The Mini-Ice Age has Arrived–Despite What Obama Says – Tea Party Nation

The Mini-Ice Age has Arrived–Despite What Obama Says – Tea Party Nation.

by Alan Caruba

Climatologists and meteorologists are familiar with the last Mini Ice Age (MIA) that occurred between 1350 and 1850 AD. It is also referred to as the Little Ice Age. Suffice to say it was cold and, as such weather cycles tend to do, it altered history in a variety of ways.

The failure of crops was one aspect of the cold spell and in France the revolution that overthrew the monarchy is attributed to the unhappiness of its citizens, but famine in the northern hemisphere was widespread. In the United States, it is best recalled for the horrid winter our revolutionary war soldiers spent at Valley Forge. At one point during the cycle Americans spent what they called “a year without summer” when the weather remained too cold to plant crops.

Since climate is cyclical, it is not surprising that the MIA followed the Medieval Warm Period, also known as a climate optimum. Crops flourished, empires rose and declined, and neither cycle had a thing to do with so-called greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and everything to do with what was happening on the sun.

As spring arrives in the U.S., there was also a broad band of snow storms that comes with it.

One of the world’s most respected long-term climate forecasters is Piers Corbyn, an astrophysicist whose expertise is relied upon by corporations and others who need to know what the weather will really be as opposed to the criminally false claims about global warming. His website, WeatherAction, is well worth visiting.

In his own words, “WeatherAction is involved in the Global Warming/Climate Change debate where we point out that the world is now cooling not warming and there is no observational evidence in the thousands and millions of years of data that changes in CO2 have any effect on weather or climate. There are no scientists in the world who can produce such observational data. There is only effect the other way, namely that ocean temperatures control average CO2 levels.”

Recently Corbyn announced that “The CO2 story is over. It has been pointing the world in the wrong direction for too long. The serious implications of the developing mini ice age to agriculture and the world economy through the next 25 to 35 years must be addressed.” World cooling is now locked in says Corbyn, citing the decrease in average solar activity and a jet stream that is often further south than normal, resulting in extreme weather events.

Following in the heels of Corbyn’s forecast was the release of a new report by Dr. David Whitehouse, published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, and what makes it fairly extraordinary after decades of global warming propaganda is that he concludes that there has been no statistically significant increase in annual global temperatures since 1997. That’s seventeen years of atrocious lies about a warming earth.

The irony that Dr. Whitehouse includes in his report is that the atmospheric composition of carbon dioxide has increased during that time from 370 ppm to 390 ppm. So, everything you have been told about carbon dioxide emissions and those of other so-called greenhouse gases “causing” a warming earth is just lies, lies, and lies.

“If the standstill (lower temperatures) continues for a few more years,” wrote Dr. Whitehouse, “it will mean that no one who has just reached adulthood, or younger, will have witnessed the earth get warmer during their lifetime.”

Now here’s the kicker. The President of the United States, according to a recent Business Week article, “is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving projects, from pipelines to highways.” The result “could be significant delays for natural gas export facilities, ports for coal sales to Asia, and even new forest roads, industry lobbyists say.”

“In taking the step,” said Business Week reporter Mark Drajem, “Obama would be fulfilling a vow to act alone in the face of a Republican-run House of Representatives unwilling to pass measures limiting greenhouse gases.”

The President, as usual, is lying through his teeth. There is no global warming or, as it is more frequently called these days, climate change unless you include a colder earth in that change.

The result will be four years of a second term in office during which Obama and his minions will do everything they can to slow what little is left of the U.S. economy, currently growing at a rate that requires a microscope to detect.

For the rest of us, the Mini Ice Age has arrived.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

Obscene Government Waste – Tea Party Nation

Obscene Government Waste – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

The one thing the “sequester” did was to get people asking why government spending could not be reduced. Adding to the drama of the automatic cuts was the sky-is-falling, government-services-will-stop, and comparable lies the President and his cabinet secretaries told until it became obvious that the public was not buying it.

What the President did not talk about was the incredible, obscene waste of taxpayer’s money that goes on every day in every department and agency of the U.S. government. Americans are so accustomed to hearing everything described in the billions and trillions, they have lost sight of what these numbers really mean and this is particularly true in light of the nation’s huge, growing debt and deficit.

