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Author Topic: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness  (Read 530496 times)
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #200 on: February 12, 2009, 01:26:19 PM »

Keep this phrase handy, Obots: "At least Bush kept us safe".
Power User
Posts: 2004

« Reply #201 on: February 12, 2009, 04:35:01 PM »

Keep this phrase handy, Obots: "At least Bush kept us safe".

Wasn't it during Bush's watch that 9/11 happened?
Bush "kept us safe" Huh
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #202 on: February 12, 2009, 05:46:23 PM »

Since 9/11.

Although as a quick reminder, the first attack on the WTC happened in 1993, the start of Clinton's first term. AQ metastasized under his watch with multiple attacks on us while he tried to use standard law enforcement methods to engage them. Remember the USS Cole and African embassy bombings? Remember the strikes on AQ camps only during Monica-gate? If I recall correctly, most if not all 9/11 operational assets arrived in the US in 1998 to begin training for 9/11.

Keep in mind that Bush had the hanging chad legal fights and the dems impeding his cabinet appointments so that he had only about 1/3 of his nat'l security cabinet picks in place on 9/11.
Power User
Posts: 7831

« Reply #203 on: February 12, 2009, 06:55:07 PM »


I've moved your very good post to the Electoral thread:
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 09:42:49 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
« Reply #204 on: February 12, 2009, 07:18:45 PM »

The party of the most open administration ever, the one that will keep those pesky lobbyists in place has got copies of the stimulus bill to K Street, but not to congress or the press. . . .

Congressional Offices Don't Have the Stimulus Bill, Lobbyists Do
February 12, 2009 04:14 PM ET | Paul Bedard | Permanent Link | Print
By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

We're receiving E-mails from Capitol Hill staffers expressing frustration that they can't get a copy of the stimulus bill agreed to last night at a price of $789 billion. What's more, staffers are complaining about who does have a copy: K Street lobbyists. E-mails one key Democratic staffer: "K Street has the bill, or chunks of it, already, and the congressional offices don't. So, the Hill is getting calls from the press (because it's leaking out) asking us to confirm or talk about what we know—but we can't do that because we haven't seen the bill. Anyway, peeps up here are sort of a combo of confused and like, 'Is this really happening?'" Reporters pressing for details, meanwhile, are getting different numbers from different offices, especially when seeking the details of specific programs.

Worse, there seem to be several different versions of what was agreed upon, with some officials circulating older versions of the package that seems to still be developing. Leadership aides said that it will work out later today and promised that lawmakers will get time to review the bill before Friday's vote.

Check out more of the new Washington Whispers.
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #205 on: February 12, 2009, 07:46:34 PM »

GM's post about Chinagate leading to 911 moved to the Homeland Security thread.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 09:58:00 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #206 on: February 12, 2009, 09:45:36 PM »

Moving GM's post on BO not believing the NIE report either over to the Iran thread.


I'd like to repeat that now that he is President, I'd like to see this thread become less important-- and for threads for posts to be determined more about the subject matter e.g. if it is about BO and Iran, then maybe it belongs in the Iran thread and not this one.  Otherwise this thread becomes one giant cluster of incoherent crankiness.

« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 09:55:51 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
« Reply #207 on: February 13, 2009, 10:50:12 AM »

Annoyingly produced interview (where'd he find that tie?)  that nonetheless leaves Reid looking like an Orwellian idiot. Reminds me of some discussions I've had around here. . . .

Power User
Posts: 42475

« Reply #208 on: February 14, 2009, 06:06:42 AM »

I tangentially mention that this is the sort of article that belongs in this thead , , ,

Obama and the American dream

The most serious threat to American liberty is the illusion that symbols create reality.
As I watched the inauguration of America’s 44th president, I wondered what the commotion was about. It was billed as a larger than life historical event that would usher in a new era of change, but where was the tangible evidence for such a grandiose notion? Scenes of ecstatic joy, bringing multitudes of people to cry, break into song and exhibit a whole range of emotions, must find their rationale in a person's track record -- in real historical achievements. What exactly had Barack Obama done to inspire such hope?

We Filipinos are media junkies; decades-long exposure to American news and soap operas had convinced us that racism was defeated long ago. If this was Obama’s achievement it was old news, an old story. Moreover in his case the racism narrative of slavery and segregation was a borrowed one, not something from his own heritage. Stories are the stuff of symbols and, surely, America’s 44th president must have his own story—something in the tradition of Augustus Caesar, Joan of Arc, Gandhi, Mother Teresa or Pope John Paul II who were all heroic achievers.

By contrast, there is nothing very remarkable about what Barack Obama has done with his life so far. That he is an African-American with a diverse background within the context of America’s racial past may be enough these days to make him a symbol of hope, but it is hope premised on his potential to deliver great deeds, not on historical acts as in the case of the heroic figures mentioned above. In the case of Obama, the symbol precedes the story and the story precedes the acts.

Not until Obama acts will we know his true story and be able to judge whether it is a good story, capable of inspiring great deeds all round. If, for example, the new president were to honestly address the evils besetting the modern world -- not only wars in the guise of liberation to protect American interests, but also, at home, the destruction of marriage and the war on the unborn child (both of which disproportionately afflict black Americans) -- then he might begin to shine as a real symbol.

Obama's symbolism is very like that of America itself. Like the Obama story, the American story is also premised on potential. Disregarding what the New World’s settlers did to the Native American, the pilgrims’ background story of the oppressed seeking -- and finding -- liberty served as the perfect recipe for the American symbol as it has been officially known.

But the premise of liberty in the American story is but a potential and has remained in potency since the unfurling of the Stars and Stripes.

Proof that the story of the American symbol has not been actualized can be culled from America’s behavior, its policies, and most especially the popular ideas and lifestyles it has introduced to the world and established as norms: consumerism as the lifeblood of a capitalism oblivious to global warming and the logic of good values; liberalism as the essence of freedom; and imperialism as the motive of charity in the form of aid and intervention. All these ambiguities have left their mark on developing countries like my own.

The question now is whether Obama will actualize the American story. Will he write the story of the symbol and do the acts that should have preceded the story in the first place? Will Obama be that larger than life symbol that has been so grandiosely represented by America?

There is a serious threat to America, and it is not terrorism, global warming, or the economy; these are but consequences of the real threat. It is the illusion that symbols create reality.

An empty symbol cannot sustain itself. Like art and literature that are unable to capture the nature of things, they are forgotten. This is what sets apart the classics from the rest. Moreover, classics are filled with symbols which can be directly associated with reality, and so they stand the test of time and last. Symbol making seems to have become a frivolously empty process with empty stories, devoid of reason. This is what I thought as I watched the faces and various displays of emotion during the inauguration.

Ironically, the television screen that enabled me to watch Obama-mania in full flight is largely responsible for this state of affairs. Marshall McLuhan best captured it’s ambiguity in 1964 when he coined the phrase, “the medium is the message.” The visual media’s confusion of the reel and the real has become the very life of our times. Life imitates the media and reason has been replaced by the emotional force of personalities and symbols.

Hopefully, Obama will actualize the story of that American dream which has remained in potency for centuries. If he decides to do the acts needed to complete the story of the symbol that has been stamped on him, headlines will change and much of America’s (and the world’s) problems will eventually disappear. This is the real story of America—that it has yet to be great and that it has the potential to be so. I believe it can be realised.

Caterina F. Lorenzo-Molo is an Assistant Professor of the University of Asia and the Pacific's (UA&P) School of Communication (SCM) in the Philippines. She teaches and does research in communication ethics. Her articles have been published in Public Relations Review, Media Asia and Asia Business & Management (ABM). She is a mother of three young girls.
WSJ:  Transparency?  Hah!

In his closing remarks on the stimulus bill yesterday, House Appropriations Chairman David Obey called it "the largest change in domestic policy since the 1930s." We'd say more like the 1960s, which is bad enough, but his point about the bill's magnitude is right. The 1,073-page monstrosity includes the biggest spending increase since World War II, but more important is the fine print expanding the role of the federal government across the breadth of American business, health care, energy and welfare policy.

Given those stakes, you might think Congress would get more than a few hours to debate it. But, no, yesterday's roll call votes came less than 24 hours after House-Senate conferees had agreed to their deal. Democrats rushed the bill to the floor before Members could even read it, much less have time to broadcast the details so the public could offer its verdict.

The Opinion Journal Widget
Download Opinion Journal's widget and link to the most important editorials and op-eds of the day from your blog or Web page.
So much for Democratic promises of a new era of transparency. Only this Tuesday the House unanimously approved a resolution promising 48-hour public notice before holding a roll call. Even better, the bill could have been posted on the Internet, as candidate Barack Obama suggested during the campaign. Let voters see what they're getting for all this money. Not a chance.

This high-handed endgame follows the pattern of this bill from the start, with Republicans all but ignored until Democrats let three GOP Senators nibble around the edges to prevent a filibuster. With their huge majorities, Mr. Obey and Democrats got their epic victory. But far from a new, transparent way of governing, this bill represents the kind of old-fashioned partisan politics that Tom DeLay would have admired.

« Last Edit: February 14, 2009, 07:27:24 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
« Reply #209 on: February 18, 2009, 12:05:11 PM »

The White House's missing documents
By: Josh Gerstein
February 17, 2009 08:46 PM EST

In his first weeks in office, President Barack Obama shut down his predecessor’s system for reviewing regulations, realigned and expanded two key White House policymaking bodies and extended economic sanctions against parties to the conflict in the African nation of Cote D’Ivoire.

Despite the intense scrutiny a president gets just after the inauguration, Obama managed to take all these actions with nary a mention from the White House press corps.

The moves escaped notice because they were never announced by the White House Press Office and were never placed on the White House web site.

They came to light only because the official paperwork was transmitted to the Federal Register, a dense daily compendium of regulatory actions and other formal notices prepared by the National Archives. They were published there several days after the fact.

A Politico review of Federal Register issuances since Obama took office found three executive orders, one presidential memorandum, one presidential notice, and one proclamation that went unannounced by the White House.

