Publicado: 01-15-2011 08:43 AM
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said Friday that most illegal immigrants coming across the Mexico/US border are smuggling drugs; a labor union that represents almost 20,000 border patrol agents heavily disputed Brewer’s comments.
"Well, we all know that the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now becoming drug mules," Brewer said. "They're coming across our borders in huge numbers. The drug cartels have taken control of the immigration.”
"So they are criminals. They're breaking the law when they are trespassing and they're criminals when they pack the marijuana and the drugs on their backs," Brewer said.
Reporters asked Brewer to explain her comments and she replied that many illegal immigrants crossing the border are coming to look for work but "are accosted, and they become subjects of the drug cartels."
In a CNN interview Friday, T.J. Bonner of the National Border Patrol Council said Brewer's claims were "clearly not the case." Bonner said there are some illegal immigrants coming across the border that carry drugs, and of those some say that they felt pressure from the drug cartels, but that the percentage is low. And if it was the case, there would be more drug related prosecutions.
Bonner said that her comments don't "comport with reality -- that's the nicest way to put it."
After making the public comments earlier on Friday, Brewer later released a statement that read:
"The simple truth is that the majority of human smuggling in our state is under the direction of the drug cartels, which are by definition smuggling drugs," Brewer's said.
"It is common knowledge that Mexican drug cartels have merged human smuggling with drug trafficking."
Brewer said the "human rights violations that have taken place (by the cartels) victimizing immigrants and their families are abhorrent."
Brewer’s new controversial immigration law is scheduled to begin July 29, and it has some people around the country outraged saying that it supports racism.
One week ago, a senior official at the White House announced that Obama administration lawyers will file a legal challenge against the Arizona immigration law within the next month, according to a breaking news report from CNN. This came after Hillary Clinton stated that a lawsuit would be brought against the state in a televised interview. Lawyers are expected to fill the legal challenge shortly before the new law would take effect on July 29. For more about that story, click here.
President Obama expressed his dislike for the bill and spoke about comprehensive immigration legislation, which would include a pathway for citizenship for some people who are in the country illegally. To read and see more about President Obama’s reaction to the bill, click here.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer met with President Obama on June 3 about Arizona’s concerns, and Brewer came out of the meeting sounded positive about Obama’s response. During the meeting, Obama said that the issue of a lawsuit against the state of Arizona for its new law would be up to the Department of Justice. For more on that story,click here.
Publicado: 01-23-2011 11:21 PM
Is Obama Resurrecting Nazi Fascist Economics?
Barack’s Deal With GE & Immelt Bodes Ill for America
By Kelly O’Connell
January 23, 2011
Don’t look now, but Obama again sails into uncharted waters by naming Jefferey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, head of his jobs committee. Imagine, if this was announced by George W, liberals would have screamed like fat kids at diet camp. But the national response is light applause and yawns, proving once again—it’s not what is done, but who does it—that matters to leftists.
Fascinatingly, such collusion between government and big business recalls Nazi fascist economics. Such blurred lines between public and private sectors is the subject of this column.
I. Obama’s Agreement with General Electric & Jeff Immelt
Obama is not Adolph Hitler. Yet, it’s still weirdly fascinating how he repeatedly recycles disproved ideas of leftist regimes. For example, fascists accommodated industry in a way communists could not imagine. Now Obama reuses their playbook.
Of the Immelt appointment, the White House said,
A board to get Americans back to work and strengthen our economy will be chaired by Jeff Immelt, CEO and Chairman of General Electric…The Council will focus on finding new ways to promote growth by investing in American business….
So, the current CEO of one of America’s largest companies running a government jobs program raises no red flags? Ironically, GE has long flouted sanctions on Iran, Syria and others. But instead of punishment, GE is rewarded. Has no one really asked what kind of quid pro quo, or reward, GE gets for its aid to Obama?
The American Spectator reports GE already benefited from Obamanomics:
Obama had signed the stimulus bill, which included $24.9 million in grants that would flow directly to GE, with roughly $20 billion more slated for health care record modernization of the kind that GE specializes in—“with a direct request to do so from GE’s CEO Jeffrey Immelt.”
So Obama and GE already had some kind of agreement. And seeing what rewards are at stake, consider how this will encourage other captains of industry to publicly support Obama. Such a scenario harkens back to Nazi Germany, where companies either accepted Hitler or had no future.
II. Fascist Economics
Nazism was a fascist movement, a fascinating ideology and practice about which exists much confusion. This is because there exists no single “Fascist” doctrine. Instead, in Italy and Germany, public policy was often ad hoc in nature. But there are set fascist doctrines, nonetheless, and we can address some generalities.
First, let’s summarize that it is highly misleading to categorize fascism as simply “right-wing,” as if its ideas were somehow an appendage to modern Conservatism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fascism is totalitarian in nature, more than anything else.
Totalitarianism is defined by the Encyclopaedia Britannica as:
A form of government that theoretically permits no individual freedom and that seeks to subordinate all aspects of the individual’s life to the authority of the government.
Under fascism, men have no rights and government no restrictions. Contra, a state based upon constitutionalism, a republican theory, and democratic practice, highlighting a natural rights theory, like America, is polar opposite. Conservatism, or historical Classical Liberalism, uses government to increase, not diminish, human freedom.
Fascism is not synonymous with socialism or communism, but similarities form a long list:
According to Kevin Passmore’s Fascism, A Very Short Introduction, these similar traits are discernible in Fascism:
1.It is a totalitarian system meaning a total theory of life, enforced by threat, and organized from the top-down by government.
2.Much like Marxism, it offers a political religion in the place of historic belief systems.
