A Cabinet of Dunces – Tea Party Nation

A Cabinet of Dunces – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

A President reveals a lot about himself by his choices of his cabinet members to head various government departments and agencies. Some choices turn out to be historically significant such as Truman’s Secretary of State, George Marshall or Nixon’s choice of Henry Kissinger, but since the President sets policy, the blame or approval belongs to him.

Nor is it unusual for cabinet members to leave after a first term if a President is reelected. What has been unusual for President Obama’s first term has been the appointment of an entire shadow government of advisors known as his “czars”; people who functioned behind the scenes with unknown levels of power to influence and even determine policy.

One, Van Jones, was an avowed Communist and, when that became known, he resigned. The obvious problem with the czars is the total lack of transparency they represent and the fact that their appointments—not being cabinet-level, but deemed to be only advisory—by-passed the requirement of Congressional approval.

As of this writing, his most famous appointment, Hillary Clinton, has stepped down as Obama’s Secretary of State to be replaced by one of the greatest dunces to serve in the Senate, John Kerry. He began his career in politics as a Vietnam veteran who testified before Congress that his fellow veterans had engaged in acts that violated the Geneva Convention. When he ran for President, his fellow Swift Boat veterans revealed the scope of his lies about his own service. Kerry’s judgment has proven wrong on so many foreign policy issues it would take a book to chronicle them. In his first two days in office he saw the delivery of fighter jets to an Egypt that is no longer an ally and now in the hands of avowed enemies, the Muslim Brotherhood. Hillary traveled incessantly, but Obama’s foreign policy—mostly isolationist—concluded with the cover-up of the Benghazi attack that got a U.S. ambassador killed.

Most certainly, the nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel has raised the issue of competency to a whole new level. It is hard to imagine a nominee less capable of running the Pentagon and less in tune with events in a very dangerous world. Given his past votes and statements, he reflects the President’s views. It’s bad news for Israel and good news for our adversaries. Watch now as the Democrats, despite misgivings and doubts, once again line up with the President to impose another bad decision on the nation.

Among those leaving his cabinet is Dr. Steven Chu, who actually wanted the price of a gallon of gasoline to rise to those in Europe in order to curb American’s desire to hop in the car for any reason. He will be best remembered for having swiftly ushered a $528 million loan to Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer whose company just as swiftly went bankrupt, sticking the taxpayers with the loss. Other similar “investments” also failed. Ignoring America’s vast reserves of coal, natural gas and oil—enough to make the nation energy independent—Chu favored the expansion of solar and wind energy, lavishing millions on its producers even though it provides barely three percent of the electricity Americans use to function.

Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, is also departing and he never saw a square inch of the nation’s landmass that he did not want to acquire as property of the federal government. Salazar, so green that he glows in the dark, was a tree-hugger deluxe. While touting the expansion of oil drilling and the extraction of natural gas, he conveniently neglected to mention that most of it occurred on privately held land and his department did what it could to delay or simply not issue the leases necessary to extract oil, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. Together with Dr. Chu, these two did more to interdict or retard the provision of energy to the nation than any of their predecessors.

Departing as well is Ray LaHood as Transportation Secretary. A Wall Street Journal editorial noting his departure said he is likely to be remembered “for presiding over a transportation policy predicated on the best the 19th century had to offer: railroads and bicycles.” Railroads served well in the 1800s and early 1900s. The federally owned Amtrak has never turned a profit. As for cars and trucks, in 2010 he wrote “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.” It doesn’t get more stupid than that and his department shelled out $8 billion in grants to support this stupidity including the San Francisco-to-Anaheim bullet train whose first leg will connect Merced to Bakersfield in the sparsely populated Central Valley.

The worst of the President’s appointments was Lisa Jackson who has resigned from her position as director of the Environmental Protection Agency in the wake of revelations that she used a phony name for emails with which she conducted agency business. Transparency, let alone adherence to the law that forbids this practice, was not favored by Ms. Jackson, nor by her predecessor, Carol Browner, one of Obama’s czars. Browner had served as a commissioner of the Socialist International, an umbrella group for 170 social democratic, socialist, and labor parties in 55 countries. Under Ms. Jackson, the EPA has issued a mountain of regulations, some of which forced utilities around the nation to shut their doors and coal mining companies to cease production. The total number of jobs lost is still being calculated.

The decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline has not only cost 20,000 jobs at a time when millions of Americans have dropped out of the labor market was also supported by the Interior Department and the EPA. The pipeline, by the way, would not have cost taxpayers a dime as it is privately financed and would be just one of a huge network of pipelines that serve America’s energy needs.

Janet Napolitano—Big Sis—remains on at Homeland Security, possibly the most under-reported department, despite occasional reports that it appears to be arming itself for an insurrection purchasing lots of ammunition and a lot of rapid-fire rifles.

Still presiding at the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sibelius, is the Cruella de Ville who oversaw the passage of Obamacare and its implementation. She will have blood on her hands as senior citizens in particular are denied vital medical care and will be vilified by Americans who discover that their insurance rates have skyrocketed. Many companies are either not hiring or laying off employees, putting some on a part-time status to avoid its strictures and fines. Others are just shutting their doors.

The departing Secretary of Treasury, Tim Geithner, presided with the President over the greatest accumulation of debt in the nation’s history, as well as its first credit rating reduction. Jack Lew who will replace him holds no promise of slowing this process toward the destruction of the value of the dollar and the continuation of the Great Recession.

This deliberate destruction of jobs, delaying access to traditional sources of energy, resistance to the actual transportation needs of the nation, a failed foreign policy, and panoply of other policies pursued by the out-going cabinet members will be continued by President Obama’s new choices to replace them.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

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Just Drill, Barry – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

 

Just Drill, Barry – John Ransom – Townhall Finance .

When presidential candidate John Kerry pointed out that he voted for the Iraq War before he voted against the Iraq War, we all thought it a terrible gaffe. But politics, in a study of how politics leads to a devolutionary society, no longer sees campaigning as being for something before being against something as gaffe-worthy.   

Yesterday’s sex scandal can be today’s mystique, if you are just willing to afterward reveal to teenagers on TV what kind of underwear you favor.

So it’s with this quaint notion that right can be made wrong- and vice a versa- if you just are brave enough to ask people to lower their standards by this much: <—> (not actual size…actually much, much smaller) that we address Democrat energy policy- or lack thereof- depending on your standards… or lack thereof.

It turns out that being for having an energy policy before being against it –or vice a versa- it isn’t a gaffe at all; no, indeed.

Under Obama, the Democrats have made it part of the party platform.For example, did you know that president Obama has been a champion of Big Oil since he became our Chameleon-in-Chief?

That’s right: Oil production is at an all time high under- hurray!- his administration because he’s been so cooperative with oil and gas producers- and, depending on your standards, or lack thereof, you might even believe him when he says it.

Last year the New York Times was so disgusted with Obama’s landmark, much-billed energy policy speech that they actually issued this correction:

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 30, 2011

A previous version of this article misstated how many of the president’s proposals to reduce the country’s reliance on imported oil were new in his speech on Wednesday. None of them were, not one of them.

So let’s you, me and the New York Times agree that Obama really doesn’t have an energy policy. Recently Obama reinforced that notion.

