The perfect society: A land without wealth?

The perfect society: A land without wealth?

Anthony W. Hager

Utopia! It’s the holy grail of egalitarian busybodies far and wide. If only outcomes were equal, as defined by the egalitarians themselves, the world would become a place of balanced chi and seamless harmony. These societal engineers have long believed in their unique intellects and superlative abilities, which qualify them to distribute wealth and contentment to a longing world. Sadly, there’s no shortage of these do-gooders.

A New York State Assemblyman envisions an increased millionaire tax. If passed, high income earners–who already bear a disproportionate share of New York’s tax burden–will pitch in an additional 11-percent. The broken record known as Hillary Clinton still laments how “the rich” don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes. Oregon, too, has joined the chorus.

Earlier this year Oregon voters passed Measures 66 and 67, raising taxes on individuals and businesses that wealth redistributors, in their profundity, have deemed excessive winners in life’s lottery. Typical class envy tactics preceded that electoral outcome. Proponents argued that education, public safety and health would suffer if the initiatives failed. The poor, naturally, would take it on the chin.

The entire premise of a perceived “fair share” is ambiguous at best. Would the egalitarian consider taxation equitable if the “rich” surrender, say, 75-percent of their income to government? Hillary Clinton, Oregon voters and New York assemblymen might think so. But anyone with a toehold on reality understands that productive people shoulder the tax burden now. The top one-percent of earners pays 28-percent of federal income taxes. Additionally, over the last 30 years the taxation on incomes above $75,000 has steadily increased while declining on incomes below that threshold.

Arguing that wealthier Americans pay little or no taxes is misleading. No, make that an outright lie. And that’s not the only mischaracterization offered by the “soak the rich” crowd.

In promoting Measures 66 and 67 the Oregon Center for Public Policy claimed that “asking” Oregonians to “contribute” more in taxes would improve the state’s fiscal structure. Certainly some taxation is necessary for governments to execute legitimate functions. But referring to tax increases as “asking” people to “contribute” is unadulterated spin, sufficient to strain even the strongest gastronomical constitution. And it’s so typical of the egalitarian social engineer.

Charitable organizations solicit contributions, and contributors alone determine their level of participation. No such choice exists with taxation. Tax levies aren’t a request on government’s part, and taxes aren’t contributed sans duress. Taxes are compulsory and their collection is ultimately a matter of force.
 
Sadly, there’s little to be achieved in arguing taxation with egalitarians. Redistributionists are so devoted to equalizing all incomes and imposing their Marxist vision on society that debate has become futile. Equally futile are the protests of the productive, whose incomes are sacrificed upon the perverse altar of egalitarianism. The producer’s right to their production will never match the needs of the oppressed when it comes to conjuring empathy. Therefore the “rich” are safely marginalized, demonized and dismissed.

What would happen if busybodies like Hillary Clinton, New York legislators and Oregon voters fulfill their collectivist dreams? If there were no private wealth the economy would become void of capital investment. Innovation and production would decelerate, with a corresponding decline in employment and living standards. The resulting misery would create greater demand on government, which puts the do-gooders in position to distribute the remaining wealth as they so determine. They will achieve their socialist dreams, but only for a season.

Such idealism has no foundation upon which to build. Since government produces little, and that which is produced is a case study in inefficiency, the egalitarian society is doomed to failure. Only the most influential busybodies will benefit from their societal and economic transformation. The rank and file do-gooder will be destined to impoverished servitude alongside their once-wealthy neighbors, whose property they helped confiscate.

So goes the nation without private wealth. Utopia? I think not.


Anthony W. Hager has authored more than 200 published articles for various newspapers, periodicals and websites. He can be reached through his website, www.therightslant.com

Glenn Beck on FDR’s New Deal Agencies ane Obama’s new agencies

 Glenn Beck reviews FDR’s agencies created under the New Deal and then lists the agencies created under Obama. He preludes this by referring to how FDR and Obama both talked about how they were for the small business owner, when in fact, they actually only cared/care about big business and big government.

