Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quick Hits - January 11, 2012

Instapundit featured this yesterday, and I find it a compelling way to start off today's QH post...
A SOCIETY DOES NOT SURVIVE, UNLESS IT HAS A REASON TO SURVIVE: Video of Dennis Prager telling University of Denver students, “I believe the greatest threat facing America – I’ve believed this my entire adult life — is that we have not passed on what it means to be an American to this generation.”
As an American by choice, I find that this makes a real fundamental point that we are missing today - particularly with regards to our current political leadership, not to mention academia or the media which have such an influence.

Victor Davis Hanson also touches on this point as he looks at trying to understand Obama's Postmodern vision...
What makes Barack Obama a different president is not his racial heritage, his liberal outlook, or his mellifluous cadences, but rather the banal idea that the United States is fundamentally in need of this sort of radical change, and that only a select few like himself have the insight and skills necessary to both implement and preside over it. We simply have not seen that redistributive ideology in a president since Jimmy Carter, and then only in part. So far the biggest edge for Obama is his inability to push more of his agenda through first a friendly and now a not-so-friendly Congress — as if to say, “How could I be a redistributionist when they did not let me redistribute as planned?”

The fulfillment of that old vision of mandated equality of result is what the 2012 election is about — nothing more, nothing less.
Barack Obama ran for President with the belief and focus that this country, in 2008, needed 'fundamental change'.  Fundamental...change.  The implication is that this is a broken country, a dysfunctional country, and as Hanson makes the case in the above essay - it's perceived as broken because of the disdain the President and many others have towards traditional American values because they 'aren't fair' and require both 'social justice' and 'redistribution'.

For PJ Media, VDH takes this same meme and highlights the hypocrisy that the elite entitle themselves to...
The dangers of the underclass here in the poorest quadrant of the poorest county in poor California are obesity rather than malnutrition. The local state dialysis clinic is tragically full of far more heavy than lean poor. (Yes, I grant that arugula costs more than Hostess CupCakes). More suffer from an expensive ingestion of an unlawful drug than the unavailability of a cheap ingestible prescription drug. The parking lots are full of Tahoes and Yukons; the public trolley for the indigent goes by empty.

Keep all that in mind as we enter the most divisive, class-warfare campaign in recent memory. We are living in the upside-down world Orwell wrote about. A president who likes upscale golf a lot, and Martha’s Vineyard even more, who has hired three “fat cat” bankers as his chiefs of staff (how odd that Emanuel and Lew probably both made a lot out of the Freddie/Fannie bubble), and who is the largest recipient of Wall Street cash in history now argues that half of America suffers from the hands of “them.”

Being unequal is not poor. And not having what the “rich” have hardly means having it bad. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.
For one vision, it is based on equality of opportunity, personal accountability and responsibility, and less dependency or need for a bigger government.  The other vision is based on equality of results, a dependency and requirement for government to ensure equality of results, to make the decisions and take on the responsibilities looking at the 'greater good' because individuals cannot be trusted to think of the 'greater good'. 

These visions are displayed within the ideological battle that is going to be waged this Presidential election - between the hard-left progressive vision of the President (and others) and the conservative vision of the Tea Party - and many Republicans.  I say many Republicans because as strange as it may seem, at least 3 candidates running for the Republican nomination are so desperate to gain power, that they hypocritically see attacking Mitt Romney over his experiences at Bain Capital - a private equity investment firm - from the progressive left as their path to the Republican nomination.

Led by 'Kamikaze' Newt, Rick Perry is striking out at Romney for being a 'vulture capitalist'.  He's also being joined by Jon Huntsman in the attack straight out of the 1994 Ted Kennedy Senate campaign to demonize Romney, the OccupyWallStreet 99% vs the 1% argument, and the President's vision of postmodern redistributism.  We're supposed to believe that these three are 'conservative' candidates when they embrace in their attacks on Romney not only the wrong vision - but the anti-American values vision?

Attacking Romney from inside the OWS rat-infested tents reflects just why these three candidates are also occupying the bottom half of the polls in the race for the GOP Presidential nomination.  They are demonstrating exactly why their character, their judgment, and their visions are utterly unsuitable to represent conservatives in the 2012 campaign for the White House. 

Steven Hayward, writing at Poweline, has the genesis of the response to these attacks that Romney should start to use in South Carolina on out...
Yes, I invested ten million dollars of private investors’ money in a venture that didn’t work, and a thousand people lost their jobs. We bore the loss.

