When Obama arrived in the Senate and almost simultaneously started his run for President, he lived in a different world. His was a world of essentially unbroken prosperity since the Reagan presidency starting in 1981. Mr. Obama is part of that demographic in which people have spend most if not all of their adult lives, if not their entire lives, in an era of unbroken prosperity.
In a similiar fashion, the high school class of 1972 was the last to face the prospect of the draft. And, again we have a demographic that simply does not know war. Not to in any denigrate the sacrifice of any of our servicemen, but the sum total of combat casualties from 1972 to the present was easily and tragically exceeded in a matter of days, if not a day, on many occasions in our countries military history. Antietam. Gettysburg. Tarawa. D-Day. Ardennes, December 1944. Iwo Jima. Okinawa. Again, a whole demographic has spent their lives, never contemporaneously, experiencing through their peers the combat experiences that other generations of Americans experienced.
So, we have a unique bubble in American history of peace and prosperity that probably has no parallel in American history; and probably in world history. And, it bred a conceit that allowed many Americans to indulge in fantasies that the good times would roll on forever and we could always count on ever more and ever more. We could engage in conceit of environmentalism that have us believe that we could regulate our carbon emissions and control our climate. We could overthrow our hydrocarbon based economy and indulge in wind and solar power. We could outsource all of our icky jobs, like drilling for oil, to some no-account third world country, expect cheap energy, and feel good about our environmental sensitivity because we swept that dirty activity under the rug and out of sight at our oh-so chic Starbucks.
Indeed, Obama sensed an opportunity to expand on these conceits in using discontent over the refusal to face up to the realities of our civilizational conflict with Islamic imperalism to gain the Oval Office. But, to do so in a bait-and-switch fashion, to use the power of the office and the prosperity of Reagan’s economic policies, to create a European-style cradle-to-grave social democracy. This was to be the culmination of the long march started by the 60’s radicals, like Ayers and Hillary Clinton, to finally put one of their own into the Oval Office. We would finally do away with the evils of Reagan’s economic policies, our “Rambo” foreign policy, terminate the “war on terror” by abject dhimmhitude and deliver our national sovereignty to the UN as its most loyal vassal. But, this whole slight of hand would work in the era of good times and prosperity.
But, on or about September 15, last year was the economic implosion caused by the sub-prime mortgage meltdown. Courtesy, in part, by the corruption of his former employer, ACORN. The economic crisis won him the presidential election that was to that point a toss-up. But, the economic assumptions, the prosperity and the conceits that were Obama’s world and world view for all of his adult life were overturned. The factor that won the election also gave Obama a radically altered world that he never experienced.
Now, the economic crisis, like war, has taken on a life of its own. In doing so, this crisis is creating it own demands; demands that do not fit the agenda that existed prior to September 15th.
So, now Obama finds himself not in FDR’s shoes, but in Hoover’s shoes trying to operate in this new economic environment. And, if he’s any student of history, it was Hoover, who spent three years of his presidency trying to do something that turned a recession into the depression. And, like the Great Depression, this economic crisis and downturn has its roots in extremely injudicious governmental meddling.
Obama’s spent his life using other people’s money. So, he’s got exactly zero experience in what it takes to create wealth. And, wealth creation is the only thing that will secure his legacy, a positive one that is. But, he’s got people around him who know how. His rich donors all know how or inherited wealth from ancestors who knew how. Even his trust fund baby supporters should know that the size of those monthly trust fund checks are very dependent on the success of the underlying investments.
But, between those two giant ears buzzes a brain of a stone-cold socialist. And, true to his baby boomer self, there remains a need to have it all–great legacy, peace on earth through surrender, socialist America, obeisance to the UN, world government. An updated McGovernite world view of abortion, amnesty and acid.
So, while he needs to be paying off the 700 billion dollar TARP infusion of cash with economic growth policies, there is an internal conflict in Obama. There is the inner Obama, the socialist Obama, that knows all the right answers and must have everyone marching lock-step to his patently and obviously correct world view. There beats a heart that cannot trust that others actually have ideas of their own that are equally good. Nor can he trust others to work out their own problems. Yet, Obama’s legacy will hang in the balance on whether he can trust individual anonymous Americans, who through their own hard work, will lift up our economy again. Or, will he place his legacy in the hands of people like Speaker Pelosi. It simply runs against his Ivy-league roots to trust the entrepreneurial spirit of Joe-the-plumber over, say, our oh-so-polished oh-so-sophisticated tax-cheat Treasury Secretary.
