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There are those whose voices are gaining an audience who argue: ' keeping the Middle East's shipping lanes free benefits China more than ourselves. Why? Because China needs oil from that region and we make it safe for them to receive it at no cost because the billions we spend on naval deployment gives China a free ride. They base their argument on the fact that if we pursue domestic energy availability, we will be independent of Middle East Oil in short order.
There is much to commend this viewpoint from a monetary standpoint and yes,we should pursue bringing other nations into the fold and share the task and cost we perform almost exclusively. From a strategic standpoint, abdicating the Middle East , or any region of the world in terms of our influence, is a worrisome admission that we are no longer a world power. I suspect by doing so we will not be pleased with how the vacuum is filled and the future cost of such abandonment could be very high.
I believe we need to continue our presence in that region unless we have given up on our war on Islamist terrorism, which brings me to the next subject - the changed text pertaining to the Libyan assassinations.
I would argue President Obama was very careful in choosing the words he did to defend Amb. Rice when he stated she relied upon the best intelligence available and was not knowledgeable on the subject.
First, why was the White House sending Amb. Rice when it should have sent Sec. Clinton, whose Department had direct responsibility. After all, it was The State Department's building and their employees under attack.
I venture to say, the reasons were the Administration did not want to acknowledge al Qaeda operatives were involved because the Administration had banked part of its campaign in the foreign arena, on Obama's 'tough' actions which rid the world of alQaeda - Osama is dead and General Motors is alive.
Second, State knew from its own real time cameras the attack was not in response to a vulgar video so Sec, Clinton would have been lying to say what Rice said.
As to who changed the wording from the CIA assessment? I suspect it was done under either on direct orders by the president or by The Justice Department.
It is widely known, this administration has purged terrorism from the wording of enforcement regulations etc. Having done so, it cannot now admit or acknowledge acts of terrorism but must define them in some other more subdued and sanitized way, ie, workforce related etc. This approach may be unrealistic and border on the insane but once taken it must be defended,
For what it is worth, President Obama's closest confidant and advice giver is Valerie Jarrett. He does not use the bathroom without informing her where he is. Perhaps Valerie was involved.
In any event, it is obvious the CIA' s characterization of the event was altered and eventually we might learn who did it. One thing for sure, The White House has been engaged in a heap of lying and obfuscation both to prevent the revealing of a negative occurrence before the election and second, because Obama's policy of washing terrorism off the books must be defended.
As to the matter of the fiscal cliff. It too can go either of several ways, ie. be resolved before the end of the year, partly resolved before the end of the year and then later, not be resolved at all allowing sequester to take effect,
I believe the latter will happen only if Obama wants to try for a political win. Why? Because he believes the election gave him a mandate and thus, he believes he has the stronger hand and can blame recalcitrant Republicans. Furthermore, the press and media have already laid the groundwork for blaming Republicans should no agreement be reached. There are some in the media and news who would actually like to see a sequester because it would provide more sensational news and thus more black ink and wordage etc.
I would argue that no one received a mandate because the vote total was lower than the last presidential election.
If Obama chooses to thwart a resolution in order for sequester to become a reality he would be playing politics because he would like to paint the Republicans in a corner thereby enhancing his party's chances in the mid year election.
As for myself, I would hope Republicans stand firm on the matter of raising rates and resolve any new income demands by being creative, overhauling the entire tax code and eliminating special perks for special interests and tie it all to significant cuts in immediate entitlement spending,
If you read Bernstein's Book, you will learn it was Obama who reneged at the last minute seeking more spending and Boehner realizing he could not deliver his crowd, withdrew.
Time will tell whether Obama would rather play politics again or resolve this issue . Stay tuned the hour is late and time short for meaningful action but that is how 'Disney East' is constructed and operates. Remember you have to pass it first in order to understand it when no has or is likely to read the entire bill's language,
Yes, we pay two ways for our system: first in salaries and then second, in the eventual cost of implementing bad legislation. Not a sensible way to run a fiscally sound business but what the hell it's all done with OPM!
This from a dear Christian friend, a true patriot and a memo reader who means every word: "Dick, it is one of the greatest disappointments of my advancing age that I am no longer fit for field service, because if I were, I'd be trying to get to , don an Israeli uniform and fight for the preservation of Israel and all that it means. See lessons 8 and 10 in you book, they are directly applicable: we must know recent history and real patriotism involved the defense of democracy wherever it may be.
May the Lord protect Israel!
And telling it like it needs to be told:
Original:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXqL72G-wNU&feature=relatedhttp://www.shoebat.com/ Our friend Professor Mordecai Kedar shows us all on how to stand up to the the Arab media. If only our Jewish Federations and Jewish leaders would stop talking peace and instead stand up for what is theirs. Respect comes before being loved. Jews need to stop looking to be loved and start looking to be respected.
A series of articles now that 'Obamascare' (AKA The, Affordable Care Act) is a reality. (See 1,1a and 1b below.)
Once again I remind you , the naming of a piece of legislation is often like the way politicians phrase a Georgia Ballot Amendment, ie. generally the opposite of what it means. If you believe the federal government does anything that is affordable then you live on the moon. Remember the phrase: "I am from the government and I am here to help you!"
More on Jordan's crisis. (See 2 below.)
