I am almost certain, to the point of approaching unity, that NASA’s head, Charles Bolden does not have in his job description the duty of explaining to Al Jazeera that one of NASA’s foremost tasks is to “reach out to the Muslim world.” I also very much doubt that Alan Shepherd, in May 1961, as he sat in Freedom 7 thought his mission was Muslim outreach. I also doubt, in July 1969, as Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon that he shared Mr. Bolden’s thoughts.
But, for all the outrage, none of it comes from Obama and his fellow travelers. Because the real message is aimed at America, not the Muslim world. The real message is that manned space travel is dead. One of the chief reasons is that any vestige of American Exceptionalism is dead. The triumphs such as the first man on the Moon cannot be allowed for fear of giving the impression that America is actually a preeminent nation.
When President Kennedy announced the goal of a man (American man, that is) on the Moon by the end of the (1960’s) decade, he was directly channeling Abraham Lincoln. During his tenure, Abraham Lincoln committed this country to building the Transcontinental Railroad. It was a project, using technology only thirty or forty years old, to span two thousand miles of the North American continent from Omaha to Sacramento. It was, for its day, a project every bit as ambitious and technologically challenging as Kennedy’s Moon landing a century later.
Lincoln did it for many reasons. One was to open the West to settlement. Until the railroad, transportation of large quantities of materials or large number of persons was only practical by navigable water. Unless there was freely available forage, an animal-drawn conveyance had a range of only 200 miles because the fuel needed (hay) would become the entire payload.
But, the real reason for the Transcontinental Railroad was national sovereignty. Lincoln realized that sovereignty is about real estate; and the ability to control that real estate. He realized that our country needed the means to communicate rapidly across our continent. He also realized that we needed we need to control and secure our territory. This is more than securing our borders. It is physically occupying our land with our people, American citizens. It is about Americans placing their boots on the ground, living there and drawing their sustenance there.
Until the railroad came, the riches and opportunity that lay in the Great Plains and Intermountain West were simply inaccessible. While a few hardy souls could live there only at a sufferance, the ability to freely move people, their goods and their commerce could not happen. It was only with the beachhead of the railroad that Americans could leave the vagaries of water born transportation and strike out into the West at will. It was only then that villages, town and cities could arise on the plains and in the mountains.
In a similar vein, this is what Kennedy started with the direction he gave the space program. The manned space program. It was to start by placing American boots on new real estate. It was the start of a new national sovereignty that, again, could only be achieved by physically occupying new territories with Americans.
It is a dream and goal that does not fit Obama’s narrative. A narrative that seeks to place America in the status of second-place mediocrity. Wholesale take-overs of our economy by this administration will only serve to strike down whatever preeminence America once had in those fields. GM and Chrysler will no longer be the leaders in the automotive industry. Chevy will now produce the Trabants, er Volts, for the masses and Cadillac to produce the Zil limousines for the party big-shots. American medicine will now be relegated to keeping enough workers functioning to follow the diktats of our the same said elites. The special bond, defined by Hippocrates, between physician and patient no longer fits the image of the new American Socialist Man.
These asinine comments by Bolden about NASA’s mission of Muslim outreach finally brings us to the point of the perniciousness of how socialism kill countries and societies. Depending on how you shift around accounting, one finds that our tax revenues sufficient to pay for the big three entitlements–Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and, now, Obamacare. Everything else–national defense, border security, roads and commerce–are all funded by deficit spending. Our government no longer functions to address the problems and issues of national sovereignty and national security. It no longer functions to maintain honest money. It no longer functions to maintain internal order; the kind needed to promote jobs and commerce.
Our government now only functions as the wet teat to suckle dependent subjects and serfs. And, it is now been maneuvered into a position that that is its only purpose. A short lived purpose since ignoring the real functions of nationhood will only result in the ultimate dissolution of that nation and government.
NASA is but one example of this county-killing decline caused by socialism. With the imminent retirement of the space shuttle and the cancellation of future manned space projects by this administration, NASA no longer has a mission commensurate to its name. Like every governmental function in Chicago, NASA’s stated purpose becomes it secondary purpose. Secondary to the primary purpose to creating yet another source of taxpayer funded patronage jobs. And, a department full of dependent worker bees to be mobilized to whatever whim strikes our ‘dear leader.’ Whims such as Muslim outreach or cooking up data to further the fraud of ‘global warming.’ Or, is it climate change?
But, a triumphal return of American astronauts to the Moon? An American as the first human to set foot on Mars? Not on Obama’s watch. Such triumphs would not suit a nation that needs to be put in it place; second place. There’s a reason that Obama is a Democrat and Lincoln a Republican. The latter man stood for individual freedom and initiative. Obama, you’re no Abe Lincoln.
If any would really care to read the Rolling Stone article, The Runaway General, you’d really be hard-pressed to really come up with a quote that actually crosses the line on the subject of military subordination to civilian control.
The two “smoking guns” were, first an observation that by General McChrystal that Obama seemed “uncomfortable and intimidated.” Second, was the attribution, to McChrystal, that he was disappointed by a “ten minute photo-op” when met Obama for the command of operations in Afghanistan.
The rest of the article seems to focus on quotes that would be the snide back office comments that occur in any office. Put a bunch of guys in a room and you’re going to get that sort of thing liberally laced with obscenities. Like your typical Sunday afternoon football game (with the ladies gone). Indeed, like the Oval Office, where Rahm Emmanual holds forth with the use of the the all purpose f-word as noun, verb, adjective and adverb.
So, why the article. Again read the article. It notes that McChrystal seems to have long mastered the art of “thumbing his nose at authority every chance he got” right from his days at West Point. Right to the point, but not quite, of almost getting kicked out from West Point. This skill implies a certain skill in reading your opponent and anticipating that opponents reaction. Knowing how far to push without stepping over the line. Or, stepping over the line if that suits your purpose.
Which takes us back to Obama’s 2008 Presidental campaign. Obama needed to trash Bush and our military involvement in Iraq. Yet, he needed to demonstrate tough foreign policy resolve by getting America out of the ‘disastrous’ war in Iraq and get involved in the ‘good’ war in Afghanistan.
This was all done with a knowing wink and nod to the liberal MSM and their fellow travellers who realized that this lie was necessary in order to get elected. Obama never had any attention in seriously prosecuting any war. God forbid. It would run contrary to his real purposes of ‘putting America in its place.’ One couldn’t have an actual victory; a real demonstration of American ‘can-do.’ American Exceptionalism runs completely counter to Obama’s narrative.
And, McChrystal realized, once in Afghanistan, that he was expected to lose and take the fall. Failure was an option; it was the option. This led to the solution of engineering his own sacking.
McChrystal knew that Rolling Stone would write a hit piece. Complete with uncensored blue language. He knew, by allowing Hastings, the author, access to his inner circle to get a ‘feel’ for his people and operations would, instead, result in quotes. And, the quotes would be juicy, uncensored, obscene bon mots. He knew that all of these quotes would be conflated into a Truman-MacArthur Korean controversy. Above all, quotes that would get laser-like attention from Obama.
McChrystal knew his thin-skinned opponent to a tee. He knew that the only directly attributable quote about being uncomfortable and intimidated was, alone, going to get presidential attention. Attention that the oil spill never warranted in Obama’s mind. Obama’s intimidated, oh boo ho.
The rest of the quotes, all from his aides were gratuitous pilings-on that would only insure McChrystal’s sacking thereby avoiding this adminstration’s now ritual throwing-under-the-bus.
Dining with “some French minster” as being “f–king gay” flies right in the face of Obama military/gay policies.
McChrystal’s posturing about wanting to getting his ass kicked instead of going to that dinner with the French minister was an unintended gift since it so beautifully contrasted with Obama’s quote of looking for “ass to kick” concerning the Gulf oil spill. The former statement coming from a real man and the latter coming from a man-child trying to look like a man and coming off as a wimp. Obama saw the contrast and took it personally.
