A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
July 26th, 2011
By Dan Miller
Unfortunately, he remains the President and the supposed head of the Democrat Party still in control of the Senate. We need to get past the debt limit mess, soon.
On July 23rd, as they had on July 22nd and previously, the debt limit talks collapsed yet again with President Obama insisting on $400 billion more taxes to preserve the Medicare Mess, keep student loans as they are until the education bubble finally bursts regardless of the consequences, promote more research on unnecessary and expensive clean-energy and do other neat stuff. His unicorns still seem more or less pleased and still hope to blame the mess on the Taxed Enough Already folks. However, according to Rasmussen on July 23, President Obama had a nineteen percent negative balance on strong disapproval (42%) vs. strong approval (23%) and
for the first time since March, Strong Disapproval of the president has been at 40% or above for seven straight days. On Saturday, consumer confidence fell again, reaching another new two-year low. Investor confidence also fell to the lowest level since December 2009.
Most voters fear that any deal on the debt ceiling debate will raise taxes too much and cut spending too little. As the negotiations continue, most also are unhappy with both the Republicans and the Democrats in Washington.
On July 24 and 25, the negative balance on strong approval and disapproval was twenty-one percent. Does anybody read and explain any of this sort of stuff, including the political problems he faces, to President Obama? Somebody should. Then, he might discover a way to negotiate in good faith and an acceptable deal might be made.
Any increase in the debt limit is, in effect, a tax increase because the increased debt needs to be serviced through interest payments and perhaps eventually repaid. Only in the dreams of President Obama, perhaps his father and the unicorns can that be done forever by taking on still more debt. Still, a debt limit increase of some magnitude and type appears to be needed, preferably only a temporary one expiring in early August of 2012 before the November elections as I suggested here.
The financial impact of a default on the national debt, should it come to that, might be bad; or not. My wife and I might not even get our
welfare Social Security checks! But that’s not, in my view, the only or even worst problem: as the devil lurks in the non-existent or amorphous details of various schemes, the foxes are in the hen houses and at most inadequate attention is being paid to them. The debt limit mess has been the big topic for many weeks and other important stuff is being neglected. As I observed here,
The debt limit mess has distracted us from other problems potentially even more severe than our domestic tribulations. The situations in the Middle East, on the Korean peninsula, in China, and in Russia continue to fester; the leaders there haven’t been kind enough to call a time out while we get our domestic act together. As we continue to fret, fume, and mumble it seems likely that they are thinking of ways to promote their own agendas rather than ours. The longer we take, the longer they will have and the less prepared — or even able — we will be to respond.
Here are some examples of the foxes, foreign and domestic, busily enjoying and preparing to enjoy the hens as the Obama Administration dithers:
developing electromagnetic pulse weapons that Beijing plans to use against U.S. aircraft carriers in any future conflict over Taiwan, according to an intelligence report made public on Thursday.
Remember Chamberlain and Munich, when Czechoslovakia was abandoned in exchange for peace in our time? That postponed, briefly, World War II as Germany continued to prepare for it. What country may become the new Czechoslovakia? Taiwan? Somewhere else in Asia? Would the Obama Administration try to appease China? Of course not and there’s no problem anyway. Hu’s enhanced military toys are probably just to impress Kim Jong-il of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). China is a peace-loving nation and only wants lebensraum “for large-scale population migration to neighboring regions outside its suzerainty.” Just Move On.
What is China really encouraging the DPRK to do and what’s in it for China? China’s friends in the DPRK and Iran continue to collaborate on long-range missiles while Iran already seems to have missiles capable of striking the east coast of the United States and, of course, Israel and lots of other places. A delegate from the DPRK is the new head of the U.N. Nuclear Conference on Disarmament! Next time let’s honor Iran! That will win still more hearts and minds.
The Arab Spring is springing leaks and seems likely to produce more conflict in the Middle East. President Obama dithered about the Middle East during the “Arab Spring” and will probably continue to do so no matter what happens. The rest of us, however, can’t afford to do so.
Israel (the parallels are obvious) may become the modern Middle Eastern equivalent of Czechoslovakia while Iran or Egypt — along with friends in what they like to call Palestine — may become the modern Germany as President Obama and his Department of State dither and enjoy their Munich Moments. Surely, they will bring peace
sometime in our time.
President Obama dislikes our military power and says that cuts in defense spending must take precedence over cuts in food stamps and other “entitlement programs.” Marine Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, is trying to figure out what the military may have to do in the event of draconian defense cuts. That should go over nicely with the Unicorns and our friends in Iran will surely appreciate a smaller and less well prepared U.S. military. A Pajamas Media article observes that Iran has claimed that the United States is already too debilitated to do anything when Iran makes “the bomb.” According to an article at a website run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and quoted at the linked Pajamas Media article,
without a doubt the United States and its Western allies “will slowly but surely extricate their forces from the Middle East and Central Asia. Also, the security umbrella is from yesteryears (prior to the Second World War), which is conventional to the region, and will be effectively eliminated as well. This process has already begun in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and though there are the exceptional American bases in the Persian Gulf, they will not last very long either.”
With Commander in Chief Obama dithering, the Revolutionary Guards may have figured things out. Continuing the linked article notes the following from the Revolutionary Guards:
The analysis weighs in on the financial trouble in America: “It appears that subsequent to several wars, the United States finds itself depleted and desperate. Their total debt exceeds $14.5 trillion which is equal to America’s GDP. Seemingly this year’s $900 billion will not stretch to cover the defense and military budget of the years to come. The United States will retreat from the world of Islam and the Arab world so that it can refocus its energy on China, which, in the American view, is its global rival.”
It now seems likely that Iraq — a place the U.S. military will soon leave — will have some different friends, perhaps from Iran, to help her. There will also be different folks there, for at least awhile, under the control of the State Department.
By January 2012, the State Department will do something it’s never done before: command a mercenary army the size of a heavy combat brigade. That’s the plan to provide security for its diplomats in Iraq once the U.S. military withdraws. And no one outside State knows anything more, as the department has gone to war with its independent government watchdog to keep its plan a secret.
Stuart Bowen, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), is essentially in the dark about one of the most complex and dangerous endeavors the State Department has ever undertaken, one with huge implications for the future of the United States in Iraq. “Our audit of the program is making no progress,” Bowen tells Danger Room.
Are the folks at Foggy Bottom up to directing military operations?
Latin America is big, increasingly an economic power and, perhaps worse, is on our southern border. According to David Aguilar, a Deputy Commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection agency,
In Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked Aguilar, “Do you think Mexican drug cartels have taken control of the human trafficking that takes place from Mexico to the U.S.?”
Aguilar said, “There are several areas along our border with Mexico where in fact we believe that the drug cartels not only have taken control, but control the areas by which the illegal crossings occur.”
Nature abhors a vacuum and somebody had to do it. Meanwhile, the gun runner scandal continues to have new and increasingly exciting aspects.
Phil Jordan, a former CIA operative and one-time leader of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center, claims that the Obama Administration is running guns to the violent Zetas cartel through the direct commercial sale of military grade weapons:
Jordan, who served as director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center in 1995, said the Zetas have shipped large amounts of weapons purchased in the Dallas area through El Paso.
Robert “Tosh” Plumlee, a former CIA contract pilot, told the Times he supported Jordan’s allegations, adding that the Zetas have reportedly bought property in the Columbus, N.M., border region to stash weapons and other contraband.
Goodies from Foggy Bottom?
“From the intel, it appears that a company was set up in Mexico to purchase weapons through the U.S. Direct Commercial Sales Program, and that the company may have had a direct link to the Zetas.”
As this continues, we are blessed with more new “birth citizens” daily as illegal immigrants, mainly from and via places south of the border, reproduce and provide them.
The Obama Administration loves the rich
unicorns unions that support the administration and is doing its best to promote them. It appears that, by executive order, the Administration plans to overturn — but only as to the wicked corporations — the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision upholding the First Amendment rights of corporations and unions. There were many complaints from the left about that decision, most of which mentioned only the new found rights of corporations; few had bothered to read the decision itself. On another front, the National Labor Relations Board is also doing its best to help unions along, demanding that Boeing kill a new plant in South Carolina and revert to one in the union-friendly State of Washington.
The climate change crowd has been relentless in promoting redistributionist policies while insisting that productive first world countries reduce their economic activities that lead to carbon and other nasty emissions said to cause climate change. On July 20, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice (possibly oblivious to the debt limit “crisis”) called upon the U.N. to deem climate change a priority worthy of Security Council attention. Alas,
the council settled for a watered-down statement referring to the “possible security implications” of climate change after Russia, China and others opposed a strong text promoted by Germany . . . .
Ambassador Rice was not amused; using dihydrogen monoxide to dilute important dreams of redistribution for the United States to help fund is not funny; and it’s not fair!
She told the meeting that “dozens of countries … whose very existence is threatened” by climate change had asked the council to show its understanding of their plight.
“Instead, because of the refusal of a few to accept our responsibility, this council is saying, by its silence, in effect, ‘Tough luck.’ This is more than disappointing. It’s pathetic. It’s shortsighted, and frankly, it’s a dereliction of duty.”
Meanwhile, our great leaders, their followers and others are incapable of juggling many heavy balls simultaneously. Instead, they play with wiffle balls. Spend time and money to combat
perceptions of ethical lapses within government? Why not. There’s plenty of all three.
While President Obama pushes to increase taxes for Americans, his Office of Government Ethics is planning a taxpayer-funded “conference” at a famously luxurious golf and spa resort in Florida.
Our dedicated civil servants need a few moments of luxury to help them along their way through the bramble bush of unethical behavior and that’s what they shall have!
Uncle Sam will fly hundreds of federal employees—charged with fostering high ethical standards in government—from Washington D.C. to the world-renowned Orlando resort, which is famous for its lush, perfectly landscaped grounds, a 7,000-yard championship golf course and a lagoon-like setting with six tropical pools, waterfalls. a water slide and whirlpools.
Wouldn’t Chicago be a better venue? Oh well, y’all come, ya hear? The more the merrier, costlier and (I suppose) ethiclier!
The OGE is encouraging all employees with “ethics-related duties” to attend the September event, which has been crowned “Organizational Integrity: A Shared Responsibility.” Issues that fall within the OGE’s jurisdiction will be discussed, according to a bulletin, as will topics that intersect with ethics rules and regulations.
sacrifices responsibility. Sharing is good and we sure could use some ethics. There are many other entertaining topics: Mrs. Bachmann’s headaches, tiffs between LTC West and those on the left, who should apologize to whom, how fat and ugly Secretary Clinton looks in Bali, and where the First Family plans to vacation next. These entertainments are a version of whistling past the grave yard, as though by focusing on them our problems will vanish. They won’t.
There is no good debt limit deal and we seem nevertheless to be headed toward some sort of arrangement. Let’s get the least bad debt limit deal we possibly can and get on to other matters. Time is being wasted and the other problems will not likely wait.
(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)
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