Thursday, 29 November 2012

Report: Obama in Hawaii as Nation Goes Over the Cliff

"The Hawaii Reporter estimates that the total cost of the vacation to Hawaii and federal taxpayers, including funding for travel, staff and protection, is at least $4 million. Obama’s vacations are more expensive than those of previous presidents because of the huge costs to fly Air Foce One and an accompanying cargo plane for nine hours or so to Hawaii."

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

George Osborne’s £37bn QE cash grab won’t help him, says Mervyn King

"The Governor of the Bank of England has warned the Chancellor that his £37bn cash grab on the proceeds of the Bank’s money-printing offers him no way to bolster the UK’s finances."
George Osborne bags £35bn windfall from QE The Chancellor has bagged a £35bn windfall that will reduce public borrowing by reclaiming the surplus cash sitting in the Bank of England's £375bn quantitative easing programme.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Ukip fostering row: parents demand resignations

" The couple said they felt "slandered and besmirched" after social workers took the ethnic minority children away because they were members of the UK Independence Party. The husband said: "They should be considering their positions. These are people on incredible salaries who are paid to make responsible decisions but they can't do it. "It's completely baffling that they just can't put their hands up. They say this is a complex case but we don't agree. It's very simple."

Del Boy Blair peddles immigration myths

" The myth peddled by Blair’s acolytes – that high levels of immigration generated significant economic benefits for the existing UK population – was demolished in 2008 by a House of Lords select committee. It concluded: “We do not support the general claims that net immigration is indispensable to fill labour and skills shortages. Such claims are analytically weak and provide insufficient reason for promoting net immigration.” Reinforcing this point, the government’s Migration Advisory Committee recently confirmed that immigrants do “displace” some British workers – ie, take their jobs, most likely those at the bottom end of the pay ladder. Embarrassed by indisputable evidence that Blair’s immigration wheeze (about 80 per cent of first-generation immigrants vote Labour) had “costs as well as benefits”, Ed Miliband now accepts that his party overlooked those who were being squeezed and was too quick to tell them to “like it or lump it”. Overcoming Blair’s legacy is tougher than it seems, however, as we saw last week when a Labour council removed children from a home in Rotherham simply because the foster parents were members of Ukip. It is the mindset of Animal Farm: “All Immigration Good. All Opposition Bad”.

It’s not this family who are bigots — it’s the multicultural thought police

Daily Mail
"The story sounds just too idiotic and outrageous to be true. A Rotherham couple, by all accounts exemplary foster parents for nearly seven years, took on two children and a baby in an emergency placement. Eight weeks later, social workers came and took the children away — despite the fact that they were thriving — on the grounds that because the couple belonged to the UK Independence Party this was not ‘the right cultural match’. Astonishingly, the official in charge is still unrepentant. Joyce Thacker, the council’s director of children and young people’s services, has said that the children, who were from ‘EU migrant backgrounds’, had been removed to protect their ‘cultural and ethnic needs’ from UKIP’s ‘strong views’ and apparent ‘opposition to multiculturalism’. .......In the early Nineties, I unearthed what, it is no exaggeration to say, was a climate of totalitarianism in social-work training. Anti-racist zealots had captured the social workers’ training body, and built into the social-work diploma the explicit assumption that society was fundamentally racist and oppressive. What followed was an utterly chilling degree of intimidation and thought control. Blameless social work students were forced in tears to ‘confess’ to their own racism; some failed to qualify unless they identified racist attitudes even where none existed. These and other politically correct dogma, and the requirement to enforce them, remain stamped into social-work culture like the name of Blackpool in a stick of rock. ......As a result, the needs of vulnerable children and other social-work clients have been junked in favour of the overriding requirement to impose an ideological view of the world in which minorities can do no wrong while the majority can do no right. Over the years, this has given rise to one horror story after another. Twelve years ago, an eight-year-old Ivorian child, Victoria Climbié, was tortured and murdered by her guardians under the noses of social workers who believed such behaviour had to be respected as part of African culture. In the early Nineties, Islington council was revealed to have ignored the systematic sexual abuse and prostitution of children in its care because it was terrified of being called racist or homophobic if it disciplined black or gay staff perpetrating such crimes."

