Friday, August 29, 2014
Obama's 2009 stimulus bill was a boondoggle that proved Keynesian economics doesn't work.
Today, more than 5 and a half years since Obama took office, the national unemployment rate stands at 6.2 percent, and the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that unemployment in July increased in 30 states. We're still stuck in a tepid recovery, and Americans are hopping mad about it.
Here's the Rutgers report, "Unhappy, Worried, and Pessimistic: Americans in the Aftermath of the Great Recession":
The protracted and uneven recovery from the Great Recession has led most Americans to conclude that the U.S. economy has undergone a permanent change for the worse. Seven in ten now say the recession’s impact is permanent, up from half in 2009 when the recession officially ended. Much of this is rooted in direct experience. Fully one-quarter of the public says there has been a major decline in their quality of life owing to the recession, and 42 percent say they have less in salary and savings than when the recession began. Despite five years of recovery, sustained job growth, and reductions in the number of unemployed workers, Americans are not convinced that the economy is improving. Only one in three thinks the U.S. economy has gotten better in the last year and only one-quarter thinks it will improve next year. Moreover, just one in six Americans believe that job opportunities will be better for the next generation of workers, down from four in ten five years ago. These are some of the findings of a new survey conducted between July 24 and August 3, 2014 by the Heldrich Center with a nationally representative sample of 1,153 Americans.Click through for the full report.
And then watch this astonishing focus group segment with pollster Frank Luntz on CBS News This Morning. The usual caveat is that focus groups are statistically insignificant, although the strong opinions held among the participants here, and the near universal disappointment among the participants, provides a crushing snapshot of the public sentiment with just over two months to go before the November midterm elections.
At the Sacramento Bee:
After a rally at the Capitol marked by chants of “The time has come for 51!” and a surprise appearance by Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, supporters of the State of Jefferson presented their “declarations of separation” to the California Legislature on Thursday.Keep reading.
The declarations from Modoc and Siskiyou counties, expressing their desire to withdraw from California because of a lack of representation in Sacramento, marked the first official step in the secession movement’s long-running efforts to re-form as a new state in Northern California.
“We’re here not because we feel any ill will toward California,” said Mark Baird, a pilot and rancher from Yreka who has helped organize the Jefferson movement. “Our problem is (lawmakers) don’t have empathy for us because we’re so far away.”
Baird addressed a crowd of about 70 from across Northern California, clad in green shirts and carrying green flags bearing Jefferson’s seal. The yellow circle with two X’s stands for “double-crossed by Sacramento.”
Donnelly, a Republican from Twin Peaks in Southern California, showed up unannounced to support the rally, which frequently drew comparisons to the American Revolution through “taxation without representation” arguments and the “Don’t tread on me” snake logo.
“It’s time for another revolution,” Donnelly said. “A peaceful one.”
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Obama admitted today that he's got no strategy to defeat ISIS.
At Twitchy, "Strategy? What strategy? Behold ‘the Obama Doctrine in one sentence’."
And at the Wall Street Journal, "Obama Says No Plans for Imminent Escalation of Operations Against Islamic State: Extremists Killed Nearly 500 This Week in One Syrian Province, Opposition Activists Say":
President Barack Obama signaled the U.S. has no immediate plans to escalate military operations against Islamic State extremists in Iraq or Syria, stressing the need to counter the group's advance while formulating a broader strategy to protect U.S. interests and allies.More.
Mr. Obama spoke on a day when Syrian opposition activists said the Sunni radical group had killed nearly 500 people since Sunday in the northeastern province of Raqqa, most of them Syrian troops captured on an air base seized by Islamic State fighters.
The president, who met with his national security team Thursday afternoon, said the U.S. is still developing its plan to root Islamic State out of Iraq and Syria, where it has captured large swaths of territory since June.
"We don't have a strategy yet," Mr. Obama said of potential plans for airstrikes in Syria. He said the long-term blueprint to respond to the growth of the militant group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, can't depend on U.S. actions alone.
"Rooting out a cancer like ISIL will not be quick, or easy, but I'm confident that we can and we will, working closely with our allies and our partners," Mr. Obama said.
The president walked back reports suggesting an immediate escalation of military operations, including potential airstrikes in Syria.
"We need to make sure that we've got clear plans so we're developing them," he said. He said he was more focused on military activity in Iraq and the need for a unified government in Baghdad to help combat militant forces. "My priority at this point is to make sure that the gains that ISIL made in Iraq are rolled back and that Iraq has the opportunity to govern itself effectively and secure itself," Mr. Obama said...
At LAT, "Surfers race to catch massive waves across Southland."
More at the Costa Mesa Daily Pilot, "Newport's Wedge lives up to its reputation: 1 hurt in thundering surf: Crowds gather on Balboa Peninsula to watch the big waves as lifeguards stand ready."
And at the O.C. Register, "Monster highs: Massive summer swells bring out surf legends, gawkers, destruction," and "The Wedge pounds bodyboarders for 3rd straight day."
Plus, some video at WSJ, "Hurricane Marie Brings Epic Waves to Southern Calif."
At Egotastic!, "Nina Agdal Models Bikinis for Mambo, I Feel Snake Bit In My Sensitive Areas."
