Conservative Political Commentary

[Under the Radar?] Anti-socialist, anti-communist, anti-globalist, pro-Constitution, and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context (This blog was given its name before I decided it was going to be a political blog.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Worst-Case Scenario?

Benito Mussolini

Aspiring fascist dictator Barack Obama may get there yet during his second term. Since he doesn’t care a hang about the Constitution, he could very well attempt to gain a third term. The rule of law is gone from the federal government to a great extent, its last major influence felt during the George W. Bush Administration, where it began to slip noticeably.

Obama is likely soon to get his wish for Taxmageddon and sequestration unless he backs down a bit, which is very unlikely. But the GOP should stand their ground on taxes. See my previous post.

Fascist dictator? Isn’t that a little extreme? No, it fits very well Obama’s track record and his observed attitudes and principles of trying to rule. The government is the main entity and most important thing in the U.S., according to his actions, and his main goal has been to increase the size and scope of government and to undermine the private sector, leading to the eventual impoverishment and enslavement of our citizens.

He wants to make them more and more dependent on the federal government and less and less able or willing to act in their own self interest. Sudden higher taxes will put all citizens in a weakened position. We will see higher unemployment, and vastly more bureaucracy running our citizens’ lives to the extent of making almost all important adult decisions for them. The idea is to limit their ability to resist; to make as many as possible drive little low-powered electric cars that can’t go fast or far; to destroy the suburbs and get everyone into cheap, compact housing; to control everyone’s money and continually inflate it so as to further deprive them of purchasing power; and yet to toss out enough free goodies and lying propaganda to convince people that he has their interests at heart and that things are gradually going to get better.

He has undercut Congress through executive orders, overbearing, numerous, and costly regulations, and czars. He seeks to gain sole discretion in setting America’s debt limit, so as not to have to bother dealing with Congress, where the borrowing of money is supposed to originate. He is fine with increasing spending through ill-advised “stimulus” programs and OK with the Federal Reserve printing all the money it wants. The Federal Reserve itself is an untrustworthy and dangerous entity which exists mainly to empower big banks and politicians.

That’s what the president has started in his first term, and is a good way along with his “transformation of America.” When he gets finished, the middle class will be almost gone and “the rich” (except for his cronies, and those who manage to leave the country) will be a lot less rich. Oil and gas production will be slowed even more and many more millions will be spent on green energy companies run by Obama contributors, which will declare bankruptcy, one after another, while dishing out seven-figure bonuses to their executives. Fanny and Freddy, rather than being reined in and disbanded will continue more of the shenanigans and book-cooking that contributed to the housing crash. The student loan bubble will burst.

Eventually, our currency will collapse under the weight of ever more massive debt. Then, the Democrat elites may think they’re even more powerful, but then we will all have to deal with greatly increased foreign threats (or a “world government” takeover).

Maybe wiser heads will prevail and most of this stuff won’t happen. But those are the trends. No one in government has done much to stop the more destructive parts of Obama’s agenda up to now. The question is, will something trigger a change in direction? Or will apathy continue to increase, with those in power either (1) content to see American decline or (2) clueless as to what to do about it? As has been already suggested, it’s not rocket science.  But we have a busybody control-freak administration. “Fascist” is the right word. Like Mussolini, only potentially much worse: “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.”

Remember, there’s no one to bail out America.
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sequestration, Fiscal Cliff, or Both

House Republicans have some major decisions to make. Unfortunately, it is likely that any “grand bargain” would involve the GOP capitulating to Obama. Their “No tax increases” pledge will probably go the way of George H. W. Bush’s “Read my lips” promise. Thus they will accomplish the very thing they are supposedly trying to prevent.

Taxes should be the area where Republicans in the House hold the line. Any expected increase in tax revenue is illusory if rates are increased, since the economy will be slowed, and revenues will soon be lower. As Patrick Buchanan writes,
 What are the perils for Republicans who sign on to an Obama deal?

They will sever themselves permanently from much of the base of the party. While their votes may ensure that tax rates or revenues rise, they will have no assurance that the promised spending cuts will ever be made. Even Reagan fell victim to this bait-and-switch.

