Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Wisdom Of Barack Obama

On Thursday (1/17), the Wall Street Journal printed the entirety of a speech given by then Senator Barack Obama on the Senate floor, March 16, 2006.

Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America's debt problem. The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies.
Over the past five years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is "trillion" with a "T." That is money we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next five years, between now and 2011, the president's budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.

Numbers that large are sometimes hard to understand. Some people may wonder why they matter. Here is why: this year, the federal government will spend $220 billion on interest. That is more money to pay interest on our national debt then will spend on Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance program. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security, transportation, and veterans benefits combined…

Our debt also matters internationally. My friend, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, likes to remind us that it took 42 presidents 224 years to run up only $1 trillion of foreign held debt. This administration did more than that in just five years. Now, there is nothing wrong with borrowing from foreign countries. But we must remember that the more we depend on foreign nations to fund this money, the more our economic security is tied to the whims of foreign leaders whose interests might not be aligned with ours.
Increasing America's debt weakens us to domestically and internationally. Leadership means that "the buck stops here." Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Random Quotes

What dismays is the utter lack of class in such businesses and businessmen here parading their skills in distortion. What is going on is phony. It is shoddy, it is contemptible, and it is philosophically blasphemous.
WF Buckley (on corporate officers - Contrary to current mythology, corporatism is a leftist phenomenon).

I'm a black Republican, Some people think of that as zany – that a black person would be a conservative. But to me what is zany is any person – black, white, red, brown or yellow – not being a conservative.
Tim Scott (Governor Nikki Haley's choice to replace retiring Jim Demint as South Carolina Senator)

Is it any wonder today's Republicans have so much trouble with voters? Here we have a class A demagogue running up our deficits and debt to nation-bankrupting levels through runaway spending and obstructing entitlement reform, and Republicans allow him to establish the counterfactual narrative that we have a revenue problem -- caused by the rich, no less.
David Limbaugh
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the latest triumphant (fiscal) deal includes $2 billion of cuts for fiscal year 2013. Wow! That’s what the government of the United States borrows every ten hours and 38 minutes. Spending two months negotiating ten hours of savings is like driving to a supermarket three states away to save a nickel on your grocery bill.
Mark Steyn

Nobel laureate (Al) Gore has sold his interest in a failing cable-television station for about $100 million — and to the anti-American Al-Jazeera, which is owned by the fossil-fuel-rich royal family of Qatar. Gore rushed to close the deal before the first of the year to avoid the very capital-gains tax hikes that he has advocated for others less well off. That’s a liberal trifecta: enhancing a fossil-fuel consortium, attempting to beat tax hikes, and empowering an anti-American and anti-Semitic media conglomerate run by an authoritarian despot — all from a former vice president of the United States who crusades for ending our reliance on fossil fuels and for raising taxes on the wealthy.
Victor Davis Hanson
We’re going to help you get it all together. I promise. You’re going to be okay.
I want to make sure that she knows that we’re going to immediately get the help that she needs to get this all back together again.
BHO assurances to Hurricane Sandy victim Donna Vanzant, October 31, 2012

BHO posing for a campaign photo-op with Donna Vanzant following Hurricane Sandy

After his visit, I sent an email to President Obama. Many days later, I got a response back. It was disturbing.
It had nothing to do with what I was asking him. It was a form letter. It thanked me for supporting the troops. He made a promise to rebuild on national television, and I can’t even get this money. It’s heartbreaking, really. I did reach out to Senator Whelan, and I got a response that they were forwarding my email to the person that Governor Christie put in charge of Sandy relief. But from President Obama, I got a form letter.
Donna Vanzant, January 4, 2013

Where is the government? We need gasoline! We’re gonna die. We’re gonna freeze.
Staten Island resident to NY Senator Chuck Schumer four days after Sandy hit
Near the end of Obama’s second term or in the first term of his successor, the American people will face a choice so clear that even the liberal media cannot obfuscate it: Do we all want to pay higher income taxes, a national sales tax, $10 gas, and much higher social security taxes to keep Obama’s entitlement state that guarantee everyone, irrespective of circumstances or effort, a “decent standard of living,” and “universal access” to health care, income security, and “healthy” food. Yes or no?
Paul Roderick Gregory, Forbes Magazine (Gregory says the answer will be "no")
Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’
BHO 2006
The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children . . . so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman, and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.
BHO 2008

And that’s why today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office. I refuse to leave our children with a debt that they cannot repay.
BHO 2009
Immediately after the failure of the Camp David [negotiations], I met him (Yasser) in Paris upon his return… Camp David had failed, and he said to me, ‘You should remain in Paris.’ I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because I am going to start an Intifada.'
Suha Arafat (wife of Yasser Arafat) 12/2012
Both Israelis and Palestinians are trapped in a war not of their making...Israel must take steps to show its commitment to peace.
Obama's choice for Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, during the height of the intifada, 7/2002

Victor Davis Hanson projects what Barack Obama would say if here were honest about his wholesale adoption of Bush's antiterror policies.

We rejected these protocols when, as outside critics, there was partisan advantage in doing so. But after assuming office, we found them useful, embraced most of them and even expanded some, preferred to ignore that about-face, assumed that the global and the domestic Left would not object any longer — given that their opposition was more to Bush than to his policies per se — and wish to continue these measures even as we keep quiet about them.
Susan Jacoby wrote a column for the New York Times attempting to provide consolation to the victims of the Newtown massacre from an atheist perspective. Dennis Prager found her words predictably empty and gave what he considers a more accurate atheist response to the tragedy. 
As atheists, we truly feel awful for you. And we promise to work for more gun control. But the truth is we don't have a single consoling thing to say to you because we atheists recognize that the human being is nothing more than matter, no different from all other matter in the universe except for having self-consciousness. Therefore, when we die, that's it. Moreover, within a tiny speck of time in terms of the universe's history, nearly every one of us, including your child, will be completely forgotten, as if we never even existed. Life is a random crapshoot. Our birth and existence are flukes. And you will never see your child again. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bush vs Obama

One of the very few positives that emerges from a continuing Barack Obama presidency is that it inflates the quality of his predecessor's by comparison. Victor Davis Hanson (NRO) compares the two.

Also -
I'm not really a fan of Jay Nordlinger's casual writing style. He'll append some of his views and statements with a chummy "...don't ya think?" or ..."you too?" There was a local columnist for the Detroit Free Press a couple of decades ago, Bob Talbert, who used to write that way. Nordlinger is from Ann Arbor and I think that Talbert influenced him. Aside from style though, Nordlinger writes intelligently and often compellingly on a variety of policy and political issues. (And, as a musician and critic, about classical music). He has been nearly alone since the election in defending Mitt Romney from detractors, both right and left, and his latest NRO column is a lengthy paean to the great man.