Views on the News – 12/3/2011
By: David Coughlin
Barack Obama is a dream, and in 2008, the dream was hope and change, but now in 2012, it will be progress, thwarted by evil partisans and selfish greed because he needs enemies to draw attention from his lack of depth, for he is truly a mile wide and an inch deep. He is an illusion — always appearing to be more than he is, always, more promise than reality. He is, and always has been, the sum projection of what others want him to be. Barack Obama doesn’t exist, except in the hearts and minds of minions and sycophants. Many ignore the truth, disregarding Mr. Obama’s abject failure as President. Those of us with our eyes open, though, see right through the man. A transparent Presidency is the one promise he kept, for he is the original evaporated man. Though he seemed so substantial at first, with the passage of time, it is obvious how much less there is to him. What we saw in the beginning was simply a projection of our own hopes and dreams. We saw what we wanted to see. Barack Obama may be a dream, but that dream is a nightmare: class warfare sold as transcendent leadership; crony capitalism sold as green energy; forced unionization sold as a means to save the worker; control of health care to ensure his vision of what care we must have, even if that’s less than what we need. Obama’s grand plan is a redefinition of not only America, but of all things: redefined the very meaning of leadership by leading from behind; rising unemployment is now jobs “saved or created;” warfare is an “overseas contingency operation” and the ability to attack and retreat at the same time; redefined political oratory with the aggressive use of “I,” “me,” and “my;” terrorism is now “man-caused disasters,” while diplomacy is apologizing and bowing to world leaders for the sins of those lesser men who came before; a trillion dollars has become an affordable sum; bipartisanship is giving the opposition the opportunity to do as they are told, and dignified debate is the demonization of anyone who disagrees; fair play is victory by any means; truth is whatever Obama says it is; rules are whatever he says they are; and merit is deserving awards for what he might do. Only a man not really there could spend a trillion dollars on failed stimulus, resulting in the loss of millions of jobs, and claim success for having saved us from depression caused by the depredations of the greedy 1%, who refuse to pay their fair share, defined as some figure in excess of the 40% of all taxes they already pay. The politics of Barack Obama, sold as hope and change, was never more than bitterness and envy, fomented in the citizenry to disguise his pandering to crony capitalists, political backers, and rabid environmentalists. All concealed from the public by a compliant legacy media. The nowhere man had no problem handing Libya to al-Qaeda, Egypt to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Iraq to Iran, while doing nothing to prevent Iran from helping Syria kill thousands of its own people. Obama is a faux intellectual, using arrogance and attitude to convey authority. Reading fluidly from his teleprompter, he condescends in mellifluous tones to convey intellectual superiority. He loves giving speeches, pausing frequently for applause, for he is nothing when not basking in the adulation of the masses. He is defined only by what is said and written about him. That is why he can’t stand dissent and will go to any lengths to crush it. There are no policies, just generalizations. The failed Stimulus Act was written by others and used to reward those who did the most to elect Obama. ObamaCare legislation, also written by others, is exceedingly unpopular, has cost jobs, and is predicted to hamstring the economy well into the future, while restricting health care and costing trillions of dollars. Obama believes what he has always been told: that he is a huge success, his only mistake not communicating his greatness to the little people, and this will be his undoing.
(“Obama, the Dream” by William L. Gensert dated November 29, 2011 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/11/obama_the_dream.html )
President Obama who is running against his own “do nothing” Congress to which he outsourced the writing of ObamaCare, the stimulus programs, the budget, and, the most recent failure, the Super Committee which had been preceded by a blue ribbon commission whose recommendations he ignored. Obama does not want to be reelected noting that this is the first President in the history of the nation to blame its present problems on Americans! While he campaigns furiously around the nation, he keeps telling voters that they are “lazy”, “a bit soft”, and have lost their “ambition and imagination.” No, Americans are imagining what another four years of Obama would do to the nation and they don’t like what they see. Meanwhile, the Democrat Party is stuck with their “messiah” and having some very serious second thoughts about him. When two top Democratic pollsters and strategists, Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas Schoen, go on record to urge the President to step aside and allow someone else, like Hillary Clinton, to run for the office in 2012, you know the party is in serious trouble. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is telling anyone who will listen that he doesn’t think either Barack or Michelle “like being in the White House” When the likes of Congressman Barney Frank announces he will not run for reelection, he has joined fifteen other Democrats in Congress bailing out before the 2012 national elections, knowing it will be a political bloodbath for the Party. The Democrats who controlled both houses of Congress when Obama took office in 2009 lost the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterm elections and saw a number of governorships go to Republicans. The chairwoman of the Democrat National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is so astoundingly stupid that it is a reflection on the party as a whole. Despite the fact that she drives an 2010 Infiniti FX35, a Japanese luxury SUV, she declared “If it were up to the candidates for president on the Republican side, we would be driving foreign cars.” A lot of people voted for Barack Obama because he was black, but now they will vote for whoever the Republican nominee is because Obama has exacerbated all the Democrat programs that have brought the nation to ruin.
(“Pity the Democrat Party” by Alan Caruba dated November 28, 2011 published by Canada Free Press at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/42781 )
It is time to examine the last few decades of American History, do some analysis, and ask some poignant questions about political intentions and promised results, government actions and their consequences, and compare to actual quantifiable results. Many transformational changes have taken place over the last 50 years that required fundamental changes to our society, promised dramatic improvements, but fell short in execution:
· Civil Rights - The early civil right movement was supported and encouraged by the GOP and conservatives. Civil rights legislation was opposed and even filibustered by the Left Wing Democrats! Lyndon Johnson is hailed today as a liberal pioneer and champion of civil rights, but Johnson himself was a notorious racist and no lover of our black brethren, but instead considered them as a malleable resource expecting them to vote Democrat for the next 100 years! His prediction was accurate as the black community has been a monolithic voting bloc, supporting Democrats about 97%.
· “War on Poverty” - Vastly expanding on FDR’s New Deal Welfare State, Johnson ushered in a whole new culture, creating generational dependency and a paradigm of the entitlement mentality. By providing a bare subsistence, but requiring nothing from the recipients; by subsidizing out of wedlock childbearing; by setting the “soft bigotry of low expectations”; a new “system” was created and the “underprivileged” soon learned the rules of the game to receive a meager but adequate living at government expense – without having to learn, earn or contribute to their own subsistence. A new dependency class was born – and could be counted on to vote for their Democrat “benefactors”. Unfortunately the “war on poverty” is lost! More people live near or below the poverty line than when the programs were started, and there are as many poor whites as blacks, gaming the same system and there are as many whites on assistance or food stamps today as blacks. The “dependency culture” is not melanin specific!
· Affordable Housing - Carter instituted the “Community Reinvestment Act” – ostensibly ending the banking practice of “redlining” which essentially declared entire neighborhoods to be bad loan risks, forcing banks to abandon sound underwriting principles and risk assessment, and to make unwise loans to those who were at high risk of default. This was the beginning of the “Sub Prime” Housing Debacle! The CRA, with Clinton’s doubling down on it under the direction of ACORN in the 90s, set in motion the mortgage crisis, the Fannie/Freddie crisis, the banking crisis and ultimately all the economic woes we suffer from today. The mentality that homeownership is a right superseded the notion that Americans have a right to purchase any home they can afford! It was the Bush Administration and the GOP in Congress who raised the red flag in 2005, with the Fannie Freddie Hearings. They sought to curb the problem while it was addressable…while the powerful Democrats – Dodd, Frank, Schumer, etc. all stood up to defend Fannie/Freddie and it’s leadership. The stage was set for collapse, and collapse it did in the latter half of Bush’s 2nd term.
· National Debt - In 1994 the Gingrich Revolution and the Contract With America swept the GOP into power in the Congress. With Newt at the helm, Clinton was dragged kicking and screaming to a balanced budget and the first actual surpluses in 50 years! The positive numbers continued until 9/11 and the War on Terror. As Bush took office, the dot-com bubble burst, 9/11 and the wars took a toll on the economy. We fell from surplus to deficit as we ramped up military action. Bush’s worst deficit in his first 6 years (while he had a GOP Congress) was around $430 Billion in 2003. The Bush Tax Cuts spurred the economy and resulted in three consecutive years of reducing deficits! Still, six years into his presidency, Bush was soundly and rightly criticized four raising our 4 Trillion Dollar National Debt by 50% to 6 Trillion when the reins of Congress were turned over to Pelosi/Reid. By the time Obama took office, Pelosi/Reid had added a Trillion to our annual deficit, and 3 more Trillion to the Debt! In 2 years Pelosi and Company added 3 Trillion, while it took Bush and the GOP 6 years to add 2 Trillion, so Obama comes into office with a 9 Trillion dollar debt and in record time, we’ve seen the debt balloon from 9 Trillion to 15 Trillion… more than a 50% growth in 3 years!
How’s this liberal transformation workin’ out for ya? Are you starting to notice a pattern here? It’s been said that if you tax something, you get less of it, and if you subsidize something you get more of it, so why, then, do we tax success and subsidize failure?
