Tranforming America

In this presidential cycle, voters in both parties, to the surprise of the punditocracy, are rejecting experienced political leaders. They’re willfully suspending disbelief in challengers who would have been considered laughable in earlier years.

Polls show more Republicans preferring three candidates who have never held elective office over 14 candidates who have served a combined total of 150 years as governors or in Congress. Most Democrats are declining to favor a candidate who spent eight years in the White House and the Senate and four as secretary of state.

And going in larger numbers for the complete Socialist package with little baggage, Bernie Sanders.

Psephologists of varying stripes attribute this discontent to varying causes. Conservatives blame insufficiently aggressive Republican congressional leaders. Liberals blame Hillary Clinton’s closeness to plutocrats and her home email system.

But in our system the widespread rejection of experienced leaders ultimately comes from dismay at the leader in the White House. In 1960 Richard Nixon, after eight years as vice president and six in Congress, campaigned on the slogan “Experience counts.” No one is running on that theme this year.

Nixon could, because over the preceding quarter-century the majority of Americans mostly approved of the performance of incumbent presidents. Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower still look pretty good more than 50 years later.

Barack Obama doesn’t. His deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes recently said that the president’s nuclear weapons deal with Iran was as important an achievement of his second term as Obamacare was of the first. Historians may well agree.

These two policy achievements have many things in common.

nuclear_blast

Both were unpopular when proposed and still are now. In March 2010 Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that people would know, and presumably like, what was in the bill after it was passed. But most Americans didn’t like it then and most don’t today, five and a half years later. As for the Iran deal, Pew Research reports it has only 21 percent approval today, much lower than Obamacare in 2010.

But since both are on THE AGENDA, they and The Ministry of Truth are happy.

What “the American People” want is irrelevant nowadays. It’s what The Agenda wants, whether it’s The Democrats or The Republican Elite RINOs.

Both Obamacare and the Iran deal were bulldozed through Congress through legislative legerdemain. Democrats passed Obamacare by using the temporary 60-vote Senate supermajority gained through a Minnesota recount and the wrongful prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens. After they lost the 60th vote, they resorted to a dubious legislative procedure.

The Agenda is The Agenda.

This year Obama labeled the Iran treaty an executive agreement, and Congress concocted a process requiring only a one-third-plus-one rather than a two-thirds vote for approval. Only 38 percent of members of Congress supported it. Many, such as House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, did so only after saying that they never would have accepted it in negotiations.

But the Republicans, allegedly in control of Congress,  willfully submitted to this slight of hand rather than stand on the principles that got them elected in the first place.

And they have done this REPEATEDLY. The Minority (Democrats) are still in control of Congress.

In 2008 Obama promised he would “fundamentally transform” America, and Obamacare and the Iran deal are indeed fundamental transformations of policy –transformations most Americans oppose.

But are on THE AGENDA, so they must be.

Obamacare assumed that financial crisis and recession would make most voters supportive of, or amenable to, bigger government. But as National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru points out, polling doesn’t show that. Obama assumed that if America could “extend a hand” to such propitiated enemies as the mullahs of Iran, they would become friends with us. Most Americans think that’s delusional. No wonder voters are angry.

So he goes out an gets more Illegals to vote for Democrats instead. After all, it’s about the power of Homo Superior Liberalis. The Agenda is The Agenda.

Republican voters are frustrated and angry because for six years they have believed they have public opinion on their side, but their congressional leaders have failed to prevail on high visibility issues. Their successes (clamping down on domestic discretionary spending) have been invisible. They haven’t made gains through compromise because Obama, unlike his two predecessors, lacks both the inclination and ability to make deals.

Rigid Ideologues and weak spined Republicans will do that.

So Republicans who imposed harsh litmus tests in previous presidential cycles (like asking candidates if they’ve ever supported a tax increase, or if they’ve ever wavered in their opposition to abortion) are flocking to Donald Trump, a candidate who would fail every one of them. They are paying little attention to candidates — Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal — who advance serious proposals to change public policy.

