Thomas Sowell discusses the rash of political charlatans we’ve been plagued by over the recent decades.
He blames them for the condition we’re in, policy-wise. But he puts equal blame on “we the people” for continuing to support them and their policies:
Political charlatans are not the whole story of our social degeneracy on many fronts. “We the people” must accept our own share of the blame because we voted these charlatans into office, and went along with their ever-increasing power over our lives.
When it came to charlatans taking ever larger amounts of our own money to finance ever more big government programs, we stood still like sheep waiting to be sheared. We remained as meek as sheep when they turned schools into places to propagandize our children to grow up accepting more of the same.
All the while we had the power to vote them out. But we couldn’t be bothered to look beyond their magic words. Even now, many are too absorbed in their electronic devices to know or care.
Most voters, it seems to me, are like magpies – distracted by shiny things and never able to see the danger that exists in reality. Sowell uses “the legacy of slavery” as one of his points of discussion. I’m going to add a lengthy quote that pretty succinctly tells the story of how we allowed political charlatans to distract us with a problem that seems to not have existed and used it to gain greater control over our lives while, in fact, making the “problem” worse”
Here again, rhetoric distracts attention from questions about logic or evidence. The “legacy of slavery” argument is not just a convenient excuse for bad behavior, it allows politicians to escape responsibility for the consequences of the government policies they imposed.
Although the left likes to argue as if there was a stagnant world to which they added the magic ingredient of “change” in the 1960s, in reality there were many positive trends in the 1950s, which reversed and became negative trends in the 1960s.
Not only was the poverty rate going down, so was the rate of dependence on government to stay out of poverty. Teenage pregnancy rates were falling, and so were rates of venereal diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea. Homicide rates among non-white males fell 22 percent in the 1950s.
In the wake of the massive expansion of the welfare state in the 1960s “war on poverty” program — with the repeatedly announced goal of enabling people to become self-supporting and end their dependence on government — in fact dependence on government increased and is today far higher than when the 1960s began.
The declining rates of teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases in the 1950s both reversed and rose sharply in the wake of the 1960s “sexual revolution” ideas, introduced into schools under the guise of “sex education,” which claimed to be able to reduce teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases.
Black labor force participation rates, which had been higher than white labor force participation rates in every census from 1890 to 1960, fell below white labor force participation rates by 1972 and the gap has widened since then. Homicide rates among non-white males reversed their decline in the 1950s and soared by 75 percent during the 1960s.
None of this was a “legacy of slavery,” which ended a century earlier. But slavery became the rhetorical distraction for the political magicians’ trick of making their own responsibility for social degeneration vanish into thin air by sleight of hand.
Now you can point to many negatives the “War on Poverty” brought us … Sowell highlights the big ones. But the most important changes were two-fold. One: it created more dependency on government (and it helped tear the nuclear family apart among the poor) and it created an illusion that government (which mostly meant “Democrats”) cared more than any other institution.
The political charlatans had created a false problem and a false narrative which has had disastrous results in the long run. But those changes it created were manifestly worth it according to certain of the political class, because it increased their power. And the narrative that has been built about this program (and the “legacy of slavery”), along with the narrative that has created the “cult of the victim”, has hidden the huge problems created by government intrusion and instead has created a myth which says “more government is good government”.
So you end up with an entire segment of the voting public duped by this “shiny” narrative and either too lazy or too incurious to look below its surface. That’s the formula for political success on one side and national decline on the other.
The question, then, is how do the defenders of liberty catch the attention of the voting magpies and help them catch a clue? Facts apparently don’t matter. And alternate narratives don’t seem to stick.
If you can answer that question, you’ve hit upon a way to help save this country. I’ve been trying to come up with a way for 40 years.
I wish you luck.
According to TIME, he is indeed!
If Vice President Joe Biden does decide to make a run for the presidency in 2016 he’ll start off the race as the most popular candidate in either party, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll out Tuesday.
In the poll 40 percent of Americans say they have a positive impression of the Vice President and former Senator from Delaware, while just 28 percent have a negative impression—an enviable differential of +12 points. That outperforms Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (+10) and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton (-8), as well as leading GOP candidates Ben Carson (+8), Carly Florin (+7) and Donald Trump (-33).
Were the election held today, Biden would outperform both leading Democrats in head to head matches with leading Republicans. The Vice President loses, however, in hypothetical matches with both leading Democrats, winning 17 percent to Sanders’ 35 percent and Clinton’s 42 percent.
TIME goes on to say Biden’s popularity can probably be attributed to the fact he hasn’t announced and hasn’t been subject to the serious scrutiny that candidates receive.
But it is telling that someone who isn’t in the running (but has broadly hinted at doing so), and has a reputation of a gaff-o-matic (as well as being a bit of a intellectual lightweight) could command the numbers he does now, given the “inevitable” one’s presence in the race (of course, much the same can be said about Trump).
