Compare And Contrast

In the State of the Union, President Obama poo-poohed the jobs that would be created by the Keystone XL pipeline as “temporary construction jobs”.

Yet six years ago, his “economic recovery plan” relied on “shovel ready” “infrastructure” jobs that were also “temporary construction jobs” (except for the “permanent government management” jobs, which would go as patronage to members of the political class, natch).

And at the speech, the President asked “Why not have thirty times as many…” of what?  Temporary construction jobs working on “infrastructure” (along with thousands more patronage gigs administering the mess).

Indistinguishable

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Got this fundraising e-mail today. I think there’s a flaw in the proposal but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

***

Dear Friend

Our country is in trouble and we need your help in a big way. The rich are cheating this country of a Billion Dollars of tax revenue EVERY MINUTE.

Right now, federal tax law supported by Republicans is costing the government at least 50 cents – and in some cases as much as 72 cents – out of every dollar earned. By closing the payroll tax loophole, Democrats in Congress could fully fund every vital program to invest in infrastructure, eliminate racial inequality and prepare our children for the future.

All it would take is one simple fix in the payroll tax laws, setting the amount of withholding equal to total wages earned. And it would affect only a small number of Americans – fewer of them every day – but the Evil Republicans backed by the Koch Brothers are blocking this common sense reform.

Tell Republicans to Give Congress Back its Money! Tell Republicans to Close the Payroll Tax Loophole!

And please help us spread this urgent message by contributing $100, $50 or even $25 today. Your contribution could make the difference between saving the country and letting the terrorists win.

***

Joe Doakes

it’s so hard to tell truth from parody these days…

So In Other Words…

…our semi-retired President is going to propose paying for “free” communithy college for everyone…

…by taxing peoples’ savings to put their own kids through college?

Two points, here.

Face Value:  If we take the  President at his (ostensible) word, that means the nation’s community college system will inherit the worst of both worlds; the government control that’s made the public school system such a sclerotic disaster, and the financial firehose that’s led to the “higher education bubble”.  And let’s not even concern ourselves just now with the deepening ideological conformity that this would impose on the higher ed system?

What could possibly go wrong?

Shelf Life:  But fear not.  As with everything else in Obama’s presidency, it’s not about educating young people.  It’s about trying to demigogue the education issue, to give the Democrat Party a chanting point in the next election.   Republicans who vote against taxing people who saved for education to benefit those who didn’t is an ideal demogogueing point.

And that’s really all there is to Obama’s “free community college” proposal.

Pick Your Staging

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why wasn’t President Obama in the photo of world leaders at the massive Paris march protesting the Charlie Hebdo killings?

Maybe he was at the REAL march and missed the fake photo staged at a completely different place?

No, he wasn’t, but I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t have blown off a golf game to fly over for a lame photo op, either.

It’s all Potemkin Villages with these people, nothing is ever what it seems.

Joe Doakes

Potemkin it’s not just a battleship anymore.

Sense And Insensibility

Barack Obama is highly unpopular in the military.

And yet many of his policies are going over just fine among the troops:

The long-term effects of Obama’s social policies on the military remain unknown. But one thing is clear: He is a deeper unpopular commander in chief among the troops.

According to a Military Times survey of almost 2,300 active-duty service members, Obama’s popularity — never high to begin with — has crumbled, falling from 35 percent in 2009 to just 15 percent this year, while his disapproval ratings have increased to 55 percent from 40 percent over that time.

And before someone chimes in “it’s just anti-gay bigotry in the military, angry over the lifting of the sanction against gay troops”…:

A Military Times poll in 2009 found 35 percent of troops felt that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve in uniform. Five years later, that figure has jumped to 60 percent.

Similarly, open opposition to homosexuality in the military has collapsed. In 2009, 49 percent of troops felt gays, lesbians and bisexuals should not be allowed to serve. In 2014, such disapproval fell to just 19 percent. 

Or against women in combat?

From 2011 to 2014, the percentage of survey respondents who felt that all jobs in combat arms units should be opened to women remained unchanged at 24 percent.

But the percentage of troops who felt some combat-arms jobs should be opened up to women — while allowing the military to continue to place some jobs off-limits — increased from 34 percent to 41 percent, while the percentage of respondents who felt the military should not change its policies excluding women from combat arms units fell from 43 percent in 2011 to 28 percent in 2014.

I’m going to suggest that while his policies may not be unpopular among the military, the fact that he’s a terrible leader is.

Fox In Henhouse

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails

Muslim Congressman whose election was funded by terrorists is named to House Intelligence Committee with access to data on Muslim terrorists.

