Well on our way down the ‘Road to Serfdom’

Well on our way down the ‘Road to Serfdom’

Ed Lasky
President Obama’s has no experience in the business world and has an antipathy towards capitalism and free enterprise.  His Cabinet choices share in his ignorance of business-none of them have real world business experience. His various czars also have resumes shorn of operating experience in the real world. Now comes two news items that reveal even more that his true agenda is to place the levers of power in our society into the hands of left-wingers who share his views.

He has chosen a leader in the AFL-CIO union to be head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank-easily the most important position among the 12 regional Fed banks. John Hilsenrath of the Wall Street Journal has the details:

Denis Hughes, president of the New York state branch of the AFL-CIO, had been serving as acting chairman of the New York Fed board since May, when Stephen Friedman stepped down from the position.

Mr. Friedman, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chairman and adviser to President George W. Bush, had faced questions about his purchases of Goldman stock while serving on the New York Fed’s board.

The Fed decision formalizes Mr. Hughes’s role as chairman through the end of 2009. The Fed board in Washington will announce in November or December who will serve as chairman in 2010. Columbia University President Lee Bollinger was named deputy chairman, a position that Mr. Hughes previously held. Mr. Bollinger has been a New York Fed director since January 2007.

The New York Fed chairmanship typically has gone to prominent Wall Street executives or academics. The ascension of a labor leader is a new twist for the New York Fed and a sign of the public pressure the Fed has been under to loosen its close ties to Wall Street.

“In the old days, labor was on the outside looking in,” said Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University.

If Obama’s goal was to draw a celar line between Wall Street executives and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York he could have chosen an economics professor. Instead, he chose a labor leader who may be more schooled in extracting concessions from corporate America than the intricacies of high finance.

But this is a nice feather in  the cap for union leaders who spend so much of their members’ union dues and devoted so much of their free labor to elect Barack Obama. Welcome to Chicago pay-to-play politics. Will America end up paying the price for having a labor leader from a union known for its aggressive anti-business views and actions as one of the more powerful positions in the Federal Reserve firmament?

But the President is not sated. He may have helped empower unions by naming a union leader to an important finance role; but what about the manufacturing side of our economy? He has that covered , too.

Ron Bloom, US Car Czar, is on the verge of being named the “manufacturing czar” according to John Weisenthal of The Business Insider:

According to the Detroit Free Press, US Car Czar Ron Bloom (the sidekick and then successor to Steve Rattner), is set to shift to become the manufacturing czar. His task will be to oversee the rebirth of American manufacturing, a sector that’s decline in significance over the decades, but which potentially could be a great source of new, post-real estate jobs.

He will be in place to enact a new industrial policy – one that will most likely favor unions at the expense of business and growth. Why this speculation? Bloom was a special assistant to the president of the Unites Steelworkers Union.

Placing the hands of American industry in the hands of a union man sounds like a guarantee that more manufacturing companies will look overseas when it comes to investing in new plants and in terms of hiring new workers.

Clearly, Obama believes in a no-growth economy. What happens in a no-growth economy? It becomes a redistributionist economy – one that comports well with Obama’s stated desire to “spread the wealth”.

As the books of Ayn Rand has enjoyed a huge boost in sales as the contours of Obama’s agenda has become clearer, so  will  Friedrcih von Hayek’s, “Road to Serfdom”

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/08/well_on_our_way_down_the_road.html at August 25, 2009 – 02:56:02 PM EDT

Cheney Statement on CIA Documents/Investigation

Cheney Statement on CIA Documents/Investigation

Former Vice President Dick Cheney gave The Weekly Standard a statement Monday night about the CIA documents and the coming Justice Department investigation.

The documents released Monday clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda. This intelligence saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks. These detainees also, according to the documents, played a role in nearly every capture of al Qaeda members and associates since 2002. The activities of the CIA in carrying out the policies of the Bush Administration were directly responsible for defeating all efforts by al Qaeda to launch further mass casualty attacks against the United States. The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions. President Obama’s decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security

Big Brother Obama Creates New Super Secret Interrogation Unit

Big Brother Obama Creates New Super Secret Interrogation Unit

August 25th, 2009


President Barack Obama has approved creation of a new, special terrorism-era interrogation unit to be supervised by the White House, a top aide said Monday, pushing further distancing his administration from Bush administration detainee policies.

The new unit does not mean the CIA is now out of the interrogation business, deputy White House press secretary Bill Burton told reporters covering the vacationing Obama at Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Burton said the unit will include “all these different elements under one group,” and it said that it will be situated at the FBI headquarters in Washington. The unit would be led by an FBI official, with a deputy director from somewhere in the government’s vast intelligence apparatus, and members from across agencies. It will be directly supervised by the White House.

Separately, Burton said that a recommendation now before Attorney General Eric Holder to reopen and pursue prisoner abuse cases is a decision solely for Holder to make without any intervention from the president.

Obama campaigned vigorously against President George W. Bush’s interrogation policies in his successful run for the presidency. He has said more recently he didn’t particularly favor prosecuting Bush administration officials in connection with instances of prisoner abuse. Obama still believes “we should be looking forward, not backward,” Burton said Monday.

Read More:

The Obama-conomy: “It’s worse than you think”

The Obama-conomy: “It’s worse than you think”

By Michelle Malkin  •  July 27, 2009 09:14 AM

Of course, it’s all Bush’s fault:

The U.S. economy is not only shedding jobs at a record rate; it is shedding more jobs than it is supposed to. It’s bad enough that the unemployment rate has doubled in only a year and a half and one out of six construction workers is out of work. What truly troubles President Obama’s economic advisers is that, even adjusting for the recession, the contraction in employment seems way too high. As one administration official said, “This has been a very steep job loss.”

…The Federal Reserve now expects unemployment to surpass 10 percent (the postwar high was 10.8 percent in 1982). By almost every other measure, ours is already the worst job environment since the Great Depression. The economy has shed 6.5 million jobs — nearly 5 percent of the total, far outstripping the 3 percent that were lost in the early ’80s. Economists fear that even when the economy turns around, the job market will be stagnant. Keith Hall, the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sums it up as “an ugly picture out there.”

…But layoffs are only part of the story. The problem isn’t just that so many workers have received pink slips but also that companies are failing to hire…In terms of its impact on society, a dearth of hiring is far more troubling than an excess of layoffs. Job losses have to end sooner or later. Even if they persist (as, say, in the auto industry), the government can intervene. But the government cannot force firms to hire. Ultimately, each new job depends on the boss’s belief — or hope — that sufficient work will materialize.

To paraphrase the Left: Obama lied. Hope died.

“The New Joblessness,” NYT

The economy is in the tank. Obama’s popularity is sinking.

What’s a flailing president to do?

Go golfing and lease a $20 million farm on Martha’s Vineyard.

The Tin Ears of the Bully-in-Chief and his Comrades in Arms

The Tin Ears of the Bully-in-Chief and his Comrades

 in Arms

By Lauri B. Regan

Two years ago, my 9 year old son was pushed against a wall in the boys’ bathroom and told that he better not try out for the football team if he knew “what was good for him.” Not surprisingly, my son came home distraught and unsure as to what to do. I told him that the way to beat a bully is to stand up for “what you know is good for you” and not allow intimidation to cause you to make decisions that will forever haunt you and change your path in life. Football was not the issue. Controlling his own destiny and freedom to choose whether he would ultimately play football was the lesson of the day.

Now, just a few years later, Americans are faced with a similar dilemma. Succumb to the bullying tactics of the leaders in Washington or stand up for what they know is good for them. Americans need to make it very clear to the Democrats running this country that Obama’s rise to become the leader of the free world was not the equivalent of a mandate to retract individual choice on personal matters such as what car to drive, food to eat, or healthcare to purchase.


The litany of offensive measures pouring out of the Obama administration is so lengthy that it is difficult to know where to begin. Notwithstanding the clear warning signs throughout the campaign that candidate Obama was not a centrist, I still find myself hearing about the latest decisions and statements made by Obama shaking my head in amazement at his arrogance. One would expect that the plummeting approval ratings of both Obama and Congress would alert someone running the show in Washington that Americans are not supportive of the direction in which the Democrats are taking the country. Yet it is apparent that the dictators in D.C are hell bent on changing the country, Americans be damned.


