Broke California just got more …. Broke – Tea Party Nation

Broke California just got more …. Broke – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Plato once said we must be involved in politics or be prepared to be governed by our inferiors.  The Congress and the California State Government put that truism into the dustbin of history.

 California is broke.  California is as much an economic basket case as Greece.  So what are they doing?

 They are spending more money!

 From AP:

 California lawmakers approved billions of dollars Friday in construction financing for the initial segment of what would be the nation’s first dedicated high-speed rail line connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.

 The state Senate voted 21-16 on a party-line vote after intense lobbying by Gov. Jerry Brown, Democratic leaders and labor groups.

 The bill authorizes the state to begin selling $4.5 billion in voter-approved bonds that includes $2.6 billion to build an initial 130-mile stretch of the high-speed rail line in the Central Valley. That will allow the state to collect another $3.2 billion in federal funding that could have been rescinded if lawmakers failed to act Friday.

 “The Legislature took bold action today that gets Californians back to work and puts California out in front once again,” Brown said in a statement. He later celebrated with Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg of Sacramento, a fellow Democrat.

 Brown pushed for the massive infrastructure project to accommodate expected population growth in the nation’s most populous state, which now has 37 million people. He said the project is sorely needed to create jobs in a region with higher-than-average unemployment.

 What kind of idiots are running the show in Washington and Sacramento?

 Oh wait, they are Democrats.

 If California wants to put more of their citizens back to work, here is a suggestion.  Cut taxes.  Cut your insane regulations that have anyone with the capacity to start a business or run one and the ability to leave California doing so. 

 So California is going to spend more money that it does not have.  The taxpayers are going to be on the hook for the cost.

 Here’s a thought for California.  If this high-speed rail was really good idea, the private sector would have done it a long time ago.

 Meanwhile will the last Californian with a job leaving for another state, please turn out the lights.

Forward Democrats! Union Sets Record for Biggest City Bankruptcy – John Ransom – Townhall.com

Official seal of City of Stockton

Official seal of City of Stockton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forward Democrats! Union Sets Record for Biggest City Bankruptcy – John Ransom – Townhall.com.

Forward! Stockton, California; move on forward, right to bankruptcy.

Can you take the Democrats with you? Oh, that’s right: They are already there.   

Stockton, California will seek bankruptcy protection after negotiations with unions over benefits and worker’s pay failed to avert insolvency by the city. But because of laws passed by California liberals aimed at entitling government union workers to inflated pay and benefits under most circumstances, look for more cities in California to seek the same remedy.

If you weren’t horrified by the case in made in Madison, Wisconsin over union wages and benefits causing massive state and local budget deficits, you should be scared by the example in Stockton.

For more on this story, see Mike Shedlock’s  Stockton Bankrupt; Unions Pension Death Trap for Cities to Blame

Because California isn’t Wisconsin. It’s bigger than that.  California, as measured by GDP, ranks as the 8th largest economy in the world. At $1.9 trillion it dwarfs Greece and is ranked above Spain. It economy is larger than the economy of Russia.   

From the Washington Post:

“The city is fiscally insolvent and must seek chapter 9 bankruptcy protection,” Stockton said in a statement released yesterday after its council voted 6-1 to adopt a spending plan for operating under bankruptcy protection. “In addition to the bankruptcy petition, the city will file a motion with the courts to share information from the confidential mediation.”

The Post said that a bankruptcy by Stockton will make it the largest city to file for bankruptcy protection in U.S. history.

Thank God for the unions and Democrats protecting the middle class.

Without them, we might have something outrageous like fiscal solvency breaking out.

Stockton, an agricultural city of about 300,000 residents in California’s Central Valley, voted to pare the year’s budget by reducing benefits, pay and debt service on bonds.

“The new budget will suspend debt payments,” reports the New York Times, “cut employee pay and reduce retiree benefits, allowing this city of about 292,000 residents to continue providing essential services through the bankruptcy process.”