You see, Obama was against oil production before his newest, bestest policy, just recently embraced 72 hours ago, that- to paraphrase him- says: “Drill, Barry, drill.”

His change of heart <hack, cough>, or lack thereof, has come about in wake of the administration’s latest self-inflicted gunshot wound to the economy, rising oil prices… again.  

For decades the basic policy of all US governments, Democrat or Republican, has been to keep oil prices relatively low and relatively stable.  To argue a contrary policy, as Obama has done, would be like arguing that a higher crime rate leads to less crime because we’d end up getting more criminals off the street and in to jail. Crime rates would certainly go up, if we encouraged it. 

So it goes with oil prices.     

Since Democrats took over Congress in 2007, we’ve gone from relatively stable oil prices to all time highs, a small correction, and now we are headed back to all-time highs…again.  We have neither low prices, nor stable prices.

And oil prices have been rising during a jobs recession masquerading as Obama’s Summer of Love. Just wait to see what oil prices do when we have real economic growth. But of course we neither have had growth nor will we grow under these self-defeating economic and energy policies, which are really the same thing. 

Makes you wonder if the same bright federal lights who illegally sold guns to Mexican meth dealers are also in charge of energy policy (see Solyndra). It’s the only explanation that I can come up with for the willful blindness that allows the Obamanauts to not see that their energy policy, like their policy on gun-walking, WON’T END WELL.

Economies around the world have been reeling and tottering on the brink of disaster: Japan? Recession, Europe? Recession. China? Double Secret Recession.

The thing the world needs is rapidly-rising oil prices.

And this just in: Guess who has the largest amount of oil reserves in history? That’s right: the U-S-A.  

“In fact, the U.S. has a mind-boggling 1.4 trillion barrels of oil,” writes Investors Business Daily, “enough to ‘fuel the present needs in the U.S. for around 250 years,’ according to the Institute for Energy Research. The problem is the government has put most of this supply off limits.”

We have lots of recoverable oil it seems, but we don’t have a recoverable president of the United States.

China, Japan and Europe, with a combined $30.6 trillion in GDP, are responsible for almost half the economic output of the world. Despite contraction in those economies, oil prices are still making new highs. Basic supply and demand, if supply and demand weren’t artificially restricted and inflated by our genius central planners at central banks around the world, should have oil prices going down, not up to new highs.

We are in the midst of repeating exactly what happened in 2008: A world economy already sputtering, faced rapidly rising oil prices until oil prices collapsed, taking everything else with it. 

Built to last? This newest oil bubble? Maybe. But I tend to think of oil as the real estate play of 2012. In 2011 we at least needed bad, bad news to chase oil prices up. Now it’s just happening on its own. 

The so-called soft-patch economy we’ve been in since last year has been the result of spiking oil prices as much as anything. Last year at this time, a red flag was going up on all the great economic news Obama was bragging about. The red flag was oil prices that were spiking to two year highs on news out of Libya regarding regime change and news out of Japan about the tsunami. One extended soft-patch later, the lesson that seems to be lost on the administration is that oil prices do have a direct effect on US economic growth.    

If oil prices stay high, this time, it just means the US economy will be slowed to a standstill- again, if it ever really has grown in real terms rather than just inflated. On the other hand, if oil prices collapse, it just means the financial losses in the oil patch will ripple throughout markets. And these are markets that have more assets, concentrated in fewer places than was true in 2008- in other words they are much too bigger to fail than last time we had to bailout troubled assets.

And remember Obama fixed too big to fail. Let’s hope that he doesn’t have to try to prove it. That has the makings of Tyson-Holyfield Part III. We’ll be lucky if someone just loses an ear, so to say.   

Because far from ensuring more production of oil, Obama has done everything he can to restrict oil production at a time when the country has finally discovered enough oil to become a net exporter of petroleum. Obama, in fact, has concentrated oil assets in fewer distribution outlets and the result has been higher prices.   

“The administration’s actions and its policy proposals on domestic oil and natural gas development are out of synch with its words,” says the president of the American Petroleum Institute (API). Oil producers, who API represents, actually benefit from these high prices. “The administration is restricting where oil and natural gas development may occur, leasing less often, shortening lease terms, going slow on permit approvals, and increasing or threatening to increase industry’s development costs through higher taxes, higher royalty rates, higher minimum lease bids, and more regulations.”

Contrast oil prices with natural gas prices which “plunged 32 percent in 2011 to end the year at $2.989 per million British thermal units for the largest annual decline in half a decade,” reports Bloomberg. “Since then, gas fell another 12 percent, thanks to mild North American weather that crimped demand for the fuel to run furnaces and added to the surfeit.”

The difference between gas and oil?

“Fracking has opened up vast areas of [natural gas] development on a scale that’s practically overwhelming for the industry,” said William Dutcher, president of Dutcher and Co., an Oklahoma City- based operator of 1,300 oil and gas wells,” according to Bloomberg. And now Obama supporters are trying to kill fracking as well.

Efforts to stimulate the economy- which are likely more widespread than either the Fed or the White House are willing to admit- without addressing the US domestic oil supply issues will just have the effect of raising oil prices even higher as more and more dollars chase up commodities like oil. The administration seems to be caught in a vicious cycle of central bank stimulus measures that inflate our economy, followed by a collapse of economic growth because of inflation, followed by renewed central bank stimulus measures, followed by inflation, followed by….

It’s that unknown “followed by” that’s really scary.  And it’s real too.

Just ask the millions who have stopped looking for work, permanently.  

So? What about those jobs?

They’re going into your gas tank via Middle East oil, while our surplus oil remains in the ground.

That’s a standard, or lack thereof, that Obama seems to have always been for even when he says he’s against it.

 

Is There Anyone Obama Won’t Betray? – John Ransom – Townhall Finance

 

Is There Anyone Obama Won’t Betray? – John Ransom – Townhall Finance .

Bravo to the boys and girls in the military/intelligence community who have stood toe-to-to with Obama for jeopardizing the sources and methods that took out Osama bin Laden.

While the liberal press tries to make hay out of the fact that the folks behind the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc have…gotcha!…“Republican” ties, I’m thinking well thank God for Republicans in the military/intelligence community then. These are folks, well known to me, who have been at war since 2001, while the rest of America has been at the mall.

And why aren’t heroes like, [cough, hack] John Kerry– largely a Gilbert and Sullivan sailor- who was so brave, that he spent four whole months in Vietnam; why aren’t they speaking out on behalf of service members?

Oh, that’s right. Democrats lost their moral compass while experimenting with LSD in the late 1960s.

So we should just give them a pass.      

The OPSEC group has a serious point, however: It’s bad enough that Democrats, like John Kerry, describe the Global War on Terror as a “bumper sticker.” But when the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States plays politics with intelligence and the lives of our combat troops, you wonder if its not just LSD flashbacks from the 1960s, but perhaps LSD flash-forwards.

Of course, Obama has no need of drugs per se. When you are the Chosen One, all you need is yourself. Obama’s self-love is much more powerful than LSD.              

For example, the consternation we have seen between the U.S. and Pakistan for the past year signals the likelihood that at least some portion of the Pakistani government participated in the tip off that killed bin Laden.

