Bad Week For President Obama, Jerry Sandusky's Trial, Strife in Egypt, and Spain Bailout
The Big 3 Things of the Week in the World of News June 15, 2012
1. Bad week for President Obama
To say last week was a bad one for President Barack Obama is a gross understatement. In a sound bite that is sure to be a Romney TV ad showing how disconnected President Obama is with the economy, President Obama stated “the private sector is doing fine” during a press conference on the nation’s economy last Friday.
It was bad enough to receive a monthly report of an increase of only 69,000 jobs in May. Then there was the Democratic setback in Wisconsin, with the recall of Gov. Scott Walker coming up empty. And for the first time on the campaign trail, Romney brought in more money than Obama in the latest reports.
Then there are allegations concerning security leaks in the administration in the wake of the NY Times publishing articles of a “kill list” for terrorists, the use of cyber attacks in Iran, and word that a Pakistani doctor helped the CIA operation to kill bin Laden.
In fact, the doctor, Dr. Shakil Afridi, reportedly provided critical intelligence on the location and identify of the al-Qaida leader. He had set up a fake vaccination program to obtain DNA during a visit by bin Laden.
Following the leaks, Afridi was arrested and on May 23 he was sentenced to 33 years in prison on a charge of conspiring against Pakistan.
Thanks for helping the world get rid of a monster, Doc,—and your reward….. 33 years in prison! Jackpot!
No wonder it so difficult to get credible intelligence on Al Qaeda. You talk… you go to jail! But at least you get your picture in the NY Times!
The protection of secret sources of the United States is not only good sense, it is vital for continuing operations and getting new sources that could improve our security and prevent the loss of American lives.
The bad news is making an impact-- The Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Mitt Romney attracting 48% of the vote, while President Obama earns 44%. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate, and another four percent (4%) are undecided.
Romney now leads Obama for the first time in the left leaning swing state of Wisconsin where the president's support has fallen to its lowest level to date. If President Obama can’t win Wisconsin, he can forget about North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and a bunch of other swing states.
2. Even worse news for Jerry Sandusky and PSU administration.
The prosecution will soon wrap up its case at Jerry Sandusky’s trial. Thus far, eight different young men have taken the stand and testified that the former Penn State football coach abused them. The courtroom was once again brought to tears Thursday as an 18-year-old known as Victim 9 said that for four years Jerry Sandusky would come downstairs to the basement, drop his pants, and rape him and force him to perform oral sex. In the basement, nobody heard him despite his screams for help. Tragic.
Sandusky’s attorney Joe Amendola, meanwhile, hasn’t offered anything convincing in his client’s defense. I know we are supposed to believe in the presumption of innocence and wait for the full defense to have its say. This time, I don’t care. Sandusky should end this pathetic travesty right now—by pleading guilty because he is, in my mind, guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Please, for the sake of Happy Valley and the victims of your manipulations and abuse, end this nightmare with a guilty plea, Coach Sandusky. The pain, horror, and suffering have gone on long enough.
3. Strife around the world.
It seems there is no world-wide shortage of instability.
Egypt is learning that democracy can be ugly. Egypt's highest court on Thursday ordered its Islamist-dominated parliament dissolved and ruled that the last prime minister to serve under Hosni Mubarak could stay in the presidential race, twin blows to the Muslim Brotherhood that could sweep away its political gains since Mubarak's ouster 16 months ago.
Though as some, like myself and Fareed Zakaria, claimed in the past that removing Hosni Mubarak from office would not lead to a peaceful path to democracy. Now, it appears that the Egyptian military may be taking a more active role in governing the nation. According to Zakaria, the military controls almost a third of the economy in Egypt—no wonder they are going to insist in a great amount of control. I guess it takes time for a Western-style democracy to develop in a Middle-Eastern nation.
Meanwhile, even “stable, Western-style democracies” can have serious problems, too. If Greece was the focus of markets' angst last week, attention this week has shifted to the other end of the Mediterranean.
Spain's public finances are nothing as grim as the Greeks', but a worsening banking crisis threatens to deepen an already painful recession and endanger the future of the eurozone.
Spain, one of the EU’s PIIGS, needed a 100 billion euro bailout to help stabilize its banks. Like in the case of Greece, most of the burden will be upon the shoulders of the more fiscally responsible Germans. Many Germans, however, are experiencing “bailout fatigue” and may be unwilling to continually rescue the PIIGS from their economic troubles in the future.
Contact Erik Uliasz at email@example.com
Photo of President Obama from politico.com
Photo of Jerry Sandusky from AP