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their substance.” – Declaration of Independence, 1776

Glenn Beck on FDR’s New Deal Agencies ane Obama’s new agencies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l42aCY1BBeI

Obama Threatens GOP: “America Will Be Watching” to See If You’ll Cooperate

Posted by Jim Hoft on Saturday, June 19, 2010, 12:08 PM

President Disaster threatened the GOP today to go along with his radical agenda, or else.
The radical former community organizer is upset that Republicans voted against his latest round of spending bills.
The Hill reported:

President Barack Obama went on the attack against Republicans on Saturday, accusing the GOP of obstructing a litany of his legislative priorities in Congress.

The president struck a decidedly partisan note in his address, castigating Senate Republicans in particular for using their 41-vote bloc to slow down and filibuster a number of pieces of legislation.

“What we need is a willingness in Washington to put the public’s interests first – a willingness to score fewer political points so that we can start solving more problems,” Obama said. “That’s why I was disappointed this week to see a dreary and familiar politics get in the way of our ability to move forward on a series of critical issues that have a direct impact on people’s lives.”

Obama took aim in particular at the Senate’s failure to end debate and pass legislation containing a series of extensions to unemployment benefits, tax credits, and other benefits.

The Senate voted 56-40 on Thursday night to end debate, four short of the 60 senators needed on such a vote. One Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), joined with the GOP on the vote.

President Obama has a lot of gall to point at Republicans for playing politics.
He hasn’t stopped his campaigning since he entered office.

Economic Cluelessness

Economic Cluelessness

Posted By Larry Elder On June 11, 2010 @ 12:20 am In FrontPage | 14 Comments

While in high school, I was standing at a bus stop next to a gas station. A kid tossed a candy wrapper on the station lot. Somebody yelled, “Hey, pick that up.” The kid, with a straight face, defended himself. He said, “I just created a job.” Someone would be hired, he explained, to pick up the trash, and this would be good for the economy.

Don’t laugh. The kid probably works for the Obama administration.

Congress is now considering yet another “stimulus” package. But did the administration’s previous one work? Of the $787 billion stimulus package, President Obama said it would “save or create” 3.5 million new jobs. Has it?

The National Association for Business Economics polled 68 private-sector members. Seventy-three percent said the employment at their companies was neither higher nor lower as a result of the stimulus package.

What about the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office? A February 2009 Washington Times article said:

“President Obama’s economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

“CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.”

What do normal, regular, real-world people think? In December 2009, a Rasmussen poll asked likely voters whether the “stimulus” helped, hurt or did nothing.

They agreed with the private-sector economists and the CBO — the stimulus did not work. And more felt it did damage than thought it helped: “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 30 percent of voters nationwide believe the $787-billion economic stimulus plan has helped the economy. However, 38 percent believe that the stimulus plan has hurt the economy. This is the first time since the legislation passed that a plurality has held a negative view of its impact.”

Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and commentator Ed we-need-health-care-reform-and-I-don’t-care-how-much-it-costs Schultz think one way. Believers in the free market and limited government think another. As between these two camps, which one better understands how the real world works?

Zogby International asked questions about economics of nearly 5,000 people. George Mason University economist Dan Klein co-authored a report on the responses given to eight basic economic questions.

(Correct answers and “not sure” responses were ignored — only flatly incorrect responses were counted.) Do housing restrictions increase the price of housing? The answer is yes. Whether the restrictions are good or bad is a separate issue. But restrictions on any good increase the price of that good — whether houses or horseshoes. Do minimum wages increase unemployment? The answer is yes. Whether one accepts this as a worthy trade-off is a separate question. Is our standard of living higher than it was 30 years ago? It is. Whether we are “addicted” to oil or facing cataclysmic “global warming” is a separate issue. The other questions involved licensing, rent control, the definition of a monopoly, the definition of exploitation, and whether free trade leads to unemployment.

Respondents self-identified as progressive/very liberal, liberal, moderate, conservative, very conservative, or libertarian. Who did better?

“On every question,” wrote Klein, “the left did much worse. On the monopoly question, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (31 percent) was more than twice that of conservatives (13 percent) and more than four times that of libertarians (7 percent). On the question about living standards, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (61 percent) was more than four times that of conservatives (13 percent) and almost three times that of libertarians (21 percent).”

