is no such thing. He’s going to up and legalize most of a million workers, only some fraction of whom pass the test he laid out last week.
I know Obama knows that he’s already lost white, blue-collar voters. But now he’s doing his damnable best to work them up into a frenzy. This will move the needle right in MI, OH, and PA, I’d wager.
Toronto-based original device manufacturer Celestica on Monday announced that it will stop producing hardware for struggling mobile device vendor Research In Motion. Celestica stated that it will wind down manufacturing services related to BlackBerry devices over the next three to six months, and it expects restructuring charges to be less than $35 million
I say “huh” because I can’t find who will be stepping up to take Celestica’s place. So unless RIM wants to become nothing more than a mobile OS vendor, they’d best get on that.
The next crisis is muni bonds — and guess what? That’s right, underfunded, defined-benefits pensions are largely to blame:
The scandal isn’t simply that most public officials are misleading the public about the enormity of the problem and what steps must be taken to address the matter. As the Morgan report notes, many of the real liabilities are located “off balance sheet,” hidden from the public’s eye, and lax accounting standards let cities and states minimize their enormity.
It’s also that JP Morgan itself kept the report’s findings a secret except for a few big clients, mostly hedge funds and large institutional investors, who got the inside tip on which states and cities are most likely to default on their debt as their pension liabilities fester.
Yes: Default is a very real possibility, because the solutions are far from easy.
Nationwide, the actual size of unfunded public pension liabilities is four times larger than the $900-plus billion that officials are ’fessing up to. That’s right, the bank sees a $3.9 trillion hole; to plug that, states and cities will need large tax hikes, massive budget cuts or both. Plus, public-sector unions will have to accept smaller retirement packages, and later retirement ages, to keep the pension systems going.
I got out of munis completely a couple years before the Great Recession, and haven’t regretted it one bit.
Juan Williams on what happens if the Supremes overturn ObamaCare:
The Democrats have a nuclear option in this political game if the high court throws out the healthcare law as unconstitutional.
That blowup-the-system button, not pushed since FDR’s attempt to stack the court with Democrats during the New Deal, is for Obama to use the bully pulpit of the White House, and the national stage of a presidential campaign, to launch a bitter attack on the current court as a corrupt tool of the Republican right wing.
It is a move that could energize Democrats and independents even as Republicans celebrate a major legal victory.
If you can’t win, make everybody look like losers.
Is that the “better messaging” so many Democrats wish the White House would use?
Here comes yet another Android skin:
Japan’s Sharp said Monday it will release a new user interface for its smartphones in an attempt to differentiate them from the Android masses.
The Osaka-based electronics maker’s new “Feel UX” will feature a simplistic design with large icons, and allow many phone functions, such as camera, photo gallery, and music player applications, to be accessed directly from the lock screen. Once unlocked, the interface has three main screens, one each for apps, shortcuts to phone features, and widgets such as calendars and clocks.
The details of the custom UI don’t really matter, but two things do. One, how much crapware will carriers load up on the thing, and two, which version of Android will it run? Carriers are notorious for taking great hardware and just ruining the user experience. And Android 4.0 is very, very good — but is running on less than 8% of ‘droids. And
Try as I might though, I couldn’t find where Sharp said which version they’ll load, or whether it will be upgradable to future releases.
The Eastern Mediterranean might not have been subject to so much frenzied attention since Alexander was fighting his way out of Greece, across Anatolia, and deep into the Levant on his way to conquering the known world. The anchors of the ancient eastern Med then were Greece to the north and Egypt to the south. Today, those anchors weigh down a sinking ship.
Or maybe a better historical precedent can be found in 1941-42. The Nazis had taken Greece in April to protect their Balkan flank (and to shore up the Italians), before invading the Soviet Union. They even took the island of Crete — with its vital airfields capable of threatening British shipping — in a brutal airborne assault. Meanwhile, Rommel’s Afrikakorps threatened British control of Suez, and its lifeline to India. Hitler’s Balkan adventure forced a delayed start to Operation Barbarossa, which might have cost him Moscow, and ultimately the war. The fate of the free world didn’t quite hinge on the Eastern Med, but it was close.
Greece just held an election which determined little more than which party gets left holding the bag, and if they leave the euro tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. There’s nothing left to loot, so I don’t understand why the socialists even tried. Maybe they sill held out some hope of getting more money out of the Germans. Athens might get something, but not nearly enough to fill the hole they’re is in. There’s only hardship ahead.
Egypt is also holding an election, which will determine… hell if I know. The Army and Hosni Mubarak’s old clique (but I repeat myself) have proven remarkably adept at hanging on to power. Honestly, I thought they would loot the treasury and emigrate to France under cover of night. So there seems to be some small chance they might have Egypt’s best interests at heart. It’s just difficult to see them accomplish anything much, other than to keep the Muslim Brotherhood out of power. And if that’s all the hopenchange Egypt will get, why did anyone bother getting rid of Mubarak?