Is France's Socialist P.M. fessing up to France's role in European anti-Semitism? It is so much a part of French culture but at least a beginning has begun? (See 3 below.)
Another post mortem on the election and the author agrees with my earlier comment that Democrats benefited from, what I termed, the 'Vagina Vote.' (See 4 below.)
Naming the new virus. (See 5 below.)
-1)The Obamacare Debacle
The plan epitomizes the president we’ve reelected.
If one wanted to sum up the consequences of the entire 2012 election in a single issue, look no farther than Obamacare.
The new health-care law is generally regarded as the signature achievement of the president’s first term. It’s certainly emblematic of Obama’s entire approach to government and what we can expect from his second-term initiatives.
The president promised a great deal of benefits from health-care reform: lower premiums, better care, universal coverage. He reassured Americans: If you had health insurance, and you liked it, you could keep it. The bill’s gross ten-year cost would be less than $1 trillion, and the legislation would actually reduce the deficit in the long run. The rich and some big businesses might have to pay a bit more in taxes, but the middle class would be better off.
But as with so many other policies of this administration, the results never matched the rhetoric. The pretty promises turned out to be “just words.”
Rather than work across the aisle, President Obama pushed his bill through on a purely partisan basis, using dubious parliamentary maneuvers and refusing to consider Republican alternatives. Nor was the president deterred by public opinion. Polls consistently showed that Americans opposed the president’s plan — they still do — but the president insisted
on doing it his way.
The president who always prefers government to markets unsurprisingly produced a costly new entitlement program, financed by both new taxes and massive debt, that relies on top-down planning. The $1 trillion price tag has been left far behind. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill will now cost at least $1.8 trillion through 2022, and other estimates suggest it could cost as much as $2.2 trillion over that period if all costs are taken into account, adding more than $823 billion to the deficit over ten years.
Even the government’s own actuaries expect it to drive up insurance premiums. The most recent report by the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that in the future premiums will rise at 7.9 percent annually, double the rate they would have risen if Obamacare had not been passed.
Many of Obamacare’s taxes fall not just on the rich, but on the middle class and small businesses. In fact, the mandate “tax” in particular will hit 11 million middle-class taxpayers to the tune of $6 billion. Moreover, the law’s costly new mandates and regulations are widely seen as a small-business job killer.
And, while Obamacare doesn’t directly ration care, it puts in place structures that will almost inevitably lead to rationing. Notably, beginning in 2017, a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), will have the authority to impose drastic cuts to physician reimbursements under Medicare. If abused, this authority could allow the government to refuse to pay for some treatments or providers, effectively rationing care. Even under the best of scenarios, the already-planned cuts will force as many as 15 percent of hospitals to close and cause many doctors to stop seeing Medicare patients. Given Medicare’s enormous unfunded liabilities, some reduction in benefits is inevitable, but it is typical of the Obama administration to prefer that bureaucrats rather than individual consumers decide how that reduction takes place.
In addition, millions of Americans are discovering that they will not be able to keep their current health-care plans. This includes seniors who will lose their Medicare Advantage plans, and businesses and individuals who find their plans non-compliant with Obamacare’s required benefits (such as Catholic charities and schools that are now required to offer birth control, including abortifacients). Surveys suggest that 10 to 30 percent of employers could drop their coverage, dumping their workers into plans offered on the government-run exchanges.
Yet, for all this, Obamacare falls far short of its goal of universal coverage. Nearly 20 million Americans will still be uninsured after the bill is fully implemented. Millions more will simply be dumped into Medicaid.
A President Romney could have used waivers, executive orders, and his power over budgets to delay or cut back on parts of the law.
Thus, on health care, as on so many other issues, last Tuesday’s election left us with a president whose belief in big government and centralized control has been and will only continue to be a disaster. The 2012 election has delivered us a devil we know all too well.
Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution.
1a)State decisions on health exchanges: Early indicators for Obamacare’s post-election health
"Jordanians look around the region and they say to
themselves --'We're lucky -- the streets are safe. There is stability.'"
Those were the words of a former Jordanian minister speaking to CNN on a
bleak, damp day in Amman 18 months ago. At the time, Egypt and Yemen were in
turmoil, Tunisia's president had fled, and Shiite protesters were taking to
the streets of Bahrain.
But even then, there was plenty of grumbling in Jordan -- over gas prices,
unemployment, pervasive corruption. Tribal sheiks described their
disappointment with King Abdullah, who succeeded his father to the throne in
1999. In towns like Mafraq, near the Syrian border and traditionally a
bedrock of support for the monarchy, there was an undercurrent of
resentment -- especially toward Queen Rania for her alleged lavish
Those same grievances have stoked the current protests, triggered by a
sudden and sharp increase in the price of cooking oil and fuel as state
subsidies have been withdrawn. Now King Abdullah confronts what analysts in
Amman say is the biggest crisis of his 13-year reign.
Osama Al Sharif -- an Amman-based commentator and syndicated columnist --
says the economic crunch is merging with evermore strident demands for
political change, now led by the Muslim Brotherhood. But the sometimes
violent protests in Amman and elsewhere this week have also included young
men from poor areas, and for the first time a refrain from protests
elsewhere in the Arab world -- "The People Want the Downfall of the
Regime" -- has been heard.