(“So, How’s That Workin’ Out For Ya?” by Doug Edelman dated November 23, 2011 published by Intellectual Conservative at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2011/11/23/so-how%E2%80%99s-that-workin%E2%80%99-out-for-ya/ )
The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement’s popularity is dropping just about as rapidly as the movement’s masses are being kicked out of the places across the country they’ve all but destroyed. What was originally painted as an innocent expression of freedom of speech quickly morphed into a violent temper-tantrum against all forms of normal society generally, and banks and financial institutions specifically. Unlike the Tea Party movement which is largely responsible for changing the nature of the debate in Washington, and in 2010, changing the face of Congress, OWS will most likely have zero impact on the political process due to lack of substance and provocative style. Many of the OWS protestors still haven’t a clue that they were played like pawns on a grand liberal chessboard by those who care little about financial inequality. Liberals are quick to come alongside protestors and claim solidarity, but fail to mention they are responsible for much of the mess the protestors are marching against. It’s all about political power as naive, disenfranchised youth, brainwashed by college professors, bought into the whole “99 percent” marketing ploy. After untold reports of public nudity, orgies and masturbating, personal property defecation, drug overdoses, robberies and rapes, Americans have discovered, with immense relief and much thanksgiving that these occupiers are not at all like the rest of us. The OWS movement fizzled out because it failed to understand that its protests absent a purpose, don’t accomplish anything. The Occupy movement has only succeeded to annoy and disrupt the lives of innocent people who happen to make a living in the vicinity of the Occupy parks, and expose the underbelly of the Left as to who they really are – agitators.
(“We Are Not “The 99 Percent” by Susan Brown dated November 30, 2011 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/susanbrown/2011/11/30/we_are_not_the_99_percent )
Creating a “green energy” economy may be the most daunting central planning task ever attempted since it entails nothing less than the reengineering of our entire energy infrastructure, and, like all central planning schemes, green energy is based on a roadmap that eschews real-world experience and sound economics in favor of utopian ideology driven by political connections. Now the experiment is unraveling, having barely begun as the parade of government-subsidized failures already includes Solyndra, Stirling Energy, SpectraWatt, Evergreen Solar, Beacon Power, and others. Everyone acknowledges that electricity generated from wind and solar cannot be produced and delivered at prices that compete with coal or gas. However, alternative energy advocates believe that someday the cost curves will cross, and that government subsidies will accelerate that day’s arrival. For this to come true, multiple problems have to be solved before taxpayers run out of money or patience. Along the way, the alternative energy industry has to avoid getting sidetracked into the wrong technologies, as this will delay the eagerly awaited carbon-free future:
· First, technology has to be invented that can deliver unprecedented levels of efficiency in the conversion of low energy-density sources like wind and solar into electricity suitable for transmission over the grid.
· Second, the prices of fossil fuels have to rise, either because reserves become depleted or through the passage of regulatory encumbrances, such as a massive carbon tax.
· Third, new techniques need to be developed to store electricity produced only while the sun shines or the wind blows, allowing that stored energy to be delivered later, when it is actually needed.
· Fourth, massive transmission system upgrades need to occur to transport electricity from the wind and solar farms where it is produced to the urban areas where it is consumed.
· Finally, unknown problems that crop up when immature technologies are brought to market have to be identified and resolved—from the scarcity of critical materials never before consumed in large quantities to the siting of massive structures that disturb the view of influential public figures.
Failure to solve any of these problems can doom the whole enterprise, stranding investments. Picking winners and losers in this interconnected risk management puzzle is near impossible, even without any political influence. Meanwhile, mature technologies are not standing still. Thanks to fracking and horizontal drilling, proven reserves of gas and oil are soaring, holding fossil fuel prices in check. Even as the Obama administration throws regulatory sand into the gears to slow these fossil fuel developments, newly accessible oil and gas isn’t going anywhere. The likelihood that all of these alternative fuel problems will be solved simultaneously before the political winds shift is vanishingly small. As we enter an election year, it is easy to see why the venture capital community is rapidly abandoning early-stage alternative energy investments, shifting their last bets to late stage deals, hoping to cash out before the party is over. No one knows when the final chapter in this alternative fule saga will be written, but we can be sure it’ll make a fine addition to a book describing the folly of central planning.
(“Alternative Energy’s Alternate Reality” by Bill Frezza dated November 22, 2011 published by Forbes Magazine at http://www.forbes.com/sites/billfrezza/2011/11/22/alternative-energys-alternate-reality/ )
ObamaCare is the Kryptonite of American politics and not even Superman himself could survive touching this truly terrible law Dr. Donald M. Berwick as the latest voluntary victim of President Obama’s race toward socialized medicine. ObamaCare is heading for the ash heap of history, where it belongs, and so are the politicians who forced it upon an unwilling America. When Democrats plotted to unleash ObamaCare, they knew Americans would never accept it, so they chose, quite frankly, to lie about it:
· They claimed ObamaCare would allow you to keep your current insurance and your current doctor. False.