Because, we don’t believe them. The proof is in the Jar Jar Boehner and Mitch The Ditch pudding.

In polls, Democratic voters have stayed loyal to the president. But to listen to their candidates (and maybe-candidate Joe Biden) you would think we are in our seventh year of oppression by a right-wing administration. You don’t hear much about the virtues of Obamacare or the Iran deal — or “choice.”

Of course not, it’s still, Vote for Me, the “other guy” is an asshole. The “other guy” is still the fear mongering and “Bush” narratives. Grandma is still going be thrown out in the street by evil White, Male, Rich Republicans. The candy is still going to be stolen from babies by evil, heartless Conservatives.

The narrative hasn’t changed because The Democrats haven’t changed.

Most Americans hoped the first black president would improve race relations. Now most Americans believe they have gotten worse.

White Guilt has bit them in the asp!

And so a president who came to office with relatively little experience has managed to tarnish experience, incumbency and institutions: a fundamental transformation indeed. (Michael Barone)

those dame dirty nukes! Agree with me or else!

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy
Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Dear Everyone

Dear Everyone,

I say this in the most sincere way possible: Get over yourselves.

Not everything is about everything, or everyone. In fact, most things are about the very few people involved in them and no one else.

From the tragic to the political, we saw a wave of people inserting their pet projects and profitmaking grievances into the events of the week like the opportunists those people are. But that’s all they are.

It started with the awful terrorist attack by a monster in South Carolina who murdered nine innocent people because he “wanted to start a race war.” He should be held in a cell used for extension cord storage with exposed pipes on the ceiling. His career of wasting oxygen can’t be ended fast enough.

But the Left needs him for their Agenda. As for “starting” a race war, hasn’t the Left and especially Obama,Holder, Shapton, et al already been doing that for many years?

But too many, unsurprisingly, are using this creature’s disgusting act of evil for their own purposes.

President Obama used it to advance gun control, something the American people routinely and roundly reject. Hillary Clinton did it to advance her relevance and to distract from her own failings. If you believe either of these people—or any of the other politicians and pundits weighing in from afar—give an honest damn about the events in South Carolina beyond how they can use it; you’re fooling yourself.

If they cared, they would show up, without announcing it, without fanfare, without cameras, and pay their respects to the families and community. Instead, the president went fundraising on the west coast and Hillary did whatever it was she was scripted to do beforehand.

Politicians aside, the clown car of media and pundits couldn’t get enough of this story. Hosts were dispatched, race-baiting pundits were released from their hermetically sealed pods and activists booked flights faster than a Kardashian can cash a check.

All had their own agenda; none really cared.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, in a panic to get enough ratings to keep his job, made his cause the Confederate flag. He obsessed over something that is known as the paint job on the roof of the car in the Dukes of Hazzard as a contributing factor in this evil.

That flag had nothing to do with this, and Chris isn’t dumb enough to believe it did. But it’s a cause people who would be inclined to watch his show could get behind, so he went all in with it. No lives were saved, no pain was alleviated. Chris Hayes has no connection to Charleston, had no reason to be there, brought nothing of value in that community’s time of need. But there he was …, yelling about a piece of cloth, feeling important.

Is it important? Of course not. I don’t get the concept of “southern pride” to the point you’d embrace something under which so much evil was perpetrated, nor do I understand why anyone would let a dead symbol have that much power over them. I don’t associate with people who get worked up over inanimate objects or those who would wrap themselves in something so intertwined with this nation’s greatest cruelty.

While the political class was finding new and creative ways to exploit tragedy and dishonor murder victims, including a discussion of the Voting Rights Act and voter ID (see how Michael Moore did it here), Pope Francis called for a “bold cultural revolution” to combat climate change. (Read about it here.)

With all due respect to the Pope, who cares? That the head of one of the richest organizations on the planet wants to push socialism to help the poor and “save the planet” isn’t a surprise. The Catholic Church has a long history of obtuse self-observation. But that left-wingers would rally to his call is the ultimate in hypocrisy.