Maybe those with more education performed better? No, the report said. “We work with three levels of schooling: (1) high school or less; (2) some college (but not a degree); (3) a college degree or more. In our data, economic enlightenment is not correlated with going to college.”

The left blames the financial collapse on “greed,” ignoring the role played by government involvement — Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration, the Community Reinvestment Act and elsewhere. Leftists point to “insufficient regulation” on Wall Street for reckless behavior, rather than to the players’ assumption that too-big-to-fail would protect them.

On the BP Gulf oil spill, Obama wants to find “whose ass to kick.” He’s called for a moratorium on new offshore drilling. But why do we drill offshore for oil more than a mile deep? Is it that on-land and safer, shallow water areas are off-limits — thus pushing companies to extract oil from more dangerous places? Have the restrictions on clean nuclear power altered how and where we obtain energy?

Republicans, in the eight-question economics poll, averaged 1.61 incorrect answers. Democrats averaged 4.59 wrong answers. So in the President’s search for “ass to kick,” start here.

Larry Elder is a syndicated radio talk show host and best-selling author. His latest book, “What’s Race Got to Do with It?” is available now. To find out more about Larry Elder, visit his Web page at http://www.WeveGotACountryToSave.com.

Morning Bell: Prolonging Education’s Race to the Bottom

Morning Bell: Prolonging Education’s Race to the Bottom

Posted By Israel Ortega On June 11, 2010 @ 9:11 am In Education |

[1]

In perhaps President Obama’s most stealth campaign to date, the federal government has been slowly tightening its grip on the education sector to little fanfare. Rather than working through the democratic legislative process, this Administration has circumvented Congress to enact an ill-conceived education agenda that will weaken accountability, reduce transparency and minimize choice while only adding to the national deficit.

For close to four decades, the federal government has operated under the seemingly simple premise that increased spending on education will translate into academic achievement. This line of thinking has resulted in inflation-adjusted federal expenditures on education increasing 138 percent since 1985 [2]. Per-pupil expenditures have ballooned to over $11,000 per student [3], and are even higher in most urban areas including the District of Columbia where the government spends $14,500 on each child [4]. Billions upon billions of dollars have been poured into our public school system because the federal government, backed by powerful teachers unions, is convinced that it is best suited to administer our country’s education system. Unfortunately, this approach has been a miserable failure. [2]

The high school drop out rate continues to skyrocket and academic achievement continues to be stagnant despite decades of increased federal spending and involvement in education. Of course, the consequences for our failures threaten our future as we hopelessly watch other countries outpace us in math and the sciences.

Unfortunately, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan remain impervious to the education crisis and are committed to strengthening the federal stranglehold over our country’s education system. Just months after taking office, President Obama signed into a law the gargantuan “stimulus bill” stuffed with wasteful spending adding to the federal government’s girth. The Department of Education received an unprecedented $100 billion in additional money through the stimulus [5]. But months after the bill’s passage, two things are clear: the stimulus bill is not growing our economy and more federal money towards education is not improving our schools.

Undaunted by the obvious, liberal lawmakers in the House are planning on making yet another push this week to include an additional $23 billion dollars for emergency education spending to prevent “catastrophic” public education layoffs [3]. But for decades, states have continued to bloat their staff rolls, particularly non-teaching staff positions. Since 1970 for instance, student enrollment in public elementary and secondary schools has increased just 7 percent, while public elementary and secondary staff hires have increased 83 percent. Another bailout from Washington could exacerbate states’ fiscal problems by creating disincentives for states to tackle out-of-control spending and make the difficult budgetary decisions necessary to produce long-term education reforms.

But unlike the federal takeover of the banking and health care industry, this time around Obama and his liberal allies are shrewdly avoiding another public fight by moving their education agenda forward without even going through Congress. The administration is supporting a move to implement national education standards, using the $4.35 billion Race to the Top grant program to secure those ends. National standards will give the federal government – not parents – more power over education. Now, instead of petitioning their local schools boards for curriculum changes, parents will have to trek to Washington to lobby D.C. bureaucrats for input in the content taught at their children’s school [6].

Progressives dream of making us more and more dependent on big government, and that has never looked so promising after Obama victories in widening government’s hold in health care, banking and now education. If this past year and a half is any indication of what’s to come, two things are clear: (a) we will see more and more of our freedoms diminish and (b) the girth of our federal government’s waist-line will surely grow.

Quick Hits:

Call for Obama’s resignation cites ‘deceit, fraud, dishonesty’

Call for Obama’s resignation cites ‘deceit, fraud, dishonesty’

June 9th, 2010

By Bob Unruh, WND

 Maj. Gen. Paul Valley calls for Obama to resign

A retired U.S. military leader who now is a presence on the Internet with his Stand Up For America and Veterans Defenders websites has issued a call for President Obama’s resignation and a new election to replace him.

The call comes from Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, who served in Vietnam and retired in 1991 from the U.S. Army as deputy commanding general for the Pacific.

“We now must call for the immediate resignation of Barry Soetero (AKA President Barack Hussein Obama) … based on incompetence, deceit, fraud, corruption, dishonesty and violation of the U.S. oath of office and the Constitution,” he said in remarks delivered to a Lincoln Reagan dinner in Virginia City, Mont., last week and published today on the Stand Up America website.

“And a call for a national petition for new elections to select the next president of the United States of America must be initiated,” he continued. “We can wait no longer for a traditional change of power and new government.”

A number of retired military members have sought the removal of Obama from office. They mostly have tried to utilize the courts to challenge his eligibility based on claims he fails to meet the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a president be a “natural born citizen.” Few have asserted Obama needs to walk away from the Oval Office for the best of the nation.

Read More:

Lincoln Won With Anti-Union Message

Lincoln Won With Anti-Union Message

June 9th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

APTOPIX Arkansas Primary

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln survived a bruising Democratic runoff thanks to former President Bill Clinton’s starpower and her argument that labor unions were trying to interfere in state politics.

In winning the Senate primary Tuesday, Lincoln overcame a flood of outside money from labor unions and liberal groups that had backed Lt. Gov. Bill Halter’s challenge. She’ll fight for her seat against Republican Rep. John Boozman in the fall.

“I think this race became bigger than me and bigger than Bill Halter,” Lincoln told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. “It became about whether or not the people of Arkansas, who are great people, were going to continue to be hammered by special interest groups that simply wanted to manipulate them and their vote.”

Playing off that theme, national Democrats pivoted to the fall campaign by casting her as a free-thinking champion of her state. Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine hailed her victory, calling her “a strong, independent voice who fights for what she believes in.”

In the final days of the campaign, Lincoln’s campaign increasingly relied on an ad from Clinton, the former governor who remains popular in his home state, that warned about special interests.

“This is about using you and manipulating your votes,” Clinton said in ad, which featured a clip of a speech the former president made at a rally for Lincoln last month.

Lincoln’s campaign said it believed the former president’s clout helped further an argument that Lincoln had made for weeks, that outside groups and labor unions were trying to buy Arkansans’ votes.

“It really did help frame the race,” Lincoln campaign manager Steve Patterson said last week. “Coming from our campaign, it wasn’t quite as resounding and I think it was viewed by people in your profession as whining.”

Lincoln’s next-to-last ad also featured the incumbent senator telling voters she heard their anger at Washington when they sent her into a runoff with Halter on May 18. She added: “I’d rather lose this election fighting for what’s right than win by turning my back on Arkansas.”

“I think she pulled it out because I think people realize, one, what she meant to Arkansas and that she had been a fighter for Arkansas and she was willing to tell them, ‘I’m willing to lose this race rather than turn my back on Arkansas,’” Lincoln strategist Jim Duffy said Tuesday. “She made it clear she got the (anti-Washington) message from the primary. And I think Clinton framing the race in the sense that the unions were making her a poster child. Those two messages made all the difference.”

Lincoln also used the clout she had gained in Washington as one of her chief selling points, reminding voters in the farm-heavy state that she was the first Arkansan to chair the Senate Agriculture Committee.

