August 25, 2015
He'll Always Have Cillizza
No doubt, like Chris Cillizza, your first concern over a worldwide capital meltdown was "gosh, I sure hope this does not reflect poorly on President Obama."
Twitchy collects the responses: "'Dear Leader will be OK': WaPo 'hackery' puts America's fears at ease during market plunge"
August 12, 2015
World Socialism, thy name is "Sustainability"
To the unsuspecting, sustainability is just a new name for environmentalism. But the word marks out a new and larger ideological territory in which it is claimed curtailing economic, political, and intellectual liberty is the price that must be paid to ensure the welfare of future generations.
This is from the executive summary [PDF] of a new report by the National Association of Scholars. Never heard of them? Me either. The report is titled: 'Sustainability - Higher Education's New Fundamentalism.'
They call it "fundamentalism" because examination, investigation, discussion and debate are forbidden. The "science is settled." The doctrine is final. The living must be harmed so that "the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" is not compromised. [The sustainability movement makes no mention of how aborting them in the womb compromises the needs of the members of those future generations.]
The sustainability movement began in 1987 with a UN report - "Our Common Future" and has metastasized into 1438 degree programs at 475 colleges and universities worldwide. Interestingly, the majority of them - 1274 or some 95 percent - are in the United States; at least one such program in every one of our 50 united states. So the camp of this ideological enemy of freedom and liberty and, yes, science, is not across the Atlantic, but here on our own soil.
Thank you National Academy of Scholars for exposing the nature and scope of this movement and the professional organization "Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education" (AASHE) that promotes the fully immoral idea that "we" are not as important as some unknown and non-existent "future we."
And they have the nerve to criticize believers in "unknown and non-existent" deities.
June 18, 2015
Not Burying the Lede
Nearly five years after passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, mounting evidence suggests that the law may not be achieving either end. -- July Kelly and Jeff Stier WSJ Ed PageShocked face!
UPDATE: No, I am not done. William Easterly, call your office!
Even though lunches are "free," they are so unappetizing thanks to new nutrition standards that much food is thrown away. "It is horrible," one inner-city principal, responsible for 1,200 students and 10,000 meals a week, told us. "It is just heartbreaking how much food is thrown away."
May 22, 2015
Obama's Coast Guard Audience
When President Obama named human caused Climate Change as the cause of "an immediate risk to our national security" in his address to the graduating class of the Coast Guard Academy this week, something tells me his intended audience was folks like CNN's Juliette Kayyem.
Skeptics of these global seismic shifts are not simply denying science, they are denying safety and security. Until we recognize -- with the immediacy we would if a nation launched missiles against our cities -- that climate change isn't something that can be debated, but must be mitigated or, failing that, adapted to, we will not expend the effort or resources to prepare ourselves to the one phenomenon that we know is coming: simply, the waters are rising and this is a war.
Got that? The risk of climate change demands the same immediacy as a missile launch against our cities.
But the Arabic speaking world* has a much different perspective on the President's priorities.
*The owner of the video admits "Folks.......this a spoof. It was never intended to be taken as a legitimate news report. Obviously two things are at play here. One, I did the job too well. Two, we have come to the stage in the Obama presidency where quite literally..........anything is possible"
h/t: KHOW's Mandy Connell
May 13, 2015
Sorry to see him lose one.
One of the great things about President Obama (a phrase I use so frequently, I have it stored as a macro) now where was I?
One of the great things about President Obama is his ineptness a legislator. I am reminded of Robert A Caro's "Passage of Power." (Have I mentioned those Caro books as being pretty good?) President Kennedy was twice the legislator President Obama is, but few of his initiatives made it through Congress. Sen. Richard Russell's (Rule 52 - GA) Senate successfully bottled everything. LBJ assumed the reins and thought it his duty to complete his slain boss's legislative agenda. The "Master of the Senate" twisted arms, cajoled, threatened, horse-traded, &c. Pretty soon the JFK package was completed by LBJ.
Our current president has zero faculty for this. He never passed anything the Senate. He is bright enough that I am certain he understands the basics of how it works. But he has not one whiff of LBJ's knowledge of how it really works. As one who opposes most of his agenda, we're generally fortunate in this lacuna.
But this week I wanted him to win on Asian trade. And he muffed it. The WSJ Ed Page blames its failure completely on his bad governing style; I find myself in no mood to rush to his defense.
The 52-45 liberal blockade doesn't mean trade-promotion authority is dead. But preventing a setback from becoming a rout will require a Republican salvage operation to rescue Mr. Obama from the consequences of his governing methods.
Again, a bit of blue-on-blue usually calls for popcorn. And after watching President Reagan's Bergen-Belsen Speech on YouTube this weekend, hearing the world's greatest gorram orator saying "they're like whooping on me" is peculiar fun. But this is enabling the worst factions of both parties -- and damaging the economy.
Then again, maybe liberals got greedy as a result of Mr. Obama's own economics of resentment. He has spent six years demeaning the benefits of free markets--on taxes, entitlements, labor markets and much else--only to do a 180-reversal on trade. His liberal fellow-travellers have a point when they ask if this is the same Obama who denigrated free trade in 2008.
Dude can't even make me happy when he loses. Guess I am a hater.
UPDATE: Somebody say "Internecine?"
The White House is pushing back at the suggestion that President Barack Obama‘s pointed disagreements with Sen. Elizabeth Warren on trade were related to her gender -- publicly telling another prominent Democrat that he should apologize for the suggestion.
May 6, 2015
Interesting, ThreeSources-ish argument in today's Morning Jolt [subscribe]. Jim Geraghty asks "How Much Can a President Shape America's Culture?"
Stephen Miller contended that Barack Obama is indeed the most powerful figure in American culture right now, and that if you don't like where our culture is going, it is impossible to change direction without a dramatically different figure in the Oval Office.
I tipped my hat in the headline. As Dr. Ben Carson and ThreeSources-fave Gov. Mike Huckabee (Bass - AR) enter the 2016 GOP field, I think the party faces the George W Bush question: do we want government to butt out or to promote the things we like.
It's easy to give a reflexive libertarian answer -- especially after Gov. Huckabee's name is invoked -- but in the wake of the cultural devastation of two terms of President Obama, I can see the appeal.
April 30, 2015
Not Enough Global Warming to Support The President's Agenda
I saw a pair of juxtaposed tweets, but Taranto's presenting two stories seems more damning:
That crappy GDP growth? Too damn cold!
Growth in the first quarter of 2015 was restrained by a historically harsh winter. This quarter was only the fourth in 60 years on record with three or more snowstorms sufficiently severe to be rated by the National Climatic Data Center's Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS). In addition, as measured by heating degree days, this quarter was the third coldest in twenty years. Indeed, winter weather likely reduced both consumption and investment, contributing to this quarter's below-trend output growth. The historical relationship between weather and first-quarter growth suggests that weather may have reduced annualized growth by about a full percentage point this quarter (similar to estimates by Macroeconomic Advisers and Goldman Sachs). Also, first-quarter growth has been especially weak in recent years even after seasonal adjustment, averaging 0.3 percent per year over the past five years as compared with 2.9 percent for Q2 through Q4. This observation at least partially reflects generally worsening weather over the past decade, which may not yet be accounted for in seasonal-adjustment algorithms. While some output lost due to weather may not be regained, many forecasters expect that much of the lost demand from the first quarter will be diverted toward the second.
Fair enough. But Climate Change -- Too Damn Hot!
April 27, 2015
President Obama's Legacy
I now know what the eight years of the Barack Hussein Obama presidency will be remembered for, and our lefty friends aren't going to like it. Not because I'm about to bash Obama again - in fact, I will praise him (faintly.) Obama's legacy will not be national health care, wage equality, Mideast peace or even "stopping the rise of the oceans" although he will actually "do" this. (More later.) Instead, it will be the start of a new era of peace and prosperity across the globe.
The United States is poised to flood world markets with once-unthinkable quantities of liquefied natural gas as soon as this year, profoundly changing the geo-politics of global energy and posing a major threat to Russian gas dominance in Europe.
"We?" Yes, President Obama's energy secretary is attaching his boss to this effort. The faint praise I promised lies in the fact that he allowed the LNG export terminal permits to be issued. He is "responsible" for the coming 'copious carbon energy for a pittance' revolution to the extent that he didn't try to stand in its way. (Although it likely would have flattened him the way his EPA is attempting to flatten the coal industry.)
America's parallel drive for shale oil is equally breath-taking. Scott Sheffield, head of Pioneer Natural Resources, said his company has discovered huge reserves in the vast Permian Basin of West Texas.
So this revival, this oil and gas "renaissance" started "seven years ago." Circa June 4, 2008, i.e. "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." And as soon as the Global Warming Policy Center's "Blue Ribbon Panel" determines that global warming is a mirage of misguided scientific error corrections, President Obama can take credit for that too. But the accomplishment that will be remembered - the real change that makes real changes in the lives of real people - is cheap and abundant energy worldwide. And like the birth of liberty and prosperity that came in the 20th century, this one will also be a uniquely American creation.
Fracking is still an almost exclusive preserve of North America, and is likely to remain so into the early 2020s. China has large ambitions but the volumes are still tiny, and there is a shortage of water in key areas. Fracking remains mere talk in most other regions of the world.
Or in Erie, Colorado.
This is as unlikely a legacy as anyone could have imagined for a president who, as candidate, bragged that electricity costs would "necessarily skyrocket" as a result of his policy goals designed to promote alternatives to oil and gas. But given the bareness of the cupboard in his presidential library storeroom, I suspect he will gladly take it - deserved or not.
April 20, 2015
The Real Problem in Iran.
I disappointed blog siblings last week.
Apologies all around, but I cannot see meaningful progress in foreign policy while President Obama is in office. It is not that he is some Kenyan, anti-Colonialist, Socialist plant. He is a bit of an Arabist in the mold of President Carter, a pacifist/appeaser in the mold of the Harvard Faculty Lounge, and he refuses to let foreign expenditures affect his domestic agenda: we'll have no less butter because of guns.
Blog patron-saint Natan Sharansky has a column in the WaPo today which cleaves to the real issue. "When did America forget that it's America?" Sharansky compares the moral certitude of our objection to Soviet totalitarianism to moral ambivalence against Iran:
I am afraid that the real reason for the U.S. stance is not its assessment, however incorrect, of the two sides' respective interests but rather a tragic loss of moral self-confidence. While negotiating with the Soviet Union, U.S. administrations of all stripes felt certain of the moral superiority of their political system over the Soviet one. They felt they were speaking in the name of their people and the free world as a whole, while the leaders of the Soviet regime could speak for no one but themselves and the declining number of true believers still loyal to their ideology.
You cannot fix this with Corker-Menendez, or a letter to the Ayatollah.
April 7, 2015
Harvard Prof: My Former Student, President Obama, is "Misguided" on Climate Regulation
Mr. Tribe dismissed the criticism and said that his brief and comments reflect his views as a constitutional scholar, not as a paid advocate for the coal company. "I'm not for sale," he said. "I'll say what I believe."
"I feel very comfortable with my relationship with Peabody," he added. "Somebody wanted my help and it happened to coincide with what I believe."
So one must choose - he can be a scholar or he can defend commerce qua commerce - but not both.
Next week Mr. Tribe is to deliver oral arguments for Peabody in the first federal court case about Mr. Obama's climate change rules. Mr. Tribe argues in a brief for the case that in requiring states to cut carbon emissions, thus to change their energy supply from fossil fuels to renewable sources, the E.P.A. is asserting executive power far beyond its lawful authority under the Clean Air Act. At a House hearing last month, Mr. Tribe likened the climate change policies of Mr. Obama to "burning the Constitution."
Clearly this is stinging the Rube Movement, and more than just a little.
"Whether he intended it or not, Tribe has been weaponized by the Republican Party in an orchestrated takedown of the president's climate plan," said one former administration official.
Weaponized? If so, it is indisputably as a countermeasure to the president's climate plan for mass economic destruction.
It is widely expected that the fight over the E.P.A. regulations will eventually go before the Supreme Court. If it does, Mr. Tribe said that he expects he "may well" play a role in that case -- which would be argued before two other former students, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Elena Kagan.
Is it possible then that Tribe was retained by Peabody in a strategy to intimidate the high court in favor of "a corporate agenda -- specifically, the mining and burning of coal?" Sure, that's possible. And it's also possible that one branch of government strangling an entire economic sector against the will and without the complicity of other branches really is like "burning the Constitution."
UPDATE: Furthermore, strangling an entire economic sector, or a specific corporation, or even an individual, is the very thing that a "Republican form of government" guaranteed by the Constitution [Article IV, Section 4] was intended to prevent - by a single branch or even, indeed, by all three in concert! It was to be, a minimal state.
The minimal state treats us as inviolate individuals, who may not be used in certain ways by others as means or tools or instruments or resources; it treats us as persons having individual rights with the dignity this constitutes. Treating us with respect by respecting our rights, it allows us, individually or with whom we choose, to choose our life and to realize our ends and our conception of ourselves, insofar as we can, aided by the voluntary cooperation of other individuals possessing the same dignity. How dare any state or group of individuals do more. Or less.
March 26, 2015
Press Conferences We'd Like to See
Real question from Jonathan Karl, ABC News's White House correspondent :
Karl: Josh, just a quick one first on Yemen. I know you're asked this every time something terrible happens in Yemen. But now that we have essentially complete chaos in Yemen, does the White House still believe that Yemen is the model for a counterterrorism strategy?
jk's imagined answer:
Earnest: Hell Jon, the White House continues to believe that ObamaCare® is a success!
James Taranto offers the real answer -- and it's worse.
March 18, 2015
Who will be the first GOP presidential aspirant to follow suit?
March 4, 2015
The rise of partisanship is a hot topic these days and now we learn, even the Nobel Committee is not immune
Mr Jagland had attracted criticism after overseeing a number of controversial of awards, including ones made to Barack Obama in 2009 - less than a year after the U.S. president took office - to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010 and to the European Union in 2012.
Perhaps Norwegian voters felt the Nobel awards had become too partisan for their taste.
Deeds not words
No links to back up my assertions this time, although I looked. The video excerpt of National Security Advisor Susan Rice's speech to AIPAC most often posted is the one where she "proves" that her boss' bad deal with Iran is a good deal because she repeats the mantra "no deal is better than a bad deal."
In the same speech she said, and I have to paraphrase because I'm going from memory of seeing her say it on FNC yesterday morning - "We must judge Iran by its actions and not its words." By "words" we can consider those of Iran's president when he said, "And God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism." Setting aside for now the Islamic Republic of Iran's military exercise to sink a 1/100th scale model of a US aircraft carrier at the peak of "negotiations," this advice is quite sound. Many recent examples of deeds not matching words support Ms. Rice's statement. One such example is quite well known - "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."
February 26, 2015
Will there be an Internet tomorrow?
Or will the 'net be neutered?
The American people deserve--and have requested--an open and transparent FCC process. Recent polls show that 73 percent of Americans want greater disclosure of the details of the FCC's proposal to regulate the Internet, and nearly eight in ten favor public disclosure of the exact wording and details of the proposal before the FCC votes on it. Indeed, Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly just today called for exactly this--the public release of the 332-page order and a temporary delay of the vote. Nonetheless, citing past Commission practice, you refused to publicly release the text of the 332-page draft order. In a past rulemaking of similar magnitude, however, the Chairman did publicly release the rule prior to a vote. This was done in response to congressional requests, including calls from then-Senator Barack Obama . -- House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (HOSS - UT)
February 13, 2015
So What's the Deal with Obama's AUMF Anyway?
Well, you could read this article from The Hill, or you can just let me explain it to you:
President Obama, under intense public pressure to respond to Islamist State atrocities that have been splashed across American televisions off and on for many months, announced a campaign to "degrade and defeat ISIL" using air strikes and foreign troops trained by American soldiers. He claimed that a congressional resolution from 2001 (you know, after 9/11 when even Democrats were willing to deploy our military) gave him the legal authorization for this new campaign.
Since that half-hearted plan isn't succeeding, congressional Republicans have been critical of the President. To shut them up he has asked them to vote for a new authorization, that he's said he doesn't need, to keep doing the same thing he's already doing. If they approve it, they own his strategy. If they defeat it, they are to blame when the thing he's already doing doesn't work because, he will say, "I asked for authorization to confront ISIL directly and Republicans in congress said 'no.'"
So essentially, it's a complete waste of time for everyone except Obama, who needs a political cover strategy. And it scares the crap out of congressional Democrats who, like Nancy Pelosi, "would hope that we could find common ground to have bipartisan support for how we protect and defend the American people" while at the same time contending that "a provision to bar 'enduring offensive ground combat operations' is too vague and could allow for U.S. troops to be sent into the field." Sure wouldn't want to risk war in the service of "defend[ing] the American people" would we? Nosirree.
January 29, 2015
All Hail Taranto!
Holy War by Any Other Name Would Smell as Wretched
President Obama's official spokesman as much as said, "the Taliban are not a terrorist organization." His administration refuses to acknowledge that Islamic terrorism (or "extremism") is related in any way to the Islamic religion. But as Investors' Ed page reminds, the Muslim holy war goes way back, to at least 1991:
This is the same Muslim Brotherhood whose strategic goal, according to a 1991 memorandum by one of its operatives, is "eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
Some serious parsing of the words "eliminating, destroying and victorious" is required to evade the existential threat to human liberty which this portends. This, Muslim religious war with civilization.
Click through on the IBD link to read about how Muslim Brotherhood Egyptians hostile to the pro-western Egyptian army leadership were welcomed to the Obama State Department, while Bibi is shunned. Stunning.
January 28, 2015
He's a Uniter!
There are no Red States and Blue States -- The are only the United States! And they all hate President Obama's plan to tax 529 education accounts.
The decision came just hours after House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio demanded the proposal be withdrawn from the president's budget, due out Monday, "for the sake of middle-class families." But the call for the White House to relent also came from top Democrats, including Representatives Nancy Pelosi of California, the minority leader, and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking member of the Budget Committee.
Hat-tip Jim Geraghty [subscribe] who adds a link to the Speaker's Touchdown Dance.
UPDATE: Reason sees the death of the Welfare State:
The political optics of the plan were flat-out terrible for Obama, who put forth the proposal in the context of a State of the Union address built around the theme of Middle Class Economics. The gist was that Obama proposed taxing the wealthy in order to pay for new middle class benefits, like free community college tuition.
January 21, 2015
Dan Savage doesn't get a lot of play on ThreeSources, but...
I caught most of the SOTU performance tonight, in a re-run after a late hockey game. (We won in a shootout after a 4-4 tie.) I'm now moved to comment on some of the most important aspects. ... Did Boehner really wear a PURPLE tie? Come on, man!
January 15, 2015
All Hail Taranto's Fans!
January 14, 2015
This is a red letter day. I don't remember the last time I linked to an old BerkeleySquareJazz blog post. And I didn't remember it being that long ago, but I did recall this post (and its awesome photo of a young woman holding the paramount sign from the protestwarrior.com collection) when our president refused to link arms with the rest of the political leaders of the free world last weekend.
What a difference a decade makes. Investors' Ed Page goes into more detail about the new normal in 'France, For Now at Least, Gets Realistic on War on Terror.'
Time will tell whether it is the France of Joan of Arc or of Petain of Vichy that becomes dominant in the global war on terror. But right now, the French get credit for clear thinking. Just as the Resistance made little distinction between Vichy and the Nazis, Le Drian correctly sees no difference between the gunmen killing editorial cartoonists in Paris, claiming affiliation with al-Qaida in Yemen, and the British Jihadi John beheading innocent captive journalists within IS territory.
So to France I say, "Thank you, for protecting civilization." At least, for now.