The ploy worked perfectly. Our preening President took the bait. New York City could be reduced to nuclear rubble courtesy Iran and Obama wouldn’t care; not beyond his poll numbers. But, make even the most mild of criticisms of our Dear Leader Obama and, and you’ll be kissing bus tires.
But, Obama’s lies have a way of piling up. His campaign lies forced him to engage in Afghanistan. His hiring of McChrystal forced ownership. Now, he has to turn to General Petraeus, the very man he trash talked in a Senate hearing in September 2007. The very man, that the then junior Senator from New York, now Secretary of State, called a liar in the same Senate hearing. The true irony is that Petraeus wrote his ticket and is running the show, not Obama. Not only does Obama now own Afghanistan, he now must stake his reputation on nothing less than victory. Move On.org will now make victory in Afghanistan its official position; the Taliban really is evil.
General McChrystal will leave the Army on his pension, spend a few months in Beltway purgatory, then get himself a nice six-figure Beltway consulting job. He might make it into the cabinet of the next (Republican) Administration if he changes his registration. And, Rolling Stone did all of his heavy lifting.
Congratulations. You just won the election and you’re president of the United States. Now, quick, where’s your birth certificate? That folded over piece of paper, probably with a coffee ring where someone set a mug down. Maybe under a stack of other papers in your safe deposit box? You get the point.
The problem is that the paper, except on rare occasions like getting a passport, is irrelevant. Irrelevant since most of us have live here in the US and have a lifelong track record of being American. It’s in your fiber and your being. The way you dress, the way you talk, the way you approach life’s problems. Its a uniqueness that makes us stand out like Americans in foreign countries. Its a uniqueness that makes American soldiers in combat different from other armies; and particularly lethal as a result.
Then you have Obama. And, this is where the birthers have a point. Obama is foreign. Oh yes, his mom got knocked up in Hawaii and he’s got a birth certificate to prove it. Probably. But, the manner in which Obama acts and speaks. The way he carries himself, his mannerisms all mark him as a foreigner. The way he dresses. I’ll bet, when Obama bowed to the Saudi king last year that the protocol people at the State Department never even thought to brief Obama on the subject because, those protocol people, as Americans, never even dreamt that Obama would bow so low that his lips were six inches from, um, the royal crotch.
But, Obama, spent the first ten formative years of his life in Singapore, raised as a Muslim. Unlike McCain, who lived abroad with his parents as a Navy brat, you have a man totally cut off from anything American. By contrast, though in a foreign country, McCain never had any doubt, living on Navy bases, accompanying his mother to countless base commissaries and exchanges, that he was an American, living in a piece of America at the behest of America.
Obama, spent his first ten years of his life soaking up a culture and ideology that completely suppressed the individual for the benefit of some leader’s of group-think. He was imbued with an Islamic ideology (I’ll call it a religion when it starts to act like one) that is completely contrary to the underlying principle of our founding documents. Ideologies opposed to the supremacy of the rights of the individual and the existence of the state to promote and protect those individual rights. Opposed to the concept of American Exceptionalism.
It didn’t get better since the foundations of an anti-American third world cabinet minister soon had his anti-American prejudices fortified in the halls of our elite Ivy League institutions.
And so, this third world cabinet minster then moved to Chicago to marinate in the tyranny of the majority that is the Chicago Democratic Machine; marinate in the philosophies of Saul Alinsky in the pay of ACORN; marinate in the anti-American, anti-Semitic rants of Reverend Wright.
And, now we have a man with the power of the Presidency who want to put America in its place. Apologizing and trash talking America at any foreign venue is not enough. So, we come to socialism. Socialism is a country killer; socialized medicine is the crown jewel in the pommel of this dagger.
Look at the fates of countries such as Germany, France and Great Britain. These countries were major players in world affairs–a century ago. They all were significant military powers; each capable of war making capabilities to make world war possible. More importantly, these were major economic powers of great vitality and innovation. In 1900, an American physician wanting to make a mark in medicine would travel to Europe to further his medical education. Now the reverse is true. A Brit doctor wanting to rise in his profession in the National Health Service come to America. Come to get his BTA, been to America.
Look at the bluest of the blue states. They have degenerated into fiscal black holes lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis trying to gin enough revenue to pay off their favored constituencies by trying to further fleece any and all groups who happen to be successful by dint of hard work.
All of these political entities, Europe or our own black-hole states share a common trait of ceasing to actually address what is the real purpose of government. Instead of pursuing such agenda as external security (national defense), internal order (crime, infrastructure, property rights, contracts) and an honest buck (economic policies that allow for business formation and economic growth).
These entitlements grow to dominate everything in sight. They dominate debate and policy decisions. They dominate to push out considerations of other equally pressing matters. Like tax revenue loss because business is being driven away. And, in the case of national defense, you come to the case where there is no guns versus butter debate. The fat of butter pushes out even the most essential national security priorities. Europe is about to come under the pall of a nuclear armed Iran. Other than ‘soft’ power, there is little else they can do because they are, in fact, powerless. I doubt that Britain, of the mightiest navy on earth, could do little to defend the Falkland Islands should Argentina make another grab. And, unlike Reagan, Obama’s not going to lift a finger.
Obama, knows all of the above. This is why he threw every other priority overboard for the last 14 months to get this health ‘reform’ bill into place. He need the perfect weapon to run this country into the ground because Obama hates the concept of American individualism. He hates the concept of American Exceptionalism. He needed, because of his foreign, anti-American animus, to craft a policy that will forever put a permanent crimp into America’s and Americans drive for excellence. The drive to create a even better standard of living for the next generation.
His vision is a diminished America. Our children, what few we’ll have since will be using tax dollars to abort them, mired in debt unable to create the wealth to make for a better future because all that will be taxed away to pay our foreign creditors. Here it is, our Manchurian Candidate, now in the Oval Office who with his own hands just signed into being the perfect country killer, socialized medicine.
Let’s cut through the crap. There is only one war fighting strategy worthy of America. It is summed up by Reagan, “Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.” It is ideas like this, simply expressed that will make Reagan’s presidency a touchstone for the next century.
These ideas are not really new. They are simple and, frankly, boring. They hold no attraction to those who regard as profound the clutter of deconstruction that is oh so vogue on our college campuses these days. Usually, by some trendy Marxist professor spewing pseudo-pithy remarks with intent to look cool enough to bed some dewy-eyed coed.
Moreover, such ideas are based in reality right from the start of our Republic. Benjamin Franklin didn’t just negotiate a cease fire with the British to end our war for independence. He negotiated a country who’s western boundary would stretch to the Mississippi river. Say what you want about Polk and Manifest Destiny, but he negotiated a peace with Mexico that expanded our country’s size by one-third. And, note, no one seems to refer to the city of Houston (or Brownville) as sitting on the occupied north bank of the Rio Grand.
The Civil War ended on Lincoln’s terms; a united United States and no slavery. The initials of General U. S. Grant were said to stand for unconditional surrender.
And, to the extent that World War II cleaved to the dictum of unconditional surrender as the U.S. saw it, it was a success. Where it didn’t, well, we got the Iron Curtain.
The fundamental is that, as Commander-in-Chief, you have a moral obligation to the troops you command that stands out from and above all other obligations. It is an awesome power to have people such as our soldiers who will serve at the pleasure of the president; even if that pleasure means charging into the jaws of death. It is also a profound moral obligation that if you are going to ask such sacrifice, you owe it to those soldiers that their lives will be place at risk for only one goal. “We win, they lose.”