That argument sealed the deal with some voters.

“She’s head of the Agriculture Committee, which is one of the most important committees we have in Washington,” Lori Ritchie said after voting in the library of an elementary school west of Little Rock. “It’s all about power and what committee you’re on. It will take Halter eight to 11 years to get to the position Blanche is at now.”

Added Stephanie Jackson, who cast a vote for Lincoln in Little Rock: “She’s been up there and knows how it works. But she’s not too much Washington.”

After months of distancing herself from the Obama administration and national Democrats, Lincoln tacked left in the runoff campaign. She ran ads portraying herself as a parter with Obama on health care reform, and another showing a liberal talk show host talking about the financial overhaul legislation she worked on.

Lincoln said Tuesday that she hoped the labor unions and other groups backing Halter would now support her in the general election, but it remained unclear if they would do so. Labor leaders said they hoped the incumbent senator learned a lesson from the pressure they applied in the 14-week campaign.

“Tonight, Senator Lincoln won a narrow victory after a bruising runoff election where each and every day she was reminded that her success is only measured by doing right by working people and their families,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union

Tea Party “Insurgent” Will Face Reid In Nevada

Tea Party “Insurgent” Will Face Reid In Nevada

June 9th, 2010 Posted By Pat Dollard.

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Las Vegas (AP) – – Nevada Republicans Tuesday picked tea party insurgent Sharron Angle to take on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, marking the start of an epic showdown between a king of Capitol Hill and a conservative renegade who wants to turn Washington on end.

The choices couldn’t be more different.

Reid, 70, is the bland, sometimes prickly Democratic powerhouse who tells Nevadans, “I’m just who I am.” Angle, 60, is a fiercely committed small-government, low-tax crusader, an outsider even in the GOP, who says, “I am the tea party.”

The former school teacher and legislator grabbed the nomination after a brutal primary in which her rivals depicted her as too extreme to appeal to independents who often cast the decisive votes in centrist Nevada. She benefited when one-time front-runner Sue Lowden was widely mocked for suggesting consumers use chickens to barter with doctors.

Unemployed freight worker Tina Immormino, 45, of Henderson, said she voted for Angle “because we definitely need change in government and Harry Reid has to go. Everyone in Washington has to go.”

Reid emerges as the prohibitive front-runner.

Democrats are already depicting Angle as a loopy fringe figure, more caricature than politician. With plenty of money on hand and deep-pocketed allies, Reid and his supporters are expected to use TV ads to quickly define Angle in the populous Las Vegas region — home to about two of every three state voters — where she is not well known.

‘Taking back America’
The Patriot Majority, funded in part by unions and run by Craig Varoga, a veteran Democratic operative who did a stint on Reid’s staff years ago, launched a website ridiculing Angle and calling her positions “completely out of step.” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez said Angle “cares more about promoting a strict social doctrine than helping grow the state’s economy.”

With virtually all of the vote counted, Angle had 70,420 votes, or 40 percent, easily outdistancing Sue Lowden, who tallied 45,861, or 26 percent, according to unofficial returns.

Angle said the campaign “is about taking back America.”

“We are going to dump Harry Reid,” she told cheering supporters.

Angle wants to phase out Social Security for younger workers, eliminate the Education Department and once suggested that alcohol should be illegal. While in the Legislature, Angle wanted inmates to enter a drug rehabilitation program devised by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, an idea she still defends.

Reid breaks with her on a host of issues. In an interview, he called Social Security “the most important social program in the history of the world.” And while Reid blocked the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear dump, Angle wants to expand the nuclear industry in Nevada.

With Nevada suffering with 13.7 percent unemployment, Reid said the campaign would focus on jobs, including green energy.

“Why shouldn’t the people of Nevada be concerned and upset. I’m as concerned and upset as they are,” Reid said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

It’s not clear if the Republican establishment that Angle bucked throughout her legislative days will turn around and embrace her.

She needs money, quickly. And she will have to rapidly expand her campaign team; she ran her primary operation out of her home, with a brain trust of two other people: her husband Ted and press secretary Jerry Stacy.