Then, if the tax hikes slow the economy, Republican collaborators will share the blame. Not only will they have gone back on their word, they will have damaged the recovery. What would be their argument for re-election?

Actually, Republicans can be assured that the spending cuts would never be made. Democrats will never cut spending, no matter what they say. This is a reality that cannot be changed. If the GOP goes along with Obama, their party will become even weaker.

As for sequestration, I agree with both Pat Buchanan and Bill Wilson that the GOP should simply allow it to happen. At least there will be real spending cuts somewhere, and otherwise there won’t be.   

As Wilson points out, the idea that sequestration will reduce GDP, the part it will reduce is government spending, which should be greatly reduced. So the reduced GDP excuse for avoiding it is weakened, although still technically a valid argument.

Daniel J. Mitchell of Cato Institute has an article entitled “Sequestration Is a Small Step in the Right Direction, Not Something to Be Feared.” He shows that even with sequestration, federal spending will continue to increase year by year, and that sequestration cuts represent only a small part of overall spending.

But there would be actual cuts. Mitchell quotes then-Senator Bob Packwood from a 1989 similar fight:
Instead of budget gimmicks, accounting tricks, phony cuts, and “revenue enhancements,” a sequester would reduce spending levels by a fixed percentage in eligible spending programs. In other words, unlike most deficit reduction packages, sequestration would actually reduce the deficit.
During the third presidential debate of 2012, President Obama said that sequestration “won’t happen,” but there is reason to think it may very well happen, and that it wouldn’t be a disaster.

What would be very disturbing to the economy is “Taxmageddon,” but let it be by the hands of Obama and the Democrats. The GOP House should stick to its principles, and pass an extension of all the Bush tax cuts. Let the guilt be on the tax-and-spend Democrats. From them, we can never expect anything other than more taxes and higher spending.  They won the election. As Buchanan suggests, let them explain it to the American people.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Obama’s Victory: A Lost Opportunity and a Failure of Citizenship

Disappointment is hardly the word to describe my opinion of the presidential election result. There is truth in The Patriot Post’s cartoon.
The Patriot Post

Have we reached the point where Americans will vote for “free stuff” without regard to the condition of our country? The liberal establishment promotes the entitlement mindset, which conservatives have not succeeded in countering. The schools reinforce the virtues of big government, and the media promotes the decay of morality while they cover up for Obama’s failures. The liberals downplay the seriousness of America’s economic problems, and never mention the dangers facing the dollar. We need not puzzle too much over the lost opportunity of a good chance we had of avoiding fiscal collapse. We just need to face reality.

This is a situation that, in my view, a Christian has to realize, is ultimately in God’s hands. As I try to look at this from an evangelical orthodox Christian standpoint, several aspects of it come to mind.

 1. In view of recent history, the Obama Administration’s policies are evidence that God’s punitive judgment is upon America for serious and worsening sin. That does not mean that everyone who suffers under God’s judgment of a nation is guilty; the innocent suffer as a result of the sins of the guilty (case in point: babies murdered by abortion). The Sandy superstorm seems to put an exclamation point on the ongoing judgment of America.

2. As John MacArthur has pointed out, one of our major political parties has adopted the sins of Romans 1 as its political platform [1]. MacArthur didn’t say “Democrats” but his meaning is evident. To emphasize their anti-moral attitude, they avoided a convention decision to remove the last mention of God from their party platform (a reference to God-given abilities), by falsely declaring that the group voted by over two-thirds majority to retain the reference. If you think Democrats can’t do any voter fraud, they did in their convention.

3. It is extremely unlikely that anything substantial will be done to reduce the deficits or to slow spending. Taxmageddon will arrive. As Mark Steyn points out, Congress will reach a triumphant “bipartisan” agreement to postpone Taxmageddon for a short while, and also increase the debt ceiling, but these postponements will only make the final result worse.

4. Obama and his minions will continue to chip away at our freedoms with increased fervor, with no one to stop them. Economy-killing regulations, arbitrary restrictions, and executive decrees will rule the day, and the Constitution will suffer even more. The Supreme Court will undermine it still more with new liberal justices, worsening the already unreliable Court.

In terms of what can be done politically to resist any of this, I propose the following, but also think it is likely that little or none of it will be done:

1. Remove House Speaker John Boehner and replace him with a conservative. Or else put plenty of Tea Party pressure on him to not give in to Obama on Obamacare or anything else.

