Barack Obama

For Obama, this is a feature, not a bug

When my daughter was in fifth grade, we read (together) a sort of primer on economics called Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? It cited earlier versions of the following report, information that she hasn't forgotten.  My, how things have changed in just a few years.

Via the Daily Caller and Weasel Zippers, the Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report:

...the Fraser Institute released its “Economic Freedom of the World: 2012 Annual Report.” Analyzing data from 144 countries based on 42 distinct variables, the study’s authors rank countries according to their relative level of economic freedom.

After ranking 2nd in 2000, the U.S. falls to 18th in this year’s report. As the authors explain:

“[T]he United States has fallen precipitously from second in 2000 to eighth in 2005 and 19th  in 2010 (unadjusted ranking of 18th). By 2009, the United States had fallen behind Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Chile, and Mauritius, countries that chose not to follow the path of massive growth in government financed by borrowing that is now the most prominent characteristic of US fiscal policy. By 2010, the United States had also fallen behind Finland and Denmark, two European welfare states. Moreover, it now trails Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Taiwan, and Qatar, countries that are not usually perceived of as bastions of economic freedom.”

But as Michael Tanner points out at NRO

...when it comes to defending economic liberty, Mitt Romney has spent most of his time in a defensive crouch. He occasionally breaks form to promise he won’t really reduce taxes on the wealthy, won’t cut Medicare, and wants to keep some parts of Obamacare. He’s actually running ads attacking the president for not confronting China over trade.
 
Americans instinctively know the importance of economic freedom. They know that it is their ability to invest, start businesses, and hire workers that builds a prosperous country. They know that millions have come to this country and prospered because they had freedom to pursue their economic aspirations as well as their personal ones. And they find this freedom now slipping away.
 
They need a candidate to speak for them . . . and for freedom.
Come on, Governor Romney.  Time to trust your pants and take off the kid gloves.  It's time for bare-knuckle boxing.
 

Constitution Day is September 17th...

...that's tomorrow, folks, and we need to make sure it's not the last time we mark the day.

At the LATimes:

Alleged 'Innocence of Muslims' filmmaker taken in for interview
 

Just after midnight Saturday morning, authorities descended on the Cerritos home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Muslim world...

Glenn Reynolds writes at Instapundit:

...By sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration, President Obama violated that oath. You can try to pretty this up (It’s just about possible probation violations! Sure.), or make excuses or draw distinctions, but that’s what’s happened. It is a betrayal of his duties as President, and a disgrace.
 
He won’t resign, of course. First, the President has the appreciation of free speech that one would expect from a Chicago Machine politician, which is to say, none. Second, he’s not getting any pressure. Indeed, the very press that went crazy over Ari Fleischer’s misrepresented remarks seems far less interested in the actions of an administration that I repeat, literally sent brown-shirted enforcers to launch a midnight knock on a filmmaker’s door.
 
But Obama’s behavior — and that of his enablers in the press — has laid down a marker for those who are paying attention. By these actions he is, I repeat, unfit to hold office. I hope and expect that the voters will agree in November...
So while the economy and foreign policy are critical, this election is more fundamental than that.
 
As Chris Muir points out in today's Day By Day (which appears daily over there in the left sidebar), let's all "Feel the Paine":
 
 
 

Monday is National Empty Chair Day!

Every day from now until November 6th should be National Empty Chair Day:

“We own this country . . . Politicians are employees of ours . . .

And when somebody does not do the job, we’ve got to let them go.”

–Clint Eastwood

h/t Tom

Bringing a knife to a gun fight

Come on, guys.  This is what the other side is putting out—an ad, posted on the official Barack Obama campaign YouTube page this past Friday:

There's just one little problem: John Hinderaker at PowerLine says

...The ad is surprisingly ineffective, but it is also dishonest. At least one of the women who pose as “Republican women for Obama” is a long-time Democrat...

...There are liars; there are compulsive liars; and then there is the Obama campaign. If someone took the trouble to track the down the other women in the ad, they would probably find something similar. If you do that, please record your findings in the comments.

UPDATE: OK, I’ve broken through on this via Facebook. More of the women are fake “Republicans.”...

 
I can just hear someone on the left spluttering, "But the One can't be held responsible for the actions of people working on his campaign!"
 
And as we all know, the buck has to stop someplace:
 
 
 
So what do our guys do? At Politico:
“I know there are some people who do a very good job acting and pretend they’re something they’re not,” Romney said. “You get what you see. I am who I am.”
 
To press the point, he said the GOP would even try to turn Obama’s still-high personal favorability rankings back on him at its convention this week, by making the simple case to voters: nice guy, failed president.
Un-frickin'-believable. These people are going to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
 
This isn't simply a case of someone being an incompetent nincompoop (some would say a SCoaMF)—although that may also be true. This is a clash of world views: collectivism v. freedom:
 

Which do you choose—liberty or tyranny?

And Republicans...we're in dire straits. Based on data from the Treasury and the OMB, the Senate Budget Committee Republican staff under ranking member Jeff Sessions [R-AL] reports that in the last 4 years, the debt increased by more than it did in the previous 17 years.

Can't we take off the kid gloves now?

UPDATE:

Sorry, Rich, but this is one time I have to disagree with you.  I seriously doubt that this was what Romney had in mind (great Photoshop, though  smiley  ):

 

Suburbs are for sellouts

That, as Stanley Kurtz points out in a recent Forbes article entitled, "How Obama Is Robbing The Suburbs To Pay For The Cities"

...is a large and overlooked theme of Obama’s famous memoir, Dreams from My Father.  Few have noticed the little digs at suburban “sprawl” throughout the book, as when Obama decries a Waikiki jammed with “subdivisions marching relentlessly into every fold of green hill.”  Dreams actually begins with the tale of an African American couple who’ve come to question their move from city to suburb – the implication clearly being that the city is the moral choice...

Here's where I don my

and remind people that we've posted here numerous times over the last year and a half or so about ICLEI and Agenda  21—part and parcel of the things described in Kurtz's new book (about which there have been some shenanigans).

But in an election year and with, as The Lonely Conservative points out, broke local governments still continuing to spend money on this stuff (and they say we're crazy?) it's time to re-visit the topic—or maybe learn about it for the first time.

Be sure to read LC's post as well as Kurtz's Forbes article, both linked above.

Then make sure you vote accordingly in November.

h/t Henry

Dora Dogood does her own magic...

...over coffee with her friend Peregrina.  Dora and Peregrina like to spread their business around town...the last time the old ladies had coffee together, it was in the Dryden Dunkin...

***

At morning coffee with my friend Peregrina at the Queen Diner in Dryden we began discussing recent political ads.  The main thing these ads should be about, we agreed, was the dismal state of our economy.  However, the ads put out by the Obama camp include those attacking Mitt Romney over his income tax returns.  The case against Obama’s stewardship of our economy is pretty straightforward: an anemic recovery, huge unemployment which in fact is far worse than reported when you count the discouraged not looking for work and involuntary part-timers, and declining economic growth — all achieved at a price of another $5 trillion of accumulated debt. But some people’s attention has been diverted to a sideshow.

What we decided was that we are witnessing an attempted magician’s trick.  My late father taught me about magic and that part of the magician’s task is to divert your attention so you are looking in the wrong place.  Obama would have us look at Romney’s tax returns.  Why?  So, we don’t look at Obama’s mismanagement of the American economy.  There is one thing that Mitt Romney should not let us lose sight of, that it is about the economy, the economy, and the economy.  The basic question is whether people are better off now than they were four years ago (or, as Charles Krauthammer says, "Are you better off today than you were $5 trillion ago?") and if they believe that four more years of pursuing the same class warfare, anti-development, and anti-business policies will somehow miraculously turn the economy around if only we take on more government expenditures and more public debt.
 
The President maintains that those who are successful owe their success to help from government.  But, that help does not really come from government.  Roads and other public programs are paid for by taxation.  The government does not create wealth itself, it taxes away wealth from the private sector.  Roads may be constructed by government but they are financed ultimately by private sector dollars drawn out of the private sector by taxes.  So, successful people and businesses have paid their share of the costs of these improvements, they have not received them for free.  Ronald Reagan wisely said, “it is all our money.”  The successful get no “free lunches” from government.  And, as successful people will tell you, “If you’ve got government as your partner, you’ve got a thousand pound gorilla on your chest.”
 
The last thing we discussed over coffee was the growth of the “Imperial Presidency.”  Peregrina, who knows the value of our constitution, pointed out that the constitution requires the president to “faithfully execute the laws.”  Now, when I went through social studies classes in high school and later in college I learned that that means all the laws, not just those the president felt like enforcing.  Also, I learned that in a separation of powers government, Congress makes the laws, the president only enforces them.  But, this president not only has not enforced our country’s immigration and labor laws selectively, he has taken it on himself to modify them with executive orders.  He has appointed people to “recess appointments” when Congress would be surprised to learn it is on recess, and tried to use “czars” who are not submitted for Senate approval.  Some of his new policies he is well aware have not made it through Congress or could not make it through Congress.

There is one thing Obama should be really afraid of, public discussion of his economic record.  So, we decided that we face the grim reality of ever more outrageous attack ads on Romney to divert us from Obama’s record.  We think these will get worse.  Someday soon, we expect to pick up the newspapers and be told that an “unidentified source” told someone who related it to the administration that Mitt Romney eats babies for lunch or that he “masticates in public in front of little children.”  What the Obama administration will not talk about is the awful jobs outlook for our young people and those facing today’s labor market without jobs or in poverty.  The illusion is Romney’s alleged faults, the reality is Obama’s demonstrated economic record of incompetence.  Watch the magician at work, but keep your eyes where they belong, not on the sideshow.
 