As we all can imagine, Biden’s “honeymoon” would end soon upon his announcement as a candidate. He provides a “target rich” opportunity for opponents and detractors alike. And in an election cycle in which the voters are clearly expressing their dislike of establishment candidates, Biden is the ultimate insider.
But it would make the Democratic side of the election much more interesting if he was to announce. And certainly, much more entertaining!
As one might imagine, her opposition comes as somewhat of a surprise:
Her comments made her the last major Democratic presidential candidate to come out against Keystone, a project that has dragged through more than seven years of wrangling and several environmental reviews that appeared to favor the pipeline — most of them produced by the State Department when Clinton was secretary. Obama remains the project’s biggest wildcard: He hasn’t said whether he will grant or deny a permit for the pipeline, or when he’ll decide, even as Republicans lambaste him for repeatedly postponing the issue.
As secretary, Clinton had galvanized a nationwide activist campaign against Keystone with her off-the-cuff remarks in 2010 that the department was “inclined” to approve the $8 billion-plus project. That was her last substantive public statement on the issue until Tuesday.
But then, when poll numbers are sinking and momentum is waning, what better than to flip-flop (when you favor the candidate, it’s called a “pivot”) and throw a bone to a particular core constituency to shore up that vote? Its a move any political opportunist would surely applaud.
Why the Keystone XL pipeline has remained such a political football remains a mystery. All the past routing problems that first held up the pipeline have been satisfactorily resolved. And, after all, there are 2.3 million miles of existing oil and natural gas pipelines in the US. Why has this one remained in the news?
Simple answer? Politics. It’s about voting constituencies and keeping them happy. It certainly isn’t about what is best for the US.
As The Hill points out, it has now officially taken longer for the federal government to review the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit application than it did to build the entire transcontinental railroad 150 years ago.
Amazing and typical. As for the party that continues to tell us it is for jobs and economic growth, it blatantly turns its back on both with its opposition to the pipeline’s approval:
Consider the economic opportunity this $5.4 billion pipeline presents. The Canadian Economic Research Institute estimates it could add $172 billion in U.S. economic growth over 25 years. Meanwhile, President Obama’s own U.S. State Department estimates construction would support over 42,000 jobs. Nearly 10,000 would be skilled—aka, well-paying—jobs like steel welders, pipefitters, electricians, and heavy equipment operators.
There’s also the potential for gas prices to go even lower than they are today. According to a February 2015 report from IHS, a leading energy research firm, the “vast majority” of Keystone XL’s refined oil will stay right here in the U.S. In other words, it could further add to America’s surging oil supply that has sent gas prices plummeting over the past year.
And yes, as mentioned, that’s the US State Department estimate made while Hillary Clinton was SecState.
Environmentalists live with the fantasy that if the Keystone pipeline is blocked, the oil to be found in the oil sands of Canada and in North Dakota will simply have to be left in the ground. Of course, that’s nonsense. Instead is it is shipped by rail, a much less safe and less efficient means of transportation (but one that does amply reward a Democratic donor) than a state of the art pipeline :
This is especially so when you consider pipelines—particularly new, state-of-the-art ones like Keystone XL—are the safest mode of transportation. Ensuring we’re using the safest and most efficient methods possible only makes sense.
Indeed. So, why is Hillary Clinton opposed to safe transportation of oil and gas, the jobs and income that would come from the construction of the pipeline and economic boost it would give our economy?
Perhaps someone will ask her that at the first Democratic debate.
Yeah, I know, I’m laughing too.
I remember when flying was mostly a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Not so much anymore:
Not too long ago, flying could be a relatively pleasant experience, but executives focused on cutting costs have stripped away everything flyers associated with luxury or even dignity. Food, baggage handling, boarding in a logical manner: Things once taken for granted now must be paid for or done without. Flights are more crowded than they’ve been since World War II, when they were carrying troops.
Competition has winnowed all the perks out of the process (mostly due to the demand for lower fares), security has made the boarding process a nightmare and, frankly, rude and short-tempered people who simply don’t know how to act in public have killed off the rest of the enjoyment. As they like to say, “you get what you pay for.”
Is anyone else laughing out loud at Hillary Clinton’s latest ironically impaired attempt to relate?
I want to send a message to every survivor of sexual assault.
Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have a right to be heard. You have a right to be believed. We’re with you.
I hear Juanita Broadrick and Kathleen Willey agree. But Willey has a few words of her own in response:
“She believed what happened for sure,” Willey tells The American Mirror. “She just chose to ignore the plight of all of his victims, thus enabling him to continue to abuse and rape women in the future.”
Willey adds, “She’s a money-hungry hypocritical witch who will do anything for money.