2. Hold a tight grip on the purse strings and don’t be afraid to shut down the government.

3. Do not raise taxes; defund Obamacare and the EPA.

4. Mainly, cut spending. Don’t compromise. Don’t be afraid of gridlock. It’s better than enacting Obama’s agenda.

5. Encourage state nullification of unconstitutional federal laws.

6. Don’t compromise conservative principles.

We lost the election and we will live with the consequences, but we don’t have to give up the fight. A great deal of damage will be done in the next four years, but four years is not forever. Don’t be too anxious to “work with” liberals. The objective should be to defeat them. Those are my suggestions politically.

Politics can’t solve all our problems. In the larger sense, Christians should pray for America and her leaders that God will move them to change the course we’ve been on. However, unless America experiences a strong spiritual revival, it seems we are destined for some very serious troubles in the next few years, which may or may not ever be corrected in this life. The bright side of this is that God still is in control, and we must trust in Him, knowing that eternity awaits, and that He will ultimately make things right.

Christians, pray for America and pray for revival.

[1] John MacArthur, “The Campaign for Immorality,” Decision, November 2011. Published by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Charlotte, NC.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Does Anyone in the Administration Know What To Do about This? Anyone?

For those paying attention, an outstanding recent example of Obama’s miserable foreign policy performance has been the September 11 bombing of the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing American Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others, the storming of the American embassy in Egypt, and violent demonstrations at other embassies, all on September 11.

Kirsten Powers talked with Megyn Kelly of Fox News about the Administration’s lame response to the violence, and the media’s worse response:

The security lapse alone is inexcusable, and, if intelligence had been received that violent demonstrations and/or terrorist attacks had been planned for 9/11 at Benghazi, it seems unforgivable. Given the low level of security at the consulate, why was the ambassador there on September 11? Someone will have to answer for it, starting at the top.

Beyond the security lapses, consider the Administration’s response. No one in authority could have really believed that the offending anti-Islam video caused all this – could they? Yet  that was the initial story. Plus the Egyptian embassy put on their website a virtual apology to the “demonstrators” for their hurt feelings. Although the Administration distanced itself from this, while the item was on the website it represented official U.S. policy and spoke for the president. In extreme circumstances, some errors can occur, but these items reveal a serious security issue as well as a bias against any expression of outrage at the violation of American sovereign soil.

Now we have the Egyptian president “promising” to put an end to “anti-Islamic slander,” supposedly including American free speech. Obama’s speech at the U.N. was apologetic in tone. Who knows what he’ll do to accommodate the jihadists he helped put in power.

When Obama says, “The future must not belong to those who slander Islam’s prophet.” Who does it belong to, rabid Islamic jihadists? People slander the Lord Jesus Christ, which is a far greater sin in the eyes of Christians, but it hardly sets off violent reactions. How much influence does the threat of “provoking” people who are looking for an excuse for violence and murder, have on exercising legitimate freedoms, or even government policy. Too much, it seems. America must resist being intimidated by these thugs.

I hope Congress will investigate these incidents and call those responsible to account. And I hope they continue to pursue the evil Fast-and-Furious debacle and cover-up. And while they’re at it, investigate the numerous offenses of Obama against the authority of Congress through executive orders. If no one in Congress can stop him, he won’t stop until he has something like absolute government power.

November 6 must signal the January 2013 stopping point for Barack Obama’s reign. Otherwise, well, we can’t say we haven’t been warned.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Economic Achievements of Barack Obama

President and would-be Marxist/Fascist Dictator Barack Obama has made some progress in his agenda of “transforming America,” if he wants to transform it into a banana-republic type of third world country, abounding in government-dependent and docile citizens. Like Big Brother, he always has some super villain to blame for his failures, e.g., George W. Bush. It is obvious that Obama’s efforts have completely failed if the goal was to promote prosperity, but it’s hard to believe that prosperity has ever been his goal. His objective is government control of everything possible.

When he had Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress, just waiting to rubber-stamp whatever he wanted, what did he use that for? To implement his socialist agenda, not to help the economy. The economy was strictly a back-burner issue except for some self-serving PR efforts. He claims to be trying to help the middle class, but when he’s finished, he will have gone a long way toward eliminating the middle class.

He promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, but so far, we’ve seen trillion-dollar deficits each year. He has added more to the national debt than all previous presidents combined. And what have we gotten for all this spending and debt?

We have had depression-level unemployment rates for well over 40 months.

We now have record numbers of unemployed and under-employed people. This represents many suffering families who just want an opportunity to earn a living.

We are heading toward the highest poverty rate since the 1960’s. According to an Associated Press article,
Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall in the critical weeks ahead of the November elections.

The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a more modest gain, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.

Out-of-Control Welfare Programs
We have the most Americans on food stamps ever. Over 100 million people in the U.S., including citizens and non-citizens, belong to a household in which at least one person receives federal benefits – largely food stamps and Medicaid – means-tested programs, not including Social Security or Medicare.
(See chart at top of this article. Chart was provided by Republican Senate Budget Committee staff. Via The Weekly Standard).

Green Failures
We have seen numerous green-energy fiascoes costing the taxpayers many millions of dollars, documented by The Heritage Foundation.
Kate Adams, a member of Heritage’s Young Leaders Program, and Heritage’s Rachael Slobodien compiled a list of the 12 members of the Green Graveyard—companies that received taxpayer money for green initiatives yet have filed for bankruptcy.
  1. Abound Solar (Loveland, Colorado), manufacturer of thin film photovoltaic modules.
  2. Beacon Power (Tyngsborough, Massachusetts), designed and developed advanced products and services to support stable, reliable and efficient electricity grid operation.
  3. Ener1 (Indianapolis, Indiana), built compact lithium-ion-powered battery solutions for hybrid and electric cars.
  4. Energy Conversion Devices (Rochester Hills, Michigan/Auburn Hills, Michigan), manufacturer of flexible thin film photovoltaic (PV) technology and a producer of batteries and other renewable energy-related products.
  5. Evergreen Solar, Inc. (Marlborough, Massachusetts), manufactured and installed solar panels.
  6. Mountain Plaza, Inc. (Dandridge, Tennessee), designed and implemented “truck-stop elec QUOT trification” technology…..
[Plus six more, including Solyndra]
Government Takeovers
We have seen takeovers and bailouts of auto manufacturers, and Obama wants to do the same in all manufacturing industries. An editorial in TheWashington Times points out that
At a campaign stop in Pueblo, Colo., on Wednesday, Mr. Obama touted the alleged success of his government-backed takeover of two-thirds of the domestic car business. “The American auto industry has come roaring back,” he said. “Now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.”
The article also mentions that every GM job “saved” cost taxpayers $780,000. GM stock is down significantly since its IPO.

There has been the most massive increase in regulations in history, choking out entire industries, with more on the way from such as the worse-than-worthless EPA and other useless agencies.

We have seen a company robbed of millions of dollars by federal authorities in such an episode as the Gibson Guitar raids.

The Administration has continued the disturbing trend of criminalizing more activities and figuring out ways to go after people who have done nothing wrong, simply on someone’s complaint. Obama is ready to take away freedom in the name of copyright protection for his Hollywood and media cronies. There are several efforts underway to take control of the internet.

The Administration has blamed businesses for the bad economic climate, when in fact it is government that has created such an atmosphere of uncertainty that many businesses are unwilling to expand or hire until they know what the rules are going to end up being.

The president appointed a debt commission in order to appear to be interested in dealing with the out-of-control deficits, then promptly ignored their advice.

By the way, commission co-chairman Erskine Bowles, a Democrat and former Clinton chief of staff praised Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), now GOP Vice-Presidential candidate, in 2011:

President Obama has submitted budgets which no one in the Senate would vote for; yet the Senate itself has failed to produce a budget in three years, despite a constitutional mandate to do so.

Oh, and gas prices are up again, approaching that $4.00 level – about $3.60 per gallon as of now.

Obama has deeply undermined the rule of law in many ways through selective non-enforcement (Defense of Marriage Act, immigration laws, etc.), waivers (Obamacare, No Child Left Behind, for example), and executive orders that undercut statutes. He does not see any need for Congress or the Constitution. He and his little Communist gang members want to rule without interference.

How can unemployed people vote for Obama, knowing that under his presidency, high unemployment is a permanent feature of the economy? He appointed a jobs commission, but never meets with them, since they are only a PR gimmick. His dog and pony shows have accomplished nothing for the economy.

It is time to honestly attempt to evaluate Obama’s intentions in light of his record. In an Obama Administration, there will never be significant deficit reduction. There will always be calls for more taxes, bigger government, and more spending. He will always be OK with the Fed creating any amount of dollars that it pleases. When the inevitable collapse comes, he and his cronies may become even more powerful since people may lack the ability to resist.

The upcoming presidential election is America’s last chance to maintain its position as a world leader, restore freedom and prosperity, and even retain sovereignty. We cannot afford to get this one wrong. A Romney victory will bring some good changes quickly, but it will take time to solve the underlying problems. But with Obama in power, there is no chance short of divine intervention.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Glorifying Government: “You Didn’t Build That.”

President Obama believes no one should take credit for accomplishments in our society because government is ultimately the source of everyone’s success. This is right in step with Marxist theory which decries religion and puts government in the place of God. Obama is trying to spread the false gospel that America’s success has come because of government. The fact is that success for American citizens virtually always comes in spite of government, not because of it. For entrepreneurs as well as established businesses, government is the hindrance and the obstacle that tries to block the path to success. Whether through outright criminal corruption, unconstitutional (hence illegal) government intervention, or ridiculous and unnecessary red tape and bureaucratic regulation, government is the force that must be overcome in order to achieve business success – as if market competition were not enough.

Government acting outside its enumerated constitutional powers hinders; it doesn’t help.
It is government which gives rise to crony capitalism and tries to pick winners and losers. It is government that wants to control everything citizens do and to shape society in the image it desires. Obama is the greatest crony capitalist of modern times, trying to get his fascist hands into as many economic enterprises as possible, in order to extend government control.

He favors campaign donors and pals; it seems not to matter whether any project is likely to be successful. He uses taxpayers’ money to reward his favorites, and when they go bankrupt even after receiving many millions from government, he shrugs it off and spends even more. It’s not about the economy; it’s definitely not about jobs: it’s all about control. There is no other reasonable explanation for such things as the regulatory stranglehold the EPA is putting on American energy, for example.

The greatness of America has come from the hard work, genius, skill, and cleverness of her people. People like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Steve Jobs, and numerous others more or less gifted, have led the way to American success, brought about by great ideas and hard-working citizens, who have not shied away from their responsibilities to support themselves and their families, and who have had the courage to take risks in order to follow their dreams. People who have succeeded, failed, and succeeded again.

Yet Obama would tell them, “You didn’t build that.”

Entrepreneurs, professionals, employees at all levels have contributed to the great success of America. Today, government is contributing much toward her destruction and downgrading.

Those who have built successful enterprises are the ones Obama is going after. He thinks that they owe their success to government and it’s time to pay up through higher taxes and greater regulations. To Marxist/fascists like Obama, government is everything. As Mussolini said, “Everything in the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Obama’s plan precisely. Government growth, government control of every aspect of life from health care to diet to all finances (government feels it owns the money, you see), to control of public discourse, the economy, and whatever else they can think of to control. Instead of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” it’s more like life (if you don’t get aborted or euthanized), the liberty to let the government run your life, and the dedication of oneself and possessions to state control.  Oh, and a life of luxury for high government officials and their chosen friends.

It is sad that in the space of a few years, the stable and relatively secure (it seemed) American system has seen its decline accelerated to such a condition as we have now. It’s not simply that we have unemployment at depression levels, and a shaky economy; that’s bad enough. But worse, we have government and central bank system that continues at full speed with the very things brought on the collapses we’ve seen. Peter Schiff should be taken seriously when he forecasts a major collapse that will be worse than Europe:

But much of it could be avoided through some common-sense changes. Get the government out of the economy as much as possible. Restrain the money-creating power of the Fed. Don’t bail out anyone or anything, period. Let failing enterprises fail; write off the debt instead of perpetuating it. Stop trying to stop the recession. The market will correct itself fairly quickly if left alone. Recognize the realities of our economic situation and deal with them instead of kicking the can down the road. Repeal job-killing, capital-destroying programs like Obamacare. Start balancing the budget sooner, not decades down the road (which means never). Reduce the size and scope of government. Only Romney and conservatives offer any hope of any of this. Otherwise, it’s unlimited spending and government control until we are a full dictatorship, and we wake up one morning to find our currency worthless and almost all citizens poor, with no help in sight.