The liberal California Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that union pension, healthcare and other benefits are protected under the law, even when benefits aren’t promised in contracts. Instead, benefits in some cases are considered implied contracts, leaving cities with few options when it comes to negotiating during tough fiscal times, says Steven Greenhut, vice president of journalism at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. Increasingly, union benefits are forcing cities, especially in California, to consider bankruptcy as their only option to restore the fiscal health of cities.

Unions, of course, won’t take pay or benefit cuts unless forced to.

“Yet many state governments such as California struggle with endless budget deficits,” wrote Greenhut at UnionWatch.org. “Unfunded liabilities to pay for pension promises for state and local public employees hit an estimated $3 trillion nationwide. Then there are the debts for the health-care promises that municipalities have made to their employees. Much of this is not honestly accounted for, so the real numbers are worse than the official ones.”

To put those numbers in perspective, the whole country of Greece is underwater on about $420 billion in debt, or only 14 percent of just our unfunded pension promises for state and local workers are. 

Hence the need for bankruptcy protection from the courts in order to keep vital services running at the state and local level. In the fight between benefits that you and I will never be entitled to but have to pay for and keeping the garbage picked up and the police cars rolling, get which side the unions pick?

Indeed, some are arguing that state’s like Illinois and California have no choice but to consider asking Congress for an enabling law that would allow states to file bankruptcy in order to void the union contracts.

Greenhut cites an op-ed from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who say that union contracts are the problem for states wrestling with budget deficits.

“[A]s with municipal bankruptcy,” writes Bush and Gingrich in the LA Times, “a new bankruptcy law would allow states in default or in danger of default to reorganize their finances free from their union contractual obligations. In such a reorganization, a state could propose to terminate some, all or none of its government employee union contracts and establish new compensation rates, work rules, etc. The new law could also allow states an opportunity to reform their bloated, broken and underfunded pension systems for current and future workers. The lucrative pay and benefits packages that government employee unions have received from obliging politicians over the years are perhaps the most significant hurdles for many states trying to restore fiscal health.”

And instead of politicizing the process by allowing the federal government to play favorites with their union buddies and federal bailout money, we ought to let taxpayers and elected officials in the state wrest back control from unelected union hot shots who use your tax money to buy favors from Democrats.         

Occupy fail? – Tea Party Nation

Occupy fail? – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Well, the massive May Day protests Occupy promised, well, they may fall under the heading now of epic fail. 

 From CNBC:

 Occupy Wall Street‘s call for a general strike to mark International Workers Day got off to a slow start on Tuesday, with sparse gatherings at a handful of spots around a rainy New York City.

 At Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, about 100 activists gathered where the group had promised a “pop-up encampment” emblematic of the movement’s early days in lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park near the Wall Street financial district.

 The crowd soon dispersed to other locations to demonstrate, including directly across the street from Bryant Park at the Bank of America tower. About two dozen activists picketed in front of the building’s main entrance. One person was arrested in the middle of 6th Avenue in front of the building.

 The group said it expected greater participation in events planned for later in the day as it tries to breathe fresh life into the movement that sparked a wave of nationwide protests against economic injustice eight months ago.

 Other actions included a march with organized labor starting from New York City’s Union Square in the afternoon and a promise to “occupy” San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. In Washington, D.C., there were plans to march to the White House.

 A text message alert broadcast late Monday from an Occupy Wall Street address said: “All civilians stand by for GENERAL STRIKE at 08:00. No Work, School, or Shopping. All out in the streets!”

 What would happen if you called a strike and no one came?  Now, I guess we know. 

 What would be really nice would be if the media would give the Occupy movement the same kind of coverage they give the Tea Party movement.

  If they did, the narrative we would be hearing today is that the Occupy movement is dying.  We would hear in detail about the rapes, vandalism and other crimes committed at the Occupy camps.

 We would hear about the racist comments made by many of the Occupy mob.

 Instead, the coverage we get of Occupy can pretty much be called propaganda.