3.It persuades the populace on the basis of propaganda and the threat of terror for those who refuse the system.
4.It opposes the rule of law, exactly as communism.
5.It boasts a highly aggressive, militaristic, conquering approach to international relations.
6.It claims to supersede all reproductive and family rights, identical to communism.
III. Nazi Economic Theory & Practice
A. Nazi Economic Fallacies
Several misconceptions regarding Nazi economics must be mentioned.
First, the Nazis were not the unmitigated success some writers claim, states Adam Tooze in his groundbreaking work The Wages of Destruction, The Making And Breaking Of The Nazi Economy.
Second, Nazis did not have an economy based on free markets, or unfettered capitalism.
Third, Nazi Germany was not a “corporatist” affair where the state was run by an equal marriage between the Third Reich and big business, according to Avraham Barkai in Nazi Economics, Ideology,
Theory And Policy.
As economist Gary North explains, there was nothing Conservative, or of Classical Economics about Nazi Germany, writing:
The German economic system was run by the central government. It preserved the illusion of private property, but it was a socialist system. The government controlled the means of production. The government issued fiat money, and it established price and wage controls. It set up a system of 1,600 cartels in 1933-36. Beginning in 1934, government officials set the prices of commodities, and this resulted in shortages of most domestic commodities. The government also expanded the power of the government over the affairs of everybody in the society.
B. The Nazi 25 Points Program
Hitler had no deep knowledge of economic theory or practice. He believed if his experts were in charge, he could give commands and his demands would be achieved. Hitler was disinterested in economics, but knew he could not win popular support without a good economy.
This was one chief difference between Marxist and Fascist states, as the communists were positively fatalistic in removing industrialist leadership. To this end Hitler employed the ideas of Gottfried Feder, who formulated the Nazi’s Twenty-Five Point Program (25 Punkte Partieprogramm) of 1920.
Ten of the Points expressed Third Reich economic policy. For example, Point 18 made it a capital crime to money-lend or profiteer; whereas Point 13 nationalized all publicly owned companies; and Point 14 demanded profit sharing from all large companies. Feder’s philosophy was the cliche’ “Breaking the slavery of interest,” an obvious code phrase attacking Jewish business interests. The points morphed into unalterable”sacred” Nazi policy.
C. Big Business and Nazism
Some essentials about Third Reich market theory are apropos. First, Nazi economic policy was a pure triumph of politics over anything else. Known facts defy Marxist propaganda that Nazism arose from blessings of Big Business upon Hitler. Yet, large corporations did sully themselves by cooperating with the Nazis to stay alive. Yet, Tim Mason argues there exists no proof wealthy industrialists had any important influence on Hitler’s singular opinions. Barkai refers to this remarkable happening:
The primacy of politics in the Third Reich was indeed a unique phenomenon in the annals of bourgeois society since the Industrial Revolution, but was an unassailable fact per se.
Tooze also weighs in on this point:
The evidence cannot be dodged. Nothing suggests that the leaders of German big business were filled with ideological ardor for National Socialism.
Second, the businesses that survived Nazi takeover and thrived were those supporting Hitler’s rise. Barkai quotes David’s Schoenbaum‘s observation:
The status of business in the Third Reich was at best the product of a social contract between unequal partners , in which submission was the condition for success…Business recovered, in effect, as an accomplice of the Third Reich and by the grace of it. But the initiative was the State’s and economic recovery a means, not an end.
The net effect was business leaders became silent partners. Writes Barkai,
In substance, this means that the captains of industry in the Third Reich occupied the pposition of “sleeping partners,” enjoying generous profits but having no say on the “management of the firm.” All groups in large-scale industry accumulated vast profits; they benefited from economic recovery and shared in the gains of plunder without compunction—beginning with Jewish property confiscated during the process of Aryanization and going onto the spoils of war . However, the business community had no real say with regard to far-reaching objectives of economic policy…
Nazi policy set interest at a “just rate” by decree, according to Barkai. This policy allowed a legal attack against the Jews, launching pogroms against their businesses. This well represents Nazi racial theory pursued even to their own harm.
D. Nazis & Keynesianism
Nazi economic policy (as Obama's) was proto-Keynesian. David Gordon writes, “In effect, Germany had embarked on a Keynesian policy: government spending became increasingly important in guiding the economy…”
For example, Feder had a theory of limitlessly increasing money supply to keep employment high, as Keynes later argued. Feder asked why ... “the state should not produce the money…which, after all, is guaranteed by the entire labor force of the people.” A series of special banks was proposed for use in economic and construction activity, like America’s Federal Reserve Banks. The work of these is described by Feder:
During the interim period, the National Socialist state will use its right to create money wisely in order to finance large public works and the construction of housing, in the spirit of my well-known proposals (a bank for construction and economic activities, etc).
Hitler was not anti-capitalist. He merely believed his state should control personal property, saying:
What matters is to emphasize the fundamental idea in my party’s economic program clearly—the idea of authority. I want the authority. I want everyone to keep the property he has acquired himself according to the principle: benefit to the community precedes benefit to the individual (Gemeinnutz geht vor Eigennutz). But the state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interest of others among his people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property.
It would be impossible to find a better expression of fascist property theory, as distinct from socialism and communism in name, if not always in effect.
IV. Nazi Fascism & Obamanomics
Comparison between Nazi economics and the Obama Administration are inevitable given Barack’s policies. It’s stunning how Barack apes leftist maneuvers of past failed liberal regimes. Why so, given their disastrous results? One can speculate Barack is either wholly ignorant of history and economics; or he seeks power. The current collapse of US state budgets will deform American Federal structure, if national government bails them out. If Obama is indeed a socialist, will he not secretly rejoice?