It’s not like independent organizations like Citizens Against Government Waste don’t keep watch and report the waste. It has gained some fame for its annual “Pig Book”, a list of absurd spending. To its credit, the Government Accountability Office occasionally issues a report on waste when some member of Congress requests it.

Even a casual bit of research turns up item after item that, were Americans not so apathetic and indifferent to government waste, it would result in huge rallies in Washington, D.C. calling for change. There is none.

Here are some examples, a mere handful from the many anyone can discover by simply Googling “government waste.”

# The government spends $1.7 billion for maintenance on empty buildings it owns, although some sources put the figure at closer to $25 billion. The Office of Management and Budget estimates that 55,000 properties are underutilized or entirely vacant.

# The federal government owns approximately one-third of all U.S. land. It does not need more land and it could be argued that it should not own 80% of Nevada and Alaska, and more than half of Idaho. That said, it wants to spend $2.3 billion to purchase more land and the National park Service currently has a backlog of maintenance tasks totaling $5 billion. These include parks that the Obama administration was saying would all have to be closed down because of a sequester reduction of a mere 1.2% of all federal spending.

# Homeland Security’s Janet Napolitano was issuing statements about the sequestration cuts to her department, but according to Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, the department has $9 billion in unspent preparedness funds. How much of that will be spent on purchasing more DHS ammunition? They have already purchased enough to shoot every American five times.

# Republican lawmakers in Congress took the sequester fear-mongering as an opportunity to note, as Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) said, “There are pots of money sitting in different departments across the federal government, that have been authorized over either a number of months or years.”

# Rep. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is a leading budget hawk who identified programs to fund a space ship to another solar system, funds for advancements in beef jerky from France, and $6 billion for research to find out what lessons about democracy and decision-making can be learned—from fish!

# While you’re trying to figure out how to pay your 2012 taxes, give a thought to the National Science Foundation $350,000 grant to Perdue University researchers on how to improve your golf game.

# Not to be outspent, the National Institutes of Health gave a $940,000 grant to researchers who found that the production of pheromones in—wait for it—fruit flies, declines over time. Turns out that male fruit flies were more attracted to younger female fruit flies. The NIH also paid researchers to find out why gay men in Argentina engage in risky sexual behavior when they’re drunk and spent $800,000 in “stimulus funds” to study the impact of a “genital-washing” program on men in South Africa. You can’t make up this stuff.

# For reasons that defy sanity, various elements of the government have spent $3 million for research on video games; $2.6 million to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly; a whopping $500 million on a program that would, among other things, try to figure out why five-year-olds “can’t sit still” in a kindergarten classroom; and grants such as $1.8 million on a “museum of neon signs” in Las Vegas, Nevada.

# Sanity does not apply to the $2 billion given annually to U.S. farmers to not farm their land. Don’t even ask about the Defense Department. It has long been famous for waste.

While all this has been going on, in 2010 the Office of Management and Budget determined that $47.9 billion was spent on fraudulent or improper payments in Medicare and the problem still hasn’t been fixed, though the cost is now up to $62 billion. There’s been $2.7 billion in fraud and mismanagement of the food-stamp program. And on, and on, and on.

And the President of the United States can only talk about tax breaks for the “rich and well-connected” while spending most of his time hanging out with the “rich and well-connected.” The rest of the time is spent campaigning to get higher taxes on all the rest of us.

If you just added up the billions cited in this brief look at waste, the federal government might actually be able to get by without having run up the national debt to more than $16 trillion and running trillion-plus annual deficits.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

Geraldo’s Point – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative Columnists

Geraldo’s Point – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative Columnists.

It is not often that I agree with Geraldo Rivera, but recently he said something very practical and potentially life-saving, when he urged black and Hispanic parents not to let their children go around wearing hoodies.

There is no point in dressing like a hoodlum when you are not a hoodlum, even though that has become a fashion for some minority youths, including the teenager who was shot and killed in a confrontation in Florida. I don’t know the whole story of that tragedy, any more than those who are making loud noises in the media do, but that is something that we have trials for.