 A year from now, we will see which movement is still thriving, the Tea Party movement or the Occupy mob.

 My money is on the Tea Party movement.

An Ignored ‘Disparity’ – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative

An Ignored ‘Disparity’ – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative.

With all the talk about “disparities” in innumerable contexts, there is one very important disparity that gets remarkably little attention — disparities in the ability to create wealth. People who are preoccupied, or even obsessed, with disparities in income are seldom interested much, or at all, in the disparities in the ability to create wealth, which are often the reasons for the disparities in income.

In a market economy, people pay us for benefiting them in some way — whether we are sweeping their floors, selling them diamonds or anything in between. Disparities in our ability to create benefits for which others will pay us are huge, and the skills required can develop early — or sometimes not at all.

A recent national competition among high school students who create their own technological advances turned up an especially high share of such students winning recognition in the San Francisco Bay Area. A closer look showed that the great majority of these Bay Area students had Asian names.

Asian Americans are a substantial presence in this region but they are by no means a majority, much less such an overwhelming majority as they are among those winning high tech awards.

This pattern of disproportionate representation of particular groups among those with special skills and achievements is not confined to Asian Americans or even to the United States.

It is a phenomenon among particular racial, ethnic or other groups in countries around the world — the Ibos in Nigeria, the Parsees in India, the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, Germans in Brazil, Chinese in Malaysia, Lebanese in West Africa, Tamils in Sri Lanka. The list goes on and on.

Gross inequalities in skills and achievements have been the rule, not the exception, on every inhabited continent and for centuries on end. Yet our laws and government policies act as if any significant statistical difference between racial or ethnic groups in employment or income can only be a result of their being treated differently by others.

Nor is this simply an opinion. Businesses have been sued by the government when the representation of different groups among their employees differs substantially from their proportions in the population at large. But, no matter how the human race is broken down into its components — whether by race, sex, geographic region or whatever — glaring disparities in achievements have been the rule, not the exception.

Anyone who watches professional basketball games knows that the star players are by no means a representative sample of the population at large. The book “Human Accomplishment” by Charles Murray is a huge compendium of the top achievements around the world in the arts and sciences, as well as in sports and other fields.

Nowhere have these achievements been random or representative of the demographic proportions of the population of a country or of the world. Nor have they been the same from one century to the next. China was once far more advanced technologically than any country in Europe, but then it fell behind and more recently is gaining ground.

Most professional golfers who participate in PGA tournaments have never won a single tournament, but Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have each won dozens of tournaments.

Yet these and numerous other disparities in achievement are resolutely ignored by those whose shrill voices denounce disparities in rewards, as if these disparities are somehow suspicious at best and sinister at worst.

Higher achieving groups — whether classes, races or whatever — are often blamed for the failure of other groups to achieve. Politicians and intellectuals, especially, tend to conceive of social questions in terms that allow them to take on the role of being on the side of the angels against the forces of evil.

This can be a huge disservice to those individuals and groups who are lagging behind, for it leads them to focus on a sense of grievance and victimhood, rather than on how they can lift themselves up instead of trying to pull other people down.

Again, this is a worldwide phenomenon — a sad commentary on the down side of the brotherhood of man.

Alice in Liberal Land – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative

 

The White Rabbit in a hurry

Image via Wikipedia

Alice in Liberal Land – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative.

Alice in Wonderland” was written by a professor who also wrote a book on symbolic logic. So it is not surprising that Alice encountered not only strange behavior in Wonderland, but also strange and illogical reasoning — of a sort too often found in the real world, and which a logician would be very much aware of.

If Alice could visit the world of liberal rhetoric and assumptions today, she might find similarly illogical and bizarre thinking. But people suffering in the current economy might not find it nearly as entertaining as “Alice in Wonderland.”

Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the world envisioned by today’s liberals is that it is a world where other people just passively accept whatever “change” liberals impose. In the world of Liberal Land, you can just take for granted all the benefits of the existing society, and then simply tack on your new, wonderful ideas that will make things better.