Friday, 23 November 2012

Egypt's Morsi grants himself sweeping new powers

ABC (Australia)
"Mr Morsi has decreed that all decisions he has made since coming into office, and all decisions he will make until a new constitution is passed, will not be subject to appeal or review by any court. He has also ordered that no court can dissolve the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly which is now drafting a new constitution. .....Nobel laureate and former UN atomic energy agency chief Mohamed El Baradei lashed out at the declaration, which would effectively put the president above judicial oversight. "Morsi today usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt's new pharaoh. A major blow to the revolution that could have dire consequences," El Baradei wrote on his Twitter account."
ED: A new Dictator is born..... to no surprise

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Barack Obama blunders again on the world stage

"It is only two weeks since his re-election, and his second term remains two months away, but Barack Obama is already blundering again on the world stage, with the kind of gaffes that would have been plastered on the front page of The New York Times if they had been committed by George W. Bush when he was in the White House. Obama's first term was littered with foreign policy gaffes, and there is every chance the second term will be more of the same. On his trip to Asia this week, President Obama struggled to pronounce the name of Aung San Suu Kyi, the most prominent human rights activist in the world."

Friday, 16 November 2012

Obama in Australia

Labor will go the Obama way: smear big, woo small
" Labor figures, including members of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s personal staff, have been given access to parts of the successful Obama campaign’s inner workings and plan to adapt them for Australia. Ms Gillard’s unusually close rapport with Mr Obama has resulted in her senior political strategist, John McTernan, linking up with the Obama camp’s lead pollster, Joel Benenson… Labor officials believe they can learn a lot from the Obama campaign team. Sophisticated databases allowed the campaign team to identify individual voters’ concerns and target them with direct messages. This is being credited as a major factor behind the coalition of women, blacks and Hispanics who carried the election for Mr Obama… "

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Obama campaign's investment in data crunching paid off

LA Times
"No other presidential campaign has so completely embraced this science. The campaign hired a team that topped out at 54 people and invested undisclosed millions in the effort. Analytics helped the campaign efficiently recruit volunteers, buy ads, tailor emails and mailers, raise money, dispatch surrogates — and, most importantly, scour the swing states for hard-to-find voters most likely to support the president. .....Another campaign official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak for the campaign, put it this way: "It's about turning over control to some nerds. And more than any other year, campaign leadership really took that leap of faith."
For campaign professionals, that is a major leap. Politics long has been ruled by truisms, conventional wisdom and intuition, with millions spent based on a murky mix of polling and focus groups. The shift to data-driven decision-making has been gradual and steady — becoming increasingly sophisticated as political parties amass more information about individual voters through traditional means, such as polls, and new ones, such as data mining.
The Obama campaign has made the transition over two elections. In this one, it employed analytics in a far more systematic and thorough way, officials said. But the work was a closely guarded secret. Officials denied requests for interviews with the analytics experts, and when journalists visited Obama headquarters, the team was ordered to shut the Cave door."

Monday, 12 November 2012

Officials pilfer Zimbabwe diamond billions

Stuff NZ
"ABOUT $US2 billion ($A1.9 billion) worth of diamonds have been siphoned out of Zimbabwe in the past four years by a network of government ministers and military officials aligned with President Robert Mugabe, an Ottawa-based global watchdog says."

Why President Obama Was Reelected

Bullion by Post(Zero Hedge) "Obama’s winning tactic was to do what any respectable man does when he wishes to have something; he bought it. From cell phones and contraceptives to food stamps and unemployment benefits, the Obama administration kept the money flowing to ensure a steady turnout on Election Day. The coup de grâce was painting his opponent as a second coming of Dickens’ Scrooge that was ready to cut the voters from their trust funds. .......Economist Thomas DiLorenzo sums up the key to Obama’s victory in this pungent bit of fine wisdom:
Every time Romney made one of his “let’s get the economy going again” speeches extolling the virtues of hard work he terrified the millions of welfare bums and parasites and motivated them more than ever to stand in line for hours to vote for Santa Claus Obama, their “savior” from having to work for a living. (It’s always the low opportunity cost class that has the “luxury” of spending half a day or more standing in a line).
With Obama’s reelection comes the onward march of American society’s degeneration into that of the lazy, bitter masses forever on the lookout to loot a hapless minority still trying to make an honest living. The coming brave new world will be filled to the brim with self-righteous individuals eager to shuffle around the Earth’s gifts to achieve some kind of equality. In the process, none of them will produce a lick of good outside of satisfying their own disturbed need to dominate. It will be rule of the inept over the capable. Barack Obama will lead the way. He will be replaced in four years with someone that follows the same doctrine. The collective age of the country will continue to collapse till it reaches just shy of an unclothed infant wailing for succor. Except it will be grown men doing the crying and no one around to feed him because the sensible among us has already left."

Eric Holder 'knew of David Petraeus affair'

"The crisis over General David Petraeus's resignation reached President Barack Obama's cabinet for the first time on Monday as it was alleged that the US attorney general knew about the affair for months but kept it secret until the day of the American election."

Obama cover-up claim over CIA chief's affair: Was the relationship discovered by FBI months ago, but hushed up due to election?

Daily Mail
"The FBI began an investigation in February after discovering the 60-year-old’s computer had been accessed by someone else - believed to be his 40-year-old mistress Paula Broadwell - prompting fears of a major security breach. This led to the discovery of hundreds of explicit emails including one referring to ‘sex under a desk.' ......A source said last night: ‘The real question is, what did the President know, and when?’ Frances Townsend, a former senior US government security official and now a member of the CIA Advisory Committee, said: ‘Whenever the FBI opens an investigation of a senior official they have to make notification of that, especially if there is an intelligence concern. 'It is hard to believe the White House did not know about this prior to the election.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

EU: funding crisis as talks collapse

" MEPs led a walk-out of three-way talks in which the European Commission and European Parliament were attempting to secure billions of pounds in extra funding for this year and next year from national governments, claiming there was a cash shortfall. MEPs quit the talks at the attempt to secure a total of £13.8 billion in spending this year and next, a move fiercely opposed by the British Government. Ministers have formed an alliance with other EU nations including Germany, the Netherlands and France to block the demands."

UK exit costly... for the EU

The Commentator
"Yesterday saw the German chancellor Angela Merkel take dinner with David Cameron with a plea for continued co-operation and membership of the European Union. With the latest trade figures it is easy to see why. The one thing that always puzzles me about the debate surrounding continued membership of the EU is that it is always couched in terms of cost to us in the UK."

America has become an Old World country

"So Europe got the American president it wanted – the one who would present no threat to its own delusions. The United States is now officially one of us: an Old World country complete with class hatred, ethnic Balkanisation, bourgeois guilt and a paternalist ruling elite. And it is locked into the same death spiral of high public spending and self-defeating wealth redistribution as we are. Welcome to the future, and the beginning of what may turn out to be the terminal decline of the West. .....The saddest development is the one that is most counter-intuitive. Mr Obama – who famously ran in 2008 as the post-racial candidate – has polarised the nation racially in a way that it has not been for half a century, reversing what had been the progressive trend toward real social integration and colour blindness in American political life."

Obama has led US to £338bn bill - and to the edge of a financial abyss

Daily Mail
"The plan is that $136 billion (£85.5 billion) in cuts – 0.8 per cent of GDP – will come in at the same time as $532 billion of tax increases, taking a total of $668 billion out of the deficit, or four per cent of GDP. The cuts include defence and unemployment benefits; the tax rises reverse all the Bush-era tax cuts, and will hit the middle classes. They will also hit employers by increasing payroll taxes. The programme will be anti-growth and anti-enterprise, but Republicans claim that it is the only option, given the Administration’s refusal to address the deficit, and the country’s colossal debt, in other ways. It is the main reason why the euphoria of the first Obama victory in 2008 has not been repeated and why the stock market slid south when it was realised four more years of Obama were being served up. Corporate America especially is in despair. For them, there is no end in sight for over-regulation, debt and financial incontinence: and the Chinese, especially, are in their rear-view mirrors, coming up fast. This is a deeply divided country: divided not between Democrats and Republicans, or even liberals and conservatives, but, it seems, between givers and takers."

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Playing dirty’s the best lesson Dave can learn from Obama

Daily Mail
"British politicians often visit America to try to learn from successful presidential election campaigns. Indeed, there is much that David Cameron can draw from this week’s victory of his ‘friend’, Barack Obama. There are two reasons why Mr Obama persuaded voters to give him a second term despite the abject failure of his first four years in the White House. One was that he cynically assembled and manipulated a coalition of minorities, and of people who are worried how minorities struggle in society, and convinced them that he would protect their interests. The other was a campaign, waged through a compliant media, which vilified and smeared his opponent, Mitt Romney. .......And the final lesson from Obama’s victory, by the way, is that there is no sense in waiting until near polling day to go negative. As with all poison, the sooner it is dripped into the system, the sooner it begins to work."

The Edge of the Abyss The default setting of American society is ever more liberal and statist.

National Review
"If you add up the total debt — state, local, the works — every man, woman, and child in this country owes 200 grand (which is rather more than the average Greek does). Every American family owes about three-quarters of a million bucks, or about the budget deficit of Liechtenstein, which has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Which means that HRH Prince Hans-Adam II can afford it rather more easily than Bud and Cindy at 27b Elm Street. In 2009, the Democrats became the first government in the history of the planet to establish annual trillion-dollar deficits as a permanent feature of life. Before the end of Obama’s second term, the federal debt alone will hit $20 trillion. That ought to have been the central fact of this election — that Americans are the brokest brokey-broke losers who ever lived, and it’s time to do something about it."

Sifting Through the Wreckage Yes, Virginia, things changed.

National Review
"Obamacare, the governmental takeover of one-sixth of the U.S. economy, is now set in legislative concrete, and the progressive campaign to turn ever-larger numbers of citizens into wards of the state has been given a tremendous boost — with electoral consequences as far as the eye can see.
A war in the Middle East is now almost certain, and sooner rather than later; as if the previous three and a half years of fecklessness were not enough, the cast of mind manifest in the administration’s abdication of responsibility in Benghazi will have likely convinced a critical mass of the Israeli leadership that they have no choice but to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities in self-defense. The economic chaos resulting from military conflict in the Persian Gulf (and beyond) will further deepen the European fiscal crisis while making an already weak American economic recovery even more anemic.
The children and grandchildren of November 6’s voters have been condemned to bear the burden of what is certainly an unpayable mountain of debt, and may be an unserviceable amount of debt, which in either case will be an enormous drag on the economy, even as it mortgages America’s strategic options in Asia to the holders of U.S. government bonds in Beijing."

Why Mitt Romney Lost

"The "morning after" will bring the expected explanations and after-game quarterbacking. Still, it is important that the GOP understand why we lost this one in hopes of future victory. ....As I said, it is easy to blame Sandy and Christie for Romney's loss. I won't. Sure they hurt Romney. But he lost for other reasons. Sandy and Christie's double-dealing can be compared to bad turbulence that any experienced jet pilot should expect on a long mission. The turbulence may be rough, but it is nothing more than a passing episode for a good pilot with a smart flight plan. On to why our pilot Mitt Romney and his plan were so flawed."

Friday, 9 November 2012

How did he do it?