Hillary Clinton personally sent tweets of praise for the Pope’s encyclical just 2 ½ hours after she had praised an Iowa court decision that favored abortion. (Take a look; it’s beyond irony.)

Clinton could be somewhat forgiven for her ignorance because she’s not Catholic, but Martin O’Malley is. The also-ran Democrat from Maryland penned an op-ed praising the Pope’s call to action even though he is one of the most pro-abortion politicians in the country. The “devout Catholic” O’Malley counts on people not knowing his or the Pope’s stance on the issue or hopes people think Catholicism is a buffet from which you can pick and choose which parts you like.

At least atheist Bernie Sanders is intellectually consistent – government is his God, and his will is his government.

These are but a few examples of the media, political and pundit class who saw opportunities to advance their agendas in the face of tragedy or reality. The country would be better off if we’d let a community come together and its people grieve, rather than try to gain relevancy through the misery of others. It’d also be better off if politicians and the media had a modicum of intellectual consistency; if the “party of science” either left science to scientists or at least answered for its embrace of religious doctrine only when it is convenient.

They won’t because they don’t have to. There is no price to be paid for exploitation or hypocrisy, politically or personally, if you are of the left. The right is little better, but this was the left’s week.

We’d all be better served if those in power, those who’d like to be, and those who think they are would all step back and, for once, put the interests of others before themselves. Imagine if that happened. Imagine if these camera whores actually got over themselves for one full week. Just think of what we could accomplish if they did. (Derek Hunter)

 The mind boogleth at the possibilities but narcissism is the scourge of this age.

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok
Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Recession 2 “Summer of Recovery” 0

“We are going to take on the barbarism of war, the decadence of racism, and the scourge of poverty, that the Ku Klux — I meant to say the Tea Party,” The Rev. Walter Fauntroy told a news conference today at the National Press Club. “You all forgive me, but I — you have to use them interchangeably.”

But don’t worry, if you disagree with a Liberal you’re the hyperbolic racist! 🙂

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Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

The government is about to confirm what many people have felt for some time: The economy barely has a pulse.

The Commerce Department on Friday will revise its estimate for economic growth in the April-to-June period and Wall Street economists forecast it will be cut almost in half, to a 1.4 percent annual rate from 2.4 percent.

That’s a sharp slowdown from the first quarter, when the economy grew at a 3.7 percent annual rate, and economists say it’s a taste of the weakness to come. The current quarter isn’t expected to be much better, with many economists forecasting growth of only 1.7 percent.

Such slow growth won’t feel much like an economic recovery and won’t lead to much hiring. The unemployment rate, now at 9.5 percent, could even rise by the end of the year.

“The economy is going to limp along for the next few months,” said Gus Faucher, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. There’s even a one in three chance it could slip back into recession, he said.

The report confirms the economy has lost significant momentum in recent months. Most analysts expect the nation’s GDP will continue to grow at a similarly weak pace in the current July-to-September quarter and for the rest of this year.

The economy has grown for four straight quarters, but that growth has averaged only 2.9 percent, a weak pace after such a steep recession. The economy needs to expand at about 3 percent just to keep the unemployment rate, currently 9.5 percent, from rising.

According to data released earlier this week, home prices fell as much as five percent across the country in the month of July, and existing home sales fell 27%.

The worst in 15 years.

But if you listen to the liberals and their pundits, it slow but it’s all good. You just to have more hope. Give it more time. Don’t be so impatient.

So what if GDP growth has gone for 5% in the last quarter of 2009 to 1.6% now it’s still improving! 🙂

And you wouldn’t to hand the keys back over to Bush now would you!

After all, Bush was Republican and all Republicans are Bush. (a gold star to anyone who can spot the logical fallacy in that statement 🙂 ) But isn’t that what the Democrats ARE saying…

Cue Sisyphus! 🙂

Will the economy actually enter a double dip, with G.D.P. shrinking? Who cares? If unemployment rises for the rest of this year, which seems likely, it won’t matter whether the G.D.P. numbers are slightly positive or slightly negative.