To the extent that Cold War strategy was mired in the policy of ‘containment,’ it was immoral since it more than tacitly endorsed the status quo of the mass enslavement of people in the bonds of that vicious ideology of communism. This was the ultimate failing of our conflicts in Korea and Vietnam; moral failings that would bring down the presidencies of Truman and Johnson. It had nothing to do with the performance of our armed forces; for our soldiers, sailors and airmen performed admirably. Nor, it is not to say that the specific strategy or tactics specific to the execution of either war was suspect. It was in the context that our leadership at the time, by not thinking beyond containment, ultimately mired their efforts (and the expenditure of American blood and treasure) in an immoral conundrum.
It was only when Reagan defined the Cold War in the clarity of victory did our efforts fall into a clear set of morally unambiguous constructs. It was Reagan who would say this is evil and it will not stand. And, the Soviet Empire would come crashing down in 1989; a mere eight years after Reagan’s inauguration. “We win, they lose.”
Obama will fail in Afghanistan for this very lack of moral purpose. He, as noted by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews went to the “enemy camp” of West Point. And, Matthews put into words what, I think, Obama really believes. He, Obama, the ultimate Philosopher King, approaches the presidency and his duties as commander-in-chief as distractions beneath him. His duties as President are beneath the man who is really the Prime Minister of the world; except when bowing and scraping before the king of Saudi Arabia and the emperor of Japan.
Obama will fail because he cannot bring himself to say the word victory. He cannot fathom Americans winning in a contest of arms. Because, no, our soldiers will not fail us. Like in Korea, like in Vietnam, our soldiers will win on the ground. They will put forth all manner of sacrifice. They will bleed and die to bring victory. But, their sacrifice will be for naught because Obama does not understand the concept “we win, they lose.”
The reason for failure is that Obama has more important things on his mind than his soldiers; ‘bitter’ yokels from red-state America at that. He has to show that American Exceptionalism is dead. And, he has to do only what is necessary to shore up a Chicago political machine recently transplanted to Washington. Obama, with his nuanced ivy league sophistication cannot comprehend the simple truth and obligation to his troops; “we win, they lose.”
In the crush of the 2008 presidential election campaign, the MSM made a lot over Obama’s “cool” and “nuance.” As opposed to McCain’s high stung temperament and “gut” reactions.
Now, with Iran, we can truly see what “cool” and “nuance” are really worth. Because in the world of power politics where there is evil and real enemies. Where there are people who will just as soon as kill you as look at you. Where there are evil people who have the means to kill you; and a thousand times over. You need the guts of a fighter pilot closing in at 400 knots. The guts of a fighter who know you have one chance to get it right. Someone who’s already thought through the complex permutations and can render judgement without hesitation. Because at 400+ knots, if you hesitate, you’re dead. You are now in the world of brutal black and white, where you need to make definitive yes and no decisions. This is real executive decision making. And, this is no longer the midnight dorm room bull session where you mixed pot, alcohol and trendy discussion on some vogue Marxist theory.
This is the world of Churchill, May 1940. Dunkirk, France. 330,00 of your forces trapped on the beaches. What do you do? Sue for peace? Become Vichy England? There are historians that theorize that Hitler pulled his punches at Dunkirk to work out a peace deal. Or, with little to hope for, evacuate, re-group and hope for better fortunes in battle; hope for eventual victory. D-day, the 8th Air Force, V-E day with Britain as one of Berlin’s occupiers were, in 1940, dreams that would buy a ticket to a padded cell.
Yet, this is real history. As Mark Steyn once pointed out, crucial decisions at crucial junctures of history are never clear distinctions between unalloyed good and unalloyed bad. In many cases, in the maw of the circumstances of that decision, you have no idea that your decision will be the crucial tipping point.
So, what’s it going to be? Yes or no? Surrender to the Nazis or fight on? Pick sides with the “street” that is literally dying in its challenge of the mad mullahs that run Iran or throw you lot with the power establishment–the ruling Mullahs? The fact is that neither presidential candidate–Ahmadinejad or Mir Hussein Mousavi–is some paragon of Jeffersonian democracy. Both have had active roles in setting policies that makes Iran the pariah it now is.
Both candidates are just two flavors of dung, take your pick. Both required approval by the ruling mullahs to even run in the first place. But, the significance is that the “street” is taking this debate beyond the a presidential election. Now, the people are asking for accountability from the ruling mullahs. And, in this respect, Obama’s been handed a gift. Because there is a clear choice; to come down on the side of an electorate that wants accountability. To come down on the side of true democracy.
Yet, all we get, after a week of waffling, is Obama steps up to the plate. And, we get a kumbaya response. Let’s just all get along. The folks on the street are dying so they don’t have to get along. Instead of a response of solid and unequivocal support for the demands of accountability, Obama publicly urinates on the sacrifice of those protesters demanding that accountability; demanding the right to a vote equal to anyone else’s.
This is the 3 a.m. phone call; launch missiles or not? As far as 3 a.m. phone calls go, this is a relatively simple choice. You blow this choice and the next 3 a.m. phone call won’t be as easy. Maybe an Israeli nuclear retaliation against an Iranian nuclear attack. Standing on the side of democracy is generally the best default position you can take because democracies generally don’t make war on democracies.
But, Obama and many of his supporters have had little to do in the world of hard decision making. In the brutal world of decision making were, you as president, have your options winnowed down to two, yea or nay. Nuance has other words and synonyms. Trying to have your cake and eat it. Dithering. Waffling. Bullshitting. Intellectual Masturbation. Obama’s out of the bubble of unreality of Chicago machine politics where decisions are made by the bosses and “ratified” by bought elections to maintain the thin veneer of democracy–like Ahmadinejad’s election. But, whereas Chicago machine politics has just run a city into the ground, here we have a high stakes nuclear game afoot, a game being run by a two-bit machine politician who’s idea of high negotiation is greasing the right palms.
With Senator Spector jumping to the Democratic brand, we will have the legislative and executive branch firmly in the hands of the Democrats. Unless, the Democratic leadership cannot trust it’s rank and file, the trillion dollar agenda that will beggar our grandchildren can not proceed unobstructed. Won’t even be a need for the charade of “reconciliation” to push this agenda through. And, most of all, Obama can shed the pretense that he is president and revert to this true calling as prime minister (or secretary general).
Have it all! Canadian-style single payer health care. Cap and trade. And, the next time Obama meets the king of Saudi Arabia, he needs not stop at a bow; go on, go all the way, the royal crotch was only another six inches away. Chavez, Castro, Kim, Ahmadinejad, your reservation at the Lincoln Bedrooms awaits.
Spread the wealth? Spread away. Why stop at 90% AIG-style tax rates? If you making $250K per year, you’re rich enough. Everything above that belongs to the feds (and by extension ACORN).
And, we can all be greener than Kermit. The folks out in Pennsylvania will now really have a reason to be bitter when our carbon-free future throws them all out into the unemployment line when their coal mines are shut down. All they will have, then, is their guns and religion to cling to.
Torture “truth” commissions? Why stop there? Call up Robespierre and the Committee for Public Safety. Why stop with some DOJ lawyers who nobody can remember? How about Rove? Heck, why not Cheney or even W?
Hyperbole? Hopefully no, but stripping away some of the sarcasm, everything in this post has happened. Obama did bow to a king. Obama talked about more than cap and trade. He talked about bankrupting new coal fired generation plants. He talked about checking your tire pressure as an alternative to drilling for more oil.Pelosi is pushing for a “truth” commission.
Ninty percent tax rate? Such a thing existed from the 1930’s until the 1960’s. The top marginal rate then remained at 70 percent until the Reagan tax cut of 1981. The Obama, Reid, Pelosi trioka are just testing the waters. They’re getting us used to the word “trillion.” And, to banana republic economics; the ones that issue paper money that has the feel of Monopoly money. First it was taxing away the AIG bonuses. Again testing the waters to see if we’re ready for settling for the mediocracy of “free” health care in exchange for having everything over $250,000 taxed away since that’s rich enough.
But, there is a silver lining to all of this. Now, Obama and the Democrats will be in complete, and I mean complete, ownership of this mess. The high taxes, prolonged recession (?depression) and the hyperinflation.