Shouldn’t be a problem. Remember all the Japanese-Americans appointed to War Committees after Pearl Harbor?

At the very least, it’ll save ISIS the bother of hacking into CentCom to find out what the US knows.

Joe Doakes

To be fair, there were all sorts of German-Americans intimately involved in wartime policy during both world wars.

Congressman Ellison’s problem is not that he’s Muslim; there are plenty of American Muslims who are just as American as the next guy.

It’s the fact that his relationship with chair were sponsoring organizations is “nuanced”: while he doesn’t come out of directly say he supports Hamas, preferring to claim to “support the Palestinian people”; he leaves it to the less informed to figure out on their own that “the Palestinian people” are led by Hamas, which killed off most of the competition, and allows little to no dissent.

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If you still needed proof that Establishment Republicans were just as committed to status quo as Democrats, this would be the clincher.

Joe has a point – although I’m going to wait to see how the GOP conference votes on actual policy issues, rather than internal niggling.

If they screw the pooch on Keystone XL, IRS hearings, defunding Obamacare and the like, wake me up.

Misery

Young people are more miserable than ever under Obama, according to the “Young America Foundation” misery index:

Youth unemployment in 2014 was 18.1 percent (18.1 on YMI), with almost six million young people between the ages of 16 and 24 not in school or work. Many young people are simply giving up on finding employment.

Student loan debt for 2014 rings in at a record-breaking $30,000 (30.0 on YMI). Student debt has risen at an average of six percent per year since 2008, and today, 70% of college seniors graduate with student loan debt. In addition, the job market still hasn’t recovered, leaving many recent graduates with little or no income to pay back their loans.

National debt per capita for 2014 is the highest it’s ever been at $58,437 (58.4 on YMI). Young people will be stuck paying for government debt they had no part in creating, and they’ll have to do it with less discretionary income than ever before because of record-high levels of student loan debt.

Add it all up, and the YMI comes out to an astonishing 106.5 up from 98.6 in 2013.

I think the index needs to weight unemployment higher – it’s a much greater contributor to personal misery than the national debt, which is pretty abstract to most people (so far).

But it remains a fact that the kids that voted for Obama have got to be regretting the choice, someday soon here…

Mission Nearly Accomplished

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails to urge us to “pretend”:

Pretend for a minute that President Obama doesn’t believe the United States ought to be a superpower, that it ought to be equal with other nations (not a big stretch – that belief motivated the Atom Spies to give nuclear secrets to the Russians and no doubt is shared by billions of people worldwide, today). How would he go about bringing America down to second or even third-world levels following the model of, say, Argentina?

  • Alienate traditional allies. Check.
  • Weaken military power, numbers and morale. Check.
  • Nationalize major industry. Check.
  • Weaken domestic energy independence, increase foreign dependence. Check.
  • Widen wealth gap. Check.
  • Reduce earners, increase idlers. Check.
  • Use government employees to intimidate political opponents. Check.
  • Crush middle class with regulations and taxes. In progress.
  • Debase the currency by printing money. In progress.
  • Debase the citizenry by flinging open borders. In progress.

So what’s next on the agenda? What will it take to bring the USA down to the economic, military, social and political level of, say, Spain?

Joe Doakes

About the only thing he hasn’t done is enlist Visigoths and Vandals into the military as auxiliaries.

Diminished Expectations

In 1981, Ronald Reagan had to deal with a fairly sharp, intense recession, with some fairly intense “negative growth”:

1981 Q04: -4.5895

1982 Q01: -6.5220

1982 Q02: 2.1923

1982 Q03: -1.4300

For those of you who weren’t around back then?  It was a nasty little downturn, especially coming on the heels of the sluggish, stagflation-addled seventies.

1982 Q04:  0.3890

1983 Q01:  5.3465

1983 Q02:  9.4443

1983 Q03:  8.0625

1983 Q04:  8.5095

1984 Q01:  8.1868

1984 Q02:  7.2118

Long before he started stretching the Constitution out of shape, Obama broke one other, less formal rule – really more of a truism:  as a very broad rule, sharp recessions, left on their own, tend to have sharp recoveries.  Reagan’s recession was a sharp, intense one, accompanied by the worst unemployment since the Great Depression (only tied in late 2009 by Obama’s recession).

And Reagan got out of the way, and let the market heal the economy (except of course the defense sector – but then, that’s never part of the “free market”) heal itself.

And it came roaring back much bigger and better than ever.

Obama, of course, took office in the midst of another sharp, intense downturn.

And six years later, he’s doing the end-zone happy dance as he claims a 5% growth in GDP.

Now, let’s presume for a moment that that 5% “growth rate” is organic (although it most assuredly is not).

It’s six years into a sharp recession.   Left to its own devices – without “Quantitative Easing”, without “Too Big To Fail” and skyrocketing energy prices, without Obamacare – we should have been seeing much better growth than this…

…in 2010 or 2011.

But during the Obama Recession, like the Great Depression, the economy was left to pretty much the opposite of “its own devices”.

Replay

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Rush Limbaugh said, about President Obama: “I hope he fails.”

Naturally, he was ripped for it by every liberal and by every mushy RINO trying to make nice with the press.

Read the linked transcript.  It’s surprisingly prescient.  Looking back on what Obama has wrought these past six years, my question is: was Rush right?  Should we hope President Obama fails in his effort to completely destroy the America that I grew up in?

Joe Doakes

Politically-correct or not, I certainly have been.

Connect The Dots

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Obama is relaxing the Cuban Embargo.  Why?  Why now?  As always – cui bono?

One of the first items changed is that telecommunication companies can do business in Cuba.

The richest man in the world is Carlos Sim who owns the Mexican phone system, is behind the whole “Obama-phone” fiasco and also is a huge contributor to Democrats in general and Obama in particular.

Campaign donor – telecommunications company – Cuban cell phone market – I’m beginning to get an inkling.

Joe Doakes

It’s a great time to be a liberal plutocrat.

When Leaders Were Leaders

33 years ago today, Eastern Europe seemed to be spiraling from crisis into deep crisis.

Poland’s communist government cracked down on the “Solidarity” movement.    In response, many Poles fled across the friendliest borders they could find.

And Poland’s ambassador to the US, Romuald Spasowski defected to the US – a capital offense in that Soviet puppet state.   We told that story a few years ago.

And it was in that moment, 33 years ago tonight, that Ronald Reagan showed what real leadership was. (The beef of the speech starts around 4:00 in)

When Reagan was in office, bad behavior had consquences; the Polish (and by extension Soviet) governments suffered.

Compare this with the vapid empty suit that’s currently in office, and the response the suit has had to provocations similar to the Solidarity Christmas.  Far from Reagan’s sharp, clear, principled response, Obama has propped up dictators like Assad, Castro and Chavez while undercutting the Poles, the Kurds, the Baltic States, the Ukrainians, and other freedom-seeking people around the world.

Compare, contrast, and think for a moment for how far this nation has fallen in 33 years.

Reform

SCENE:  Avery LIBRELLE is waiting at the light rail station on University Avenue. 

Seeing Mitch Berg driving past, LIBRELLE leaps and, incredibly, sails through BERG’s passenger side window and lands sitting upright in BERG’s passenger seat.

BERG:  What the…

LIBRELLE:  Hahahahahahahahaha, Merg!    You and your conservative teabagger friends “won” the South!  Now, you can keep it?

BERG:  Um, right.  Mary Landrieu lost, leaving not a single Democratic Senator, Governor or Democrat-controlled Legislative chamber in the entire old Confederacy. 

LIBRELLE:  Yeah!  You got all the racists!    The journey you started in 1968, when you inherited all the racists with Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”, is complete!  You guys got the KKK vote!

BERG:  You’re still babbling about the so-called “Southern Strategy?”

LIBRELLE:  Yes!  The racists, upset about the Civil Rights Act, all voted GOP!

BERG:  OK – let’s accept for a moment purely for sake of argument that the South is more “racist” than the rest of the country – which is deeply debatable, but again, it’s for argument’s sake – and that people vote first and foremost over racial issues. 

LIBRELLE:  Yep.  Absolutely!

BERG:  OK.  So the South voted for Nixon – but then, so did Vermont and California and, in 1972, Michigan, New York State, and even ultraliberal Minnesota.  So they’re all racists, too, right?

LIBRELLE:  The South were voting their consciences, though!

BERG:  Were they indeed?

LIBRELLE:  Even though these rhetorical questions of your always end up with me falling into a trap that makes me look stupid and uninformed, I’ll say “hell yeah!”

BERG:  OK – so the Democrats controlled every single southern Congressional delegation until 1994.  And the GOP didn’t win a majority of southern Governor’s offices, to say nothing of state legislatures, until well into the 2000s. 

By the way – the Klan hasn’t been a factor in Southern Politics since the sixties, maybe the seventies at the very latest.  So it would be more realistic to say that Republicans oversaw the extinction of mainstream racism in the Deep South. 

(BERG’s car pulls up to stoplight.  LIBRELLE steps out, walks between traffic to nearest train station).

BERG:  Avery?  Avery?

Letting Slip The Dogs Of “Blech”

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

So those of you who follow this post through to the bitter end will be ten feet tall and armor plated in about fifteen minutes.

There’s an election in two years – and the Democrat Party has decided to try to kick off the battle via the medium of the popular song.

There are three contenders, and they’re all pretty freaking awful.

But American needs to know; what’s the worst of the noxious bunch?

Let’s meet the offenders.  Then let’s get down to voting.

Contender #1 – The Hillary Clinton Country-Western Song: This is Hillary’s opening bid for popularity in a part of the country that would rather catch a stream of projectile diarrhea than vote for Hillary Clinton.

It’s got everything that people in America’s heartland look for in a leader: central-casting “country” people; folksy abbreviations on videos (“Learnin’ Hindsight’s Always Right”, “‘Cuz Our American Dream’s At Stake”), because we like our videos to do their local patois the same way Hillary Clinton does it in her speeches – clumsy and patronizing; clunky, greasy references to inside-the-Beltway chanting points (“let’s smash that glass ceiling!”, indeed).

Hard to pick the biggest groaner; for my money, it’s the moment around 1:50, where the hot babe on the motorcycle gives the guy a ride on the back. That’s right, guys – you’ve been living in two-income families for a generation now, but deep down inside you’re all still sexists!

You just know some consultant – in my mind’s eye, “he” looks like Pajama-Boy – got major kudos for this idea. Maybe even got it stolen by a bigger consultant.

The video reportedly cost the Hillary PAC a million dollars to make.  I have a hunch most of it went to AFTRA fees for the guys in the band – the only four males in Los Angeles would could pull of “Country Western Band”.

Or is the worst song…

Fauxcahontas’s Faux Faulk Frenzy:  On the surface, it seems like Elizabeth “I Lied About Being Cherokee” Warren’s song couldn’t be any more different;  lazily-written, badly-sung pseudo-”folk” music is as organic to the cultural left as Whole Foods, Terry Gross or Gluten-Free Coffee.

And whomever produced this atrocity got some of the surface anti-glitz “glitz” as right as Hillary’s crew got “country” wrong.  ”Run Fauxcahontas Run” has lots of the veneer of bad coffeehouse folk music; the big chorus stretches eleven syllables to cover fourteen syllables of rhythm; the dork-fingered guitar-playing sounds so much like it’s being played by a Sylvia-Plath-obsessed Vassar women’s studies major…

…that you know it can’t be.  It takes professionals – session musicians earning triple the musicians union scale – to play that badly, that well; it takes a professional singer to to edge that close to sounding like a lesbian slam poet without serving into pure caricature…

…as much as the lyrics do.

Before It Was Hilarious:  Of course, the control for this experiment was this little ditty from 2008, a classic hymn to The One…

…complete with adoring crowds chanting, Nuremberg-style, in the background.

Nothing more needs to be said, right?

Please?

A Time For Choosing:  OK – so what is the worst Hymn to a Candidate ever?

What’s the worst candidate hymn?

 
pollcode.com free polls

This may be the most important vote you take this year.

Obama’s “Working Class” Problem

Who could have seen this coming – an administration that, for all of its chatter about “shovel ready jobs” and “infrastructure”, is hog-tied to its allegiance to academia and liberal plutocrats, having big trouble with working class voters, especially white ones? 

As the price of fuel, staple foods, education and healthcare skyrocketed, all that talk of blue-collar work evaporated. 

Glenn Reynolds writes:

That was actually an original part of Barack Obama’s stimulus plan, but it was derailed by feminists within the Obama coalition who thought it would produce too many jobs for men. Christina Romer, then-chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, reported: “The very first email I got … was from a women’s group saying ‘We don’t want this stimulus package to just create jobs for burly men.’ ”

Well, if you’re offended by jobs for burly men, you probably won’t do well with working-class men, or with the working-class women who are often married to burly men. And, as Joel Kotkin notes, many other Obama policies — promoting urban density, which creates fewer construction jobs; fighting oil and coal extraction, thus targeting industries that create high-paying blue collar jobs; and even opening up immigration, which drives down wages for the working class — all seem designed to punish people who work for a living, even as expanded benefits for the poor seem designed to reward people who draw government checks for a living.

The parallels in Minnesota are – or should be – tantalizing to conservative Republicans; the DFL is even more the lapdog of urban academia and plutocrats than the national party; I’m not sure how Rick Nolan beat Stewart Mills, and I’m not sure he’ll do it again.  And when Collin Peterson finally retires in the 7th CD, that district will be Republican for a generation or two…

…entirely on the dynamics in Reynolds’ article.

Perverse Incentives

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Obama is a lame duck with delusions of royalty. He’s going to issue whatever Executive Orders he wants, knowing his hand-picked Attorney General won’t let Republican lawsuits affect his actions for years, if ever.

Republicans could impeach The First Black President, but Democrats have been slavering to be thrown in that briar patch, it’d set the Republican Party back a century.

Republicans’ only power is the purse. Maybe the Republicans should start advertising “Do not plan your vacation to visit any national parks or public monuments, Obama is going to shut them all down on July 1.”

He’ll do it in response to our shutting off the money, true; but why take the heat for it alone? Get out in front of him, for a change. Start telling people right now “There’s only one way to stop an out-of-control dictator so get ready for it, we’re shutting ‘er down.”

Joe Doakes

Watch for a media campaign claiming that the “power of the purse” is racist…

Ted Nugent Speaks

Rock and roller and conservative icon Ted Nugent tweets about Obama’s response to Ferguson:

Obama’s empty neutrality, moral bankruptcy and political cowardice is now undeniable to even his most loyal cheerleaders and boot-lickers!

— Cornel West (@CornelWest) November 25, 2014

Well, Ted Nugent saying that sort of thing about Barack Obama barely rises to Dog Bites Dog, now, does it?

UPDATE:  Wait…

Convention Plans

We’re already down to convention-planning time. 

And while the Democrat National Committee is pondering New York, Philly and Columbus, Ohio, Kevin Williamson has a more appropriate idea:

The Democrats, if they had any remaining intellectual honesty, would hold their convention in Detroit. Democratic leadership, Democratic unions and the Democratic policies that empower them, Democrat-dominated school bureaucracies, Democrat-style law enforcement, Democratic levels of taxation and spending, the politics of protest and grievance in the classical Democratic mode — all of these have made Detroit what it is today: an unwholesome slop-pail of woe and degradation that does not seem to belong in North America, a craptastical crater groaning with misery, a city-shaped void in what once was the industrial soul of the nation. If you want to see the end point of Barack Obama’s shining path, visit Detroit.

Not, he points out, that New York and Philadelphia aren’t headed in the same direction…

I’m Not Going To Say…

…”when Obama’s lost SNL, he’s truly lost” – I mean, nobody really thinks about SNL much any more, do they?

And yet…:

And the “funny” thing is, this is better “Journalism” than most of the mainstream media has done on the subject of Barack Rex’s overreach.

John Fund:

It’s no wonder that the White House and its allies aren’t citing the recent elections or polls in defending their actions. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken ahead of Obama’s move found that voters opposed him taking executive action without approval from Congress by 48 to 38 percent. Even among Hispanics, only 43 percent favored the action versus 37 percent who opposed it.

Look for this to be as far as the media (AKA “The Praetorian Guard”) to go in criticizing Barack Rex.

Just Say Any Crap At All

I’m starting to develop this theory that the Democrats’ “messaging” strategy is developing into something like this:

  1. Tell voters pretty much whatever you think they want to hear.
  2. Assume the voters are too incurious to check up on it.
  3. There is no point 3.

Submitted as evidence:  Barbara Boxer’s speech against the Keystone Pipeline; I’ll emphasize the real howlers:

Not only would the construction of Keystone put no negative pressure on gasoline prices, an argument President Barack Obama has also made, but the California senator claimed it would have the precise opposite effect. “We’re going to see higher gas prices because of this,” Boxer insisted.

These and other comments delivered by Boxer over the course of her hours on the floor on Tuesday were equally confounding, but her most mystifying pronouncements were those in which she touted the bustling green economy of her home state.

“Ask yourself the question, is it worth exposing our people to these risks who I stood with shoulder to shoulder, and is it worth exposing the planet to these risks when we can create millions of jobs in a clean energy economy like we’re doing in my state,” she said. “And we’re going gangbusters!”

“I come from a state that is booming with hundreds of thousands of jobs with balanced budgets — clean energy future — and I come from a state that embraced cleaning up the environment and building the economy and jobs,” Boxer later added. “And they go hand in hand.”

Repeat after us:  Scarcity leads to lower prices; plenty leads to higher prices.  California is going gangbusters.  The budget – “balanced” via tax hikes – is sustainable; the California pension bubble isn’t going to burst.  Green energy is a goldmine for workers! 

It sounds good on camera.  It plays well with people who still think government still tells the truth, and that media will tell them if anything’s amiss.   It plays well with Gruber’s America. 

The question isn’t “has the Democrat party switched to an all-lie messaging strategy”.  The queston is “given their assumptions, why would they not go to an all-lie messaging strategy?”