People have a right to dress any way they want to, but exercising that right is something that requires common sense, and common sense is something that parents should have, even if their children don’t always have it.

Many years ago, when I was a student at Harvard, there was a warning to all the students to avoid a nearby tough Irish neighborhood, where Harvard students had been attacked. It so happened that there was a black neighborhood on the other side of the Irish neighborhood that I had to pass through when I went to get my hair cut.

I never went through that Irish neighborhood dressed in the style of most Harvard students back then. I walked through that Irish neighborhood dressed like a black working man would be dressed — and I never had the slightest trouble the whole three years that I was at Harvard.

While I had a right to walk through that tough neighborhood dressed in a Brooks Brothers suit, if I wanted to — and if I could have afforded one, which I couldn’t — it made no sense for me to court needless dangers.

The man who shot the black teenager in Florida may be as guilty as sin, for all I know — or he may be innocent, for all I know. We pay taxes so that there can be judges and jurors who sort out the facts. We do not need Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or the President of the United States spouting off before the trial has even begun. Have we forgotten the media’s rush to judgment in the Duke University “rape” case that blew up completely when the facts came out?

If the facts show that a teenager who was no threat to anyone was shot and killed, it will be time to call for the death penalty. But if the facts show that the shooter was innocent, then it will be time to call for people in the media and in politics to keep their big mouths shut until they know what they are talking about.

Playing with racial polarization is playing with fire.

Much has been made of the fact that the teenager was unarmed. The only time I have ever pointed a loaded gun at a human being, I had no idea whether he was armed or not. All I knew was that I could hear his footsteps sneaking up behind me at night.

Fortunately for both of us, he froze in his tracks when I pointed a gun at him. If he had made a false move, I would have shot him. And if it had turned out later that he was unarmed, I would not have lost a moment’s sleep over it.

You know that someone was unarmed only after it is all over. If he attacks, you have to shoot, if only to keep the attacker from getting your gun.

It so happened that the man I pointed a gun at was white. But he could have been any color of the rainbow, and it would not have made the slightest difference.

Let the specific facts come out in the Florida case. That is why we have courts.

Have we forgotten the Jim Crow era, with courts making decisions based on the race of the defendants, rather than the facts of the case? That is part of the past that we need to leave in the past, not resurrect it under new racial management.

Who is really showing concern for the well-being of minority youngsters, Geraldo Rivera who is trying to save some lives, or Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and others who are hyping this tragic episode for their own benefit?

Race hustlers who hype paranoia and belligerence are doing no favor to minority youngsters. There is no way to know how many of these youngsters’ confrontations with the police or others in authority have been needlessly aggravated by the steady drumbeat of racial hype they have been bombarded with by race hustlers.

The Real Mitt Romney: He’s no conservative – Tea Party Nation

The Real Mitt Romney: He’s no conservative – Tea Party Nation.

Will the real Mitt Romney please step forward.  We know who the real Mitt Romney is.  He is the liberal who ran Massachusetts as a liberal.  He even says so in his own words.   Here is the real history of Mitt Romney.

Here is Mitt Romney and all of his liberal positions. How can anyone now say he is anything but a politician who will say anything to get elected. He is not a conservative and we conservatives must stop him from getting the nomination for President.

Fred Thompson: I Strongly Support Newt Gingrich for President‏

Dear Friend and Supporter,

I am one of the countless number of Americans who know firsthand that, in this country, a Newt 2012person may be born into modest circumstances, but that he comes into the world blessed in ways that have been unimaginable to the vast majority of people who have ever lived. We are born with the birthright of freedom and opportunity – free to make our own choices about the important things in life and the opportunity to fulfill our God-given potential.

The greatest fear that I have for my country is that our government now has us on a different path. Instead of freedom and opportunity, it is one of debt, dependence division and decline – a path that will weaken our country and sap the vitality of the American people.

I believe that we are at a tipping point, one from which we may not return. To avoid these disastrous consequences, our country needs leadership that is fearless and confident, a candidate who can give voice to the concerns and frustrations of the American people, a candidate who understands – and will never apologize for – American Exceptionalism.