The street protests this week have underlined a growing divide between older
tribal leaders and a younger generation that's "on a totally different
bandwidth," Al Sharif says.
Al Sharif and others do not believe the monarchy is under threat. Jordan's
military, security and intelligence services are efficient and intensely
loyal. But the threat of more unrest beckons, and could deter what little
foreign investment Jordan attracts. The Islamic Action Front, the political
arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, is demanding the price hikes be rescinded
It also wants changes to the election law -- and constitutional reform so
that the prime minister is directly elected and not appointed by the king.
The Brotherhood, which intends to boycott parliamentary elections in
January, has built alliances with other opposition groups.
The government appears adamant that with the state's coffers nearly bare and
compensation offered to the poorest, subsidies have to be reduced. That's
the condition set by the International Monetary Fund for $2 billion in
Jordan simply can't survive without foreign aid. The state has a huge role
in the economy -- as employer of more than one-third the work force and in
subsidizing the price of basic commodities which consumes almost one quarter
of all government spending.
When it can't afford those subsidies, or the International Monetary Fund
demands they are reduced in return for loans, trouble is not far away.
As in Egypt and other Arab countries, the Jordanian "street" is
hypersensitive to the price of bread and cooking oil. Most Jordanians
struggle to get by: The average per capita income is $6,500. Price "shocks"
provoked street protests in 1989 and 1996 -- just as they did in Egypt in
1979 and 2007.
The Kingdom's current problems echo those of 1989. Aid was declining, but
spending was rising amid ever-worsening unemployment. As part of a deal with
the IMF, the government cut subsidies on basic goods and riots erupted in
southern Jordan, quickly turning into more general protests against the
The same syndrome has taken hold this year, worsened by cuts in gas supplies
from Egypt to less than one-fifth the agreed amount. The government has
already tried once (in August) to tackle subsidies, but retreated in the
face of protests.
Despite its lack of size and economic clout, Jordan matters to the West. The
Hashemite Kingdom has been consistently pro-Western, is one of only two Arab
states to have a peace treaty with Israel and is at the heart of a volatile
neighborhood. In the past it has quietly allowed the American and British
militaries to use its territory and facilities as a staging ground.
About half of Jordan's population is Palestinian, and the monarchy has
worked hard to ensure peace between them and the various tribes that live
The Kingdom's geography -- as a neighbor of Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia and
Iraq -- has thrown up awkward and sometimes impossible choices. Its current
financial situation is not helped by the presence of some 200,000 Syrian
refugees on Jordanian soil and King Abdullah's cautious attitude toward
events in Syria -- while Jordan is quietly helping the Syrian opposition, it
has kept its ambassador in Damascus.
Al Sharif says the less-than-wholehearted Jordanian support for the Syrian
rebels may explain why Saudi Arabia has not delivered the expected level of
financial aid this year.
There is also a growing threat from Salafist/jihadi groups. Eman Ebed Alkadi
of the Eurasia Group says Salafists have acquired weapons from Syria and
points out that Jordanian intelligence recently uncovered a plot to launch
terror attacks on diplomatic missions in Amman. Radical clerics such as Abu
Muhammad al-Tahawi have called for sharia rule in Jordan to replace "the
gang of corruptors" in power.
Al Sharif says some commentators, himself included, believe that as trust in
the monarchy erodes, it's time for a "grand political initiative" from the
king -- one that addresses the current dissent and sets a new role for the
monarch within a revised constitution.
The United States says it supports both the king's road map for reform --
which gradually shifts more power to the elected parliament -- and demands
for a more inclusive political process. But the two may not be compatible.
The tribes don't want to see the largely urban Muslim Brotherhood -- which
derives much of its support from Jordan's Palestinian population -- gain
power at their expense.
Economic crisis, a government virtually out of money, a generational divide,
political deadlock, rising unrest in neighboring countries: King Abdullah
faces a multifaceted challenge that would have tested the abilities of his
France Waking Up to Its Anti-Semitism?
By Michel Gurfinkiel
There is something intriguing about François Hollande, the socialist president of France. Many of his policies boil down to sheer liberal mantras in the style of Paul Krugman or the New York Review of Books. He indulges in overtaxation, big government, inflated social programs, and such cultural demagoguery as compulsory gender parity, gay marriage, and electoral franchise for resident aliens. On the other hand, he departs sharply from the left-wing agenda on some issues.
He seems to be serious about abiding by the EU free market rules, submitting to the euro's deflationary discipline, cutting the national debt, and balancing the budget. And he is expressing, along with his Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls, genuine sympathy and concern for the French Jews — and Israel.
On June 30, barely three weeks after Hollande's election, the French President's Office devoted a dignified obituary to Yitzhak Shamir, who had just passed away in Jerusalem, calling him a "builder of the state of Israel" and a "courageous man." The French Left used to describe the late Israeli prime minister as a "former terrorist" and a "fascist."