The public row in the media between the U.S. and Pakistan was staged by the Pakistanis largely to cover up the fact that the Pakistani government turned on bin Laden. The fight was staged by us to help cover up the fact that they knew that we knew that they knew bin Laden was there for some time.  

The average Pakistani revered bin Laden as a hero. So you can understand why the Pakistani government wouldn’t want to own up to participating in the operation that took him out.

And the Obama administration has been happy to help advance the cover, even if it jeopardized American lives and the lives of our intelligence assets, by giving up a key person who helped us. Subsequently, Dr. Shakil Afridi, a covert agent operating for the United States, was sentenced to 33 years in prison in Pakistan for helping the CIA confirm the whereabouts of bin Laden.  

The thought has hardly crossed Obama’s mind that maybe it’s time to stop supporting a country that supported America’s public enemy number one for so long. And can you blame him? Dr. Afridi’s Facebook page only has 38 members. Turning over Dr Afridi to thje Pakistanis was an easy call for Obama. When has Obama actually cared about 38 votes?

I guess there are just some things that the American people take lying down now- like betrayal of a friend. 

Obama has made it quite clear that U.S. intelligence assets and U.S. military assets are just the chump change in a strategy of world conquest that largely only exists between the big ears of the One.

Think “Winning.”

Likewise, Obama’s sucked up to China and Russia as well.

A small insertion in a budget item passed last year bans scientific co-operation between the U.S and our largest creditor, the People’s Republic of China. This information according to Congressman Frank Wolf.

China, Wolf charges, has also been involved in anti-American activities that have harmed national interests.

“Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA), a long-time critic of the Chinese government who chairs a House spending committee that oversees several science agencies,” said Forbes “inserted the language into the spending legislation to prevent NASA or OSTP from using federal funds ‘to …collaborate, or coordinate bilaterally in any way with China or any Chinese-owned company.’”

It’s been an open secret that the Chinese have sponsored a series of cyber attacks on U.S. interests for the last five years, including DoD facilities, intelligence centers and even the White House.

Wolf’s own office computers, which contain information about dissident Chinese, have also been hacked from inside China.  

Some intelligence types think that in addition to targeting military secrets, China’s trying dry runs aimed at taking out our command and control.  

But like the Pakistani drama, the Obama administration’s words of condemnation regarding Chinese spying are mostly meant to keep us citizens happy.

The Obama administration would never cut off their supply of money by quibbling with China about espionage and national security.

Why would they? They can’t even stand up to Pakistan or Russia.

Or Syria.  

Obama has decided to ignore the prohibition inserted into the budget by Wolf regarding collaboration with the Chinese.

It’s business as usual with China.    

There is a growing unease amongst national security types that foreign policy and national security decisions are being made by the administration with an eye towards re-election rather than with the best interest of the United States in mind.

While the same charge can be leveled at any administration, Obama’s team, notably less than subtle in matters requiring executive ability, tend to fall back on campaign mode when faced with hard choices.

They pick what’s politically expedient rather than what’s smart, presidential or right. 

Hence Robert Gates decision to exit stage right at the Department of Defense and Hillary Clinton’s decision to exit stage left at the State Department after the end of the term.

Will there be anyone competent left in Obama’s administration if he were to win a second term?

The operation that got bin Laden isn’t helping the administration in the national security community, either.

Far from it.

Many in the community resent the emphatic “I” used by Obama when announcing the operation.

But that’s not the worst of it.

By changing the story 26 times in a quest for personal glory, devoid of any personal responsibility, Obama has left the impression that Navy SEALs killed unarmed women and an unarmed, old man, while the One shot and killed bin Laden, personally.

No amount of face time with the commander-in-chief can repair that rift. The chain of command is supposed to support the troops who have followed their orders.

One can argue the merits of continuing the friendship with Pakistan and China and Russia, while ignoring their anti-American activities.  

But leaving members of the military out to dry, well, that’s just un-American.

Just ask the folks OPSEC.

They have the bumper stickers to prove it.

 

INHOFE AND DEMINT: U.N. treaties mean LOST U.S. sovereignty – Washington Times

 

INHOFE AND DEMINT: U.N. treaties mean LOST U.S. sovereignty – Washington Times.

Liberals intent on imposing backdoor globalism

By Sen. James M. Inhofe and Sen. Jim DeMint

For years, liberals and misguided State Department officials have pushed for the U.S. Senate to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). This treaty would convey ownership of the oceans to a United Nations agency and give international bureaucrats veto authority over U.S. naval operations and could force the United States to comply with international carbon emissions caps.

Last week, we defeated LOST by securing commitments to ensure it cannot gain the 67 votes needed for ratification.

However, no sooner had the 34th Republican senator signed a letter opposing LOST than the surrender of American sovereignty was put back on the table by foreign diplomats and their internationalist allies in the federal government.

With LOST dead, the new treaties being promoted to take its place include the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Disabled, which calls for government agents to supersede the authority of parents of disabled children and even covers abortion. Also, the Obama administration has begun negotiations on a new U.N. treaty to create international gun control rules that could slowly erode our Second Amendment.

The globalist ideologues behind these treaties are either ignorant of or hostile to the universal human experience that problems are best solved by the people and institutions closest to them. So assured are these masters of their mandate to direct the lives and wealth of other people that they see their routine failures to do so efficiently at the local, state and national level merely as reason to ascend to new heights of international command and control.

Our nation’s founders understood this hubristic temptation of public officials. Thomas Jefferson stated in his inaugural address the principle of “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” Instead, America sought to constrain our actions within the confines of the consent of the people. It is this measure of accountability that fetters both policymaking and policymakers. This is precisely why internationalists prefer to elevate authority wherever possible above democratic accountability.

This explains the feverish effort to join the United States to so many international treaties and conventions on every subject under the sun. It is a backdoor effort to impose extreme liberal policies on Americans who would never vote for them if given the choice.

That was precisely the motivation behind President Obama and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John F. Kerry’s effort to ratify LOST in a lame-duck session of Congress, when public scrutiny and accountability would be minimal.

They argue that we need this treaty, which the Senate correctly has ignored since its original completion in 1982, to ensure America’s access to the world’s shipping lanes. Of course, we already have such access, no thanks to a piece of paper, but to the world’s most powerful navy.

In exchange for gaining something it already has, then, the United States would, under LOST, surrender billions, possibly trillions, in royalty payments for oil and gas produced from our Outer Continental Shelf. At the same time, the treaty would expose our citizens to frivolous lawsuits in international courts.

LOST would trade in our Constitution for a vague 200-page compact drafted by foreign diplomats. It would trade in our Founding Fathers for the United Nations, and “we the people” for “you the foreign secretaries we’ve never heard of and didn’t elect.”

This desire to substitute the received wisdom of international committees, led by nations like Sudan and Russia, for the electoral judgment of the American people is the motivation behind LOST and every other sovereignty-peddling treaty making the rounds.

It explains the Kyoto Protocols, which would have handed over American energy policymaking to international green-ocrats. It explains the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which would supersede federal, state and local laws, mandating choices and decisions best left to parents.

The same is true for the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which would empower international bureaucrats to set local laws concerning abortion, marriage, day care and even Mother’s Day.