We don’t need to just manage the way Washington works. We need to fundamentally change Washington. We need someone who has the courage and ability to communicate the truth to the American people. Someone who will explain the hard choices that we must make if we are to give our children and grandchildren the same opportunities our forefathers bestowed on us and avoid the fate that other great nations have suffered throughout history. I believe that person is Newt Gingrich. And that is why I strongly support him and his candidacy for President of the United States.

Today there is a very important primary in the Sunshine State, and we have the opportunity to build on this campaign’s momentum with a victory in Florida. The stakes have never been higher, and I’m challenging you to join me in standing with Newt Gingrich by making a donation today.

America needs someone who is able to articulate the message of growth, free enterprise and freedom, someone who knows that bold ideas have preceded every major achievement of mankind – including the United States of America. America needs Newt Gingrich.

Sincerely,

Fred Thompson

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.

As President, Obama Acts as Shop Steward in Chief – Michael Barone – Townhall Conservative

As President, Obama Acts as Shop Steward in Chief – Michael Barone – Townhall Conservative.

Barack Obama has been at pains to convince voters that he cares about jobs. It seems to be a hard sell.

But he certainly can demonstrate that he cares about certain jobs — the 7 percent of private-sector jobs and 36 percent of public-sector jobs held by union members.

During his two years and nine months as president, he has worked time and again to increase the number of unionized jobs. As for nonunion jobs, who wants them?

Some pro-union moves have a certain ritual quality. Democratic presidents on taking office seek to strengthen federal employee unions, just as Republican presidents on taking office seek to weaken them.

Other steps are more important. Fully one-third of the $820 billion stimulus package passed almost entirely with Democratic votes in 2009 was aid to state and local governments.

This was intended to keep state and local public employee union members — much more numerous than federal employees — on the job and to keep taxpayer-funded union dues pouring into public employee union treasuries.

It was just last year that, for the first time in history, public employees came to account for a majority of union members. This is a vivid contrast from the peak union membership years of the 1950s, when more than one-third of private-sector workers but almost no government workers were union members.

Which is not to say that the Obama administration has not looked after the interests of private-sector unions. In arranging the Chrysler bankruptcy, the Obama White House muscled aside the secured creditors who ordinarily have priority in bankruptcy proceedings in favor of United Auto Workers members and retirees.

That’s an episode that I labeled “gangster government.” Former Obama economics aide Lawrence Summers protested that his White House colleague Ron Bloom had made similar arrangements before. But in those cases, Bloom was working for the unions, not for a supposedly neutral government.

The 2009 stimulus package also contained Davis-Bacon law provisions requiring that construction workers be paid “prevailing wages,” which under the bureaucratic formula turn out to be union wages. That means the public pays a premium for government construction.

It also means that Labor Department bureaucrats must calculate “prevailing wage” rates for as many as 3,141 counties. That takes time, and it’s one reason there were not nearly so many shovel-ready projects as presidential rhetoric led some, including the president, to think.

In the meantime, the administration has gone to great pains to promote union representation in private-sector companies even where there’s no indication employees want it.

It appointed pro-union stalwarts to the board supervising airline industry unionization elections. That board changed longstanding rules on what counts as a majority in an attempt to get unions approved at mostly non-union Delta after it absorbed mostly unionized Northwest.

The problem is that the employees kept voting against unionization anyway.

Then there’s the Boeing case.

Obama has called for doubling American exports over the next five years. But when America’s No. 1 exporter, Boeing, built a $1 billion Dreamliner plant in South Carolina, Obama’s appointee as general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board brought a case to force it to shut down.

The theory is that Boeing needs to build the airliner in pro-union Washington state rather than in South Carolina, whose right-to-work law bars requiring employees to join unions. Maximizing union membership evidently comes first, before all other goals.

The Obama White House won’t comment on the Boeing case, just as Obama himself had no comment when Teamsters President Jim Hoffa, introducing him at a Labor Day rally in Detroit, said of tea party backers, “Let’s take these sons of bitches out.”

The president’s eloquent and apparently heartfelt pleas for civility voiced after the Tucson shootings apparently don’t apply to union leaders.

Obama’s partiality to unions is apparently rooted in a conviction that we would be better off if every employee were represented by a union.

