Above All That

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

President Obama isn’t Un-American, he’s Post-American.

Before the Constitution, people living here were subject to the whims of the British Crown.

While we’re living here, we’re supposed to be citizens of a democratic republic; but that’s too confining for a person who has the vision and power to stop the seas from rising and start the Earth healing.

We’re headed into a Post-American era, where national geographical boundaries will no longer matter. Anybody who wants to move here should be able to, and should be able to work here, too. And President Obama’s new pick for Attorney General agrees it’s totally legal and constitutional legal and Constitutional for the President to up and decide that, on his own. Worse, she won’t rule out the possibility that President Obama’s actions give illegal aliens greater rights to jobs than American citizens, like Veterans’ Preference points, only for soldiers in the other side’s army.

I wouldn’t mind so much except I keep wondering what else will change in a Post-American era. Will life here become like Europe after the Fall of Rome? That might not be as much fun as some people seem to think.

Joe Doakes

“Progressive” have seen themselves as “post American” for a long time; it was one of the key factors of the 2004 election. It didn’t work for John Kerry; I think people basically ignored it with Barack Obama.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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…

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.

Fear Of A Dumb Planet

SCENE: Mitch BERG is walking through the woods in Como Park, looking for a place to practice the bagpipes.

Suddenly, Avery LIBRELLE jumps out from behind a tree. 

LIBRELLE:  Hey, Merg!  Your sides has been owned again!

BERG:  Er, Avery?  What are you doing in the middle of the woods?

LIBRELLE: Stakeout for climate criminals.  So anyway, we were talking about how your side has been owned again.

BERG:  ”We” weren’t.  You were. 

LIBRELLE:  Hahaha.  And it comes from Canada.  Here.  Read it. 

20141112-102136-37296823.jpg

LIBRELLE: So yet again, a Canadian proves he knows what’s best for us better than the American electorate does. 

BERG:  Well, no.  He’s shown he’s absorbed Deb Wasserman-Drescher’s chanting points like a Macalester College poli-sci grad.  Pretty much every point Richard Brunt of Victoria British Columbia says is wrong. 

LIBRELLE:  No way!

BERG:  Way.  Corporate profits are high because companies are sitting on cash, rather than investing.  The “under 6%” unemployment number is a sham; the percentage of people in the workforce who are working is essentially unchanged since the lowest point in the depression.  The GDP growth rate Mr. Brunt is bragging about is the slowest of any recovery in the post-war era. This is especially noteworthy because, normally, steep sharp recessions have steep, sharp recoveries (see 1982). This one was a steep recession with a painfully-slow recovery. How painful? The current GDP growth is equal to the WORST quarter of growth in the recovery from the 1982 recession.

Gasoline prices are “falling” to about $1 more than they were when Obama took office. Worse than that when you adjust for inflation. 

LIBRELLE:  Hah, Merg!  There is no inflation!

BERG:  Does you or Mr. Brunt ever buy bread, beef, chicken, eggs or health insurance?  …? CPI shows low inflation, but that’s largely a function of the price of debt – which is being kept artificially low:

Oh, yeah – and oil imports are declining partly due to the slow economy, and partly due to drilling in the Dakotas, which is basically happening over Obama’s, let’s just say, passive-aggressive objection.

As to the “respected around the world” bit? That’s just delusional.

LIBRELLE:  That’s just like a typical Repblicon.  A message based on fear!

BERG:  Fear?

LIBRELLE:  Yeah.  Fear of black people!

BERG:  How did fear or black people enter the conversation?

LIBRELLE:  You’re afraid, aren’t you?  Boo!  There’s a black guy sneaking up on you!

(BERG turns, inflates the bag on his pipes, and starts playing random noises to drown LIBRELLE out as he walks back to his car).

“The Most Dictatorial President We’ve Ever Had”

Watch this video starring Ted Nugent, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage, in which President Obama is called…well, exactly that.

UPDATE:  I lied.  It’s not Nugent, Hannity and Savage.  It’s Nat Hentoff, liberal civil libertarian and godfather of the ACLU.  He’s a liberal – but he has been committed enough to actual civil liberty over the decades that he’s even pissed liberals off at him…

This Is How Stupid They Think You Are

SCENE:  The Admiralty, London, May, 1940.  Winston CHURCHILL is poring over a map in the Admiralty’s operation’s center, looking over the deteriorating situation in France.  He is joined by Admiral Nigel FRIEDEN, head of the Royal Navy’s public health wing.

CHURCHILL:  It is clear that we are going to have to evacuate the British Army from France.  In addition to a maximum effort by the Royal Navy, we’ll need thousands of civilian boats to help get the troops off the beaches and evacuate them from the Nazis. 

FRIEDEN:  I’m afraid that’s a bad idea, sir.

CHURCHILL:  Why do you say that?

FRIEDEN:  If we evacuate the Army, it will just make the occupation worse in England.  Also, we’ll have to use the fleet to evacuate Germans from England, too, then.

CHURCHILL:  That makes no sense.

FRIEDEN:  I’m an expert. 

NEXT SCENE: The US Air Force base at Wiesbaden, West Germany, June, 1948.  General Lucius CLAY, commander of US Military Government in occupied West Germany, is looking at a map of the Eastern Zone.  Ominously, red Soviet stars sit astride the three road/rail routes supplying West Berlin; the Soviets have just instituted a blockade, trying to starve West Berlin into the Soviet sphere.  Clay looks pensive.  He is joined at the map table by Brigadier (one-star) General Maximilian FRIEDEN, head of his public health corps. 

CLAY:  Blockade, schmockade.  We will need to start the greatest airlift in history to keep Berlin supplied.  It will show Stalin that we’re serious about

FRIEDEN:  We can’t, General.

CLAY:  What the hell?

FRIEDEN:  If we bring food, medicine and coal to Berlin, it’ll just make the hunger, disease and cold worse.  Also, for every load of supplies we bring in, we’ll have to bring a plane-load of Soviet spies and commandos back. 

CLAY:  Whose army do you serve?

SCENE:  April 1975.  As the North Vietnamese Army overruns Saigon’s last line of defenses, US Marine Brigadier General Richard CAREY is discussing the upcoming evacuation of Americans and certain Vietnamese from Saigon.  Artillery is heard in the distance, as CAREY makes the final plans to remove the last Americans, and as many Vietnamese as possible, from the Embassy compound .  He is addressing a group of officers, including State Department public health attache T. Morton FRIEDEN.

CAREY:  And so we’ll bring in the helicopters from the aircraft carriers.  We’ll get the last of the Marines out by 1800 hours. 

FRIEDEN:  General, that’s a bad idea.  Evacuating Marines will only make them more subject to Communist rule.  And for every helicopter full of Marines you remove, you’ll need to bring one full of Vietnamese back from the ships. 

CAREY:  (Stands, slack-jawed).

———-

CDC director Thomas Frieden is telling us that wejust can’tstop all flights coming in from West Africa, because…:

It’ll Make the Epidemic Worse:  Because ancient tribal burial rituals, lack of information about handling infections, and superstitions about healthcare workers aren’t bad enough; dispersing the epidemic all around the world must be ten times better!

If we stop air travel, we won’t be able to bring supplies:  That’s only true if all flights from West Africa are on disposable aircraft, or are kamikaze flights.  Planes can fly in the other direction.  Hopefully to drop off supplies and trained well-equipped healthcare workers.  And return empty, until the crisis eases.

I imagine Mr. Frieden knows this.  But judging by the last round of elections, it’s a lot for a plurality of Amerians to understand…

UPDATE: You think I’m selling Dr. Friedman short? 

Read this – especially Dr. Frieden’s interview with Megyn Kelly

It only looks like one of my parodies.

Subsidiary

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Subsidiarity” is the Conservative political principle that says things ought to be managed at the lowest level of organization capable of handling them.  School lunches, for example, should be selected by millions of individual Moms, not dictated by The First Lady of The United States.

President Obama is committed to this principle.  We will now screen arriving international air travelers for Ebola symptoms but those who exhibit symptoms will be a problem for local health officials, not the CDC or national government.

Muslim terrorists never attack so we don’t need boots on the ground in combat, there are only episodes ofworkplace violence or film protests gone bad for law enforcement to handle.

When immigration amnesty plans caused millions of illegal aliens to swamp the Mexican border, Congress gave extra money to pay local cops overtime rather than beef up Customs.

It’s good to see the President embracing Tea Party principles of government. If only Republicans were this good at it.

Joe Doakes

Politics is the worst possible way to deal with the realities of the world around us.

Epitaph

 Someday, when we need an epitaph for the Obama Years, I’m going to submit this paragraph by Mattew Continetti:

Over the last few years the divergence between what the government promises and what it delivers, between what it says is happening or will happen and what actually is happening and does happen, between what it determines to be important and what the public wishes to be important — this gap has become abysmal, unavoidable, inescapable.

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