In the end, for all their titles and credentials, the globalists are just liberal politicians with well-worn passports. It is not some new form of international harmony they seek but just larger institutions from which to impose their old, discredited agenda.

They see the U.S. Constitution as an obstacle to progress and so seek to supersede it by any means available to them. The debates about these treaties are not about the legalistic minutiae they contain but the sovereign citizenry they threaten.

The American people’s God-given and constitutionally protected right to self-government must be protected. The fact that our people remain skeptical toward the schemes of international diplomats is a sign of their enduring wisdom.

LOST is dead, for now. But new efforts to hand over American sovereignty to international authority already are under way. Only with the ongoing help and vigilance of the American people can we hope to defeat the next generation of unnecessary, unrepublican and undemocratic treaties.

Sen. James M. Inhofe is a Republican from Oklahoma. Sen. Jim DeMint is a Republican from South Carolina. They both serve on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

 

Mr. Obama release your records – Tea Party Nation

 

Mr. Obama release your records – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

The Obama campaign and the Party of Treason continue to demand Mitt Romney release his tax records so they can pull them apart and continue to distort facts and lie about Romney.

 Obama has released almost none of his records.  There is one record that everyone should be demanding that Obama release.   What is it and why is it so important?

 There are a lot of records that Americans should want to see from Barack Obama.  To start with, there are his records from Occidental College so that the allegation that Obama attended that school on a scholarship reserved for foreign students can be resolved.   Another record that Americans should be demanding Obama release are his records from Columbia and Harvard.

 How does someone who is a self-admitted poor student, get into two of the most prestigious schools in America?  Obama was admitted to Harvard law.  Generally you need to have almost a perfect 4.0 to even have a shot at Harvard.  Anyone want to bet Obama’s GPA was nowhere near that?

 So how did he get in?

 The important records that everyone should demand Obama release are his medical records.  George Bush, John McCain, even John Kerry and Bill Clinton released voluminous medical records.

 What did Obama release in 2008?  It was a one page statement from a doctor saying he was in good physical condition.

 That was it.

 Why is this so important?

 Obama by his own admission was a very heavy marijuana user in his youth.  He has also admitted to using cocaine, though he denies using drugs such as heroin.  He also says he was a significant drinker.

 Why is this important?

 Because these are all symptoms of addiction.

 A man named Larry Sinclair claims that in 1999 he and Barack Obama had sex and then smoked crack cocaine.  This is 1999, nine years before Obama would run for President. 

 Crack cocaine is very addictive.   It is very destructive.  Addiction specialist will tell you that a crack addiction is very tough to break.

 Is Obama an addict?  Was he an addict in the past?

 These are all legitimate questions to ask about a man who has his hands on the nuclear trigger.

 Why is Obama hiding these records and why isn’t the drive by media asking these questions.   Why aren’t Republicans demanding the answers to these questions, instead of telling Mitt Romney he needs to play into Obama’s hands by releasing more tax returns?

 While Obama promised his administration would be the most transparent in history; that was simply another Obama lie. 

 Every time Obama demands that Mitt Romney release more tax returns, the Romney campaign needs to turn around and ask when Obama is going to release his medical records, his college records and his attorney discipline records. 

 The Romney campaign may have finally learned that they are not going to get anywhere by playing nice.  They have an opponent that wants to go down into the gutter for a fight and believes in winning at all costs. 

 Romney may have finally learned not to play their game.

 Let’s hope so.

 Meanwhile, every Republican should quit telling Mitt Romney to release more records, giving Obama more ammunition to lie about him and start demanding that Obama release his records.

 

The Myth of “Middle-Class” Uncle Joe – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Senator Biden gives his opening statement and ...

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The Myth of “Middle-Class” Uncle Joe – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

This has got to be the bazooka of all Joe Biden blowhardisms. The nation’s vice campaigner in chief went on the attack against Republicans this week, clad in full populist armor. “These guys don’t have a sense of the average folks out there,” said The Everyman. “They don’t know what it means to be middle class.” But who was his audience?

Nope, not blue-collar workers in Allentown, Pa. Biden was speaking to an exclusive club of $10,000-per-couple campaign donors gathered at the home of the Senate’s $200 million man, Democratic Mass. Sen. John Kerry, in Georgetown, D.C.

That’s smack dab in the middle of Beltway America, where they like a twist of cognitive dissonance with their aperitifs.
The White House is once again drawing on the fantastical myth of middle-class Joe to portray Republicans as out-of-touch elitists. A Washington Post headline described Biden “digging back into his roots to move Obama forward.” But the administration’s leading populist poster child is a wretched symbol of entrenched Washington power. And his fables are getting oldy-moldy.

At another campaign event in Ohio, Regular Joe rolled up his sleeves and pumped out the common-man colloquialisms. “It’s good to have a dad in the automobile business, man,” he said. Yeah, man. Preach it, man. Oh, hey, weren’t you the man who savaged average-guy Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher in Ohio four years ago by lying about his income and mocking his American dream to own a small business? Man.

While Biden’s family came from humble beginnings, the wheeler-dealer politician and his family (including two lobbyist sons) have reaped the benefits of public office for nearly a half-century. The entrenched senior senator from Delaware amassed wealthy donors and crooked cronies over six Senate terms. These are some of the stories, reported in my book “Culture of Corruption,” that have been whitewashed out of the loquacious veep’s campaign folklore:

–Biden’s custom-built house in Delaware’s ritziest Chateau Country neighborhood, assessed at $2.5 million four years ago, is the Bidens’ most valuable asset. He secured the estate with the help of a corporate executive who worked for Biden’s top campaign donor, credit card giant MBNA. In 1996, Biden sold his previous mansion to MBNA Vice Chairman John Cochran. The asking price was $1.2 million. Cochran forked over the full sum. Biden then paid $350,000 in cash to real estate developer Keith Stoltz for a 4.2-acre lakefront lot. Stoltz had paid that same amount five years earlier for the undeveloped property.

–Among Pal Joey’s dearest old pals: campaign finance “rainmaker” William Oldaker, who showered generous benefits on both the elder Biden and his lobbyist son, Hunter; Baltimore-based Peter Angelos, whose law firm gave Biden $156,250; Wilmington-based Young Conaway Stargatt and Taylor, which kicked in $127, 979; and Pachulski Stang Zielhl and Jones, which donated $145,625, according to The American Lawyer.

–Disgraced trial lawyer Richard Scruggs donated $11,500 to Biden in 2008. After Scruggs was convicted of attempting to bribe a federal judge, Biden tried to show his ethical bona fides by donating the money to a worthy charity. But Biden couldn’t steer clear of nepotism. The money ended up with the National Prostate Cancer Coalition — a charity where, The American Lawyer pointed out, Biden’s son Hunter sits on the board of directors.

–Another Biden family pal in the trial lawyers’ community: Jeff Cooper. With his partner, John Simmons, the 39-year-old Cooper built one of the biggest asbestos litigation firms in the country. SimmonsCooper, based in Madison County, Ill., has donated a whopping $196,050 to Biden’s campaigns since 2003, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C. In that same time frame, the firm poured $6.5 million into lobbying against a key tort reform bill — which Sen. Biden worked hard to defeat. Without a hint of irony, Cooper extolled Biden’s anti-tort reform stance: “He understands the plight of the little guy and is against huge corporate interest.” But what Biden did was help fuel lucrative business for the tort bar. When courts in SimmonsCooper’s home base in Illinois finally started cracking down on what had become “America’s No. 1 judicial hellhole” for filing out-of-control tort claims, the firm turned East. And in Joe Biden’s Delaware, they created a new sanctuary.

