Monday, March 28, 2011

Tragedy or Farce? 

Paraphrasing a bitter joke that people were making ca. 1966:

Just think--if we had elected John McCain as president we'd still be fighting in Afghanistan, we'd have occupation forces in Iraq, Guantanamo would still be open, we'd probably be bombing some Arab country and the United States would be disrespected around the world!

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Obama In Libya 

First, I hope the current campaign in Libya succeeds in getting Kadafi (spelled phonetically because the "preferred" spelling seems to change by the hour) to go away. Preferably at room temperature in a box, to an underground destination. I bow to no one in my dislike and disgust at the man and all he stands for. In retrospect I think we probably should have declared war against Libya as soon as we discovered it was behind the Lockerbie bombing of PanAm 103, which at the latest would be 24 February 2011, when resigned justice minister Mustafa Abdel-Jalil revealed that Muamar Gaddafi personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing. Certainly that constituted an act of war by Kadafi under age-old principles of international law, and unlike al Qaeda, the Kadafi regime is a nation-state and precisely identifiable.

That said, Michael Barone's piece in the March 23 Washington Examiner puts into words in eloquent fashion the muddle of thoughts that have been bouncing around inside my own head for the last several days. Obama missed the optimum moment to act, then ignored Congress in favor of the UN, and acted without a plan, or at least without a plan that his administration has been willing or able to discuss coherently in public. As a result, I, along with Mr. Barone, am not at all confident that Kadafi will be ousted. If he survives, Obama (and unfortunately America) will suffer a significant loss of prestige and, more importantly, respect in the world.

The most unnerving thing to me about Obama's adventure is, although he ignored Congress he made sure to obtain UN approval for the action. That suggests to me that Obama considers himself more of a transnationalist than the President of the United States; that, together with his apparent willingness to put US military forces at the disposal of commanders from foreign countries, sets some very dangerous precedents in my opinion. It reinforces my oft-expressed opinion that Obama is either incompetent or the first anti-American president.

Another troublesome factor in Obama's lead-from-the-rear behavior is that we appear to be trying to do this on the cheap. This I attribute to the fact that, due to the profligate spending of Congress since 2007 (when the Democrat Party won its majority) and especially since the beginning of Obama's term, the country is broke. That is, we can't afford do do more. I am concerned that Obama and the rest of the Democrat Party, if not our whole political class, won't learn the lesson that excessive debt is a national security issue.

I repeat that I hope the effort to unseat Kadafi is successful, and I hope and believe that whatever takes his place won't be as bad, at least in the short term, but I am not at all confident that Obama and his merry band have the slightest idea of what they're doing.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Throw the President Under The Bus 

Let's face it, friends, we've elected as our President a narcissistic incompetent boob who makes Hamlet look decisive, and who's giving socialism a bad name. The man couldn't lead himself into a mens room, and his foreign policy consists of emboldening our enemies while simultaneously alienating our allies. He has made himself a national liability, and as Glenn Reynolds has repeatedly said, a reprise of the Carter years is now the best case scenario for the Obama administration.

If the Democrats in Congress are smart, they'll throw him under the bus and start working with the Repubs to solve the budget, debt and policy problems that are rapidly heading toward becoming an existential threat to our Republic. (Not that I have any hope for the likes of Reid and Pelosi.) This process has to be bipartisan, because if it's not, neither side will have the political courage to push what needs to be done to bring spending under control and allow the economy to reenergize itself. A cheap way to start would be to kill Cap 'n' Tax once and for all, get rid of Elizabeth Warren and her Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and generally get out of the business of regulating everything at the Federal level. States need to have more power to manage their own affairs, because most of them are on the verge of going broke.

In order to have a zero-debt national budget, spending would have to be cut by at least 30 percent, and if you believe the Wikipedia article, more like 40 percent in FY 2012. That's on the order of a $1.5 trillion reduction in spending, yet Congress is wasting time and perfectly good oxygen arguing over whether to cut $6 billion (Dems) or $60 billion (Repubs) from spending in the current fiscal year. Let's use $50 billion as a compromise--let's see, that's 5 followed by 10 zeros divided by 15 followed by 11 zeros--canceling zeros ... 5 over 150 equals 3 and 1/3 percent, or .0333 of what needs to be cut in order to stop the national debt from growing. And Harry Reid and his buddies talk about "draconian" cuts proposed by the Repubs. Idiots! We need to get rid of whole departments!

Not that there's a shortage of idiocy floating around. The MSM won't report this because they're ideologically in bed with the Reids and Pelosis of the world, so voters, who have a vague idea that we have too much debt and are adding to it at the rate of some $4 billion a day, still don't grasp either the magnitude of the problem or how close we are to crashing. I know austerity is painful, but not as painful as a total fiscal collapse of the country.

All I can say is that our political class better start growing some cojones or we'll all  be dumpster diving for dinner before we know it, because the crash will make the Great Depression seem like a kindergarten picnic.

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