Saturday, August 6, 2011

op ed review 8/7

"The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."

-Thomas Jefferson


US debt shot up $238 billion on one day to reach 100 percent of gross domestic product after the government's debt ceiling was lifted.

That increase puts the government already remarkably close to the new debt limit of $14.694 Trillion.

Standard & Poor’s announced Friday night that it has downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time. “It is based on a view that U.S. political leaders would be unable to come up with at least $4 trillion in savings, which is needed to bring the nation’s debt to a manageable level over the next decade.”

It must have come as a surprise to Treasury Secretary Geithner, who declared back in April that there was "no risk" the U.S. would lose its top credit rating.

The stock market did something it has not done in over 33 years: Decline for nine straight sessions, capped by a Dow 500 point drop on Thursday representing $1.1 trillion of wealth, lost in one day.

While the market was tanking on Thursday, President Obama was partying at the White House, packed with Hollywood stars, barefoot dancing in the Rose garden, and hip-hop in the East Room

In a startling admission, the White House Press Secretary declared that "the White House doesn't create jobs."

“On the face of it, Barack Obama has sustained serious political damage from the debt-ceiling fiasco. The agreement reached late on Sunday--is a wholly Republican package that will cut the US deficit by at least $2.4 trillion over a decade, in return for lifting the debt ceiling by a similar amount.”

On the other hand, every spending cut is over 10 years, while every debt increase is immediate. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who voted against the bill, put it, "It eliminates no program, consolidates no duplicative programs, cuts no tax earmarks and reforms no entitlement program…."

The Left hates the deal: Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri Democrat, "On the surface it looks like a Satan sandwich."

Arianna Huffington: ‘a terrible moment for Democrats’

Chris Matthews “wondered whether Obama could potentially fear a primary challenge from his disgruntled liberal base?”

Americans' political ideology: 41% self-identifying as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 21% as liberal. If this pattern continues, 2011 will be the third straight year that conservatives significantly outnumber moderates -- the next largest ideological bloc.

Likely voters in the key swing state of Florida say 50 to 42 percent that Obama does not deserve to be reelected. "The president's drop off is huge among independent voters who now disapprove almost 2-1."

The U.S. Secret Service has to pay Vice President Joe Biden for the privilege of protecting him. Since April Mr. Biden has charged the Secret Service $13,000 for the use of a rental cottage adjacent to his waterfront home in Wilmington, Del.

You get to pay for President Obama’s bus trip later this month through the Midwest states typically viewed as swing states during presidential election years.

Despite the recent public lashing President Obama gave millionaires and billionaires, in private, Team Obama is once again diving into the pockets of the super rich to fund its campaign.

Here we go again: “Through the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, Attorney General Eric Holder is forcing banks to "relax their mortgage underwriting standards and approve loans for minorities with poor credit as part of a new crackdown on alleged discrimination….The DOJ has already extorted $20 million for weak and poor credit loans from banks that "settled out of court rather than battle the federal government and risk being branded racist."

A new 'civil right' -- free cell phones.…a federal government program called the Universal Service Fund offers 250 minutes a month and a phone for free if you don't have the money to pay for it.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry urged conservatives to “push more liberals into the private sector” in the 2012 election — including the president — but the oft-mentioned potential presidential candidate declined to say whether he had decided to enter the race himself. Speaking to a packed house at the Western Conservative Summit, Mr. Perry continued to leave his supporters guessing as to his political future, although he did refer repeatedly to the importance of the 2012 election.. “The mixture of arrogance and audacity that guides the Obama administration is an affront to every freedom-loving American and a threat to every job in the private sector,” said Mr. Perry.

Gov. Perry is gaining support from members of the Tea Party.

Political correctness on steroids: Spider Man has been given a makeover, the new one is half-black, half-Hispanic….”his creators said that in the future they would not rule out making him gay.”

Stupid bureaucrats: A little girl who saved a baby woodpecker received a fine for $535 for “transporting a protected species” by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. After the unwanted publicity, the agency now says it was a mistake.



Dennis Prager 7/19

While liberals are certain about the moral superiority of liberal policies, the truth is that those policies actually diminish a society's moral character. Many individual liberals are fine people, but the policies they advocate tend to make a people worse. Here are 10 reasons:

1. The bigger the government, the less the citizens do for one another. If the state will take care of me and my neighbors, why should I? This is why Western Europeans, people who have lived in welfare states far longer than Americans have, give less to charity and volunteer less time to others than do Americans of the same socioeconomic status.

The greatest description of American civilization was written in the early 19th century by the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville. One of the differences distinguishing Americans from Europeans that he most marveled at was how much Americans -- through myriad associations -- took care of one another. Until President Franklin Roosevelt began the seemingly inexorable movement of America toward the European welfare state -- vastly expanded later by other Democratic presidents -- Americans took responsibility for one another and for themselves far more than they do today. Churches, Rotary Clubs, free-loan societies and other voluntary associations were ubiquitous. As the state grew, however, all these associations declined. In Western Europe, they have virtually all disappeared.

2. The welfare state, though often well intended, is nevertheless a Ponzi scheme. Conservatives have known this for generations. But now, any honest person must acknowledge it. The welfare state is predicated on collecting money from today's workers in order to pay for those who paid in before them. But today's workers don't have enough money to sustain the scheme, and there are too few of them to do so. As a result, virtually every welfare state in Europe, and many American states, like California, are going broke.

3. Citizens of liberal welfare states become increasingly narcissistic. The great preoccupations of vast numbers of Brits, Frenchmen, Germans and other Western Europeans are how much vacation time they will have and how early they can retire and be supported by the state.

4. The liberal welfare state makes people disdain work. Americans work considerably harder than Western Europeans, and contrary to liberal thought since Karl Marx, work builds character.

5. Nothing more guarantees the erosion of character than getting something for nothing. In the liberal welfare state, one develops an entitlement mentality -- another expression of narcissism. And the rhetoric of liberalism -- labeling each new entitlement a "right" -- reinforces this sense of entitlement.

6. The bigger the government, the more the corruption. As the famous truism goes, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Of course, big businesses are also often corrupt. But they are eventually caught or go out of business. The government cannot go out of business. And unlike corrupt governments, corrupt businesses cannot print money and thereby devalue a nation's currency, and they cannot arrest you.

7. The welfare state corrupts family life. Even many Democrats have acknowledged the destructive consequences of the welfare state on the underclass. It has rendered vast numbers of males unnecessary to females, who have looked to the state to support them and their children (and the more children, the more state support) rather than to husbands. In effect, these women took the state as their husband.

8. The welfare state inhibits the maturation of its young citizens into responsible adults. As regards men specifically, I was raised, as were all generations of American men before me, to aspire to work hard in order to marry and support a wife and children. No more. One of the reasons many single women lament the prevalence of boy-men -- men who have not grown up -- is that the liberal state has told men they don't have to support anybody. They are free to remain boys for as long as they want.

And here is an example regarding both sexes. The loudest and most sustained applause I ever heard was that of college students responding to a speech by President Barack Obama informing them that they would now be covered by their parents' health insurance policies until age 26.

9. As a result of the left's sympathetic views of pacifism and because almost no welfare state can afford a strong military, European countries rely on America to fight the world's evils and even to defend them.

10. The leftist “weltanschauung” sees society's and the world's great battle as between rich and poor rather than between good and evil. Equality therefore trumps morality. This is what produces the morally confused liberal elites that can venerate a Cuban tyranny with its egalitarian society over a free and decent America that has greater inequality.

None of this matters to progressives. Against all this destructiveness, they will respond not with arguments to refute these consequences of the liberal welfare state, but by citing the terms "social justice" and "compassion," and by labeling their opponents "selfish" and worse. If you want to feel good, liberalism is awesome. If you want to do good, it is largely awful.



“Democrats foisted upon the nation the biggest Keynesian spending bonanza in history, and the result has been almost no GDP growth, headline unemployment exceeding 9 percent, decreased consumer spending, inflation, debt as far as our great-grandchildren can see and a possible national credit rating downgrade.”

-Patriot Post

"If we really intend (as is apparently foreseen by our bipartisan saviors) to add $7-10 trillion to the debt by 2020, then America is over -- because clearly there is no intention ever to repay that money, and the world will make its dispositions accordingly. ... The Democrats want to plunge over the cliff at full throttle. Too many Republicans think it will be fine as long as we go over the edge in third gear."

-Mark Steyn

"It is not tea party people who are the 'terrorists.' A terrorist seeks to destroy. Who is the real destroyer in the debt-ceiling debate? Who wants to continue spending money we don't have, borrowing it from nations like China that would be happy to destroy us if our politicians don't do it first? Tea party people simply want to make their government accountable again and for this they are called 'terrorists'?"