Back on Obama 2012 Fantasy Island, Biden insists on marketing himself as the humble “son of an automobile man.” Give him this: He spins like a used-car salesman. His lot’s full of lemons. And “bamboozle” is his middle name.

Just Drill, Barry – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

Just Drill, Barry – John Ransom – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary.

When presidential candidate John Kerry pointed out that he voted for the Iraq War before he voted against the Iraq War, we all thought it a terrible gaffe. But politics, in a study of how politics leads to a devolutionary society, no longer sees campaigning as being for something before being against something as gaffe-worthy.

Yesterday’s sex scandal can be today’s mystique, if you are just willing to afterward reveal to teenagers on TV what kind of underwear you favor.

So it’s with this quaint notion that right can be made wrong- and vice a versa- if you just are brave enough to ask people to lower their standards by this much: <—> (not actual size…actually much, much smaller) that we address Democrat energy policy- or lack thereof- depending on your standards… or lack thereof.

It turns out that being for having an energy policy before being against it –or vice a versa- it isn’t a gaffe at all; no, indeed.

Under Obama, the Democrats have made it part of the party platform.



For example, did you know that president Obama has been a champion of Big Oil since he became our Chameleon-in-Chief?

That’s right: Oil production is at an all time high under- hurray!- his administration because he’s been so cooperative with oil and gas producers- and, depending on your standards, or lack thereof, you might even believe him when he says it.

Last year the New York Times was so disgusted with Obama’s landmark, much-billed energy policy speech that they actually issued this correction:

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 30, 2011

A previous version of this article misstated how many of the president’s proposals to reduce the country’s reliance on imported oil were new in his speech on Wednesday. None of them were, not one of them.

So let’s you, me and the New York Times agree that Obama really doesn’t have an energy policy. Recently Obama reinforced that notion, when he tried to sell us on the idea that he’s responsible for increased oil production. Please.

You see, Obama was against oil production before his newest, bestest policy, just recently embraced 72 hours ago, that- to paraphrase him- says: “Drill, Barry, drill.”

His change of heart <hack, cough>, or lack thereof, has come about in wake of the administration’s latest self-inflicted gunshot wound to the economy, rising oil prices… again.

For decades the basic policy of all US governments, Democrat or Republican, has been to keep oil prices relatively low and relatively stable.  To argue a contrary policy, as Obama has done, would be like arguing that a higher crime rate leads to less crime because we’d end up getting more criminals off the street and in to jail. Crime rates would certainly go up, if we encouraged it.

So it goes with oil prices.

Since Democrats took over Congress in 2007, we’ve gone from relatively stable oil prices to all time highs, a small correction, and now we are headed back to all-time highs…again.  We have neither low prices, nor stable prices.

And oil prices have been rising during a jobs recession masquerading as Obama’s Summer of Love or Day of Rage. Just wait to see what oil prices do when we have real economic growth. But of course we neither have had growth nor will we grow under these self-defeating economic and energy policies, which are really the same thing.

Makes you wonder if the same bright federal lights who illegally sold guns to Mexican meth dealers are also in charge of energy policy (see Solyndra). It’s the only explanation that I can come up with for the willful blindness that allows the Obamanauts to not see that their energy policy, like their policy on gun-walking, WON’T END WELL.

Economies around the world have been reeling and tottering on the brink of disaster: Japan? Recession, Europe? Recession. China? Double Secret Recession.

Rising oil prices won’t help.

And this just in: Guess who has the largest amount of oil reserves in history? That’s right: the U-S-A.

“In fact, the U.S. has a mind-boggling 1.4 trillion barrels of oil,” writes Investors Business Daily, “enough to ‘fuel the present needs in the U.S. for around 250 years,’ according to the Institute for Energy Research. The problem is the government has put most of this supply off limits.”

We have lots of recoverable oil it seems, but we don’t have a recoverable president of the United States.

LiveCharts Index Forex Commodity Futures Stock Charts

China, Japan and Europe, with a combined $30.6 trillion in GDP, are responsible for almost half the economic output of the world. Despite contraction in those economies, oil prices are still making new all-time highs. Basic supply and demand, if supply and demand weren’t artificially restricted and inflated by our genius central planners at central banks around the world, should have oil prices going down, not up to new all-time highs.

We are in the midst of repeating exactly what happened in 2008: A world economy already sputtering, faced rapidly rising oil prices until oil prices collapsed, taking everything else with it.

Built to last? This newest oil bubble? Maybe. But I tend to think of oil as the real estate play of 2012. In 2011 we at least needed bad, bad news to chase oil prices up. Now it’s just happening on its own.

The so-called soft-patch economy we’ve been in since last year has been the result of spiking oil prices as much as anything. Last year at this time, a red flag was going up on all the great economic news Obama was bragging about. The red flag was oil prices that were spiking to two year highs on news out of Libya regarding regime change and news out of Japan about the tsunami. One extended soft-patch later, the lesson that seems to be lost on the administration is that oil prices do have a direct effect on US economic growth.

If oil prices stay high, this time, it just means the US economy will be slowed to a standstill- again, if it ever really has grown in real terms rather than just inflated. On the other hand, if oil prices collapse, it just means the financial losses in the oil patch will ripple throughout markets. And these are markets that have more assets, concentrated in fewer places than was true in 2008- in other words they are much too bigger to fail than last time we had to bailout troubled assets.

And remember Obama fixed too big to fail. Let’s hope that he doesn’t have to try to prove it. That has the makings of Tyson-Holyfield Part III. We’ll be lucky if someone just loses an ear, so to say.

Because far from ensuring more production of oil, Obama has done everything he can to restrict oil production at a time when the country has finally discovered enough oil to become a net exporter of petroleum. Obama, in fact, has concentrated oil assets in fewer distribution outlets and the result has been higher prices.

“The administration’s actions and its policy proposals on domestic oil and natural gas development are out of synch with its words,” says the president of the American Petroleum Institute (API). Oil producers, who API represents, actually benefit from these high prices. “The administration is restricting where oil and natural gas development may occur, leasing less often, shortening lease terms, going slow on permit approvals, and increasing or threatening to increase industry’s development costs through higher taxes, higher royalty rates, higher minimum lease bids, and more regulations.”

Contrast oil prices with natural gas prices which “plunged 32 percent in 2011 to end the year at $2.989 per million British thermal units for the largest annual decline in half a decade,” reports Bloomberg. “Since then, gas fell another 12 percent, thanks to mild North American weather that crimped demand for the fuel to run furnaces and added to the surfeit.”

The difference between gas and oil?

“Fracking has opened up vast areas of [natural gas] development on a scale that’s practically overwhelming for the industry,” said William Dutcher, president of Dutcher and Co., an Oklahoma City- based operator of 1,300 oil and gas wells,” according to Bloomberg. And now Obama supporters are trying to kill fracking as well.