President Obama invested $5 billion of your tax money on Solyndra, Range Fuels, and other boondoggles. Thousands of people lost their jobs, and you won’t get your tax money back.
The focus on this campaign, as candidate Mitt Romney is aware of and focusing on
One of the principles of American values comes from freedom and liberty.  These aren't just ideals or talking points - they also have a real economic impact that can and has been measured

This is a charge of three South American countries and their per capita GDP in 1980 and 2008.  Between those years, Chile embraced economic freedom. It's currently ranked higher in that measure than the US - and witnessed their per capita GDP more than doubling.  Argentina took a middle approach and while it saw an increase, it was considerably smaller than Chile's.  Venezuela, primarily under Hugo Chavez, took the opposite approach, and embraced / enacted statism.  The result - stagnation of their per capita GDP.

Under President Obama, we are transitioning from the Argentina model to one that is closer to the statism of Venezuela.  There's a lesson to be learned here.

Another major initiative of the Administration is to fundamentally change our energy sources and usage.  An advocate of man-made climate change, the President and his supporters want to move from fossil fuels as part of not only the need to reduce greenhouse gases but also as a venue for the redistribution of wealth - and to stop the US, 25% of the world's economy, from 'over-consuming'.  They see nothing wrong with using regulations, executive fiat, and tax policy to modify behavior to those they find are acceptable.  One example - the President's war on domestic energy production.

 A day doesn't pass where there isn't a cringe-worthy decision made by this Administration that rarely gets the attention that it deserves.  Over the last several days, we have these bone-headed decisions made by the Administration...

Or how about the blatant pandering for the Hispanic vote that the President's campaign needs more than ever for 2012?  The President appointed a former senior official of the Hispanic racist group 'La Raza' to head the White House Domestic Policy Council.  This official is also a strong advocate for a complete amnesty for illegal immigrants inside the US - something that the Administration has already started via new regulations from Homeland Security to ignore enforcing the laws on the books.

This is the same Administration that also, using its proxies and sycophants in the mainstream media, accuse critics of 'racism' when they note that the imperial and unconstitutional actions of this Administration appear more like those of a French monarchy inside Versailles during the late 18th century than that of an American President.  Use an image of one of the arrogant French King or Queen with the President's or First Lady face replacing that of the original, and one is a racist despite the fact that 'Let Them Eat Cake' moments exist from the First Family....
  • Remember the Date Night when the President and First Lady flew AF1 to NYC for dinner / show 'date'?
  • How about the 5 day multi-million dollar vacation to Southern Spain taken by the First Lady and a huge the middle of 'Recovery Summer' when the unemployment rate was 9.5%?
  • How about the vacation to Martha's Vineyard last August?  The First Lady and her entourage couldn't wait 4 hours to fly with the President - so they flew separately - at taxpayer expense.
  • This past Christmas and New Year, the President preferred a low key 'break' at Camp David.  Instead, the First Lady insisted and got a 17 day vacation in a beachfront Hawaii villa at an estimated cost of $1.5M to $2M.  (And silence from OWS over the excess...)
Speaking of nanny staters, it appears that NYC Nanny Bloomberg has set his sights now on limited the sales and advertising of alcohol within NYC - funding the effort using 'community transformation grants' created under Obamacare.

The LA Times reports that California Governor Moonbeam is getting more creative in his efforts to address the state's fiscal disaster - finding new pots of money feed the beast...
Gov. Jerry Brown has found a new pot of money to help him fill a $9-billion hole in his proposed budget: $1 billion from auctioning credits to allow California companies to emit greenhouse gases.

But business groups are already denouncing Brown's plan as a back-door tax increase that they intend to challenge in court if the proposal is approved as part of the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

"At a time when the public is concerned about jobs and the economy, the budget proposes a new tax on California businesses for climate change activities," said Dorothy Rothrock, vice president of the California Manufacturers and Technology Assn. "The anticipated $1 billion is not windfall revenue. The funds will be paid by California employers suffering the worst recession since the Great Depression."

The end justifies the means...

Another Iranian scientist believed connected to that countries efforts to develop a nuclear weapon was killed earlier today in a car bomb attack.  Motorcyclists attached a magnetic device to the car which then exploded, killing the scientist.  In 2010, 2 other Iranian nuclear scientists were killed in a similar manner.

As the Eurocrisis deepens with no signs of any viable approach to address the fundamental causes of the crisis, concerns are being raised about the ability of Germany to continue to shoulder the burden of the European Union and the crisis.  In the 4th quarter of 2011, the German economy effectively stalled, with a negative .25% growth.  Without vibrant growth, Germany will not be in a position to lead the funding of bail outs needed for the most troubled EU countries.

On This Day in History

1908 - President Theodore Roosevelt declared the Grand Canyon in Arizona a national monument.

1928 - Josef Stalin, the head of the USSR, banishes his primary rival to power, Leon Trotsky

1937 - Striking UAW workers occupying a GM plant riot as police attempt to prevent food supplies being delivered to them from outside supporters.

1989 - President Ronald Reagan delivers his farewell address to the American people.

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