Barack again grows stronger, like a weakened hurricane regrouping over warm water. His scurrilous seduction of big business only damages America’s free-markets, building his power base upon fascist “jobs creation” at the cost of capitalism itself. So, are patriotic Americans going resist Barack’s unscrupulous reborn ambitions—or will we roll over like in 2008—and let our Marxist Cerberus have his way with our Republic, once again?
Publicado: 01-26-2011 04:20 PM
OBAMA DESTROYING ANOTHER 150,000 HIGH PAYING JOBS
September 13, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
The Obama administration wants to pass two tax changes targeted at American oil and energy companies in order to pay for other tax breaks they want to offer as part of their new we-can’t-call-it-a-stimulus stimulus package. Unfortunately, as Joseph Mason points out in a New York Post essay, the effect of those tax changes will be to kill 150,000 jobs in that sector — high-paying, skilled union jobs for the most part. Who says? Obama’s own Commerce Department:
Just last week, President Obama explicitly targeted the industry for two massive tax hikes. First, he’d ban oil and gas companies from using the “Section 199″ tax credit, a measure for domestic manufacturers enacted in 2004 to boost US employment. (The Senate is set to vote this week on its version of the ban.) Second, he wants to end “dual capacity” protection for US energy firms.
Without this shield against double taxation on foreign revenues, American companies would be competing on an uneven global playing field. Again, Obama aims directly and specifically at the US oil and gas industry.
Yet, by the federal government’s own economic model, these tax hikes would lead to huge, immediate job losses. I ran the numbers through the Commerce Department’s RIMS II model; it shows, under the proposed changes to Section 199 and dual capacity, Americans would almost immediately lose more than 150,000 stable, private-sector jobs.
Because our energy firms operate as part of an integrated economy, as much as 38 percent of the job losses would come in professional fields, such as education, administration, health care, real estate and the arts. Another 21 percent would hit producers of necessities such as our food and textiles.
Ironically, the White House and Obama have started selling this as a means to keep job creation inside the US. Actually, that was the point of the tax breaks Obama wants to modify, at least in part. The shield against double taxation allows American companies to remain competitive against foreign-based companies, thanks to the lack of taxation they pay and the high corporate rate in the US. If American companies had to pay taxes twice on foreign earnings, they would either have to hike prices so high that they would lose business, or move the companies overseas to avoid the taxes. Either way, it would cost jobs in the US, and plenty of them.
In fact, that was the reason that the Obama administration finally got talked out of making these two changes last year, applied to all American businesses. The changes would have seriously damaged foreign sales by manufacturers such as Caterpillar and Intel, which sent their CEOs in person to argue against the effort. Foreign sales create jobs at home, even if some of the actual manufacturing occurs abroad. Changing the tax code would not only have resulted in much less revenue than projected thanks to falling sales and some relocations of companies, but also lower overall revenues thanks to higher unemployment.
In an economy like this, we should be looking to create new jobs, not destroy existing positions. This is a childish attempt to punish the energy sector not for any particular failing but simply out of antagonism on one hand and a redistributive impulse on the other. If Obama wants to pay for his new tax breaks, which are estimated to cost around $120 billion, then perhaps he can cut part of the $1.1 trillion in new annual spending from Democrats over the last three years. He’d do better at economic stimulus if he cut all of it than by destroying another 150,000 skilled jobs.
More Hurdles for Drilling
January 7, 2011
Publicado: 01-27-2011 03:47 PM
Empty, Stupid Happy Talk is NOT “Reaganesque”
Posted By David Forsmark On January 27, 2011
If I hear one more lamestream media pundit or anchor call Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union speech “Reaganesque,” I will… never mind, in the new age of civility, I am not allowed to complete that sentence.
It’s telling that the media was willing to lap up the White House talking point that Obama was not becoming Clinton, but Reagan last night. But since he wasn’t making empty promises like “the era of Big Government is over,” … oh, wait.
When Reagan was making his speeches, the media said they were divorced from reality because of their optimism, ignored America’s deep deep problems, proposed no solutions and even dabbled in science fiction.
Wait, maybe the elite pundit class really DOES believe Obama was Reaganesque Tuesday night!
Now THIS is “Reaganesque”Obama pretended the recession is over, dismissed industries that create jobs in the real world and proposed an economy based on future “green energy” that has yet to be invented (and defies the laws of physics) and said America will be “winning the future” … just because.
(As a physicist friend of mine has pointed out, missile defense tried to apply physics to the problem, while most green energy projects are trying to overcome physics.)
And here is the crux of why it is insulting to bring Ronald Reagan into this discussion. Reagan expressed confidence that the American people, freed from the constraints of government intervention, could solve our problems. Barack Obama is confident that the federal government freed from spending restraints can usher in a new era of prosperity.
So, other than a 5 year spending freeze which freezes spending at the current all-time high, there was really nothing new in the Obama agenda in the SOTU address. To paraphrase a Biblical expression, it was old wine in new wineskins.
If Obama was channeling anyone it was not Ronaldus Magnus, but Big Bro. The phraseology was positively Orwellian.
Tax breaks are “spending,” but spending is “investment.” A freeze at an all time high level of spending is a “dramatic cut.” We can fix Social Security without touching benefits for current OR future retirees or raising taxes… say what?
Which means, of course that in Internet-speak, this post could have been titled “SOTU: SSDD” (Same… uh Stuff Different Day). Speaking of such things, since Obama’s new catch phrase is “Winning the Future,” and he is trying to channel past Republican presidents, perhaps he can take a page out of Jerry Ford’s playbook and try to make his new slogan catch on with buttons.
