Saturday, August 13, 2011

Passing Thoughts

In an editorial Tuesday (8/9) in the WSJ, Bret Stephens asks, politely, "Is Obama Smart?" (The less polite version would pose the same question with an antonym of smart). Stephens' answer - no.

One piece of evidence that Obama is intellectually challenged is his confusion of wealth and income. He (and most liberals) want to increase taxes on, not the wealthy – millionaires and billionaires in Obamaspeak – but, high earners – actually, not very high - individuals making over $200,000 (couples over $250,000). This group is collectively our most productive. They create wealth. They may or may not be wealthy, but their talent and energy is essential to rejuvenate our economy. Punishing them by confiscating their earnings is stupid.

Three years after the fact I still can't get over that someone closely associated with anti-American radicals could ever be seriously considered for the presidency, much less get elected. Norman Podhoretz in Saturday's WSJ tries to explain this astounding phenomenon.

To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberaldom to have hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were a bit extreme, he was given a pass.

OK, that explains liberaldom. What about the rest of us?
Podhoretz's piece is a response to a New York Times column by Drew Westen which asks "What Happened To Obama?". In his column, Podhoretz addresses the issue of Obama's long-held and fervent anti-Americanism. own answer to the question, "What Happened to Obama?" is that nothing happened to him. He is still the same anti-American leftist he was before becoming our president, and it is this rather than inexperience or incompetence or weakness or stupidity that accounts for the richly deserved failure both at home and abroad of the policies stemming from that reprehensible cast of mind.

Obama has been criticized recently for not canceling his vacation plans during the latest spate of bad economic news. Even lefty Maureen Dowd recently urged the president to stick around and give the country a "pep talk". (His latest pep talk on Monday caused the Dow to drop an additional 200 points beyond the 400 it had already lost). Even normally docile, Obamaphilic reporters are demanding to know why the president isn't doing more to "create jobs". (This ignores the fact that the government can't create jobs. It can only impede job creation. And its performance in that area has been first rate lately).
Wanting Obama to skip his vacation and work at cleaning up the mess he's made reminds me of the old Jewish joke - The food is bad. Yeah, and such small portions. Obama's doing a lousy job as president and he's not on the job enough.
He should be encouraged to stay away.

Democrats in the House and Senate have not produced a budget for two and a half years. The president proposed a joke of a budget in February that was so unserious it was rejected by the Senate, controlled by his party, unanimously (97-0). (That has to be unprecedented). The only budget that currently has legislative approval is the Ryan budget, passed by the House a mere three months after Republicans regained control. Aside from the loopy leftist ideology, Democrats can't manage even the most fundamental activities of governance.

So, Barack, how's that Muslim reachout program going for ya? When cowboy G. W. Bush was in the White House, 9% of Egyptians had a favorable impression of the U.S. With President Obama it's 5% and Obama's overall ratings in the Arab world are now lower than Bush's were.

When Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a lunatic last January, the left and the media (redundant, I know) virtually accused Sarah Palin of pulling the trigger because she had used the word "target" to urge the defeat of specific Democrats, including Giffords, in elections. Now the Politico website quotes a prominent Democratic strategist as follows.

Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney,”

Think there will be outrage on the left about this?

Speaking of lunatics - It says a lot about the defensiveness and paranoia of the Obama White House that in its campaign to demonize Fox News it called anchorman Bret Baier a lunatic. Bret Baier? You have to be a lunatic to call Baier one.

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