All of this is obvious. Yet policy makers are in denial. Why are people who know better sugar-coating economic reality? The answer, I’m sorry to say, is that it’s all about evading responsibility.(Paul Krugman)

After all, it’s Bush’s Fault! and you wouldn’t want <cue evil organ music> Republicans! they’ll just wreck the car again like they did before! 🙂

After all, Bush was Republican and all Republicans are Bush.

And as Mr Krugman also says, showing his liberal roots,”The administration has less freedom of action, since it can’t get legislation past the Republican blockade.”

The Democrats currently have an overwhelming majority in the House and 59/100 seats in the Senate and The Presidency.

Yet, it’s a “republican blockade”.

The problem is that the Democrats can’t get all the Democrats to vote for all of this crap so they have to blame the minority party for it!

It sure as hell can’t possibly be their fault! 🙂

So, if November happens as predicted and the Democrats are the minority, it will be the tyranny of the majority then right? 🙂 They will be the victims yet again, as they are now in the majority. 🙂

Perpetual Victimization!

But the Democrats will focus again on the 1 tree in the forest that isn’t on fire and say that’s you’re hope and change, just be patient, socialism wasn’t built in a day! 🙂

On Thursday, Standard & Poor’s said action is needed soon if the U.S. is to keep the much-coveted AAA bond rating that lets the government borrow in global markets at the lowest rates possible.

S&P’s warning came just days after Morgan Stanley asserted that the U.S., along with a number of other developed nations, is likely to default on some debt. Such defaults are “inevitable,” it said, given the growing number of retirees in developed nations who will have to be taken care of by a shrinking pool of workers.

The sovereign debt crisis “is not over,” said the investment bank’s Arnaud Mares, and that includes in the U.S.

What worries Wall Street is a public debt-to-GDP ratio of around 53%. That’s high enough as it is, but it’s about to go a lot higher. By 2020, recent data suggest, the ratio will top 100% — a red line that virtually all economists agree is dangerous.

In raw numbers, we owed roughly $7.5 trillion at the start of this year. By 2020 that explodes to $23.5 trillion, according to an analysis of Congressional Budget Office data by economist Brian Riedl.

What do these numbers mean? To begin with, we spend $187 billion a year, or 1.3% of GDP, to pay our debts now. Just 10 years from now, that will surge to $1.1 trillion, or 4.8% of estimated GDP. Fiscally speaking, we’ll be gasping for air.

Debt can be a good thing, but in big doses it’s poison. If, as some fear, the U.S. should simply say it can’t pay its debts and default — or do a de facto default by printing money to retire our debt — the consequences would be dire.

No nation would want our bonds in their portfolios. To entice them to buy, we’d have to offer a much higher risk premium — that is, higher interest rates.

That means our debt service could go even higher, squeezing out even more of our economy’s spending.

The dollar would implode, and prices for foreign goods — which now make up 15% of our economy — would soar. Private investment would shrink and, along with it, private-sector GDP

Americans’ standard of living, once the envy of the world, would recede into the pack of mediocre, government-run nations.

It doesn’t have to be this way. All this is due to unrestrained spending. The federal government now spends about $29,000 per household. That will rise to $38,000 by 2020. If you think “the rich” will, or can, pay for it all, think again.

Unless we begin to control spending, we can kiss our American lifestyles goodbye. It’s that simple.

Sadly, the White House is unwilling to see reality. Which may explain why, as our debts mount to ruinous heights, Vice President Joe Biden — President Obama’s point man on the recovery — can burble, “This is a chance to do something big, man!”

Yeah, man, something big — like wreck a country.

Warnings about America’s impending financial car wreck are being sounded, loud and clear. The only question is whether those driving the car will slam on the brakes before it’s too late.(IBD)

Got the car out of the ditch and drove it straight off a cliff and into a bottomless pit!

Way to go Barack & Co!

Yours is the Superior Intellect! 🙂