For example, if the economy is going along well and you happen to take a notion that there ought to be more home ownership, especially among the poor and minorities, then you simply have the government decree that lenders have to lend to more low-income people and minorities who want mortgages, ending finicky mortgage standards about down payments, income and credit histories.

That sounds like a fine idea in the world of Liberal Land. Unfortunately, in the ugly world of reality, it turned out to be a financial disaster, from which the economy has still not yet recovered. Nor have the poor and minorities.

Apparently you cannot just tack on your pet notions to whatever already exists, without repercussions spreading throughout the whole economy. That’s what happens in the ugly world of reality, as distinguished from the beautiful world of Liberal Land.

The strange and bizarre characters found in “Alice in Wonderland” have counterparts in the political vision of Liberal Land today. Among the most interesting of these characters are those elites who are convinced that they are so much smarter than the rest of us that they feel both a right and a duty to take all sorts of decisions out of our incompetent hands — for our own good.

In San Francisco, which is Liberal Land personified, there have been attempts to ban the circumcision of newborn baby boys. Fortunately, that was nipped in the bud. But it shows how widely the self-anointed saviors of Liberal Land feel entitled to take decisions out of the hands of mere ordinary citizens.

Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner says, “We’re facing a very consequential debate about some fundamental choices as a country.” People talk that way in Liberal Land. Moreover, such statements pass muster with those who simply take in the words, decide whether they sound nice to them, and then move on.

But, if you take words seriously, the more fundamental question is whether individuals are to remain free to make their own choices, as distinguished from having collectivized choices, “as a country” — which is to say, having choices made by government officials and imposed on the rest of us.

The history of the 20th century is a painful lesson on what happens when collective choices replace individual choices. Even leaving aside the chilling history of totalitarianism in the 20th century, the history of economic central planning shows it to have been such a widely recognized disaster that even communist and socialist governments were abandoning it as the century ended.

Making choices “as a country” cannot be avoided in some cases, such as elections or referenda. But that is very different from saying that decisions in general should be made “as a country” — which boils down to having people like Timothy Geithner taking more and more decisions out of our own hands and imposing their will on the rest of us. That way lies madness exceeding anything done by the Mad Hatter in “Alice in Wonderland.”

That way lie unfunded mandates, nanny state interventions in people’s lives, such as banning circumcision — and the ultimate nanny state monstrosity, ObamaCare.

The world of reality has its problems, so it is understandable that some people want to escape to a different world, where you can talk lofty talk and forget about ugly realities like costs and repercussions. The world of reality is not nearly as lovely as the world of Liberal Land. No wonder so many people want to go there.

Democracy Versus Mob Rule – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative

Democracy Versus Mob Rule – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative.

In various cities across the country, mobs of mostly young, mostly incoherent, often noisy and sometimes violent demonstrators are making themselves a major nuisance.

Meanwhile, many in the media are practically gushing over these “protesters,” and giving them the free publicity they crave for themselves and their cause — whatever that is, beyond venting their emotions on television.

Members of the mobs apparently believe that other people, who are working while they are out trashing the streets, should be forced to subsidize their college education — and apparently the president of the United States thinks so too.

But if these loud mouths’ inability to put together a coherent line of thought is any indication of their education, the taxpayers should demand their money back for having that money wasted on them for years in the public schools.

Sloppy words and sloppy thinking often go together, both in the mobs and in the media that are covering them. It is common, for example, to hear in the media how some “protesters” were arrested. But anyone who reads this column regularly knows that I protest against all sorts of things — and don’t get arrested.

The difference is that I don’t block traffic, join mobs sleeping overnight in parks or urinate in the street. If the media cannot distinguish between protesting and disturbing the peace, then their education may also have wasted a lot of taxpayers’ money.

Among the favorite sloppy words used by the shrill mobs in the streets is “Wall Street greed.” But even if you think people in Wall Street, or anywhere else, are making more money than they deserve, “greed” is no explanation whatever.

“Greed” says how much you want. But you can become the greediest person on earth and that will not increase your pay in the slightest. It is what other people pay you that increases your income.

If the government has been sending too much of the taxpayers’ money to people in Wall Street — or anywhere else — then the irresponsibility or corruption of politicians is the problem. “Occupy Wall Street” hooligans should be occupying Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

Maybe some of the bankers or financiers should have turned down the millions and billions that politicians were offering them. But sainthood is no more common in Wall Street than on Pennsylvania Avenue — or in the media or academia, for that matter.

Actually, some banks did try to refuse the government bailout money, to avoid the interference with their business that they knew would come with it. But the feds insisted — and federal regulators’ power to create big financial problems for banks made it hard to say no. The feds made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

People who cannot distinguish between democracy and mob rule may fall for the idea that the hooligans in the street represent the 99 percent who are protesting about the “greed” of the one percent. But these hooligans are less than one percent and they are grossly violating the rights of vastly larger numbers of people who have to put up with their trashing of the streets by day and their noise that keeps working people awake at night.

As for the “top one percent” in income that attract so much attention, angst and denunciation, there is always going to be a top one percent, unless everybody has the same income. That top one percent has no more monopoly on sainthood or villainy than people in any other bracket.

Moreover, that top one percent does not consist of the “millionaires and billionaires” that Barack Obama talks about. You don’t even have to make half a million dollars to be in the top one percent.

Moreover, this is not an enduring class of people. Nor are people in other income brackets. Most of the people in the top one percent at any given time are there for only one year. Anyone who sells an average home in San Francisco can get into the top one percent in income — for that year. Other one-time spikes in income account for most of the people in that top one percent.

But such plain facts carry little weight amid the heady rhetoric and mindless emotions of the mob and the media.

Death to Tenure – Mike Adams – Townhall Conservative

Death to Tenure – Mike Adams – Townhall Conservative.

Julio Pino is a genocidal anti-Semite who uses his university email account to boast of sodomizing the mothers of his political opponents. But he has the protection of tenure. And he also has the protection of a cowardly administration, which fails to sufficiently condemn the behavior of a man who is probably too effeminate to act on his threats of violence and intimidation.

Pino, the unhinged Kent State University history professor, recently shouted “Death to Israel” during a speech by a former Israeli diplomat. The university’s president, Lester Lefton, now says that statementwas “deplorable.” Lefton issued a statement saying Julio Pino had a right to shout “Death to Israel” and disrupt someone else’s speech. That’s good to know because I plan to barge into Julio Pino’s history class next week and shout “Death to Julio Pino!” If the president doesn’t write a letter supporting my right to do so, I plan to barge into his office and shout “Death to President Lefton!”

I can do all this because we all know that shouting other people down and drowning out their protected free speech with threats of violence is also protected free speech. It’s what the Founding Fathers intended. Death to Jefferson! Death to Madison! Kill them all!

President Lefton surprised me when he wrote “We value critical thinking at this university and encourage students to engage with ideas that they find difficult or make them uncomfortable.” Well that’s just great! That must mean that Kent State has no university speech code. And that means we can engage in a little experimentation.

First, I say we go the Kent State diversity center and shout “Death to Africa!” and “Death to San Francisco!” If we have time after lunch, then we can go to the Kent State Women’s Center and shout “Death to Feminism!” If the point is lost on them, then we can ask a more serious question: Why have you not condemned Julio Pino for claiming – with his university email address – that he forcibly sodomized a woman who is a senior citizen?

For the record, President Lefton (see http://www.kent.edu/president/index.cfm), said this about Julio Pino’s most recent outburst: “We hope that our faculty will always model how best to combine passion for one’s position with respect for those with whom we disagree. Calling for the destruction of the state from which our guest comes (as do some of our students, faculty and community members) is a grotesque failure to model these values.”