Steven Chu, our new Energy Secretary, is symptomatic of the elite midnight dorm-room bull session governance we are going to be getting. Here’s a guy who’s going to push energy policy into the arena of hair-brain and exorbitantly expensive alternatives in the name of the fraud that is man-made global warming. Like the fraud of eugenics, global warming has become a political and social movement; because it factual, scientific basis is in tatters. A century ago, eugenics was quite the rage. It garnered support from the likes of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow wilson, John Maynard Keynes, Margaret Sanger (a founder of Planned Parenthood) and Winston Churchill. Funding from the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Institute. And, now, history repeats with a new pseudo-scientific fraud that has as it principle argument support from the social register A-list.
But, it goes further than that. Like Obama, you’ve got a guys like Chu who know or is going to find the right answer. Moreover, they have a monopoly on that right answer.
Wind power has been around for centuries, since medieval Europe. Solar power has been around for the better part of a century. We’ve had steam cars and electric cars since the inception of the horseless carriage a century ago. There’s nothing really new under the sun. Every modern railroad locomotive is a diesel engine powering a generator to supply electricity to motor that turn the locomotive’s wheels. Kinda like a Prius with steel wheels on rails.
But, in their conceit, Obama and his acolytes seem to think that they have an answer for our energy and transportation need that somehow has managed to elude thousands upon thousands of people who now work in our energy and transportation sectors. The gasoline and diesel powered internal combustion engine dominates because it works the best. If there were a better solution, someone, in the last century would have hit on it. Would have hit on it long before the holy inspirational glow of Obama shone forth from the Oval Office.
So, now we have a “stimulus” package that is going to run over Obama’s legacy like a freight train roaring along at 70 miles per hour. It is a package that is so monstrous that it’s a caricature of the tax-and-spend liberal. It isn’t long before the term “welfare queen” comes back into common parlance. And, soon after that, the silent juxtaposition of the work “black.” Obama, for the sake of his legacy better watch that one.
But, the silver lining is that this egregious overreach on the part of Pelosi will so damage the credibility of the Democrats that this bill is the only thing the Democrats are going to get past before inflationary pressures of loose money and trillions of federal spending ignite inflation the likes we haven’t seen since Carter.
From Power Line, we have the NYT reduced to junk bond status with its latest infusion of cash from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu; six-year notes at 14 percent interest. This gives Mr. Slim control of another 18 percent of the company in addition to the 6.9 percent he already controls. I suspect, if things continue to go south, Slim will be in a position to demand voting shares in the company, now controlled by the Sulzberger family.
And, it would be fitting to see those voting shares finally released outside the Sulzberger family because they simply have been atrocious stewards of New York Times Corp.
Last summer, The Atlantic had an article about Murdock’s purchase of the Wall Street Journal. The article describes Murdock, the then new owner, making an appearance to the employees of the Wall Street Journal in their newsroom and exhorting them to “get the scoop.”
Get the scoop. Get the news. Get information that people will want to buy. Note this has nothing to do with ordination into the Holy Order of Journalism. You know, the degree you get by going to college for four years to learn to write fast. You should be going to school to learn history, economic and the whole pantheon of what is Western Civilization. Instead we have trade schools all dolled up as schools of “Journalism.” Nor, does this exhortation have anything to do with getting the “narrative” or getting the interpretation. People aren’t stupid; they are quite capable of receiving information and drawing their own conclusions. To such people, propaganda is a blatant insult to their intelligence. You don’t exactly make a profit by insulting your customer’s intelligence.
The fundamental business paradigm the Sulzbergers are missing is that people will pay good money for news; the scoop, information. The NYT dished out liberal propaganda posing as news. And, readership plummeted because propaganda is to be given out for free. The day the NYT starts selling information is the day its balance sheet will start to loft upwards like warming currents of carbon dioxide.
Finally, remember the big controversy over the purchase of domestic port facilities by Dubai? Yet, here is the newspaper of “record” willingly handing control of itself to a foreign source?
Obama discussed a 700 billion dollar economic stimulus package. But, intimated that he would be okay with even more. Congress obliged by rolling Obama with a 850 billion spending spree. Here’s some of the details from Power Line. If such a package were going to build infrastructure, we’d at least have something to show for this spending blow-out. But, this money will line the pockets of favored groups and friends. And, will leave precious little to show in terms of actual accomplishments.
Or, should I say that 850 billion dollars will be pissed away and we will have only the inflation that will rack our economy, in about a year, as the only residual for this spending.
But, Obama has lots of experience in spending other people’s money and making sure that there is nothing to show. Or, at least nothing to show in upsetting the status quo. That experience was his co-chairing the Annenberg Challenge with his buddy Bill Ayers. He managed to oversee the disbursement of 100 million dollars without affecting the quality of public education in Chicago one whit. What he really did, the good Chicago machine foot soldier he was, was to spread 100 million dollars of graft to the friends of the Chicago machine.
So, what we have is a replay of the same graft distribution; just several orders of magnitude greater. There will be no leadership on Obama’s part. Just the distribution of graft and largess. Obama’s well practiced in that art.