Two of Obama's actions on regulatory reform were spotted by bloggers, lobbying groups and trade publications after they emerged in the Federal Register.

There was no apparent rhyme or reason to the omissions. A proclamation Obama issued on February 2 for African-American History Month was e-mailed to the press and posted on the White House web site. But another presidential proclamation the same day for American Heart Month slipped by.

Such notices were routinely released by the White House press office during prior administrations — making their omission all the more unusual given Obama’s oft-repeated pledges of openness.

Most of the documents were posted to the White House web site Tuesday night, after Politico inquired about their absence. “It was a simple oversight,” a spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said.

One order Obama signed Feb. 5 expanded the National Economic Council to 25 people by adding the Secretary of Health and Human Services; Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; senior adviser Valerie Jarrett; “climate czar” Carol Browner and two other officials.

Another order the president signed the same day added two slots to the Domestic Policy Council, bringing it to a total of 26 people. Some slots were reassigned. The chief technology officer was among those added to the panel, while “AIDS Policy Coordinator” was removed. It was unclear if that was a substantive change, simply reflected plans to keep the AIDS czar post at the State Department, or perhaps both.

Another Obama executive order, signed January 30, canceled two Bush-era executive orders relating to regulatory review. The White House did release chief of staff Rahm Emanuel’s memo halting regulations in the works at federal agencies, but didn’t release another Obama memo setting a 100-day deadline for agency heads to recommend a new regulatory review process. The memo indicates that Obama may want to do some things differently on the regulatory front than the last Democrat in the White House, Bill Clinton.

Also waylaid was a notice Obama signed February 4 extending sanctions against some nationals of Cote D’Ivoire because of what he termed “the massacre of large numbers of civilians, widespread human rights abuses, significant political violence and unrest, and attacks against international peacekeeping forces leading to fatalities.”
Power User
Posts: 192

« Reply #210 on: February 20, 2009, 08:56:26 AM »

For the love of all that is good and holy.......... please keep your trash in your side of the border.  Why the heck did obama meet with the opposition party while on his visit to Canada?  Its like he was trying to make our Conservative PM look like a clown.  I kinda like having a PM that loves freedom, he is in the final stages of dismantling our gun registry.  The last thing we need now is obama encouraging the liberal socialists to topple our sitting govt.

Liberal Leader Ignatieff gets 30 minutes with Obama
Updated Thu. Feb. 19 2009 7:39 PM ET News Staff

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff got the 30 minutes he wanted with President Barack Obama Thursday.

Ignatieff said that "serious business" was accomplished in his meeting with Obama, and they spoke about hot topic issues such as Afghanistan and U.S. trade protectionism.

It is protocol for foreign dignitaries to meet with the Official Opposition when they visit Canada.

Ignatieff told CTV News that Obama expressed his concern about Afghanistan, and thought the mission was "drifting."

The Liberal leader hinted that his party may not insist that Canada honour its pledge to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by 2011.

He said a 2011 withdrawal is his party's "current" position but said if Obama convinced Prime Minister Stephen Harper to stay longer, he would cross that bridge when it happens.

Obama said he did not press Harper to extend the Afghan mission.

However, Ignatieff said he thought the most interesting part of his conversation with Obama was regarding the president's attempts to work with Republicans in Washington.

"I said to him that one of the things that inspires me about him is that he's trying to get above partisanship and reach across the aisle," Ignatieff said.

Bob Rae, Liberal MP for Toronto-Centre and one of Canada's most well-known politicians, seemed as excited about Obama's visit as ordinary Canadians were.

Rae, who attended the meeting, said he was "struck by how down to earth" Obama was and said that president made eye-contact with everyone.

"I think it's fair to say that we were charmed by Obama. It's hard not to be," Rae said.

Ignatieff seemed equally smitten by the charismatic American, calling Obama a "political genius."

The Liberal leader, who graduated from Harvard and later taught there, noted that Harvard-alum Obama and he had mutual friends.

"He was even kind enough to say he read a few of my books," Ignatieff, a prolific author, said.

after reading this, two words come to mind.......... "circle jerk"
« Reply #211 on: February 20, 2009, 11:20:09 AM »

Friday, February 20, 2009

Enough Already   [Victor Davis Hanson]
Many have weighed in on Eric Holder's "cowards" slur. He obviously hasn't paid much attention to college campuses, where the obsession with race permeates departments, curricula, hiring, faculty profile, student events, funding, etc. Bumper-sticker identification and hair-trigger readiness to accuse someone of racism to further a particular ideological or even personal agenda are now 30 years old and institutionalized in higher education.

He is right on one count, however — in the university, public schools, journalism at large, the foundations, and politics, there is a reluctance in one aspect to broach the subject. It is absolutely taboo to suggest that personal behavior, particular ingrained attitudes, and pernicious cultural assumptions — far more than contemporary racial oppression — could have contributed to ordinately high rates of drug use, crime, illegitimacy, unemployment, high-school drop-out rates, sexist attitudes toward women, and incarceration among a subset of young African-American males.

One can cite data, and refer to it in the spirit of finding constructive solutions. Yet that will most often result in suffering the slur of racism, given that so many are invested in the industry of racial grievance, as Holder himself has unfortunately demonstrated. It is not encouraging that in the first real public speech, the Attorney General of the United States has denigrated the American people as "cowards."

In that regard, what is cowardly is once again pandering to an audience about race rather than challenging people to transcend race and accept that it should be incidental, not essential, to one's character. More to the point, Holder himself had a teachable moment a few years ago to stand up and talk truth to power when he was asked to participate in a tawdry scheme to pardon a fugitive on the FBI's most-wanted list who had donated amply to the various Clinton political operations. Instead, he voted present.

I hope this is not more of the Carteresque style of blaming the American people. We've already heard from the Energy Czar that we in California have apparently abused our landscape, caused record droughts (still raining and snowing here in California), and so can expect soon to grow no more food, given that we've really used up our agricultural infrastructure rather than miraculously fed the world the last century. Our president has characterized us as "dictating" in the Middle East, in contrast to the Saudi authoritarian's "courage." Our secretary of state has said America too often has been impulsive and ideological. Gorism and 'you did it to yourselves' thinking is already rampant among some science and environmental appointees.

All this moral posturing and incrimination lead to the sort of nemesis we saw with the "highest ethical standards" devolving into Daschle, Geithner, Killefer, Lynch, Richardson, Solis, etc. (and silence about Blago, Burris, Murtha, Rangel etc). Does anyone remember that decades ago, a flip-the-channel collective response met Jimmy Carter every time he put on the cardigan sweater and begin to lecture America about what was wrong with it rather than trying to uplift Americans' spirits to meet new challenges?

02/20 09:33 AM
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #212 on: February 20, 2009, 02:18:49 PM »

C'mon, Obots. Tell us what a great job Ogabe is doing and how we've got it all wrong.
« Reply #213 on: February 20, 2009, 06:05:34 PM »

February 20, 2009
Stimulus Plan Ensures Boom Sector: Oversight

WASHINGTON — The first hiring spree to result from the $787 billion stimulus plan might not involve construction workers or teachers but government auditors, investigators and lawyers who will try to track all of the taxpayer money being spent on economic recovery.

With the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress under pressure to show that the stimulus money will be put to good use, the bill President Obama signed this week directs more than $350 million to oversight, virtually guaranteeing boom times in the field of government accountability.

The stakes, financially and politically, are huge. Republicans who criticized the stimulus plan as a bloated spending bill have already announced a “stimulus watch” program, intended to seize on any signs of waste or mismanagement and turning them into ammunition for the 2010 elections.

But just as with the billions for schools, infrastructure projects and state aid, the stimulus will channel so much money so fast to some two dozen inspector-general offices, as well as a new Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, that it might be difficult to spend it all wisely.

And some experts warn that the government might now need auditors for its auditors and new overseers for inspectors general, who typically answer directly to Congress.

The $350 million for oversight dwarfs the $50 million that Congress provided last fall to create a special inspector general’s office to oversee the $700 billion financial system bailout. The new stimulus package includes roughly $253 million for inspectors general, $84 million for the transparency board, and an additional $25 million for the Government Accountability Office. The general perception that the Bush administration mishandled the financial bailout has only added pressure for oversight of the stimulus.

David M. Walker, former head of the Government Accountability Office, said setting strict conditions on the use of stimulus money ahead of time would be more important than increasing scrutiny by auditors after the fact.

“If you don’t have appropriate conditions set up front, you are going to end up having a lot of disappointments,” Mr. Walker said, pointing to the financial-system bailout as an example.

“After spending $350 billion where we still don’t know where all the money went, people are asking, ‘Well, what did we get for it?’ You ought to be able to say: ‘This is where it went. This is what it was for. This is what they did with it. And this is what we think the impact was.’ ”

Finding qualified auditors and investigators to supervise such a vast increase in government spending might be a challenge in itself, and some experts on government accountability programs warned that spending more on oversight did not always guarantee better results.

“A lot of times Congress thinks that waving around the term ‘inspector general’ is just the magic potion that will fix everything without always thinking it through,” said Beverley C. Lumpkin, an investigator with the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit group, who has studied inspector general offices.

Because the stimulus law requires tight accounting of the money, including the posting of expenditures to a public Web site,, some inspectors general say they are legally obligated to lead by example and will have to post every job that they fill and every investigation they undertake — an accounting of the accounting.

Todd J. Zinser, the inspector general at the Commerce Department, said he would potentially add as many as 30 employees to an existing staff of about 120, using $16 million provided to his office in the stimulus — $10 million to oversee a program to expand broadband Internet service and $6 million for other programs.

The money amounts to a huge increase for an office whose total 2008 budget was roughly $23 million.

Mr. Zinser said that most of the new positions would be in the agency’s four field offices, and that he was planning to carefully track the stimulus money used by his own office in the same way as the stimulus spending by the Commerce Department as a whole, on initiatives like new broadband Internet service.

In some cases, the oversight offices face the same challenges as those confronting local and state agencies as they plan to expend stimulus money, trying to figure out how quickly they can hire staff, whether they should hire permanent employees who might have to be laid off down the line or enlist independent contractors on a temporary basis.