 
 
Editor's note: In need of a little R&R?
 

 

Bird watching

Ya think that there might be some people who don't like Ronald Reagan?

Victor Fiorillo writes at The Philly Post (and pardon some people's French):

Last Friday, an attaché of important gay people from Philadelphia made a trip to Washington D.C. as invited guests of President Barack Obama for the White House’s first-ever gay pride reception...some of them took advantage of photo opportunities to give the late President Ronald Reagan the middle finger...
 

...Reagan’s memorable statement on LGBT rights from the 1980 campaign trail: “My criticism is that [the gay movement] isn’t just asking for civil rights; it’s asking for recognition and acceptance of an alternative lifestyle which I do not believe society can condone, nor can I.”

“Yeah, fuck Reagan,” reiterates [Matthew] Hart one week after the reception. “Ronald Reagan has blood on his hands. The man was in the White House as AIDS exploded, and he was happy to see plenty of gay men and queer people die. He was a murderous fool, and I have no problem saying so. Don’t invite me back. I don’t care.”
 
Switching gears, Hart describes the reception as “fantastic” and notes that the White House staff seemed “giddy.” ”A lot of work had to happen to make this reception politically viable and possible,” he observes. “There were many service members there. I met a woman with lots of medals, an important military person, who was with her partner. And all her life, she had to be in the closet—until now. And I met a couple from Tennessee in their mid-50s, two men who have been in a relationship for 22 years and run an LGBT youth program. They could barely speak with their emotions. They kept saying, All through grade school and high school, people were telling us we’re gonna burn in hell. And here we are honored guests of Obama.”
But before other people get really exercised about this and despite Mario's kid remarking,
It meant more to people than I even imagined. Marriage equality, it wasn't even about marriage. It was about equality. It was about acceptance; it was about affirmation
here's something to keep in mind: gays are a tiny minority who have "an outsized place in the public imagination."  Yes, that's right..."Americans Have No Idea How Few Gay People There Are...Surveys show a shockingly high fraction think a quarter of the country is gay or lesbian, when the reality is that it's probably less than 2 percent":
...it's hard to imagine the fact that so many think the country is more than a quarter gay or lesbian has no impact on our public policy.
That's a much bigger problem than even rude gestures, foul language, and general disrespect—particuarly since that type of misapprehension has serious implications in a splintered society where it seems that everyone is a minority and everyone is a victim.
 
h/t's Tom, Jim
 

The Road to Dictatorship

Another great piece by guest contributor Publius Ithacanus:

The Road to Dictatorship
 
When the founders drafted the Constitution, they carefully separated legislative and executive power.  As we probably learned in middle and high school, Congress passes laws, the President executes them, and the Supreme Court interprets them.  Presidents may not enact laws and they haven’t deeply encroached on Congress’ prerogatives --- until this President, who, unable to get his will, seems to know no restraint.
 
Several times the President has admitted publicly that the “Dream Act” (proposal that would effectively amnesty certain illegal aliens in the U.S. and undercut existing U.S. immigration law) was beyond presidential power and required Congressional action.  Yet, a few days ago, this same President did what he previously said he could not do, enacting the Dream Act by executive order, and for political gain.  Nothing else has changed, what he could not constitutionally do then, he cannot constitutionally do now.  This knowingly unconstitutional act is a violation of his inauguration oath to faithfully execute the laws and to preserve, protect, and defend our Constitution.  It takes the executive order to the status of law by decree.
 
This is not the first time this President has done “workarounds” to avoid a Congress that will not give him what he wants.  Several members of the National Labor Relations Board purport to sit by virtue of “recess appointments,” appointments made when Congress carefully arranged not to be and was not actually in recess (this is being contested in court).  Executive orders are intended to be used to carry out Congressional policies and internal executive branch functions.  They are not to rise to the level of new legislation or nullification of existing law by “Presidential Decree.”
 
Prior democracies died by this process.  One of the major defects of the Great Depression-era Weimar Republic in Germany was the ability of its government to rule by decree, bypassing parliament.  Dictators resort to rule by decree; presidents who issue legislative decrees unchecked are dictators.
 
Moreover, the President’s action in legislating by executive order has set a very bad precedent, one he and his party may come to regret.  For once a president asserts such authority, his successors, of the other party, may assert them as well.  What value then of the outrage of the party offended, who began the process and set the very precedent?
 
Americans should be outraged at the expansions of presidential power they are now seeing.  In the past, there has been talk of an “imperial presidency.”  The Roman Republic gave way to Roman Emperors and a loss of freedom to an absolute ruler.  This President is taking us down the same track.  Arm our presidents with the power of executive order carried to legislative enactment and we might as well send Congress home.  Congress will either confirm the President’s wishes or be bypassed.  Either way they will become useless and the founder’s separation of powers destroyed.
 
 
 
 
 

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