Obama Lacks the Leadership to Govern America

Human Events
02/19/2010

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In the latter days of the Carter presidency, it became fashionable to say that the office had become unmanageable and was simply too big for one man. Some suggested a single, six-year presidential term. The president’s own White House counsel suggested abolishing the separation of powers and going to a more parliamentary system of unitary executive control. America had become ungovernable.

Then came Ronald Reagan, and all that chatter disappeared.

The tyranny of entitlements? Reagan collaborated with Tip O’Neill, the legendary Democratic House speaker, to establish the Alan Greenspan commission that kept Social Security solvent for a quarter-century.  

A corrupted system of taxation? Reagan worked with liberal Democrat Bill Bradley to craft a legislative miracle: tax reform that eliminated dozens of loopholes and slashed rates across the board — and fueled two decades of economic growth.

Later, a highly skilled Democratic president, Bill Clinton, successfully tackled another supposedly intractable problem: the culture of intergenerational dependency. He collaborated with another House speaker, Newt Gingrich, to produce the single most successful social reform of our time, the abolition of welfare as an entitlement.

It turned out that the country’s problems were not problems of structure but of leadership. Reagan and Clinton had it. Carter didn’t. Under a president with extensive executive experience, good political skills and an ideological compass in tune with the public, the country was indeed governable.

It’s 2010 and the first-year agenda of a popular and promising young president has gone down in flames. Barack Obama’s two signature initiatives — cap-and-trade and health care reform — lie in ruins.

Desperate to explain away this scandalous state of affairs, liberal apologists haul out the old reliable from the Carter years:  “America the Ungovernable.” So declared Newsweek. “Is America Ungovernable?” coyly asked The New Republic. Guess the answer.

The rage at the machine has produced the usual litany of systemic explanations. Special interests are too powerful. The Senate filibuster stymies social progress. A burdensome constitutional order prevents innovation. If only we could be more like China, pines Tom Friedman, waxing poetic about the efficiency of the Chinese authoritarian model, while America flails about under its “two parties … with their duel-to-the-death paralysis.” The better thinkers, bewildered and furious that their president has not gotten his way, have developed a sudden disdain for our inherently incremental constitutional system.

Yet, what’s new about any of these supposedly ruinous structural impediments? Special interests blocking policy changes? They have been around since the beginning of the republic — and since the beginning of the republic, strong presidents, like the two Roosevelts, have rallied the citizenry and overcome them.

And then, of course, there’s the filibuster, the newest liberal bete noire. “Don’t blame Mr. Obama,” writes Paul Krugman of the president’s failures. “Blame our political culture instead. … And blame the filibuster, under which 41 senators can make the country ungovernable.”

Ungovernable, once again. Of course, just yesterday the same Paul Krugman was warning about “extremists” trying “to eliminate the filibuster” when Democrats used it systematically to block one Bush (43) judicial nomination after another. Back then, Democrats touted it as an indispensable check on overweening majority power. Well, it still is. Indeed, the Senate with its ponderous procedures and decentralized structure is serving precisely the function the Founders intended: as a brake on the passions of the House and a caution about precipitous transformative change.

Leave it to Mickey Kaus, a principled liberal who supports health care reform, to debunk these structural excuses: “Lots of intellectual effort now seems to be going into explaining Obama’s (possible/likely/impending) health care failure as the inevitable product of larger historic and constitutional forces. … But in this case there’s a simpler explanation: Barack Obama’s job was to sell a health care reform plan to American voters. He failed.”

He failed because the utter implausibility of its central promise — expanded coverage at lower cost — led voters to conclude that it would lead ultimately to more government, more taxes and more debt. More broadly, the Democrats failed because, thinking the economic emergency would give them the political mandate and legislative window, they tried to impose a left-wing agenda on a center-right country. The people said no, expressing themselves first in spontaneous demonstrations, then in public opinion polls, then in elections — Virginia, New Jersey and, most emphatically, Massachusetts.