Then, on July 22, Hollande boldly linked current anti-Semitic violence in France, including the murder earlier this year of three Jewish children and one Jewish teacher in Toulouse, to the Holocaust. For over half a century, successive French administrations, both Right and Left, had been reluctant to acknowledge the role played under the German occupation by the Vichy regime apparatus and a subservient French police in the round-up of Jews and their subsequent transfer to Auschwitz. François Mitterrand, a socialist president from 1981 to 1995, had been particularly nervous about it, if only because of his close personal ties to René Bousquet, who had supervised the major Paris round-up in 1942 as the secretary general of the Vichy police. It was Jacques Chirac, his conservative successor, who first took full responsibility for these matters in 1995 in the name of the French nation. But at the same time, he held on to the anti-Israeli and pro-Arab policy inherited from Charles de Gaulle, as if France's partial complicity in the Holocaust did not entail at least some understanding for the Jewish state's travails.
What made Hollande's statement on July 22 quite remarkable was not that he reiterated France's responsibility — "The crime committed in France and by France" — and its duty to fight anti-Semitism and racism at large (as liberals in France and abroad, and the New York Review of Books, understood it), but rather that he described the Toulouse massacre as an eerie return to Holocaust times. Indeed, Toulouse's Islamist killer, Mohamed Merah, had been trained to kill, and to kill Jews, just like SS men had been seventy years ago. The placards and banners at Islamist demonstrations all over Europe routinely warning of a coming "real Holocaust" were from now on to be taken literally, just like the ubiquitous Arabic slogan Itbah al-Yahud ("slaughter the Jews!"). And Hollande, while owing his own election in a large measure to the growing and increasingly assertive Muslim vote, was prepared to do so.
But Hollande went even further. On October 31, he welcomed Benjamin Netanyahu, the conservative prime minister of Israel, on a "working visit" to Paris. They had lunch at the Elysée Palace. The following day, All Saints Day, the two men went to Toulouse and attended a memorial ceremony dedicated to Merah's Jewish and non-Jewish victims (the Islamist terrorist had also killed, presumably as "traitors" to jihad, three soldiers of North African or Caribbean origin in Montauban). French and Israeli flags were displayed. While Netanyahu had called on French Jews to come to Israel, Hollande insisted that French Jews' security was "a national cause."
The subliminal message: (a) Hollande saw Netanyahu as the legitimate prime minister of a legitimate democracy; (b) Hollande agreed that Israel, as a Jewish country, had a legitimate interest in the fate of Diaspora Jews; and (c) Hollande was not going to sacrifice the French Jews to mere electoral arithmetics.
French Jews (who have moved very much to the Right over the past thirty years) may or may not be convinced by Hollande's attitude. Many of them note that for all that, his administration carries on with many anti-Israel policies: socialist prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault just bestowed the government sponsored Human Rights Prize to Michel Warschawski, a radical French-Israeli anti-Zionist activist; and the socialist-dominated Regional Council for Ile-de-France (Greater Paris) passed a cooperation agreement with the Palestinian "Jerusalem Governorate," a Palestinian Authority branch intended to take charge of "Arab Jerusalem."
Even those who are impressed wonder if it does not come too late. As an elderly gentleman of Moroccan-Jewish descent confided to me last week: "The yogurt's expiry date is now." The gentleman elaborated:
Back in Morocco, we used to be members of the national elite. Right after independence, in the late 1950s, my father was seen as a close friend of King Mohamed V. He had access to everybody in the government. He held important positions. Then, one day, he told his stunned family that we were leaving for France. And forsaking the best part of our money and belongings. We, the children, were aghast: "What is going on?" we asked. And our father told us: "The yogurt's expiry date is now. From now on, we have no future anymore in Morocco. We must go, as long as we can go."
Indeed, most Jews left Morocco in less than twenty years, and most had to relinquish most of their goods upon leaving. There were 350,000 Moroccan Jews — out of a global population of 10 million — in 1956, when the French and Spanish protectorates were lifted and the "Sharifian Empire," as it was then known, resumed full sovereignty. In the early 1970s, only a few thousand were left.
Some Jews left for Israel even before independence, when the French still ruled most of the country. Most left for Israel, France, or Canada during the first ten years of King Hassan II's reign, from 1961 to 1971. Hassan II was then playing the "progressive," pan-Arabist, and proto-Islamist card, and gave free rein to anti-Jewish intimidation or harassment.
He changed his mind when he survived two assassination attempts, in 1971 and 1972, and realized that some of his hitherto closest advisors were involved. Some say that he then remembered an old prophecy according to which the Alawi dynasty he belonged to would last as long as Jews would be found in Morocco. Some others more soberly say that he needed American aid to survive, and that America paid much attention to his attitude towards Jews. Whatever his motivation, the king made sure after 1972 that the last Jews still living in Morocco should stay, and that even some other Jews should be cajoled into starting business or buying property in the country. All in all, a residual three thousand-soul community has thus been maintained to this day.
As for Mohamed VI, who succeeded Hassan II in 1999, he has so far been a friend of the Moroccan Jewish community, both in and outside Morocco, and a genuine moderate in Israeli-Arab affairs. The 2011 constitution — passed as the Moroccan answer to the so-called "Arab Spring" — specifically mentions the Jewish heritage as part and parcel of the national Moroccan heritage, a noble and praiseworthy move on the part of an Arab country.
But the point is that at least 98% of the counted Moroccan Jews were induced to leave Morocco under very short notice. Which gave some weight to what the elderly gentleman had to say next:
I never thought anything like that would happen to me again, and in France at that, of all countries. … But here we are. The expiry date has been reached again. We must go. My children and grandchildren must go. And I, an old man, must go too.