Further reading: 

Ben Shapiro, “Shapiro: Our Business-Hating President,” 07/18/12, GOPUSA
Photo: President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Map Room. White House photo by Chuck Kennedy, 07/12/12.
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Friday, July 13, 2012

The Obama Personality Cult and the Dearth of MSM Journalism

It is no secret to anyone paying attention that President Barack Obama projects a narcissistic and arrogant style in his public communications. He often says, “It’s not about me,” knowing full well that in his oratory, it’s all about him. He uses the first person singular pronouns more than any speaker I’ve heard. He relates incidents from his past very often, as though only he has ever experienced such things. Yet much of his past remains hidden. He speaks of transparency, but rules a secretive domain.

The Obama personality cult – his idolization by not only his associates, but also the mainstream media, is reinforced every day. The network news and liberal cable outlets exercise a startling degree of selective reporting and non-reporting that betrays their willingness to abandon journalistic standards to serve the messianic figure they worship, i.e., Barack Obama.

He insists on taking personal credit to a degree that far exceeds the standards of past presidents. His willingness to pile lie upon lie (e.g., falsely accusing Mitt Romney of “outsourcing” jobs) makes Bill Clinton look like Honest Abe. He recently claimed credit for inspiring the Lexus hybrid, which was actually begun in 2004.

The president has bragged about killing Osama bin Laden in a way that would have embarrassed Dwight Eisenhower, architect of D-Day, and George Washington, victorious general of the American Revolution – and probably even General George Patton.

Media Research Center, which documents media bias, lists numerous instances of liberal “news” outlets singing the praises of the great, god-like, amazing Obama. In fawning (MRC’s word: slobbering) over the president, they throw journalism to the winds. And further, they either under-emphasize, ignore or distort anything that might be a serious question about Obama’s policies.

MRC elsewhere notes that the morning shows totally ignored the House of Representatives’ vote to repeal Obamacare, and the network news barely mentioned it, and with obvious disdain. CBS News decried the “cost to taxpayers” of dealing with the issue, a cost which is completely irrelevant, since it is incurred regardless of what business the House is considering. If you want to complain about the cost of doing House business, how much do you suppose it cost the taxpayers to pass Obamacare, in terms of paperwork, House session time, secret meetings, bribery sessions, etc.?

(In terms of government costs, taxpayers are charged overwhelmingly for programs, activities, and propaganda that are destructive to them and to our country. But such is the nature of government, at best a necessary evil.)

Journalists used to feel responsibility for holding government to honesty, and honestly questioning its many questionable things. They felt a responsibility to the citizens to report the news accurately and comprehensively. Now, they appear to think that their main responsibility is to make Obama look good, and go on about how ignorant conservatives must be to express distrust or dissatisfaction toward the government. Quite a turnaround, but many today are too young to remember a time when journalists seemed to feel accountable to the public. Now they are accountable to liberal politicians and write largely to impress one another.

While the Obama personality cult may seem harmless enough, it is a sign of dangerous tendencies. With the kind of adulation the president surrounds himself with comes the temptation for him to feel above everything else. He demonstrates that he considers himself above the Constitution, and above the other branches of government, and the states by usurping power on a level not seen since FDR. The history of his administration is one of continual power grabs, massive over-regulation, large expenditures of public funds in “green” projects doomed to failure. Bailouts and takeovers will be a large part of his legacy, but he will be mainly remembered, I believe, for blaming his predecessor for practically everything since the Vietnam War.

All the main dictators we know of built a personality cult, enforced by secret police, and resulting in death and destruction to citizens. Obama’s hasn’t approached that level, but the same temptations are present for him. The end result is paranoia and collapse. Consider Saddam Hussein, who reportedly could not sleep in the same bed two nights in a row for fear of his enemies. Or Nicolae Ceausescu, dictator of Romania, who was executed, along with his wife, on Christmas Day 1989, following a popular uprising against his brutal, wasteful, and murderous regime. Or Benito Mussolini. Or Muammar Gaddafi. What fate do we suppose awaits the likes of Hugo Chavez?