That’s not a structural defect. That’s a textbook demonstration of popular will expressing itself — despite the special interests — through the existing structures. In other words, the system worked.

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Class Warfare’s Next Target: 401(k) Savings

Investors.com

By NEWT GINGRICH AND PETER FERRARA

You did the responsible thing. You saved in your IRA or 401(k) to support your retirement, when you could have spent that money on another vacation, or an upscale car, or fancier clothes and jewelry. But now Washington is developing plans for your retirement savings.

BusinessWeek reports that the Treasury and Labor departments are asking for public comment on “the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams.”

In plain English, the idea is for the government to take your retirement savings in return for a promise to pay you some monthly benefit in your retirement years.

They will tell you that you are “investing” your money in U.S. Treasury bonds. But they will use your money immediately to pay for their unprecedented trillion-dollar budget deficits, leaving nothing to back up their political promises, just as they have raided the Social Security trust funds.

This “conversion” may start out as an optional choice, though you are already free to buy Treasury bonds whenever you want. But as Karl Denninger of the Market Ticker Web site reports: “‘Choices’ have a funny way of turning into mandates, and this looks to me like a raw admission that Treasury knows it will not be able to sell its debt in the open market — so they will effectively tax you by forcing your ‘retirement’ money to buy them.”

Moreover, benefits based on Treasury bond interest rates may be woefully inadequate compensation for your years of savings. As Denninger adds, “What’s even worse is that the government has intentionally suppressed Treasury yields during this crisis (and will keep doing so by various means, including manipulating the CPI inflation index) so as to guarantee that you lose over time compared to actual purchasing power.”

This proposal follows hearings held last fall by House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Calif., and Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., of the Ways and Means Committee focusing on “redirecting (IRA and 401k) tax breaks to a new system of guaranteed retirement accounts to which all workers would be obliged to contribute,” as reported by InvestmentNews.com.

The hearings examined a proposal from professor Teresa Ghilarducci of the New School for Social Research in New York to give all workers “a $600 annual inflation-adjusted subsidy from the U.S. government” in return for requiring workers “to invest 5% of their pay into a guaranteed retirement account administered by the Social Security Administration.”

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Obama has lied to the Press for three decades

CLAIMED TO AP THAT HIS FATHER ATTENDED OXFORD AND THAT HE HIMSELF WAS RAISED IN KANSAS!

The Post & E-Mail

by John Charlton

Obama has a reputation that cannot be denied.

(Feb. 19, 2010) — The Post & Email has received from a private citizen-researcher PDF copies of AP News Stories which paint a picture of Obama  which we know today is false.

These additional AP reports corroborate the allegations that the AP in 2004 claimed Obama was born in Kenya.  (See our past coverage of this aspect of the story).  They do this because they confirm that the AP was willing to say anything about Obama so that readers would feel connected to him.

The First Fibs

In an unsigned AP report entitled “Harvard Student Tackles Racism at its Core,” which appeared on page 2, section 3, of the Chicago Herald, May 3, 1990 edition, we learn that Obama moved to Indonesia when he was two years old, contrary to the established facts that he did so in 1965, after his alleged mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian national, who had been a student at the University of Hawaii.

Complete Story:

Report: 5 Muslim soldiers arrested in S.C.


© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Five Muslim soldiers were arrested for allegedly trying to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, according to CBN News.

The men, arrested just before Christmas, were part of the Arabic Translation program at the base, the Christian network said.

A source with intimate knowledge of the ongoing investigation told CBN News that investigators suspect the “Fort Jackson Five” may have been in contact with the five Northern Virginia Muslims who traveled to Pakistan to wage jihad on U.S. troops.

CBN News reporter Erick Stakelbeck said it’s unclear whether the Fort Jackson soldiers are still in custody.

The ongoing probe began two months ago, Chris Grey, a spokesman for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, told Fox News.

The Army is taking the allegations “extremely seriously,” Grey said, but so far, “there is no credible information to support the allegations” of attempting to poison.

Complete Story: