Posts Tagged ‘ Video ’

Video: Occupiers use kids to block DC Convention Center

Isn’t it great when families get together for quality time? Take a break from TV and game consoles and go out together for a fun evening, like strolling through the park, going to the zoo, or … blocking doors at political events? Stephen Gutowski found the toddler shields deployed at Occupy DC, and wondered what idiot would put two small children in harm’s way.

Meet Mom and a few of her friends:

Stephen reports that only one protester even questioned the decision to put children near the door — and she told Stephen that she probably shouldn’t give an interview. Everyone else insisted in loud and nearly incoherent voices that the AFP conference that took place was victimizing the children, and not Mom and the rest of the protesters that put them in the middle of a security scuffle. According to a later e-mail I got from Stephen, one DC street also started victimizing these same children, so our candidate for Mother of the Year put them in the middle of a blockade of the street.

John Hinderaker and Stacy McCain have more video from the AFP “Defending the American Dream” conference that Occupy DC targeted yesterday that shows the scope of the danger in which these toddlers were placed — danger, it must be noted, that came entirely from the Occupiers themselves.  Ed Frank looks at it from a different perspective in an interview he did with a wheelchair-bound woman who could not exit the convention center because Occupiers were blocking the exit:

The protesters are yelling, “This is what democracy looks like!”, but that’s absurd. There is a very big difference between democracy and mob rule, as the interview subject tells Frank. This is an attempt by a small coterie of radicals to silence free speech and free association through intimidation and threats of violence. Occupiers had every right to picket on the sidewalks; they have no right to block ingress or egress to the building.

And one has to wonder where the fire marshal was when this took place. Blocking egress from a building is a fire hazard, and had the DC Convention Center left construction materials in front of that door even for a short period of time, the facility would have faced fines and no small amount of shaming from the FD.  That made this a matter for the city’s police and fire departments, not for security around the facility.  If a fire had started in the building, there would have been a whole lot of people injured at those exits, including the two toddlers that Mommy Dearest apparently hopes to martyr for the cause.

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Is it now Gingrich’s turn? Update: Video added

While Mitt Romney has remained a constant in polling for the Republican presidential nomination at around 25-28%, inconstancy has been the constant among his opponents.  Michele Bachmann became the first to ride a wave to Romney’s relative polling position, only to fade when Rick Perry entered the race.  Now Perry has faded after a series of awful debate performances and Herman Cain has taken his place for the last six weeks.  If Cain can’t maintain his momentum, who will be the next Not-Romney?  Byron York reports from Iowa that it may well be Newt Gingrich:

For days, there’s been talk of a Newt Gingrich boomlet in the Republican presidential race here in Iowa.  After Friday night’s Reagan Dinner at Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines, that Gingrich boomlet talk might turn into talk of a Gingrich boom.

Five candidates — Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul — addressed a crowd of about 1,000 GOP faithful at the state Republican party’s biggest fundraiser of the year.  In brief interviews after the dinner — the only question was which speaker did the best job — audience members were unanimous: Gingrich, Gingrich, Gingrich.

“It was Newt,” said Chad Kleppe of Waukee, Iowa.  “I think he’s the smartest one in the field.”

“Gingrich knocked it out of the park,” said Earlene Nordstrom of Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Byron talked to twelve people at the event, and all twelve scored it a knockout for Gingrich.  Neither Romney or Cain made an appearance at the Reagan Dinner.  Romney sent his son, who confessed that he had no idea where his father chose to be rather than the Iowa GOP’s big fundraiser.  York also wondered why Cain, who said this week that he must win Iowa and is conducting a money bomb specifically for that purpose this week, chose to stay in Washington DC rather than try to keep momentum with an appearance.   Both are attending AFP’s Defending the American Dream conference, and Cain has been a regular on AFP’s circuit, and presumably committed to that event long in advance of his sudden rise in the presidential polls.

Why is Newt poised to catch fire?  York credits Newt with a counterintuitive strategy, at least for the former Speaker and his public reputation: he is on a charm offensive.  No, really:

Gingrich won the night in large part by doing one simple thing: He lavished praise on his fellow candidates.  Perry has been “my mentor on the 10th Amendment,” Gingrich said.  Bachmann deserves credit for efforts to stop the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill.  Rick Santorum has worked to “rouse America to understand the challenge of radical Islam.” Ron Paul has been “consistently correct” about a sound dollar.  Gingrich did not offer praise for the two frontrunners, Herman Cain and Mitt Romney, who skipped tonight’s dinner.  But had they attended, Gingrich said, “I would have said nice things about them, too.”

“I am here with very fine competitors, but no opponents,” Gingrich concluded.  “We only have one opponent, and that’s Barrack [sic] Obama.”

Gingrich has figured out that voters in this primary want to be inspired, rather than choosing which candidate to despise least.  Herman Cain has campaigned the same way, and his optimism and vision has been a key to his ascent to the top tier.  If that seems odd considering Gingrich’s well-earned reputation as an infighter, it’s another indication that Gingrich is a master at politics and campaigning.  He has another advantage that some of his opponents — excuse me, competitors — do not in this regard.  Unlike Tim Pawlenty, Cain, Romney, and everyone else currently or formerly in this race, Gingrich has earned his reputation for hard-nosed battles inside the Beltway.  He can afford to be gracious now, but no one thinks for a moment that Gingrich would insist on a rainbows-and-flowers campaign in a general election.

Gingrich’s polling has begun moving upward in the last couple of weeks.  Who would have guessed in May that Gingrich would have the second-highest positive intensity score in the field in November, tied with Romney behind Cain?  Plus, even though Cain was the immediate beneficiary of Perry’s debate performances, the lesson may well redound to Gingrich’s benefit in the longer run:

“He is so good,” said Becky Ervin of Urbandale.  “I want to see a debate between him and Obama.”

We’ll see more of that tonight in Gingrich’s Lincoln-Douglas style debate in Texas with Cain.  If Republicans want a proven substantive fighter who can out-debate Barack Obama, they may come to Newt Gingrich — even if it’s just by default.

Update: The Right Scoop gives us the video of the speech itself, and it’s just as York described:

I was trying to come up with a word to describe Gingrich’s approach in this primary, and I think the right word is “statesmanlike.” That doesn’t mean he’s the best person for the job, but it’s hard not to take him seriously for the job, either.

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Video: Former Clinton adviser says jobs report “not good news”

We can safely expect the Obama administration to spin today’s jobs report as good news.  After all, some net jobs got created in October, even if they fell 15,000 short of the expectation of 95,000.  But as Clinton adviser and economist Robert Reich explained on MSNBC this morning, that’s actually going backwards in the context of population growth, and that makes this report decidedly not good news:

Reich actually uses the tougher floor of 125,000 net growth per month as a threshold for treading water, while others use figures that range from 100K-125K.  So far the economy has produced an average of about 125,000 net jobs per month, which is a maintenance-only mode — and October fell off the pace.

Reich isn’t the only one giving bad reviews from Obama’s side of the aisle, either.  The New York Times headlines the story, “Report  Shows a Mere 80,000 Added in US in October,” and originally included this excerpt:

While job growth is certainly better than job losses, a gain of 80,000 jobs is barely worth celebrating. That was just about enough to keep up with population growth, so it did not significantly reduce the backlog of 14 million unemployed workers. As a result, the unemployment rate hardly budged, dropping to 9 percent from 9.1 percent in September. The rate has not fallen below 9 percent in seven months. In the year before the recession began in December 2007, the jobless rate averaged about half that, at 4.6 percent.

That changed to this in a later revision, leaving out the “barely worth celebrating”:

October’s job gains were just barely enough to keep up with population growth, and so did not significantly reduce the backlog of 14 million unemployed workers.

The unemployment rate was 9 percent in October, slightly lower than September’s 9.1 percent but about where it has been for the last seven months. By contrast, in the year before the recession began in December 2007, the jobless rate averaged about half that, at 4.6 percent.

Admittedly, that “barely worth celebrating” sounded like editorializing and probably should have come out of the report, but its original inclusion is indicative of the frustration building from Obamanomics.  Even one of its key architects, Obama adviser and stimulus-package collaborator Jared Bernstein, says that the economy is “stuck in a slog,” and cautions about reading too much into the slight drop in the jobless rate:

We’re just very much stuck in a slog here. The private sector is expanding at a snail’s pace, while state and local governments continue to cut jobs. It’s a vicious cycle where weak employment growth is leading to weak wage* and income growth and that’s dampening consumption and GDP growth. And as long as consumers remain strapped, it’s hard for me to see why corporations sitting on trillions in cash reserves would invest here as opposed to expanding, emerging economies elsewhere. …

I suspect we’ll hear some people get all jiggy about the growth of employment in the Household survey of 277,000. But that’s well below the confidence interval of 400,000 (the sample size is a lot smaller in the Household survey; ergo, the wider confidence interval).

That doesn’t mean there’s no information in the headline numbers for months like October, where the change in both employment numbers is statistically insignificant (as is the change in the unemployment rate, by the way, from 9.1% to 9%; on the other hand, the increase in private sector payrolls of 125K is significant). If you average over a bunch of months, you’re essentially increasing the sample size and that gives a more reliable read (which confirms the slog I mentioned).

One reason why it’s hard to see corporations investing in the US rather than “expanding, emerging economies” elsewhere is because of the inability to project regulatory and tax costs over the next few years, thanks to Obama’s agenda of expanding ambiguous regulation on businesses across the board in the US.  For tax relief, Obama proposes only gimmicky short-term policies like a temporary payroll-tax holiday, while promising higher tax rates in 2013 and beyond.  Why anyone would invest in this climate is a question that Bernstein and Obama have yet to explain.

That may be why a new study by a Democratic Party pollster for the Democracy Corps — a James Carville organization — concludes that Democrats are losing the argument on the economy:

The Democrats are losing the battle of public perceptions over which party can best improve the economy, according to a new analysis by prominent Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and other strategists.

Greenberg’s Study for Democracy Corps, a Democrat-oriented research organization, finds that, “Although voters do not trust either party right now to create jobs, the Republicans are more trusted on the economy, business and big business, and spending and deficits…Democrats are losing the economic argument because right now voters do not see how increased spending helps the economy and they fear increased debt will prevent the economy from growing.” …

The Democracy Corps says, “The mood on the economy is as bleak as we have seen it in recent years. By a two-to one ratio, voters are pessimistic about the future of the middle class.” And the least optimistic people are union members, white women (both married and unmarried), non-college educated whites, and white voters living in rural areas outside the South. All of these groups have been hit hard by the recession and they will be crucial in the 2012 election.

Their advice?  Focus on “breaking the nexus of money and power in Washington and Wall Street.”  I think the collapse of MF Global and the plight of its now-former CEO Jon Corzine makes that an even tougher argument for Democrats to win.

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