Some Republicans complained that by naming only executive branch officials to the transparency board, the Democratic administration had shut them out of the oversight process.

Other lawmakers, including Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, have questioned whether the stimulus law creates new bureaucracy that will undermine the independence of individual inspectors general.

Thomas E. Gavin, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Budget, said the administration was committed to rigorous oversight. “The president has made clear that the Recovery Act is to be the most transparent, accountable legislation ever,” Mr. Gavin said.

Several inspectors general said the speed at which the White House hopes to disburse the stimulus money posed heightened risks.

Daniel R. Levinson, the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, said tracking the agency’s $700 billion budget would require each auditor to oversee about $1 billion in spending — an impossible task. But careful deployment can provide effective oversight, Mr. Levinson said.

“You make sure that you are avoiding the largest financial problems and at the same time are providing a sentinel effect, conveying a sense that you are on the job, you are policing the field,” he said.
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #214 on: February 21, 2009, 12:07:15 PM »

**Ok, someone explain to me how Gitmo terrorists deserve constitutional rights, but Tibetans and Chinese citizens don't.**

Hillary: We won’t let human rights get in the way of trade with China
posted at 10:15 am on February 21, 2009 by Ed Morrissey   

After all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over both human-rights violations and trade-pact cheating in China from the Left during the last eight years, one would expect a Democratic administration to take a much tougher line on both.  With Hope and Change coming to the White House, Obama voters had every right to think that their new hero (bigger than Jesus Christ!) would lead the way to Truth and Justice.  For Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, though, the answer to WWJD and WWBOD is — what Bush did:

Amnesty International and a pro-Tibet group voiced shock Friday after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed not to let human rights concerns hinder cooperation with China.

Paying her first visit to Asia as the top US diplomat, Clinton said the United States would continue to press China on long-standing US concerns over human rights such as its rule over Tibet.

“But our pressing on those issues can’t interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis,” Clinton told reporters in Seoul just before leaving for Beijing.

T. Kumar of Amnesty International USA said the global rights lobby was “shocked and extremely disappointed” by Clinton’s remarks.

Hillary wanted to stress that human rights are important, but that the Obama administration has its priorities.  They appear to be ranked in this order:

Business (trade).
Business (energy policy).
Security (North Korea and Taiwan).
Reminding China not to enslave, beat, and kill people.
I think that the Bush administration put security first, followed by trade and human rights — and got pilloried for it by Democrats over the last eight years.  We heard nothing but how Bush wanted to suck up to Beijing, and that he didn’t care about people, blah blah blah.  Perhaps I missed it, but I don’t recall a statement by Condoleezza Rice or Colin Powell that baldly stated that the US cared less about human rights than trade than this statement from Hillary Clinton does.

I’m torn on this.  The apparent pragmatism of the Obama foreign-policy team encourages me, but not as much as their fumbling amateurishness discourages me.  Most of us care about human-rights violations (and so did the Bush administration), but to give the game away in the opening days takes all the pressure off of Beijing for the next four years.  They know that the US will give them a pass on human rights as long as they keep trading with the US and toss Obama a few bones on climate change.
Power User
Posts: 192

« Reply #215 on: February 21, 2009, 02:16:32 PM »

"Human rights cannot interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crises," Clinton said in talks with China's foreign minister.

It would seem,  Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness no longer applies.
« Reply #216 on: February 24, 2009, 12:53:27 PM »

Just imagine the howls if Bush were to appoint someone who made this statement to an intelligence chair.

Chas Freeman: The ChiComs Were "Overly Cautious" at Tiananmen Square
Former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman has been tapped as the next chairman of the National Council of Intelligence (NIC), according to Foreign Policy. And while there is a fair amount of grumbling about his ties to the Saudi royal family (having been paid $1 million to lobby on their behalf) and his views on Israel, this 2006 Freeman mail to a listserv called CWF, uncovered by the Weekly Standard, is pretty stunning:

From: []
Sent: Friday, May 26, 2006 9:29 PM

I will leave it to others to address the main thrust of your reflection on Eric's remarks. But I want to take issue with what I assume, perhaps incorrectly, to be yoiur citation of the conventional wisdom about the 6/4 [or Tiananmen] incident. I find the dominant view in China about this very plausible, i.e. that the truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud, rather than -- as would have been both wise and efficacious -- to intervene with force when all other measures had failed to restore domestic tranquility to Beijing and other major urban centers in China. In this optic, the Politburo's response to the mob scene at "Tian'anmen" stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership, not as an example of rash action.

For myself, I side on this -- if not on numerous other issues -- with Gen. Douglas MacArthur. I do not believe it is acceptable for any country to allow the heart of its national capital to be occupied by dissidents intent on disrupting the normal functions of government, however appealing to foreigners their propaganda may be. Such folk, whether they represent a veterans' "Bonus Army" or a "student uprising" on behalf of "the goddess of democracy" should expect to be displaced with despatch from the ground they occupy. I cannot conceive of any American government behaving with the ill-conceived restraint that the Zhao Ziyang administration did in China, allowing students to occupy zones that are the equivalent of the Washington National Mall and Times Square, combined. while shutting down much of the Chinese government's normal operations. I thus share the hope of the majority in China that no Chinese government will repeat the mistakes of Zhao Ziyang's dilatory tactics of appeasement in dealing with domestic protesters in China.

I await the brickbats of those who insist on a politically correct -- i.e. non Burkean conservative -- view.


You got that? The" truly unforgivable mistake" the Chinese authorities made at Tiananmen was not the brutal massacre of peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators, but rather "the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud." The Chinese communists were not "rash," but rather "overly cautious."

According to the Chinese Red Cross, 2,600 hundred people died during the crackdown, but "quickly retracted that figure under intense pressure from the government. The official Chinese government figure is 241 dead, including soldiers, and 7,000 wounded."
Power User
Posts: 103

« Reply #217 on: February 24, 2009, 03:56:49 PM »

Even The Root is leaving the bandwagon? Platitudes just aren't cutting it any more even for the diehards  huh
But don't worry because the lead over at is "The GOP's Nutty Negro" which even I find offensive.
Which side looks more like the Confederacy everyday again?

By Saaret
Created 02/23/2009 - 16:21

The Straight Talk Address
We need information not just inspiration from the president tonight.
President Obama needs to explain in simple terms how his expensive economic recovery plans will work. We need information not just inspiration.

<p>We need information not just inspiration from the president tonight.</p>
02/24/2009 06:16
It is a good thing that the president’s address to Congress tonight is not billed as a State of the Union. We all know the sorry state of the union right now, and no one really wants to spend an hour gawking at it in prime time. For Barack Obama, tonight is about successfully communicating the scale of the problems and sending a clear message that he is engaged in solving them.

There are those who say that confidence in Obama [1] is the only thing we have going for us, but that does not mean we should get just another inspirational speech. He needs to be very specific about how the mountain of taxpayer money that he has recently pumped into the economy will jolt it out of its vegetative state and get it moving again. He needs to correct the impression left last week by his treasury secretary that they don't know what they were doing.

Obama's 68 percent approval rating in one recent [2] poll serves as proof that Americans know that he inherited an economy on life support and are willing to give him a little time to restore it to health. But he can only play the bereft heir for so long. Real details are needed at this point in the game to keep Americans’ trust and our confidence in him high.

Jack Kennedy was in a similar situation when he delivered an address to Congress 10 days after his inauguration in 1961, and he did not hesitate to toss some of the blame back to the last administration for the tough economic times he encountered.

“Economic prophecy is at best an uncertain art—as demonstrated by the prediction one year ago from this same podium that 1960 would be, and I quote, ‘the most prosperous year in our history,’" Kennedy told his audience. In January 1960, the national unemployment rate was 5.2 percent. By the spring of 1961, it was 7.1 percent.

Similarly, in January 2008, the national unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, and by January 2009 it had jumped to 7.6 percent.

Last year President Bush declared: “In the long run, Americans can be confident about our economic growth. But in the short run, we can all see that that growth is slowing.”

In response to that “slowdown,” Bush was proposing his own stimulus package, which involved $600 rebate checks to individual taxpayers and $1,200 per household, and he threatened Congress not to load it up with pork. “That would delay it or derail it, and neither option is acceptable,” Bush said. “This is a good agreement that will keep our economy growing and our people working, and this Congress must pass it as soon as possible.”

Congress did pass it, with 81 votes in the Senate and 380 in the House. (Obama, the bipartisan president, could only dream of such numbers.) But after Bush’s comments, the economy did not keep growing, and people did not keep working. In fact, 3.8 million people stopped working.

Obama should avoid such dicey predictions; of particular concern is his talk about a 50 percent cut in the deficit by 2012. There is no minimizing the drag that huge federal deficits have on the economy, but in light of the kind of money we've been spending lately, the idea that half of a $1.3 trillion deficit could be erased in four years seems like an incongruous component in a conversation about harsh realities and tough choices. In its broad outlines, the Obama deficit reduction plan is based on an end to the Iraq war and higher taxes on rich people, of which there are considerably fewer than there used to be. It is time to move from broad outlines to specifics of the fix and resist the urge to tell us what we want to hear.

Former President Bill Clinton thinks Obama has been too glum [3] in his delivery and demeanor lately. Easy for him to say. At his last State of the Union in 2000, Clinton was able to declare: “We begin the new century with over 20 million new jobs; the fastest economic growth in more than 30 years; the lowest unemployment rates in 30 years...”

What does Obama have to be so damn cheerful about?

Appearing less glum is not going to get Obama out of the woods on this one. If he is seeking advice from past presidents, he should look to Kennedy, not Clinton. In his 1961 address, Kennedy told Congress plainly:

“To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past.”

Indeed. Obama just needs to give it to us straight. We can deal.

Terence Samuel is deputy editor of The Root.

« Reply #218 on: February 27, 2009, 01:29:32 PM »

February 27, 2009
The WaPo gets the shakes at O-dacity.