The marketplace says otherwise. Private-sector unionism has produced the General Motors and Chrysler bankruptcies, while states with strong public-sector unions, according to a Harvard study, have to pay higher interest rates to borrow money.

But unions do have one positive characteristic from Obama’s point of view: They funnel taxpayers’ or consumers’ money to the Democratic Party — $400 million in 2008. So they get one payoff after another in return.

He Made It Worse – Paul Greenberg – Townhall Conservative

Seal of the President of the United States

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He Made It Worse – Paul Greenberg – Townhall Conservative.

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

–Mr. Micawber

It’s a sad, and dangerous, thing when governments lose sight of Micawber’s Rule, first enunciated in Charles Dickens’ “David Copperfield” and demonstrated many times over since.

These days there’s a Misery Index (the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates) to measure economic pain. This administration’s Misery Index hasn’t yet reached the highs achieved by Jimmy Carter’s (a yearly average of 20.8 by 1980) but it’s still in the double digits — having hit a monthly rate of 12.8 in June of this year. The average over George W. Bush’s two terms was only 8.1, and Bill Clinton’s even lower at 7.8.

It seems misery has made an impressive comeback, which is not good news for this president — or the country. For when a president is in trouble, so are the rest of us.

It’s not a pretty thing to watch, a president twisting in the wind, as though caught in forces beyond his control, unable or unwilling to do anything except go on repeating the same mistakes. It takes courage to change course, or maybe just imagination. Whatever qualities he needs to break this dispiriting cycle, Barack Obama hasn’t yet been able to summon them.

Instead, this president seems a prisoner of the failed Keynesian faith he’s been following all along — the conviction that the country can spend its way out of hard times. And when times get harder, just spend more.

Barack Obama’s economic policies aren’t so much a Democratic program as a Social Democratic one. And it becomes even clearer that the European-style agenda he’s set out for the country isn’t going to work. His $825 billion stimulus didn’t do the trick — despite his numbers games with all those jobs “created or saved” — or just imagined.

The administration’s own TARP (now renamed the Public-Private Investment Partnership) hasn’t turned things around any more than George W. Bush’s did. It’s just resulted in more toxic assets being transferred to the government, that is, to the people of the United States.

Quick fixes like Cash for Clunkers have worked no better than radical moves like nationalizing the automotive industry. (General Motors and Chrysler have yet to be completely denationalized.)

The full effects of Obamacare can’t be known till it goes fully into effect, but it’s already setting off tremors as businesses eliminate heath insurance for their workers in anticipation of those government-sponsored exchanges that are going to insure so many of us. Whether we like it or not.

The most crushing of the economic burdens Barack Obama has laid on the country has to be the dramatic increase in the national debt, which now has topped $14 trillion and is due to hit $15 trillion by the end of this month, That would be more than the country’s whole Gross Domestic Product — the first time that’s happened since the Second World War.

The quick-fixers forget that every government expenditure now being touted as a way to turn the economy around will have to paid for — with interest — in the future, which means it will take just that much longer for the economy to recover. Result: more misery. Much of it passed on to future generations, who will have to pay the debts we’re running up now.

Like the gambler who doubles his bet every time he loses, feeling his luck has got to change some time, this president can’t seem think of anything better to do than repeat his mistakes. As if he were under some kind of compulsion. A preference for ideology over results will have that effect on even the most intelligent of men. No wonder inflation waits to pounce while unemployment is proving untamable.

According to the August reports, not a single job was created in the whole national economy. Not a one. In terms of job creation, Barack Obama’s record has been the worst since Herbert Hoover’s.

During the first two and half years of this “recovery,” employment has actually dropped a percentage point. No president of the United States other than Messrs. Hoover and Obama has presided over negative job growth for a comparable period. Mr. Obama’s presidency is proving historic, all right, just not in the way he promised.

The best thing about judging a president in terms of the economy’s performance on his watch is that the results are so clear. And the damning thing about judging a president in terms of his economic performance is that the results are so clear. As clear as the numbers. It’s hard to see how any CEO of a major publicly held corporation could keep his job after compiling such a record.