· They claimed ObamaCare would “create 4 million jobs, 400,000 almost immediately.” False.
· They claimed ObamaCare would reduce the deficit. False.
When their utopian health care lies began to unravel, Democrats shamelessly began granting ObamaCare waivers to their closest friends. About 1,800 and counting get-out-of-jail-free cards have been bestowed predominantly upon union members and other contributors to the Democrats’ big-government machine. When Americans finally had a chance to cast votes against ObamaCare, the earth began to move beneath the Democrats’ feet:
· In January 2010, long-shot Republican Scott Brown promised to be the “40th vote” in the Senate to block ObamaCare, and the Massachusetts seat flipped from blue to red.
· In August 2010, the bellwether state of Missouri voted overwhelmingly 3-1 for an anti-ObamaCare ballot measure.
· In November 2010, Democrats faced ObamaCare Armageddon as voters gave the GOP its largest congressional victory in more than a century.
· In November 2011, Democrats received an ominous sign in yet another bellwether state, Ohio, where an anti-ObamaCare measure swept all 88 counties and won by an almost 2-1 margin despite very heavy union turnout.
ObamaCare is the albatross Democrats have hung around their own necks. It’s the place where socialist political futures go to die. ObamaCare is the Jonestown flavor of Kool-Aid. At the center of this collapsing health care maelstrom is the departing Medicare chief, Dr. Berwick, a man who leaves Washington just as he arrived: dishonorably. Obama ignored his own promises of transparency and installed Dr. Berwick as the head of Medicare under the cloak of a recess appointment, thereby avoiding a congressional hearing, until now. With his term expiring, the head of government health care has chosen to slink out of town rather than face public scrutiny. In many ways, Dr. Berwick personifies the arrogance that has permeated ObamaCare, but that’s not why he’s hitting the bricks. Berwick’s cardinal sin, the one that cost him his job, is that he spoke truthfully of the Democrats’ socialist agenda and the President denies that ObamaCare rations health care or moves America toward socialized medicine, so Dr. Berwick simply had to go.
(“Bye-bye Berwick” by Milton R. Wolf dated November 28, 2011 published by The Washington Times at http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/nov/28/bye-bye-berwick/ )
The State Department officials suffer from a malady referred to as “clientitis,” which is generally defined as a state of mind in which representatives of an organization confuse their roles and no longer are able to perform their duties effectively. Rather than advance the cause of their organization to outside organizations, they represent the interests of outside organizations to their own organizations. In some cases, diplomats are simply corrupted by their host governments. Often, the problem is myopia rather than corruption. Diplomats who speak to foreign government officials on a daily basis often simply ignore the context in which these foreigners operate. They become friends with their interlocutors and forget that the latter are also agents of their governments tasked with promoting foreign interests in their dealings with US diplomats. Since the scourge of clientitis among diplomats is widely recognized, governments are often able to consider its impact on diplomats when they weigh the credibility or wisdom of recommendations presented by their professional diplomats. Less well recognized and therefore largely unconsidered is how clientitis has negatively impacted the positions of military commanders. Since September 11, 2011, the US military has vastly expanded its nation building roles around the world. US military commanders are promoted more for prowess in acting as diplomats-in-uniform than for their capacity to train and employ soldiers to kill and defeat the enemy. So, too, in working with their local counterparts on a daily basis, like their State Department colleagues, these US military officers have a marked tendency to ignore the broader context in which their local colleagues operate. And so, like their civilian colleagues at the US embassies in these countries, military commanders have a tendency to become the representatives of their foreign counterparts to the Pentagon and to Congress. Governments must give due consideration to the positions of their professional diplomats and military commanders as well as to those of allied countries when they weigh various policy options. Legislators and policymakers must also take into account the built-in biases influencing the judgment of these professionals since clientitis is a serious impediment to good judgment and it is found wherever professionals are charged with building relationships, rather than achieving concrete goals.
(“The Scourge of Clientitis” by Caroline Glick dated November 25, 2011 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/carolineglick/2011/11/25/the_scourge_of_clientitis )
David Coughlin is a political pundit, editor of the policy action planning web site “Return to Common Sense,” and an active member of the White Plains Tea Party. He retired from IBM after a short career in the U.S. Army. He currently resides with his wife of 40 years in Hawthorne, NY. He was educated at West Point (Bachelor of Science, 1971) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Masters, Administrative Science, 1976).