-Cal Thomas

“President Obama would never have agreed to this deal if the Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives hadn’t engaged in the brinkmanship of the past few weeks. But to focus on the Tea Party is to ignore the tectonic political shift that’s taken place, not just in America but across Europe. The majority of citizens in nearly all the world’s most developed countries simply aren’t prepared to tolerate the degree of borrowing required to sustain generous welfare programmes any longer……What the Left hasn’t grasped – and what Obama has – is that for the foreseeable future no political candidate or party will be able to increase public spending and win re-election. Socialist welfare programmes have become politically toxic. A sea change has taken place within the West’s most developed countries and last night’s debt deal is a reflection of that.”

-Toby Young, London Telegraph

“We have often heard that the devil is in the details. But these days, I'm afraid he's in the Oval Office. Who else would have run on the promise to radically transform America? Who else would have thought that America, of all places, required a radical transformation? If a normal human being were asked which countries could use an overhaul, he wouldn't be thinking of the United States. Would he mention Russia and Venezuela? No doubt. Would he have China, Yemen and North Korea, on the short list? Absolutely. How about Saudi Arabia, Syria, Cuba and Iran? Indubitably. On the other hand, it's actually the one promise Obama has kept. But, who else but he and Satan would even suggest that a nation created by such giants as Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison and Adams, had to wait 232 years for a leftwing community organizer to fix what wasn't broken? And when this arrogant pipsqueak chastises the Republicans in Congress for doing nothing about the debt crisis when they're the ones who presented and voted for Paul Ryan's budget plan months ago while this schmuck has been off golfing and fund-raising, does he really believe we take his words seriously? Great men, it's said, speak truth to power; Obama speaks power to truth."

-Burt Prelutsky



When the Students for a Democratic Society organization was wracked by a schism in the summer of 1969, Bill Ayers sided with the faction that favored widespread revolution across the face of America. It is instructive that the newly formed SDS council honored Ayers with the title of secretary of education. Based on his later career as a distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois, it is a title he took seriously — it’s just too bad that so many others have ignored it, and what it tells us about Ayers’ plans for our country.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) says the Tea Party’s views are not legitimate and the media has the responsibility to not give equal time or credence to the Tea Party's views:



Nile Gardner: America’s debt downgrade is a damning indictment of President Obama’s Big Government disaster

There comes a time and a point in history which indelibly define a President. Oftentimes the event may not be of major import in the greater scheme of things but the management of it is of such prominence that the success or failure in the handling of the issue is permanently attached to the individual. Such a moment has happened to Barack Obama. His incompetence, inability to lead, prevarications, petulance and immaturity in the debt ceiling crisis have indelibly created an image of abject failure in the minds of a critical mass

It has all gotten so routine that the Democrats might as well put together a playbook, to help the rookies. Grand strategy for dealing with Republicans: Accuse them of: 1. Being stupid, ignorant and/or crude 2. Wanting the rich to get a tax break on the backs of the poor 3. Spoiling Christmas 4. Celebrating Christmas 5. Trying to take over the government 6. Being selfish…….

An insolvent state hemorrhaging jobs enacts its version of the federal DREAM Act, holding out another carrot to illegal aliens by setting up a college scholarship fund for their children.

America is living under an illusion: the idea that we can expunge God (broadly understood) from our national and public belief system and still operate a moral and accountable government. C.S. Lewis summed up the problem in The Abolition of Man. "We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and then bid the geldings to be fruitful…."



Why some societies thrive and others do not.

Speaker Boehner’s powerpoint explaining his plan to deal with the debt.

New pictures of Ground Zero site shows One World Trade Center soaring above New York’s skyline



Leno: Iowa Congressman Steve King says that if the country falls into default, President Obama could be impeached. Obama could stop that with three words: “President Joe Biden.”…….Because of our national debt, every child in this country owes $50,000. China heard this and said, “We’re hiring.”…….A new report has found that adults in Washington, D.C. are among the top users of cocaine in the country. All this time, we thought the problem was government waste, but it’s actually that the government’s wasted.



"[The Democratic Party leadership] tell us they have done the most that humanly could be done. They say that the United States has had its day in the sun; that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems; that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities. My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view. The American people, the most generous on earth, who created the highest standard of living, are not going to accept the notion that we can only make a better world for others by moving backwards ourselves.... [T]he American people deserve better from those to whom they entrust our nation's highest offices, and we stand united in our resolve to do something about it."

-Ronald Reagan

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."

-Winston Churchill

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