What could be more perfect than… WTF?
Publicado: 01-27-2011 06:27 PM
A groaning farrago of clichés and unlikely undertakings.
By Conrad Black
I do not believe that Mr. Obama thinks the United States is the only nation on earth where young people in one region of the country are likely to have similar ambitions to those in other sections of the country. “We measure our progress by the success of our people.” And that progress is partly “thanks to tax cuts we passed,” referring to the Bush tax cuts whose continuation Mr. Obama fought to the last ditch.
The president fantasized that “throughout history, our government has provided cutting-edge scientists with the support that they need.” It has done nothing of the kind, apart from some World War II military activities. Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers, the only inventors the president actually named, did not receive one cent from any government, any more than NASA “created millions of new jobs.”
Claiming the need to “raise expectations for every child,” like promises to “get rid of loopholes” in the tax system, and the promise to “find a bipartisan solution to strengthening Social Security,” while we “make sure we aren’t buried under a mountain of debt,” should be an impeachable offense, as a high misdemeanor, both substantively and stylistically. The speech was largely a tired porridge of the president’s old, time-warped pastiche of leftist postures from his university years.
Millionaires had to “give up their tax break.” (They don’t have one.) Millions of clean jobs were out there somewhere. (They aren’t.) And although the president’s imperishable green delusion was down to a commendation of two men who founded a solar-shingle business in vacant government storage space, there was not a word about increasing domestic oil production or transferring much oil use to plentiful natural gas.
The president’s listless delivery and oppressive vagueness robbed of any credibility his jaunty promises of “rebuilding America.” “Countries in Europe and Russia invest more in roads and railways . . . [so] we will put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges.” (The last time there were intimations of “shovel-ready projects,” all that was shovelable was the horse manure of roseate predictions that accompanied a trillion dollars of borrowed and ineffective stimulus.) The president promised that in 25 years, 80 percent of Americans will have access to high-speed rail; and that he would “in five years make it possible to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless to 98 percent of Americans.” The tepid response of even his own followers did not stoke up much credulity.
Exports, Obama said, will double by 2014. But the only manufactured exports that the country has retained after outsourcing almost everything else to the countries from which it has borrowed trillions of dollars to buy them are aircraft and advanced-technology equipment. There is not the faintest hint of how the exported quantities of these products will double, and certainly nothing to inspire hope that anything that has been outsourced will be repatriated, to be made by the huge numbers of unskilled laborers who will be affected by Mr. Obama’s promise to “take on illegal immigration.” The promised “review of government regulations” is a commendable recognition that the commerce of the country is being strangled; given the president’s status as the most zealous and righteous regulator in American history, the offhand promise carried something less than the fervor of the grace of conversion.
His response to the recent House of Representatives vote to repeal his health-care act was: “If you can make health care better or more affordable, I’m eager to work with you.” The president knows perfectly well that to reduce the cost of health care from the $7,000 per capita it is in the U.S. to closer to the $3,000 it is in other advanced countries with good medical care that is generally accessible, he will have to go far beyond the malpractice award caps he envisioned, and also muscle the drug companies as other countries have done, as well as the private hospital companies and unions, and adopt the Republican 2008 campaign-platform proposal of giving a health-care credit to everyone, offering complete competition in acquisition of health-care options, and taxing deluxe health-benefit packages that constitute de facto income (for those who can afford the tax). Half-measures such as his bill, which may be the most ill-considered statute in this jurisdiction since Townshend’s tax on tea in 1767, make things worse and not better.
The warning about the dangers of debt was a bit rich coming from the president who has increased debt by over $2.5 trillion in two years. There remains in the U.S., as in Europe and Japan, no indication that there is any disposition to pay down the horrifying debts that have piled up, rather than, in a silent conspiracy of utter cowardice, simply to devalue the currencies in which the debt is denominated, in the hope that doing so together and gradually will disguise the rape of the thrifty and the prudent and the financially defenseless that that implies. A five-year freeze on 12 percent of budget expenses is a small step forward, but far short of the radical measures required.
The president of earmarks, who declined to disown them when running for election and winked at their colossal profusion in his first two years, also had a credibility gap when he declared war on the earmarks (individual scraps of patronage pasted by congressmen and senators onto unrelated bills in exchange for their votes, i.e., pork barrel, log-rolling, and back-scratching). He deserves an oratorical Razzie, if not an Academy Award, for perorating: “There isn’t a person here who would trade places with any other nation on earth.” Perhaps not, in the U.S. Congress, but that is scarcely comforting.
In foreign affairs, he said, “we must defeat determined enemies wherever they are”; and “our civilians will forge a lasting partnership with the Iraqi people” (this is the hallucinatory vision of the commander-in-chief who opposed the entire mission); while “the Iranian government faces tougher and tighter sanctions” (though no sane person expects them to accomplish anything); and, just when I thought it couldn’t become more implausible, “With our European allies, we have revitalized NATO” (it has become a bedraggled group of countries happy enough to accept a U.S. military guaranty but unwilling to pay for it).
The president, to his credit, does recognize that the American corporation is grossly overtaxed, and he has overcome the long swoon of the AFL-CIO and Nancy Pelosi with the Colombian Communist guerrillas and now favors the long-stalled free-trade agreement with that country.
Paul Ryan for the Republicans and Michele Bachmann for the Tea Partiers gave their usual competent recitations of the economic facts, but did not reply to the president, as was billed. They read pre-written statements off teleprompters, when an effective reply could easily have been prepared by any experienced debater in the two or more hours that the text of the president’s message was available.