That most Jews in France feel utterly insecure by now and that many consider leaving for another country is an open secret. Interior Minister Manuel Valls — who is seen as even more pro-Jewish and pro-Israel as Hollande — insists that Jews are an integral part of the French nation, and that "France cannot countenance" a mass exodus of its "children").
Which means that such a mass exodus is indeed being discussed.
French Jews certainly love France and are loyal to the French nation. On the other hand, they are either the survivors or the survivors' children of two major cataclysms: the Shoah in the 1940s and the near-total expulsion from Islamic countries from the late 1940s to the 1980s. All of them know or were told by their closest relatives about previous "expiry dates."
The Toulouse massacre was certainly a turning point. But more anti-Jewish violence was reported throughout the summer in France. It culminated in an attack against a kosher supermarket in Sarcelles, in the Paris suburbs, on September 19. Two weeks later, on October 6, the French police dismantled an Islamist cell that was apparently involved in the Sarcelles attack and was planning more attacks, including the assassination of several Jewish leaders. What was noteworthy about it was that its members were mostly converts to Islam rather than Muslims by birth.
Le Monde, the authoritative if somewhat left-wing newspaper of France, two days later published a landmark editorial:
A sinister fact was validated over the weekend. There are in France groups that are decisively engaged in anti-Jewish violence. … All in the name of Islam, and of an unbelievable ideological hodgepodge where the Muslim community's concerns over the Middle East coalesce with questions over Afghanistan. … What is however really new and really frightening is that the anti-Jewish violence borrows a lot from the old European anti-Semitism that prevailed at the end of the 19th century. … And that the Internet spreads the anti-Semitic renewal through a myriad of anti-Western sites.
The link between anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, Islamism, and global anti-Western militancy is not breaking news, to say the least. What is important here is that Hollande (at least implicitly), Valls (much more explicitly), and Le Monde and the French intellectual and political establishment it stands for do not attempt any longer to deny it or to underestimate it. How come?
It may be surmised that somehow the French nation as a whole, starting with its police forces, realizes that networks who plan the systematic murder of Jews can just as well engage in a civil war. It's not the Jews' yogurt, stupid, it's ours.
Michel Gurfinkiel is the Founder and President of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, a conservative think-thank in France, and a Shillman/Ginsburg Fellow at Middle East Forum.
Laura Hollis is:Current: Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent Associate Professor ofLaw at University of Notre Dame.Past: Director at Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Associate Directorand Clinical Professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Education: University of Notre Dame Law School, University of Notre Dame.Summary: She has 20+ years' experience in curriculum and other program development and delivery.Click if you like this column!I am already reading so many pundits and other talking heads analyzing the disaster that was this year’s elections. I am adding my own ten cents. Here goes:1. We are outnumbered
We accurately foresaw the enthusiasm, the passion, the commitment, the determination, and the turnout. Married women, men, independents, Catholics, evangelicals – they all went for Romney in percentages as high or higher than the groups which voted for McCain in 2008. It wasn’t enough. What we saw in the election on Tuesday was a tipping point: we are now at a place where there are legitimately fewer Americans who desire a free republic with a free people than there are those who think the government should give them stuff. There are fewer of us who believe in the value of free exchange and free enterprise. There are fewer of us who do not wish to demonize successful people in order to justify taking from them. We are outnumbered. For the moment. It’s just that simple.
Some are already saying, “Romney was the wrong guy”; “He should have picked Marco Rubio to get Florida/Rob Portman to get Ohio/Chris Christie to get [someplace else].” With all due respect, these assessments are incorrect. Romney ran a strategic and well-organized campaign. Yes, he could have hit harder on Benghazi. But for those who would have loved that, there are those who would have found it distasteful. No matter what tactic you could point to that Romney could have done better, it would have been spun in a way that was detrimental to his chances. Romney would have been an excellent president, and Ryan was an inspired choice. No matter who we ran this year, they would have lost. See #1, above.2. It wasn’t the candidate(s)
3. It’s the culture, stupid.
We have been trying to fight this battle every four years at the voting booth. It is long past time we admit that is not where the battle really is. We abdicated control of the culture – starting back in the 1960s. And now our largest primary social institutions – education, the media, Hollywood (entertainment) have become really nothing more than an assembly line for cranking out reliable little Leftists. Furthermore, we have allowed the government to undermine the institutions that instill good character – marriage, the family, communities, schools, our churches. So, here we are, at least two full generations later – we are reaping what we have sown. It took nearly fifty years to get here; it will take another fifty years to get back. But it starts with the determination to reclaim education, the media, and the entertainment business. If we fail to do that, we can kiss every election goodbye from here on out. And much more.
4. America has become a nation of adolescents
The real loser in this election was adulthood: Maturity. Responsibility. The understanding that liberty must be accompanied by self-restraint. Obama is a spoiled child, and the behavior and language of his followers and their advertisements throughout the campaign makes it clear how many of them are, as well. Romney is a grown-up. Romney should have won. Those of us who expected him to win assumed that voters would act like grownups. Because if we were a nation of grownups, he would have won.
But what did win? Sex. Drugs. Bad language. Bad manners. Vulgarity. Lies. Cheating. Name-calling. Finger-pointing. Blaming. And irresponsible spending.