Catallaxy Files
"Barack Obama, although having the iciest and coldest of personalities, is noted for his likeability. He is a man of the far far left but is praised as a centralist. He is a divider but has risen to the presidency as someone who can bring the country together. He has had a succession of failed policies with not a success to be found yet people believe he has the answers to the country’s problems and this is so even though he did not propose a single initiative during the whole campaign. He defeated Mitt Romney by blaming George Bush for overseeing the briefest of recessions which ended in 2009 yet has received astonishingly little blame for overseeing by far the worst recovery in post-War history which is not in spite of but because of the policies he pursued. He talks about the need to balance the budget while adding five trillion dollars of debt in four years with more to come.
So how did he do it? How did he win re-election. It is a conundrum being widely discussed because Mitt Romney did fairly represent the great traditions of the Republican Party. So far as policy is concerned, in most of the ways that count, there would not be a dime’s worth of difference between Romney and Ronald Reagan. And yet he lost and in the end it wasn’t close."

The 47% majority

Quadrant Online (Australia)
"A bit of an early post mortem on the American election but we have to start somewhere. Possibly the most crucial determinant of the result is that the American voting population is now inhabited in very large numbers by those who believe the world owes them a living and that someone else having more than they do is in itself a wrong that needs to be righted. There is, however, more to it than that. ........And it has been clear from the start that the media have understood exactly how bad Obama has been because they have known with precision exactly what parts of what Obama has done or said that have required their cover. Obama has had to lie over Benghazi and so they have covered for him to the maximum extent they could. Obama tells producers "you didn't build that" and the media runs dead with the quote so that it never really becomes as significant as it ought to be. They know exactly how dreadful Obama has been, and cannot even manufacture a greater good, that their lies and distortions have protected the community from having to do without, had Obama lost the election in spite of every service they rendered in defence of his reputation and image.
We are in dangerous times. Obama and Gillard are two of a kind. Empty of ability, proven failures at everything they have tried to achieve, but nevertheless able to command majorities in the legislative systems of our two nations. But the American election is the one that will matter most and whose outcome will resonate far into the future in ways that are incalculable. Re-electing Obama has endangered our way of life and may even make it unsustainable. Electing Mitt Romney would have given at least the possibility of putting us back on a more stable path. It is an option that has now been closed forever. It is the alternative future that, because of the election, will never be allowed to happen."

End of quantitative easing will stop mad monetary recycling

"IT is time for George Osborne to start worrying. The Chancellor will be the biggest loser from the Bank of England’s right and proper decision to halt quantitative easing, at least for the time being. The biggest problem with QE – apart from its increasing lack of impact and the pain inflicted upon savers and pensioners – is that it has blurred to a dangerous extent monetary and fiscal policy."

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Politics of identity and the dividing of America

Andrew Bolt,Herald Sun (Australia)
"BARACK Obama should not have been re-elected President. That he was tells us elections are now decided less by heads than hearts. Is America better off after four years already of Obama? More Americans - 7.9 per cent - are unemployed. The country is even deeper in debt, now totalling a frightening $16 trillion. Obama’s foreign policy has left America, if anything, weaker. Obama, who four years ago promised such a transformative presidency that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”, has plainly failed. Yet he’s back in the White House, and Republican Mitt Romney, the successful businessman and governor is not. Worse for the US, he’s back with the same deadlock in Congress - Democrats controlling the Senate, Republicans the House - and a smaller mandate. What the hell happened? In a victory this narrow almost anything can be said to have made the difference: Superstorm Sandy blowing away Romney’s momentum, the blame-Bush hangover or whatever cause you want to push. But Obama should have been swept away so comprehensively as to make such if-buts pointless. Bigger shifts help him, signalling the rise of a new kind of politics that could leave the US weaker, and us, too. This election confirms the suspicion that the politics of seeming is trumping that of achieving. That what counts most in politicians is how voters “identify” with them, rather than what they do. It also suggests that a culture of entitlement is eating at a culture of achievement."