Al Hunt: The Obama campaign needs an intervention.
That’s been pretty obvious for a couple months now already. But what kind of intervention does it need? Here’s what Hunt hears from big-time Democrats:
The central challenge, the other Democratic consultants say, is a compelling narrative from the president and campaign, which they describe as unusually insular and arrogant.
“Compelling narrative” is another way of saying “better messaging,” which is always a loser’s excuse.
Links to all this week’s goodness down below in the comments.
It looks an awful lot like vote-buying doesn’t it, the President unilaterally granting amnesty to nearly a million illegals? That’s the take I expect the Romney campaign to use: President Obama is pandering to the Hispanic vote, and — yet again — bypassing both the Democrat Senate and the GOP House.
The problem for Republicans is, vote-buying works. And Democrats are very, very good at it.
Of course, you can’t get something for nothing. And in this case, Obama risks alienating more than 20 million un- and underemployed Americans. “Look at how Obama is spending all his time on illegals, when I was born here and haven’t been able to find work for two years.” That line of thinking applies to plenty of legal immigrants, too.
As someone who is very strongly pro-immigration, parts of the President’s selective amnesty (let’s call it what it is) appeals to me. Nations at least since Rome have granted cititizbineship to foreigners who don the uniform. And it seems silly and self-defeating to force kids to stay underground their entire adults lives, when they were brought here by their parents.
As a libertarian, I’m horrified — but not at all shocked — that Obama would make such a huge policy change unilaterally. It’s all of a piece, of course. President Bush defined his “compassionate conservatism” with the line, “When people are hurting, government has got to move.”. Now that’s about as far from small government as you can get. But Obama’s take is even worse. His attitude is, “When Congress won’t give me what I want, I’ll simply take it.”
Now that’s about as far from constitutional government as you can get, whether small or large. Our visiting-guest-constitutional-lecturer-in-chief either does not know or does not care that there are legal limits to his power.
Of course, that’s not Obama’s worry. And to an extent, neither is his reelection. He’s always played a long game, and here his game is to turn Hispanic voters into the next Permanent Democratic Minority Block, alongside African Americans. If he can make that happen — and he just might — then for the sake of his party, that’s worth losing the White House for four years. Hispanics are the new blacks, in the sense that they’re now America’s biggest single minority — and growing.
Anyone who can put 15% of the electorate in his party’s pocket, forever, has left a legacy — even if the economy stays in the tank, or his signature domestic legislation is overturned or repealed.
Because for a Progressive, there’s always tomorrow to grow the government again. You just need to buy enough votes to get there first.
The Kepler Space Telescope is producing some very hopeful results:
“What we found was, there wasn’t a very strong corelation between Jupiter[-sized] planets from the smaller planets,” the study’s leader, Lars Buchhave, an astrophysicist at the Niels Bohr Institute and the Centre for Star and Planet Formation at the University of Copenhagen, told the News.
“In other words, we don’t need a lot of stuff in the disk of the planetary system to form small planets like here on Earth,” he said. “And that means – or could mean at least – since we don’t need a special environment for the planets to form, then we could form planets around a wide range of stars and planets like Earth could be common in our galaxy.”
We should probably be more excited about the prospects of finding a Second Home, than about finding other intelligent life.
More like this, Mitt — and you should’ve had this running by Monday.
Would President Obama and the Democrats get a boost in November if the Supremes overturn ObamaCare? That’s what Dan Weber thinks might happen:
The law’s passage spooked American business. Major corporations took
multimillion-dollar health care write-offs — AT&T’s was a cool billion — and the small companies that are responsible for 90 percent of new hires saw their health care costs rose by 20 percent to 40 percent.
So for big companies, the law’s overturning would mean much brighter balance sheets and a tonic for the stock market. Above all, it could restart small-business hiring, set off a mid-summer job boom and improve monthly employment numbers enough to make the administration’s claims of recovery look credible by November.
While I’m 99% certain that, yes, the jobs would start coming back, I’m far less certain Obama could make much hay from it.
Job creation fell off the cliff when O-Care was passed. If it comes charging back after O-Care’s repeal, then voters will know that we suffered two needless years of stagnation, because of a law few wanted and nobody loved.
That’s as powerful an indictment of Obama, Reid, and Pelosi as can be imagined.
If O-Care is overturned, the Democrats had better hope job creation stays in the sewer, so they can keep on blaming Bush.
You might remember this golden oldie from 2010:
[Bill] Clinton told his Cuyahoga Community College audience in Cleveland that Democrats deserved two more years to fix the nation’s economy.
“The Democrats are saying something like this: ‘We found a big hole that we did not dig. We didn’t get it filled in 21 months, but at least we quit digging,’” Clinton said at the time. “‘Give us two more years. If it doesn’t work, vote us out.’”
President Obama is giving a “major campaign speech” at the same location today, just handing out an excuse to bring up Clinton’s 2010 remarks. I’m starting to think Obama’s advance man must be a Romney mole.