“It looks like good news for Harry Reid,” said University of Nevada, Las Vegas, political scientist David DaMore. “She has pretty well defined herself as a niche candidate. How does she break out of that mold to a broader audience?”

In a statement, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele promised that Angle would get the support from the national party she needs to win.

Reid knows the race won’t be a walkover — he’s been compared to former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle, whose support for a liberal-leaning agenda in Washington cost him re-election in his conservative home state of South Dakota in 2004.

But he’s now running about even with any Republican nominee, polls have found. A string of earlier polls showed Reid losing to a lineup of possible Republican nominees, but he has benefited from missteps and infighting in the GOP field.

Reid has never been a beloved figure in his home state. But he has survived close elections before, and he is preparing for a bruising fight this year. The casino industry and labor unions are betting on him, he has a substantial list of Republican supporters, and he is on his way to raising an unprecedented $25 million for the race.

In the state’s U.S. House races, Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkleywill defend her seat in November against Republican Kenneth Wegner in Las Vegas’ 1st District, and Democratic Rep. Dina Titus will face Republican Joe Heck in November in the 3rd District. Republicans nominated Rep. Dean Heller in the 2nd District, but Democrats Nancy Price and Ken McKenna were in a tight contest for the Democratic nomination.

Obama Fails the Test of Office

Obama Fails the Test of Office

By J.R. Dunn

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been treated to a precise and detailed preview of what the rest of the Obama presidency will be like: a sky black with chickens coming home to roost and blaming George W. Bush.

Not even midway into the Obama presidency, we’ve been hit with two major crises and a scandal. Constituting the first serious challenges to confront this administration, they arrive quite belated, occurring eighteen months into Obama’s first term. Obama has had plenty of time to prepare (recall that Bush was thrust into his moment of truth less than nine months after taking office). So how has he done?
The crises are, of course, the Deepwater Horizon blowout and the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan. (The Israeli maritime strike against Hamas has not yet blown up to crisis level, though the administration is doing its best to accomplish that.) The scandal is the Sestak affair, now promoted to the Sestak-Romanoff affair.       
George W. Bush was condemned by everybody from the man in the street to Heaven’s mighty seraphim due to the fact that federal aid did not arrive in New Orleans for three whole days after Hurricane Katrina struck. (This was — and remains — standard operating procedure for federal disaster assistance. It’s hard to see how it could be otherwise — but we’ll skip that.) It has been six weeks since the Deepwater Horizon blowout. And what has the Obama administration accomplished in a time period fourteen times longer than that granted to Bush?
Well, we’ve seen Obama frowning. Obama sticking his fingers into the sand. Obama saying he’s frustrated. Obama telling us a heartwarming story about his daughter. He even, according to spokesman Robert Gibbs, said “damn” at one point. (Though this has not yet been independently verified by a third party.)
That’s it. That’s the sum total of accomplishment by Barack Obama, his administration, his party, and his bureaucracy, in facing his first major domestic crisis.

The hardware and ancillary equipment necessary to deal with a seabed blowout is well understood. (This information has been nicely presented elsewhere, here in particular, but we’ll repeat it because the exercise is so fulfilling to the soul.) Floating booms trap the oil and keep it from dispersing. Burn booms isolate floating oil and set it ablaze. Tankers can be equipped to sweep the oil off the ocean surface. Not a single one of these items was available to any of the parties responsible for responding to a potential disaster in the Gulf. Not BP, not the Interior Department, not the federal government as a whole. The feds tried to borrow a fire boom from a private party. To what purpose is difficult to surmise — a single boom would be about as useful as a plastic bucket in a disaster of this magnitude. Much of the past month and a half has been spent playing catchup on the equipment front, and we have not yet seen the end of it.

(For a sense of perspective, in those three days when Bush was doing “nothing,” the U.S. Army was moving entire units into Louisiana from as far away as Kentucky, the Coast Guard was rescuing from twenty to thirty thousand trapped flood victims, and FEMA was launching the mammoth logistical effort to move the materials necessary for recovery. So what did Bush do wrong again? Looked out a plane window, you say?)