James Lewis
You and I know what an unbelievable series of high-risk gambles Obama is taking with the future of this country. None of the liberals I've talked to so far have the faintest inkling of a smidgen of a notion of even a tiny whiff of an idea. They are so deep in the Obama bag that their frilly knickers are almost covered.

But David Broder, the "Dean" of liberal pundits presiding at the Washington Post itself, has finally caught on. Mr. Broder has the shakes over Obama's O-dacity. Good news! Here's one liberal who is in touch with reality, and he's scared out of his wits.

Writes Mr. Broder,

"The size of the gamble that President Obama is taking every day is simply staggering. What came through in his speech... Tuesday night was a dramatic reminder of the unbelievable stakes he has placed on the table in his first month in office, putting at risk the future well-being of the country and the Democratic Party's control of Washington." (italics added)

I've come to believe that the Obama crowd is naive to the point of stupidity. They are very intelligent, mind you. They have more academic degrees than the faculty of Harvard. But intelligent people are often deeply stuck in their fix-the-world fantasies, which makes them idiot savants. (There's a reason why that's a French term --- Moliere wrote a comedy about it four centuries ago.)

These people have never accomplished anything but suckering the voters --- and each other. Their policy genius, David Axelrod, is a PR agent. That helped with the campaign, but it means nothing for good government. They seem to have no concept of the economy. They want to impose a cap-and-trade system on "carbon emissions," like oil and coal. That comes down to making Monopoly money and forcing energy-using corporations to pay for it.  They have no concept of productive investment compared to a wild spending spree on feel-good ideas, or on kickbacks to their buddies in Chicago. After all the "community organizer" hoo-hah they still learned nothing from the welfare fiasco that was inflicted on Black families by LBJ's War on Poverty, and which ended up hurting them more than anything Bull Connor could have done --- by way of family breakdown, helpless dependency, drugs, and gang warfare. They've just abolished Bill Clinton's (!) version of welfare reform, which was forced upon him by the Gingrich Congress, and which has ended up really helping people, not hurting them.

Conclusion: These folks are arrogant and ignorant. Intelligent, yes, articulate, yes, and utterly persuasive to millions of suckers, yes.

But reality has a harsh way with fools.

David Broder is now spotting the looming steam locomotive chugging his way, and he is seeing a grave danger to "the Democratic Party's control of Washington."

Too bad for the Democratic Party.

But what worries me very much is that Obama is "putting at risk the future well-being of the country," as Broder writes. That means you and me and all the things we care about. And Obama is much too arrogant to change his mind.

Watch for a bad train wreck down the road.

Page Printed from: at February 27, 2009 - 02:27:40 PM EST
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« Reply #219 on: February 27, 2009, 04:24:17 PM »

Knock me down with a feather twice-- once for Broder and once for Kinsley!

Liberal columnist Michael Kinsley, writing in the Washington Post, on the hidden dangers of deficit spending:

[E]ven if the stimulus is a magnificent success, the money still has to be paid back. The plan of record apparently is that we keep borrowing, spending and stimulating, faster and faster, until suddenly, on some signal from heaven or Timothy Geithner, we all stop spending and start saving in recordbreaking amounts. Oh sure, that will work.

There is another way. If it's not the actual, secret plan, it will be an overwhelming temptation: Don't pay the money back. So far, even as one piggy bank after another astounds us with its emptiness, there have been only the faintest whispers about the possibility of an actual default by the U.S. government. Somewhat louder whispers can be heard, though, about the gradual default known as inflation. Just three or four years of currency erosion at, say, 10 percent a year would slice the real value of our debt -- public and private, U.S. bonds and jumbo mortgages -- in half.

Anyone who regards the prospect of double-digit inflation with insouciance is either too young to have lived through it the last time (the late 1970s) or too old to remember. Among other problems, inflation works only as a surprise or betrayal. It can never be part of any public, official plan. Plan for 10 percent inflation, and you'll get 20. Plan for 20 and you'll need a wheelbarrow to pay for your morning Starbucks. But if that's not the plan, what is?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 04:47:58 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #220 on: March 01, 2009, 08:14:19 PM »

The Broder piece IS a "knock me down with a feather" piece.  The libs can deconstruct Republican criticism as obstructionist and party hack stuff but not Broder.

He stated the problem very well indeed.

BO, as my sister has pointed out, has ensured we will unlike the "greatest generation" of our parents and grandparents be know as the worst, "most selfish" generation.

I have come to the conclusion that BO has to fail and fail now.  It will result in great pain but it is better if we get him and Pelosi and the other lunes out now rather again kick the can down the road. 

But I have no faith in Republicans either.  They blew it when they had the chance.  To hear Tom Delay ciriticising the spending spree on cable the other day was weird being his own history of corruption and wildly spending bedfellows.  We need a real Abe Lincoln.

When we start hearing Blacks criticising BO (other than the few tokens like, Michael Steele) than we know that Americans have awakened to the craziness of this spending spree.  But I am not holding my breath.

As of now most Blacks are convinced that the time for reparations has come and they are mostly euphoric with the concept of evening the score (IMHO).  I am saddened that so many of them still feel this way.
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« Reply #221 on: March 01, 2009, 08:18:05 PM »

A scathing piece of political humor. THIS is the way forward for we of the American Creed.
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« Reply #222 on: March 01, 2009, 08:50:30 PM »

I heard on a cable show yesterday Hitler and the occult how is was the "opportunity" of the Great Depression that directly led to the proliferation of Nazi after 1929.  The Nazi party was not a serious contender for power until after the collapse of the stock market.  While the Democrats are not Nazis there is this similarity with using an economic crash as a means to shove through soical change along with demogagory, propaganda, and centralization of power to the government.

Here is one piece to that effect though others can be found:

***Nazis on the Rise

The Great Depression

When the New York stock market crashed in October of 1929, the Great Depression struck Germany like a thunder bolt splitting a tree. Unemployment rate, poverty, hunger, and chaos increased rapidly. On the other hand, the Nazi party was delighted to see this occur. Bad times for Germany meant good times for the Nazis. Before the depression, the Nazi party was never much of a factor in the politics of Germany without much success in winning the government over the new Weimar Republic. However, when the depression hit, it gave the party a wonderful chance to shine and it ultimately paved a passage for the Nazis to ride all the way to the top.

By 1930, millions and millions of unemployed and poverty strickened citizens wanted changes to be made by the new Republic to help with the bad conditions. The Republic, however, was unable to make any effective changes to assist the people. At the same time, both sides of the extremist, with the communists on one end and the Nazis on the other end, promised extreme and drastic changes that might resolve the bad situations. In the 1930 election, both extreme parties won big over the Republic. However, the Nazis were extremely overjoyed as they beat the communist party by more than two million votes. This would begin a stretch of Nazi rule. Three years later, Hitler's dream finally came true. He was finally appointed as the chancellor or the head of the government. This would begin a reign of terror.


 The propaganda of the Nazi party during and after the Great Depression was very successful. It appealed to many German citizens especially to their needs during those poor conditions. The propaganda ususally stressed improvements on unemployment, social security, war reparations to foreign countries and tariffs. However, the Nazi propagandist also influenced the general public on the Nazi concept of antisemitism against the so called "inferior race." The propaganda throughout the Nazi regime were mainly antisemitic against the Jews. However, the success of the propaganda and the great influence of the Nazis all led to the horrifying event of the Holocaust.

Nazi Theories

After Hitler's rise to the seat of the chancellor, the Nazi party fully adopted the racial theory of a race being more superior than another. It was this theoretical basis that led to the destruction of so many millions of Jews, Gypsies, handicapped, Soviet P.O.Ws, homosexuals, and other so called "inferior race." The idea of the Aryan race being the purist was fully planted into the minds of many Nazis including Hitler. Another theory Hitler believed in is total dictatorship. In his book Mein Kampf Hitler described the concept of unconditional authority belonging to the leader which in turn creates a totalirarian government and a dictatorship. Besides that, he also mentioned the Darwinistic concept of survival of the fittest with life always being a struggle. Again, his Darwinistic concepts allowed him and the Nazi to rise to the top creating a dominant and dictatorial government and also to terminate the so called "weaker race" and that was one of the reason that enabled the Nazis to be a huge success.

Hitler in Control

 After Hitler came to power, situations began to change in the country of Germany. For beginners, Hitler called for a free election to be held in March. It was the last free election until 1949. Nazis, trying to ensure on the winning side, did everything to gather voters. Besides that, they also tried to eliminate their opponents. Just one week before the election, the government building of Reichstag caught fire. The Nazis, who most likely set the fire, blamed and accused the Communists for the fire. This way, the Communist were prevented from being at the election and the seats in the government. Hitler then slowly took control of the government after the election , but was able to do it without gaining power illegally. He, somehow was able to pass the Enabling Act through the cabinet which gave hime dictatorial power. The provisions of the legislature was unable to stop Hitler to become a dictator. Thus the legislature gave Hitler the absolute power to the country.****

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« Reply #223 on: March 01, 2009, 09:13:59 PM »

Another sensible analysis of BO's diatribe.  When you think in these terms one can only come to the conclusion the BO is nuts and a total BS artist.   Endless contradictions:

***Jan. 26, 2009
Obama shoots for Mars

By Larry Elder | President Barack Obama, on Tuesday night, gave his first presidential address before Congress. He looked good, sounded great, and delivered his address with poise and confidence. He entered the Capitol and made his way through the applauding throng like a modern-day Moses slowly parting the Red Sea.

The moment was certainly historic, and all Americans — or at least nearly all Americans — took pride in living in a country that went from a Constitution that defined a black as three-fifths of a person to one where a black person could be elected President of the United States. Some journey!

But when the applause died down, the President took out a scattergun and attempted to hit everything in sight. He confidently asserted his and our intention to overcome the current economic downturn and march toward an even brighter future.

How? Government/taxpayers will spend our way to the summit.