Note that Lefton was talking about the “Death to Israel” remarks. Pino’s claims that he forcibly sodomized a senior citizen have yet to be condemned. Kent State officials are still trying to determine whether Pino’s email account was hacked as he claims. By the way, the investigation seems to have been lingering for about 18 months with no conclusion. Maybe that means Pino’s computer wasn’t hacked. Maybe he’s just a sociopath. Maybe Kent State University is just a den of spineless cowards.

The irony of the entire “Death to Israel” episode is that it came after Pino asked the Israeli speaker how he and his government could justify providing aid to countries with “blood money” he says came from the deaths of Palestinian children and babies. The speaker tried to move on after the absurd question. Pino started shouting and then left. He left many wondering “Was this the same Julio Pino who wrote an editorial to the Kent State student newspaper urging Palestinian children to strap bombs to their bodies to kill innocent Jews?” Okay, it really wasn’t irony. It was just blatant hypocrisy from a self-righteous racist.

Pino did not respond last Wednesday when I wrote to him about the “Death to Israel” incident. Maybe someone hacked his email account. Or maybe he was just out forcibly sodomizing a senior citizen. Sounds about right, since there’s no evidence his email has even been hacked.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently noted that Julio Pino was also caught up in a controversy in 2007 when he was cited on websites as being linked to an extremist Islamic website that espoused jihad and published bomb-making instructions. The Plain Dealer notes that “Kent State officials at the time said the extremist site had no connection to Pino or to the university.”

What the Plain Dealer does not note is that Pino and his former department chair have since admitted his connection to the terrorist website. Add the Plain Dealer to the list of cowards protecting a tenured terrorist who sucks the blood of the over-burdened taxpayer.

President Kill-Joy – Tea Party Nation

President Kill-Joy – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

“We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge,” said President Obama at a recent fundraiser in San Francisco.

Didn’t Obama know that the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hoover Dam to which he also referred were built in the midst of the 1930s Great Depression? And that, clearly, the people that built them had not lost their ambition or willingness to do great things.

What is the difference between those great construction projects and the building of the Freedom Tower that has now passed a decade in the effort to replace the destroyed Twin Towers? The answer is government at all levels from federal to local makes such projects difficult because of a matrix of laws and regulations, mostly environmental, that slow all enterprises in America today.

Well, let me correct myself. If you are building an utterly useless solar farm, utilizing solar panels made in China because it is too costly to make them here. Ditto for wind farms that even some Greens hate. Or if you are building electric cars that no one wants to buy. Then, yes, you not only get a federal multi-million dollar loan guarantee, but a lot of red tape is cut for you.

One is, of course, reminded of the unlamented Jimmy Carter who also had a low opinion of Americans, particularly those who used energy for any reason…like heating their homes in the winter.

There was a time when Democrat Presidents like Truman and Kennedy actually believed in their fellow Americans and said so. Even Clinton expressed confidence in us, but others like Carter and now Obama have been the great kill- joys, forever blaming their own incompetence on all of us, including those who voted for them.

I have long held the belief that Barack Obama does not like Americans. He spent the first year or so of his term going around the world criticizing America as the source of all the world’s ills.

Increasingly, the only audiences that cheer when the President shows up are largely composed of adolescents and union members. They either don’t know any better or are just happy to have a day off with pay.

And when a President shows up, he’s supposed to lift our spirits and inspire us. Except this one!

“Whatever we once were, we’re no longer a Christian nation.” Says who? We are a long way from becoming an Islamic nation with Sharia law replacing the Constitution. Say amen everybody!

“In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world.” Oh, you mean like the way Europe started both World War One and Two? Like the Europe facing a present crisis of sovereign debt that will collapse the European Union like a house of cards?

“We need to internalize this idea of excellence”, adding “Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.” Like you? Did you get your latest polling scores by being excellent? And why have you gone to great length to ensure that no one can see your college grades? Or anything else for that matter.

“I would like to think that with my election and the early decisions that we’ve made, that you’re starting to see some restoration of America’s standing in the world.” Does that include the Standard & Poors’ downgrade of our credit rating for the first time in the nation’s history? Any more restoration like this and there won’t be enough electricity to keep the lights on.