America has accomplished something very important and rare in world history: the peaceful transfer of power. Americans hate political violence, and have developed ways to peaceably accomplish political objectives, particularly a trusted election system. Many people are tired of politics of any kind, and try to insulate themselves from it. Thus they risk their freedom, because behind-the-scenes events are proceeding that chip away at our individual liberty. Too often, we see only that which immediately and personally affects us and do not consider the long-term effects and unintended consequences.

It is sad that our political system has come to encourage kicking the can down the road on important issues that are apt to rise up and do great damage at any time if left unattended. Thus we have unending borrowing and spending, and an economy based too much on debt and consumption instead of saving and building. We are content to leave this to experts who are unwilling to acknowledge, let alone face, economic realities, but are content to pat themselves on the back and present themselves as great personages, while presiding over undeniable decline. This can and must be changed

The 2012 elections promise to be a turning point such as we rarely see. We will turn one way or the other, either to Marxism or else a “return to normalcy” of some kind that will stop or slow these dangerous trends. Democrats will never change the course we are currently on, but will give us ever-increasing debt and ever-decreasing freedom. With Mr. Romney, we can put a stop to this decline and start rebuilding our economy and our future. Even if Mr. Romney wins, citizens must stay engaged and keep the attention on the true issues, not distractions.
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Roberts’ Decision Shows No Entity of Government Can Be Trusted To Protect Liberty

Chief Justice John Roberts, official portrait
What are we to think of Chief Justice John Roberts’ deciding vote in favor of upholding the manifestly unconstitutional and deeply harmful Obamacare law? Was this some kind of legal move that somehow helps conservatism in the long run, or simply a betrayal of our constitutional liberty? After the Chief Justice’s defense of free speech in prior cases, it is surprising and almost shocking that he should come down on the side of socialism and loss of freedom in this instance.

Roberts’ legal gymnastics defy logic and law. He has seemingly made the unconstitutional constitutional. As a constitutional scholar, in this case he showed no more concern about or knowledge of the Constitution than President Obama does on a typical day. The Anti-Injunction Act states that a tax cannot be challenged in court until someone has had to pay the tax. In this case, that would not be until 2014. As Byron York points out,

Roberts’ sleight of hand drove his conservative colleagues nuts. “The government and those who support its position on this point make the remarkable argument that (the mandate) is not a tax for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act, but is a tax for constitutional purposes,” wrote dissenters Alito, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. “That carries verbal wizardry too far, deep into the forbidden land of the sophists.”
It’s either a tax or it isn’t.

Was Roberts intimidated by the media and Obama into the decision he made? Dennis Prager quotes CBS News as follows:

As reported by CBS News:
“Some of the conservatives, such as Justice Clarence Thomas, deliberately avoid news articles on the Court when issues are pending . . . . They've explained that they don't want to be influenced by outside opinion or feel pressure from outlets that are perceived as liberal.

“But Roberts pays attention to media coverage. As Chief Justice, he is keenly aware of his leadership role on the Court, and he also is sensitive to how the Court is perceived by the public. [“The public” means liberal media and academics]

“There were countless news articles in May warning of damage to the Court — and to Roberts’ reputation — if the Court were to strike down the mandate….”
Prager notes that if Roberts voted to strike down Obamacare, this could be seen by liberals as a violation of judicial restraint (as Obama suggested). I say that the Executive and Legislative Branches showed no restraint in writing, passing, and signing this monstrous legislation and, after the Court’s decision, will now show less and less. The Chief Justice ought to be less concerned with how the public views the Court and more concerned with how the Court views the law.

It’s clear to me that something other than legal logic led to Roberts’ decision. Whether it was intimidation, hubris, or something else, he has voted to uphold a bad law, and done it on bad grounds.

Roberts wrote, quoted by Patrick Buchanan in an excellent article called, “John Roberts Makes His Career Move,” “We (the Court) possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

There are cases where this is correct, but this is a very lame excuse for upholding the unconstitutional.

