Romney Lost; Some Quick Thoughts

Well, it looks like the Golfer-in-Chief won a second term, much to the country’s detriment. It’s been an interesting election, to say the least. Here are some thoughts.

I have to admit, I called this one wrong. Even though the dynamic was very similar to the Reagan/Carter race of 1980, the outcome was completely reversed. I think several factors came into play. First, of course, is that Romney’s no Reagan as far as political skill and presentation. I also think that Romney made a very bad call in not making Benghazi-Gate a very major election issue, right along with Fast & Furious.

But there’s another issue that’s developed in the intervening 32 years that doesn’t portend at all well for the future of this country: the emergence of class warfare as a major political football, and the fact that almost 50% of this country’s populace is on some form of the government dole. I’ve written several times that when that percentage hits 50%+1 vote, this country’s doomed. I’ve seen nothing to change my mind. We’re in very serious trouble.

*                          *                           *

Now that The Amateur has won re-election, is he going to continue to Blame Bush for all this country’s problems? At what point will he start to accept responsibility for this lousy economy… if ever? Or will Biden, if he runs to replace Obama, decide to start blaming… Obama? How long can they keep pointing at Bush? They’ve already set a new world’s record in that event.

*                         *                           *

Fortunately, the GOP has retained control of the House. That means Darryl Issa is still his committee’s chairman. I predict that when the new Congress is seated in January, he’ll be aggressively pursuing AG Holder on the Fast & Furious debacle, and giving Obama some real problems on the Benghazi-Gate mess. I know Obama wanted to run out the election clock on that problem – and with the help of the lamestream media, he did – but it hasn’t gone away. I think it’s barely started.

And again, with the GOP retaining control of the House it’s going to be pretty hard for him to enact what’s sure to be an even more radical socialist agenda, now that he no longer has to answer to an electorate.

*                         *                             *

The destructive effect of “identity politics” and polarization can’t be overstated, and it’s a pernicious and cynical aspect that the leftists have used to full effect. The “Hispanic bloc” and the “black vote” are glaring examples of groups that vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, even to their own detriment.

Frankly, I don’t see this situation improving in the foreseeable future; if anything, it’s going to get worse. The welfare policies of the Democrats as initiated by LBJ have essentially enslaved the blacks on the new plantation of government dependency. The devil’s bargain Reagan entered into in 1986 when he signed into law the Simpson-Mazzoli “one time, never to be repeated” amnesty for illegal aliens didn’t solve our illegal alien problem; it merely opened the door even wider with the implied promise to new border-crossers that if they can somehow merely wait out the clock they, too, will be rewarded with citizenship and all the government freebies that come with it.

*                           *                                *

The biggest danger regarding the Judiciary is that Scalia – the oldest of the conservatives – will either retire or die. I think he’s too motivated to retire for anything other than health reasons, so we have to pray for his continued good health. The re-elected Commissar will be making other judicial appointments, though, giving him the opportunity to pack the lower courts with like-minded socialists.

That leaves it up to the Senate GOPers to finally – FINALLY – start playing the confirmation game by the same “rules” that their Dem counterparts use, meaning there are none. Time to take off the gloves and play hardball!

Will they do it? Who knows? The jury’s out on that one.

*                            *                                  *

True and effective democracy is hard work. Over the years I’ve written several essays on the topic, including “Bread and Circuses”, in which I’ve pointed out that we’re heading on a fatal course that, if uncorrected, will lead to the demise of this country as we know it as our freedoms and independence are whittled away. This election is a confirmation of those predictions.

The Founding Fathers were well aware of the problem. In 1814 John Adams wrote: “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

I’ll leave it at that.

© Brian Baker 2012

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People Died, Obama Lied

At last! A “shovel-ready” job! What is it, you ask? Why, it’s moving the mountain of bovine excrement Obama & Company are trying to use to cover the magnitude of his ineptitude and the depth of his dereliction, as well as the cost in lives, in the Beghazi-Gate and Fast And Furious debacles.

The Benghazi fiasco continues to escalate. Check out this
article
. Turns out Ambassador Chris Stevens and his security team (now all dead) had known for quite some time there was a lot of danger. They’d asked for security reinforcements. Turns out that during the day of, they’d radioed for help, and someone somewhere – the CIA claiming it wasn’t in THEIR chain of command – denied or refused to act on the SOS. Turns out American air and commando forces were only an hour away, but weren’t sent to the scene in spite of repeated radio requests for help during the several-hours-long attack by armed insurgents. Turns out there was a real-time info stream being transmitted, at least audio and perhaps video. People in DC knew what was happening while it was happening. But the folks in Benghazi were left hanging out to die. Uh-uh. No cavalry for YOU guys, Chris!

Now we know Obama’s response to the fabled “3 AM phone call”. Evidently, an event like this is a “not optimal … bump in the road” that can’t be allowed to interfere with Mr. Fundraiser’s campaign events, as within hours he was on his jet winging his way to Nevada to haul in the money.

After all, we do have our priorities…

Then the next couple of weeks were spent trying to bury the facts under the excrement pile by blaming the attack on a YouTube video that no one had ever heard of or seen. After all, Obama was the guy who “killed bin Laden”, right? And hadn’t that solved all our problems with Islamic jihadists?

Maybe not so much…

This episode is the perfect companion piece to the Fast & Furious mess, in which Obama’s ATF goons shipped a couple thousand guns – including full-auto submachine guns – to the Mexican drug cartels in an effort to gin up a case for the idea that American gun shops were the source for the illegal gun trade in Mexico, thereby justifying tougher gun control laws.

Unfortunately for The One, one US Border Patrol Agent named Brian Terry was killed by one of those guns, along with over 300 Mexican citizens. And the cover-up on that “program” continues, with Obama’s AG Eric Holder stonewalling Congress and a federal subpoena demanding the documents in the case.

What do these episodes have in common, other than piles of dead bodies? The refusal by Obama or any of his political cronies to accept any responsibility at all for what happened. Apparently, things just happen in a vacuum, with underlings somewhere in the chain of command making decisions that have costs in lives, and it all takes place without the Incompetent-in-Chief having any knowledge of what those people are doing.

So, let me see if I have this right. Obama is the guy who “killed bin Laden”, even though the actual mission was carried out by a SEAL team, a tactical unit pretty far down the chain of command. Yet at the same time, he’s also the guy who didn’t know anything about illegally shipping thousands of guns into a foreign sovereign nation, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of that country’s citizens and setting up a major international diplomacy problem; and he’s also the guy who didn’t know anything about an attack on our consulate – sovereign American soil in Libya – and the murder of our Ambassador and other personnel.

Well… which is it? Is he a stud, or a dud?

The Milli Vanilli of US Presidents.

© Brian Baker 2012

Obama: “Bin Laden is dead”… Me: “So What?”

In light of everything that’s been going on in the Middle East and North Africa over the last week, I have to comment.

First of all, as those who know me or have read my scribbling over the years are aware, I’ve long maintained that the idea of a Western-style democracy successfully taking hold in the Muslim/Arab world is a pipe dream. There are no cultural underpinnings to support such an enterprise, and in fact their cultural and religious foundations are antithetical to the concept.

Over the years I’ve written several essays on the subject, and you can read them here, here,  here, and here.

Our country suffers from two deadly weaknesses in our approach to the problems in the region. The first is that, with the exception of Reagan, no one inside the Beltway in post-Vietnam history has had Clue One about how the Arab/Muslim mind works. They think, in spite of all the historical evidence to the contrary, that the prevailing mindset is no different from our own. I think you actually have to have lived in the region to realize how wrong that idea really is. I spent my high school years in Iran, and I can’t imagine a more foolish concept.

The second weakness is our dependence on oil from the region. Unquestionably, that limits our options, and forces us into “alliances” that are contrary to our own national self-interests. A perfect example is our relationship with Saudi Arabia. Though that country is perhaps less anti-Western than others, they’re certainly not our friends in the way that a country like the UK is, for example. We’re simply a market for their product: oil. They’re still the source for international Wahabiism, and terrorists such as bin Laden draw much of their financial support from sources within that country. Don’t fool yourselves; they’re not our allies in the real sense of the word.

Which brings us to Obama. Obama is the “perfect storm” of ignorance of the region coupled with stupidly utopian idealism coupled with a refusal to take any realistic actions to lessen our dependence on oil from the region. A disastrous trifecta of insane policy.

As I’ve said before (here, here and here) we’re sitting on an ocean of oil we’re just letting sit in the ground purely for political reasons. We have more known and recoverable oil than any other nation on the planet; three times as much as Saudi Arabia. The solution to our “energy dependence” problem is very simple: Drill, baby, drill!

But we can’t do that because the amateur in the Oval Office won’t allow it. The pump price of gasoline has doubled since Obama took office, but he’s stuck on stupid when it comes to oil, and would rather hitch his wagon to fantasies about “alternative energies” that don’t even exist at this point in time, rather than actually address the problem with the obvious and easy solutions that already do exist.

All we have to do is drill our own oil to free us from having to worry about the actions being taken by Muslim extremists who seem to spend their whole lives being “offended” by everything under the sun. We could simply flip them off and have done with it.

And just exactly what are the policies being implemented by Obama in the Muslim/Arab world? They’re a repeat of the exact same policies that worked so well under “Peanut Jimmy” Carter! Remember those good old days?

Carter proved how “tough” he was by engineering the downfall of the Shah of Iran, and his replacement by Ayatollah Khomeini, and look how well that turned out. Obama proved how tough he was by “killing bin Laden” and facilitating the “Arab Spring”, and look how well that’s turning out. Obama is Carter Redux. Worse, actually, because he’s refused to learn the lessons of history, and is repeating the same stupid actions that have already proven to be disastrous in the past.

If we insist on remaining engaged with the Arab/Muslim world, we have to do so from a position of unyielding strength and pragmatism that isn’t filtered through rose-colored lenses that project a vision of Western values that doesn’t exist in the region. We have to use our aid dollars as both a carrot and a stick. We have to find some pro-Western strongmen, and back them. Maybe over time a foundation can be laid that will allow Western-style democracies to develop there, but the key words are “over time”. A long time, probably generations at least.

At this time, we’re viewed in the Muslim/Arab world as being paper tigers; easy and impotent targets that never respond to provocation. In that world, that’s fatal. Until we learn that lesson and act accordingly, attacks against our interests and outposts will continue. It’s just that simple.

These are all lessons that are clear to see. Obama has proven to be an epic failure in this arena. His response has been to thrash around impotently, throwing blame hither and yon, then promptly getting back to the only activity he’s reliably pursued throughout his presidency (other than playing golf), campaigning for re-election. The current debacle in the region doesn’t seem to interest him as anything more important than just a minor campaign delay.

Good. Grief.

© Brian Baker 2012

Okay, I’ll Say It. Why Is Obama President? Because He’s Black.

Political Correctness Run Amok

 

This is an issue that constantly comes up in conversation lately, particularly when people express their puzzlement that Obama’s “likeability” polls so high coming into the election. “How can his policies be so bad, yet people still seem to like him so much?”, I constantly hear.

Well, the question they should be asking is how such an incompetent perpetual-campaigner and golf-pro-wannabe ever got elected to that office in the first place. And as far as I’m concerned, the answer is very simple: because he’s black. Or half-black, to be exact.

Would this guy be President?

Let’s face it. If a white guy named Barry O’Bannion had put his hat in the ring with a resume that included zero private-sector experience, zero state-level executive experience, and only two years of experience in federal office, he’d have been laughed out of the primary. Yet that’s exactly what Barry Obama did, and he got away with it. His entire 2008 campaign consisted of shameless sloganeering devoid of actual policy proposals: he was the “not Bush” guy; “Hope and Change”; “Yes, we can!” and “Si, se puedes!”; “Transform America”; and pretty much nothing else.

How did such abysmal vapidity succeed in propelling this empty suit to the White House, you ask? Because for far, far too many voters this was the opportunity to show how enlightened we’d become. We’re actually going to elect a Black Man as President! Aren’t we just oh so sophisticated and open-minded! What a great country!

And why do the polls even now show Obama having such high personal popularity? In my estimation based on human nature, for the exact same reason. When polled, many people are hesitant – at the least – to express a negative view of the amateur in the White House for fear of being thought of as “racist”.

And they may well have good cause. In an administration that was supposed to put “racism” to rest, we’ve reached the point at which any criticism of Obama’s policies is automatically “RAAAACIST!!!” Far from removing racism as an issue, it’s been amplified beyond all sanity.

Of course, the reason for this is because Obama’s policies have been so disastrous for the country that he can’t possibly run on his record and hope for re-election, so he and his supporters have to stifle any policy criticisms at any and all costs.

Let’s hope they don’t get away with it this time. Let’s send this nimrod back to the driving range, where he belongs.

© Brian Baker 2012

Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown and the Usual Class-Warfare Shtick

Typical One-Trick Pony

Reporting From Greece On The Pacific: This Just In!

Greeceifornia’s $16 BILLION in the red. That’s $16,000,000,000. The number 16, followed by nine zeros. A lot of money in anyone’s book.

Moonbeam

And, as usual, the socialists running this state – the Top Dog being Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown – can only think of one solution to the problem: more taxes.

There’s enough money for a $100 BILLION “high-speed rail to nowhere” boondoggle.

There’s enough money to pay illegal aliens to go to college through the state DREAM law.

There’s enough money to give public employees retirement pensions and medical benefits that private-sector workers can only envy.

There’s $54 million hidden away in a Parks Department bank account.

We have 1/8th of the nation’s populace and 1/3rd of the nation’s welfare recipients.

And they shrug their shoulders that we’re $16 billion in the red and swirling the drain? And tell us that we need to increase taxes… AGAIN?

Welcome to Greeceifornia!

Giving those morons more money is like taking a drunk to a bar to dry him out. No way, Jose.

So the solution, according to Moonbeam and his socialist minions, is a pair of competing ballot propositions this November, Propositions 30 and 38. Prop 38 is an increase in income tax rates on everybody; Prop 30 – promoted by Brown – allegedly goes to the state’s “education” behemoth, but in reality it allocates funding to try to stem the tsunami of red ink. It imposes an increase in the state sales tax (again affecting everybody) in addition to tax increases on “the rich”, defined as those earning over $250K annually.

According to the legislative analysis of Prop 30: “These new tax rates would affect about 1 percent of California PIT (personal income tax) filers. (These taxpayers currently pay about 40 percent of state personal income taxes.)”

Occutard

Look at that again. That “greedy” one percent is ALREADY paying 40% of the income taxes collected by the state. How dare they? Not enough! Let’s jack them up even more!

Brown’s strategy here is painfully transparent. Had he tried to have enacted a proposition that depended solely on a sales tax increase to close the budget shortfall, it would have been lucky to get a single vote at the ballot box. That would have affected everybody, and would have required a very significant increase in the sales tax rate, which is already high in this state. Instead, we have a whopping increase in the tax rate on those evil “rich”, a move that in this state – with so many people victims of class envy and participants in class warfare – gives it a much better chance of passage. This is the cynical tune the Left has been playing for many years, from Brown at the state level all the way up to Obama in this year’s presidential election.

Should Prop 30 pass, of course, the rest of us suckers who live in this sorry state will also be on the hook for some of that tab that’s now come due for many years of unfettered and obscene spending. But Brown’s counting on class warfare to make our “contribution” more palatable and politically viable, particularly since – again according to the Legislative Analyst – “… the vast majority of the additional revenue from this measure would come from the PIT rate increases on upper-income taxpayers.” The small portion the rest of us are stuck with is simply Brown’s “beard” for yet another unfair tax increase on the small business owners and job producers, what few who still live here, as it gives him an excuse to claim that the burden is being “spread around”. It’s not, other than in a very minor and almost purely symbolic way.

All of this while there’s no discussion at all from Brown & Company on any meaningful cuts or reforms on the spending commitments in this state. Don’t fall for it! Let’s see some major cuts in spending first! Let’s reprioritize first! Then we can talk about what taxes need to be raised – if any – to address any remaining shortfall.

This state used to be able to function within a reasonable budget with reasonable tax rates, and even enjoy surpluses. That’s the condition to which we must return. There is no Money Tree Forest, and it’s time the socialists who run this state learn that simple fact.

As Maggie Thatcher noted, “The trouble with socialism is that it always runs out of other people’s money”.

©Brian Baker 2012

When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Only Minutes Away

Unless you’ve been living in a cave you know that a bit over a week ago a lunatic waltzed into a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire on the crowd that was attending the premiere of the latest Batman movie, killing a dozen and wounding scores more. And as predictably as the sun rising in the east, the lunatic fringe of gun-haters – always circling like buzzards while waiting for bodies to pounce on – immediately exploited the tragedy to try to advance their gun-ban agenda.

New York’s Mayor Bloomberg, always the calm voice of reason (that’s sarcasm, in case you missed it), called for cops to walk off the job until “lawmakers get guns off the streets” (Link). Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) also swooped down to dig into some of the carrion (Link). The New York Times, LA Times and Washington Post have been running foaming-at-the-mouth editorials almost daily screaming for more gun control.

But let’s take a look at the reality of the situation. I’m not going to debate the Second Amendment; that ship has sailed. In the Heller and McDonald decisions, the Supreme Court held that the amendment means exactly what it says in its simplest interpretation, and that people have the right to own guns. Period.

First of all, if the mere presence of guns is what causes violent crime, then the streets of Switzerland should be ankle-deep in blood. Private gun ownership there is mandatory. Every citizen of military age is required by law to own – and keep in their homes – military firearms including full-auto submachine guns, along with appropriate ammunition, and to maintain proficiency in their use. Even once they’re past military age, they’re given the option to retain those guns. A similar situation exists in Israel. Yet both nations have very low crime rates in spite of the fact that almost everyone’s armed, Switzerland’s being among the lowest in the world.

Blaming guns for gun violence is like blaming forks for overeating. They’re both simply inanimate objects.

As a matter of fact, peer-reviewed studies have shown that there’s a positive correlation between gun ownership and lower crime rates, most notably those by Professor John Lott and Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck. Privately-owned guns are successfully used somewhere between 750,000 – 1.2 million times annually by potential victims to prevent victimization. Since Florida started the parade of states that have loosened restrictions on concealed carry licenses back in 1987, 36 other states have done the same and the experience has been a reduction in the rates of violent crimes in every one of those states. Contrary to the anti-gun-hysterics’ assertions, an armed society is a polite society.

The reality of life is that when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away. You are your own “first responder”. There were cops right outside that Aurora theater doing crowd control duties; the Virgina Tech cops waited 45 minutes before going in. If you’re counting on the cops to protect you, you’re probably out of luck.

Nor is that their duty. According to the Supreme Court, they owe no duty to individuals. Their duty is to society as a whole.

If more people were legally able to arm themselves and carry their weapons, there’d be fewer of us taking knives to a gun fight. And as the statistics have shown, more guns equal less crime.

There’s also the reality of the political scene to consider. Gun control has almost always been a huge political loser for its backers. Fearless duck hunter & gun rights advocateClinton owes his 1994 loss of congressional majorities at least in part to the “assault weapon” ban passed and enacted earlier that year by the Democrats. Gore and Kerry both credited the gun issue as being a significant factor in their losses. Who can forget the image of Kerry in brand-spanking-new cammies and carrying a borrowed shotgun for a photo op in a futile effort to convince voters he wasn’t anti-gun? Look at the accompanying picture; those cammies aren’t even wrinkled! How did he do that, if he actually hunted in them? Was there a dry cleaner out there in the woods? Pathetic…

I think the majority of Democrats wish the gun issue would just go away, and that they viewed the recent Supreme Court decisions as a blessing that got them off the hook for it. Greeceifornia Senator Dianne Feinstein – the rabid anti-gun attack-dog who said in 1995, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an out-right ban, picking up every one of them… ‘Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in,’ I would have done it.” – has backed away from the issue, saying on “Fox News Sunday” that she doesn’t believe the middle of an election year is a good time to renew the issue. “It’s a bad time to embrace a new subject,” she said. Especially in an election year, I’ll bet, and if that “subject” is guns. The ObaMessiah himself wants nothing to do with it, coming out with a mealy-mouthed and tepid endorsement of gun rights in the wake of Aurora.

According to a Reuters article dated 24 July 2012 (Link), “Gallup polls over the past two decades show the percentage of Americans who favor making gun control laws ‘more strict’ fell from 78 percent in 1990 to 44 percent in 2010.”. Further, “A Reuters-Ipsos poll in April found two of every three respondents had a favorable view of the NRA…”

Anti-gunners can read polls as easily as I can, and I think most Democrats nowadays look at gun control in the same way Superman looks at kryptonite: deadly toxic.

Let’s keep it that way.

© Brian Baker 2012

The Obamacare Decision’s In. What’s Next?

Chief Judas John Roberts

Well, as I noted in last week’s essay, the stunning decision of the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) was handed down last week on the Obamacare challenge, and Chief Judas Roberts – traitor to the Constitution and conservative principles – has granted the Federal Government expansive new powers to regulate behavior through the power to impose taxes; not only on what you actually do, but also on what you don’t do.

Another aspect of this new authority is that since exercise of this power is through the taxation process, such laws don’t require the usual 60 votes in the Senate required for most bills. It’s tax law, and as such can be passed by a simple majority in that chamber (as has always been the case with any law in the House). Thus has SCOTUS ruled.

That means that come November, if the GOP retains the House, wins the Presidency, and holds 50 seats in the Senate after the election (Romney’s VP would give the GOP a Senate majority as President of the Senate), they’ll be able to pass any such law they want without any fear of it being blocked by the Democrats (in the exact same manner as Democrats enacted Obamacare in the first place).

This does open up some interesting possibilities.

I’d like to propose a law that requires every eligible adult to own a gun. This would accrue a benefit to the country under the General Welfare Clause, as statistically it’s been shown that the more law-abiding citizens own guns, the lower the crime rate is. Further, gun ownership is actually a right enumerated in the Bill of Rights, as opposed to “healthcare”. Anyone who refuses to own a gun would see a “tax surcharge” penalty on their federal income taxes.

How about an abortion tax? You’d still be able to exercise your “right” to abort your baby; you’d just be dinged a few thousand bucks in a “tax surcharge” if you did it. There’s no doubt this would accrue benefits to the country’s “general welfare” as it will cut into the numbers of unborn babies slaughtered in the womb, not to mention the benefits accrued to the babies themselves. And think of the added revenue!

There are endless possibilities, and the limits have been removed. Get together with your friends. Think up a policy you’d like to see enacted. Turn it into a drinking game!

Then raise a toast to our socialist countrymen who have given us this wonderful opportunity.

©Brian Baker 2012

Executive Privilege? Or MurderGate Coverup?

We’re to believe that Eric Holder and Obama had no first-hand knowledge of the disastrous Fast and Furious debacle carried out by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tax, and Firearms (BATF); that the congressional investigation spearheaded by Rep. Darryl Issa is nothing but a “political witch-hunt”; and that consequently Obama was perfectly sound in his assertion of executive privilege in blocking the release of all the documents subpoenaed by Issa’s committee.

We’re also to believe, according to leaks published in the media last week that apparently originated high up in the White House, that Obama is an absolute military stud who personally makes command decisions on an ongoing basis as to specific military and intelligence targets and operations worldwide.

Well… which is it? Stud or ignoramus? If he’s the “man with the plan” who oversees all these field operations like MacArthur reincarnated, how come he didn’t know anything about Fast and Furious? And if he was ignorant of that particular operation, why is there a need to assert executive privilege at all?

Enquiring minds want to know.

 

© Brian Baker 2012

 

Indicting Obama

“The Buck Sure Doesn’t Stop HERE!

The Truman presidency has been mythologized in many ways. Time and faulty human memory have worked to make the man somewhat of a legend, and as one of the characters in the movie “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” noted, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend”.

But one thing you have to hand to the man: he took responsibility for everything that took place under his administration. As the sign on his desk said, “The buck stops here”, and he meant it.

Contrast that to the current occupant of the Oval Office, the amateur who refuses to take responsibility for anything that’s happened during his utterly incompetent administration.

As I noted in my last essay, very shortly after his inauguration, in an interview with Matt Lauer, Obama stated, “… I will be held accountable. You know, I’ve got four years. A year from now, I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress. But there’s still going to be some pain out there. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

Big words. How do they stack up to reality, you ask? Well… let’s take a quick look, shall we?

The Economy: Four years ago, one of the very few issues Obama actually took any kind of definable stand on was the economy; how bad it was and how he’d “fix” it. That was actually what the Lauer interview was all about.

But what have we heard for the last three years (at least)? “Blame Bush”. It’s all “Bush’s fault” or the fault of “my predecessor”. It’s not my fault. The buck doesn’t stop here. The dog ate my homework. Where’s that accountability he bragged about to Lauer?

One of two things happened: Either he was truly ignorant of what his prediction entailed – in which case he was just plain unqualified for the job – or he lied.

Gas Prices: When he took office a gallon of gas was about $1.87; now it’s over $4.00 out here in Greeceifornia. And, of course, the constant refrain is that the President doesn’t “control” gas prices. While semantically true, the President does control key policies that have a direct effect on gas prices, primarily policies which affect availability, which – according to the irrefutable law of supply and demand – directly determine what oil, and therefore gasoline, are going to cost.

Quite simply, the more there is of something, the less it’s going to cost. Scarcity is what drives up price.

This President has done everything in his power to block domestic access to the absolute ocean of oil upon which we sit, plain and simple. But he won’t acknowledge that; oh, no! It’s always someone else’s fault: Iran, the Saudis, world oil markets, speculators, the e-e-e-e-vil oil companies … everyone under the sun except him. But the reality is that he’s the one person standing in the way of allowing this country to do the one thing that would entirely solve the problem: letting us drill, baby, drill!

Solyndra:  Of course, one of the big reasons Obama continues to block domestic oil extraction is his worship at the altar to the myth of “alternate energy”, from which we got the boondoggle funding of solar manufacturer Solyndra to the tune of over $500 million, after which they promptly went bankrupt.

Naturally, it was simply another “blame Bush” moment. It seems the Bush people had considered that same funding… but what Obama had failed to mention was that they also had decided Solyndra wasn’t a sound company in which to make that investment, so this one ended up being another egg-on-the-face moment for the ObaMessiah. But ya gotta give him props for trying, right? After all, “the buck doesn’t stop here!”, at least if he can help it.

He didn’t even learn from that debacle, repeating it with SunPower and even doubling down, wasting over $1.2 Billion and “creating” all of 15 jobs from a company over $820 Million in debt.

Obamacare:  His “signature” (and just about only) piece of legislation, which is hugely unpopular with the people and on the verge of being ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Of course, that’s not his fault. That will be due to the “partisan” nature of those Justices who decide against it. I guess the ones who find for it aren’t “partisan” somehow. “Partisanship” only seems to be a feature of those who don’t agree with Obama (and liberals in general, apparently. Evidently, leftists are never “partisan”. They must be “principled”).

Bottom line: “The buck doesn’t stop here! It’s the ‘partisan’ Justices.”

Gridlock:  Always the fault of the other party and their obstructive “partisanship”, of course. The buck doesn’t stop with Obama. It’s the fault of the GOP. Naturally.