Mr. Obama said, “We do big things.” The country has, but there was no sign of it on Tuesday night, and the spirit of declinism was heavy, in the flaccid speaking, the sophomoric enthusiasms of the legislators, the very scattered applause, the partial boycott of the Supreme Court, and the distracting giggling of Joe Biden. These occasions were once celebrations, sometimes unjustifiably and tastelessly so. They have become an agony.
Publicado: 01-28-2011 11:33 AM
Space Cadet Obama's 'Sputnik' Gaffe Says It All
Earth calling Barack. Earth calling Barack: Do you have any idea which country ultimately won the space race—and why?
This question goes to the heart of what was so wrong with the President's State of the Union address.
Instead of celebrating the freedom, prosperity, ingenuity, and natural abundance that enabled America to put the first man on the moon, Obama missed the point completely. He talked not of an "Apollo moment" or a "Mercury moment," but of "our generation's Sputnik moment." That's Sputnik, as in the bad guys.
If you want to know how bad, consider the fate of Laika, the first dog in space. She was deliberately sent up there to die. Can you imagine Americans being so callous, even in the 1950s?
Or if you prefer, go to the Smithsonian or NASA and look at the size of the capsules the Soviets used to put their first men in space. The thing you immediately notice is how tiny the capsules are—designed with no thought whatsoever for the comfort of the men inside. Unlike the (relatively pampered) U.S. astronauts, those Soviet cosmonauts headed into space literally packed like sardines in a can, with their knees up against their chins and no way of stretching for the entire mission.
But here's the key: Despite all that ruthless cost-cutting, and even though the Soviet space authorities made far less effort than their counterparts at NASA to ensure the safety of their spacecraft—even then the Soviets failed. Not only did they fail to put a man on the moon, but the cost of their earlier exertions placed such a strain on their economy that the entire Soviet experiment failed too. Is that really an example the U.S. should be following if, as Obama puts it, it is to "win the future"? (WTF?)
Well, obviously not. And in any case, we should ever be suspicious when a liberal starts singing the praises of the space race. Traditionally, space has been a conservative sphere, a place for God-fearing young men with buzz cuts and exemplary war records, oozing testosterone, dangerous patriotism, and an unhealthy love of weaponry, the most ostentatious embodiment of the vast "military-industrial complex" that young liberals are taught from an early age to fear and loathe. However, there are few things that get liberals more excited than an excuse to mobilize the entire nation in the service of a great cause. That's "mobilize" as in "allow Big Government to take over everything."
This, of course, is the exact opposite of what the Republicans who have just taken over the House believe. And it is why the next two years are going to be so very interesting. When Obama declares, "Now is the time for both sides and both house of Congress—Democrats and Republicans—to forge a principled compromise that gets the job done," he is whistling in the wind. There can be no common ground between an ideology that sees big government as the solution to our problems, and the ideology that sees big government as their cause.
If Obama's "Sputnik moment" is the best he can offer America, then America is truly doomed. It stands about as much chance of saving the U.S. economy as Laika did of coming back to have her Hero of the Soviet Union medal pinned to her fur.
James Delingpole is an English journalist, writer and broadcaster. His books include "Welcome To Obamaland" (Regnery) and "Coward on the Beach" (Bloomsbury) the first in a series of adventure novels set in World War II.
Sputnik Moment, or GM Moment?
Attribution: Brian Fairrington, CagleCartoons.com
What America was to the world in 1950, General Motors was to the nation.
It was the largest and most successful company with the largest number of employees. It paid the highest wages and contributed more in taxes than any other company. During World War II, no company had contributed more to the Arsenal of Democracy and America's victory.
As one wag said, "For every shell Krupp threw at us, GM threw back four." The cars GM built -- Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Chevrolet, Buick and Pontiac -- were the best in their class. But in the second half of the 20th century, something happened.
General Motors' executives repeatedly caved in to United Autoworkers' demands for wages, health benefits and pensions the company could not afford over the long term. Small and inexpensive foreign cars were allowed into the U.S. market and, as their quality improved, began to flood the U.S. market.
GM executives failed to see what was happening, and if they saw it, to act upon the new reality. Thus, at the end of the last decade, the U.S. government acted.
The company was taken into receivership. Shareholders and bondholders of GM were wiped out. Hundreds of GM dealerships closed. Now, a new GM has come out of bankruptcy to takes its place as one of a dozen major auto companies in the United States and the world.
The failure of GM was a failure of leadership. Executives lacked the vision to see the challenges coming. They lacked the courage to resist the demands of union bosses. They lacked the decisiveness to act, when sacrifices were clearly required.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama called this America's "sputnik moment," like that October day in 1957 when we suddenly awoke to the reality that those backward Russians with their communist system had beaten America into space.
But listening to the president speak Tuesday night, one came away with a distinct impression. Either Obama does not believe this country is careening toward a fiscal and financial crisis, or he refuses to pay the political price of imposing the sacrifices needed to lead the country back from the brink.
The day after the president spoke, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the deficit this fiscal year at $1.5 trillion, largest in peacetime history and 10 percent of the entire U.S. economy. Almost 40 percent of the budget will be financed this year by borrowing from our own citizens and foreign countries, China foremost among them.
Did anyone detect in the president's pleasant demeanor that night any sense of urgency, any sense that this time the wolf is really at the door? Did anyone hear a call for sacrifices, and not just small ones, to pull our country back from the precipice of national default?
The disconnect between the Tea Party Republicans and the president could not be greater. He is talking about bullet trains and infrastructure; they are talking of defunding Amtrak and the Washington, D.C., subway system.
They are talking about raising the retirement age for Social Security, which is now sending out more in monthly checks than it is taking in in payroll taxes. Obama is being congratulated by the liberal wing of his party for refusing even to bow in that direction.