This does not bode well. People grow up one of two ways: either they choose to, or circumstancesforce themto. The warnings are all there, whether it is the looming economic disaster, or the inability of the government to respond to crises like Hurricane Sandy, or the growing strength and brazenness of our enemies. American voters stick their fingers in their ears and say, “Lalalalalala, I can’t hear you.”
It is unpleasant to think about the circumstances it will take to force Americans to grow up. It is even more unpleasant to think about Obama at the helm when those circumstances arrive.
5. Yes, there is apparently a Vagina Vote
It’s the subject matter of another column in its entirety to point out, one by one, all of the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of the Democrats this year. Suffice it to say that the only “war on women” was the one waged by the Obama campaign, which sexualized and objectified women, featuring them dressed up like vulvas at the Democrat National Convention, appealing to their “lady parts,” comparing voting to losing your virginity with Obama, trumpeting the thrills of destroying our children in the womb (and using our daughters in commercials to do so), and making Catholics pay for their birth control. For a significant number of women, this was appealing. It might call into question the wisdom of the Nineteenth Amendment, but for the fact that large numbers of women (largely married) used their “lady smarts” instead. Either way, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are rolling over in their graves.
6. It’s not about giving up on “social issues”
No Republican candidate should participate in a debate or go out on the stump without thorough debate prep and a complete set of talking points that they stick to. This should start with a good grounding in biology and a reluctance to purport to know the will of God. (Thank you, Todd and Richard.)
That said, we do not hold the values we do because they garner votes. We hold the values we do because we believe that they are time-tested principles without which a civilized, free and prosperous society is not possible.
We defend the unborn because we understand that a society which views some lives as expendable is capable of viewing all lives as expendable.
We defend family – mothers, fathers, marriage, children – because history makes it quite clear that societies without intact families quickly descend into anarchy and barbarism, and we have plenty of proof of that in our inner cities where marriage is infrequent and unwed motherhood approaches 80 percent. When Roe v. Wadewas decided in 1973, many thought that the abortion cause was lost. Forty years later, ultrasound technology has demonstrated the inevitable connection between science and morality. More Americans than ever define themselves as “pro-life.” What is tragic is that tens of millions of children have lost their lives while Americans figure out what should have been obvious before.
There is no “giving up” on social issues. There is only the realization that we have to fight the battle on other fronts. The truth will out in the end.
7. Obama does not have a mandate. And he does not need one.I have to laugh – bitterly – when I read conservative pundits trying to assure us that Obama “has to know” that he does not have a mandate, and so he will have to govern from the middle. I don’t know what they’re smoking. Obama does not care that he does not have a mandate. He does not view himself as being elected (much less re-elected) to represent individuals. He views himself as having been re-elected to complete the “fundamental transformation” of America, the basic structure of which he despises. Expect much more of the same – largely the complete disregard of the will of half the American public, his willingness to rule by executive order, and the utter inability of another divided Congress to rein him in. Stanley Kurtz has it all laid out here.
8. The CorruptMedia is the enemy
Too strong? I don’t think so. I have been watching the media try to throw elections since at least the early 1990s. In 2008 and again this year, we saw the media cravenly cover up for the incompetence and deceit of this President, while demonizing a good, honorable and decent man with lies and smears. This is on top of the daily barrage of insults that conservatives (and by that I mean the electorate, not the politicians) must endure at the hands of this arrogant bunch of elitist snobs. Bias is one thing. What we observed with Benghazi was professional malpractice and fraud. They need to go.
Republicans, Libertarians and other conservatives need to be prepared to play hardball with thePravda press from here on out. And while we are at it, to defend those journalists of whatever political stripe (Jake Tapper, Sharyl Atkisson, Eli Lake) who actually do their jobs. As well as Fox News and talk radio. Because you can fully expect a re-elected Obama to try to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine in term 2.
9. Small business and entrepreneurs will be hurt the worst
For all the blather about “Wall Street versus Main Street,” Obama’s statist agenda will unquestionably benefit the biggest corporations which – as with the public sector unions – are in the best position to make campaign donations, hire lobbyists, and get special exemptions carved out from Obama’s health care laws, his environmental regulations, his labor laws. It will be the small business, the entrepreneur, and the first-time innovators who will be crushed by their inability to compete on a level playing field.
10. America is more polarized than ever; and this time it’s personal
I’ve been following politics for a long time, and it feels different this time. Not just for me. I’ve received messages from other conservatives who are saying the same thing: there is little to no tolerance left out there for those who are bringing this country to its knees – even when they have been our friends. It isn’t just about “my guy” versus “your guy.” It is my view of America versus your view of America – a crippled, hemorrhaging, debt-laden, weakened and dependent America that I want no part of and resent being foisted on me. I no longer have any patience for stupidity, blindness, or vulgarity, so with each dumb “tweet” or FB post by one of my happily lefty comrades, another one bites the dust, for me. Delete.
What does this portend for a divided Congress? I expect that Republicans will be demoralized and chastened for a short time. But I see them in a bad position. Americans in general want Congress to work together. But many do not want Obama’s policies, and so Republicans who support them will be toast. Good luck, guys.