One cannot read the latest news without getting the sense that our leaders are bullying the citizens of this country into submission. I was always under the impression that our elected leaders’ mandate was to uphold the Constitution and move the country slowly forward on a sustainable path through policy decisions representative of the will of the people. However, at record breaking speed, we are watching our elected leaders gut the Constitution and implement potentially irreversible and damaging legislation that the majority of Americans do not favor.


The latest intimidation tactic came from Democratic bully, Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Seemingly in response to the private insurers’ lack of support for Obamacare, Mr. Waxman, without the knowledge of his Republican counterparts, sent 52 letters to health insurance companies requesting financial records in connection with an investigation into their business practices. As stated in a Fox News report:


“Raising the intimidation stakes: the Waxman letter offers insurers no explanation of what is being investigated or why.
Industry insiders fear the beginning of reprisals for anyone daring to dissent from the Obama agenda.”


One need not read Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals to understand how easy it is to pick a scapegoat and go on the offensive. But in just seven short months, we have seen too many targets and Americans are simply getting sick of the assaults, confrontations, and negativity – especially now that they have become one of those targets. We have seen vitriol launched by the Democrats against George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin, FoxNews and Sean Hannity, corporate executives, health insurers, various strawmen, and now the American people. We have been accused of being mobsters, racists, partisan, stupid, un-American, and mean.


Watching the attack machine evolve and grow to these extremes despite the falling approval ratings is fascinating. Recent polling indicates that the Democrats may lose huge numbers of seats in the 2010 election and yet they do not seem to care. They are so caught up in their bullying that America’s voices are falling upon deaf ears. As John Bolton wrote in a Wall Street Journal editorial regarding the selection of Mary Robinson as a recipient of the Medal of Freedom:


“Ms. Robinson’s award shows Mr. Obama’s detachment from longstanding, mainstream, American public opinion on foreign policy. The administration’s tin ear to the furor over Ms. Robinson underlines how deep that detachment really is.”


And Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote a terrific piece in the Wall Street Journal in which she noted:
“The president has a problem. For, despite a great election victory, Mr. Obama, it becomes ever clearer, knows little about Americans…He is a stranger to the country’s heart and character.
He seems unable to grasp what runs counter to its nature. That Americans don’t take well, for instance, to bullying, especially of the moralizing kind, implicit in those speeches on health care for everybody. Neither do they wish to be taken where they don’t know they want to go and being told it’s good for them.
Who would have believed that this politician celebrated, above all, for his eloquence and capacity to connect with voters would end up as president proving so profoundly tone deaf? A great many people is the answer-the same who listened to those speeches of his during the campaign, searching for their meaning.”


After Obama won the election, a liberal neighbor said to me, “I just hope you all support this presidency and don’t cause partisan politics to interfere with its agenda.” That was before the big tough bully in the Oval Office told the world, “I won” and started finding scapegoats to blame for all his woes. That was before the name calling, the threats, and the fascist tactics now being implemented in order to force an agenda on a citizenry that values its freedoms.


Americans will beat these bullies and will ensure that what is good for the country – free markets and capitalism, small government, and civil liberties – will survive notwithstanding the tin ears of the Democrats in DC.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/the_tin_ears_of_the_bullyinchi.html at August 25, 2009 – 10:48:43 AM EDT

Overwhelming change

Overwhelming change

Maury Siskel
We are experiencing a most obvious, planned effort to completely mask a cynical goal to transform this nation. There are massive amounts of economic legislation pending, massive unconstitutional economic actions taken by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury, massive appointments of presidential advisors with no reasonable public review of either them or their staffs.

The advisors’ jobs are not publicly defined,  their salaries in these government jobs have not been revealed; there is no public definition of their powers,  their limits, and no suggestion yet of even the nature of the ‘advice’ they are giving to the President.