Efforts to stimulate the economy- which are likely more widespread than either the Fed or the White House are willing to admit- without addressing the US domestic oil supply issues will just have the effect of raising oil prices even higher as more and more dollars chase up commodities like oil. The administration seems to be caught in a vicious cycle of central bank stimulus measures that inflate our economy, followed by a collapse of economic growth because of inflation, followed by renewed central bank stimulus measures, followed by inflation, followed by….

It’s that unknown “followed by” that’s really scary.  And it’s real too.

Just ask the millions who have stopped looking for work, permanently.

So? What about those jobs?

They’re going into your gas tank via Middle East oil, while our surplus oil remains in the ground.

That’s a standard, or lack thereof, that Obama seems to have always been for even when he says he’s against it.

Note: The dead Marines killed in a training accident have been identified. Please keep them and their families in your prayers. If you know a Marine, or a former Marine, do something nice for them this week.

Being in the military is a hard, dangerous, uncomfortable business at peace or in war. They volunteer their freedom and security, so you can have both. Pay them back.


“Like” me on Facebook and you’ll get sneak peaks of columns and, as an added bonus, I will never raise your taxes. Send me email and I just might mention you on Sunday.

Democrats Love Taxes — They Just Don’t Want to Pay Them – Larry Elder – Townhall Conservative

 

Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton (Photo credit: Ewils Photo)

Democrats Love Taxes — They Just Don’t Want to Pay Them – Larry Elder – Townhall Conservative.

Forgive Republican candidate Mitt Romney for his alleged failure to adequately explain why he paid “only” 14 percent of his income in taxes.

The honest answer — “Well, because my accountants couldn’t figure out how to get them any lower” — does not work in this or very many other election years. Romney seemed flat-footed because, like most business people, he seeks to minimize costs and expenses.

This includes taxes.

A normal wealthy-and-proud-of-it guy would have said: “Let me get this straight, pal. I’m not supposed to take every legal advantage provided me by the tax laws to reduce my taxes?” For what it’s worth, about 15 percent of Romney’s last two years of income went to charity — substantially higher than the percentage given by the Obamas or Joe Biden’s $380 (not a typo) of his quarter-million dollar income in 2006.

“Tax savings” allows people more money to save, spend, invest, bequeath and donate. On some level, even Democrats understand this.

Democrat Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., is one of them. In 2001, Massachusetts lowered it state income tax rate. But the legislature showed mercy for the Bay State‘s guilt-ridden, tax-hike-supporting liberals. The tax form allowed the filer to check a special box — and pay the old, higher rate. Out of more than 3 million tax filers in 2004, a tiny fraction of 1 percent — 930 taxpayers — volunteered to pay the higher rate. Among those who declined the opportunity was Mr. Frank. Frank explained, “I don’t trust the legislative leadership and Gov. (Mitt) Romney to make the right decisions.” Instead, Frank said, “I’ll donate the money myself.” What?! Charity might better spend money than can government, which, by its nature, operates less efficiently and more expensively than can private welfare?

Democrat Sen. Howard Metzenbaum from Ohio (served 1974, 1976-1995) was another tax-supporting Democrat not too keen on paying more in taxes than he needed to. But after retirement, the wealthy Metzenbaum moved to Florida, which, unlike Ohio, is a state with no estate or personal income taxes. This saved him millions.

Democrat John Edwards‘ wife Elizabeth, during the 2004 campaign, said rich politicians like her husband reveal “character” when they vote against financial “interest” by supporting higher taxes. This is the same John Edwards who, as a trial lawyer winning big jury awards, established a separate sub-corporation to accept the money, paying him through dividends rather than income. Perfectly legal. But this allowed Edwards to avoid some $600K in Medicare payroll taxes.

Democrats like Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., rail against the Bush tax cuts that rich people — like himself — “didn’t need” and “didn’t ask for.” Rhode Island requires no sales tax on yachts registered in that state — provided the boat is primarily housed in Rhode Island. Massachusetts is not so understanding. That state requires a sales tax and annual excise taxes. Folks say that Kerry and his 75-foot yacht spend way more time in Massachusetts than in Rhode Island. But accountants say that the wealthy yachtsman can avoid nearly $500K in state taxes by registering his boat in Rhode Island — which he did. All was going well, until a New York paper got hold of the story and Kerry “voluntarily” agreed to pay the Mass. tax — while continuing to insist that he does not really owe it.

Democrats like the late Ted Kennedy support the estate tax. And why not? The Kennedy family transfers wealth from generation to generation through trusts that avoid the very estate taxes that Kennedy consistently voted to impose on the wealth of others.

Shouldn’t tax-hike-supporting rich people like Warren Buffett want to pay more rather than less taxes? Yet one of Buffett’s companies is contesting tax claims against it.

Pro-tax-hike Democrats like MSNB-Hee-Haw’s the Rev. Al Sharpton deserve a special wing all to themselves in the Chutzpah Hall of Fame. Sharpton assails the Bush-era tax cuts and wants “the rich” to pay more. Sharpton lists income from his nonprofit at just under a quarter million dollars. Add this to his estimated salary at the cable network, and the “civil rights leader” likely pulls in a tidy $500K. Not bad for a guy that not long ago was a gold-medallion-wearing Harlem rabble-rouser in velour sweatpants who got famous by playing the race card in a phony rape case.

Sharpton, according to the New York Post, owes federal taxes and state taxes totaling $3.5 million. How much income would Sharpton have had to earn to amass $3.5 million in state and local taxes? A lot. How much nerve does it take for a guy making a half mil to go on television and pound the podium for higher taxes on the rich — when his own effective tax rate is 0 percent?

Ask Sharpton.

Obama’s Top Boners of 2011 – John Ransom – Townhall Finance

Obama’s Top Boners of 2011 – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

Sure, limiting the list to the nine worst mistakes of the Obama administration in a year that saw so many of them was a tough proposition. But in the spirit of Christmas, I decided to be merciful and not pile on. Plus, you know, I have company coming over.

So for now, nine will have to do.

Why nine?

Quoting Bluto from Animal House sans burp: “Why the hell not.”   

I’ve included links and snippets from my columns addressing each topic:

9) Sending a budget to Capitol Hill that didn’t get one vote:

Calculate the man-hours that went into presenting to Congress a budget that didn’t muster even one vote in the Senate. If that didn’t cry out that Obama is a one-term president, certainly the rest of the year’s events did. The question that I have for the political geniuses at the White House is: “After getting elected primarily on the strength of the financial crisis, how could you be so ignorant of fiscal issues?” Nothing better represents the disconnect between Washington and the rest of the country as Obama’s attitude towards passing a budget. They didn’t even pretend to take the process seriously. And then they thought no one would notice. 

See: Obama Goes Doh!-for-97, 98, 99, 100!

Mr. Irrelevant, the man formerly known as president, was in France when news came that the Senate unanimously rejected the Jerry Lewis gag budget that the administration submitted to Congress in February.

The vote was 0-97 against, with three Senators voting “not present.”

Can you blame them?

 If John Kerry’s misshapen theme was “Reporting for Duty,” Obama’s is: “I’m AWOL: Ha. Ha. Ha. You can’t catch me.”