(And I can't resist reposting the pic. Imagine this saying "Hey Obama" and being carried by a Parisienne.)
UPDATE: Michael Ramirez' take
UPDATE II: [jk -- hate to bust in on a brother's post, but we should give equal time to the brave French of yore...]
January 12, 2015
The Second Half of the Second Term
I have seen the future!
The Administration's "Free Kummunity Kollege" stunt is a pretty good indication of what a President can do with a phone, a pen, an ideological bent, an opposition Congress and no negotiating or legislative skills. I joked on Facebook that I hope he soon offers "free ice cream" because I really like ice cream. I hope that that remains a joke until January 20, 2017.
I suspect we'll see a new proposal for "free stuff" every few months to force those mean old Republicans to say no.
The new entitlement is best understood as an extension of the Administration's ideological project to add higher education to the list of entitlements that keep the federal government in charge of American life from cradle to grave. First Mr. Obama nationalized the student-loan market, adding $1 trillion in taxpayer liabilities. Then he made forgiving those loans easier. This year he plans to propose a new rating system for colleges that the feds will eventually use to determine which schools receive federal aid.
The "Billion Dollar Congress" (and yes, that was an epithet in those days) sent more than a hundred bills to President Cleveland, typically to give some deserving Civil War widow $25. They, too, hoped to embarrass the opposition party by exposing stinginess.
Much has changed. It's the Democrats who are now prodigal. And the people who would directly benefit cheering on new entitlements. Will it work? Tune in tomorrow, I have no idea.
December 30, 2014
Any financial professional who advised a young investor to avoid stocks and corporate bonds--and everything else except Treasury bonds--would be sued for malpractice. But asset allocation is merely one of the problems with the new "Myra" fund rolling out from the Treasury this month.The POTUS with the phone and pen has limned out a new gub'mint offered investment vehicle -- and called Comerica and Fidelity to manage them. Congress? Do they get a call? Does he even send a card? The WSJ Ed Page says "no."
Congressional staff were as puzzled as anyone and wondered how the White House would justify the creation of this new savings vehicle. Or perhaps Team Obama would seek new authority from Congress? Well, Treasury is now offering these accounts and has hired Texas-based Comerica to manage them with a partner, Fidelity National Information Services . But the executive branch received no new authority from Congress this year to launch the program.One doesn't know how much to complain about the non-Constitutionality and how much about the bad investment advice. "[T]he new myRA offers a single investment option. It's a private version of the G Fund that is available to federal workers and has lately been delivering annual returns of about 2% on its portfolio of Treasury securities."
The managers are precluded from paying fees or facing a minimum investment, so Uncle Sugar will have to
The more I see of him working, the more I like paying for his extravagant vacations.
December 29, 2014
I'm gonna go ahead and put a dollar in the jar. If President Bush had done this...
For birdie or for worse.
How sweet. Right on base.
December 17, 2014
The Segue Master™
Kids, don't try this at home, this is a 12-year blogger.
Social media is rightly abuzz with the first lady's brave tale of pico-aggression. She was in Target (like Jane Goodall seeking understanding of lower primates) and was asked by another shopper to help get some detergent from a high shelf.
"The Humanity" was, of course, my comment but that works anywhere. Many thought it did not happen at all. Some pointed out that the same tale was shared on David Letterman as hilarious relief of non-recognition. Tom Maguire chimes in:
A different explanation is that somebody mistook Michelle for someone who was tall, athletic, and happy to help. And hey, two out of three ain't bad. I throw out that theory, bizarre as it may seem to some, because from time to time women ask me to help them get something down from a tall shelf in a store. Hmm, maybe I look Irish and they think there is a railroad track I ought to be putting down somewhere?
But I have come up with the worst thing about this and the one which puts FLOTUS in the worst possible light. The real comparison is with President George HW Bush (#41 for those playing the home version). He went to a grocery store -- likely on just as political a stunt mission -- and famously remarked in the late 20th Century how amazing the scanner technology was. This was translated by the leftist media as wonder. He's so out of touch -- he's never even seen a scanner! Patrician slob has never been in a store before.
Well, I am going to be so bold as to suggest that the first lady does not shop at Target a lot. If she had, the experience would be more familiar and less demeaning.
The same of course happens to me all the time. "Enschuldigung, mien Herr! Gross Weiss Mann!" Would you grab the detergent off that "hoch" shelf, Bitte?
But do I get upset?
November 21, 2014
Quote of the Week
Perhaps Emperor Obama has an effective plan. It's not a Constitutional plan, and it's not really even an American plan -- but it could be a strong plan for tyranny, based on new imported demography.
- Breitbart columnist "Virgil" in A Republic, If We Can Keep It: The Founders vs. 'Emperor Obama'
November 19, 2014
Otequay of the Ayday
Capt. Quick was last seen leaving his mother's home on the way to his girlfriend and their newborn. He was not last seen assaulting a storeowner and taking products. Yet, we know nothing of 45-year-old Capt. Kevin Quick. Apparently, Quick's crime was being a white man in America and not considered a victim -- just someone who got what he deserved at the hands of society's victims, young black men, gang members who have been badly treated and denied social justice.
Allen West on black attackers charged in murder of white officer.
October 21, 2014
My Deepest Thoughts on the President
Is the President of the United States a secret Muslim? A Kenyan Anti-colonialist dedicated to destroying the US from the inside? I've heard these and worse from people I respect. But as an Occam's Razor guy, I usually respond "no, he's a product of the faculty lounge."
Ruth Wisse, retired professor at Haavaad, pens an endorsement for Tom Cotton to be the next US Senator from Arkansas
Which brings us to Tom Cotton, the sixth-generation Arkansan who forged a path of his own in getting to Harvard and has maintained his independence ever since. As an undergraduate he majored in government, wrote his senior thesis on the Federalist Papers and voiced his conservative opinions in a column in the Harvard Crimson. After graduating from law school he took up a legal career that might have seamlessly led to political office. Instead he joined the Army as an infantry officer. His almost five years of active duty included two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan; he later returned to Afghanistan as operations officer for a reconstruction team. As against those who equate military service with bellicosity, a U.S. soldier who has been on daily combat patrols in dangerous places is likelier than others to craft foreign policy with intelligent discretion.
Wisse contrasts Cotton with more typical alumnae and current faculty. Including, um...
My experience at Harvard makes it hard for me to join in blaming Barack Obama personally for the country's woes. After all, he is only a dutiful product of Harvard Law School and of Columbia University before that. When President Harry Truman famously said, "The buck stops here," he meant that persons who seek and attain highest office are responsible for whatever happens on their watch. But how can we in good conscience apply this standard to Mr. Obama, who was elected president as a junior senator with no experience in governing, who was handpicked and tailored by the academic and cultural elite?
October 16, 2014
We're from the NIH and We're Here to Help
With billion-dollar budgets, why doesn't the NIH or CDC have an established program for dealing with national health emergencies? Umm, it does.
The Progressive belief that a powerful government can stop all calamity is misguided. In the last 10 years we passed multiple pieces of legislation to create funding streams, offices, and management authorities precisely for this moment. That we have nothing to show for it is not good reason to put even more faith in government without learning anything from our repeated mistakes. Responding to the missing Ebola Czar and her office’s corruption by throwing still more money, more management changes, and more bureaucratic complexity in her general direction is madness.
Betcha didn't know the US Government already has an Ebola Czar. Yessir, ol' what's her name.
October 15, 2014
New WH Strategy - Active Chief Executive
The uncontained Ebola presence in the US mainland has done something that no other crisis in the past 6 years has accomplished - it has gotten the attention of the POTUS.
President Obama won't be traveling to New Jersey and Connecticut later today, as he had been planning to do. There he was going to raise money for Democrats up for reelection in November. Instead, Obama is going to be hosting Cabinet members for a meeting on Ebola.
Can you believe it? He actually cancelled a political fundraiser! Geez, this must be really, really important. No word yet whether his scheduled round of golf is also affected.
October 9, 2014
Misusing the Inchoative
Obama is becoming Nixonian." says Peter Wehner. Becoming? Had they not different pigmentation, I don't know how I'd tell them apart.
The man who by a wide margin has received the most worshipful press coverage in at least the last half-century is complaining that the press is mistreating him. A president who routinely misleads the public on matters large and small, who first ran for president on the promise of unifying America but governs based on dividing it, and who allows the most important national-security matters to be decided by crass political considerations is blaming others for feeding cynicism.
October 8, 2014
Obama Teleprompter Hacked
President Obama famously said that he believes "in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."
So one may wonder why he didn't balk when Teleprompter instructed him to say this:
It's part of what attracts people from every corner of the globe to this country, understanding that for all our flaws there's something essential that we stand for that nobody else does, and we're willing to put our money and time and effort and resources and occasionally our lives on behalf of that.
Something essential... that we stand for... that nobody else does. This, friends, is the definition of an "exception" and makes "this country" exceptional.
And even more directly, when he said that "America continues to be the one indispensable nation..." one might be forgiven for thinking that, perhaps, President Obama is proud to be an American. He continued:
...and that what we stand for - liberty and democracy and conservation and fairness and justice - those are the things that people around the world aspire to and seek, and they expect the United States to be on their side.
I agree, Mr. President. Me too. Although I suspect we may differ on the meaning and intent of "democracy and conservation and fairness" and yes, probably even "justice." You did notice that only one of the values you expressed is a part of the name for "that lady with the torch in the middle of the water" didn't you?
October 7, 2014
Organizing the Other Side
In the Washington Examiner, Byron York chronicles the desperate effort to "save Democrats from Barack Obama" this election cycle.
So now Bill Clinton is leading what is, in effect, an effort to rescue the Democratic Party from Barack Obama. In Conway, Clinton pronounced himself "sick and tired of people trying to stir people up, make them foam at the mouth and vote for what they're against instead of what they're for. How many times have we seen people do something they knew better than to do just because they were in a snit?"
But Mister President, isn't that just another example of "community organizing?"
This is necessary because "A president's job approval rating is a pretty reliable predictor of midterm voting, and Obama's ratings are down in several states in which Democrats are in danger of losing Senate seats. In addition to Obama's 31 percent approval in Arkansas, the president is at 39 percent in Louisiana, 40 percent in Iowa, and 42 percent in North Carolina, according to PPP."
And, on (RCP) average, 41 percent in Colorado. More devastating, perhaps, is the spread between approval and disapproval in these states. Arkansas, -27%; Louisiana, -20%, Iowa, -12%; North Carolina, -12%; and Colorado, -13%. These compare to -23% in red-meat Montana and -30% in "my favorite" coal-miner's daughter's state of Kentucky. Even in Oregon, where the president's popularity is among the highest at 46.5 percent, the spread is negative at -2.3 percent. (And -14 percent in one poll.)
No wonder Republicans are so gleeful, and Democrats "winced" when the president recently said, "Make no mistake," during an economic speech in Evanston, Illinois. "These policies are on the ballot -- every single one of them."
September 30, 2014
All Hail Insty!
Tweet of the Day
September 12, 2014
All Hail Jonah!
Imagine, just for the sake of argument that, say, the State Department's Jen Psaki sat down to interview an Islamic State fighter over coffee.-- Jonah Goldberg [subscribe]Psaki: "Hi. What's your name?"
September 9, 2014
All Hail Taranto!
August 29, 2014
Moral Ambiguity, Meet Moral Certainty
Despite numerous high-level voices in his administration giving clear signals that Islamic State is unambiguously evil and should be dealt with swiftly and forcefully, President Obama said yesterday that, "we don't have a strategy yet." And, really, who is surprised at this development, given that his response to the decapitation murder of James Foley was to say of ISIS: "People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy."
Daily Beast contributor Stuart Stevens writes what essentially occurred to me the moment I heard that:
"But it seems incredibly naïve and American-centric not to grasp that the Islamic fanatics of ISIS are very much about building - building a new world in their vision."
As a post-Cold War figure who matured through "movements," Barack Obama is drawing from a distinct tradition. He is clearly more comfortable talking about "justice" than "evil." The "oppressed" to him are much more likely to be victims of society's prejudice than communism. Some on the right argue that Barack Obama rejects the concept of America as a force for good but I think that's a misjudgment. It's more that he defaults to a fundamentally different test than his predecessors.
This explains the Progressive apology for Islamism wherein their heinous acts are caused, not by an innately barbaric interpretation of a "pure" principle, but by the "injustices" visited upon them by prosperous westerners and their governments. They are supposedly "radicalized" in response to our prosperity. (And "inequality" perhaps?)
But moral ambiguity is not a condition which afflicts the Islamists. Right or wrong, they know what they want and they believe they are justified in doing anything to achieve it. That kind of moral certainty is a very powerful motivator. It can provoke millions of people to vote for you, if you articulate it in a political contest. It can also provoke a convicted mass murderer to seek to join your movement, as former Army Major Nidal Hassan reportedly attempted:
""It would be an honor for any believer to be an obedient citizen soldier to a people and its leader who don't compromise the religion of All-Mighty Allah to get along with the disbelievers."
Would but the President of the United States be so certain as to say, "Anyone on this Earth may believe anything he wants, but there is no justification to initiate force against anyone else. You don't have to get along with us, but you most certainly may not kill or injure us, except in physical self-defense."
August 27, 2014
That Constitution Thingy...
"Obama Unveils New Plan to Work with Foreign Governments to Ignore the Constitution" screams the headline. I do get a lot of wacko emails. But this is from the partisan-yet-measured Jim Geraghty and he notes the difference:
There are a lot of nonsensical or highly exaggerated chain e-mails accusing the president of working with foreigners to subvert the U.S. Constitution. But this time you've got the foreigners and administration officials themselves confirming it on the front page of the New York Times!
And, if you're looking, it's Article II, Section 2:
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;
Doesn't sound like a suggestion to me.
UPDATE: All Hail Taranto:
In order to "sidestep" the constitutional requirement that laws be made by lawmakers, the Times continues, "President Obama's climate negotiators are devising what they call a 'politically binding' deal that would 'name and shame' countries into cutting their emissions."
August 22, 2014
Quote of the postwar era
I do not feel that my choice of title is overwrought.
The whole questionable debate on American war weariness aside, the U.S. military is not war weary and is fully capable of attacking and reducing IS throughout the depth of its holdings, and we should do it now, but supported substantially by our traditional allies and partners, especially by those in the region who have the most to give - and the most to lose - if the Islamic State’s march continues.
From a must read article by General John R. Allen, USMC retired. He gives the President great credit for actions taken in the theater thus far, but makes a profound plea for his annihilation of Islamic State immediately.
For its part, the White House has finally unleashed the "t-word."
"When you see somebody killed in such a horrific way, that represents a terrorist attack," White House Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters. "That represents a terrorist attack against our country, against an American citizen, and I think all of us have the Foley family in our thoughts and prayers."
August 14, 2014
Let's all pay off the national debt, together!
I'm from flyover country, and I'm here to help! Yesterday, President Obama explained to all Americans the basic balance sheet options for making ends meet in the national Leviathan that is the United States federal government.
"We're reviewing all of our options," Obama said. "The lost revenue to Treasury means it has got to be made up somewhere, and that typically is going to be a bunch of hard-working Americans who either pay through higher taxes themselves or through reduced services."
Many of us have selfishly urged, or demanded, that government balance its budget by spending less. Legislators and presidents have come and gone, election after election, never able - for some reason - to bring government spending under control or even, for that matter, reduce it by a single dime. Whatever the causes of this official recalcitrance, I now repent my prior demands and acknowledge the role President Obama reminds me that I play in balancing the federal government budget. I will do my fair share. Nay, I will do my full share. I do firmly pledge and promise, now and forever, to pay every possible penny into the Treasury "through reduced services" from this day forward.
Join me. It'll be easy if we can all stop being so selfish.
August 12, 2014
All Hail Taranto!
A crumb over the paywall (Rupert said it was fine):
August 7, 2014
Talkin' Obama Blues
That's the title of Dan Henninger's Wonder Land column this week. The whole piece is excellent, covering the Rorschach test that is our 44th President with a gift to make everyone think he is on their side. Henninger questions the "gift" as more world leaders discover -- at inappropriate times -- that President Obama is not actually in agreement.
But he hits on somethin' that has been drivin' me nutty, and that's how he's talkin'! We've seen g's dropped at NASCAR events or the Dallas Evangelical Prayer Breakfast. But our Haaavaaad educated Chief Executive has not voiced the seventh letter of the alphabet at the end of a word in some time.
It started with all those weird, dropped "g's." A cranial gong goes off when Barack Obama starts droppin' "g's." The American president who is seen discoursing eloquently at the African leaders summit hits the stump and suddenly he sounds like Gabby Hayes. "Folks like you are havin' a hard time makin' it when the wealthiest are grabbin' it all in for themselves."
July 28, 2014
White House SPAM on Inversions:
CATO on Inversions:
July 18, 2014
1:40 of awesome
This is Julie Borowski, one of tomorrow night's speakers at the inaugural Colorado Liberty Conference. It's not too late to get tickets!
July 17, 2014
Snake Oil Wizardry, and the Unreliability of Curtains
If it's okay for President Obama to continue with his fundraising schedule in Delaware at the same time as the Malaysian Airlines 777 shoot down is playing out, [President GW Bush could not be reached for comment] it must be okay for me to also post this "racist, bigoted, homophobic right-wing shlockumentary" clip showing a disenchanted Obama supporter after learning what coffee smells like.
July 16, 2014
What the Hell is Administrative Law, and Where Did it Come From?
That is the question which is, by every account, answered brilliantly in a new book by Professor Philip Hamburger of the Columbia Law School: Is Administrative Law Unlawful?
Amazon reviewer Ross Huebner wrote last month:
Professor Hamburger outlines the fact that administrative law (outside of very limited circumstances) is not only unconstitutional, but it is anti-constitutional as well. I recommend this book as a worthy legal history of administrative law and state simply that it should be in every serious scholar's library for both historical and legal purposes.
In a radio interview this morning the author explained that administrative law, essentially the rules and regulations of Administrative Branch agencies, crept into our government after its founding as a holdover from the pre-Constitutional era and do not have any justification under the Constitution. To the contrary, Article I Section 1 begins: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States..." therefore any legislative powers exercised outside of Congress are illegal.
And not just legislative, but judicial powers are wrongly exercised under color of "administrative law." Who may lay his finger on the Constitutional passage that enumerates that? Article III Section 1 begins: "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." No mention of EPA or FDA that I could find.
A timely tome it doth seem to be.
July 14, 2014
If you've lost Chicago's south side...
This might be a problem for the President.
[Embedded video deleted due to autoplay. Click through to article for video.]
July 2, 2014
Somebody Mention Bad Poll Numbers?
Otequay of the Ayday
Obama doesn't want a real immigration deal. The Cynic-in-Chief wants a real fight over a false immigration deal.
Andrew Malcolm on IBD Ed page.
June 29, 2014
Bill and Hillary Clinton - White, Southern, RACISTS!
Anyone who criticizes President Obama, we are told by those who refuse to criticize President Obama, does so because he is black. By disagreeing with "a smidgeon" of the first black president's agenda, performance or statements one exposes oneself, supposedly, as a "racist." Today I read that, according to the new Ed Klein book 'Blood Feud' that category of despicable human being, as early as last May, included the Clintons.
Clinton ranted, "The thing with Obama is that he can’t be bothered, and there is no hand on the tiller half the time. That's the story of the Obama presidency. No hand on the f–king tiller," according to the book, which was excerpted exclusively in Sunday's Post.
Bill was also quoted:
"I hate that man Obama more than any man I've ever met, more than any man who ever lived," Bill told pals, according to the book.
Whoa, not just a racist but a hater. But like, you know, it's not rally true, it's just like some stuff that some guy wrote to sell his stupid book.