New dawn? This looks more like a new dusk..

Daily Mail
"Washington observers speak of the incompetence of the Obama administration – not just its ability to waste money, but also to target funds so badly. There is very little to show for the $787billion fiscal stimulus of 2009. A fraction of it could have been used to create serious sea defences around New York and New Jersey, to avoid the devastation of last week’s storm, for example. ....And as America subsides into a welfarist, subsidy culture, so will its paranoia about China – already running at near-hysterical levels in some manufacturing regions – grow. America increasingly fears China both as an economic and a military titan – the two components of being a superpower. Defence cuts in America are inevitable once the borrowing binge brings serious damage to the economy – as it will by mid-term, if not before – and that will increase the nation’s sense of vulnerability towards the Chinese. And America’s intractable unemployment problem – it was 8 per cent when President Obama assumed office and is 7.9 per cent now – is increasingly perceived as the result of a highly disciplined and well-trained workforce in China that systematically undercuts over-regulated American business."

Windows 8 belongs on older PCs like a fish needs a bicycle

"Metro, no matter what Microsoft wants to call it, remains a usability nightmare on a conventional PC. It may or may not be as awful on a touch tablet—I haven't tried that so I don't know—but I do know it's annoying as heck on my non-touch enabled PCs. The desktop, no matter what Microsoft may want, still works best with a Windows, Icons, Menu, Pointer (WIMP) interface, not Metro's big, klutzy tiles. .....If you want something better than Windows, go with desktop Linux, a cloud-based Linux desktop like Google's Chrome OS, or a Mac. Heck, try an iPad. Just don't waste your time with Windows 8."

Jim Messina: The man behind Obama's campaign
" He was once described as "the most powerful person in Washington you've never heard of". While Barack Obama delivered a rousing victory speech in Chicago, it was his campaign manager Jim Messina who many were crediting as developing the strategy that kept the US President in the White House for another four years. The 42-year-old has never lost a campaign since he managed his first race in 1993, when he was still a politics undergraduate."

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

President Barack Obama facing fiscal cliff as stock markets fall

" The president faces an urgent challenge to prevent the gridlock that scarred his first term as fears grew that politicians will fail to cut a deal to stop the economy falling over a 'fiscal cliff'. More than $600bn (£380bn) of tax rises and cuts in government spending are due in early January. Failure to avoid the cliff will plunge the world's largest economy back into a slump and disrupt the global economy's still fragile global recovery."

America Embraces Socialism

"America has embraced “Third Way” progressive / socialist policies. It has selected for re-election a president who embraces them, and endorsed his application of them. (Effective nationalization of 1/6 of the economy via “Obamacare” and the Central Planning of the medical industry. Effective partial nationalization of the banks and auto industries via an ‘avoidance of bankruptcy’ process. Etc.) This has implications, and it can not be ignored."

Monday, 5 November 2012

The calm before the storm

Catallaxy Files
"Will Romney win Ohio? Will he win other states instead or as well? Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota are now trending Romney and there is no McCain state from 2008 that even hints at going Obama."

MUST SEE YOUTUBE: Superstorm Sandy, 1 week since Sandy, New concerns for victims

Climate Realists
"Superstorm Sandy, 1 week since Sandy, New concerns for victims. American Red Cross president on relief efforts. Still massive power outages exist, shortage on gasoline, while leaving people in need of basic supplies. The victims do not want to be forgotten as they try to rebuild their lives back to normal. More than 100 people were killed in the Hurricane. More than 10K people are still living in shelters."

Saturday, 3 November 2012

The Romney Tsunami…And Again Obama Turns Into The Hope-To-Despair President

"Things are just going like clockwork for Romney. It’s increasingly clear the Democrats are propping up a knocked-out feather-weight fighter, insisting he’s still conscious when in fact he’s out cold. Romney’s momentum continues and now looks unstoppable. Expect it to carry through election day. The Democrats are more demoralized than ever."