If Kerry’s presidency was still-born, Obama’s died of crib-death.    

Can you imagine any other president in history being satisfied with sending up a budget that couldn’t muster even one vote from his own party?

8) Predicting the economic recovery:

Presidents are notoriously bad financiers and economists. They take a big chance getting caught with their pants down when bragging about accomplishments in an economy that has been as tentative as this one has been. That’s especially true when they aren’t following any coordinated economic program, but rather making it more difficult for businesses to create jobs. Dodd-Frank, Obamacare, MACT and the Keystone Pipeline show an administration that will pick narrow, special interests every time over real results. Given the strutting and puff Obama does, it’s hard not to blame him when things go wrong.

See: Obama: The Great Fabricator

As economists predict that the Japanese earthquake and tsunami will contract the third largest economy’s GDP by between zero percent and 3 percent,  Obama has responded by filling out his bracket for the NCAA tournament.

And golfing.  

If Reagan was the Great Communicator, Obama is the Great Fabricator. For Obama, every day is just another episode of the Beltway Unreality show, where acting is much more important than actually doing something; where pop-culture trumps substance. 

Time’s senior correspondent Michael Crowley complains, “[A]t a moment when it feels that the world is reaching a full boil, it’s hard for the president not to speak.”

Crowley’s got it half right.

It’s hard for Obama not to speak irrelevantly.

7) Spiking the “football” on Osama bin Laden:

Obama has made too may references to “getting” Osama bin Laden. He’s done it in such a way that he claims too much credit. The proper thing to have done was to give the US Intelligence Community along with our armed forces all of the credit. Since 2001, there has been a small group of people fighting a war while the rest of us remained safe at home. As one reader who served in the military put it, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have gone to war, while the rest of the country has gone to the mall. The intelligence gathering that eventually “got” bin Laden started a long time before Obama was president.  Obama’s never learned the hard lesson, often lost on the “special” child, that no one likes a braggart.

Obama, Your Jimmy Carter is Showing

Obama interrupted his “Osama bin Laden is still dead” cross-country tour yesterday to give another major policy speech bereft of new ideas. But first the president let us know that “Osama bin Laden is still dead.”

Four times.

As Jimmy Carter manipulated the teleprompter in the background, Obama put on his best professorial airs and spit out his trademarked clipped delivery in a room full of State department staffers and diplomats who applauded tepidly when the “applause light” went on.

He talked about what he called self-determination in the Middle East.

If you covered your ears hard enough you could barely tell that the speech was largely a plagiarism of Carter’s 2009 book, “We can have peace in the Holy Land: a plan that will work,” updated for recent developments.  

6) Solyndra:

The economic futility of the regime in Washington was best displayed by the decision to “invest” US taxpayers’ hard-earned money in Solyndra, even knowing that the company would fail. This at a time when Obama was lecturing the half who actually pays taxes that we are not paying our fair share. Even after getting caught, then lying and getting caught in the lie about the decisions surrounding the DOE program that made the Solyndra investment possible, Obama doubled down on stupid to put billions, yes, billions more into the program. I suspect that after all the dust has settled and the market has crushede many of the rest of these companies, that somehow, somewhere, you’ll find GE picking up the left-over pieces of the “green” energy industry at bargain prices.

Obama’s Solyndra-Gate Won’t Go Away

It doesn’t help the administration that the decision to make the loans in the first place has crony capitalism written all over it.

Big time Obama donors and bundlers have a financial interest in Solyndra. 

In May, the left-wing leaning Center for Public Integrity blasted Obama for putting the welfare of donors above that of taxpayers by killing important safeguards in the process of making the loans.

“The Energy Department in March 2009 announced its intention to award Solyndra Inc. a $535 million loan guarantee before receiving final copies of outside reviews typically used to vet such deals,” wrote CPI. “An independent federal auditor who has reviewed the energy loan program said moving so quickly without completing thorough reviews exposed the program to perceptions of political influence and put taxpayers at greater risk.”      

5) Fast and Furious:

Admittedly I haven’t been a fan of Eric Holder’s. But even I’m amazed at the breathtaking cynicism shown by our top law-enforcement officer as he lied to Congress about what he knew and when he knew it regarding Fast and Furious. It shouldn’t have taken the death of a federal agent to know arming drug gangs in Mexico would lead to no good. But that just shows the depths to which progressives will go to dupe people into supporting policies that progressives know are “for the best.”

See: Eric Holder Impeached is a Good First Start

Republicans have alleged, if not from the first, then at least for a long time, that operation Fast and Furious was a callous attempt by progressives in the plutocracy that we now call America at creating an artificial gun crisis so that the plutocracy could abridge citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights.

I mean further than they’ve already abridged them.

Now even liberals are getting the memo- or at least email evidence- that it’s true.

CBSNews has reported that new documents show that officials in the ATF discussed using the fallout from Fast and Furious as means of introducing “controversial new rules about gun sales” even as they forced gun dealers to let illegal transactions occur.

4) Vacations 1, 2 & 3

I don’t begrudge the president taking his family someplace, you know, once. But $4 million dollars for a Christmas vacation? And despite what some progressives are claiming, yes that amount is the tab picked up by the US taxpayers for Obama’s 17-day Hawaiian vacation with Mary Todd Lincoln Jr. And the money part isn’t the worst of it. This year Obama was notably absent during the start up to the war in Libya and during the aftermath of the debt ceiling negotiations- remember the ones he really didn’t take part in in the first place? He promptly decamped to Martha’s Vineyard while S&P downgraded US debt.  

Just in Time, Another Obama Nine-Day Vacation

The last time the market was this spooked was when Mr. Obama decided to start a war with Libya. While on vacation.

At that time, the presidential family headed to Brazil where the HuffPo Entertainment section told us that the “First Family watched local performers during their tour of the Cidade de Deus Favela in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. Sasha went sporty with sneakers, while the first lady showed her support of the country sartorially, in an outfit comprised of yellow, green and blue–the colors of the Brazilian flag. They later changed into pants to tour the Christ the Redeemer Statue at night.”

This vacation happened while the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was in full force, because Japan had been rocked by the tsunami of the century. Obama also chose the vacation to start serving up cruise missiles in Libya, a war he made his very own and that he still hasn’t won.

Libya for crying out loud. That’s like invading Wisconsin.

Here was the moment when the next Great Recession began.

We saw in that crisis the epitome of a failed presidency: the listless leadership, the lack of direction, the lack of pretension in being presidential (or even pretending to be), disregard for the consequences of policy.  And the certainty that vacations would always come first.   

3) Keystone Pipeline

The Keystone Pipeline demonstrates the dilemma that all Democrat presidents face. It’s one thing to get elected; it’s a another to govern while keeping your whack-job coalition together. Lyndon Johnson couldn’t do it, Carter couldn’t, Clinton could, but Obama is having a hard time of it. That’s why he punted on making a decision on the Keystone Pipline. He’d either have to defy the saucer people who pass as progressives these days or the American people who want jobs. In the end, he’s only succeeded in making everyone mad.  

The Fragile Obama Whackosystem

Another guy with nice hair and a good tan is working on the Obama job plan. He’ll be a great addition at Martha’s Vineyard.