War and tortue should be subjects abhorrent to those who value the protections and benefits of a constitutional republic and the rights secured by the Bill of Rights. We carefully parse the law to the nth degree in every capital punishment case. It may take ten or more years to bring such a case to its conclusion with the execution of a criminal. But, a single soldier with an automatic weapon or machine gun, a pilot releasing a cluster bomb, can kill more people in a mere instant than our criminal justice system will do in ten years of executing criminals.
In like fashion, torture, or some enhanced interrogation technique, very rapidly crosses the line over the right to not self-incriminate.
It is why it is best to treat acts of war as such and not as criminal proceeding. And, it is why it is best to conduct these acts of war far from our shores and our citizens. There are some acts, forced by extreme necessity that need to be, in every respect, utterly circumscribed.
Our country is populated with millions of military veterans, all decent and honorable people, who would care not to reflect on some of their actions when in combat. Actions made necessary by the desperation that is combat.
Yet, in this less than perfect world, evil people force otherwise peaceable people to undertake morally ambiguous actions. Actions, regardless of the immediate circumstances, that good people will never be comfortable reflecting upon in more comfortable times.
Further, in the hands of good people, these morally ambiguous actions are recognized as such. Which is why there are only applied in the most extreme of circumstances. The alleged “torture” of al Queda terrorists was not gratuitous sadism with the intent of coercing a “confession” for use in some propaganda show trial. Rather, it was applied to specific persons with the reasonable expectation that they did indeed possess specific and critical information needed to stop further terror acts and thereby save lives of innocent people. There simply is no moral equivalence between what the United States did with these interrogation techniques and the torture visited upon political prisoners in Stalin’s purges or Castro’s prisons. Or, despite our humane treatment of prisoners of war in our custody, the torture visited on our POW’s in the hands of the Japanese, North Koreans or North Vietnamese.
Then, there are the specific factors of specific circumstances. We’ve all, in taking Ethics 101 in college, debated the classic senario of a ticking atomic bomb in the middle of Manhattan, set to explode in one hour. And, we debated the ethics of torturing a prisoner, who knows the whereabouts of said bomb. Is it right to tortue? To what degree? Is it right to commit one atrocity to prevent an even greater atrocity?
I debated such in my own midnight dorm room bull sessions back in the late 1970’s. Back when the nuclear club was indeed very exclusive and the senario of a terrorist organization capable of such a situation was indeed very hypotheticalal. Today, this is no longer a hypotheticalal. We have a death-cult ideology, that is Islam, that would do such a thing in a heart beat. The death toll of 9/11 was only 3000 only because these terrorists could only commandeer civilian aircraft; not atom bombs. Now, we have the Taliban making moves to entirely destabilize nuclear-armed Pakistan and potentially gain excess to those very weapons. Millennials now with the means to really deliver.
If our Ethics 101 senario did indeed happen today (and, it’s very plausible), would those charged with national security be morally obligated to even pull out every finger nail to find that bomb? Or, would you be content to just inform that terrorist of his Miranda rights?
But, Obama, in his overweening sense of moral superiority and self-righteousness probably never gave the above the slightest thought. That beyond the immediate bounds of the current debate on waterboarding, there is a bigger question to be answered. That question is that there are times when good people must commit to morally ambiguous actions that they, in their worst nightmares, would never even dream of doing, because of pressing and real concerns that evil, even greater than their actions, must be stopped. And, now people who were never directly in the maw of those front line decisions will, years later, second guess with the threat of criminal prosecutions.
Additionally, along the lines of Monica Lewinsky, this controversy now becomes an issue that will so consume Washington as to consume Obama’s agenda. Bill Clinton had an opportunity to create a durable center-left governing coalition. But, Clinton along with his partisan fellow-travelers decided, in 1992, that the millennium arrived and decided to push as far left as possible. And, that was before Clinton’s own proclivities intruded with his extra-curricular sexual appetites and escapades finally ground down any agenda in the bonfire of the Lewinsky impeachment scandal.
And, here is the “scandal” that will grind Obama’s agenda to a halt. Releasing these so-called torture memos is an act of a narcissist so impressed with himself and his mission that he will sacrifice national security with a distraction of banana republic-style show trials. It is yet another example as to Obama’s lack of executive experience and fitness to lead. True executive experience would have informed Obama to pace and prioritize his agenda. To build public confidence in his leadership by systematically building a record of accomplishment and then using the record to pitch further agendas to a public more confident and more reassured of his leadership capacity. True leadership and executive experience would have also informed Obama that there are just some items that will distract you from the really big, important stuff. There are items that you just let go; its just not worth it. True leadership and executive experience means making choices and saying “no.”
Getting through this economic meltdown should be his only priority. He does that successfully, and he’s going to have the running room to put forth the rest of his agenda.
It is possible, at this late date, that if Obama gets in front of this problem and flat out says no to hearings, prosecutions, commissions or investigations that he could quell the firestorm he just touched off. But, even then, there will be a residual of distrust. As it stands, we have the makings of 41 GOP senate votes to make each and every filibuster now stand. This issue, if not ended quickly and definitively, will indeed result in open warfare on the Senate floor with scorched parliamentary tactics that will freeze the entire Obama agenda. Making, ultimately, Obama’s four years as president a mere asterisk as the first black president. Even Senator Reid realizes that; which is why he’s trying to tamp down Speaker Pelosi’s “truth” commissions. No, this is not (yet) a banana republic. This is a constitutional republic of constrained powers. Prime Minister Obama better start realizing that Alinsky is not a good governing role model.
There was a reason our founding fathers posited a requirement in the US Constitution that the President of the United States be a natural born citizen. And, Obama proves the point. Only by luck of his American citizen unwed mother getting knocked up in Hawaii did Obama make the grade. But, while technically a natural born US citizen, Obama has displayed all of the characteristics of a third-world cabinet minister (and I mean that comparison is a very negative sense); an EU or UN grandee. Moreover, this is not an affectation, but an ingrained, reflexive characteristic of a man who simply knows nothing else.
And, like the “bitter” comments, Obama’s bow to the king of Saudi Arabia probably wasn’t planned. Or, planned in a manner to specifically offend American audiences. Rather, it was an act that came to Obama naturally; an act of a third world cabinet minister showing the obeisance due to such a potentiate such as the king of Saudi Arabia. Moreover, it was beyond the incompetence of his staff that failed to brief Obama; probably not even imagining that Obama would be so unschooled in such etiquette that Americans do not bow to anyone.
Tens of thousands of Americans lie dead, having taken up arms to defend that very point. Starting with the dead that lay upon the Lexington Green in April 1775, we fought for a concept of liberty and equality that recognized that no one before God and before the institutions of our Republic stands above another. To hold an office of public trust only, temporarily, as the first among peers. But, never your superior. For, in reality, the electorate is ultimately your boss.
But, Obama never grew up in that environment. From the ages of six to ten, those first formative years as an elementary school student, were spent in Indonesia. A Muslim country, with a Muslim father where the young Obama was listed on governmental records as a Muslim. This was not the usual issue where the children of, say, military personnel, are schooled in American schools with a sense of America even in that foreign land. An island of America thousands of miles from home. Obama even attended a madrass during this period. I doubt that the young Obama, though technically a natural born US citizen, in those first ten years of life had any sense of being American.
And, so, this foreigner comes of age in America. He is attracted to socialism which is a truly foreign concept to America and American exceptionalism. Socialism arose in Europe in an environment of rigid social stratifications of royalty. Socialism was the disaffected’s answer, the rabble rouser’s answer to overturn that rigid social stratification. But, to overturn that rigid stratification with a new one with the once rabble rouser securely now occupying those upper tiers of that new system. Merely a coup to displace the old power structure with a new equally authoritarian power structure. One, in an egalitarian veneer, dispenses with such labels as king, duke or count and now replaces is with “minister of” or “president.”