11. It’s possible that America just has to hit rock bottom
I truly believe that most Americans who voted for Obama have no idea what they are in for. Most simply believe him when he says that all he really wants is for the rich to pay “a little bit more.” So reasonable! Who could argue with that except a greedy racist?
America is on a horrific bender. Has been for some time now. The warning signs of our fiscal profligacy and culture of lack of personal responsibility are everywhere – too many to mention. We need only look at other countries which have gone the route we are walking now to see what is in store.
For the past four years – but certainly within the past campaign season – we have tried to warn Americans. Too many refuse to listen, even when all of the events that have transpired during Obama’s presidency – unemployment, economic stagnation, skyrocketing prices, the depression of the dollar, the collapse of foreign policy, Benghazi, hopelessly inept responses to natural disasters – can be tied directly to Obama’s statist philosophies, and his decisions.
What that means, I fear, is that they will not see what is coming until the whole thing collapses. That is what makes me so sad today. I see the country I love headed toward its own “rock bottom,” and I cannot seem to reach those who are taking it there.
In MHO, if we cannot regain control of those critical institutions ("that instill good character – marriage, the family, communities, schools, our churches"), that Ms. Hollis enumerated, and rekindle the rational, sane and conservative values they once represented,.....WE ARE DOOMED TO CONTINUE THIS SLIDE INTO A LEFTIST, PROGRESSIVE, LIBERAL LED DECAY and ULTIMATE COLLAPSE.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5)New American SocialismBy Porter Stansberry
No one knows what to call it…
That's part of the problem. It's difficult to criticize something that doesn't yet have a proper name.
You can't just call our economic system "socialism." It's not. There's a profit motive and private ownership of nearly all assets. Socialism has neither of these. Besides, far too many people have become far too rich in our system to simply label it "socialism."
If you have ever traveled to an actual socialist country – with a power grid that never works, little public sanitation, petty graft at every turn, and endemic, horrifying poverty – you realize our system and real socialism aren't the same at all.
Our system isn't truly capitalism either, though. The State intervenes in almost every industry, often in a big and expensive way. With government at all levels making up more than 40% of GDP, it's fair to say we live in a State-dominated society.
And we share other, disturbing similarities with typical socialist states. Not all of them are economic. The most frightening similarity between the U.S. and classic totalitarian socialist states is the mutual investment in and appreciation of violent coercion. The U.S. has a huge standing army – by far the most powerful in the world. It fights aggressive foreign wars.
And it fights violent domestic wars: U.S. prisons are bulging with a large percentage of the population. But the overwhelming majority of U.S. prisoners have never committed a violent crime.
One hallmark of a totalitarian, socialist government is a large penal system. At its peak, prior to World War II, the Soviet Union's "gulag" system incarcerated roughly 800 out of every 100,000 residents. Today, the U.S. incarcerates roughly 743 people out of every 100,000 residents – a total of 2.3 million inmates.
Including people currently on parole, more than 7 million people are in the American criminal justice system – one out of 31 adults. Roughly 70% of federal prisoners are violent offenders. The number of drug-related prisoners has increased 12-fold since 1980. The U.S. has the world's largest prison population. Incarceration rates run seven times higher than in similar countries, like Canada, Australia, and the European Union nations.
Most of my readers probably aren't familiar with this violent side of America's culture. It's the poor who suffer the most from these aspects of American life. It is their children who are sent to foreign wars. It is their children who get sent to prison.
Likewise, as with all socialist experiments, it is the poor who suffer the worst economic outcomes, too. It is their cash savings that get wiped out by inflation. It is their jobs that disappear when regulations reduce capital investment or government debt crowds out private capital in the markets.
If the poor knew the first thing about economics, they wouldn't keep voting for socialist politicians and their programs. Alas, they don't even know the basics.
The poor in America, like the poor everywhere, still believe you can rob Peter to pay Paul. They still believe their "leaders" are trying to serve their best interests. It is a sad hoax. What has really happened is clear: Bamboozling the poor has become a way of life for American politicians. And the poor's willingness – even eagerness – to embrace the resulting economic slavery is the linchpin of our system.
But it's not only the poor who have become addicted to the system. Businessmen like Warren Buffett embrace it, too – despite its limitations and taxes. Buffett calls it the "American System." He says it's the greatest system for creating wealth the world has ever seen.
We're not so sure.
Yes, it certainly makes it easy for big businessmen like Buffett to become wealthy. But those same benefits don't accrue to the society at large. For example… even though the value of America's production has soared over the last 40 years and asset prices have risen considerably, our debts have grown even more.
When you adjust for debt and inflation, you discover America hasn't gotten richer at all. Yes, we have become more affluent. And yes, some individuals have gotten vastly richer. But taken as a whole, when you add back the debts we've racked up, the country hasn't gotten richer at all. Since the end of the gold standard in 1971, real after-tax wages, per capita, stagnated. On average, we haven't gotten any richer at all in 40 years…
What happened over the last 40 years?
Why did so many people rush so eagerly into debt? Why did they borrow more and more to buy the same things at ever-higher prices – again, and again, and again? And why do people in America continue to work, day after day, for jobs that offer no opportunity and declining real wages? Most important, how did a few people end up getting so rich from this merry-go-round economic system that never takes us anywhere?
To answer this question, we need only answer one core question: Who benefits?