This ought to work out as well as Geithner doing his own taxes.  

This week, Obama announced his new econ czar would be Alan Krueger, a Princeton economist who figured out that if you gave billions away to the auto industry in price incentives, auto sales would go up.

OK. Sales only went up temporarily.  But he’s the only member of the Obama administration who possesses an understanding of the relationship between price and sales. Maybe that’s progress for an administration that seems to sabotage every economic plan they come up with.

However, count me as skeptical.

Krueger likes taxes.

He likes them a lot.

He likes taxes on the rich, the poor, carpools, employers, employees.

Did I say he likes taxes? He really, really does.

2) Libya

Nothing cried hypocrisy more than Obama’s decision to start a time-limited, scope-limited kinetic military activity- whatever that is- in Libya over European oil. Up to that point, progressives supported him. After that? Not so much. Obama’s decision on Libya made it much easier to say that both the GOP and the Democrats criticize when out of power and hypocrisize when in power. The GOP needs to avoid that trap this time around.

Obama’s Time-Limited, Scope-Limited, Kinetic Presidency

I don’t know that Obama will be a one-term president.

But the glamour days are done for him. His scholarship has about run out. 

On that, even people on the left are starting to agree.

We can no longer afford to treat the presidency as if it were a reality show starring Barack Obama as the chief contestant.

In order to turn the country around, we have to elevate the presidency above the level of American Idol, and turn it back into the American ideal.

It’s apparent every time the “president” makes a “big” speech, that he’s not up to the moment, that Obama can’t do the job the presidency demands.

He’s a man of limitations. For all his seeming worldliness, his experiences have limited the scope of his vision, instead of broadening it.  

He has become the kinetic president, famous for only the sound his movement creates.

Sure, there was a short romance, when some in the country were in love with the speeches and yearned for Camelot. But speeches aren’t a destination. More often than not, the sound of his voice has been a distraction; or too often an outright distortion.  

Eventually, even Barack Obama’s life has to get judged on results.      

1) Debt Ceiling:

It’s hard to pin this completely on the president. But really you have to because here’s the un-get-aroundable fact. In February, Obama presented a budget that called for more deficit spending, more borrowing, more debt. In July he was pretending to be concerned about the deficit. He wasn’t and isn’t. That was just a bid to raise taxes. Super, epic, utter fail, dude. Thanks for playing.

O’Bummer: The Tax Scam Faileth

Obama’s into big stuff, says chief of staff Bill Daley on ABC’s This Week.

“I do firmly believe that one of the wet blankets on this economy and on companies, on the system right now is a question as to whether or not our political system, whether the leaders can get together, whether they can solve big problems,” Daley said.

So let’s define the “big, wet blanket problem” in which Obama and his Chicago friends now find themselves:

They are addicted to big taxes, big spending and big government, and none of it- NONE. OF. IT. – has a darn thing to do with what’s best for the public and the economy.

All of it- ALL. OF. IT. – has to do with funneling money into Democrat Party coffers.

And it’s sitting like a wet blanket over our economy. And Daley’s right. Democrat leaders can’t solve it. They couldn’t solve it when they ran the tax scam in Chicago and they can’t solve it now.

The results are showing in our two parallel economies: One for the Democrat Party and one for the rest of us. In order to keep the Democrat Party’s economy humming along, they are going to need a new injection of taxes, because the public won’t write them a blank check again. 

Tea Partiers Sound An Urgent Alarm – Jeff Jacoby – Townhall Conservative

U.S. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts

Traitor - Liar

Tea Partiers Sound An Urgent Alarm – Jeff Jacoby – Townhall Conservative.

THE FIRE HALL next to my in-laws’ house in northern New York State has a siren that can be heard for miles. “Loud” doesn’t begin to describe the sound it makes: a shrill, relentless, piercing wail that is impossible to ignore — and that can be extremely upsetting for anyone who isn’t used to it. There’s good reason for that. None of the rural towns in the area has a professional fire department, so when a fire breaks out, the siren is needed to summon volunteers. The urgent blast of that siren (which sounds like this one) used to terrify my younger son, who would hide under a bed when it sounded, and angrily tell us afterward how much he hated it.

In the recent clamor over the federal debt ceiling and the Standard & Poor’s downgrade of US Treasury bonds, the Tea Party has been that fire hall siren. Fiscal conservatives, mostly but by no means only Republican, have been sounding an alarm that can come across as strident and uncompromising. And a lot of liberals have been angrily telling us how much they hate it.

But hating the Tea Party for being so insistent and single-minded in its focus on cutting spending is like hating a fire hall siren for calling attention to a potentially devastating blaze. And blaming the S&P downgrade on Tea Party-backed House Republicans makes about as much sense as blaming a raging fire on the 911 dispatcher.

Worse than pointing fingers at the Tea Partiers, however, is when a government official demands that they be frozen out.

Speaking on MSNBC the day S&P lowered its credit rating on US debt from AAA to AA+, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry called on the media to blackball the Tea Party and its message.

“What we had was a group of people who are completely unaware, or didn’t care about the consequences of their actions,” Kerry claimed. It is typical of him to attribute opposition to Democrats’ policies to ignorance or bad faith; shortly before the 2010 tsunami that handed the House GOP its greatest triumph in 60 years, Kerry seethed that voters were yielding to “know-nothingism” and rejecting “truth and science and facts.” Now he wants the views he rejected then to be silenced, and the press to do the silencing.

“The media has got to begin to not give equal time or equal balance to an absolutely absurd notion just because somebody asserts it,” Kerry said. “It doesn’t deserve the same credit as a legitimate idea about what you do. And the problem is everything is put into this tit-for-tat equal battle and America is losing any sense of what’s real.”

Kerry — who is one of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s appointees to the debt deal’s “super committee” — has been in the Senate since 1985. He is an entrenched member of the bipartisan Beltway establishment that has overseen the explosion of federal spending and debt that the Tea Party was born to resist. It is perfectly understandable that he would push back against the conservative insurgents’ agenda, which he characterizes as “cutting, cutting, cutting.”

But he ought to have the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that the Tea Partiers are not “absurd” to focus on budget cuts and entitlement reform — not when federal outlays have more than doubled (from $1.8 trillion to $3.8 trillion) in a decade. Not when entitlement payments are eating up two-thirds of the US government budget. Not when Washington has to borrow 40 cents for every dollar it spends. And not when (as a result) the US debt burden has ballooned from 40.3 percent of GDP in 2008 to an alarming 72 percent this year — and growing.

In explaining its downgrade, S&P did not call for the higher taxes that Kerry and many Democrats seek. Instead it said that the debt deal “fell well short” of the deficit reductions needed, that it provided only “modest savings” in discretionary spending, and that Congress was unwilling to curb Medicare and other entitlements, which is the “key to long-term fiscal sustainability.” That sounds an awful lot like what the Tea Party has been saying — except that the tea partiers were raising the alarm well before S&P got involved.

Kerry is under no obligation to like the Tea Party’s style. He does have an obligation to contend responsibly with its arguments. A fiscal fire is burning, and reasonable people can differ on how best to quell it. But this much ought to be clear to anyone: Silencing the siren will accomplish nothing.