June 27, 2014
Dear Mister President
Forgot when I signed up for White House SPAM. It is sometimes interesting:
June 24, 2014
Vindication of the day
Nixon said in a May 1974 interview with a supporter that if he had followed the liberal policies that he thought the media preferred, "Watergate would have been a blip."
From the Watergate Scandal Wikipedia page.
June 20, 2014
Rather than grandstanding about terrorist atrocities in Iraq or even a flood of undocumented alien children across our southern border, every single Republican congressman or senator should be jointly focused like a period-full-stop laser beam on the most deadly serious threat to US civil society today: The likely use of federal government power to influence the outcome of an election, and the obvious cover up that attempts to obstruct investigation of the original crime. Harry Reid's hometown newspaper says it well:
This is not a partisan witchhunt. It is an inquiry to determine whether a federal agency conspired with elected members of a political party to influence the outcome of an election. And it already screams of a cover-up.
The full editorial is loaded with winks and eye rolling over the "accidents" which befell the evidence requested by congress. On any objective scale, Watergate was a misdemeanor compared to Obamagate. The only thing about the more recent of these two is the news media's curiosity.
This time Obama is right
I've been in unfamiliar territory this week as I find myself approving of President Obama's decision to NOT start shooting and bombing "ISIS terrorists" in Iraq. The novelty here is the agreement with the president, and disagreement with most hosts and callers on talk radio. One notable exception is Jason Lewis, who says we have no business risking blood or treasure in the latest Iraq violence.
"Because Iran will if we don't" is no reason to insert ourselves in Iraq's civil war. Nor is "because Russia will if we don't" a reason to use force in Syria or Turkey. (We can have a conversation about Ukraine.)
Perhaps I'm following a recent trend of taking contrarian views without sufficient reflection and if so, I welcome those who may correct me. But first I want to warn you that my side includes Wednesday's "From the Right" editorialist on IBD's Ed page, Doug Bandow.
It is time for Washington to stop trying to micromanage other nations' affairs and to practice humility. This wouldn't be isolationism. America, and especially Americans, should be engaged in the world. But our government's expectations should be realistic, its ambitions bounded. American officials should abandon their persistent fantasy of reordering the world.
Yes, that was from the right, a place not occupied by Neocons like McCain, Graham and Cheney.
June 19, 2014
IRS Scandal: Now, officially, "Worse than Watergate"
We've seen lies. We've seen violations of the Constitution. We've seen every sort of despicable behavior on the part of government officials in President Obama's "most transparent administration in history" up to and including cover ups of despicable behavior. But now, in the IRS scandal, we have evidence of a cover up - in the form of "missing" evidence.
Paul Bedard summarizes, links to a Daniel Henninger WSJ editorial making the "official" judgment, and throws in this hilarious MSNBC segment where the morning hosts joke about the story that "I've never told a lie" Jay Carney parroted out to all of us.
MSNBC Morning Joe [may need to use fullscreen mode to see video.]
I'll excerpt: "I'm an idiot... Even I know that if you have a hard drive and you can't find an email you can get a little nerd to come in and they can find them for you." (...) "Instead of 'We trashed the evidence and tore it up and buried it... no, we were earth friendly." [On the claim that the hard drive was "recycled."]
Daniel Henninger opens his "worse than Watergate" editorial by saying, "With 2 and a half years left in the Obama presidency, it is at least an open question what will be left of it by December 2016. Or us." Indeed.
June 16, 2014
I think we're at an inflection point in our great republic.
Are we going to allow this?
The announcement came late Friday, a too-cute-by-half cliché of a PR strategy to mitigate backlash. "The IRS told Congress it cannot locate many of Lois Lerner's emails prior to 2011 because her computer crashed during the summer of that year."
I rushed to Facebook with a Rosemary Woods joke when it happened. I thought I'd show off my unique wit, but it seems I share my uniqueness with about a million of my closest friends on Facebook and Twitter.
But when Ms. Woods lost the infamous 18 minutes of White House recordings, the entire universe said "come on, really?" Nobody believed it and I recall some forensic study that showed it was not done in a contiguous streak matching Woods's accidental foot pedal explanation. It rather showed stops and starts which suggested "nope, I didn't get that bit, better try again."
I posit that the same minute percentage accept Lois Lerners's fanciful tale. The question Ron Fournier asks is whether we shall see the same scrutiny. Which brings me back to my inflection point: The DOJ will not act. As Insty says, "Eric Holder's job is scandal-goalie." Will the press accept this -- may I call it total bullshit? -- and carry on?
They have shown every willingness to cover up so far. I ask because the mood seems to be shifting as the prevarications pile up, and because this one is so simple and outlandish. The Benghazi video story struck me as beyond credulity but I am a partisan hack. There is some fog of war and you cannot ascertain others' rationality from afar.
But this. You don't really need to bring in "an IT expert" tough Powerline did. These are government servers in the branch most noted for document retention. A Rosemary Woods day or two would be extremely suspicious -- two years is laughable.
If. If they get away with this bald-face lie, than the Bananarepublicization of America is complete and self rule is truly over.
Strong words but not overwrought -- if we can be lied to this directly it is over. Three cheers to Fournier but I hope he is not alone.
UPDATE: Jeff Dobbs via Jim Geraghty:
UPDATE II (QOTD nominee):
After all, there isn't a "smidgen" of e-mail evidence to suggest otherwise. -- John Fund
UPDATE III: Hell, I'd settle for answers toSharyl Attkisson's Nine Questions
June 9, 2014
Otequay of the Ayday
"Recoveries make a CHOICE...
Tweet of the Day
June 4, 2014
Whose side is he on anyway?
The inestimable Colonel Ralph Peters (US Army-Retired) describes how President Obama and the man-children in his administration could be so myopic as to believe the general public, not to mention active and retired military members, would greet their "prisoner swap" with glee.
This is a fundamental culture clash. Team Obama and its base cannot comprehend the values still cherished by those young Americans "so dumb" they joined the Army instead of going to prep school and then to Harvard. Values such as duty, honor, country, physical courage, and loyalty to your brothers and sisters in arms have no place in Obama World. (Military people don't necessarily all like each other, but they know they can depend on each other in battle -- the sacred trust Bergdahl violated.)
UPDATE: Col. Peters refers to inevitable book and movie deals for Bergdahl, "quite possibly the most-hated individual soldier in the history of our military" but a movie that tells his story has already been made. His is the part of Ephialtes.
Susan Rice Lied on a Sunday Show?
That would be news! But Matt Vierkant, a team leader of another squad in Bergdahl's platoon, is more charitable:
Asked about the statement Sunday by National Security Adviser Susan Rice that Bergdahl served "with honor and distinction," he said: "That statement couldn't be further from the truth. I don't know if she was misinformed or doesn't know about the investigations and everything else, or what."
I See What You Did There
Crazy Like a Fox?
We'll keep on releasing terrorists until you start telling pollsters you love me!!
June 2, 2014
All Hail Taranto!
"For a president who came to office hoping to restore public faith in government as a force for good in society, the mess at the Department of Veterans Affairs threatens to undercut his reputation for effectiveness," writes New York Times reporter Peter Baker in a "news analysis."
UPDATE: The same column contains a link to an Onion piece I had never seen:
Bruce Springsteen Accidentally Plays 'Big Government's Stealin' Our Livelihood' At Obama Rally
May 28, 2014
None Dare Call it a Trend
If I lapse into all caps, I will post this under rant. But, for now, I think I can keep it together.
Megan McArdle provides a lengthy excerpt from Jordain Carney and Stacy Kaper's two-part series on the VA for National Journal. McArdle (and Carney and Kaper) accepts that the problems at the VA preceded President Obama's election and that a massive institutional bureaucracy is difficult-to-impossible for even the most skilled manager to repair. Fair cop, guv.
McArdle highlights the President's preternatural sense of self-worth: "Yet it also points to one of the cardinal weaknesses of Obama's presidency: his prolonged hubris about how much a really smart, caring president could change the way government operates."
I'm going to go one step meaner. It is not only that his general swellness could not make the problems go away. The real "cardinal weakness of Obama's presidency" is that he thought he could layer additional services onto the weak foundation: promise more and deliver . . . nothing.
He pledged to end the claims backlog while simultaneously making a string of moves that summoned a flood of new claims to the department.
Okay, so that car you bought always burned a little oil and the brakes were bad. Ummm, should you have installed a trailer hitch and towed your new boat up to the lake?
This is the same guy who thought he could just hand out Medicare cards. Just as he never draws the line from "health insurance" to "health care," none of his promises have any backing.
May 13, 2014
Otequay of the Ayday
They act as though Twitter and clenched teeth or a pout could stop invasions or rescue kidnapped children in Nigeria. They do not sound as if, when saying that some outrage is "unacceptable" or that a dictator "must go," that they represent a government capable of doing something substantial—and, if necessary, violent—if its expectations are not met. And when reality, as it so often does, gets in the way—when, for example, the Syrian regime begins dousing its opponents with chlorine gas, as it has in recent weeks, despite solemn deals and red lines—the administration ignores it, hoping, as teenagers often do, that if they do not acknowledge a screw-up no one else will notice. -Eliot A. Cohen 'A Selfie-Taking, Hashtagging Teenage Administration' WSJ
May 12, 2014
Headline of the Year
The Wall St. Journal reviews Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's new book. In the "Life & Culture" section, the headline is "Book Review: 'Stress Test' by Timothy F. Geithner;" but on the Editorial Page (and the review is written by James Freeman) it says: "Review: The Man Who Knew Too Little"
Professor Insty might point out "This country's in the best of hands:"
None of this is particularly surprising in a man who, at the time he became president of the New York Fed, had never worked in finance or in any type of business--unless one counts a short stint in Henry Kissinger's consulting shop. At Dartmouth, Mr. Geithner "took just one economics class and found it especially dreary." After three years at Kissinger Associates, he spent 13 years at the Treasury Department, becoming close to both Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, and then worked at the government-supported International Monetary Fund. Messrs. Rubin and Summers recommended him to run the New York Fed. "I felt intimidated by how much I had to learn," he writes of taking up the job in 2003.
March 28, 2014
Otequay of the Ayday
Only weeks after leaving office, Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Joe the Plumber to come out and fix it. Joe drives to Obama's new house, which is located in a very exclusive gated community where all the residents make more than $250,000 per year. how much it will cost. Joe checks his rate chart and says, "$9,500." "What?! $9,500?" Obama asks, stunned,
A comment by "Ricky" to a Fiscal Times article, "Obamacare is a 'Haves and Have Nots' Health System"
HT: My darling dagny.
March 11, 2014
I'm as surprised and outraged as you are to be fighting an anti-civil rights, anti-choice, anti-marriage equality nominee put forward by Obama's White House to serve on the federal bench in my home state in Georgia...We can turn this train around, but the Senate needs to know that the American people aren't willing to put the future of our courts in the hands of someone whose values should have been left behind in the 1950s. -- Rep. David Scott, D-GaHat-tip: Instapundit
March 7, 2014
Glad that Stoopid Cowboy is Gone...
February 20, 2014
Century-old Injustice Made Right
At least, that's how Van Jones and Ward Churchill would describe it.
In 1905, Congress acted to reduce the size of Wind River by opening it up to homesteading by non-Indians, a decision affirmed in subsequent court rulings. It was determined that towns settled by homesteaders such as Riverton were not part of the reservation. To the EPA, both history and law are irrelevant.
Wyoming isn't sitting still for this.
"My deep concern," [Wyoming Governor Matt] Mead wrote in a statement issued last month, "is about an administrative agency of the federal government altering a state's boundary and going against over 100 years of history and law.
Churchill can almost be heard, "Take that, bitches."
February 14, 2014
And When They Came For the Journalists...
Those of you who think the press has a leftist bias will be as surprised as I was to read that, under the President Barack H. Obama Adminstration, the Federal Communications Commission is moving forward with plans to install a "wet nurse" in "radio, television, and even newspaper newsrooms" purportedly to find out if minority viewpoints are suppressed.
Pai warned that under the rationale of increasing minority representation in newsrooms, the FCC, which has the power to issue or not issue broadcasting licenses, would dispatch its "researchers" to newsrooms across America to seek their "voluntary" compliance about how news stories are decided, as well as "wade into office politics" looking for angry reporters whose story ideas were rejected as evidence of a shutout of minority views.
The surprising part of this story is not the government's, but the press industry's action. Or ... inaction.
It's an idea so fraught with potential for abuse it ought to have news agencies screaming bloody murder. The very idea of Obama hipsters showing up in newsrooms, asking questions and judging if newspapers (over which they have no jurisdiction), radio and TV are sufficiently diverse is nothing short of thought control.
Perhaps the powers that be in the news industry don't yet realize that by "minority views" the Administration intends to empower those who might defend personal liberty and voluntary trade in a free market?
UPDATE: Added the link to the wet nurse clip, as I had originally intended.
February 10, 2014
Obama Makes Mid-Sized Company Employees "Job Slaves"
In an article about the adminstration unilaterally revising the PPACA - again - those right-wing hacks at CNN embed a video bashing the President's signature legislation.
"Joe Biden said this is a big fucking deal. This is a big fucking disaster."
Next thing you know they'll be reporting that an American diplomat was murdered by terrorists in the middle east on the anniversary of 9/11.
February 7, 2014
Conventional Wisdom states that the Obama Administration has increased sales of firearms and that the rest of the economy suffers. I'm happy to share a story that contradicts that.
The good people at Gibson Guitars have created a special edition Les Paul with the woods returned from confiscation in the famous Fish & Game SWAT team raid. They did the same with wood damaged in the 2010 flood. One of those found its way into my closet.
I do not really need another Les Paul. But I had to have one of these.
Government Series II Les Paul
I emailed my awesome local guitar shop of my interest at 11:00 last night when I saw this on Reason.
Sadly for me, but happily for the cause of liberty, I received this first thing this morning:
February 5, 2014
Don't Blame Me if the NYT Didn't Tell Ya
"Aww, c'mon now, you can't say it's my fault all you brutha's thought I was gonna create jobs. You'da known all along if you'd been watching Fox News."
January 31, 2014
Quote of the Day
With the careers of two popular Republican governors--who might have been destined for national office--hanging in the balance, such suspicions of federal prosecutorial partisanship have become inevitable. But given that such federal prosecutions for state political activities abound, one must not be too quick to conclude that the department's motives are purely partisan. There may be some nonpartisan recklessness too. -- Harvey Silverglate.Well, okay then. And don't miss his excellent "Three Felonies a Day" [Review Corner].
January 18, 2014
Constitutional Law Professor
Which is good because Article I, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States provides that: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States."
January 14, 2014
Quote of the Day
A bit apocalyptic but, if the whitewash of the IRS stands, Bryon Preston is right.
We had a good run as a republic, but if this stands and no one responsible is punished, then the Internal Revenue Service will be a tool of partisan politics for the foreseeable future. No one who criticizes a sitting president will be safe from harassment and abuse from a federal agency that can absolutely destroy lives.
January 7, 2014
Guaranteed Basic Income 'Blows'
My flirtation with the idea of a "mincome" or "Uncle Sam's Allowance" is well chronicled here but, in that same post, fellow Objectivist Craig Biddle explains how, despite my unbeknownst Platonic impulse to smooth over social divisions, the path to respecting individual rights is not embarked upon merely by violating those rights with more efficiency, transparency and less waste.
JK pragmatically concluded, "If the mincome were popular, I'd enjoy its strengths and accept its weaknesses as the pragmatic price of reform." Unfortunately, in pursuing popularity of a mincome, Republicans and Democrats would most surely find a "balance" more in line with the conditions enumerated by one entitled little twerp called Jesse A. Myerson. I won't link to his Rolling Stone piece - Jonah Goldberg did it so that I wouldn't have to - but to Jonah's deconstruction of it, which commences thusly:
"In America," Oscar Wilde quipped, "the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience." And they often do it in the pages of Rolling Stone.
While I sought to establish a safe level of capitalist subsistence for every man such that he could pursue pleasurable and profitable pursuits, the young Myerson wants everyone to be paid for nothing because "jobs blow." Other things "blow" in Myerson's estimation, including "hoarding" or what my parents used to call "saving for a rainy day." Millenial Myerson's Rolling Stone Rant is essentially the Grasshopper's Manifesto Against the Ant. Tsk... winter is here, silly insect. To bad you failed to "hoard."
January 6, 2014
Presidential Bait-and-Switch, the Sequel
Long-time blog readers will recall the historical corrections here and here explaining that FDR did not end the Great Depression, he extended it. But not previously told is the story about how he was elected, following a Republican incumbent with a spending problem. Here is the short version. Holler if any of this seems familiar.
It was socialist Norman Thomas, not Franklin Roosevelt, who proposed massive increases in federal spending and deficits and sweeping interventions into the private economy - and he barely mustered 2 percent of the vote. When the dust settled, Warburg shows, we got what Thomas promised, more of what Hoover had been lambasted for, and almost nothing that FDR himself had pledged. FDR employed more "master minds" [a term FDR had used derisively while campaigning] to plan the economy than perhaps all previous presidents combined.
H/T: The blog page of KHOW's Mandy Connell
UPDATE: Speaking of White House accounts, here is one of the first - by SecDef Robert Gates. WaPo My summary: Gates loved the military and its troops, detested the "truly ugly" culture in Congress, and thorougly mistrusted and disliked the President and his staff.
January 3, 2014
Otequay of the Ayday
It should have been a banner year for the re-elected Barack Obama. In January he promised us the rollout of new health care and climate change legislation, immigration reform, more gun control and new federal spending initiatives. Instead, his approval ratings dived to the lowest level at this point in a president's second term since Richard Nixon's.
-- Victor Davis Hanson on Investors' editorial page.
December 5, 2013
Income Inequality Quote of the Day
Mr. Obama returned to his favorite theme of rising income inequality on Wednesday, which he called "the defining challenge of our time." He ought to know since few Presidents have done more to increase inequality than he has. Median household income has fallen since the economic recovery began, while the rich who own capital assets have done very well thanks to the Federal Reserve's focus on reflating stock and home prices. Mr. Obama is the Chief Economist of Nottingham posing as Robin Hood. -- WSJ Ed Page
December 3, 2013
All Hail Taranto!
November 21, 2013
Silver Linings Thursday
It seems to me that there is a silver lining to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (Fascist-NV) rule change to eliminate any semblance of a filibuster process and make the Senate's advise and consent function a purely democratic process, subject to the same transient passions as any other majority-rule institution. "Cooling saucer" be damned.
On the bright side, there may no longer be any practical use for the once powerful RINO politician. After all, not a single Republican vote will be required to impose the Democrats' will upon the once Constitutionally protected American citizen.
November 14, 2013
Brutal Partisan Hackery
But it is all true:
November 7, 2013
"Do you have that Obamacare?"
Though it might have been a big risk several months ago, with the growing dissatisfaction over Obamacare emerging just in time for the CMA Awards, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood hit it out of the park with this year’s funny skit.
Back story here.
November 4, 2013
ACA Overreach "is Freedom"
It's one thing when a dyed-in-the-wool pure capitalist like me says it, but now the respected centrist Lawrence Kudlow says the "Affordable Care Act" is anti-freedom, unfair, unaffordable, and "well on its way to collapsing of its own weight" before concluding:
But here's the bigger point: All this is the inevitable result of massive central-planning exercises to control the economy. That's not freedom.
November 1, 2013
"M for Mankind"
Promoted to embed from a comment by brother Keith, offered in response to melancholy references to the archaic and the obsolete, that among these are the idea that every man is an end within himself. And yes, it is today's ACA Horror Story.
October 30, 2013
Another Progressive Translation:
The Audacity of Mendacity
So this isn't a new claim. It also is no longer a partisan one, with the NBC News expose in our rear-view.
So let's review a list of the Affordable Care Act claims that were made, by a dishonest president, who DID care whether or not he could be elected:
"If you like your health plan, you can keep it. Period"
No, If -I- like your health plan, you can keep it. Until I decide otherwise.
"If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. No matter what."
No, If -I- like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Unless he's a Republican.
"Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance costs will go down."
No, under the ACA, "rich white people" will pay more, "lower income families and individuals will get the most help" and everyone will get less medical care. Well, everyone except the political class and their friends.
And today,, from HHS Secretary Sebelius, this:
"The website has never crashed. It is functional, but at a very slow speed and very low reliability and has continued to function."
Yes, and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is not really dead after all. He's merely breathing at a very slow speed and very low reliability and has continued to function.
UPDATE: Holman Jenkins expounds on Lie #1.
October 29, 2013
Oh, So THAT'S What "Period" and "Under Any Circumstances" Means
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, quoted in NRO's Corner:
"It was not precise enough…[it] should have been caveated with – ‘assuming you have a policy that in fact does do what the bill is designed to do.’”
Many of us knew it had to be a lie at the time. We just didn't know that "No ifs, ands or buts" doesn't also mean "no assumings."
Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States
Bret Stephens: "The president didn't know the NSA was spying on world leaders, but he's found time for at least 146 rounds of golf."
The WSJ Ed Page shares that dignified photo and Stephens enumerates several examples of the President's diffident, deracinated management style.
Mister Obama is truly going to keep historians busy for decades.
October 28, 2013
Don't Take Away the Rope!
I really enjoyed reading this Investor's editorial and leaned toward posting. Then I saw who wrote it and couldn't get to the login page too quickly.
The mainstream media have in large part turned against ObamaCare, and all these factoids are going to be reported. So that raises the question regarding 2014: Do Republicans really want to bail out Obama by handing him a year's delay? If all the flaws in ObamaCare do pan out, they may well overshadow the shutdown negatives suffered by the GOP.
The "I" the author refers to is Lawrence Kudlow. And I agree.
October 24, 2013
Now it's our turn
I must admit, not every ACA horror story is all that horrible.
For some time now I've been trying to explain that democrats in general, and President Obama in particular, have become Health Insurance salesmen instead of politicians. Meaning, that their popularity now depends on voters being happy about the cost benefit ratio of their health insurance plans. For most of my lifetime Republicans have never had a better cudgel with which to bludgeon their opponent. But now my point is being made in the "On the left" column at IBD Ed page by Dana Milbank:
This is perhaps the biggest problem facing ObamaCare and probably will haunt it long after the technical problems at HealthCare.gov are fixed.
Rilly? That's sure what it sounded like when he was campaigning for President. Other than that though, I agree! (Who says we can't compromise.) It's Obamacare's fault!
October 23, 2013
Vote for Me, I canceled your health insurance!
I don't think there would be any debate that this constitutes an "Affordable Care Act" horror story - Millions of Americans Are Losing Their Health Plans Because of Obamacare. Sixteen million, for starters.
Kaiser Health News called up a few insurers around the country and found that hundreds of thousands of Americans have already received cancellation notices.
And that doesn't include small groups or, after their 1 year delay, large group plans.
You'll love it! Trust us!
Obamacare Rollout Could Hurt Dems in 2014
Don't take my word for it. Here is the spin from NPR:
For the congressional Democrats whose votes made the Affordable Care Act a reality and who will have to defend their support for the law in the 2014 midterm elections, the problems with the federal website are a political nightmare.
We may yet learn which profession is most reviled by the American public: politicians, or insurance salesmen.
"Nobody is more frustrated than me
The transcript of President Obama's Rose Garden speech on Obamacare glitches is available, curiously, in the Atlas Shrugged Quote of the Day Archives: "I order you to solve it!"
October 16, 2013
Open for Redistribution!
After a lengthy "government shutdown" in which the greatest public sacrifices were borne by visitors to America's National Parks, Congress appears poised to "re-open" the federal government. One cannot truthfully say "for business" but for whatever it is that the federal government, particularly the "nonessential" portions of Leviathan, normally does.
I support this "surrender." Important points have been made:
1) Fully 43% of federal civilian employees are non-essential, and could likely be let go, gradually and humanely, of course.
2) Republicans, at least a handful of them, have warned Americans loudly and clearly that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will make most of them worse off than they were before. They are on record as having tried to stop it before it did whatever damage is sure to come.
3) By the way, did we mention that federal government spending is out of control and we really can stop it if enough voters send us enough principled house members in '14? Toward this end, every vote between now and then adds to the ideological war chest in coming primary battles.
Now, fellow Lilliputians, it is time to step back and let Leviathan stumble along his predictable path. There are triplines in place, put there not by the Administration's partisan opponents, but by the selfish interests of millions of Americans. "I work for a living, and I vote."
One point of caution I can think of now is to be prepared to deflect calls by the Administration to "fix" or "rework" or "tweek" Obamacare as a cover for its failings. The proper rebuttal will be, this law is flawed in its premise and must be replaced with a system that delivers cost-effective care as demanded by a customer base that is free to make purchasing choices at the point of care. You know, like iTunes.
Best of all, since the "reopening" is only for 2-3 months, we get to do this all over again soon... with myriad Obamacare horror stories betwixt. What a country!
"I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any f**king penalty. What the hell kind of reform is this?
Give Thanks and Praise!
David Burge @iowahawkblog says HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAinfinity
I'm sure you'll want to sign.
October 14, 2013
Obnoxious Red Sox Fan: "You Didn't Earn That!"
My first thought when I saw the video of this classless Boston Red Sox fan manhandle a home run baseball away from the woman next to him so that he could throw it back onto the field in an infantile display of tribal disapproval was, "that's a direct consequence of teaching people that any act can be tolerated if it is committed in the name of "the public good." I could almost hear the cretin shout, "You didn't earn that" as he forcibly took property from a weaker person of the fairer sex who had the audacity to also yell, "That's my baseball!"
But the real story here, according to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, is that the guy is a racist who allegedly called another fan wearing a Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers jersey "Prince Fielder's crackhead brother" and "yelled at another African-American Tigers fan walking through the section, saying: "Go back to the ghetto." Of course the worst offense came as Mister Red Sox fan was being escorted from the area by stadium security and answered a "bye-bye" salutation from the Fielder jersey wearer with "Bye, Travon."
The closest Passan came to criticizing Mr. Red Sox fan was this paragraph about the act that got him ejected.
Video of the man taking the ball from a woman sitting next to him and chucking it onto the field quickly went viral as Boston faced a five-run deficit. The Red Sox came back for a dramatic 6-5 victory to even the ALCS at one game apiece.
Perhaps he would have cared more about the woman with the ball if she had been African-American.
I'll close with the cautionary advice of a commenter to the original linked story:
don't lump the entire Boston crowd in with this idiot... only about 90% of them behave like him.
Stay classy, Boston.
When You've Lost Ezra Klein...
1. So far, the Affordable Care Act's launch has been a failure. Not "troubled." Not "glitchy." A failure. But "so far" only encompasses 14 days. The hard question is whether the launch will still be floundering on day 30, and on day 45. -- Juicebox Mafioso, Ezra Klein
October 11, 2013
Otequay of the Ayday
Wobbly Republicans should remember why they got into this fight in the first place: to stop ObamaCare. If they cave now, they'll have given up their best chance to spare the country this monumental disaster. -IBD Editorial: Is GOP Caving With Victory at Hand?
October 7, 2013
Steyn: That Which Shall Not Be Discussed
John Stossel took a peek into Nancy Pelosi's "bare" cupboard last night to see if she was correct in saying there is nothing left to cut. Brilliantly, he placed Social Security, Medicare and military spending on top of the cupboard since "those are so big they don't even fit in the cupboard." Mark Steyn takes on the same issue today saying, Too Much of the Federal Government Can't Be Shut Down.
"Mandatory spending" (Social Security, Medicare et al.) is authorized in perpetuity -- or, at any rate, until total societal collapse. If you throw in the interest payments on the debt, that means two-thirds of the federal budget is beyond the control of Congress' so-called federal budget process.
He segues from there to what passes for a spending prioritization process in the capitol of our national, nee federal, government.
Pace Sen. Reid, Republican proposals to allocate spending through targeted, mere multi-billion-dollar appropriations is not only not "irresponsible" but, in fact, a vast improvement over the "continuing resolution": To modify Lord Acton, power corrupts, but continuing power corrupts continually.
I've been Tweeting and Facebooking that we're witnessing day whatever-it-is of "Essential Government." In reality, what's still steaming ahead full is well beyond what is essential.
October 6, 2013
Quote of the Day
Meanwhile, President Obama has become the Hamlet of the West Wing: One minute he's for bombing Syria, the next he's not; one minute Larry Summers will succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, the next he won't; one minute the president is jetting off to Asia, the next he's not. To be in charge, or not to be in charge: that is indeed the question. -- Niall Ferguson
October 5, 2013
Same old insurance rules
So supposedly the new health care law eliminates pre-existing condition restrictions. And you can stay on your parents' plan until you are 26 or some such. But there's still an "open-enrollment" period, which of course means that there's a closed enrollment period.
March 31, 2014
Government - Making life better since 1930.
UPDATE: Are we worried yet? What could possibly go wrong?
"You are allowing Connect for Health Colorado and the Department to use Social Security numbers and other information from your application to request and receive information or records to confirm the information in your application. You release Connect for Health Colorado and the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing from all liability for sharing this information with other agencies for this purpose. For example, Connect for Health Colorado and the Department may get and share your information with any of the following agencies: Social Security Administration; Internal Revenue Service; United States Customs and Immigration Services; Department of Homeland Security; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Colorado Department of Labor and Employment; Financial institutions (banks, savings and loans, credit unions, insurance companies, etc.); child support enforcement agencies; employers; courts; and other federal or state agencies. We need this information to check your eligibility for health insurance or help paying for health insurance, if you choose to apply, and give you the best service possible."
October 4, 2013
Obummercare Quote of the Day
"Are you F'ing kidding me????" she wrote on the government's Obamacare Facebook page. "Where the HELL am I supposed to get $3,000 more a year to pay for this 'bronze' health insurance plan!?!??? And I DO NOT EVEN WANT INSURANCE to begin with!! This is frightening," -"Single mother of two" commenting on Healthcare.gov Facebook page
Ummm ... told ya.
October 3, 2013
Tweet of the Day
October 2, 2013
"Fixing" Health Care
This chart from another federalist.com article - 8 Charts That Explain the Explosive Growth of U.S. Health Care Costs, shows how government medical spending, originally promised to help Americans afford care, has had the opposite effect.
Gosh, maybe we really do need another huge new federal health care program like Obamacare to "fix things."
So that's how the Obama campaign raised so much cash "on the internet"
This could be an "Otequay of the Ayday" post:
“We’re all familiar with the J-curve in private equity,” said Joseph Dear chief investment officer at the California Public Employee Retirement System in March. “Well, for CalPERS, clean-tech investing has got an L-curve for ‘lose.’”
From an article at thefederalist.com -- The Venture Corporatists - "Saving the planet" has made lot of investors richer. Taxpayers? Not so much, which concludes:
As long as green technology remains not simply an economic venture but a moral one, taxpayers will continue to nobly lose money as politically connected “social entrepreneurs” reap a windfall.
Keep it Shut
A talk radio caller made a prescient comment this morning. We're not in the midst of a "government shutdown" or even a "partial government shutdown." Instead we're witnessing a "non-essential government shutdown." What a perfect opportunity for Americans to experience life without non-essential government! The longer it goes on, the less it will be missed as individuals take the initiative - much like several Republican congressmen who moved arbitrary barricades closing the WWII Memorial in D.C. yesterday - to solve problems and make things work. You know, that "land of the free" business.
Investors runs an editorial this morning that says not just that the "shutdown" was a good idea, but that Republicans should "own it" and keep it going as long as possible. Read the whole thing, but here is the lede, to whet your appetite:
The Republican Party didn't blink, and as a result non-essential aspects of the federal government are shutting down. Republican politicians and members should cheer, as the "Stupid Party" actually revealed a political and economic savvy that will serve it well in 2014 and beyond.
Who Says There's No Good News?
It takes a great man to admit he was wrong. And, as Captain Mal would say, "I'm allright." On July 30, I wrote:
Odds of Binz's not being confirmed? Zero? One in 100? Over-and-under anybody? Of course he we will be confirmed and the War on Coal will be escalated to Natural Gas.
Last evening I asked the President that my name be withdrawn from further consideration as his nominee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). It appears that my nomination will not be reported favorably by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. I am withdrawing so that the President can move forward with another nominee, allowing the FERC to continue its important work with a full complement of commissioners.
I cannot remember the last time it felt this good to be wrong! Hallelujah!
October 1, 2013
Bottom Story of the Day
Twitchy: "Surprise! Obamacare health insurance exchange websites don’t work; HealthCare.gov a total mess."
Of course, nobody is paying attention to the #epicobamafail -- we've a government shutdown! Republicans scaring old ladies and ruining your family vacation.
I will be a team player on Facebook and defend the valid reasons for getting where we has gotten to be. But I have to share my discontent with ThreeSourcers: we provided the Democrats with their escape pass.
An interesting nugget. We talked some of courage yesterday. The brave Republicans versus the Sir-Rodney-not-so-brave-as-Ted-Cruz Republicans. On Kudlow, it was mentioned that most GOP house members are in very safe seats thanks to gerrymandering. The real fear of most is a Tea-Party primary challenger. Ergo, supporting the shutdown was in many instances the craven and cowardly course. I don't like to guess what is in a representative's cold, cold heart. But I repeat this because the People's Front of Judea was pretty quick to call my side cowardly.
[Editor's note: two Monty Python references in one paragraph is prohibited by the ThreeSources Style Guide and should have been expunged. However, due to the government shutdown...]
No Other Way Out
If a government shut down in Washington D.C., would it even make a noise?
It's Shutdown Eve and there's a fun meme trending on Twitter: #ObamaShutdownHitSongs
September 10, 2013
No, no, no... anything but that!
Hollywood Reporter (magazine): "Another reason some Hollywood progressives have been reticent to speak out against war in Syria, according to Asner, is fear of being called racist."
Last week I asked, "So, you're on board for going to war with no more justification than 'the black president decided we should?'" Days later Ed Asner answered, "A lot of people don't want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama." In other words, "yes."
It's not a partisan thing, according to Ed.
"Whether it's a Republican or Democrat president, or Republican or Democrat Congress -- and it doesn't make a God-damned difference -- it behooves us to get off our ass and ask these questions," Asner said.
Just don't ever disagree with a black president.
More good anti-war schadenfreude at the first link.
September 5, 2013
I'll be Post-Feminist in the Post-Patriarchy!
The title of this post is my favorite bumper sticker ever from "the other side."
But the President was certainly right that there is "more work to do." There are still employers out there -- Prof. Mark J Perry has found -- that think they can get away with paying women less than 87 cents for every dollar they'd pay a man:
September 1, 2013
One Cheer for Sec. Kerry
I am turning into an Administration cheerleader, but Secretary of State John Kerry was pretty good on FOX News Sunday. He has been given a bad hand, yet was forceful and statesmanlike.
I have 100 points of disagreement, but if I may damn with faint praise: he is immeasurably better than Sec. Clinton. He is silver-tounged and diplomatic -- pretty good in his line of work.
August 31, 2013
Meta-Quote of the Day
And Lose the Name of ActionNails it, I think.And thus the native hue of resolutionSo speaks Hamlet, describing the curse of his own paralyzing indecisiveness, at the conclusion of Shakespeare's most famous soliloquy. These are the lines that have been going through my head over the past week as I have watched President Obama agonize over the big question about Syria: to bomb or not to bomb? -- Robert Tracinski
August 30, 2013
Restoring America's Standing in the World
We can thank President Obama for showing the peoples of other nations that Americans are "sophisticated" and not mere reckless "cowboys."
August 29, 2013
A Cheer for USAG Eric Holder
Where credit is due. The Denver Post:
The federal government, at least initially, will not stand in the way of marijuana legalization in Colorado or Washington.
It pains me to say nice things about the Attorney General. But compare this to AG John Ashcroft persecuting (sic) Angel Raich. Woohoo, Eric Holder!
August 20, 2013
Otequay of the Ayday
Aside from these personal fixes, there is a solution to put the country (including any wayward stragglers or stunted post-adolescents) back on the path of prosperity. Americans could stop supporting anti-growth politicians pushing agendas that strangle the economy, weaken the dollar, and surreptitiously erode civil liberties, but let’s be serious. 60% of those ages 18-29 reelected President Obama. So, what’s left? Keep checking feeds, going on pointless dates, and buying more gadgets? Frankl would tell the lost ones to find a will to meaning in this world, but finding purpose can be put off, even if the abyss persists and they pester the rest of the world as impotently self-involved non-starters, for lack of ever finding a self or a start.
HT: Rush Limbaugh
Friends like U.S.
As the pro-western Egyptian military declares, through its actions, that it is with George W. Bush and not the terrorists, America's government treats them like pariahs. If I didn't know better I'd think our President was with the terrorists. But there is scant evidence to the contrary. IBD editorial:
In 2009, his grandiose speech in Cairo apologized for America's historical role in the Middle East and snubbed Mubarak, setting the stage for the Egyptian president's overthrow by the mob.
President Obama's foreign policy is reminiscent of his domestic economic policy, where he uses the power of government to punish winners and reward losers. With friends like him, Egypt (and American business) don't need enemies.
July 31, 2013
Under President Obama, "Income Gap" gets ... Wider
Investors Editorial Page:
Research by University of California economist Emmanuel Saez shows that since the Obama recovery started in June 2009, the average income of the top 1% grew 11.2% in real terms through 2011.
Read More At Investor's Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/073013-665705-income-gap-grew-sharply-under-obama.htm#ixzz2aeUovkfz
The editorial blames "Obama's historically weak economic recovery, which has left the rest of the country falling behind while the wealthy have managed to make gains." That is surely a factor, but the bigger reason is, I think, Stealthflation. Hear me out - I left the following comment on the IBD article:
The non-recovery recovery is one explanation for the growing gap between rich and poor under President "spread the wealth around." The other, perhaps more powerful effect, is the roughly 10 percent per year that working people's purchasing power declines each year as a result of monetary inflation - inflation that is carefully excluded from government CPI data but that exists nontheless as illustrated by the Chapwood Index (dot com) of real consumer commodity costs. Inflation hurts most those with less disposable income, but barely affects the so-called "one-percent" since so much of their income comes from stock market investments, which actually increase with higher inflation. I like to call this intentionally hidden yet fully real inflation "stealthflation." But I wasn't the first.
July 30, 2013
Today Colorado, Tomorrow the World!
Get ready for Ron Binz, America. His efficacy in raising our utility rates and regulating beyond the bounds of law has been recognized in high places and he is in line for a big promotion. The WSJ Ed Page does not seem to be a fan:
Yet that will seem minor if the next FERC chairman is Ron Binz--the most important and radical Obama nominee you've never heard of. An electric regulator in Colorado from 2007 to 2011, Mr. Binz is the latest Presidential nominee who doesn't understand the difference between making laws and enforcing them.
Oh boy. Binz will now be bringing those umpiring skills to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which used to be a quiet overseer of electric transmission and interstate pipelines
FERC was a sleepy regulator until the Obama Presidency, but it has statutory powers that could be turned into anticarbon weapons, such as the authority to impose fines of up $1 million per day for what it claims are violations. They also include the power to block energy mergers and the construction of terminals, pipelines and transmission.