What the White House is about may be smart short-term politics, but it is the antithesis of leadership. They are going to let the Republicans take the lead and take the heat for proposing painful budget cuts, then play "good cop" and battle to restore those cuts and win the gratitude of the beneficiaries of those programs.
But it is late in the day for political games.
For both the welfare state -- the major entitlement programs, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security -- and the warfare state -- the near $1 trillion we spend yearly on wars, 700 to 1,000 military bases in some 140 countries, foreign aid and the military industrial complex -- have to be downsized.
We cannot make good on all the promises our politicians have made, and we cannot defend in perpetuity all the countries we agreed to defend in the Cold War.
And if this downsizing is not done by our leaders, the decisions will be forced upon us when China and our other creditors come to us to say: We have enough of your dollars. We don't want any more. But if we must take them, we want a higher rate of interest to cover the higher risk of default. For you Americans look to us to be headed for the same place where Greece and Ireland may be found today.
Obama's conscious avoidance of any specific recommendations for deep budget cuts, commensurate with the crisis we face, may be rewarded if we avert that crisis before November 2012. But if the crisis hits sooner, his epitaph will be that he lacked the vision to see what everyone else saw or he lacked the courage to rise to the occasion.
Either way, Obama will have failed his country.
QUOTE OF THE CENTURY, MAYBE EVEN THE MILLENNIUM
Some people have the vocabulary to sum up things in a way you can understand them, like this quote from the Czech Republic. Someone over there has it figured out - we have a lot of work to do.
“The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."
My other personal concern is the evil entities behind the fool.
Publicado: 04-03-2011 09:36 PM
NO PAZ MUNDIAL SIN “PAX AMERICANA”.
Por Alfredo M. Cepero
Director de www.lanuevanacion.com
El período de ochocientos años de historia en que el Imperio Romano de Occidente dominó la mayor parte del mundo civilizado ha sido bautizado por numerosos historiadores como Pax Romana. Esa paz—impuesta muchas veces por la fuerza de las armas sobre tribus beligerantes y anacrónicas—trajo consigo progresos en ingeniería, cultura, urbanística, comercio y ordenamiento jurídico que elevaron la calidad de vida de los residentes del imperio.
Esto no quiere decir que aquel imperio fuera perfecto ni que el uso de la fuerza sea el único instrumento para preservar la paz. Quiere decir que no hay progreso sin orden ni hay orden sin instituciones y hombres que tengan la capacidad y la decisión de restablecerlo cuando las reglas de convivencia son violadas por elementos disociadores.
Todos sabemos adonde fue a parar el imperio romano. Después de todo, ochocientos años son capaces de producir desgaste en la más perfecta de las organizaciones. Por otra parte, el vacío dejado por Roma ha sido llenado a través de los tiempos por organizaciones, sistemas y centros de influencia que, sin identificarse como imperios, han creado condiciones para la preservación de la paz y la promoción del progreso. Es así como, dando un inmenso salto adelante, llegamos al fenómeno creado en 1776 en la ciudad de Filadelfia y bautizado como Estados Unidos de América.
Aquellas 13 colonias discrepantes tuvieron la habilidad de superar diferencias y de consolidar un sistema de libertad individual, democracia política y prosperidad económica sin precedentes en la historia de la humanidad. Muy pronto la nueva nación comprendió que, si quería preservar su integridad y consolidar sus progresos, tenía que participar activamente en los acontecimientos mundiales. Así surgió en 1823 la Doctrina Monroe, por la cual se rechazaba cualquier intento de las potencias europeas de influir en los destinos del continente americano.
Andando el tiempo, esta política se encaminó a ejercer influencia en otras regiones del mundo para promover estabilidad y progreso en beneficio de muchos incluyendo de los propios Estados Unidos. No tenemos dudas de que su nombre mas apropiado es el de Pax Americana. No importa que existan diferencias de estructuras y procedimientos entre la Roma Imperial y el Washington del Siglo XXI ni que el calificativo de imperio sea utilizado como parte de su retórica por personajes de la catadura de los Chávez o los Castro. Los Estados Unidos no son un imperio pero han sido por más de un siglo la única potencia con capacidad para preservar la paz mundial frente a terroristas y tiranos. Y prueba al canto.
Entre 1890 y el 2011, los Estados Unidos llevaron a cabo 130 intervenciones militares o paramilitares alrededor del mundo, entre ellas la Primera y la Segunda Guerra Mundial en que salvaron del totalitarismo y la barbarie a 400 millones de europeos. Finalizadas las hostilidades, pusieron en marcha en 1947 el llamado Marshall Plan cuyo presupuesto de 12,000 millones de dólares contribuyó a la restauración de una devastada Europa, incluyendo a sus antiguos enemigos alemanes. Y en contraste con el insaciable imperio soviético, los Estados Unidos no se adjudicaron una sola pulgada de territorio ajeno.
Por otra parte, los niveles de prosperidad alcanzados por la sociedad norteamericana han creado un contraste con otras sociedades menos desarrolladas que han expuesto a este país al odio y la hostilidad de fanáticos de ideologías políticas y de creencias religiosas dominadas por elementos radicales.
Con sólo el 5 por ciento de la población del mundo los Estados Unidos consumen el 25 por ciento de la producción petrolera mundial. El ingreso anual de un norteamericano es seis veces el de un mexicano, un colombiano, un venezolano o un argentino. Y no lo comparemos con los de un cubano bajo la tiranía castrista para no incurrir en una total aberración estadística. La máxima expresión de ese odio visceral fue el brutal ataque contra las Torres Gemelas del Centro Mundial de Comercio de Nueva York el 11 de septiembre del 2001.