Now the president has taken his show on the road, claiming (not for the first time) that this is all the fault of George W. Bush, or maybe those penny-pinching Republicans in Congress who insist on cutting spending instead of expanding it. He did indeed inherit an economic mess, but by now this economy is his. And the conviction grows that he’s only made it worse. The buck can be passed only so long. In his case, that means only until November 6th of next year. Election Day.

“I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president,” President Obama told an interviewer last year. But there’s nothing to keep him from being both–a one-term president and mediocre.

So what’s this failing, flailing president to do while there may still be time to save his administration? Not to mention the country’s economy. He would do well to follow the example of another president who inherited an economic mess — indeed, an economic disaster: the malaise of the Carter Years.

Instead of trying to spend his way out of that hole, Ronald Reagan cut taxes across the board. (The Tax Reform Act of 1986 gave the country the lowest individual and corporate tax rates in the industrialized world.)

The numbers tell the story: Over the eight years of the Reagan presidency, some 20 million new jobs were created; the inflation rate dropped from 13.8 percent in 1980 to 4.1 percent in 1988; the unemployment rate fell from 7.2 percent to 5.5 percent while the Gross National Product rose by 26 percent. Not bad for an old B-movie actor.

Today few may remember the Reagan Recession that preceded the Reagan Recovery, but that was the price the country had to pay for a remarkably sustained period of prosperity. No gain without pain — and the courage to risk it.

Why did Ronald Reagan succeed where Barack Obama is now failing? Because the Gipper had some qualities not yet evident in this president: a faith in the free market and the American people, and the patience to wait for that faith to be justified.

Barack Obama used to talk about being a transformative president. If he’s serious about that, he would do well to look back at the country’s last transformative president, and see just how he transformed dark times into Morning in America.

There’s another presidential model Mr. Obama might want to consider: Bill Clinton. When his party lost control of both houses in the watershed congressional elections of 1994, Mr. Clinton did a 180-degree turn, proclaiming, “The era of big government is over.” And his deeds matched his words. He worked with Republicans in Congress, however distasteful he may have found that prospect, to pass the North American Free Trade Act, reform a welfare system that was creating an American underclass, and enact a balanced budget.

Yes, I know Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton. But he needs to be. And he needs to hurry. Time is fleeting. It may already have fled.

Back to the Future? – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative

Back to the Future? – Thomas Sowell – Townhall Conservative.

Those who are impressed by words seem to think that President Barack Obama made a great speech to Congress last week. But, when you look beyond the rhetoric, what did he say that was fundamentally different from what he has been saying and doing all along?

Are we to continue doing the same kinds of things that have failed again and again, just because Obama delivers clever words with style and energy?

Once we get past the glowing rhetoric, what is the president proposing? More spending! Only the words have changed — from “stimulus” to “jobs” and from “shovel-ready projects” to “jobs for construction workers.”

If government spending were the answer, we would by now have a booming economy with plenty of jobs, after all the record trillions of dollars that have been poured down a bottomless pit. Are we to keep on doing the same things, just because those things have been repackaged in different words?

Or just because Obama now assures us that “everything in this bill will be paid for”? This is the same man who told us that he could provide health insurance to millions more people without increasing the cost.

When it comes to specific proposals, President Obama repeats the same kinds of things that have marked his past policies — more government spending for the benefit of his political allies, the construction unions and the teachers’ unions, and “thousands of transportation projects.”

The fundamental fallacy in all of this is the notion that politicians can “grow the economy” by taking money out of the private sector and spending it wherever it is politically expedient to spend it — so long as they call spending “investment.”

Has Obama ever grown even a potted plant, much less a business, a bank, a hospital or any of the numerous other institutions whose decisions he wants to control and override? But he can talk glibly about growing the economy.

Arrogance is no substitute for experience. That is why the country is in the mess it is in now.

Obama says he wants “federal housing agencies” to “help more people refinance their mortgages.” What does that amount to in practice, except having the taxpayers be forced to bail out people who bought homes they could not afford?

No doubt that is good politics, but it is lousy economics. When people pay the price of their own mistakes, that is when there is the greatest pressure to correct those mistakes. But when taxpayers who had nothing to do with those mistakes are forced to pay the costs, that is when those and other mistakes can continue to flourish — and to mess up the economy.