Most recently, the President has decided to initiate a new unlimited investigation of members of the CIA by appointing a so-called prosecutor who can add to all the other overwhelming confusion. An added dividend for the Administration is the continued use of that evil pair, Bush/Cheney, as the ultimate scapegoats for all possible ills perceived by the general public.

In short, the United States is being overwhelmed and misled on such a scale that it boggles belief! Many citizens actually are being gulled into thinking that this process is some form of liberal  progress!

Genuine liberals from Spartacus, through Locke, to King would be spinning in their graves if they could witness this process.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/08/overwhelming_change.html at August 25, 2009 – 10:06:15 AM EDT

Dr. Obama and the Hypocrite’s Oath

Dr. Obama and the Hypocrite’s Oath

By Monte Kuligowski

President Obama’s preferred method of implementing his leftist agenda is to rush emergency, must-sign-yesterday bills through Congress. Forget about reading the legislation. Just trust Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer and Barney Frank with the details.


The problem with this method is that when the details finally come out, it’s too late for the people to do anything about it. President Obama’s preferred method naturally fosters frustration and anger. Due to the economic “crisis,” Obama and the far left element of the Democrat Party had to pass an emergency stimulus spending plan before anyone had time to read it. Afterwards, the public learned that the bulk of the emergency bill to save the economy in 2009 would not be implemented until 2010 and beyond. As the public learns of the legislation’s massive waste and cronyism it is becoming apparent that the so-called stimulus was more about stimulating the power of the left than the economy.


Of course the rushed, crises-based legislation is just part of the whirlwind presidency of Obama. Mr. Obama has unconstitutionally appointed 32 czars  and counting (including car and salary czars) and has exerted unprecedented government control over the auto, banking, and financial industries. In just six months the administration has more than quadrupled the national debt, passed a $787 billion spending spree, pushed cap and trade (tax) through the House in the dark of night and is feverishly pushing for a radical overhaul of the entire health care system. Obama is no doubt the most ideologically ambitious president in U.S. history. After all, he has a flawed country to fundamentally transform.


The key to understanding the public outrage at the town hall meetings is to understand that the outrage is multidimensional. It’s not just about health care; it’s about the audacity of Obama. How dare he speak of a new era of transparency as he tries to stuff more major, life-changing, yet unread legislation down our collective throat:


My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. . . . Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.


(Click here to read the full text of Dr. Obama’s Hypocrite’s Oath, otherwise known as Obama’s Transparency and Open Government Memorandum.)


Everything about the Obama presidency was built upon one fraud and hypocrisy after another. Yet, his promise of “transparency” is particularly obscene. On the question of transparency Obama voters had to suspend their disbelief on a grand scale. After all, this is the man who still stubbornly refuses to release his records, including his long form birth certificate, showing the hospital and physician of record. Now, in context of this piece, I don’t care if Obama was born in Hawaii, on the moon or descended from heaven. Where he was born is not the point. The point is the man’s lack of transparency and utter contempt for the people in arrogantly refusing to release his hospital, medical, school, college, and law school records and passports.


Which brings us to recall Mr. Transparency pounding the table and foolishly demanding that Congress have a “health care” bill on his desk before the August break. At the July 13 speech at the Rose Garden a condescending Obama warned his critics:


“I just want to put everybody on notice, because there was a lot of chatter during the week that I was gone. We are going to get this done. Inaction is not an option. Don’t bet against us. We are going to make this thing happen.”


On a side note, what is to be said of Obama’s competence in attempting to rush through such a monumental overhaul? Other than running a smoke and mirrors campaign Obama has no executive experience — and that fact is beginning to flash brightly. Only fools, novices and ideologues rush in where angels dare to tread.


After having been all but worshipped as the liberal messiah, Obama’s response to legitimate opposition was to dismiss it as annoying “chatter.” After the chatter of the people rose to full-on protest, however, Obama was forced to give up the August deadline. The Obama faithful in the media then framed it as though Obama wanted a debate on health care all along. And Obama began to change his tune:


We just heard today that well, we may not be able to get the bill out of the Senate by the end of August or the beginning of August. That’s OK. I just want people to keep on working. Just keep working. I want . . . it done by the end of this year. I want it done by the fall.


Now he wants it done by the fall. Surely, Mr. Openness never intended to impose more costly and life-changing legislation on the people behind closed doors — legislation that no one, including Obama himself, had fully read.


Now the President wants the “mob” to calm down so we can have a civil but “vigorous” debate. One in which he and his friends in the “mainstream” news media can dispel the “misrepresentations” of the misinformed. The latest headline from the starry-eyed press is that Obama is calling for an “honest debate,” on health care. That’s like the fox calling for an honest debate with the henhouse on egg preservation.


But now there is a slight problem for the White House. After reading the proposed House bill the people, this time, have the facts (facts of which Obama apparently does not have). Those facts together with the analyses of the Congressional Budget Office, Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, Hoover Institution and other organizations unsurprisingly clash with the poll-tested rhetoric of the White House and the dittos of the “mainstream” media.


What we are witnessing and what the White House fails to see is that the dog and pony show is over. Mr. Obama is repeating his poll-tested words about health care, but this time the people have the actual House bill and can separate talking points from reality.


Regardless of whether Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress “go it alone” and push through their leftist longing for government controlled health care, the exposing of Obama’s hypocrisy has begun. Think of the Great and Powerful Oz continuing to fake it even after the curtain is removed. So long as the Democrats remain in total control of the federal government Obama will be able to move around the levers and authoritatively speak into the microphone; but new elections are fast approaching. And many are awakening from their teleprompter-induced messianic trance.


The Obama media are trying to replace the curtain, but regardless of how hard they try, they cannot keep the up the covering indefinitely. No one can change the fact that behind the curtain stands an inexperienced ideologue who is hell-bent on remaking America.


Monte Kuligowski is an attorney who can be reached at montekuligowski@gmail.com

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/08/dr_obama_and_the_hypocrites_oa.html at August 25, 2009 – 10:03:24 AM EDT

Obama Retreats Into Democratic Cidatel

Obama Retreats Into Democratic Cidatel
By: Dick Morris
Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Will the loyal troops march in lockstep?
Having stuck his neck out — through trial balloons suggesting a possible abandonment of the public option — President Obama is now retreating into Fort Democrat and relying on his own party members to jam through health care legislation. With 60 senators and a 76-vote margin in the House, he need not compromise or even listen to Republicans. He can invoke the so-called “nuclear option” and pass his bill in the Senate with just 50 votes and no possibility of real debate, much less a filibuster.So no matter how low Obama’s plan sinks in the polls, he feels that he can rely on his loyal troops to march in lockstep and pass his health care proposals.

The firestorm of protest his possible abandonment of the public option set off represented a signal to him from the party’s left: We will stay with you through thick and thin, just don’t compromise.

Can he pull it off? Probably he can. Except if the elderly block vote against him in the polls. Already seniors oppose his plan by 32 percent to 49 percent in the latest FoxNews poll. If their margin of disagreement swells … and their anger continues to be manifest in the town hall meetings and other public gatherings … and senators and representatives are deluged by handwritten letters from seniors opposing the bill, there is a chance to stop it.

Ever since FDR passed Social Security in 1937 and LBJ pushed through Medicare and Medicaid in 1965, the elderly have block voted for the Democratic Party.

Their support is one of the core elements on which the party continues to rely for its political backing. If the Democrats can be convinced that there is a real chance that health care reform, financed by Medicare cuts, will reverse the elderly’s staunch Democratic devotion, they may not cast the fateful votes.After all, just as education is primarily a concern for parents usually in their 20s and 30s, health care is mainly an issue for the elderly (particularly since all children can get insurance through the SCHIP program Bill Clinton passed). If the elderly manifest their outrage and concern, the Democrats cannot ignore the firestorm of criticism from their traditional base.

No less a figure than Leon Trotsky once said, “Revolution is impossible until it becomes inevitable.” That’s the current situation. Stopping health care from passing with the top-heavy Democratic majorities in both houses is clearly impossible — until it becomes inevitable. That is until the seniors weigh in with massive opposition and red-hot intensity.

Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Clinton. To get all his columns e-mailed to you, register for free at DickMorris.com.