Whose wealth and power increases with inflation? Whose stature in society grows alongside the government? Who profits from increased spending on wars, prisons, and social programs that are doomed to fail? And most of all… who profits from an explosion in debt?
A certain class of people has the power to not only protect itself from these policies but to profit as well. These people have used the last 40 years to produce massive amounts of paper wealth. And they are now desperately trying to convert those paper accounts into real wealth, which explains the exploding price of farmland and precious metals.
This explosion of wealth at the top of the "food chain" is the main feature of what I call New American Socialism. It's a system fueled by paper money, the constant expansion of debt, and a kind of corruption that's hard to police because it occurswithin the boundaries of the law.
Like the European and totalitarian socialism of the last 100 years, New American Socialism harnesses the power of the State to grow and maintain production. Like in traditional socialism, the poor pay the costs of New American Socialism. But unlike socialist systems of the past, this new American version has one critical improvement…
In the New American Socialism, the power of the system produces private profits. In this way, it provides a huge incentive to entrepreneurs and politicians to work together on behalf of the system. This is what keeps the system going. This is what keeps it from collapsing upon itself. And this, unfortunately, is why the imbalances in the world economy will continue to grow until the entire global monetary system itself implodes…
New American Socialism began with the policies of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1933, FDR seized all the privately held gold in the U.S. and began creating the massive government programs necessary to implement socialism. To give you some idea of how much the federal government grew during FDR's reign, remember federal spending made up 3% of GDP in 1930 – a level that had been fairly consistent for most of America's history. Almost immediately after his election, he tripled federal spending to more than 10% of GDP. And by the time he died in office, federal spending reached 44% of GDP – an all-time high.
As everyone should know by now, the promises of socialism aren't affordable. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is inefficient and kills Peter's incentives. The result is usually economic stagnation, depression, and eventually a crisis that frees people from the government's confiscatory repression. Because America was the only large economy standing after World War II, it took much longer than usual for the problems of socialism to appear in our economy. Also, the government scaled back many of FDR's policies during the post-war boom. In winning the war, we also won a generation of economic spoils.
All this changed in the 1960s. Lyndon Johnson had delusions of government-led grandeur. His ideas of a "Great Society" and "Model Cities," along with an expensive foreign war (Vietnam), were a recipe for massive new debts and an increasing role for government in all aspects of American life.
These policies led to an acute funding problem in 1971 because the debts of socialism couldn't be financed with gold-backed money. It was far too expensive. And so we began a new kind of socialism… the New American Socialism.
What happened in 1971? The size of America's government deficits forced us to abandon gold. After World War II, the U.S. dollar became the world's reserve currency. In exchange for placing the dollar at the center of the world's economy, we made a solemn promise to always exchange the U.S. dollar for gold at $35 an ounce. Nixon broke that promise, calling our creditors "global speculators" and telling them to go pound sand.
This move away from gold severed the fundamental tie between our economy and our money. Without the link to gold, bank reserves could be created by fiat. And they were. This led to a huge expansion of our money supply and our debts.
The power to use this debt and to control the creation of new money is the most powerful factor in our economy. The government can now create unlimited amounts of credit to control the U.S. economy. This bestows favored status on certain companies – notably banks. This lies at the core of our economy's structure. It is how fiat money privatizes the benefits of New American Socialism.
Most Americans simply don't understand how our historic tie to gold made it impossible for the banking system to grow beyond clear boundaries. Gold limited the amount of currency in circulation, which, in turn, restricted how much money banks could lend. Under the gold standard, the maximum total debt-to-GDP ratio was limited to around 150%. But as soon as we broke the tie to gold, our total debt-to-GDP ratio began to grow. It's now close to 400%.
Without the tie to gold, the amount of economic mischief our government could engineer became practically limitless. No social goal was too absurd… no war too expensive… and no government insurance scheme too patently self-serving not to finance.
Today, New American Socialism has spread like a cancer throughout our country, afflicting industry after industry. Like a cancer, once it infects an industry, it metastasizes from company to company in that sector. Suddenly, businesses cannot function without massive government aid. These corporate wards of the State weigh down the rest of our economy… making us weaker and less competitive and dragging us further into debt.
Keep in mind, this New American Socialism I'm talking about isn't called socialism at all. It goes by many names. It's been called "compassionate conservatism." It's been called "joint public-private enterprise." It's been called "government insurance."
I've been studying it for many years – finding it in one company after another. I've actually preferred having it in many of the stocks I've recommended over the years because it tends to be good for investors. That's the most insidious thing about New American Socialism: It's a form of socialism that leaves the profit motive in place.
That's why the New American Socialism has grown decade after decade. That's why it continues to be heavily promoted by almost every mainstream media outlet and both political parties. It leads to a kind of corruption I believe will be impossible to stop without a full-scale economic collapse…
Socialism always destroys the poor because it robs them of social mobility and makes it impossible for them to protect themselves from the predations of the powerful. Historically, its damage has been limited because eventually socialism so disrupts an economy that even the rich and the powerful suffer. That's what's so dangerous about this New American Socialism. It doesn't subject the rich to any depravation at all. It does just the opposite. The New American Socialism retains the profit motive for the rich and the well connected. In this new model, only the poor suffer. The rich are always protected.
It's capitalism for the rich, without any risks… and socialism for the poor, without any rights.