It’s actually far worse than it seems, since Obama’s failures extend to well before the blowout ever occurred. His appointee to Interior, Ken Salazar, supposedly a new order of Green crusader, failed to provide any meaningful oversight to the agencies under his control, or even give them so much as a quick examination, as far as anyone has been able to tell. But this is easily topped by the pure idiocy of announcing a new effort on offshore drilling without close consultation with industry experts, which might have revealed that at least one company was cutting corners. So the big blowout is not only a failure, but it’s a multidimensional failure occurring over a lengthy duration.
We came at last to the Jindal plan, the sole attempt on record by any government official to do anything at all to halt the encroaching oil slicks. Bobby Jindal wanted to build a series of berms along the Louisiana coast. He needed federal backing for this, since the plan was a big-ticket item, with some estimates reaching $360 million. So how did the administration of President Trillion-Dollar Deficit respond? Not at all, you’ll be shocked to hear. The governor heard nothing from the feds for weeks as oil began to saturate the coastal wetlands. Then, far to the north, Sarah the Huntress raised her fearsome fingers to tweet a message south: Gov.Jindal: to avoid ravished coast, build the berms. Ask forgiveness later;Feds are slow to act, local leadership&action can do more for coast.
Only then did the administration at last break its silence to order British Petroleum to pay for five berms. Why this could not have happened a month ago is anybody’s guess, as is the question as to why they did not agree to the sixteen berms that Jindal says are necessary.
The Deepwater Horizon disaster is a twofer: the worst environmental disaster on record matched with most incompetent response. And all on the watch of America’s greenest president. Who’d have ever guessed?
But let’s cut O a little slack. After all, as his supporters say, it’s not as if nothing else was happening. There’s no end of urgent matters to occupy the presidential time. What about Korea?
Okay, what about it? North Korea, the most rogue of rogue regimes, torpedoes a warship, the corvette Cheonan, at the cost of 46 lives, in the most blatant act of aggression since the armistice was signed in July 1953. And Obama’s response was…
Nothing. It’s as if nobody was sitting in the Oval Office. As far as anyone has been able to discern, there has been no consultation with Japan; no attempt to nudge China, the sole ally North Korea has; no gesture toward U.N. involvement, for what that would be worth; no realignment or reinforcement of military forces to pressure the North. The entire administration response is encompassed in a single remark from Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs: “We certainly don’t want a conflict.”          
That’s it. The most fraught encounter of the Cold War, a three-year clash costing 60,000 American lives, 650,000+ Chinese, and well over a million Koreans, looks as if it’s about to explode once again, and what do we get from the U.S. government? “We don’t want no trouble, Mr. Kim. I mean that. Just tell us what you want us to do.” (The Pacific president then underlined his negligence by canceling a trip to the region for the second time.)
What do I think? I think that Kim, facing his impending death, is lashing out in the style of Tiberius. (“When I die, let fire the earth consume.”) We’ll be hearing more from north of the 38th parallel — and I doubt it will wait until 2012.
Evidently, Joe Sestak doesn’t exist, either.
Bill Clinton, that great, close friend of Obama, offered Sestak not a job, but a seat on some kind of intelligence council unknown to even the most experienced Washington media hands. A useless position, without even a salary, and one which, it turns out, Sestak wasn’t even eligible for. This as the payoff for backing out of a viable senate campaign in one of the key mid-Atlantic states. That’s what Mister I-did-not-have-sex-with-that-woman wants us to believe.
This is obviously a story cooked up to curtail further inquiries while legally covering everyone involved. It follows several months of complete silence apart from the customary runaround from Robert Gibbs. The fact that there must be more to it would not have escaped the attention of a small child, as long as that child was not employed by a major media outlet.  
The story grew legs last week when it was revealed that Colorado senate candidate Andrew Romanoff was offered a choice of three positions by White House apparatchik Jim Messina if he too abandoned his campaign.
So now we have two identical potential felonies connected with the administration. Excitement on our side of the fence has reached a high pitch, with speculation concerning impeachment or a forced resignation. Is there anything to it?