La verdad incontrovertible es que los Estados Unidos tienen que aceptar la realidad de un mundo ambivalente que esta poblado por amigos y por enemigos. Su supervivencia como potencia mundial demanda la habilidad de premiar la lealtad de los primeros y confrontar con firmeza a los segundos. Sobre todo, estar conscientes de que la indecisión y el apaciguamiento son interpretados como debilidades por los fanáticos determinados a erradicar de la faz de la Tierra nuestra civilización judeo-cristiana.
Como ejemplos de hombres que supieron aplicar esta fórmula de manera simple y directa están Teddy Roosevelt con su: “Habla suave y carga un buen garrote”, Harry Truman con su: “El cubo se detiene aquí” y Ronald Reagan con su: “Mi estrategia para la guerra fría es: ‘Nosotros ganamos, ellos pierden”.
Con estos hombres no había lugar para la equivocación y los malvados se comportaron como monjitas de clausura, con el perdón desde luego de las monjitas. Roosevelt arremetió contra la Loma de San Juan y ayudó a expulsar a los españoles de Cuba, Truman paró en firme la agresión de China Comunista contra Corea del Sur y Reagan puso fin a siete décadas de barbarie comunista en Europa.
Por desgracia, no todos los presidentes norteamericanos han compartido este punto de vista o tenido los pantalones para aplicar esta política. Los tres ejemplos más notorios han sido Kennedy, Carter y Obama. Los tres comparten características tales como: altos niveles académicos, egos desproporcionados, partidarios de grandes aparatos de gobierno, lentos en la toma de decisiones, desconfianza de los militares, búsqueda de aprobación internacional y escepticismo en cuanto a la condición excepcional de la nación norteamericana. Los dos últimos, Obama y Carter, fueron galardonados con el Premio Nobel de la Paz, precisamente por su falta de lealtad a los valores tradicionales de la sociedad norteamericana.
Aunque lo niegue una prensa sin pudor ni equilibrio que sigue parcializada con sus ídolos de la izquierda, el saldo de los dos primeros, Kennedy y Carter, fue desastroso para esta nación. La cobardía y traición de Kennedy en la invasión de Girón condujo primero a la Crisis de los Cohetes de Octubre de 1962 y produjo más tarde un saldo de 50,000 jóvenes norteamericanos muertos en las selvas de Vietnam del Sur.
NOTA de dqban22: (Kennedy enterró en los acuerdos con Krushev la Doctrina Monroe al legimitizar el establecimiento de una base de una potencia extra-continental, la Union Sovietica, en este hemisferio y a 90 millas de sus costas!!!)
El legado de Carter, cuyo embajador en Naciones Unidas, Andrew Young, llegó a decir que las tropas castristas habían llevado estabilidad a Angola, fue igualmente nefasto. Gracias a este inveterado aspirante a pastor religioso, los sandinistas se apoderaron de Nicaragua, Torrijos recibió el regalo del Canal de Panamá y los mulas se adueñaron de Irán no solo para hacerse de una gigantesca fuente de petróleo sino para amenazar al mundo con un holocausto nuclear. Y todavía este vejete miserable sigue apadrinando a los Chavez, a los Castro y a cuanto delincuente jure destruir a los Estados Unidos.
En cuanto a Obama, es aterrador pensar que todavía le quedan dos años a su período presidencial. Su política internacional ha sido tan contraria a los intereses norteamericanos como la doméstica. Ha respondido con lentitud e indecisión a la crisis en el mundo árabe. Su endeble coalición en el caso de Libia se le ha venido abajo con China, Rusia y hasta Brasil pidiendo en la ONU que cesen las hostilidades, Francia, Alemania e Inglaterra discrepando en cuanto a quien tendrá control de la operación dentro de la OTAN y la Liga Arabe dando marcha atrás en el plan que había aprobado la víspera. Y Obama, bien gracias. Pasando el cubo al que hacía referencia Truman y renuente a asumir responsabilidad.
Así y todo, el mundo sigue mirando hacia Washington para la solución de estos conflictos. Y si los Estados Unidos quieren seguir siendo faro de libertad y centro de poder global su pueblo tiene que elegir un nuevo presidente en el 2012. Alguien con las convicciones y el coraje de administrar la Pax Americana para beneficio tanto de los Estados Unidos como de un mundo urgido de ayuda en la lucha contra los bárbaros del siglo XXI.
VISITENOS: A los efectos de tener acceso a comentarios como el que usted acaba de leer y a otros temas y noticias de actualidad internacional lo invitamos a que visite http://www.lanuevanacion.com
Publicado: 04-05-2011 05:31 PM
As Obama Shreds The Constitution And Drives America To The Brink Of Bankruptcy, Where's The Outrage?
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.
Publicado: 04-06-2011 08:15 PM
The Ryan Express
One part FDR, one part Gipper
By Steven F. Hayward
As Kemp’s understanding of supply-side economics was about more than just tax rates and revenues, Ryan’s budget architecture is about much more than just fiscal balances, and this is what terrifies liberals the most. The most interesting twist on the whole matter, though, is whether Ryan’s plan would eviscerate the welfare state (cue Nancy Pelosi, et al.), or rescue it within reasonable limits. One of the more thoughtful responses from the left comes from Jacob Weisberg at Slate.com:
If the GOP gets behind his proposals in a serious way, it will become for the first time in modern memory an intellectually serious party — one with a coherent vision to match its rhetoric of limited government. Democrats are within their rights to point out the negative effects of Ryan’s proposed cuts. . . . But the ball is now in their court, and it will be hard to take them seriously if they don’t respond with their own alternative path to debt reduction and long-term solvency.