I could go on but, as they say, the facts speak for themselves and, unfortunately, President Obama just keeps speaking and speaking and speaking about himself.

The one thing we are willing—eager—to do is go to the polls in November 2012 and send this retard back to Chicago.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

“The Decline and Despair President” – Hugh Hewitt – Townhall Conservative

“The Decline and Despair President” – Hugh Hewitt – Townhall Conservative.

“We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge…”

That was President Obama on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, speaking to a fundraiser in San Francisco, expanding on the premise of his presidency, that America is in decline.

The president has made such statements a recurring theme of his speeches going back to his campaign, though it isn’t clear whether they just pop out of his inner Alinksy or that they cross the teleprompter in front of him.

In Mumbai in 2010 he said the US was no longer in a position to “meet the rest of the world economically on our terms”.

“The fact of the matter is that for most of my lifetime and I’ll turn 50 next year – the US was such an enormously dominant economic power, we were such a large market, our industry, our technology, our manufacturing was so significant that we always met the rest of the world economically on our terms,” the president told his foreign audience. “And now because of the incredible rise of India and China and Brazil and other countries, the US remains the largest economy and the largest market, but there is real competition.”

Apple faces real competition, but it hasn’t declined. It is thriving. But our president assumes American decline instead of assuming that we would win any competition, and handily.

In the UK, Telegraph columnist Nile Gardiner calls Obama “the decline and despair president.”

The most famous expression of the president’s disdain for the notion that America is a superpower and exceptionally situated and equipped to lead the world came a year before his remarks in India, when at the European summit of the Group of 20 in 2009, he quipped, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”

Andrew Sullivan for one denied that the president meant what he said here, and rose to his defense in 2010 with an extended quote from this same “Greek exceptionalism” speech in which the president professes pride in the United States and its core values, but this misses the point of what the president believes to be the arc of American history right now. “What cannot be done honestly, in my view, is to create a narrative from all of [the president's moves] to describe Obama as an anti-American hyper-leftist, spending the US into oblivion.”

But now the president’s talk of lost ambition and ruined imagination ends the debate that Sullivan attempted to join. The president keeps providing those whom Sullivan criticizes with more evidence of his bleak view of the American future, and the left is helpless to defend him when the president simply insists on telling it the way he sees it.

“What’s especially remarkable about this hackery,” wrote Sullivan a year ago “is that these conservative authors don’t just egregiously misrepresent the president’s actual position. It’s that all of them actually cite, as evidence, an out of context line from the very speech that proves their analysis is wrong.”

“You can call this truthiness if you like,” he concluded.” Better, the Dish believes, to call it what it is. A deliberate campaign of misinformation. A Big Lie.”

The trouble for Sullivan’s argument is the evidence. The president went abroad early in his presidency, and the result was what is widely known, correctly, as “the apology tour.”

President Barack Obama has finished the second leg of his international confession tour,” Karl Rove wrote in the Wall Street Journal on April 23, 2009. “In less than 100 days, he has apologized on three continents for what he views as the sins of America and his predecessors.”

Rove continued:

Mr. Obama told the French (the French!) that America “has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe. In Prague, he said America has “a moral responsibility to act” on arms control because only the U.S. had “used a nuclear weapon.” In London, he said that decisions about the world financial system were no longer made by “just Roosevelt and Churchill sitting in a room with a brandy” — as if that were a bad thing. And in Latin America, he said the U.S. had not “pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors” because we “failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas.”

After the first apology tour came the “Greek exceptionalism” moment, and after that his Mumbai confession and now his San Francisco sigh. The apologies merged with the dire assessments and have evolved into explicit pessimism.

“We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge…”

This is not the man to lead an American renaissance, any more than Jimmy Carter could be expected to rise above his personal sense of malaise which he projected on to the country thirty years ago.