It doesn’t matter that his own party had complete control of Congress for the first two years of his presidency and could pass absolutely anything they wanted. Somehow or another, the GOP was still at fault. Now, of course, the GOP has control of the House, and so it’s their fault that his proposals go nowhere. Not that anything’s really changed; even when his own party controlled everything, they didn’t bother to pass a budget, even though they didn’t need one single GOP vote to do so. And it doesn’t matter that ObaMessiah’s own budget proposals have been killed in the Democrat-controlled Senate by his own party.

The buck doesn’t stop here. It’s the GOP’s fault.

Rancorous political tone:  Which, of course, only refers to things said by his opponents. When he calls his political opponents “enemies”, that’s not rancorous, of course. Because the buck doesn’t stop here. When Bill Maher calls Sarah Palin a “c***”, that’s not “rancor”, and Maher’s $1 Million political donation is happily accepted.

Operation Fast And Furious:  Early in his presidency Obama tried to gin up a case that gun laws were too lax, allowing thousands of guns to “leak” across the border into the murderous hands of the Mexican drug cartels, leading to thousands of deaths. Hence Operation Fast And Furious was born.

It turned out that those guns were being “walked” across the border through straw purchases as part of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tax and Firearms (BATF) operation purportedly in place to trace and apprehend the end users of those very guns. Only problem was, the BATF lost track of those guns, the Mexican authorities were never informed of this operation, lots of people died – including at least one US Border Patrol agent named Brian Terry – and thousands of guns (enough to arm an Army battalion, literally) ended up in the hands of Very Bad Guys.

When this whole debacle came to light, we saw Operation The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here come into being in a major way. It seems that no one of any authority ever had any knowledge of any such program. It must have been devised and implemented by gremlins. Maybe Santa’s Helpers decided to gift the drug cartels or something, because this whole operation seems to have appeared out of thin air, with no one in charge, or knowledgeable, or having given authorization, or overseeing it, or answerable for it.

The BATF is part of the Justice Department, of which Attorney-General Eric Holder is in charge… except it seems that the guy “in charge” isn’t informed of critical operations, at least according to Holder. The buck doesn’t stop with Holder, the man in charge of his department.

And, of course, Holder reports to Obama, who doesn’t even seem to acknowledge that there’s an investigation by Congress going on about this issue. Utter silence. Because, of course, the buck can’t stop at Obama’s desk if he closes his eyes and refuses to even acknowledge it. His silence is deafening.

The last time I saw this kind of stonewalling was during the Watergate era. A lot of people lost their jobs – including a sitting President – and several went to prison.

White House leaks:  Over the last couple of weeks secrets concerning highly-classified military and intelligence operations have been leaked to the press. The only perceptible beneficiary of those leaks would be Obama himself, as the leaked material seems to be of a nature that would enhance his being perceived as a decisive and tough “war leader”, beneficial during an election year, particularly for an incumbent with big problems to overcome on other issues (maybe like those outlined above? Just sayin’…).

The only way secrets of that nature could be accessible would be if someone very high up – at White House level – leaked them.

Of course… “the buck doesn’t stop here!”, according to the White House.

Of course it doesn’t. No responsible President or his minions would purposefully leak information that could lead to the deaths of agents working on our nation’s behalf in foreign and hostile countries, simply to enhance his political prospects. The idea’s unthinkable… right?

I even had to laugh at that one myself, and I knew it was coming…

“The Buck Does Stop HERE”… Except It Really Doesn’t:  In his desperation to try to cobble together a winning coalition and secure a second term, Obama came out in favor of same-sex marriage a few weeks ago. For his die-hard supporters, that seems to be a little too late on the issue, easily pegged as a cynical ploy to try to regain the LGBT vote that supported him so enthusiastically last time and has been so disappointed by his performance to this point.

More importantly… who cares what a presidential candidate thinks about what is essentially a state issue: the definition of marriage? That varies from state to state, as is proper. So he’s grabbing the buck where it’s irrelevant.

And doing the same thing with his announcement this past week that he’s going to grant work permits to illegal aliens who meet certain criteria. Sorry, Obama, you don’t have the power or authority to do that. You’re sworn to uphold the law as passed and enacted by Congress. Nowhere in the current law is there any authority to take it upon yourself to determine who is and who is not allowed to get work permits as an alien. You have to abide by the law as written and properly passed and enacted. And lawsuits have already been filed against you to address your actions.

Which is particularly ironic in that he had his Justice Department minion Holder file a lawsuit against the State of Arizona over its SB1070 law, which allowed its own police forces to help enforce federal immigration law. Their law was enacted on the premise that the feds weren’t effectively enforcing the extant laws. And here he is, proving their point.

The problem for the ObaMessiah is that he’s not Emperor; he doesn’t get to pick and choose what laws he’s going to have his administration enforce. He’s sworn to enforce the laws on the books as written and lawfully enacted.

So, in this case grabbing that buck he tries the rest of the time to avoid simply doesn’t wash. It’s easily and accurately perceived as nothing more than an attempt at cheap populism aimed at a very specific voter demographic.

Bottom Line:  Except when he gets it wrong, as in the amnesty and same-sex marriage issues, not only is Obama’s slogan “The Buck Doesn’t Stop Here!”, it’s “Buck?… What Buck?”

I indict Obama for dodging responsibility for his actions and the actions of those who work for him; of world-class hypocrisy; for speaking out of both sides of his mouth; for illegal arrogation of power to himself in violation of the US Constitution; and for just basically being the lousiest President since… ever.

The only guy who ever made Jimmy Carter look good by comparison.

© Brian Baker 2012

My Mom, Political Bellwether

The week before last I went down to San Diego to visit Mom. Let me tell you a little bit about her, to set the stage.

Mom’s Armenian, born and raised in Iran where my dad met her after WW2. She’s a post-war bride, an immigrant who did the whole Ellis Island thing, got her US citizenship, and became a productive member of society, raising two young kids alone when she became a widow at a young age while working her tail off to provide them a good standard of living.

Like many (if not most) immigrants of her era, she’s politically conservative, subscribing to the traditional American values that made this country a Mecca for them. But over the last few election cycles, as health issues have affected her mobility, she’s become much less politically active, by which I mean she hasn’t voted in the last few elections.

When I visited her we talked politics, as is usual. She’s very concerned about the direction Obama has taken this country, and the implications of his policies and how they’re affecting our economic soundness, as well as our standing in the world community; so much so that she has determined to cast her vote in this election come November. Each time, she asks me how I assess the status of the race, and what I think the outcome will be.

Each time, I tell her that in my opinion, if the election were held today, I think Obama would handily lose. Further, that contrary to the popular wisdom and polling data, I think it could well be a landslide of Reaganesque proportions. And that barring any unusual event between now and November, I don’t think Obama has a chance.

I then point out to her that she, herself, is a great example of the dynamic that’s in effect. She’s so motivated to see him gone that she’s more engaged in the political scene than she’s been in almost two decades, and is bound and determined to make her voice heard. And because of that, she’s a great example – a bellwether – of what’s ahead in November as so many other people just like her – people who aren’t normally involved directly in the process – get themselves to the polls to get rid of the amateur/socialist in the White House.

Most of the current polls indicate a very tight race, with Obama sometimes in the lead, and sometimes Romney. But don’t let those polls fool you; there’s a dynamic in this country I haven’t seen since 1980, when the polls showed Carter with the lead over Reagan, right up to end of the campaign, when the only poll that matters – the actual vote results – ushered Reagan into the White House with a 49-state landslide victory. I well remember the absolute shock (and outrage!) of the newscasters of the time when they were announcing the election results, and that Reagan had won.

In 1976 Carter’s campaign for President revolved around the country’s disaffection for anything Nixon, including his policies and his replacement, Gerald Ford. Carter was the “not Nixon” candidate. By 1980, he’d demolished the economy, inflation was through the roof, interest rates on loans were at record highs, property values had crashed, there were gas lines at the pumps as prices soared, we’d lost our international prestige, and Americans had been held hostage in Iran for over a year.

In 2008 Obama’s campaign for President revolved around the country’s disaffection for Bush and his policies. Obama was the “not Bush”; McCain was tarred as being “Bush 3”. And now, in 2012, he’s demolished the economy, the country’s in debt to its hairline, gas prices are at record highs (having more than doubled since he took office), credit card interest rates are at record highs, property values are in the doldrums, right along with our international prestige, our national credit rating has been downgraded for the first time in history and is in danger of being so again, and he’s perceived by large segments of the populace as having run rampant over the Constitution with such programs as Obamacare and his penchant for abusing the Executive Order power to make laws not properly enacted by Congress.

In 1980 Carter had lost the enthusiastic support of much of his base, and energized his opponents by his actions. In 2010 Obama finds himself in exactly the same position. Again, remember my Mom; she’s going to vote for the first time in many years just to get rid of the guy.

That’s what’s going to make the difference this year, and why I’m predicting that – barring unforeseen major events – we could very well see another landslide this year.

In 2009, shortly after he took office, Matt Lauer interviewed Obama, and he had this to say: “One nice thing about the situation I find myself in is that I will be held accountable. You know, I’ve got four years. A year from now, I think people are going to see that we’re starting to make some progress. But there’s still going to be some pain out there. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

I think he predicted that one correctly. Probably a first for him. Let’s all do our best to make his at that time arrogant prediction a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

© Brian Baker 2012