Every weekday publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.
He/Congress/we will "invest" in health care and education; "save or create" 3.5 million jobs; "cure cancer within our lifetime"; provide assistance to the states; "save our planet from the ravages of climate change"; save banks and other financial institutions while holding "accountable those responsible" for their problems; increase the size of the military; end torture (presumably he meant of our enemies); and cut the size of the deficit.

What?! Nothing about crafting a college football playoff?

After the President's speech, the political commentators fell over themselves in complimenting the President. Many said things like "he aimed high," "he set out an ambitious agenda," and "he outlined a vigorous list of expected accomplishments."

Economist Thomas Sowell uses a three-pronged test to examine government's "new ideas." 1) How much will it cost? 2) Who pays? 3) Will it work? Few of the post-speech analysts seemed to care.

One waited in vain for the political experts to point out that the President's spending spree must come from somewhere — taxes or borrowing or printing.

And, as an aside, how would the press have reacted had former President George W. Bush claimed — as did Obama — that America "invented the automobile"?

Suppose Bush steered a shopping cart down the aisle, packed it with everything in sight that he could grab, pushed it to the cashier, and then said, "You mean I gotta pay?"

The President, on Tuesday night, promised to both lower taxes and raise taxes. He promised to both reduce spending and increase it. He promised to expand education while simultaneously claiming that education begins in the home. He promised to bail out homeowners — "responsible" ones — while insisting that Americans take responsibility for living beyond our means and making bad choices.

He promised to provide financial assistance to states while never mentioning the states' fiscal irresponsibility. He said, "There are 57 police officers who are still on the streets of Minneapolis tonight because this plan prevented the layoffs their department was about to make," yet said nothing about whether that state budgeted or spent responsibly.

He unilaterally abolished the notion that "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch." Under his administration, the free lunch not only exists, but government bureaucrats provide takeout or delivery.

The President, last night, mentioned no total price tag for all this largesse. He did say, however, that he intends to raise taxes on the 2 percent of Americans making more than $250,000. Somehow he expects to burden "the rich" still more and not affect their behavior. Already, the top 1 percent pays nearly 40 percent of all federal income taxes.

The President, as he said during the campaign, promised to lower taxes on 95 percent of Americans. Of course, nearly 30 percent of working Americans pay zero in federal income taxes. But they, too, will get checks. And, Obama said to applause, the "checks are on the way."

The President sketched out a federal government grab larger than any in the history of our nation. His administration intends to bail out and oversee everything from banks to car manufacturers to lemonade stands.

Be not afraid about waste, mismanagement or politically directed spending. To ensure that our money is spent properly, the Obama administration intends to post the allocations on the Internet, ensuring wise and appropriate fund distribution.

Do those who voted against the President "want him to fail"? No, those who opposed the President want America to succeed. The formula for that success has a long and impressive track record: lower taxes, rein in government spending, and promote free trade. Let's put it another way: Remove government's boot from the neck of the American worker, businessperson and entrepreneur.

Set them free. Watch what happens.****

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« Reply #224 on: March 04, 2009, 08:09:06 PM »

I'm wasn't the biggest fan of W, but draw your own conclusions...

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« Reply #225 on: March 04, 2009, 08:44:00 PM »

I'd love to spread that around but I know I am going to be asked when Bush was speaking.  Do you have any idea Chad?
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« Reply #226 on: March 04, 2009, 09:20:59 PM »

I'd love to spread that around but I know I am going to be asked when Bush was speaking.  Do you have any idea Chad?

That would be Labor Day, 2007.
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« Reply #227 on: March 04, 2009, 11:00:54 PM »

Is there a source or a URL with the datum?  Sorry to be so relentless, but I don't want to get hung out to dry on this one , , ,
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« Reply #228 on: March 04, 2009, 11:22:36 PM »

Is there a source or a URL with the datum?  Sorry to be so relentless, but I don't want to get hung out to dry on this one , , ,

No problem. check out what W is wearing and there is a transcript.
Be warned that "some" will try to tell you that Barry's speech was formal, so that is the reason the Marines seem so stiff.  rolleyes
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« Reply #229 on: March 05, 2009, 09:04:11 AM »

"...[Obama's] speech was formal, so that is the reason the Marines seem so stiff."

Yes, but the leaders and handlers in the front applaud and try to get some excitement going while the room of Marines remain stiff and silent.
« Reply #230 on: March 05, 2009, 10:47:07 AM »

March 05, 2009
White House bars video of Biden speech

Rick Moran
So what's Joe Biden been up to lately?

Obama put the Human Gaffe Machine in charge of spending $800 billion in stimulus money which I guess will mean that he will be hand stamping the official Obama seal of the stimulus on all the projects. Can't imagine him being smart enough to do much else.

Now the White House has dispatched Biden to speak to labor leaders down in Florida where the union bosses will be rubbing elbows with the hoity toity crowd at the Fontainbleau Hotel (we hope they know which fork to use during the salad course - perhaps they'll just use their switchblades).

One thing about that Biden speech; the White House has nixed any video coverage of the event:

When Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the annual meeting of AFL-CIO officials at the plush Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach Thursday morning, television cameras will not be allowed to cover his speech - on orders from the White House, Fox News reported.

The Fontainebleau, which recently had a billion-dollar makeover, describes itself as "a spectacular blend of Miami's glamorous golden era and stylish modern luxury." It has 1,504 rooms and suites, 22 oceanfront acres, 11 restaurants and nightclubs including three signature name chef restaurants, a 40,000-square-foot spa, and a "sophisticated poolscape" with private cabanas.

The AFL-CIO Executive Committee told Fox News it is holding its meeting at the Fontainebleau because the hotel agreed to employ union workers as part of its renovation project. 

A number of corporations are under fire for either holding or attempting to hold business meetings at resort hotels in these tough economic times.

After speaking to union members Thursday morning, Biden will tour Miami's Intermodal Center, a transportation project funded by the Democrats' economic stimulus bill.

So while their members are living hand to mouth and struggling to get by, the labor bosses will be living it up in Florida.

And the White House - fearing either a backlash against their buds in the labor leadership or are truly frightened of what gaffe Biden might let loose with - has said no to filming the Veep's address. My guess is, it's probably a little of both.

Attention my fellow brothers and sisters in labor unions: Don't you feel just a little like you've been had by these phonies? Wake up and take back your unions from these frauds.

Page Printed from: at March 05, 2009 - 11:41:09 AM EST
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« Reply #231 on: March 05, 2009, 11:33:53 AM »


Beautiful.  One last request.  What is the URL of the clip itself?

Thank you.

« Reply #232 on: March 05, 2009, 11:44:01 AM »

Marc, we're gonna have to teach you how to get your geek on:
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« Reply #233 on: March 05, 2009, 01:49:37 PM »

Any buyer's remorse yet, Obots?
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« Reply #234 on: March 05, 2009, 08:45:03 PM »

Is He Doing It On Purpose?

There's a school of thought that the Obama administration is deliberately damaging the economy and gutting the stock market, on the theory that doing so will make more people dependent on the government and pave the way for a far-left regime. Doug Ross makes the argument:

Consider that, in the teeth of a devastating recession, Obama has:

• Raised taxes on small businesses, the engines of entrepreneurship and job growth

• Raised the capital gains tax

• Lied about "tax cuts for 95% of Americans", offering instead $13 a week, achieved not through tax cuts, but by changing the federal withholding tables!

• Destroyed charitable giving by axing the tax breaks for 26% of all giving (or $81 billion in 2006)

• Proposed a carbon cap-and-trading scheme designed to punish oil companies and further tax consumers

Why would Obama inflict these destructive policies while the economy is collapsing? Simple. Each step strengthens the role of government in people's lives.

• Squelching the stock market kills its attractiveness as a parking lot for private capital. Combined with an increase in the capital gains tax, investors will swarm to bonds -- tax-free vehicles like municipal bonds, which benefit the growth of state and local government. And unions, of course.

• Carbon cap-and-tax will raise taxes on all Americans as the cost of goods and services will increase to address a non-existent threat.

• True tax cuts would grow the economy, which is why, of course, Obama shuns them. The last major recession was Jimmy Carter's malaise. It consisted of of double-digit inflation and unemployment. It was finally licked by across-the-board tax cuts for everyone (even the despised rich), which touched off a twenty-plus year run of prosperity.

• Charities reduce the role of government assistance for those in need. That, in Obama's world, can not be tolerated. That is why charities must be choked off and allowed to die. Especially faith-based institutions.

The only plausible explanation is that Obama's destruction of the economy is intentional.

It is based on a failed ideology that has never -- and can never -- succeed.

It is, I admit, an intriguing theory, but I don't buy it. Obama can't possibly want to be a one-term failure. That's what happened to Jimmy Carter, and Obama must know that it will happen to him, too, if his policies are perceived as dragging down the economy.

More likely the explanation is that Obama is an economic illiterate, and subscribes to the idea--which I think is rather common among Democrats--that what the government does has little impact on the economy. Obama likely believes that the economy will recover on its own, and in the meantime--in Rahm Emanuel's immortal words--he shouldn't let the crisis go to waste. So he enacts every left-wing measure that he wanted to do anyway, expecting that when the economy eventually recovers he can take credit for it, even though his policies, if anything, retarded and weakened the recovery.

That's a cynical strategy, although not quite as cynical as destroying the economy on purpose; the difference is that it may well work. - John Hinderacker
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« Reply #235 on: March 05, 2009, 09:20:10 PM »

Obama's brain.
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« Reply #236 on: March 05, 2009, 10:12:29 PM »

- Pajamas Media - -

Laughing at the Contradictions of Socialism in America

Posted By Oleg Atbashian On March 5, 2009 @ 12:35 am In . Column2 01, . Positioning, Culture, History, Humor & Fun, Politics, US News | 86 Comments

There was a time in recent American history when certain Soviet jokes didn’t work in translation — not so much because of the language differences, but because of the lack of common sociopolitical context. But that is changing. As President Obama is preparing us for a great leap towards collectivism, I find myself recollecting forgotten political jokes I shared with comrades while living in the old country under Brezhnev, Andropov, and Gorbachev. (I was too young to remember the Khrushchev times, but I still remember the Khrushchev jokes.) I also noticed that the further America “advances” back to the Soviet model, the more translatable the old Soviet jokes become. Not all Soviet advancements have metastasized here yet, but we have four more glorious years to make it happen.