Sad to say, probably not. The classic formulation concerning political scandals is that they work best the less you need to explain them. Watergate scarcely needed any explanation. A burglary of Democratic headquarters by shady operatives on behalf of a paranoid Richard Nixon? The story in all its ramifications told itself with no effort whatsoever. But this? Somebody in the White House — nobody knows who — wanted to give a guy a job. There’s no resonance to this story; it opens no broad vistas of criminality and corruption. Push it too hard as it stands and it’s likely to generate a blowback in favor of Obama as much as anything else. (Besides, it was Big Bill who offered the deal, and he’s already been impeached once. It didn’t even slow him down.)
All the same, Obama is repeating Nixon’s mistake in trying to ignore the scandal out of existence. They called this “stonewalling” back in 1972. It works for a while, but not forever. If something else comes up, it could blow the whole thing wide open. Perhaps Darrell Issa will track down something interesting. We can hope.
There are three markers for dismal in modern American politics: Bush’s Katrina effort for natural disasters (unfair, I know, but there it is), Jimmy Carter’s inertia during the Iranian hostage crisis for foreign relations, and Richard Nixon’s Watergate fiasco for internal scandals. As of this moment, Obama has matched all three, and, it can be argued, exceeded them in the case of Bush and Carter.
As for future crises, all planted, fertilized, watered, and ready to emerge, we have:
  • Israel — the Hamas flotilla was simply a test to see how far they could go, much the same as the Cheonan sinking. There will be more to come.
  • Iran — those nukes will be coming off the line soon enough. Praise Allah!
  • Russia — perpetually on the alert to grab off whatever they can. O handled Georgia just swell, didn’t he?
  • Collapse of the Euro — not so much a possibility as a certainty. But hey, economics is O’s major strength. We’ve got to admit that, haven’t we?
  • Terror Strikes — eventually the jihadis are going to run out of goofs and send somebody who can figure out how to light a fuse. Look out below!
  • The Border — What border?
  • A Double Dip — See “Collapse of the Euro,” above.
…along with the inevitable unforeseen eventuality that always hits at the precise wrong moment.
Previous presidents have often grown in stature when trouble hits. FDR, Harry Truman, and Bush all manned up when confronted with unexpected and overwhelming crises, which is why we look back at them with affection and respect (yes, even FDR). Can anybody picture O doing the same? Well, Salvador Dalí, maybe, but I’m not him.
Obama got into office under false pretenses, a fact that has now become undeniable. He was omnicompetent, eminently intelligent, the man — the god, according to some — with all the answers. Now the lifeguard is at the deep end of the pool, over his head, and floundering, with the bath house on fire and alligators jumping into the children’s end. It is our task as citizens (and I include those who voted for him) to assure that he doesn’t pull the U.S., not to mention the rest of the world, down with him, while also somehow dealing with all those other challenges. This should keep us busy until 2012.
I take great comfort in Adam Smith’s dictum: “Be assured that there is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” This holds far more truth for the United States than for many other countries. Even today, with all that we’ve endured, we still have suffered only a few dents and scratches. The U.S. is tough; whatever comes, we’ll get through it all right. In truth, much of our problem lies in the fact that we’ve become a bit spoiled — as O’s election demonstrates clearly enough. We need some of that kicked out of us by circumstances. When the Interregnum is over, we’ll in better shape than we were when it began.
And I’ll tell you something else: he’ll crack before we do.

J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker.

Sarah Palin: Remembering D-Day

Sarah Palin: Remembering D-Day

Remembering D-Day
 Today at 12:15pm
Today, on the 66th Anniversary of D-Day, let’s remember the courage and sacrifice of our Greatest Generation whose actions helped liberate a continent. I’d like to share with you excerpts from President Reagan’s beautiful speech on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day honoring the Rangers who took the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc:

“Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them here. These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war. Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender’s poem. You are men who in your “lives fought for life and left the vivid air singed with your honor.”….

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief. It was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead, or on the next. It was the deep knowledge — and pray God we have not lost it — that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.” – Ronald Reagan

May we never forget the sacrifices made for liberty.

– Sarah Palin