Meanwhile, I'm still working on The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion.
Or search for more at the banner link:
Another reminder of bygone days, like the interwar period's Nazi run-up to WWII.
At LAT, "Ukraine says Russian armored vehicles pouring across border."
At the Telegraph UK, "Women of Noiva do Cordeiro, deep in the countryside of south-east Brazil, where men are scarce or work far away in the city, are left to shoulder the town’s burdens alone."
But read the article.
It's a bunch of controlling radical feminists at Noiva do Cordeiro. No man of self-respect would subject himself to the "rules" they've laid down. These women are going to remain lonely for a long time to come.
That said, this is far-left MSNBC contributor Chris Cillizza, so you never know.
At WaPo, "All of the election models are starting to converge. And they are all pointing to a Republican Senate."
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
At NYT, "He Has a Dream":
WASHINGTON — As he has grown weary of Washington, Barack Obama has shed parts of his presidency, like drying petals falling off a rose.Keep reading.
He left the explaining and selling of his signature health care legislation to Bill Clinton. He outsourced Congress to Rahm Emanuel in the first term, and now doesn’t bother to source it at all. He left schmoozing, as well as a spiraling Iraq, to Joe Biden. Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, comes across as more than a messagemeister. As the president floats in the empyrean, Rhodes seems to make foreign policy even as he’s spinning it.
But the one thing it was impossible to imagine, back in the giddy days of the 2009 inauguration, as Americans basked in their open-mindedness and pluralism, was that the first African-American president would outsource race...
#USC Cornerback Josh Shaw Suspended Indefinitely for Totally Lying About 'Hero' Story — #FightOn #Trojans
And from KCAL 9 News Los Angeles:
BREAKING: USC's Josh Shaw admits to school that he lied about how he suffered his ankle injuries over the weekend. pic.twitter.com/rdHzWmrhZN— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 27, 2014
#USC coach Steve Sarkiaisn on Josh Shaw: “We are extremely disappointed in Josh. He let us all down." Shaw has retained a lawyer.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) August 27, 2014
PREVIOUSLY: "'Hero' Josh Shaw Investigation Hangs Over #USC Football."
At Blazing Cat Fur, "Zara pulls plug on 'Holocaust shirt' for kids."
The company released a statement, indicating that the tee-shirts, with the "Star of David" on them, will be "exterminated":
The item in question, part of the Cowboy Collection for babies, was inspired by the character of the sheriff in Wild West movies. The word ‘Sheriff’ is visible on the star at the front of the item. Nevertheless, we can understand the sensitive context and connotation that was created. The item does not exist in Israel and as soon as the issue became clear, it was decided the product will be removed from shelves across the world and exterminated.Yes, "sincerely." I'm sure.
We sincerely apologize if, as a result, we have offended the feelings of our customers.
At Legal Insurrection, "Racial and religious targeting of white teenage girls — but investigators feared being labeled “racist,” according to independent report."
Also, commentary from Allison Pearson, at Telegraph UK, "Rotherham: In the face of such evil, who is the racist now?"
And at the Other McCain, "The Rotherham Horror."
PREVIOUSLY: "Sex Abuse Ignored in Britain: 1,400 Girls Raped by Muslim Sex-Trafficking Gangs as Police Feared 'Racism' Accusations."
In any case, at the New York Times, "American Hostage’s Mother Issues Appeal to ISIS Leader: Plea to Islamic State for Release of Steven Sotloff" (via Memeorandum):
The mother of an American hostage being held by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria released an emotional video appeal to his captors on Wednesday. Shirley Sotloff, the mother of the 31-year-old freelance journalist Steven J. Sotloff, addressed her plea directly to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS and the self-declared caliph of the Muslim world.More.
Ms. Sotloff addresses Mr. Baghdadi as caliph, a title he bestowed on himself a few months ago, and calls on him to exercise his right to show clemency and follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad as previous caliphs did.
“I am sending this message to you, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Quraishi al-Hussaini, the caliph of the Islamic State. I am Shirley Sotloff. My son Steven is in your hands,” she begins. “You, the caliph, can grant amnesty. I ask you please to release my child,” she continues. “I ask you to use your authority to spare his life.”
Mr. Baghdadi — an Iraqi national who was jailed briefly by American forces in 2004 — declared a caliphate this year after his group captured a significant chunk of territory in Iraq. His claim to authority has not been recognized by most Muslims. In addressing Mr. Baghdadi as caliph of the Muslim world, Ms. Sotloff’s appeal is almost certainly the first time a non-Muslim has acknowledged his authority, a move that may prove controversial.
At LAT, "Josh Shaw situation hangs over preparation for USC season opener."
She was bashing Obama just yesterday. It's hard out there for a Democrat.
Sen. Kay Hagan & Obama Tuesday in North Carolina.... http://t.co/KrMEZN9H6H— CAROLYN ZORN (@zorn17) August 25, 2014
President Obama heads to North Carolina today. And Kay Hagan has to walk a tightrope. http://t.co/m2TQd8WJb7— Post Politics (@postpolitics) August 26, 2014