Once again – where are the jobs, Mr. President?

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Our celebrity President went to the state of his first political victory of Campaign 2008 to try and convince them that the American economy has ‘turned a corner’:

President Obama asked for patience in reversing job losses that he said were a decade in the making, in a campaign-style appearance that sought to recall some of the excitement of his long-shot candidacy in 2008.

Returning to the state that set him on a path to the White House, Obama visited an Alcoa factory Tuesday to underscore the importance of advanced manufacturing in America’s economic recovery.

He cited strides made in rehiring manufacturing workers who had been laid off during the recession, part of about 2 million private sector jobs created in the last 15 months. But as he often does in such speeches, he conceded that the economic recovery hasn’t touched large swaths of the workforce.

Wearing a white shirt and tie — no suit jacket in sight — Obama said, “For a lot of Americans, those numbers don’t matter if they’re still out of work or if they have a job that doesn’t pay enough to pay the mortgage, to pay the bills. So we’ve got more work to do and that work is going to take some time. The problems that we developed didn’t happen overnight. We’re not going to solve them overnight either, but we will solve them.”

The Alcoa plant produces advanced aerospace and military parts, including the wings of Air Force One. It was chosen to highlight improvements in the manufacturing sector. The Bettendorf plant now employs 2,200 people — more than before the recession kicked in.

Will a majority of Iowans buy it come November 2012? A look at the post-2008 registration numbers in Iowa indicates Obama’s lukewarm speeches on the economy will likely be a tough sell:

Much has changed since Obama’s triumph in the caucuses. Iowa is a swing state that Obama will be hard-pressed to hold in 2012. Since he took office, Iowa Republicans have eaten into the Democrats’ registration advantage and also picked up the governor’s seat and a majority of state Assembly seats.

When Obama was sworn in, Iowa had 111,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans. This month, the Democratic registration advantage stood at 36,000.

The Eastern Iowa county that Obama visited illustrates the political perils. In 2008 Obama easily carried Scott County, the third-largest in the state. But in the midterm elections last year, county voters backed Republican Terry Branstad for governor with 51% of the vote.

“This is going to be a jobs election and it’s only going to become painfully obvious that the only job the president is interested in saving is his own,’’ Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning. “He’s in Iowa today because he’s interested in saving his job.’’

Unemployment lineAnd, of course, while it’s up to the people to decide whether or not President Obama gets another four years to “fundamentally transform” America, this President -as evidenced by all the “we”‘s in his speech – still doesn’t understand that it’s not government that will get this economy turned around it’s the people. I hate to sound cliche, but the best thing the government can do is to get the heck out of the way and let people who actually know how to run businesses aid in getting the economy moving again. This will happen, in large part, once the stifling regulations put in place by this administration are relaxed, ObamaCare is repealed or dismantled piece by piece, public sector unions cease to be coddled by state governments, and taxes and fees are lowered.

Even Obama’s own Chief-of-Staff recognizes that many of the anti-business economic policies of this administration are simply “indefensible.” He gets it. Too bad our current WH occupant does not.

Then again, it’s not exactly surprising that nearly two and a half years after he took the oath of office promising “a new day” in America – and, essentially, a chicken in every pot, Obama still has not reversed course on the economy, even in the face of the obvious- because you are never, ever supposed to try and confuse a diehard liberal with the facts. In fact, if there were Nobel Peace Prizes given for willful ignorance by a world leader, this President would be a top contender.

Oh, wait

Gunwalker: ATF head to tell all?

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**Posted by Phineas

Well, this could get very interesting. Instead of resigning in disgrace and going away quietly so that everything could be swept under the carpet, Acting ATF Director Ken Melson has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a deal between Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA):

The head of the embattled federal agency that combats gun trafficking has agreed to talk with Senate investigators, a potentially important breakthrough as Congress tries to determine whether higher-ups in the Obama administration knew about a controversial sting that let assault weapons flow across the border into Mexico’s drug wars.

The testimony — expected next month from Kenneth Melson, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — was brokered as part of a deal between Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the committee’s top Republican, Iowa’s Charles Grassley. Grassley and his fellow Republicans were given full access to ATF documents, Melson, and other key witnesses; and in return, Grassley agreed to release three Obama administration nominees he had been blocking, according to correspondence obtained by Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

So, is Melson the new John Dean, or is this a prelude to being the fall-guy? At Pajamas Media, Bob Owens considers five possibilities:

  1. Melson falls on his sword.
  2. Melson implicates the head of the DoJ Criminal Division, who signed off on a Gunwalker wiretap.
  3. Melson implicates Attorney General Holder, himself.
  4. Melson also names Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano.
  5. Melson does the “full Dean” and implicates Obama.

For various reasons, Bob considers numbers two and three the most likely, leading to the resignation or even impeachment of the officials involved. Be sure to read the piece to find out why. Going a step further, Howard Nemerov makes a plausible argument that Holder and other officials could be charged as accessories before and after the fact to federal crimes.

Regardless, Melson’s forthcoming testimony promises some summer fireworks.

RELATED: Background on Gunwalker.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Thomas Sowell on the Constitution and its relevance

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**Posted by Phineas

Thomas Sowell’s July 4th article at Townhall.com is a reply to the cover article in Time Magazine of that same date on the Constitution by editor Richard Stengel. In it, Stengel asks the question “Does it still matter” and then proceeds to answer with a “no,” offering a series of reasons.

Very dumb reasons, which Sowell proceeds to demolish; I’ll let you read that yourselves. What I want to quote here is Sowell’s explanation of the significance of the Constitution and why it is still a revolutionary document 225 years after its writing:

Not only did July 4, 1776 mark American independence from England, it marked a radically different kind of government from the governments that prevailed around the world at the time — and the kinds of governments that had prevailed for thousands of years before.

The American Revolution was not simply a rebellion against the King of England, it was a rebellion against being ruled by kings in general. That is why the opening salvo of the American Revolution was called “the shot heard round the world.”

Autocratic rulers and their subjects heard that shot — and things that had not been questioned for millennia were now open to challenge. As the generations went by, more and more autocratic governments around the world proved unable to meet that challenge.

Some clever people today ask whether the United States has really been “exceptional.” You couldn’t be more exceptional in the 18th century than to create your fundamental document — the Constitution of the United States — by opening with the momentous words, “We the people…”

Those three words were a slap in the face to those who thought themselves entitled to rule, and who regarded the people as if they were simply human livestock, destined to be herded and shepherded by their betters. Indeed, to this very day, elites who think that way — and that includes many among the intelligentsia, as well as political messiahs — find the Constitution of the United States a real pain because it stands in the way of their imposing their will and their presumptions on the rest of us.

More than a hundred years ago, so-called “Progressives” began a campaign to undermine the Constitution’s strict limitations on government, which stood in the way of self-anointed political crusaders imposing their grand schemes on all the rest of us. That effort to discredit the Constitution continues to this day, and the arguments haven’t really changed much in a hundred years.

Sowell focuses on Stengel’s article as just a variation on that century-old attack, but bear in mind that the Constitution and the ideas behind it and the Declaration of Independence are just as threatening to foreign despots now as they were “back then,” whether they be kings, theocrats, dictators, or dictators disguised as democrats. As Michael Ledeen often writes, we are the most revolutionary society on the planet, because we were founded and still largely believe the crazy notion not only that people are capable of governing themselves, but that they should, by right. And the dynamism unleashed by free societies scares the heck out of those who think themselves our “natural rulers,” from Riyadh to Brussels to… the House Progressive Caucus.

It’s something to think about next weekend while enjoying the hot dogs and fireworks.

via Dan Mitchell

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)