Buchanan’s evaluation is worthy of consideration:  “He does not want Anthony Kennedy, the swing justice, to be making history, while he is seen as a predictable conservative vote.

“John Roberts aspires to be a man of history, to have this court known to historians as ‘the Roberts Court.’ And if there is to be a decisive vote in future great decisions, he wants that vote to be his.”

This episode underscores the fact that no entity of government can be relied upon to protect our liberty. The Court had the power in this case to do something about protecting constitutional liberty, but chose not to by upholding an unconstitutional law. God bless the minority who voted to strike down the law.

At least the Court chose (7-2) to protect states from the over-reaching threat to cut off all Medicaid funds if the state chose not to expand Medicaid as the law provides. But that, although important, pales in comparison to the main decision.

If there is any upside, it is only that the conservative base may be energized enough to be united in support of Mitt Romney, and then hold him to his promise to get Obamacare repealed. They should also get to work on replacing weak-sister RINOs who either support Obamacare or have a defeatist attitude about repealing it.

The final power still rests with We the People. We cannot be silent and acquiescent on this issue. Obamacare must go, or with it we’ll soon get full socialist dictatorship with no one in government to protect us from whatever the authorities want to do to us. The Tea Party is needed more than ever. God help us to correct this massive error and save our freedom and our economy. Both are in grave danger now.

Further reading:

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Is The Private Sector “Doing Just Fine”? Definitely Not.

President Barack Obama’s statement, later “clarified,” and explained by his faithful MSM spinners as “taken out of context,” created quite a little stir as his GOP opponent, Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, got a nice new point of attack in the presidential campaign. The president apparently was trying make the point that the public sector was suffering more; he wanted to push his idea of bailing our cities and states.

The public sector under Obama has grown greatly, and the private sector (other than some large companies and  some Obama cronies) has had, and still has, the worst of it. The May employment figures testify to the continuing trials and struggles of millions of American families. May figures were worse than those of April.

Only 69,000 jobs were added, not as good as the weak 115,000 for April. Over 120,000 per month are needed just to keep pace with population growth. The total number of unemployed persons grew by 225,000 to 12,725,000. The “official” (U-2) unemployment rate rose from 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent. The U-6 measure of total unemployed and underemployed rose by 300,000 to 14,800,000. Teenage unemployment was down slightly, but still very high at 24.6 percent. Overall, a dismal situation, and not improved.

In a U.S. News and World Report article, Rick Newman points out that small business is especially hurting.

Small businesses are reeling. Small business optimism has emerged from the cellar, but it's still at recessionary levels, according to surveys from the National Federation for Independent Business. Spending and hiring plans are extremely weak, which is bad news because small and medium-sized businesses create the majority of new jobs in the economy. Big businesses, by contrast, tend to consolidate employment via mergers and acquisitions and various types of scaling and streamlining. Some pockets of the private sector are actually doing okay. They're just not the ones where most Americans work.

The public sector is, on the whole, doing much better than the private sector, but Obama’s sympathies are mostly with the public sector. He wants more billions of dollars to protect the jobs of teachers, police officers and firefighters, but, as Newman points out, these public employees have fared better than private sector blue-collar workers.

Rush Limbaugh had a very interesting response to the president’s comment, as the following indicates:

Polls such as Rasmussen are showing Obama and Romney about even among likely voters. I would like to see the results of a poll among unemployed people.

While Obama inherited a difficult situation, he has done many things to make it worse. When he had Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress who were ready to rubber-stamp whatever he wanted, his main concern was not unemployment or the economy, but rather getting his socialist Obamacare and cap-and-trade laws passed. He has blamed everyone except himself for his failure to significantly improve things in over three years in office. He doesn’t have the ability to deal successfully with the economy. People are indicating that they trust Romney more than Obama on the economy. It is puzzling that Obama, after his economic failures, foreign policy disasters, multiple race card plays, nanny-state proposals, and serious scandals, still has a chance to win the election.

Romney needs to forcefully articulate conservative principles, educate more people on capitalism, and get the GOP united behind him. If he does, he is very likely to be successful.

Photo: Sculpture of 1930 breadline from FDR Memorial. Via Public Domain Pictures.
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