So, our young, impressionable Obama seeks the company of vogue Marxist professors and aging radicals such as Ayers. He seeks a political system, the Chicago machine, that functions like a third-world banana republic. He seek religious solace from the like of Reverend Wright; who’s anti-semitism and anti-Americanism is the closest “Christian” theology to Islam.
But, along the way, Obama missed out on why those thousands of American now lie dead on countless battlefields; Lexington, Concord, Antietim, Gettysburg, Shiloh, Cantigny, Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood, Normandy, Bastogne. Obama missed out on the concept of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness as being gifts of God (not Allah). He missed out on the fundamental concept, reinforced by the conceit of an Ivy League education, that government is a servant of the people to create a framework of order and law to allow each individual to achieve his best. That it is the efforts of millions of individuals that define the state and not the state that defines the individual.
But, for all of his life, Obama lived outside that experience. And, instead of an American, an equal, with the authority of the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights behind him, prime minister Obama subordinated the greatness that is America. Subordinated the blood of thousands of Americans who made our founding documents more than just parchment and prostrated himself to a king.
To those who cared to look beyond the MSM smokescreen of the last election, this comes as no surprise. But, the evidence is all in that Barry’s nothing but a tax and spend liberal. We’ve got a budget outline that approached four trillion dollars. And, after congress gets through it will be four trillion since Barry on set a floor on his budget proposal and has a tacit understanding with Reid and Pelosi, to run the tab up even more since he’s going to sign anything.
Then, we have proposals for more than a trillion dollars in tax increases. The combined wet dreams of FDR, LBJ, Carter and Clinton, combined could not imagine such a number. Well, maybe Clinton.
And, then we have the other boiler plate to the standard liberal. The slow pre-emptive surrender to Islamic imperialism. In Iraq, all our enemies have to do is run the clock until August 2010. How’s that for telegraphing your attentions.
And gun control. It seems that his lacky at justice, Holder, is making noises about re-instating the so-called “assault-weapons” ban in part because assault weapons are flowing from the north into Mexico, supplying the drug lords in their civil war against the government. Never mind that Mexico is just this side of being a failed state. Of course, this stuff never came out of Obama himself. But, he like Pelosi, Reid and Schumer are just waiting…
Bait and switch. The true intentions covered up by a compliant press.
But, it is worse. If only we could have the day’s of Jimmy Carter. What we really have is not a president but the UN secretary general occupying the Oval Office. This man is a natural born citizen by virtue of the technicality of being born over US soil. But, he spent his first ten years of life abroad. Not at a military brat, who lived with a sense that he was a part of America. But, as a Muslim in Indonesia, including attendance to a madrass. So, not only did he live physically away from America, his upbringing was in a Muslim world-view; an antithesis of individual liberty which is the root of Western Civilization.
And, though he didn’t wind up practicing Islam. His choice of “Christianity” was the virulent anti-American, anti-semitic variant of the “Reverend” Wright.
So, to add to the cheap vote-buying ethics of a Chicago ward-heeler. So, to add to the fact that this man’s enitre adult life was living off other peoples’ money, extorting other people’s money. So, to add to the fact that this man never ran a business, hired employees or met a payroll. This man is now engaging in a third-world mentality of reducing his fellow citizens to the status of serf and subject.
Obama’s spending and tax proposals make a mockery of the notion of private property. These are whole sale expropriations of property that place him squarely in the company of Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez. No, the comparison isn’t meant as a compliment.
The patterns are coming clear about Obama’s world view and economic views. His stimulus plan falls into the pattern. No, Obama didn’t write it. But, he didn’t care so long as it spent a lot of money. And, it starts this nation down the past of big city machine politics.
What has been slowly metastizing from local, to state and now to the federal level is a model of governance that seeks to fleece some minority of taxpayers for the benefit of a given politician’s friends and allies. This was the model that to some degree afflicts almost every large city in our country. This has been the model of economic stagnation for the last century. Big city machine politics creates a voting bloc of 51 percent to steal from the other 49 percent; economic justice and fairness don’t you know. The 49 percent vote with their feet, leaving said city an economic wasteland. So, since that city can control a significant block of representatives in the state legislature, this same city machine needs to go further afield to find that 49 percent to tax, but at the state level. The net result is to saddle, at the state level, the same diastrous economic policies that now render that state an economic wasteland.
And, regions and states mimic stellar evolution going from the young blue-white star of economic vitality, to the to the aging red giant start of a state-wide economy where private sector economic activity is beginning to struggle to keep ahead of taxes and public spending. Then, there’s the black hole; the where the citizen is just regarded as a sheep to be fleeced and flayed to generate revenue for the sake of the friends and dependents of the ruling political machine.
And, this country is now littered with economic black holes. Whole metropolitan areas, whole states where governmental entities lurch from budget crisis to budget crisis in search of tax revenue to make it another year. States like New York, California or New Jersey. New York used to be a veritable hot house of economic activity and innovation. Corning, Kodak, Xerox, Westinghouse. Out on Long Island, yes on the same island that now hosts the oh so politically correct Hamptons, was Grumman, grinding out Hellcats and Wildcats that helped on our march to victory in the Pacific against imperial Japan. Victory, what a quaint term. Now, economic news out of Rochester consists of how many more layoffs are coming out of Xerox or Kodak. Meanwhile, back in Albany, you have the same set of buccaneers trying to figure how to pay off their constituencies by trying to find something else to tax. New Jersey, speaking of innovation, was where Thomas Edison invented and innovated.
California? What’s to say. Other than the fact that California seems to be the harbinger of trends that sweep the nation. Maybe, in the light of Hoover, when we are indeed thrown into a real depression, we can name our shantytowns Obamavilles or Pelosivilles.
But, after a century of this Ponzi scheme of creating coalitions of 51 percent to stick it to the other 49 percent, we only have one way to go. Now you have to take city-wide extortion that metastasized to state wide extortion to a national scale. And, somehow this model of economic extortion will now work on a federal level when it failed, over the long term, in various and sundry places at the local and state level. And, internationally, wherever socialism has pushed out free-markets.
And, yet, the President of Cool, the President of “change” comes to Washington D.C. to promote an economic model that is failing or failed in so many diverse places by doubling down and trying to promote this last-century economic of political machine bossism (socialism, American style) on the country at large. Yes, at this point, the productive 49 percent will no longer be able to vote with their feet, but they will vote with their cessation of productivity.
Sins of omission are venial; sins of commission are mortal. Except the sin of omission that allowed Obama, with a knowing wink from the MSM, to hide the true ideologic identity of his impending presidency during the last campaign. The omission was done wiht the intent to deceive; both Obama and the MSM knew that.
Change, change, change. That was not fair warning because every presidental candidate has always projected himself as such an agent. Seriously, when’s the last time a presidential candidate say “Vote for me because I’m a stick-in-the-mud like the guy I want to replace.”
No, this promise of “change” was purposely kept vague to hide an agenda that only now have become utterly manifest. An agenda that amounts to transforming America into a EU social-welfare democracy. To be sure the mask slipped a few times; the “spread the wealth” remark to Joe-the-plumber and Obama’s interview about bankrupting companies wanting to burn coal to generate electricity with “cap and trade.’
But, there was plenty of evidence that Obama was in the pocket of his socialist and Marxist mentors and professors. There was no way that Obama didn’t know what Bill Ayers true views and background were. He served as co-chair with Ayers on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to distribute some 100 million dollars of grant money. There was evidence all over that Obama was an unreconstructed Marxist from the beginning. But, like Carter, like Clinton, those embarrassing past fact were papered over by a compliant and fully knowing MSM. We knew more about a pregnant 17 year-old, who couldn’t even vote, because she happened to be the daughter of a vice-presidential candidate.