Whatever his deficiencies in economics, Barack Obama is a master of politics — including the great political game of “Heads I win and tails you lose.”

Any policy that shows any sign of achieving its goals will of course be trumpeted across the land as a success. But, in the far more frequent cases where the policy fails or turns out to be counterproductive, the political response is: “Things would have been even worse without this policy.”

It’s heads I win and tails you lose.

Thus, when unemployment went up after the massive spending that was supposed to bring it down, we were told that unemployment would have been far worse if it had not been for that spending.

Are we really supposed to fall for ploys like this? The answer is clearly “yes,” as far as Obama and his allies in the media are concerned.

Our intelligence was insulted even further in President Obama’s speech to Congress, when he set up this straw man as what his critics believe — that “the only thing we can do to restore prosperity is just dismantle government, refund everybody’s money, and let everyone write their own rules, and tell everyone they’re on their own.”

Have you heard anybody in any part of the political spectrum advocate that? If not, then why was the President of the United States saying such things, unless he thought we were fools enough to buy it — and that the media would never call him on it?

Bus Tour a Bust for Obama – Matt Towery – Townhall Conservative

Bus Tour a Bust for Obama – Matt Towery – Townhall Conservative.

It seems like everything is going wrong for President Obama. Polling shows that white voters and independents who bolstered his effort in 2008 have soured on his presidency. Meanwhile members of the Congressional Black Caucus are complaining that he hasn’t done enough to address the high unemployment rate for African Americans. And then there’s this idiotic bus tour.

Who in the administration came up with the brilliant plan of putting the president on what looks like the Darth Vader of buses and sticking him out in territories that are red hot with tea party fever?

Not only is he encountering hostile questions, but he also doesn’t have anything new to say. People are furious over his handling of the economy, and the gimmickry of a bus tour by a sitting president, followed by more gimmickry in promising a new jobs plan after his vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, makes the president look entirely out of touch.

And to add insult to injury, a recent poll of those who voted in the last presidential election showed that only 42 percent would admit to having voted for him! Where did his other votes disappear to?

I know it is not only common but almost required for conservative columnists to dislike the president or at least his policies. Obviously on the policy side there is plenty to dislike. But I’m starting to feel a bit sorry for this guy. He truly does look like a man who is in over his head.

Even his rhetoric is all over the place. One day he’s pragmatic, the next day he’s partisan, then it’s back to sort of pragmatic and only a little partisan. And it made me cringe to see the president of the United States get into a verbal exchange over whether his vice president called tea partyers “terrorists.” How should he know? It takes an army of journalists to keep up with all things that come out of Vice President Biden’s mouth.

At least for now, nothing seems to be working for President Obama. But keep in mind that there have been many presidents who were floundering a year out from re-election, only to catch a huge break when the opposition party nominated an unelectable candidate. The Democrats’ John Kerry in 2004 is an example.

Either that, or the beleaguered incumbent president starts to enjoy a change in the winds of fortune. Or both can happen, as it did to Bill Clinton in 1996, when circumstances suddenly started to improve and the Republicans nominated the capable but crusty Bob Dole. Ouch!

So the wheels are coming off the Obama bus, if you’ll pardon the expression. All the more reason that the Republicans would be wise to stay mindful that things can change quickly on the American political landscape. They can’t be overconfident that the defeat of Barack Obama is in the bag.

For one thing, the president will have more campaign money than any nominee in the history of politics. That can put a lot of distance between the cold hard truth and some more “change we can believe in.”

Also, this absurd congressional “super committee” that was created recently to decide how to deal with the federal deficit is doomed to fail. That can’t help Obama.

Or worse, a move to raise more revenue in the middle of a very fragile economy could easily lead us into a further extended slowdown and destroy the entire concept of seriously cutting spending.

There are plenty of dumb things the Republicans could do to destroy what, as of now, seems like a great opportunity to take back the White House and perhaps the Senate. Yes, they must find an electable candidate, but GOP presidential hopefuls beating up one another right now, or driving away the tea party — which has put some fire back into the conservative movement — is insane.

The GOP needs to keep standing its ground. But everyone should remember that when the wheels on the bus are coming off, you really never know who will get run over in the process.

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