We Can’t Wait Either, Mr. President. – Morning Bell – Heritage.org

Barack Obama - Barack-o-lantern Illustration

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

We Can’t Wait Either, Mr. President. – Morning Bell – Heritage.org

Take a stroll through your neighborhood Occupy Wall Street protest–whether it’s in New York or Chicago, Detroit or San Francisco–and you’re likely to see a recurring theme emblazoned across cardboard signs: redistribute wealth from the 1 percent to the 99 percent, all in the name of fairness, whether or not it makes good policy. Or if you want to hear that message without fighting the crowds, you could save yourself some time, turn on the TV, and tune in to President Barack Obama’s latest campaign swing across America, this time titled “We Can’t Wait.”

“I’m here to say that we can’t wait for an increasingly dysfunctional Congress to do its job. Where they won’t act, I will,” President Obama proclaimed in Las Vegas, Nevada. “There is no excuse for the games and gridlock we’ve seen in Washington. Where we don’t have to wait for Congress, we’re just going to go ahead and act on our own.” The actions the President is proposing? More money for “underwater” mortgages and a yet-to-be-announced student loan initiative.

There is no hiding the ball in the President’s populist pitch–and that ball is Obama’s desire to circumvent Congress and enact policies that appeal to his far-left, big-government base, regardless of the will of the people or their representatives in the House and Senate. Obama’s problem is that he failed to convince the American people–and his own party–to pass his latest stimulus plan (a.k.a., “the American Jobs Act”), and now he’s headed into an election season with 14 million jobless Americans, a 9.1 percent unemployment rate, stagnant economic growth as far as the eye can see, and nothing to show for it.

Entirely frustrated by his inability to ram his big spending plan through an unwilling Congress, the President now says that “we can’t wait” for Congress to act. What he’s missing, though, is that Congress isn’t acting because the American people don’t want their representatives in Washington to go along with Obama’s spend-more-tax-more scheme. It seems that the only audience that might be receptive to the President’s message is the protesters who are camping out in solid opposition to the capitalist system, advocating for the government to bail them out, just like it bailed out the banks and the automakers. It now looks like the President is about to oblige and that the “we” he’s referring to is the protesters and him.

Yesterday in San Francisco, the city’s Board of Supervisors held a hearing in which Occupy San Francisco activists urged the board to adopt policies that would prompt big banks to modify mortgages for struggling homeowners, as Bloomberg reports. The President’s latest proposal doesn’t look much different. It would refinance mortgages of homeowners who owe more on than their houses than they are currently worth. Heritage’s David John explains that the cost of the refinanced loans will be borne by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which means that American taxpayers will be on the hook for the cost. What’s worse, this plan likely won’t be any more successful than the Administration’s previous attempts to shore up the mortgage industry.

It seems that the President is about to address another concern of the “Occupy” protesters–student loans. Many of the activists are complaining about their student loans and the cost of college education and are demanding that the government pay their debts and/or provide free tuition. Though we don’t yet know what the President will propose, we do know that student loan forgiveness and federally subsidized loans are not the way to reduce the cost of education. Heritage’s Lindsey Burke explains:

It is unfair to forgive student loans on the backs of waitresses and construction workers, and the nearly three-quarters of Americans who didn’t graduate college. Increases in federal subsidies or student loan bailouts shift the burden of paying for college from the student – the person directly benefiting from college – to the millions of Americans who did not graduate from college.

Burke also points out that federal subsidies have not reduced college costs. While those subsidies have increased 475 percent, the cost of attending college has increased 439 percent since 1982. As students have more purchasing power, Burke writes, colleges are incentivized to raise tuition. “It’s a vicious cycle that does nothing to mitigate the cost of attending college,” Burke says.

But does bad policy matter to the President? Is his end game to improve America’s economic situation or to appeal to his base? Is he taking cues from Occupy Wall Street protesters as he acts unilaterally to enact tried-and-failed policies? One thing is certain: Regardless of the answer, America cannot wait for President Obama to stop circumventing Congress.

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