Odds of Binz's not being confirmed? Zero? One in 100? Over-and-under anybody? Of course he we will be confirmed and the War on Coal will be escalated to Natural Gas.
July 24, 2013
Otequay of the Ayday
Detroit's failings are many and its debts staggering. Obama did not cause them. But his economic remedies and intervention have achieved little. And his unhinged enthusiasm about what was happening in Detroit in 2011, and how it fit into the larger story of American economic life, provides an inconvenient backdrop for Obama's economic address Wednesday and those that follow. -Major Garrett in Remember When Obama Said Detroit Was Coming Back?
July 22, 2013
Her Second Term?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Michelle Obama is speaking out about the toll that gun violence is taking on young people, in a shift that shows the first lady's willingness to tackle new and polarizing issues as she shapes her second term.FLOTUS's Second term agenda. Refresh my memory, which Article in the Constitution describes that?
July 19, 2013
Taking guns away - from the Leftists
Responding to President Obama's attorney general using the legally just ruling in The Florida Case as another excuse to take guns from law abiding citizens, Jeffrey T. Brown tells us to 'Stand Your Ground' Against the Left.
To Holder and the president, the isolated events involving Trayvon Martin, which have not been publicly replicated anywhere else in America on any regular or reported basis, serve as yet another excuse to launch sweeping radical attacks on the rights of all Americans. They loathe the ability of citizens to protect themselves against the left's predators, whether social or political.
There's an angle I hadn't given enough thought. It's commonly understood that welfare statists deplore citizens who can protect themselves against government, but don't the same voices tell us that criminals are the "real victims" and deserve our "understanding?" The latest Rolling Stone cover fits in that niche. If so, the fight to protect individual gun rights is both political and social.
Segue to a post-Newtown story about mass murders, also from American Thinker, which claims Psychiatric Community Not Stepping Up. I touched on this aspect of the Newtown case when I cited widespead use of anti-depressants like Ritalin ("Ritalin is not just like methamphetamine, Ritalin is methamphetamine.") in the comments here. Author Bernie Reeves is more specific, laying blame at the feet of those social professionals whose reason for being is to detect and treat the mentally ill - psychiatrists.
It is now time to remove guns from the top position in media coverage and implore the psychiatric community to coalesce and present a formula to identify and deal with potentially psychotic patients. As it stands now, the only method to remove dangerous patients is to have them arrested, which requires a process often too difficult and wrenching to contemplate.
July 11, 2013
Quote of the Day
Virtually the only public defenders of the settlement were an intern at ThinkProgress, Kumar Ramanathan, and an attorney for SUNY general counsel's office, both of whom interpreted the blueprint in a highly peculiar fashion (they seemed to see it as merely a "reporting" tool) and then proceeded to celebrate the idea of a government mandate requiring universities to investigate publicly-protected speech. Posts by FIRE eviscerated both of these items. -- KC Johnson, Minding the Campus
July 9, 2013
Quote of the Day
President Obama's decision last week to suspend the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act may be welcome relief to businesses affected by this provision, but it raises grave concerns about his understanding of the role of the executive in our system of government.
July 7, 2013
Otequay of the Ayday
"It's a fascinating transformation for Obama," said Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University who has become one of the administration's chief legal critics. "He rightfully criticized President Bush for violating the separation of powers and using signing statements to rewrite legislation, but Obama has been far more aggressive in circumventing Congress and far more successful in creating an imperial presidency," he said. --Obama Skips Past Congress Again With Health Mandate Delay
July 3, 2013
Otequay of the Ayday
"Do as I say, not as I do" edition-
"MS. PSAKI: Well, he was reiterating what the President has said publicly and what was also in the readout, which is that this is -- democracy is about more than just elections. It's about ensuring that people can have their voices heard -- peacefully, of course, is always the goal. And he -- and you saw that the President urged President Morsy to take steps to show that he is responsive to their concerns, and the Secretary agrees that that is an important step for the government to take."
From the State Department Daily Press Briefing today.
June 20, 2013
President Bush -- Miss Him Yet?
Our debonair, sharp-creased, citizen-of-the-world President is in Europe. So glad we won't be embarrassed by that arrogant Texan anymore, aren't you?
BBC.com provides the helpful; caption: "UK chancellor George Osborne, left, US soul singer Jeffrey Osborne, right"
UPDATE: Heh, the Sun is a bit less formal than the Beeb: ChanSOULer
June 18, 2013
How Much was that Sequester Thingy Again? Part II
More Serious than the NSA
The title puts me in a mood to make a list: love, poetry, the Designated Hitter can all be called more important than the NSA scandal. More seriously, I worry that the IRS scandal, which I consider more serious, is losing media oxygen as we debate "Is Edward Snowden a Virgo or an Aquarius?"
But the title was supposed to introduce an excellent A. Barton Finkle post which ties the scandals together into a much larger question of asymmetrical government capacities and a free people's ceding their rights to an unelected "regulatory branch" of government.
The principle animating democratic and republican government is accountability to the governed. Yet more and more government action lies beyond the citizens' reach. As law professor Jonathan Turley explained in a Washington Post piece that appeared before the surveillance leaks, "our carefully constructed system of checks and balances is being negated by the rise of a fourth branch of government, an administrative state of sprawling departments and agencies that govern with increasing autonomy and decreasing transparency." (Viz., the NSA.)
The NSA, EPA, IRS, and the DH (see how I snuck that last one in there?) operate entirely outside of "the consent of the governed" or citizen oversight. Fans of John Stossel's TV show know he keeps a (rather ginormous) pile of just the Federal rules on set.
You're in tinfoil hat country when you opine about the tyranny of the Red Wing Minnesota Municipal Building Code Inspectors ("I've seen grown men tear their own 'eads off before facing the RWMMBCI...") but it is a piece of a larger bit of tyranny.
June 13, 2013
How Much Was That Sequester Thingy Again?
President Obama will travel to sub-Saharan Africa and the price tag for the trip clocks in between $60 million to $100 million. The Washington Post's Carol Leonnig got access to classified documents outlining the trip.
The scowly surly face of government abuse has quite a past. George Will discusses the testimony of Al Salvi, should he be invited to speak to Congress. Will suggests that Salvi would not take the Fifth, but would tell the story of his run for the House in 1986 against now Senator Dick Durbin (Fiend - IL).
In the fall of 1996, at the campaign's climax, Democrats filed with the Federal Elections Commission charges alleging campaign finance violations by Salvi's campaign. These charges dominated the campaign's closing days. Salvi spoke by phone with the head of the FEC's Enforcement Division, who he remembers saying: "Promise me you will never run for office again, and we'll drop this case." He was speaking to Lois Lerner.
As government gets larger, we're asked to trust more and more power to Lois Lerners.
The case against the NSA is: Lois Lerner and others of her ilk.
Even though I have excerpted half, read the whole thing. (Hat-tip: Insty)
June 7, 2013
Can You Hear Me Now????
My friends are fighting. The WSJ, and the default Larry Kudlow position is to defend those that defend us from a mean world. I am sympathetic -- to a point -- to that view. Yes, there is a mean ol' world out there. (You may not be interested in War, but it is interested in You -- Trotsky?). And, I understand Big Data concepts: searching for patterns in metadata or Google-sized video samples does not compromise privacy. I get that.
Yet, I have been having more fun than a camel on hump day on Facebook over this. I likely would defend President Bush's committing the same infraction. Partly because I am a partisan hack, but mostly because that is what he stood for. He was going to push the line to keep all of y'alls safe. Privacy groups and an adversarial press would push back. Broncos vs. Raiders, everybody can tell who's playing for whom.
President Obama campaigned on "the fierce moral urgency" of dismantling things like this. Senator Obama introduced legislation to preclude it. Quis custodet? Privacy groups are muted and the press is quiescent.
And, whichever party has their collective ear to the other end of my call, it is time to wind down the extraordinary response to terror. Vigilance abroad, yes. Not naming complete incompetent liars to head the NSA, sure. But let us return domestically to an aggressive reading of the Fourth Amendment.
Jim Geraghty has an important philosophical point against it:
We in the general public have no idea if the algorithms work, if they're fair, if they're putting a lot of innocent Americans under suspicion or on watch lists, etc. This is simply not the way criminal investigation or even counterintelligence has ever worked in this country under our Constitution; it's working backwards. Those we have entrusted with the duty of our protection always previously started from the wrongdoing (or a tip of wrongdoing) and work their way out from there; it has never been "collect every bit of information they can on absolutely everyone, and then sift through it until they find what they're looking for."
That makes much sense to me. Sorry, WSJ, y'all lose this one.
June 5, 2013
What the IRS Scandal is About
Co-founder of the Watumpka, Alabama Tea Party -- and face of the IRS scandal, Becky Gerritson.
I had heard people talking about this and saw a clip. But if you have not watched it coast-to-coast yet, do yourself a favor and spend 7:53 with a great American. (Can't you just imagine a roomful of NYTimes writers hearing the phrase "Watumpka, Alabama Tea Party?" Makes one weep.)
Hat-tip: Robert Tracinski [Subscribe]
June 3, 2013
Quote of the Day
Then, according to Daniel Klaidman of The Daily Beast, Holder read the details of this operation in The Washington Post over breakfast and the reality began to "fully sink in." "Holder knew that Justice would be besieged by the twin leak probes," says Klaidman, "but, according to aides, he was also beginning to feel a creeping sense of personal remorse."
May 30, 2013
Viva la Gibson!
Rep Marsha Blackburn (R - TN) wants some answers
"The recent scandals surrounding this administration raise a number of questions about who they choose to target and why," Blackburn said. "The arrogance and lack of transparency displayed by this President and his cabinet officials in events such as the raids on Gibson Guitar and the IRS targeting of conservative groups show a complete disregard for the rule of law....
(Best read in Rep. Blackburn's adorable Tennessee drawl...) I hope she and the IBD Ed Page can rekindle the controversy around this. It was always a great example of overreach; a credible foundation of political retribution raises its seriousness.
Hat-tip Brother Keith on FB
May 27, 2013
Not Feeling the Love
A. Barton Hinkle is not feeling the love for President Obama.
A physician’s expertise makes him capable of inflicting great harm, noted Plato a couple thousand years ago, and no one is better positioned to steal than a guard. So perhaps we should not be surprised that the most conspicuous foe of liberty and the Bill of Rights turns out to be a former professor of constitutional law.
II was going to do a quote of the day for the closing sentence, which David Boaz (inline, implicit hat-tip) pulled out in his Facebook link: "When he retires from public life, perhaps he will return to teaching the Constitution. That should be much easier work -- given how little of it there will be left."
But the whole thing is pretty good...
May 22, 2013
jk Sticks it to The Man!
"The Man" being, curiously, a very nice guy named Rob Taylor. Mister Taylor started a guitar factory with a genius-level blend of ancient craftsmanship and modern design and production. If you find yourself in San Diego and are tired of Filipino food in National City, be sure to tour the factory in El Cajon.
I have bought me a bucketload of Taylors over the years, including another great innovation of theirs: nylon string guitars with regular, narrow, radiused necks instead of the flat, wide classical guitar necks. That got sold or traded or given away to some brother-in-law, and I found myself reconnecting with blog friend Sugarchuck's. Time to buy. Birthday's coming up! Johnny's been a very good boy this year...
BUT WAIT! Taylor Guitars not only failed to stand up for Gibson in their contretemps with the US Fish & Game SWAT Team -- they actually released a statement leaning heavily towards gub'mint. I'm not a boycottin' man, but Taylor Guitars are not cheap and it chaps me to send a lot of money to an opponent of liberty.
This little jewel from Cordoba Guitars (nah, I never heard of them either) showed up yesterday:
It's a fine piece: made of Indian Rosewood -- unusual for a top, a lighter wood would be louder, but it has a pickup and a mic built in. I got amps, she'll be plenty loud. It's less bright but very well defined. All in all, very pleasing for half of what I would have spent on the brand that shall not be named any more.
Feeling even better when sc sends this link: Ed Markey cheered gov’t witch hunt against Gibson Guitar. It includes a nice summary of the still unbelievable actions against Gibson, details of the final settlement, and some crowing by Rep (soon to be Senator, Oh boy!) Ed Markey.
Ed Markey was the leading politician pushing to punish Gibson Guitar for what at worst was a paperwork error. Markey didn’t appear to understand that this was about protecting jobs overseas, not at home. Markey was all on board with the demonization of a U.S. company for no good reason other than that the government could.
SC assures me that I have bought an "entrapment guitar:" Indian Rosewood and an Ebony fretboard. Heh – wait a minute, there’s somebody at the door…
May 17, 2013
I open with a QOTD, from Ben Domenech (h/t Jim Geraghty):
When this period of scandal draws to a close, if the idea still survives that a more competent and ethical president would be able to effectively govern a $4 trillion bureaucracy, it will be a sign Republicans have failed. They can succeed by ignoring the tempting bait of making this about the president they despise, and focusing instead on the false philosophy of expansive government which represents the true danger to the American experiment. Doing so will require them to go against their own short-term viewpoint, so prevalent in recent years, and look instead to the long game.
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Using these to bring down President Obama might be quite satisfying in a "vengeance is mine sayeth the RNC" kind of way. But it leaves us with: a) President Joe Biden, the scrappy kid from Scranton Pee-Ayy; and, b) a $4T bureaucracy full of tenured bureaucrats (it is a bureaucracy after all) who will seek to expand the size and scope of government whether Rand Paul or Hillary Clinton sits in the Oval Office.
It's Friday and I have not linked to Kim Strassel in what seems like weeks. Read her coast-to-coast today in spite of my lengthy excerpt:
In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a "wealthy individual" with a "less-than-reputable record." Other donors were described as having been "on the wrong side of the law."
Another light-haired woman who writes for the WSJ Ed Page on Friday has a good piece as well. But I liked Professor Reynolds's take on Ms. Noonan:
Peggy's right, but I was saying the same thing -- right there in the Wall Street Journal -- way back in 2009, when she was still going on about Obama’s transformational energy. So welcome to the party. Wish you’d gotten here before the re-election.
May 16, 2013
Or: All Hail IBD! A good friend of this blog emails a link, with the suggestion "Nothing in here you haven't seen but it's nice to have it put so concisely."
Tyranny: Perhaps the most sinister aspect of the president's parade of scandals is that just days before they broke, he mocked as paranoid those concerned about government excesses.
Followed by a handy enumeration of abuses current as of this morning (it's early yet...)
May 9, 2013
Otequay of the Ayday
The common denominator of most of these examples is that they are failures of diplomacy, which is precisely what this administration had promised to be better at.
May 8, 2013
President Obama's Commencement Speech
Civic education in America took a hit on Sunday when President Obama, giving the commencement address at The Ohio State University, chose citizenship as his theme. The country's Founders trusted citizens with "awesome authority," he told the assembled graduates. Really?
ThreeSourcers -- you know who you are -- will dig the whole thing.
May 7, 2013
Otequay of the Ayday
May 6, 2013
Don't Worry -- they take care of YOUR money!
Financial Planning Magazine is agape at the First Family's Poor financial stewardship:
Digging deeper into their finances, the Obamas seem to have an immense amount of what advisors often call low-hanging fruit -- the ability to earn much more with less risk.
Whatever, they're swell people. Hat-tip: Prof. Mankiw.
May 3, 2013
Campaigning for US Gun Control - Foreign Edition
Do guns in "the hands of criminals and dangerous people" in the United States lead to gun violence in Mexico? President Obama seems to think so:
"Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States," President Obama said during a speech at Mexico's Anthropology Museum. "I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms. And as president, I swore an oath to uphold that right, and I always will."
But the single greatest source of American guns in Mexico appears to be the U.S. Government. No, not via Fast and Furious, but via legal "direct commercial sales" authorized by the State Department.
Here's how it works: A foreign government fills out an application to buy weapons from private gun manufacturers in the U.S. Then the State Department decides whether to approve.
But the real outrage is Obama suggesting that the US Constitution has anything to do with Mexican gun "incompetence and corruption." The reason for this strawman is patently obvious.
May 2, 2013
News today that the FBI has placed Joanne Chesimard on its Most Wanted Terrorists list. The closest the FBI comes to an explanation why this fugitive, who was broken out of prison by armed confidantes 34 years ago and was put on the US government terrorism watch list in 2005, is now a "most wanted terrorist" is ... the 40th anniversary of her crime.
"Joanne Chesimard is a domestic terrorist who murdered a law enforcement officer execution-style," said Aaron Ford, special agent in charge of our Newark Division. "Today, on the anniversary of Trooper Werner Foerster's death, we want the public to know that we will not rest until this fugitive is brought to justice."
Well, they've known she's been under sanctuary in Cuba for almost 30 years. Why not do this on a prior anniversary? Not knowing any better, I'll speculate it is related to her movement to the terrorism watch list 8 years ago. No other information is given by the FBI, except that Chesimard, aka Assata Shakur (Tupac's aunt) "is only the second domestic terrorist to be added to the list." The first appears to be Daniel Andreas San Diego, a vegan eco-terrorist accused of bombing a San Francisco biotech company in 2003, for whom the "information leading to arrest" reward is $250,000. Chesimard's reward - $2,000,000.
And why did I include this in the Obama Administration category? For this, from the ABC News story: The rapper Common told her story in "A Song for Assata," which caused a stir after Michelle Obama invited him to a White House poetry slam two years ago. Rashid "Lonnie" Lynn a.k.a. 'Common', who traveled to Cuba to meet with Shakur prior to recording the song, has been associated with Progressive Hip-Hop as early as 2000.
April 25, 2013
Quote of the Day
In fact, CNN's Candy Crowley confronted LaHood two months ago on this very point. "Budgets go up and down," was LaHood's weak response, but he's only half right. In Washington, they only go up. -- Edward Morrissey LaHood and Obama to America: Go Fly A Kite
April 15, 2013
In "The President's Latest Bad Idea," Professor Mankiw correctly understands and describes the retirement savings grab in the President's new budget. Between the sheer numbers of my heroes in the opposition phalanx, and N-Greg (that's his hip-hop name) N-Greg's wise words, I must change sides.
A sizable body of work in public finance suggests that consumption taxes are preferable to income taxes. Completely replacing our tax system with a better one is, however, hard. Retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401k plans, are one way our tax code has gradually evolved from an income tax toward a consumption tax. The use of these accounts should be encouraged, not discouraged.
As for my previous ambivalence: I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now...
April 9, 2013
Obama IRA Proposal Redux
I am nothing if not fair. Were I to withhold this inculpatory evidence, I could no longer claim that mantle.
My hero, Larry Kudlow, and his entire brilliant panel -- save for a weasely Democrat apparatchik take Brother jg's side on the IRA contretemps. I have not seen Mister K this animated in some time:
I'll rethink things, but still think weasely apparatchik guy (just at the end) and I have a point.
April 6, 2013
Obama Administration: 15 years of life after retirement "reasonable"
From Bernie Becker in "On the Money" THE HILL'S Finance and Economy Blog:
President Obama's budget, to be released next week, will limit how much wealthy individuals - like Mitt Romney - can keep in IRAs and other retirement accounts.
There's the American dream, boys and girls: Work hard (or get a plum "Obamacare Navigator" position) and invest wisely (or get a public defined-benefit pension) so that you can have a "reasonable" retirement of NO MORE than $205,000 per year for "right around" 14.63 years. THIS year.
March 20, 2013
Why Did CO Governor About-Face on Guns?
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has artfully crafted an image as a reasonable, moderate, modern western politician - until now. Today he signed "landmark new gun laws" in the "traditionally firearm-friendly state" of Colorado. Why?
Colorado blogger Joshua Sharf explains that it is part of a national political strategy on the part of the Obama Administration:
It has been clear from the beginning that Obama plans to use gun control, not merely as a diversion from governing, but as a battering-ram issue to achieve his major 2nd-term objective: regaining the House of Representatives for the Democrats. To do that, he believes he must isolate the Republican House as being an obstruction to common-sense, practical gun control measures that most of the country agrees on. To do that, he must persuade enough Senate Democrats - especially Western Democrats - to back proposals that they really, really don't want to even vote on, much less support.
So when Hickenlooper said, after the Aurora shooting, "Well, I mean I'm not sure there's any way in a free society, to be able to do that ..." it was a ploy to keep the gun debate out of the pending election.
This suited Hick just fine, since any suggestion that he was seriously looking at the sort of laws passed last week might have complicated the Dems' narrative about te Republican "War on Women" and civil unions.
But there is hope:
Ultimately, it makes the recalls of Sen. Hudak and Rep. McLachlan - along with whatever other vulnerable Dems can be included - even more important. Those recalls, like the recalls in Wisconsin, take on a national significance and urgency, not merely because of the issues involved, but because of the political implications at the national level. The promise of protection, of resources and money, to vulnerable Dems who backed him on this legislation, is the application of national resources to state races, just as the Blueprint was the application of state resources to local races. It is the Blueprint raised to a national scale. If Obama is able to implement that, then he will indeed have locked in substantial political changes that can change the society for the worse, for the long run.
UPDATE: This Denver Post story contemplates the Governor's political future:
Only a few months ago, Hickenlooper was mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate. In poll after poll, his favorability ratings were higher than President Obama's and most governors.
Dear Governor - Magpul Industries, Alfred Manufacturing, other suppliers - they are BUSINESSES. With friends like you...
March 11, 2013
They can't find the money to let schoolchildren tour the White House, but Beyonce and Adele will perform at a "a huge celebrity-packed party for [Michelle Obama's] birthday at the White House next year." Via Jim Geraghty who hopes "they'll invite any of those furloughed federal workers"
Having picked up an Oscar, Adele might have thought her incredible US adventure couldn't get much better.
Isn't that special.
March 1, 2013
Thanks to Jim Geraghty's Morning Jolt:
Stephen Gutowski: "Just tried driving but since sequestration went into effect the roads have all crumbled into dust."
February 28, 2013
Sequestergeddon Quote of the Day
But if Obama can't even convince his cheerleaders in the press that modest spending restraint will doom the country, why should anyone believe he's having more success with the public at large?
Today's IBD Editorial: Is Obama Losing His Media Allies Over The Sequester?
February 27, 2013
Quote of the Day + a Rant
And when the Republicans opened the seventh seal of the sequester, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black and the stars fell unto the Earth; and our nation's ability to forecast severe weather, such as drought events, hurricanes and tornados, was seriously undermined. Lo, and the children were not vaccinated, and all the beasts starved in the zoos, and the planes were grounded. -- WSJ Ed PageSadly, the President is positioned to reify his dystopian dreams. When it passes -- and Larry Kudlow could not find a guest in a week to predict that it will not -- the President can make it painful and sit back and collect his "I told you so"s.
I enjoy ThreeSources, because the good folks 'round here discuss ideas. Facebook friends of all stripes always seem to be looking into hearts, motives and intentions. I really don't care if the President promotes bad policy because he harbors secret resentment of the West's Kenyan colonialism or --- as I suspect -- he's just a creature of the faculty lounge. As a great Stateswoman once said "What difference does it make?"
Well, now, it does. The President will soon have his hand on the knob that delivers the electric shock. He can crank it up, Simpsons style, for perceived political gain. Or, he could display statesmanship and compassion which would add to the economy and concomitantly enhance his legacy. I suspect he will split the difference -- maybe set it on four.
But we will learn something about the President's heart. Soon.
February 26, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama brushed off a Republican plan Tuesday to give him flexibility to allocate $85 billion in looming spending cuts, wanting no part of a deal that would force him to choose between the bad and the terrible.
Put me in mind of this Reason 'toon:
They're going to shut down all the control towers!!! It's either that, or ask the wealthiest among us to pay a little bit more.
Bonus Jon Caldera interview!
February 16, 2013
Wait! I Know this one!
Professor Mankiw asks Why $9?
There is one question I would like to see some reporter ask Alan Krueger, the president's chief economist: How did they decide that $9 per hour is the right level? Why not $10 or $12 or $15 or $20? Presumably, the president's economic team must believe that the adverse employment effects become sufficiently large at some point that further increases are undesirable. But what calculations led them to decide that $9 strikes the right balance?
Wasn't nine dollars the cost for birth control? See, there's symmetry and reason behind the Administration's policies, you just have to look really hard.
February 14, 2013
Everybody talkin' 'bout Sen. Chuck Hagel's (Opportunist - NE) terrible confirmation hearing. Clearly it was a cleverly laid trap from Davids Plouffe and Axelrod to divert attention from Treasury nominee Jack Lew -- or, as the WSJ Ed Page calls him, "The Rookie:"
And when Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) ticked off the problems that afflicted the two Citi divisions that Mr. Lew oversaw as chief operating officer, the nominee seemed to know less about them than Mr. Hatch. "I don't recall specific conversations" about any of several Citi-run hedge funds that were imploding at the time, said Mr. Lew. "I was aware there were funds that were in trouble."
These next four years are just going to be swell, are they not?
Headline of the Day
First President in US History to Have Voted to Filibuster a Supreme Court Nominee Now Hopes for Clean Process -- ABC NewsHat-tip: Jim Geraghty
February 13, 2013
I'm busy. To enjoy full productivity gains from the Internet, I am going to crib my SOTU review.
Kirsten Powers -- I know she's a FOX News Democrat, but she's a Democrat all the same -- did not really enjoy the speech more than I did. I would not change a word of her USA Today column: Same Old Same Old from Obama.
Contrary to the claims of both sides, Obama is not a liberal visionary with deep desires to institute a progressive agenda. If he is, he's a miserable failure. You need look no further than his own record (starting with foreign policy) and then Tuesday night's speech for evidence. Banalities and tropes are not a governing philosophy or a plan. The immigration piece was good, but hardly a profile in courage. After all, even the GOP wants immigration reform now. There is also the small fact that Obama promised to deal with immigration in his first term.
Rub a little dirt in it, Mr. President. It doesn't get much kinder:
That this underwhelming State of the Union -- substantively and stylistically -- will be treated as a serious effort reveals the bad shape our country is really in.
January 31, 2013
The right stuff
During Senate confirmation hearings, Chuck Hagel demonstrated that he is both clueless and incompetent. Unfortunately, those are probably the two most important qualifications that President Obama seeks In someone to run the U.S. military.
January 28, 2013
That's "Secretary One Percenter" to you, boy!
We share a large percent of our genetic structure with dogs. Therefore, don't be surprised if you look at the monitor with your head cocked and a slightly puzzled look when reading this.
The greatest irony is that given Mr. Lew's crisis-era resumé, he bears a remarkable resemblance to the bankers who President Obama says created the financial crisis and deserve federal investigation. But apparently there's an exception as long as your liberal intentions are noble and you're a loyal Democrat. Then you can get rich at one of Wall Street's biggest failures and end up running the entire financial system.
That's the elite WSJ decorum at work. They manage to describe Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's brief and magnanimously unsuccessful Wall Street career without appending -ass to any of the words. I couldn't do it.
Lew's a gub'mint guy through and through, but he takes a brief tenure at Citi that best represents a Matt Damon caricature of a Wall Street guy in the panic: bad guy comes in, total devastation ensues, gets a Federal bailout, leaves with a seven figure bonus. I just don't think Damon's screenwriters have the balls (see, I did not say ass) to have the villain nominated to be SecTreas.
Maybe Joss Whedon could pull it off..
January 24, 2013
Our 68th Secretary of State
Reporting for duty!
Photo credit: Reason
January 21, 2013
Quote of the Day
We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other -- through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security -- these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great. -- President Barack ObamaUPDATE: Thw WSJ Ed Page highlights this same line.
The "takers" line was a clear shot at Mitt Romney's most famous campaign gaffe. This should have been beneath a Presidential inaugural, but then again it fits Mr. Obama's post- re-election pattern of continuing to demean and stigmatize those who disagree with him as if the election campaign is still on.
Happy Inauguration Day
Some serious words from Juan Williams, in a serious piece: The Clouds Over Obama's Second Term."
But when it comes to judging his place in American history, it is impossible not to address his minority status. The first blacks in any field, much like the first women, are always held to strict standards.
January 8, 2013
The Worst Senator Ever?
Not counting the president, that would be impolite.
Bret Stephens demolishes Senator Chuck Hagel (Jew-Hatin' Homophobe NE) on the WSJ Ed Page. You have to read every word (holler for an email version), but here is the summation:
In each case, Mr. Hagel was articulating a view that was exactly in keeping with received Beltway wisdom. In each case, he was subsequently disproved by events. In no case was Mr. Hagel ever held to any kind of account for being wrong. In no case did he hold himself to account for being wrong.
The rest of the column chronicles decades of saying whatever is popular at the time and changing positions when they fall out of disfavor. It makes one appreciate a Rep. Xavier Becerra (D CA) or Senator Bernie Sanders (I VT). My respect for their consistency precludes my providing a silly party - state identifier.
January 7, 2013
How Do You Deal With?
What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: "At one point several weeks ago," Mr. Boehner says, "the president said to me, 'We don't have a spending problem.'"This is from a Stephen Moore interview with Speaker Boehner. Also well excerpted outside the paywall by Matt Welch. The President thinks we have a health care problem and that once that is fixed (by the addition of large quantities of government, natch) all of our other priorities will be seen to be very affordable.
I don't know where I got the job "President of the Speaker Boehner Fan Club" (my card just arrived in the mail). But how do you negotiate with a man who a) believes that; b) is not a compromise politician; c) has a Senate majority; and, d)can expect sympathetic press? "I need this job like a hole in my head" is the other takeaway quote.
One can find fault with the Speaker but I think it requires context. All in all, another grim reminder of IowaHawk's wisdom:
December 20, 2012
Quote of the Day
The Financial Times reported Wednesday that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner knew about Libor manipulation in May 2008, even earlier than previously believed. (See our editorial, "Tim Geithner and Libor," July 21, 2012.) And yet he soft-pedaled his criticism of Libor while at the New York Federal Reserve. The New York Fed even used Libor as a benchmark throughout the worst of the crisis, in major contracts to which the U.S. government was party.
December 7, 2012
JK Agrees with Kim Strassel!
I know, hold the presses!
But my favorite opinion writer nails it today. I have said it, she said it better: give the President his stupid tax increase, vote "Present" and let it be the Democrats' gift to a gleeful nation.
We're not going to win this one. Strassel suggests a managed retreat, and I think she is right.
No question, the Republicans would suffer a bitter defeat if top marginal income-tax rates rise. Then again, if those rates are going up anyway--either because we go off the cliff or because Mr. Obama maneuvers them into a panicked, last-minute deal--the rational GOP response is to instead choose a deliberate course that mitigates its own political damage, and lands some blows. This is the corner our intransigent president has backed Republicans into.
November 30, 2012
I was very proud to not be a Costco member, when CEO Jim Sinegal took the stage at the Democratic Convention to do his part to elect the guy who was going to raise his taxes. It's a free country, and I certainly do not boycott Costco. It just doesn't appeal to the two of us in our humble condo. But I was glad to be off the list that night.
The WSJ Ed Page has a bit of sport as his expense today.
When President Obama needed a business executive to come to his campaign defense, Jim Sinegal was there. The Costco co-founder, director and former CEO even made a prime-time speech at the Democratic Party convention in Charlotte. So what a surprise this week to see that Mr. Sinegal and the rest of the Costco board voted to give themselves a special dividend to avoid Mr. Obama's looming tax increase. Is this what the President means by "tax fairness"?
Costco is one of more than 130 companies who are -- smartly -- increasing dividends or rolling them into 2012 to avoid President Obama's new rates. But I don't recall many of the other 129 being on stage primetime at the DNC. And, something else makes this special dividend all the more special:
More striking is that Costco also announced that it will borrow $3.5 billion to finance the special payout. Dividends are typically paid out of earnings, either current or accumulated. But so eager are the Costco executives to get out ahead of the tax man that they're taking on debt to do so.
I guess they're Democrats after all!
We think companies can do what they want with their cash, but it's certainly rare to see a public corporation weaken its balance sheet not for investment in the future but to make a one-time equity payout. It's a good illustration of the way that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's near-zero interest rates are combining with federal tax policy to distort business decisions.
But, next year will be so much more fair!
UPDATE: Larry Kudlow updates my number to 170 -- and throws in Major League Baseball's, notorious for deferring revenue, finishing free agent contracts with front loaded 2012 bonuses.
November 29, 2012
Pop the Champagne corks! 2.7% GDP growth!
Or, as I suggested to a FB friend (our own LatteSipper) maybe the sound is 2Liter bottles of BigK® Store brand soda.
OK, I think we've seen enough here. It looks like 2012 will end on a weak note with most economists viewing 2013 as probably more of the same -- and that assumes we don't plunge over the fiscal cliff and suffer another recession. For comparison purposes, let's first review Obama White House economic forecasts since 2009:
We lost to this guy...
November 26, 2012
The Most Disingenuous Beghazi Story Yet
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House could finally have its chance to close the books on its Benghazi public relations disaster, as key Republicans signal they might not stand in the way of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to become the next secretary of state.Public relations disaster? Yeah, that's the trouble with four murdered Americans in a terrorist attack on 9/11 and weeks of subsequent lying: bad PR.
And, is it "over" (was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?) if they can cobble 60 votes from pusillanimous Senate Republicans? The story goes away?
I'm game to join Bill Kristol that Ambassador Rice is no worse than anybody else he might nominate and likely better than some. But this story sadly shows that the mendacity of the press continues post-election.
UPDATE: Taranto Chimes in (scroll to "Hacks and Flacks.")
November 21, 2012
Nixon to China, Obama to Moynihania
I don't know that President Obama reads Jonah Goldberg's column regularly, but we all know he loves ThreeSources, so I'll put this forward.
Goldberg thinks that the President might be in a unique position to address the racial imbalance in marriage and illegitimacy.
But there is one area where Obama could be transformative and bipartisan while helping both the middle class and the poor. He could show some leadership on the state of the black family, and the American family in general.
November 19, 2012
For the record.
"[...] they have never called a male unqualified, not bright, not trustworthy," -- a dozen Democratic female House members.Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is unqualified. Interior Secretary Ken Salazaar in not bright. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is not trustworthy.
November 5, 2012
Even the Children Learn
I respect the sobreity of brother Ellis' prior post but I do believe caution is in order. There's another equally possible outcome. After all, none of the republics which failed throughout history had the internet... or YouTube.
This episode has been on my mind since the summer of 2008. Now, on the eve of the referendum vote, it finally seems fully appropriate.
October 31, 2012
Obama's Solar Panel Cronyism: Move On, Nothing to See Here
"You better let him know that the WH wants to move Abound forward."
Composite video below from RevealingPolitics. Story based on DOE emails obtained by CompleteColorado.
October 30, 2012
The Wages of Libya
One more excellent article about the Benghazi 9/11 terrorist attack and the growing evidence of an administration cover-up. Victor Davis Hanson, in inimitable prose, lists those whose careers will be ended by the affair:
And of course, without being mentioned, President Barack Obama.
Benghazigate Boiling Over
A Washington Times column by James S. Robbins, dated October 28 (Sunday) shortly after midnight EDT, describes the October 18 announcement by SECDEF Panetta: "Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command."
After remarking on the unusual timing of the leadership change, the column then reports an October 26 blog post by someone who cites an anonymous "inside the military [source] that I trust entirely."
The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.
Later the same day, October 28, a pentagon spokesman wrote Mr. Robbins and said, "The insinuations in your story are flat wrong."
Monday, October 29, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, released a statement:
"The speculation that General Carter Ham is departing Africa Command (AFRICOM) due to events in Benghazi, Libya on 11 September 2012 is absolutely false. General Ham's departure is part of routine succession planning that has been on going since July. He continues to serve in AFRICOM with my complete confidence."
And yet, at 3:30 pm EDT that same day James Robbins reported General at center of Benghazi-gate controversy retiring
The questions concerning General Ham's role in the September 11 events continue to percolate. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, said that General Ham told him during a visit to Libya that he had never been asked to provide military support for the Americans under attack in Benghazi. Former United States Ambassador to the U.N. John R, Bolton also mentioned Mr. Chaffetz's account, and contrasted it with Mr. Panetta's statement that General Ham had been part of the team that made the decision not to send in forces. "General Ham has now been characterized in two obviously conflicting ways," Mr. Bolton concluded. "Somebody ought to find out what he actually was saying on September the eleventh."
More here in a 5-hour old Hot-Air post:
A blistering critique of the administration by retired Commander in Chief of the US Pacific Fleet that ends, "for our leadership to have deliberately ignored the pleas for assistance is not only incomprehensible, it is un-American."
And the following conclusion about General Carter Ham's "retirement."
James Robbins notes that the White House insisted that Ham took part in the decision not to supply assistance to the consulate, but Ham told Rep. Jason Chaffetz that no one had asked him about it. Ham’s retirement could mean that the Pentagon had some sort of disciplinary action pending against him over the incident (also the subject of much speculation, but little in the way of direct sourcing), or it could have a different meaning altogether. It would be inappropriate for Ham to criticize his Commander in Chief while still in uniform, although he could go to Congress to report any perceived malfeasance at any time.
October 29, 2012
The Washington DC CBS affiliate reported today this statement by Senator John McCain on Face the Nation yesterday:
"Nobody died in Watergate. But this [handling of Ambassador Stevens' murder by terrorists] is either a massive cover-up or incompetence that is not acceptable service to the American people," McCain told "Face the Nation." "The American people may take that into consideration a week from Tuesday."
In Why did Obama choose to “stand down” in Benghazi? a Powerline blogger expounds on the General Petraeus revelation that "No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need" as was posted here in a comment on Friday.
Voters, then, must assess the administration’s handling of Benghazi with limited information. But we do know this: (1) the administration erred grievously by leaving open our mission in Benghazi while turning down requests for more security, (2) the administration made the wrong decision on the day of the attack by not bringing our military to bear, a decision consistent with Obama’s instincts, and (3) the administration has not been forthcoming or honest in its discussion of Benghazi after the fact.
October 22, 2012
Hate to see the low ground
Jake Tapper -- likely the least "in the bag" journalist for the Obama Administration -- claims that the President will have the high ground when the subject of the Benghazi attacks comes up tonight (between Big Bird and Contraception).
"The Romney campaign had the high ground on this issue for weeks. They lost that high ground at the second debate by alleging, suggesting the Obama administration had misled the American public on Benghazi," says Josh Rogin, of Foreign Policy's The Cable.
We're not necessarily lying -- we could be simply stoopid!
October 10, 2012
Benghazi Bird III
All Hail Jake Tapper -- an actual non-stooge in the Washington Press Corps. "Security Officer on State Department Blocking Requests: 'For Me the Taliban Is Inside the Building'"
"I have been a career foreign service officer for 39 years," [Patrick] Kennedy said when asked if political considerations trumped protocol. "I have served every president since Richard Nixon, I have directly served six secretaries of State, Democratic and Republican. On my honor: no. None."
Last flag flying...
Benghazi Bird II
As with most things in life, I certainly hope my blog brother jg is correct:
Never have a blogger stay at your house. They eat too much and hog your Wi-Fi. More importantly, they share private family details on the Internet.
But I stayed with some people last week who had an interesting procedure. There's a jar in the bedroom, and you have to put in a dollar when you say . . . wait for it . . . "If George W. Bush were President..." At le condo d'Amor, I'd have a 1958 Les Paul and a '59 Corvette to drive it around in.
But the world is not ThreeSources. And I am becoming convinced that the Obama Administration is not going to face any ramifications for the Libyan embassy Attacks. Yes, right wingers like Jennifer Rubin will whine:
Moreover, the State Department now confesses there was no protest at all outside the Libyan installation before the attack.
But I think the President will be able to run out the clock talking about Big Bird. I wish I were wrong.
October 5, 2012
Hope, Change, Character Assassination
First I should caution that this report comes from a person who claims to be a "veteran White House reporter." Aren't those guys all bought and paid for?
In a vicious and personal assault rarely conducted at the highest level of U.S. politics, White House senior adviser David Plouffe repeatedly told reporters aboard Air Force One that Romney was "dishonest." With the president of the United States in a cabin just a few steps away, his top adviser pushed out the new campaign theme that the man who had bested him in the debate Wednesday night is an untrustworthy scoundrel.
October 4, 2012
America: Frack Yeah!
How many times have we heard the left make baseless claims that Big Oil uses its money and influence to stamp out competition wherever it can, and thereby maximize their own profits? Investors Business Daily printed an editorial yesterday that now, finally, substantiates that claim. But it's not what you might think. In this case "Big Oil" equals Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Russia's state-owned oil monopolies.
Venezuela's state Foundation National Cinematheque has been financially linked to "Gasland," a 2011 anti-fracking documentary whose aim was to paint fracking in the U.S. as dangerous.
If you have to ask why they oppose American energy production, here is the answer:
All this signals something big is at stake in global power politics: fracking, which threatens petrotyrants as no nuclear weapon ever has. The Gulf states, Venezuela and Russia derive their power solely from their dominance in energy production, not by their economies.
September 27, 2012
What caused the end of Obamanomics?
My wise and dear father caught me at a loss this morning when he asked if I know what ended the Great Depression? "WWII production?" I knew it was wrong as soon as I said it, but I must confess his answer was more correct and succinct than any I've ever heard: "FDR died."
Some may argue that Obama took office in the midst of an epochal financial crisis, with an economy hurtling downhill. Fair enough -- as far as it goes.
But President Obama is young and healthy, so America is fortunate that he is Constitutionally limited to two terms of office. Better yet, we can elect a businessman with a proven track record of rescuing failed enterprises to replace him.
UPDATE: Jay Leno agrees.
A Cell Phone is a Civil Right?
Get yours today. Supplies are not limited. "The Obama Phone" from the Free Government Cell Phone Program.
The free Obama phone is a program that is meant to help the financially unstable who cannot afford access to a cell phone. Communication should not be limited to people in relation to what they are able to afford.
And like everything else in the Obama presidency, this too is Bush's fault.
During the Bush administration, there was the introduction of a project that gave subsidies to those who could not afford a phone. The basic principle of the program is that everyone should have access to emergency services like 911.
But if the phone could only be used for 911 who would carry it? Who would charge it? How could it "help the financially unstable?" Fear not.
There are different plans to choose from. Some plans offer fewer minutes and more texting and some even include rollover minutes. Make sure you check out all the plans before choosing the one that is right for you.
If one were able to look up "moral hazard" in a videonet dictionary, this clip would be definition number 1 or 2.
September 25, 2012
Tweet of the Day
Hat-tip: Ed Morrissey (who does not quite agree with jk...)
September 22, 2012
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday, "It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack." The only literate response to this definitive Administration judgement is, "Duh."
Some other self-evident judgements come to mind:
It is self-evident that the national news media, once respected for at least trying to appear objective, is as fully invested in President Obama's reelection as a diverse group of human beings can ever be.
It is self-evident that a Republican president who governed in the way President Obama has done would be excoriated by journalists to a degree that would have made the late President Nixon feel like a media darling.
It is self-evident that the only way government can lower health care costs is to ration patient care.
It is self-evident that when medical providers and insurers are allowed to compete for business they will find ways to lower their costs, and therefore their prices.
It is self-evident that when President Obama says something, he really means the opposite.
September 21, 2012
All Hail Harsanyi!
September 19, 2012
Barack Obama- American Exceptionalist
There are several points to be made about President Obama's appearance on David Letterman last night and most of them are being made elsewhere. The one I haven't heard anyone mention is the point where the president says that America is the "greatest country on earth."
"Right now interest rates are low because people still consider the United States the safest and greatest country on earth. Rightfully so."
It's at 7:10 in the following clip of his entire appearance:
This comes dangerously close to "elevating one nation or group of people over another," and it clearly proves that the president understands nations are not equal. What is the word which describes the popular, yet ineffective, strategy for making nations or groups of people equal? Redistribution.
"Stay the course America" is the president's re-election strategy. "Pay no attention to that iceberg approaching our bow. That's just a little bump we're gonna have to roll over before we can all have the same opportunities as everyone else."
September 18, 2012
Two tickets to Normal World, Please
Very small Internet value in underscoring Professor Reynolds's links, but if you ever think you are not living in Bizzaro World, read Joel Engel's description of the artist President Obama hung with after putting that cheesy filmmaker behind bars.
If Barack Obama consciously intended to demonstrate his contempt for this constitutional republic and its citizens--and who knows, maybe he does--he couldn't do it any more dramatically than tomorrow night's event.
Click through for some language that even I will not excerpt.
September 17, 2012
Kudlow: QE3 - Evidence Obamanomics Dismal Failure
Or, "What if they threw a big economic recovery and nobody came?"
Lawrence Kudlow points out in an IBD editorial that Bernanke's "desperate money-pumping plan" is a complete reversal of the "supply side" policy that his predecessor Paul Volker used to great effect in the 80's, with an unsurprising result.
A falling dollar (1970s) generates higher inflation, a rising dollar (1980s and beyond) generates lower inflation.
The obvious implication being that if it worked then and its opposite is failing now, let's try it again. *Homer Simpson voice*"Hey, why didn't I think of that?"*/Homer Simpson voice* Kudlow explains that when policies don't encourage higher after-tax income for producers or greater return on investment for lenders, well, we'll see less of both.
On page 2 Kudlow explains how QE3, like QE2 before it, is murder on the middle-class that the president loudly and repeatedly boasts he cares most about. As my three year-old likes to say these days, "Nonsense."
September 12, 2012
Islamists Wag the Dog?
The catalyst for riots and embassy attacks in Egypt and Libya yesterday, resulting in the deaths of four American diplomats, reportedly was a low-budget film that "appeared on the internet" and "insulted Islam." Demands by Egyptian citizens that the Egyptian president "take action" have apparently borne fruit as he asked the Egyptian Embassy in the U.S. to take "all legal measures" against the makers of the film.
But first there is the problem of determining who the makers of the film really are.
A high-ranking Israeli official in Los Angeles on Wednesday said that after numerous inquiries, it appeared no one in the Hollywood film industry or in the local Israeli community knew of a Sam Bacile, the supposed director-writer of the incendiary film “Innocence of Muslims.”
There's Still a War Going On
Mideast popular opinion, we were told by candidate Obama, is anti-American because they see us as meddlers in their local affairs. We based our troops in the land of Mecca, which was supposedly the final motivation for Osama bin Laden to found al Qaeda and target America, Americans and the World Trade Center on 9/11. President Obama promised to change all of this by bringing home the troops and extending an olive branch to Islamic states and shadow groups alike.
As long ago as 2010, when General Stanley McChrystal was recalled from the effort to "liberate" Afghanistan, the president sought to apply his strategy to the mideast conflict:
Barack Obama, apparently frustrated at the way the war is going, has reminded his national security advisers that while he was on the election campaign trail in 2008, he had advocated talking to America's enemies.
At the same time he offers to "talk to America's enemies" he has intensified efforts to eliminate terrorist leaders, including a top al Qaeda leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi. Killed by a U.S. missile in June, Senator Ben Nelson today suggested that Ambassador Christopher Stevens' killing yesterday in Libya may have been meant as revenge.
Did the president really believe he could conduct covert operations throughout the middle east without incurring the same kind of backlash his mentor Jeremiah Wright claimed to be the cause of 9/11? Whether it is better to fight terrorists or talk to them is less at issue with this administration than the schizophrenia that leads them to attempt both at the same time.
September 7, 2012
Obama Reelect Stragegy
All week at DNC2012 we heard "shared prosperity" from "shared responsibility" (since "shared sacrifice" doesn't poll as well.) Ayn Rand wrote about this when it used to be known as The Common Good.
And what is meant by "shared responsibility?" If you can bear the burden of your tax liability then your share of the burden isn't high enough.
September 6, 2012
George F. Will - TEA Party "Radical"
I think it's fair to say that respected political columnist George F. Will was not in the vanguard of Obama criticism that found its first popular voice with the TEA Parties of February 17, 2009. I could be off base but I remember him being critical and dismissive of our dire warnings about the ideas, goals and dangers of the newly elected president. Nonetheless, yesterday Mr. Will became one of us.
In 1912, Wilson said, “The history of liberty is the history of the limitation of governmental power.” But as Kesler notes, Wilson never said the future of liberty consisted of such limitation.
All we are say-ing, is hear what he says.*
Welcome to the Party George. Have some BBQ and a Bud with us.
September 4, 2012
Idiot Quote of the Day
"The reason the economics fail in the US is not a failure of Wind, its a failure of greedy corporations to allocate costs in a manner that is for the common good. Energy is like air - it comes from God and should not be for-profit. COOPs are the most cost efficient way to deliver electricity. Remove the corporate overhead with multi-million dollar salaries for CEO's and the economics of wind are obvious."
Posted 3 hours ago as a comment on a blog post at one of my engineering trade magazines. The post itself is noteworthy, for it represents the first I can remember where the realities of alternative energy sources are given as much weight as the pollyanna political correctness.
And then there is the cost of wind per MW hr with the subsidy included. Without the subsidy - fuggedaboutit. And it looks like the forgetting will be happening soon. The tax credits for "alternative" (read unreliable) energy have not been renewed. What was that again? Renewables have not been renewed? Isn't that a contradiction in terms? There is a simple explanation.
August 28, 2012
Jon Voight: "Obama Turns JFK Mantra Upside Down"
Washington Examiner - Jon Voight: Obama turns JFK 'ask not' theme 'upside down'
Worse, he suggested that JFK wouldn't recognize his party. Voight said that the Democrats have turned upside down Kennedy's famous line, "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
August 26, 2012
2016 Movie - Food for Thought
I watched the Dinesh D'Souza film 2016-Obama's America yesterday with family and friends. My brother and father were the driving force and dad thought it so important we all see it that he paid for all of us. Having been cautioned by JK's distaste for D'Souza's conspiratism I was eager to see and hear for myself what evidence Dinesh presents, and what hypothesis he has formed.
As a starting point I read this critical review by Washington Post's Michael O'Sullivan. His instinct is to dismiss it as a rehash of prior Obama hatred, but some of his dissmissals ring hollow.
As readers of the Forbes article know, the central thesis of "2016" is that Obama's worldview -- his "compass," as D'Souza calls it -- was largely shaped by the anti-colonialist, anti-white and anti-Christian politics of Obama's supposedly radical Kenyan father. Never mind that Obama, growing up, spent precious little time with the man, who for most of his son's early life was estranged from Obama's mother. D'Souza trots out a professional psychologist to speculate on how the senior Obama's absence reinforced his influence, rather than weakened it.
What is glossed over here is how he makes it sound plausible. That explanation is omitted and replaced with a cautionary "almost" to convince readers they need not bother to evaluate the plausability on their own. D'Souza explains that Obama's worldview was constructed not in the image of his absentee father, rather in the idealized image of him portrayed by his mother. Ann Dunham, an almost completely overlooked component of Barack's formative years, was as anti-American, or at least anti-capitalist and anti-"colonialist" as they come. So says D'Souza. He supports this claim with multiple facts. He concludes that diminishing America's influence in the world, in effect punishing America for its colonial heritage, is fully consistent with many of the previously inexplicable acts of President Obama: To repair America's "plunder" of foreign resources he gave billions of American taxpayer's dollars to Brazil and others to build up those nations' oil industries; to push back present-day colonialism he has sided with Argentina over Great Britain in the Falklands conflict; his mideast policy arguably reflects a prejudice against western influence in favor of native rule, whatever that may happen to become. Actions as seemingly unimportant as returning a bust of Winston Churchill and presenting gag gifts to the Queen of England also betray a lifelong hatred for that country, the once great colonial power which had colonized and "exploited" his father's native land - Kenya.
In the film D'Souza also shows how then candidate Obama diverted attention from these beliefs and tendencies by suggesting his goal was a racial reconciliation within America. When longtime mentor Reverend Jeremiah Wright's anti-Americanism threatened to derail his campaign, Barack gave a nationally televised speech on race relations and distanced himself from the anti-colonialist values. And when other formative influences were called into question his campaign skillfully portrayed them as good-ol American leftists rather than the world socialists they would likely call themselves. When the President lectures America about the unfairness of the "one percenters" Americans think of wealthy corporate titans standing unapologetically on the shoulders of the working or "middle" class. But to a world socialist, EVERY American is a one-percenter, right down to the homeless shelter or overpass dweller who may freely beg for change and sleep opon the paved streets of American cities, free from scourges like disease, garbage dumps and open sewage running through the streets of a typical third-world village, always with ready access to medical treatment-on-demand in the shiny hospitals of the most prosperous nation on earth.
My opinion of the validity of D'Souza's original conclusions is buttressed by Elizabeth Reynolds' 'D'Souza's "Rage" a Middling Psychoanalysis' in The Dartmouth Review. After labeling Dinesh as an "ultra-conservative member of the Dartmouth Class of 1983" and praising Obama's book 'Dreams From My Father' she presents a fair, perhaps more fair than she intended, interpretation of the facts in D'Souza's book. Her conclusion:
Perhaps D'Souza's anti-colonial theory does help explain, as the Weekly Standard put it, Obama's omnipotence at home and impotence abroad. It is a matter of the reader's opinion. Regardless, D'Souza brings something new to the table with his latest book. It seems clear to me that D'Souza has done his research, with his extensive history of colonial Africa and insightful background information on Obama's early life. His concept of investigating the impact of Barack Obama's father had potential, but I'm afraid that D'Souza's conclusion, that Obama is trying to essentially destroy America, ultimately takes it too far.
Ironically, it is Reynolds who takes it too far for "essentially destroying America" is not D'Souza's claimed goal for Barack Obama. He merely wants to diminish our nation, not destroy it. The call to action at the end of the film? Every American must decide for himself if America should be diminished - and vote accordingly.
August 23, 2012
August 20, 2012
JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!
Obama brought to the White House its first ever official videographer, Arun Chaudhary.
That should put those rumors of narcissism to rest.
August 17, 2012
Quote of the Day
No, no, no, he didn't.
August 13, 2012
Another Election-Year Movie Trailer
August 1, 2012
You can fix this Mr. President!
Unless of course he believes that American Olympic athletes are "those at the very top" and therefore deserve to have one-third of their Olympic honoraria confiscated by their government.
Americans who win bronze will pay a $2 tax on the medal itself. But the bronze comes with a modest prize--$10,000 as an honorarium for devoting your entire life to being the third best athlete on the planet in your chosen discipline. And the IRS will take $3,500 of that, thank you very much.
July 30, 2012
Change that Works
I don't remember everything from 1985 - Ronald Reagan was president and I was graduating from college - but another vivid memory is the US Defense Department's decision to replace the venerable John Browning designed Colt 1911 pistol as the standard duty issue firearm for all armed forces. It was the height of a nascent competitive bid movement in government procurement and not enough attention was paid to quality or to a host of other issues. The Pentagon seemed to hope that making a change to a cheaper, foreign-made, smaller caliber pistol would deliver the same excellent service as its predecessor while also showing that they were a modern, non-discriminatory, progressive organization willing to take the "smarter" path. They selected the Beretta M9, a 9mm pistol made in Italy, to replace the seventy-four year old Colt. Now, some twenty seven years later, at least one branch of the U.S. armed forces is willing to admit a mistake. Fox News: Sticking to their guns: Marines place $22.5M order for the Colt .45 M1911
Some reports suggest Marines are not happy with their main Beretta M9s for their lack of accuracy and stopping power. With M1911's now supplying Special Ops, growing interest may lead to a better solution.
Now, more than any time I can remember, it is reassuring to know that some Americans are willing to admit when they make a mistake - and act quickly to fix the problem the best way they know how.
July 18, 2012
You Didn't Write That!
July 17, 2012
It's not that "more cowbell" is overused, it's that it's wrongly used. Gene Healy correctly ties it to the President:
There you have it. Contemplating the policy wreckage that surrounds him, the president has concluded that what this country needs is a fresh injection of presidential hope. Like "more cowbell" in the old "Saturday Night Live" skit, it's the magic ingredient that makes everything better.
July 13, 2012
One for Brother HB...
All Instapundit, all the time today. But this book was a fave, and at $1.99 I am looking forward to recapturing my youth.
July 2, 2012
Forest Fire Analysis Paralysis
Given the utter devastation that can result from forest fires near urban areas, and the near unanimity about why their frequency and magnitude is peaking, one may wonder why no efforts to reduce the threat seem to be under way. The good news is that 11 years ago, five federal government agencies joined efforts to create an integrated wildland fire managment system called Fire Program Analysis or FPA. A comprehensive computer modeling system, FPA would "help them weigh the benefits of fire suppression versus forest thinning, evaluate where to station people and equipment and decide how many planes to buy." The bad news is that the effort was undertaken by federal government agencies. Denver Post:
The idea was to figure out how much money to devote to fire suppression, and to reducing fuels to improve overall forest health, and where to do it.
Part of the problem turned out to be the presumption that a computer model could provide a sort of holy grail of fire management planning.
"Quite honestly, I don't think there was any plot" to scuttle the original system, he said.
Naaaah, nobody ever invests too much confidence in the pure and objective conclusions of comprehensive computer models!
But the failure of the computer modeling solution seems to me merely a scapegoat.
Asked how this year's fire outbreak might be different if the original FPA were in place as planned, Rideout said: "I think the responses to fire would be more cost-effective. I'm not sure whether we would have gotten to these fires any faster or later or better, or with less expense."
"More cost-effective" but not sure there would be "less expense?" How's that again?
Most officials seem to agree on the basic problem:
In 2008, the GAO reported to Congress that federal wildland-fire costs had tripled since the mid-1990s to more than $3 billion a year, citing three factors: "uncharacteristic accumulations of vegetation" from fire suppression; increasing human development in wildlands; and severe drought "in part due to climate change."
Setting aside the suggested causes for accumulations of vegetation and severe drought, both are clearly evident conditions. So why has the firefighting aircraft fleet been cut from 40 planes to 9? And why, during this period when the air fleet was dismantled, have federal wildland-fire costs tripled? Unfortunately, sometimes technology prevents the application of common sense: More potential for fire - expand fire mitigation and suppression resources. QED.
June 28, 2012
Constitution 1 - Taxpayers 0
Fellow freedom advocates, do not panic. Step back from the ledge. By a single vote the Supreme Court has avoided a catastrophic expansion of the Commerce Clause. The rest, as they say, is politics. Including Chief Justice Roberts' ruling:
"If an individual does not maintain health insurance, the only consequence is that he must make an additional payment to the IRS when he pays his taxes," Roberts writes. He adds that this means "the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance. Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning an income."
Hmmm, that's pretty thin Jim. The minority counters:
Justice Anthony Kennedy, usually the court's swing vote, dissented, reading from the bench that he and three conservative justices believe "the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety." In a 65-page dissent, he and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dismissed Roberts' arguments, writing that there is a "mountain of evidence" that the mandate is not a tax. "To say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it," they write.
Very persuasive. So my conclusion is that Roberts just didn't want to be villified as an "unelected emperor" who "took away America's free [unearned] health care." I agree with Yahoo News' Oliver Knox who writes-
But while Obama initially kept quiet, the early response from the law's main supporters and detractors showed that the court's ruling had essentially offered the Affordable Care Act only a reprieve, and that the law's fate was entwined with the results of the presidential election.
Finally, does anyone suppose that news outlets are falling all over themselves to get the "Obamacare Constitutional" message out as quickly as possible?
No mention of the name of that tenth justice.
UPDATE: As of 11:57 am EDT that headline has been changed to: Individual mandate survives a 5-4 vote with Roberts voting to keep it
June 26, 2012
All Hail Taranto!
June 18, 2012
Obama cuts Fire Fighting Aircraft
According to blogger Sean Paige at the Monkey Wrenching America blog, a contract with Aero Union, a fire fighting company with seven 4-engine slurry bombers, was canceled during renewal negotiations in August, 2011. No reason was given, just "We don’t want the airplanes, have a nice life." This brought the US Forest Service air tanker fleet down to 11 heavy aircraft, and today it's only 9. The report cites Rep. Dan Lundgren(R-CA) saying the fleet was 40 planes a decade ago.
This reminds me of that old lefty bumper sticker, "Wouldn't it be great if the Air Force had to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber?" Apparently, now they do.
June 14, 2012
I'd suggest pronouncing the title as three syllables, but it is of course up to the individual.
What is not up to the individual is accepting a falsehood just because it is repeated. Case in point is "the auto bailout was necessary and successful because there was no private capital available." Ergo, the government bailouts were a huge success. Administration flacks mean "there was no private capital stupid enough to overpay and preserve overpriced UAW labor rates and work rules." Now we get closer to the truth.
When people ask for a specific example of the President acting outside the Constitution, I go first to the auto bailout. The preferred debt holders were deprived of their Fifth Amendment right to property without due process as their value was transferred to a preferred political constituency that would not have enjoyed a preference in court.
James Sherk and Todd Zywicki have a superb guest editorial in the Wall Street Journal today: Obama's United Auto Workers Bailout. It details many things that went wrong: unequal treatment for debt holders, preservation of unsustainable labor costs -- but also the cost to the treasury. The entire piece is awesome on stilts, but this comparison at the end really hit home:
Instead, President Obama gave over $26 billion to the UAW--more money than the U.S spent on foreign aid last year and 50% more than NASA's budget. None of that money kept factories running. Instead it sustained the above-average compensation of members of an influential union, sparing them from most of the sacrifices typically made in bankruptcy. Such spending does not serve the common good. President Obama did not bail out the auto industry. He bailed out the United Auto Workers.
June 11, 2012
No Reasonable Democrats?
The problem is that many voters (myself included) don't think government jobs are just another sector. We want the number of housing and manufacturing jobs to keep growing--the more the merrier, all things being equal. We don't want the number government jobs to keep growing, in part because we pay for them without the assurances, offered in a competitive private economy, that we're getting our moneys worth or that the jobs are necessary at all. It's one thing to boost government jobs as a temporary stimulus measure. It's another thing to never let federal, state and local governments shrink to a more sustainable size. -- Mickey Kaus
June 10, 2012
Quote of the Day
This is all he does now. But hey, unlike those inbred monarchies with their dukes and marquesses and whatnot, at least he gets out among the masses. Why, in a typical week, you’ll find him at a fundraiser at George Clooney's home in Los Angeles with Barbra Streisand and Salma Hayek. These are people who are in touch with the needs of ordinary Americans because they have played ordinary Americans in several of their movies. And then only four days later the president was in New York for a fundraiser hosted by Ricky Martin, the only man on the planet whose evolution on gayness took longer than Obama's. It's true that moneyed celebrities in, say, Pocatello or Tuscaloosa have not been able to tempt the president to hold a lavish fundraiser in Idaho or Alabama, but he does fly over them once in a while. Why, only a week ago, he was on Air Force One accompanied by Jon Bon Jovi en route to a fundraiser called Barack on Broadway. -- Mark SteynThe whole piece is hilarious. HT: Insty
June 8, 2012
I read 100 tweets on this and just assumed it was a gotcha moment. James Pethokoukis brings the embed and it is cut so abruptly I assumed some Koch-Brothers-funded hack had removed the entire context.
Indeed he or she did. The whole quote is 1000 times worse!
The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government. Often times cuts initiated by, you know, Governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don't have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.
That is not out of context -- the private sector is "fine" thanks to the Administration's bold and thoughtful policies! It's GOVERNMENT that is being starved!
June 4, 2012
President Obama's War on Heat and Light
Last week I wrote about the Denver Post's utter bewilderment that presidential candidate Mitt Romney would give a stump speech in rural Craig, Colorado (after all, there haven't been any layoffs there ... yet) and countered with the news coverage of the event by Routt County's Steamboat Today.
Today that much more objective publication runs an editorial by Rob Douglas that delves deeper into the contrast that Governor Romney is offering.
Agree or disagree with Obama’s goal, one fact is undeniable. When Obama’s intent became public, every man and woman working in coal-related jobs realized that Obama had placed a bulls-eye on their livelihood. Many of those men and women call the Yampa Valley home.
But Douglas articulates a much more important message - one I have recognized but as yet not really written about: Coal is not the target. Pragmatic politicians cannot merely "sacrifice" the coal industry conifident in the fact that lost jobs will be replaced by growth in the natural gas industry. If coal is ever defeated the next environmental villain will be natural gas.
Coincidentally, on the same day Romney was speaking to the crowd gathered at Alice Pleasant Park in Craig, the Wall Street Journal reported that, according to the International Energy Agency, “global exploitation of shale gas reserves could transform the world’s energy supply by lowering prices, improving security and curbing carbon dioxide emissions, but the industry might be stopped in its tracks if it doesn’t work harder to resolve environmental concerns.”
And hydraulic fracturing is only the first battlefront in the coming War on Natural Gas. That little "feature" of natural gas called "curbing carbon dioxide emissions" will be its undoing for natural gas is not without CO2 emissions, and once its use has been predicated on reducing that "pollutant" it can hardly remain a viable energy source since it can also be shown to be a "dirty" fuel.
"First they came for the coal, and I said nothing."
Not me. I *heart* coal.
June 2, 2012
Our Tough-guy President
Blog friend Terri is reading the NYTimes so you don't have to.
I remember being concerned in 2008 that President-elect Obama would not be suitably tough with our nation's enemies. Like Terri, I don't now know what to make of our droneslayer emperor.
On the plus side, it does help to know that when a President becomes a president he/she will (usually) make the decisions that are needed to be made to keep us safe.
Was that one of them rhetorical questions?
May 31, 2012
2012 Social Security Stimulus Package
From a good friend, via email:
WATCH YOUR MAILBOX!!!! Just wanted to let you know - today I received my 2012 Social Security Stimulus Package. It contained two tomato seeds, cornbread mix, a prayer rug, a machine to blow smoke up my butt, 2 discount coupons to KFC, an "Obama Hope & Change" bumper sticker, and a "Blame it on Bush" poster for the front yard.
May 26, 2012
A new -ocracy
It must be a real word, I read it on the internet.
May 25, 2012
All Hail Strassel!
It seems a long time since I have linked to Kim Strassel. I will remedy that today.
Administration surrogates are actively touting the President's "job creation" in the auto bailouts, ramping up "investments in green energy" and questioning Governor Romney's claims from Bain. It seems that he is not responsible for jobs at Staples after he left, yet he is vilified for the steelworkers who got laid off after he left. Whatever.
Strassel steps back to compare the President as Venture-Capitalist-in-Chief:
So, take your pick. Mr. Obama's knock on free enterprise is that it is driven by "profit," and that this experience makes Mr. Romney too heartless to be president. The alternative is an Obama capitalism that is driven by political favoritism, government subsidies, mandates, and billions in taxpayer underwriting--and that really is a path to bankruptcies and layoffs. If the president wants to put all 3,545 green stimulus jobs he's created up against Bain's record, he should feel free.
Thing you'll read to want whole, certainly the.
May 24, 2012
Cool Econ Graphs
Reagan famously asked, "Are you better off than you were four years ago" to defeat incumbent President Jimmy Carter. Mitt is using a similar strategy against today's incumbent president. This graph shows why it might be a winning play. Substantially more people are at a diminished income than there were at any time in the last 50 years, and there's a long way to go back to the baseline.
May 22, 2012
Why don't more people get it?
That's the question dagny asked me at the conclusion of last night's inaugural Liberty on the Rocks, Flatirons Chapter meeting. I could do no better than my universal explanation for why so many people make so many bad choices, Ayn Rand's admonishment that, "Reason is not automatic. Those who deny its existence cannot be swayed by it."
Today I was given a much more precise answer to the same question by a guest of 850 KOA's Mike Rosen. Michael Prell is on a promo tour for his 2011 book, "Underdogma: How America's Enemies Use Our Love for the Underdog to Trash American Power." Prell's premise is that our country's electoral preference for collectivist policies stems not from ignorance, but from a healthy American proclivity to root for the underdog. From the Amazon book review:
David versus Goliath, the American Revolutionaries, "The Little Engine That Could," Team USA’s "Miracle on Ice," the Star Wars Rebel Alliance, Rocky Balboa, the Jamaican bobsled team and the meek inheriting the Earth.
This is a fascinating explanation that I'm inclined to take at face value until proven otherwise. However, I don't think I'm on board with the conclusion that underdogma "must stop now." I called this tendency healthy and will stand on that position. What must stop is allowing the Progressive left to continue casting the collective as underdog to the individual - any individual. Underdogma is a force that can and should be used for good. The notion that a gang, or state or interest group is less powerful than individual citizens is so preposterous that all can see it, if only some light is given.
It looks like a great book and could be an excellent topic at a future Liberty on the Rocks.
May 20, 2012
Quote of the Day
After all, if your first book is an exploration of racial identity and has the working title "Journeys In Black And White," being born in Hawaii doesn't really help. It's entirely irrelevant to the twin pillars of contemporary black grievance -- American slavery and European imperialism. To 99.99 percent of people, Hawaii is a luxury vacation destination and nothing else.
May 17, 2012
Get You Inner Birther On
Promo material for Barack Obama's (later abandoned) book, circa 1991:
Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago’s South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White.
May 16, 2012
I just discovered Svetlana Kunin, a Russian emmigrant who has apparently been writing for Investor's Editorial Page for some time now. Playing off of President Obama's official re-election campaign slogan, Forward, today's offering is entitled, "Obama's Slogan 'Forward' Is Used By Socialists Too."
After introducing the motto "Forward!" -- identical to slogans of Socialists of the past and present-- Obama rolled out an imaginary vision of Julia, in which the government is involved in all aspects of a person's life.
May 10, 2012
Quote of the Day
On hearing of the death of the great French diplomat Talleyrand, his Austrian rival Metternich is reputed to have said: "What did he mean by that?" Perhaps we can be too cynical in assessing politicians' motives. And so maybe we should just give President Obama credit for doing the right thing in endorsing marriage equality, and leave it at that. -- David BoazNakedly political, but my Facebook friends are in rapture. What do I do -- pick a fight?
May 9, 2012
Quote of the Day
Is this the administration line? Blame Bush for everything? Or is it Biden being Biden? (Come the zombie apocalypse, a zombie locked in with this man would starve.) -- Sarah Hoyt
April 29, 2012
We're Laughing With You, Not At You
April 28, 2012
A New Down
After promising not to "spike the football" by "trot[ting] out this stuff [bin Laden's killing] as trophies" President Obama's re-election campaign is now spiking the football. Fair enough, I say. But the "game" of leader-of-the-free-world isn't over. China's fear-society now offers "quarterback" Obama a chance to score another touchdown.
"You must see to the bottom of this," the activist said. "Even though I am free, my family ... are still in their grasp. While I was there, they were repeatedly harmed. Now that I'm gone, I can only imagine how it has blown up."
It was easy enough for the President to say "yes" when his defense secretary told him, "We have found Osama bin Laden and planned an operation to capture or kill him. May we proceed?" Let's see if he has the loins to tell China, "Protect your citizens from their government."
Following the Golden State down the rat hole
Joel Kotkin has some harsh words for the governance of California -- and a warning to the Obama Administration for attempting to apply the model nationally.
From his first days in office, the president has held up California as a model state. In 2009, he praised its green-tinged energy policies as a blueprint for the nation. He staffed his administration with Californians like Energy Secretary Steve Chu--an open advocate of high energy prices who’s lavished government funding on "green" dodos like solar-panel maker Solyndra, and luxury electric carmaker Fisker--and Commerce Secretary John Bryson, who thrived as CEO of a regulated utility which raised energy costs for millions of consumers, sometimes to finance "green" ideals.
Kotkin is a treasure for his keen observations on urban life and modern migration patterns. Am I wrong in thinking this column unusually harsh in its criticism of the President?
Of course, when you get out of Brother Keith's house, they love him out there.
The IPO-lottery, Hollywood, and inherited-wealth crowds can afford the state's sky-high costs, especially along the coast, but most California businesses can't. Under Brown and his even less well-informed predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the official mantra has been that the state’s "creative" entrepreneurs would trigger a state revival. This is very much the hope of the administration, which trots out companies like Facebook, Apple, and Google as exemplars of the American future. "No part of America better represents America than here," the president told a crowd at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View last fall.
Great article -- HT: Insty
April 26, 2012
Life Imitates ThreeSources
Quick follow-up on our great guest post on the 16th. A good friend of this blog, who works in the financial sector, disputed Secretary Geithner's claim of "profit" from TARP.
Now I see the claim has also been disputed by some right wing hack somewhere -- no, wait! It has been disputed by Christy Romero, the newly installed special inspector general for TARP.
Similar to her predecessor Neil Barofsky, Romero seems to be saying (indirectly, of course!) the Treasury Department -- and Geithner -- have been misleading the American public about the costs of TARP. While that's impossible to prove, there has been a concerted effort by Treasury to paint the program in the best possible light. (Reason.com has compiled a timeline of such statements, for those who want to check the record.)
April 25, 2012
The 110,000 Million-Dollar Plan
A favorite TV show growing up was Lee Majors starring as the "Six-Million Dollar Man." After crashing the test flight of an experimental aircraft, Steve Austin was fitted with "bionics" that made him "better, stronger, faster." President Obama has been trying the same thing in America's energy market, with less success. Investors Ed Page says Obama Fought Oil and Lost; Now it's Back to Reality.
In other words, even a fast-forward to 23 years from now doesn't reveal an energy economy substantially different from today's. Obama has run up quite a price tag trying to deny this reality.
April 20, 2012
And Now, Some Nasty Words about the President
I think I have been pretty subdued for three years. President Obama's politics are orthogonal to mine and we have substantive philosophical differences. Yet, I worked especially hard to avoid "Obama Derangement Syndrome" that so consumed -- mutatis mutandis -- my lefty friends during the last administration.
I kept out of the birther pool and tried to extend the benefit of the doubt on all but his most egregious oversteps. But if he is going to be all-campaign, all the time, I will express my views forthrightly. All in?
First, I want to point out a major league "get" for PJ Media. David P. Goldman is a frequent Kudlow guest where he shares his views on business, broad economics and markets. I was unaware of his book How Civilizations Die (and Islam is dying too), columns, or really any of his other fields of expertise. He now has a regular PJ Media blog called Spengler to which I look forward.
Yesterday's post rekindled an unease I felt reading the President's first autobiography. (Jeeberz, I am over 50 and haven't even written one -- what the hell is the matter with me?) I put it down to partisan hackery on my part, but Goldman's column brings it back in the context of the hilarious dog-eating contretemps. Goldman points out that he identifies with the dog eaters. The Third World is his world and the nation he leads is the villain.
Obama is the son of a Kenyan Muslim father, the stepson of an Indonesian Muslim, and the child, most of all, of an American anthropologist who devoted her career to protecting Indonesian traditional life against the depredations of the global marketplace. Her doctoral dissertation, "Peasant blacksmithing in Indonesia: surviving against all odds," celebrated traditional cultures hanging on desperately in the face of the global economic marketplace.
Strong stuff and he does not lighten up much after that. Had I not seen his sobriety many nights on Kudlow, I might dismiss him as some "talk show" host grabbing notice.
OR: had I not read "Dreams From my Father." I got a different vibe of Mom than Goldman, but was consumed with young Barry's constant rejection of people and institutions that were good to him, in favor of those that were not. I thought him actually manufacturing grievance for authenticity.
He makes fun of Romney now saying that, unlike the Governor, he did not grow up with a silver spoon. But the DFMF tale is not one of poverty and deprivation. He grows up in Hawaii, attending private schools. His mother, grandparents, and teachers are completely kind, He is in Indonesia, not as a penniless beggar, but as the stepson of a successful businessman who is affectionate and caring, and the child of a college professor. On to Harvard where every avenue is open to ensure his success. A plum Law Career assignment. Et freaking cetera. Yet, boo hoo, Barry has to find the disaffected black youth in Hawaii, run to Africa to chase a vacant and generally corrupt father, leave the corporate world to stir up trouble for the established order in Chicago.
We know how it all ends. But Goldman is dead right, if a bit impolitic:
It really isn't unfair at all to bring Obama's canine consumption to public attention. The president isn't really one of us. He's a dog-eater. He tells the story in his memoir to emphasize that viscerally, Obama identifies with the Third World of his upbringing more than with the America of his adulthood. It is our great misfortune to have a president who dislikes our country at this juncture in our history.
April 17, 2012
Quote of the Day
About the President's tax return:
When we donate money to a charity, church or some other worthy cause, we are allowed a tax deduction, which means the government gets less of our money. The president and many in his party keep telling us that the government needs more money, but if they believe this, why are they taking charitable deductions? I expect the reason is that most of us implicitly believe (for good empirical reasons) that private charities and other tax-exempt groups spend our money more wisely and carefully than the government. -- Richard Rahn
It took me a second to catch on, but I saw this last night and laughed myself into physical pain. The good fans of Washington DC created this special welcome for Boston Goaltender Tim Thomas:
For those keeping score: I love Thomas as a goaltender, except that he might be better than my hero, Ken Dryden. I fulsomely respect his Tea Party views but think he was wrong to decline a White House invitation.
A Rare Rhetorical Answer
I ask the eternal internal question: "What if President George W Bush had said that?"
Yesterday Barack Obama addressed the Summit of the Americas in Colombia and spoke about the conflict between the United Kingdom and Argentina over the Falklands. Obama seemed to tilt toward Argentina by calling the islands the "Malvinas" rather than the Falklands, which Argentina insists is their proper name.
I always ask, but I never got an answer -- until today. John Hinderaker finds a Telegraph article that uses the malapropism to take a whack at . . . President Bush:
Barack Obama made an uncharacteristic error, more akin to those of his predecessor George W Bush, by referring to the Falkland Islands as the Maldives.
That stupid George Bush -- I can't believe he made President Obama say that!
April 16, 2012
Headline of the Day
S**t! That's all we had! There is no plan B! Stall 'em...
Tweet of the Day
UPDATE: Trading some fun emails with a friend of the blog who sends a link to Obama, like Buffett, pays lower tax rate than his secretary.
Obama himself would not qualify for the Buffett Rule, which would apply only to people who make more than $1 million in a particular year.
I suggested a new T-Shirt "Think of how rich Buffett would be if his secretary weren't so stupid!"
UPDATE II: Of course, Kennedy's friend makes a common error. That is the ten year projection; only 100,000,000 Cartagena Hookers per year could be procured by the Buffett Rule.
April 12, 2012