Then came January 20th and the most expensive bait-and-switch in world history was unveiled–the economic “stimulus” bill. This wasn’t creeping socialism; this was a full bore, in your face, coup d’etat. Jefferson, Madison, take a hike, you’re history.
So, now, the Democrats are trying to push this bill through before public opinion really trashes its chances of passage. As I write, three Republicans have broken ranks and the Senate version will probably pass tomorrow. I predict that the bill that will emerge from conference will merge the differences by authorizing spending for everything in the Senate and House versions; creating a bill that will almost definitely break a trillion dollars.
But, figures, especially one trillion, never lie and liars never figure. The silver lining is that this bill, if it passes, will expend the good will and credibility, almost entirely, of Obama’s nascent administration. All within the first month. Bait-and-switch has a way of pissing people off.
And, in the end, Obama will have been rolled, not by the GOP, but by his own party. And, the credibility that will be needed to try to enact the rest of his agenda will no longer be present.
The socialist revolution planned by Obama and company may have been upended by hubris. Hubris and the insularity of politicians that come from jurisdictions that sport one party rule and a whole lot of corruption on the side.
Let’s start with Pelosi. She’s busily and bravely taking bullets for Obama in pushing a frankly socialist remake of America. The results of her so-called stimulus plan is a grotesque caricature of the “tax and spend” liberal; so over the top that is will supply the likes of Jay Leno with jokes for the next century. It is a spending plan that puts the US into the realm of financial stewardship reflective of a banana republic. And, this, thankfully is its downfall; both of this particular piece of legislation and, hopefully, the rest of Obama’s agenda.
But, this grotesque spending plan is the product of a congresswoman who inhabits a district from San Francisco where her chances of being picked off by a Republican challenger is somewhat less than zero. This is the neighborhood of the Getty manse; the venue of Obama’s famous “bitter” remarks (except they really believe it there). Further, she has plenty of personal wealth, to augment her congressional perks of power to easily insulate her from any of the economic hard times now rocking many of her fellow Americans. The result is a completely tone deaf woman who thinks that cornering the condom market is economic stimulus.
The we have the exalted one; Obama. As I type, he’s had four key nominations in serious ethical trouble; one for pay to play and three for taxes. And, the grand solons of the MSM wring their hands as to how their exalted leader has such a flawed vetting process.
The real answer is again the arrogance and insulation that comes from operating in the corrupt one-party rule of the Chicago Democrat political machine. In Obama’s mind, there’s nothing wrong with his vetting because such vetting would be more than adequate in Chicago. In Chicago, everyone has ethical skeletons in the closet. To insist, in Chicago, on such things as being reasonable accurate with tax filing would amount to the pot calling the kettle black. I suspect, so conditioned to ethical lapses, that the Obama team never even realized that people outside the bubble that is Chicago machine politics may actually object to failing to report and pay hundred of thousands of dollars in taxes.
Obama, like many of his fellow traveller in the Democrat caucus, have lived their entire lives using other people’s money. Obama drew a salary as a ward heeler (the old fashioned term for “community organizer”). And, his employer, ACORN made its mark by extorting money for “free” home–the nidus of the sub prime meltdown. Through these activities, Obama was deemed worthy to co-chair the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to distribute $100 million dollars to selected friends and do nothing to do the stated goal of the Challenge, improve public education. This is the “executive” experience he now brings to the White House. Then on to the Illinois State legislature, the US Senate and now President. Obama’s a very wealthy man who never added one iota of wealth to the GDP.
And, while in Chicago, his only experience with economic policy is Chicago economic policy. The fine art of taxes and graft of the truly productive elements of the Northern Illinois economy; just enough squeeze but just short of the breaking point. The result is a miserably expensive place to live. Sales taxes hovering around ten percent. Property taxes, as compared to my home town, that aren’t just a lot more but a lot more by almost an order of magnitude.
Obama’s vice-president, Biden, got himself elected to the US Senate two years out of law school. Then kept getting re-elected and re-elected. The job in the Senate is the only job Biden’s held and only paycheck he’s has drawn for his entire adult life.
Then’s there’s Daschle. A man, since his exit from the Senate, who became a multi-millionaire trading in favors and connections. Again, wealth without one iota of economic growth or innovation. And, by the Biden’s standard of tax paying patriotism, Daschle is clearly un-American.
Yet, Obama, with a knowing wink, hands his legacy over to Pelosi, to write a “stimulus” bill that is a Trojan Horse for the down payment on the new Socialist America. To say the least, the gross excess is so excessive that it takes no effort to ridicule, it ridicules itself.
In the process, we find Obama getting rolled by both parties. First his “friends” in his party set him up with this “stimulus” and now the GOP is making him look like a fool for being within ten miles of this legislative dog. Our enemies are very astutely weighing this sterling example of presidential leadership. The real irony is that Obama is so bought into this “stimulus” that he’s practically committed to signing anything, including a pig with lipstick (couldn’t resist), that walks into the Oval Office with the word “stimulus” painted on it side.
Since his only “exeuctive” experience was giving money when chairiing the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, we have a man with none. This was not an exercise in delegation, it was abdication of responsibility to Pelosi and the solons of the House Democratic Cacaus. With similiar dithering on Gitmo, were going to just outsource torture.
At bottom, politics has rough principles of honesty. Everything in politics consists of verbal agreements; you’re only as good as your word. With fellow politicians and with the public. Everyone knows to discount a certain amount of verbal hyperbole, but the bait-and-switch that is the Obama-Pelosi-Reid troika is the result of three politicians that don’t have the grounding that there are a lot of people who still value the fact that your word is your bond.
In Chicago, there is essentially a breakdown of the rule of law. A cynisicism governs all things public; born of a knowledge that everything is for sale. And, it creates a seperation between those who nominally hold the public trust and those for whom they govern. there exists a seperateness that politicians live in their own world and the subjects do what they can, after paying tribute, to keep government at arm’s length. So inured is Chicago to this attitude that a politician like Obama can assume that this is just business as usual. But, outside Chicago, outside safely Gerrymandered congressional districts are people who will look upon the lies of these insulated politicians and vote to counter these liars.
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.
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.
Blagojevich and Chu. An unlikely pair, but the bookends that will define the Obama presidency. For a while, I was impressed with some of Obama’s appointments. Though unwilling, I was actually impressed that Obama may actually rule from the standpoint of a center-left coalition; that governing stance being forced by circumstances. I very much believe, had the Democrats managed to rack up 60 senators, that Obama would have gone wild with his fondest left-left wet dreams.
But, Obama’s real affiliations, proclivities and associations keep coming back; like Banquo’s ghost. And, so we have the two sides of the true Obama represented in Blagojevich and Chu. In the former, we have Obama, the loyal Chicago machine hack. And, in the latter, we have the utterly disconnected academic; governance by midnight dorm room bull session.
Blagojevich will define the seamy and corrupt side of Obama. Obama isn’t clean; just cleaner than the average Chicago politician. He has been a faithful foot soldier; and has been rewarded for that faithfulness. He started as a ward heeler; er, community organizer. His big test was the distribution of tens of millions of graft as a co-chair (the other was Bill Ayers) of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. And, spread graft he did with not an iota of academic improvement. Perfect for Chicago. Get money to your friends but don’t solve a problem that might risk having dependent constituencies actually having the means to improve themselves.
He then moved to the Illinois State House. And, courtesy king making from the president of the Illinois State Senate, Emil Jones, Obama was elevated to the US Senate. All along, Obama has toed the line. Toed the line in supporting Blagojevich for election in 2002, then again in 2006. And, when corruption shook the Cook County Board, a word from Obama might have been instrumental in electing a reform candidate to Cook County President. But, Obama held firm in supporting machine candidate, Todd Stroger.
And, so, like Paul Henreid, Obama is shocked, shocked to discover his Senate seat up for sale to the highest bidder. But, don’t be shocked, scocked to see scandal after scandal rising up from his past in the fevered swamps of Chicago politics.
Now we get to the other bookend. Dr. Chu just appointed as the Secretary of Energy. (And, by the way, just why do we have a department of pumping gas? Can’t the Department of the Interior handle that? All you have to do is hand out drilling leases. There, problem solved and it didn’t even require me to fly to Stockholm to get a gold medal.) He’s got accomplishments, smart, a real multi-cultural Camelot best-and-brightest.
But. But, what does he know about our aging nuclear arsenal. What’s he willing to do to maintain it, upgrade it and test it to see if it remains functional? What’s he going to do to maintain our disappearing nuclear weapon infrastructure? Freedom in the world rests on the America’s military and the cornerstone of our military is our nuclear arsenal. This is a guy who’s going to lecture us on preferring to spend $1000 on a granite kitchen counter top than on improving our home’s energy efficiency. This is a guy who protested global warming by climbing up a tree at the University of California at Berkeley for Vanity Fair Magazine . Iran can give up it’s nuclear program because ours is going to rust away into complete non-functionality.
While this guy is brilliant in the laboratory, what experience does he have in taking these lab findings off the lab bench and out into the world. Because, if he’s so set on freeing us from burning hydrocarbons, he going to have to do more than pose in a tree for a magazine.
Because, making policy and issuing “environmentally friendly” diktats from Washington are going to run head long into the real world of economics and thermodynamics. Realities that solar panels and wind power will not begin to address energy needs that hydrocarbons and nuclear power now handle so well. Realities like $4 gasoline really matters to a lot of people who don’t have a six-figure sinecure in the California University system. Realities that global warming is simply a humbug.
Realities that we’ve had steam cars and electric cars from the day the horseless carriage came forth. Railroad locomotives, for the last half century are powered by a diesel engine powering an electrical generator that then powers motors that make the locomotive move–a diesel Prius without batteries that runs on tracks. There’s nothing new under the sun; it just a lot of engineers just as smart as Chu have already worked through all of these ideas. Burning a cheap, plentiful commodity, oil, is the best way to get around.
Back in the cold snows of Iowa, Obama commiserated over the cost of arugula at Whole Foods. Now, we have a whole cabinet socked full the arugula-at-Whole-Foods crowd. And, some of them, especially from Chicago, fund their arugula cravings by selling Senate seats.
Mr. Katz of Urgent Agenda notes that Obama’s picks for his incoming administration are causes of worry, but also relief. There is, at least, a certain seriousness to these picks that reflects that Obama is playing in an entirely new league. Perhaps the biggest criticism beyond some of the personal baggage, Holder comes to mind, that we have an administration that is being stacked with that slice America that got double 800’s on their SAT’s. Or, the inverse of the late Buckley, with rule by the Harvard faculty rather than the first hundred names out of the Cambridge phone directory.
One can only hope, for all of the stellar academic credentials, that these advisers will have the humility to realize that they can never craft policy that will anticipate the needs of 300 million Americans. Or, that this isn’t the purpose or business of government. One hopes that they will remember enough of Econ 101 to realize that economic growth is the only solution to this economic melt down. Meaning that the Joe-the-plumbers will need to be protected and supported from crushing taxes and regulation. That creating, not spreading, wealth is what lies between a brief recession and a depression.
As McCain’s father said, history is made by poker players and not analysts. We’ll see what these people will do in time of crisis where you will have to take a lifetime of experience and react; and hope that reaction is a reflection of carefully thought out positions that you will not, in that moment of crisis, have the time to think through in a linear fashion. A crisis moment that will force you to act from the gut because you will not have to time to analyze.
More interestingly, Obama almost seems like the young prince Hal who now casts off Falstaff as he assumes the mantle of power as Henry V. Did Obama, in his 20 or so years in the Chicago machine, “know you all” and for a while “upheld the unyoked humor of their idleness.” Of Ayers, Wright, Rezko. Is he, therefore, a radical or truly a centrist? Are his centrist tendencies, of late, of choice or circumstance? A thin resume and now we know even less.
All very cynical, of course. But, there’s that adage that fulfilling your friendship needs in Washington can only be done reliably with a dog.
I also suspect that Obama realizes that his legacy is not getting elected but getting elected and performing as president to his getting re-elected. To be the first black president means he can’t go out as a failure like Hoover or Carter; to go out as the first black president who screwed up. No longer does he have the comfort of spouting out pronouncement that have little impact in a safe district controlled by the Chicago political machine. I rather suspect, particularly in handoff briefings on security, that he came into contact with intelligence that would instantly age anyone ten years in ten minutes.
And, that Falstaff comes with multiple faces; principally Reid and Pelosi. But, the biggest hurdle to succeeding as president will be his putative allies in Congress. Already, they are lining up an agenda that will drive the country over the cliff. He needs, above all, an economy that can pull it self out of a recession.
The meltdown and recession that got Obama elected, is a mixed blessing because it is like a wounded animal that can turn on you in a minute. This is already Obama’s economy and his recession. This is no longer the crisis that can be used to push other agendas. This is a stand-alone crisis that will ultimately drag Obama down; and must be addressed regardless of the rest of his campaign wish list.
But, the solons of Congress, who control its committees have a very different idea. They, from safe seats and with very parochial agendas will use this crisis to pursue other agendas. The biggest warning sign is the ouster of Dingell by Waxman. Waxman, too marinated in the money and celebrity of Beverly Hills, is about to wave a magic wand and decree that we will all live a life of perfection by junking the burning of fossil fuels and embrace our inner windmill. In the insular world of Beverly Hills, far removed the concerns of Americans that actually live paycheck to paycheck, is a world that doesn’t think about how food, energy, transportation all come to their doorsteps. These are things brought in by the “help.” In a world of Rodeo-Drive-chinchilla-bedspreads it matters not that the “help” actually shops at Wal-mart to squeeze value out of every last penny of their paychecks.
Yet, here is Waxman, ready to push cap and trade. The costs and economic distortions of this program alone is sufficient to tank this economy into a depression.
And, we have Frank who can’t wait to get started on cutting our defense budget by 25 percent. And, we all breathe a sigh of relief that, on the Senate side, Bingaman has just announced that a new gas tax will be deferred.
I’m beginning to think, through his choices of advisors, that Obama realizes that he’s on his own. Ayers might be good company for an all-night dorm room bull session. But, he’s got his legacy on the line and that’s already being seriously threatened.
As a conservative, I’m sure that a lot of what Obama does is going to give me a lot of heartburn. But, he’s our President. And, for the sake of our country, he needs to succeed by making the right choices. It is good, therefore, that he’s bringing in serious people. Leftist in orientation, but, hopefully, with a degree of education to bring objectivity that such an education should engender.
The Democratic overreaching begins. It looks like Waxman is going to oust Dingell as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. What we have is the hard left of the Democratic party driving policy; in this case energy policy with complete obeisance to the environmentalists. Translation, global warming with cap and trade.
So, just when the economy is tanking, we’re going to be faced with artificially high energy prices to “encourage” us to switch to “alternate, green” energy. This encouragement will be in the form of the return of four-dollar plus gasoline. If this represents a pattern we’ll see more killer tax and spending policies coming out of other parts of Pelosi’s Congressional Empire.
Obama’s, like pirate Jack Sparrow, has just been tossed up on a desert isle with a pistol and one bullet. He’s all alone. What Obama will have to realize is that his getting into subsidized housing on 1600 Pennsylvania is all and the entire bone that the Democratic leadership is willing to give to its black constituency. As far as they’re concerned, the legacy of Obama is getting elected. Whether he’s successful in his own right is not their problem.
From Pelosi’s and Reid’s point-of-view, picking off enough Republican Senate and Congressional seats and putting Obama in the White House was to give them the running room to pass their agenda. And, in particular, before any backlash in the 2010 mid-term elections, jam as much stuff through this two-year window of opportunity. For Pelosi in particular, and her power barons in the House leadership, being almost immune to any voter backlash, they will have their agenda and to hell with the other rats, Democratic and Republican, on the sinking ship. Obama’s going to have to realize he’s one of those rats that Pelosi could give a rat’s ass about.
Obama’s no longer from a safe seat. His legacy, if he wants a positive one, will require more that being a first in the form of high melanin content. He will need a track record of accomplishment to secure a real place in the history books. A record of accomplishment that will secure him a second term. A record of accomplishment that will allow him to retain running room with regards to working with congress. A record of accomplishment that will allow him to pull a country out of a recession and not degenerate into a depression; and not have his one-term presidency tarred as Hoover II (or Carter II).
In short, Obama will need to realize that he no longer lives in the bubble of pre-ordained elections of the Chicago Democratic machine. He needs to truly in the center and start playing football between the 40 yard lines. Frankly, he need Senator McConnell, his GOP caucus and enough blue-dog Democrats to form a governing coalition. Reid, Pelosi, Dodd, Schumer, Frank, Rangell are not his friends.
First, it was the big press conference last Friday. The one with all the big-shot executives lining the stage behind him; looking almost like the line up of the old Soviet commie-party big-shots on Lenin’s tomb on the May Day parade. Now, we have news that Obama is trying to get Bush to push a big auto bail-out before he takes office. What’s with President ultra-cool’s sudden attachment to gray-haired honkies who dress like Republicans. You know that Obama’s beginning to realize that he really got a lot more than he bargained for on November 4th.
He’s got an economy that’s tanking and, now with Detroit, he’s got one piece of the economy that really counts since he’s got to throw a lifeline to his buddies in the UAW. Giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, that he is indeed a student of history, I suspect that he realizes that he inherits the mantle of power as Hoover and not FDR.
He was supposed to waltz into the Oval Office and like Divine Caesar distribute largess to his adoring masses (there was a reason for the pillars at Denver, too bad he didn’t wear a toga). Largess from the wealth of a nation that hasn’t known a serious downturn since Reagan. ACORN and Ayers were to finally reap the benefits of the Long March from the days of Weatherman radicalism to the peak of power of the Presidency. Now, their acolyte, Obama, would dispense free abortions, free medical care, free day care and reparations. Never mind the three R’s, our children would be brainwashed with rain-forest-math. This was the election that would push America past the tipping point to a new future as the newest member of the EU. The New Socialist Man finally stepped onto the shores of America.
But, there’s a short shelf-life to Obama’s slight of hand. A slight of hand that needed to be pulled off before the American public gets over its November 4th temper tantrum. Obama, Reid and Pelosi have about a six-month window of opportunity to jam their socialist remake of America through.
Except. We got a little wrinkle in the plan. Six weeks before the election, the cupboard was stripped clean; thanks to ACORN and the Community Reinvestment Act. And Freddie. And Fannie. The symbiotic parasitic relationship between ACORN and our economy will no longer work.
Moreover, the ACORN economic paradigm of economic redistribution works on two assumptions. The first is that you have a booming economy that will provide the slack to allow you to sell the snake oil of redistribution. You have a time when everyone is so flush, that they’ll just pay you to just go away; kinda like when a bunch of ACORN activists, Alinsky-style, would make a lot of noise in your bank lobby. And, you had enough economic slack to sell the conceits of such enviro-idiocies as global warming, cap-and-trade and very expensive battery powered cars.
The second assumption is that you have the economic slack to extort. Now, all of a sudden, you need to keep the old car running since you don’t have the dinero to run down to Toyota for your Prius. All of a sudden, you need to do icky things like drill for oil, here, because gas over two dollars per gallon is really getting expensive. Now, you need to put down that Starbucks Latte and actually sully your hands doing dirty uncool tasks that you used to outsource to some third-world country swarming with inconsequential people like the one you hire to mow your lawn (or some “bitter” rubes in Western Pennsylvania). Now, all of a sudden, having a job, never mind the carbon footprint, is what really matters.
All of a sudden Obama’s glib rhetoric is starting to catch up. Comments trashing small businessmen like Joe-the-Plumber. Or, glib comments of using cap-and-trade to bankrupt the coal industry. The market is listening and taking Obama at his word. And, it is dwindling.
Instead of a bunch of suits from established corporations, all having their fingers in the federal pie, Obama needed to have a bunch of Joe-the-Plumbers on stage at his last Friday’s new conference. He needed, onstage, not the Bill Gates of 2008, but the Bill Gates of 1980, when Microsoft overturned the world of IBM and lived to tell. But, who wants icky Joe up on the stage; he of such piddling attainments compared to Obama’s oh-so lofty intellectual stature from Columbia, Harvard and the University of Chicago. Come on, what business does a plumber, for God’s sake, have poking his nose in such deep economic matters that only the Messiah can hope to understand.
If Obama is more of a student of history than Biden, besides realizing that FDR didn’t get on a yet-to-be-invented TV in 1929, he’d realize, that from 1929 to 1932, it was Hoover who mismanaged the economy. And, he now stands in Hoover’s, and not FDR’s, shoes. But, Barry, never you mind my senseless pratings and you just “manage” the economy just like Hoover. You just do a Smoot and Hawley and kill free trade. Come 2012, Sarah Palin is going to do to you what FDR did to Hoover in 1932.
One of the brilliant features of the electoral college is a built-in check against voter fraud. Or, to make fraud truly effective, one would need to do so in 51 different geographical locations. Even with ACORN going national, that’s still a daunting task. The simple fact is that stealing votes in Chicago will only net the electors of Illinois, no matter how many votes cast in Chicago. Whereas if presidential elections were done by popular vote, every fraudulent vote would count.
But, were ACORN and their allies can truly cause damage is in the three remaining and undecided elections for the Senate; Alaska, Georgia and Minnesota. Here we have elections close enough that fraudulent activities of even a few thousand votes, or a few hundred in Minnesota, can make a difference. A difference, indeed, since these three elections will determine whether the GOP can mount meaningful opposition to the legislative testosterone of the Democratic majorities of the House and Senate with a compliant Oval Office.
The last time the Democrats had a filibuster proof Senate was the 95th congress of 1977-79. The one that, with Carter at the helm, gave us the Community Development Act, the origin of the current subprime mortgage mess.
Already, there are signs of a stolen election in Minnesota. Given a vote differential of only 500 votes, this one is an easy one to steal especially since the Minnesota Secretary of State is a creature of ACORN. And, indeed, one hundred votes here and one hundred vote there start to pop up for Frankin. How convenient since the entire process is counted electronically by an optical scanner.
If this was such a transformational election, then Senate and House majorities would have reflected such. But, using Obama’s vote tallies, he got on 52% in another 50-50 nation election. He’s the first Democratic candidate to even break 50% since Carter in 1976–32 years ago. And, frankly, the three remaining Senate contests would have swept Democratic. But, it didn’t. It didn’t because there may have been a temper tantrum to throw punish the party that currently holds the White House, but there isn’t a socialist mandate.
As tight as they may be, those elections and the check of filibuster must stand. To overturn these elections by fraud will slowly create a lawless that stems a society wide disrespect for the rule of law. You only need to travel to Chicago, were a century or more of corrupt Democratic machine politics creates such a causal disregard for the law. Due process is reduced to cutting deals, lubricated by cash. Elections are pre-ordained; the real outcome being determined in the Democratic primary. It is not a place that attracts new economic growth. It is a very expensive place to live. It coasts on the momentum of being, for the present, the 3rd largest city in the country. For a bright young federal prosecutor, a treasure trove of corruption convictions to burnish any career.
What with a beyond biased MSM, shady fund raising, questionable past associations never truly vetted, this election was rigged enough to call into question, even Obama’s victory. It needs to end on at least the positive note, that in these three remaining elections, of some modicum of integrity of an honest ballot.