But more significant is this Weisberg observation:
And before they reject everything in Ryan’s plan, liberals might want to consider whether some of what he proposes doesn’t in fact serve their own ultimate goals.
My pal Henry Olsen notes that in rescuing entitlement programs before they collapse of their own dead weight, Ryan is stepping up as “FDR’s savior.” And Reuters economics columnist James Pethokoukis argues that “Ryan’s revolution would finish Reagan’s,” which never really took on entitlement programs at all after an early and disastrous stumble over Social Security. No wonder liberal heads are spinning and exploding. What’s going on here? Is it FDR, or is it Reagan?
Reagan liked to argue that he and the Republicans were the true heirs to FDR, and Ryan followed Reagan in quoting Franklin Roosevelt’s famous words decrying welfare-state dependency: “a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. . . . It is in violation of the traditions of America.” Liberals always hated it when Reagan quoted that passage (and FDR’s remarks on balanced budgets, too). Reagan put it this way in his memoirs:
One of his sons, Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., often told me that his father had said many times his welfare and relief programs during the Depression were meant only as emergency, stopgap measures to cope with a crisis, not the seeds of what others later tried to turn into a permanent welfare state.
There are other statements of FDR’s that show the great distance today’s liberals have traveled. For example, while FDR is remembered for attacking “economic royalists,” he also said this: “Let me emphasize that serious as have been the errors of unrestrained individualism, I do not believe in abandoning the system of individual enterprise.” He expressed skepticism of ever-expanding bureaucracy: “We need trained personnel in government. We need disinterested, as well as broad-gauged, public officials. This part of our problem we have not yet solved, but it can be solved and it can be accomplished without the creation of a national bureaucracy which would dominate the national life of our governmental system.”
As Reagan observed, “As smart as he was, I suspect even FDR didn’t realize that once you create a bureaucracy, it took on a life of its own.” One hopes that these, too, might become part of Ryan’s FDR repertoire.
— Steven F. Hayward is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of The Age of Reagan: The Conservative Counter-Revolution, 1980–1989.
The GOP is unified on the budget.
House Republicans rallied behind Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) during a closed-doors conference meeting Wednesday, at one point giving a standing ovation that briefly choked up their notoriously tear-prone leader.
In the absence of a long-term deal over how to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year, Republicans decided to hold a vote Thursday on the “Troop Funding Bill,” a one-week continuing resolution that cuts spending by $12 billion over that time period but ensures steady funding for the Defense Department through September 30.
This latest development in the ongoing spending debate is a very positive one for Boehner, as he seeks political leverage to press for greater cuts during negotiations with Senate Democrats and the White House.
Despite the fact that dozens of conservative and freshman members had pledged not to support another short-term spending measure, Republican leaders are confident they have the votes to pass the bill. “I don’t need one Democrat,” Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) told reporters after the meeting. Even Rep. Mike Pence (R., Ind.), one of the most vocal opponents of another short-term resolution, announced that he would support the bill because “the troops come first.”
The moves ratchets up pressure on Senate Democrats, who would for obvious reasons want to avoid the political fiasco of potentially causing a government shutdown by voting against the “Troop Funding Bill.” It is also a public refutation of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s repeated claims that the biggest gap in the negotiations “is not between Democrats and Republicans, it’s between Republicans and Republicans,” specifically the “extreme” Tea Party members.
It could even inspire a long-term deal that preempts the need for a vote on the short-term measure. Shortly after the announcement, White House officials reported that Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) will meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House this evening to continue negotiations. Early in the day, White House press secretary Jay Carney had reiterated that a one-week spending bill was unacceptable to the administration, unless it was necessary to clear various procedural hurdles in the run-up to a final deal.
Following the GOP conference meeting, there was a palpable sense of unity among members — freshman and veteran alike — and signs that many would be willing to accept a long-term deal with significantly less than the $61 billion in spending cuts included in H.R. 1, the House-passed long-term spending bill, in order to move on to bigger issues like the debt ceiling and Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget. “I’m with the speaker on whatever deal he cuts,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Ala.). “The big prize is the budget.”
Rogers said that the release of Ryan’s “bold” budget on Tuesday helped convince a number of freshmen to be more amenable to a spending compromise. “It helps a lot of the freshmen see the bigger picture,” he said. “A lot of them have never served in public office, much less the legislative arena. They’re getting a lot of lessons around here. They’re starting to get it.”
Rep. Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) lashed out at a recent report that members had applauded Speaker Boehner in a conference meeting on Tuesday when he mentioned that government shutdown was likely. “That’s not true at all,” Flake said. “Very few if any members desire to have a shutdown. We’re trying to avoid it.”
Rep. Tim Scott (R., S.C.), who represents the freshman class on the GOP leadership team, indicated he would be willing to accept a compromise short of H.R. 1, perhaps somewhere in the $40 to $50 billion range. He acknowledged that the Democrats’ offer of $33 billion in spending cuts was a “good place to start.”
“We’re one of three levers that creates a spending package,” Scott said, pointing out that $40 billion, the counteroffer Boehner delivered to Democrats yesterday, would be nearly 70 percent of the way to $61 billion. Given those circumstances, Scott said $40 billion was “not a bad deal.”
While Boehner himself acknowledged that members were mostly in agreement on the need to get the CR debate over with quickly in order to tackle the larger issues, and cited “some progress” in the talks with Senate Democrats, he told reporters he would continue to press hard for more cuts and inclusion of many “policy riders” as part of any deal.
“It would be easy to just fold your cards and go home,” Boehner said. “That’s not what the American people elected us to do.”
— Andrew Stiles is a 2011 Franklin Fellow.