One of my favorite political jokes is this:

The six dialectical contradictions of socialism in the USSR:

There is full employment — yet no one is working.
No one is working — yet the factory quotas are fulfilled.
The factory quotas are fulfilled — yet the stores have nothing to sell.
The stores have nothing to sell — yet people got all the stuff at home.
People got all the stuff at home — yet everyone is complaining.
Everyone is complaining — yet the voting is always unanimous.
It reads like a poem — only instead of the rhythm of syllables and rhyming sounds, it’s the rhythm of logic and rhyming meanings. If I could replicate it, I might start a whole new genre of “contradictory six-liners.” It would be extremely difficult to keep it real and funny at the same time, but I’ll try anyway.

Dialectical contradictions are one of the pillars in Marxist philosophy, which states that contradictions eventually lead to a unity of opposites as the result of a struggle. This gave a convenient “scientific” excuse for the existence of contradictions in a socialist society, where opposites were nice and agreeable — unlike the wild and crazy opposites of capitalism that could never be reconciled. Hence the joke.

Then I moved to America, where wild and crazy opposites of capitalism were supposedly at their worst. Until recently, however, the only contradictions that struck me as irreconcilable were these:

Economic justice:

America is capitalist and greedy — yet half of the population is subsidized.
Half of the population is subsidized — yet they think they are victims.
They think they are victims — yet their representatives run the government.
Their representatives run the government — yet the poor keep getting poorer.
The poor keep getting poorer — yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.
They have things that people in other countries only dream about — yet they want America to be more like those other countries.
Hollywood cliches:

Without capitalism there’d be no Hollywood — yet filmmakers hate capitalism.
Filmmakers hate capitalism — yet they sue for unauthorized copying of their movies.
They sue for unauthorized copying — yet on screen they teach us to share.
On screen they teach us to share — yet they keep their millions to themselves.
They keep their millions to themselves — yet they revel in stories of American misery and depravity.
They revel in stories of American misery and depravity — yet they blame the resulting anti-American sentiment on conservatism.
They blame the anti-American sentiment on conservatism — yet conservatism ensures the continuation of a system that makes Hollywood possible.
I never thought I would see socialist contradictions in America, let alone write about them. But somehow all attempts to organize life according to “progressive” principles always result in such contradictions. And in the areas where “progressives” have assumed positions of leadership — education, news media, or the entertainment industry — contradictions become “historically inevitable.”

If one were accidentally to open his eyes and compare the “progressive” narrative with facts on the ground, one might start asking questions. Why, for instance, if the war on terror breeds more terrorists, haven’t there been attacks on the U.S. soil since 2001? Why, if George W. Bush had removed our freedom of speech, was nobody ever arrested for saying anything? And if Obama has returned us our freedoms, why was a man harassed by police in Oklahoma for having an anti-Obama sign in his car? Why would anyone who supports free speech want to silence talk radio? And why is silencing the opposition called the “Fairness Doctrine”?

After the number of “caring,” bleeding-heart politicians in Washington reached a critical mass, it was only a matter of time before the government started ordering banks to help the poor by giving them risky home loans through community organizers. Which resulted in a bigger demand, which resulted in rising prices, which resulted in slimmer chances of repaying the loans, which resulted in more pressure on the banks, which resulted in repackaging of bad loans, which resulted in a collapse of the banks, which resulted in a recession, which resulted in many borrowers losing their jobs, which resulted in no further mortgage payments, which resulted in a financial disaster, which resulted in a worldwide crisis, with billions of poor people overseas — who had never seen a community organizer, nor applied for a bad loan — becoming even poorer than they had been before the “progressives” in the U.S. government decided to help the poor.

As if that were not enough, the same bleeding hearts are now trying to fix this by nationalizing the banks so that they can keep issuing risky loans through community organizers. In other words, to prevent the toast from landing buttered side down, they’re planning to butter the toast on both sides and hope that it will hover in mid-air. Which also seems like a sensible alternative energy initiative.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, there’s always the last resort of a liberal: blame capitalism. It’s always a win-win. Today government regulators may be blaming capitalism for the crisis caused by their dilettantish tampering with the economy, but who do you think they will credit after market forces resuscitate the economy?

Years ago, living in America made me feel as though I had traveled in a time machine from the past. But after the recent “revolutionary” changes have turned reality on its head — which is what “revolution” literally means — I’m getting an uneasy feeling I had come from your future.


As your comrade from the future, I also feel a social obligation to help my less advanced comrades in the American community, and prepare them for the transition to the glorious world of underground literature, half-whispered jokes, and the useful habit of looking over your shoulder. Don’t become a [2] nation of cowards — but watch who might be listening.

Let’s start with these few.

People’s power:

Liberals believe they’re advancing people’s power — yet they don’t believe people can do anything right without their guidance.
People can’t do anything right — yet the government bureaucracy can do everything.
The government bureaucracy can do everything — yet liberals don’t like it when the government takes control of their lives.
Liberals don’t like it when the government takes control of their lives — yet they vote for programs that increase people’s dependency on the government.
They vote for programs that increase people’s dependency on the government — yet they believe they’re advancing people’s power.
Bush and the media:

The media said Bush was dumb — yet he won over two intelligent Democrats.
He won over two intelligent Democrats — yet the media said his ratings were hopeless.
The media said his ratings were hopeless — yet the 2004 electoral map was red.
The 2004 electoral map was red — yet the media said his policies failed.
The media said his policies failed — yet the economy grew and the war was won.
The economy grew and the war was won — yet the media said we needed “change.”
Public education:

Liberals have been in charge of education for 50 years — yet education is out of control.
Education is out of control — yet liberal teaching methods prevail.
Liberal teaching methods prevail — yet public schools are failing.
Public schools are failing — yet their funding keeps growing.
Their funding keeps growing — yet public schools are always underfunded.
Public schools are always underfunded — yet private schools yield [3] better results for less.
Private schools yield better results for less — yet public education is the only way out of the crisis.
Foreign radicals*:

Foreign radicals hate America — yet they’re all wearing American blue jeans.
They’re all wearing American blue jeans — yet they disdain American culture.
They disdain American culture — yet they play American music, movies, and video games.
They play American music, movies, and video games — yet they call Americans uncivilized.
They call Americans uncivilized — yet they expect Americans to defend their civilization.
They expect Americans to defend their civilization — yet they think American capitalism is outdated.
They think American capitalism is outdated — yet most of their countries require American handouts.
(* Some Democrat politicians have [4] similar opinions about their redneck constituents — yet they won’t shut up about how proud they are to have their mandate.)

Liberals and taxes:

Liberals want to help the poor — yet they won’t give money to charities.
They won’t give money to charities — yet they’d like the government to become a gigantic charity.
They’d like the government to become a gigantic charity — yet the money has to be taken from people by force.
The money has to be taken from people by force — yet they call it welfare.
They call it welfare — yet higher taxes make everyone poorer.
Higher taxes make everyone poorer — yet liberals find ways not to pay taxes.
Liberals find ways not to pay taxes — yet they get to be chosen to run the government.
Liberals and the CIA:

The CIA is a reactionary institution — yet its agents always leak information that helps liberals politically.
CIA agents always leak information that helps liberals politically — yet liberals say the CIA is clueless.
Liberals   say the CIA is clueless — yet in their movies the CIA is running the world.
In their movies the CIA is running the world — yet they tell us that better intelligence could have prevented the war.
Better intelligence could have prevented the war — yet “enhanced interrogations” of captured terrorists must not be allowed.
Love and marriage:

Sex differences are the result of social conditioning — yet homosexuality is biological.
Homosexuality is biological — yet everybody is encouraged to experiment with it.
Everybody is encouraged to experiment with it — yet venereal diseases are treated at the taxpayers’ expense.
Venereal diseases are treated at the taxpayers’ expense — yet taxpayers have no right to impose standards since there are no moral absolutes.
There are no moral absolutes — yet gay marriage is an absolute must.
Gay marriage is an absolute must — yet family is an antiquated tool of bourgeois oppression.
Article printed from Pajamas Media:

URL to article:

URLs in this post:
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[2] nation of cowards:
[3] better results for less:
[4] similar opinions about their redneck constituents:
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« Reply #237 on: March 06, 2009, 09:29:13 AM »

Krauthammer pretty much what I feel - that BO is a massive liar and fraud.  Yet Fox came out with a poll that shows he is still popular with a 64% approval and 55% are quite happy with the "soak the rich" theme and that it is "evening the playing field".
While truly wealthy people do have an extraordary advantage over the non wealthy and the rich are getting richer faster than any other group by idea of trying to even this out was not out and out confiscation of wealth to redistribute to your fans.
Hugely expanding government so the rest of us can pay for the salaries, health care, retirement and other benefits was not my idea of moderation.

These dopes who think getting a check ot two from BO is the answer to their problems are going to bring the whole house of cards down.  It is remarkable how stupid some are.  Did anyone see Michael Steele on Hughey the other night?  I'm saddened to say that for most blacks apparantly it is all about pay back time - no more no less.  Republicans are not going to attract many Balcks no matter what they do because it is all about the checks going into their pockets.   sad

***March 06, 2009
Deception at Core of Obama Plans
By Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON -- Forget the pork. Forget the waste. Forget the 8,570 earmarks in a bill supported by a president who poses as the scourge of earmarks. Forget the "$2 trillion dollars in savings" that "we have already identified," $1.6 trillion of which President Obama's budget director later admits is the "savings" of not continuing the surge in Iraq until 2019 -- 11 years after George Bush ended it, and eight years after even Bush would have had us out of Iraq completely.

Forget all of this. This is run-of-the-mill budget trickery. True, Obama's tricks come festooned with strings of zeros tacked onto the end. But that's a matter of scale, not principle.

 All presidents do that. But few undertake the kind of brazen deception at the heart of Obama's radically transformative economic plan, a rhetorical sleight of hand so smoothly offered that few noticed.

The logic of Obama's address to Congress went like this:

"Our economy did not fall into decline overnight," he averred. Indeed, it all began before the housing crisis. What did we do wrong? We are paying for past sins in three principal areas: energy, health care, and education -- importing too much oil and not finding new sources of energy (as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf?), not reforming health care, and tolerating too many bad schools.

The "day of reckoning" has now arrived. And because "it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament," Obama has come to redeem us with his far-seeing program of universal, heavily nationalized health care; a cap-and-trade tax on energy; and a major federalization of education with universal access to college as the goal.

Amazing. As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people.

At the very center of our economic near-depression is a credit bubble, a housing collapse and a systemic failure of the entire banking system. One can come up with a host of causes: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pushed by Washington (and greed) into improvident loans, corrupted bond-ratings agencies, insufficient regulation of new and exotic debt instruments, the easy money policy of Alan Greenspan's Fed, irresponsible bankers pushing (and then unloading in packaged loan instruments) highly dubious mortgages, greedy house-flippers, deceitful homebuyers.

The list is long. But the list of causes of the collapse of the financial system does not include the absence of universal health care, let alone of computerized medical records. Nor the absence of an industry-killing cap-and-trade carbon levy. Nor the lack of college graduates. Indeed, one could perversely make the case that, if anything, the proliferation of overeducated, Gucci-wearing, smart-ass MBAs inventing ever more sophisticated and opaque mathematical models and debt instruments helped get us into this credit catastrophe in the first place.

And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis.

What's going on? "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," said Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before."

Things. Now we know what they are. The markets' recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions -- the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic -- for enacting his "Big Bang" agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.

Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy -- worthy and weighty as they may be -- are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime.
Copyright 2009, Washington Post Writers Group****
« Reply #238 on: March 06, 2009, 11:44:30 AM »

I'm saddened to say that for most blacks apparantly it is all about pay back time - no more no less.  Republicans are not going to attract many Balcks no matter what they do because it is all about the checks going into their pockets.

Wow. Just, wow. About as closed minded and racist a comment that I've ever read on this forum.

Maybe African Americans don't want to be involved with a party who's members view them as monetary leeches who are out for "payback"?

« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 11:52:10 AM by SB_Mig » Logged
Power User
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« Reply #239 on: March 06, 2009, 12:31:36 PM »

Care to explain how that statement is racist?
Power User
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« Reply #240 on: March 06, 2009, 12:59:26 PM »

As we continue with this CONVERSATION, lets all take at least three deep breaths and remember the code here.
Power User
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« Reply #241 on: March 06, 2009, 01:05:22 PM »


Maybe I missed it, but did you condemn Obama's "Typical white person" comment as racist? Or do you subscribe to the "only white people can be racist" paradigm?
Power User
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« Reply #242 on: March 06, 2009, 02:43:17 PM »

Actually it is only an observation from that program.  It was about a black, Michael Steele trying to reach out to other Blacks.
The response from Hughey was to the effect that he has no problem with the rich getting richer even if faster than the rest, but that the other classes are staying put.  I actually agree with him on that.  The rest of the population seems to be unable to "get ahead" though I am not at all  sure of the reasons.  However, what struck me is he feels quite comfortable with BOs confiscation of wealth to give to them. More or less what have Republicans done for "us"?
Of course not all blacks feel this way but many do.  It is obvious.  It is obvious from many who call these shows.  It is obvious from their hatred of Rebublicans.   That said many whites and Latinos certainly feel the same way.

"Maybe African Americans don't want to be involved with a party who's members view them as monetary leeches who are out for "payback"?"

The Rebublicans are not racist. It is about the money. The racial thing is either intentional/unintentional delusion.

For me it is about people, of all stripes who want the government to take care of all their needs.  The problem is that there is an ever decreasing proportion of the population that can support these dole outs.  Meanwhile the whole country is going broke and increasingly into deeper debt.

FWIW though I am a doctor I would not be in BOs target range, or fit his description of being "rich" so I am not just thinking of my own pocket here.

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« Reply #243 on: March 06, 2009, 11:21:05 PM »

March 05, 2009
Beware Obama's Bearing Gifts (Part 2)
I fear this may become a continuing series. Which would suck, because I really don't like thinking about the Obamas.

However, the President has now given British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a gift to commemorate his visit to America. You will recall that lat night I wrote about the craptacular response of Michelle "The Klingon with Klass" Obama to the gifts her children received from the Browns.

But before I reveal the President's gift, let's review what he received from PM Brown so that a little perspective can be had:

Mr Brown's gifts included an ornamental desk pen holder made from the oak timbers of Victorian anti-slaver HMS Gannet, once named HMS President.
Mr Obama was so delighted he has already put it in pride of place in the Oval Office on the Resolute desk which was carved from timbers of Gannet's sister ship, HMS Resolute.

Another treasure given to the U.S. President was the framed commission for HMS Resolute, a vessel that came to symbolise Anglo-US peace when it was saved from ice packs by Americans and given to Queen Victoria.

Finally, Mr Brown gave a first edition set of the seven-volume classic biography of Churchill by Sir Martin Gilbert.

Those are classy gifts, and fully uphold the spirit of the US/UK special relationship. They are tasteful and, in the particular case of the pen made from the anti-slaver ship HMS Gannet, imbued with additional symbolic meaning that elevates them to a status in which one would not be surprised to find it on prominent display in the National Archives or in the Obama Presidential Library (opening, January 2013 with any luck).

So how did "Smart Diplomat in Chief" reciprocate? Did he, perhaps, have a pen forged out of the remnants of a M4-Sherman to commemorate the Patton-Montgomery deliverance of North Africa from Nazi control?

No, no, no. You see, that would take thought, and it isn't something you can just pick up on the spur of the moment at the White House Gift Shop. So what did our Boy President Barry give the Brits? What vestige of Americana will Gordon Brown receive on behalf of the British people to commemorate Brown's historic meeting with the American President?

Gordon Brown has been given a collection of 25 classic American films on DVD as his official gift from Barack Obama.
I think I'd ask for the pen back. But that's just me. The Brits, stiff upper lip and all, are much more guarded in their response.

No 10 had tried to keep the present a secret, refusing to answer reporters who asked what President Obama had given to mark the reaffirmation of the special relationship.
However, the Evening Standard discovered the truth through White House insiders.

One reason for the secrecy might be that the gift seems markedly less generous and thoughtful than the presents taken to Washington by the Prime Minister.

You don't say.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to take a guess at some of the movies that might be included in the DVD set, so I could figure out just how benevolent the Obama's were.

Let's see. How about the Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind and Casablanca?

You can buy a Wizard of Oz DVD for $2-$8 dollars online.

You can snag a copy of Gone With the Wind for $3.99 online.

And Casablanca (which you know is in there because it translates to "White House" and Obama can get in a plug for himself) will set you back $3.99 as well.

On the other hand, maybe it's just 25 Blaxpoitation films starring Jim Brown and Pam Grier. Who the hell knows?

(1974's "Foxy Brown" sells for $10.98 by the way. It might actually be less embarrassing if the Obamas did give the British PM 25 Blaxploitation films!)

In any event, I suppose that, as opposed to some lousy pen carved from the timbers of an anti-slaver ship, DVD's are fun for the whole family! Brown could always give them to the BBC to supplement their late night lineup perhaps. Think outside the box, people!

I'm gonna miss England when the Muslims take it over. My only solace is that I bet the British are saying the same thing about the United States.
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« Reply #244 on: March 09, 2009, 09:32:49 AM »

Well the polling data that 3 out of four Democrats agree with bigger governement and the taxation of the successful for dole outs to those who are for whatever the reason not, while 3 of four Republicans do not.

And there you have it in a nutshell.
Ant then when we have what , 40% who pay no Federal income tax, every expanding government employees whose livlihoods and pensions, and retirements are dependent on maintaining this, and a mindset of immigrants who are not what it was even 50 years ago, then we have a divided and bitter electorate.

The fact that 95% of blacks as well as large proportions of latinos, (as well  as my fellow Jews - though the latter for different reasons - guilt perhaps) vote Democratic is pretty strong evidence that there are many in this country who see that evening the playing field is being on the dole.

Sorry but this if fact - the polls, election demographics are clearly proof of this.
One only has to watch the talk shows for a week to see that most of the spokespeople for these groups are saying exactly that though they often try deflect it, or camouflage it.

This does not make me a racist.  Indeed the Republicans more than anything would love to have more "diversity" in their party.
Why cannot the Republicans not attract more minorities? Because they don't believe in big government dole outs. 

That said the Republicans do not have an attractive alternative message or messenger as yet.

Just haveing a big fat white boistrous multimillionaire guy screaming about "freedom", "less government", "personal responsibility",
trickle down theory, etc. while the rich keep getting richer and the rest of us keep going no where, is not going to compete with the opposing political gamesmenship.

And having pundits screaming all we need are tax cuts and let the cards fall where they may especially while many who are losing jobs are not apying taxes to begin with ....  well how many are going to vote for that.

I was gladdened to hear Newt rumors he may run in 2012.  He is the only one so far with ideas, and a willingness and ability  to
articulate past the dead end talk of limbaugh, hannity, coulter, and that group.

Power User
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« Reply #245 on: March 09, 2009, 10:47:53 AM »

Good points, though may I suggest the post might better belong in the "Future of the Rep party etc" thread?
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« Reply #246 on: March 09, 2009, 11:31:44 AM »

Its a good thing Obama isnt going to raise taxes........."not one cent"..............  Talk about the biggest liar and most corrupt cabinet ever, and still the people are drinking it up.

New air fees part of President Obama's 2010 budget proposal
By: Michael Fabey
March 06, 2009
President Obama’s first budget proposal boosts funding to offset security costs throughout the transportation system and includes more money to improve the national airspace.

But the proposal also has raised an outcry because the administration plans to fund later security measures by raising airline passenger fees and starting new, direct user fees to replace current aviation taxes.

The administration earned some nods from travel pundits by proposing a five-year, $5 billion grant program for high-speed rail development and requesting about $800 million to help modernize the country’s air traffic control system.

The plan also includes an unknown amount of NASA money for research to "increase airspace capacity and mobility, enhance aviation safety and improve aircraft performance while reducing noise, emissions and fuel consumption," budget documents say.

The budget proposal, for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, slates an additional $55 million for the Transportation Department’s small-community air service programs to "fulfill current program requirements."

Finally, the spending plan identifies $64 million "to modernize the infrastructure used to vet travelers and workers. These funds will strengthen screening in order to reduce the risk of potential terrorism or other unlawful activities that threaten the nation’s transportation system."

Two changes in tax strategy that would directly affect airline passengers are an increase in the security fee assessed for passengers, now about $5 per roundtrip, and the repeal of some existing airline ticket taxes with "direct user charges," which would be imposed directly on airlines and other aircraft operators.

Critics pan user tax

House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minn.) questioned the need to shift from excise taxes to user fees.

The spending plan provides scant additional details on what kind of increases or overall amounts the administration has in mind for either fee proposal. But the budget does note that the current security fee "only captures 36% of the cost of aviation security."

By increasing the security fee, the administration says it can raise enough money to "cover a majority of the estimated costs of passenger and baggage screening."

Kate Hanni, executive director of, said, "It’s going to be a tough pill to swallow for airline passengers to have to pay nearly three times more money to be treated as callously as they are by TSA."

The Air Transport Association said it would oppose any security fee increase, as it has done in previous administrations. The ATA said it is the government’s responsibility to fund and operate security procedures.

The Association of Corporate Travel Executives also opposed the security-fee increase.

"The Obama administration is attempting to fund the lion’s share of airport security through a user tax, primarily paid by corporations commissioning business travel or leisure travelers spending limited personal funds for a vacation," said ACTE Executive Director Susan Gurley.

"When terrorists or other criminals target an airliner or an airport, they are not attacking an industry nor a user group, but the nation," said Gurley. "The nation has an obligation to protect itself and this asset. Airport security should be paid for from the general tax fund."

If the government’s looking for a new funding font for security costs, Gurley suggested using the $400 million slated to build and $200 million to furnish the new U.S. Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

It’s a bit more complicated than that, said Vaughn Cordle of AirlineForecasts.

The way the Obama budget is structured — in concert with the administration’s economic stimulus package — the funding gap between the operational needs of the different departments, such as transportation and federal money sources, will widen and deepen as the next decade starts, Cordle said.

At the same time, he said, Obama will be looking for ways to reduce the deficit.

"The airline industry could look like a cash cow with higher taxes and fees," he said. At that point, he added, "Fares will have to go up and the industry will need to shrink even more."

His advice to fill in that financial gap: Downsize the air traffic control workforce, which would be one of the benefits of the system’s modernization.

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« Reply #247 on: March 09, 2009, 01:12:56 PM »

Can't you see that they are helping us?
Power User
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« Reply #248 on: March 09, 2009, 01:56:45 PM »

In a similar veing to HUSS's post:

March 6, 2009 12:00 AM

Waiting Game
He’s telling the poor he’s only soaking the rich, when he’s in fact soaking everyone.

By Jonah Goldberg

‘We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Barack Obama proclaimed many times during the campaign. He and his throngs of supporters preened in the glow of their own righteousness like cats in a puddle of sunlight. They were for “shared sacrifice” and a “new era of responsibility.” They wanted to put aside the “old politics” and the “tired arguments” of the past.

Well, where are those people now?

Obama brags — albeit dishonestly — that he’s only raising taxes on rich people. Ninety-five percent of the American people will get a tax cut, the president insists.

Well, which is it? Do the times demand shared sacrifice from us all, or from just 5 percent of Americans?
If I say to ten co-workers, “We all need to chip in together to get this done,” and then say, “So, Todd, open your wallet and give five bucks to everyone else in the room,” it would sound ridiculous. But when Obama says the same thing to 300 million Americans it’s called “leadership.”

“The problem with socialism,” Margaret Thatcher once said, “is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” What Obama is proposing isn’t socialism — yet — but it runs into the same problem. You could take all of the money made by the richest one percent in this country and it wouldn’t come close to covering government’s expenses — even if those rich people for some reason kept working.

Our income-tax system is already extremely progressive, and it provides roughly half of all government revenue (add corporate income taxes, and it covers nearly three-fifths of all government revenue). The top five percent of earners pay more than 60 percent of income taxes. The top ten percent of earners pay more than 70 percent. And the top half of earners pay just shy of 100 percent of income taxes. Estate and gift taxes are even more progressive.

Now, it’s true that the low-wage earners who pay no income taxes do contribute in other ways. Sales taxes, payroll taxes, and other hidden taxes take a mighty bite out of the working poor and lower-middle class.

And, thanks to Obama, the poor will pay even more. President Obama’s proposed carbon tax will raise the price of energy. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle in early 2008, candidate Obama admitted as much: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

Liberals will defend Obama’s carbon tax by saying it’s vitally necessary to combat climate change, end our dependence on foreign oil, and boost our embryonic green industries like wind and solar. Fine, fine. We can have that argument, as weak as I think it may be.

But why isn’t Obama honest about the fact that he’s asking the working poor and middle class to pay even more? He’s the guy who talks such a big game about shared sacrifice. He’s the one talking about a “new era of responsibility.” Heck, that’s the title of his proposed budget — you know, the one that will irresponsibly explode the deficit?

Instead, Obama sticks to his promise that everyone who isn’t rich will get a “tax cut.” That tax cut, by the way, amounts to $13 dollars more a week for the typical worker, according to the Associated Press. In 2010, that cut will be worth $7.70 a week. Will that cover “skyrocketing” electricity rates? Or higher gas prices? How about higher prices for things that use energy to get manufactured, i.e. everything?

I don’t know the answer myself. Maybe $1.85 a day in 2009 and $1.10 in 2010 will cover that. But I doubt it, particularly when your job is outsourced to carbon-tax-free China or India. The point is that Obama’s rhetoric about shared sacrifice is bogus on every level.

He tells people they are the upright ones for supporting his policies when what he’s actually saying is that he’s taking from the rich and giving it to them. “Shared sacrifice” really means taking other people’s money, while “greed” is not wanting to give it up and “responsibility” is when the government takes it anyway.

In reality, he’s giving with one hand and taking with the other. He’s telling the poor he’s only soaking the rich, when he’s in fact soaking everyone. The amazing thing is that his supporters, rich and poor alike, buy it. No wonder they’re the ones they’ve been waiting for.

— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and the author of Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.

© 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
« Reply #249 on: March 10, 2009, 07:30:34 AM »

At Least He’s Calm
Obama’s supernatural calm is undisturbed by the financial mayhem.

By Rich Lowry

Last fall, Barack Obama was deemed by all the great and good as the man to save the country from its financial crisis because of his calm. As John McCain flailed around, Obama stayed steady, and commentators ascribed to him the most extraordinary leadership qualities based merely on his equipoise.

How is that working out? Well, the stock market has lost roughly 25 percent of its value in the past two months, destroying more than $2.6 trillion of wealth. But at least President Obama is calm.

The banking crisis weighs down the economy, with zombie institutions requiring ever more infusions of federal cash (Citigroup has taken $45 billion, and AIG $180 billion and counting). But Obama’s supernatural calm is undisturbed by the financial mayhem.

His Treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, has gone from being such an indispensable man that he could get away with cheating on his taxes to serving as the butt of Saturday Night Live skits in the space of six weeks. His vague and unconvincing bank-rescue plan tanked the market, while he hasn’t yet fully staffed the upper echelons of his department. The New York Times reports of him and his team, “Some worry that political and financial constraints have made them reluctant to grapple with the full magnitude of the crisis.” If Obama worries, he does it calmly.

Despite its stated purpose of providing a temporary boost to the economy, Obama’s stimulus plan spends $200 billion in 2011 and beyond — at the same time liberal supporters of the stimulus complain that it doesn’t do enough in the near term. But Obama is serenely calm about it.

As the economy staggers into what seems will be at least the worst recession since World War II, he is proposing $1 trillion in tax increases, including a new broad-based levy on industrial activity. But he’ll impose the taxes very calmly.

With the nation’s finances strained dealing just with the fallout from the financial crisis, he is proposing a radical budget that will increase spending by at least $3 trillion above current projections during the next ten years. But all his new spending is suffused with a wondrous air of calm.

His budget makes unduly rosy assumptions about the near-term performance of the economy that are already being discredited, pockets fake savings by making absurd assumptions (e.g., that troop levels in Iraq will remain at 140,000 forever), and projects a $637 billion deficit in 2016 even after years of robust economic growth. But he is as calm as he is dishonest and profligate.

Calm is not in itself a leadership quality. Containing your emotions is important (see George Washington and the Duke of Wellington for a couple of history’s greatest examples), but calm is no substitute for courage, wisdom, or imagination. Calm can just as easily be an indication of arrogance as of nervy self-control, of aloofness as of coolness under fire.

The early returns on Obama’s calm aren’t encouraging. During the campaign, his overeager supporters in the press wanted to declare him a world-historical figure based on the flimsiest of evidence. The gravest crisis he had ever faced in his career was the Jeremiah Wright controversy, which he responded to with a disingenuous “race speech” defending Wright before dumping him.

As the financial crisis hit, he never took a position on the first AIG bailout. Perhaps this was the truest indication of his instincts on the financial crisis — namely, avoidance. To sidestep the politically risky imperative of asking Congress for even more funds to address the crisis, Geithner has resorted to complex schemes that haven’t yet been thoroughly formulated.

Perhaps Obama’s muddle-through approach to the banks will suffice until the natural resilience of the economy brings a recovery. Or perhaps, as Obama temporizes, the problem will get bigger and worse, discrediting his leadership and exposing the vision of his budget as, in the words of a headline in The Economist, “wishful, and dangerous, thinking.” Either way, Obama will be calm.

— Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review.

National Review Online -
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