“She’s a lying pig. I CANNOT believe that she had the gall to make that commercial. How dare she? I hope she rots in hell.“
Yup, so do a lot of us. One place we don’t want her, though, is in the Oval Office.
Bernie Sanders, the darling of the socialist left, has been getting a bit of traction against Hillary Clinton. In fact, Clinton is losing support so fast that even Joe Biden is considering entering his clown car into the race.
And what does Sanders bring to the table? Bigger government (much bigger), more spending (18 trillion, in fact) and much higher taxes. Wow, what a deal (one that has always appealed to the liberal left):
In all, he backs at least $18 trillion in new spending over a decade, according to a tally by The Wall Street Journal, a sum that alarms conservatives and gives even many Democrats pause. Mr. Sanders sees the money as going to essential government services at a time of increasing strain on the middle class.
His agenda includes an estimated $15 trillion for a government-run health-care program that covers every American, plus large sums to rebuild roads and bridges, expand Social Security and make tuition free at public colleges.
To pay for it, Mr. Sanders, a Vermont independent running for the Democratic nomination, has so far detailed tax increases that could bring in as much as $6.5 trillion over 10 years, according to his staff.
And the “but the government is paying for my stuff” crowd is going wild over him. How do you explain to the economically illiterate where this is all headed and what the result at some point in the future MUST be?
Oh, and by the way, they’re not even trying to deny it:
Mr. Gunnels, the Sanders aide, said the campaign hasn’t worked out all details on his plan—for instance, his version might allow each state to run its own single-payer system. But he said the $15 trillion figure was a fair estimate.
So, let’s elect Bernie and double our debt!
Monday at North High School in Des Moines, IA, President Barack Obama said the notion that people who illegally come to live in the United States, as they have for generations, are suddenly now “less worthy in the eyes of God,” is “un-American.” Obama said, “This whole anti-immigrant sentiment that is out there in politics right now is contrary to who we are. Because unless you are a native American, your family came from someplace else. And although we are a nation of laws and we want people to follow the law, and I have been pushing Congress to make …” yatta, yatta, yatta.
Who is making the argument that anyone is less worthy because of how they ended up here? I think the argument is they’re “illegal”! There is no “anti-immigrant” sentiment. There is an “anti-illegal immigrant” sentiment since our laws prohibit it. As for the “native Americans” they were merely the first immigrants as their families “came from someplace else”, namely Siberia. And this guy, who refuses to enforce the laws about immigration already on the books has the temerity to lecture others about being a “nation of laws”. Ironic guffaw follows ending with a contemptuous sneer.
Did the Obama administration turn down a Russian offer in 2012 to dump Syria’s Assad?
If true, this was a staggering missed opportunity. The President’s string of misjudgments on the Middle East—on the peace process, Erdogan, withdrawal from Iraq, Libya, ISIS as the “J.V. team”, and Syria—is one of the most striking examples of serial failure in the annals of American foreign policy.
Generally speaking, what the President seems worst at is estimating the direction in which events are flowing. He thought Erdogan was taking Turkey in one direction; Erdogan was going somewhere else. He thought there was a transition to democracy in Egypt; there never was a prospect of that. He has repeatedly been caught flatfooted by events in Syria. And Putin keeps running rings around him.
Understanding the intentions and estimating the capabilities of people who don’t share his worldview are not our President’s strong suits.
And now, who is it again that Russia and Iran are reported to be cozying up too? Worst president ever.
Yesterday it coalesced for me that the pundits and loyal party members of both the Republican and Democratic parties are completely clueless about what’s happening in the world outside of the Beltway or their echo chamber living accommodations.
For the Democrats there’s this piece in the New York Times. The authors have queried numerous high level Democratic leaders and mouthpieces across the country and they’ve all concluded that the biggest problem Hillary Clinton is facing isn’t that she broke the law or jeopardized national security with her mail server antics, it’s that she just hasn’t handled it well when explaining so everyone shrugs, says “what difference at this point does it make” on her behalf and lets her get on with her ascension to the Presidency of Clinton II as foretold in prophecy.
If any of them think she’s actually committed a crime it’s not very evident. No, the problem is she hasn’t said the words that will make everyone understand why it was okay for her to have her own server and personal email system (she gave herself permission) and why all that stuff about various levels of national security law being broken is irrelevant or worse yet invented by the Republicans to tarnish her glorious achievements as First Cuckquean, Senator and Secretary of State. You may pick some other reason as long as it won’t result in criminal prosecutions, can be explained with a few rounds of “mea culpa now let’s move on”, and will result in her accepting the nomination for her party and her ultimate swearing in as President.
Surely you understand the worst thing she’s done is she’s joked about it! Although no laws were broken she should still take it seriously, probably because the slugs they think they’re dealing with as voters want her to take it seriously even if it’s not serious. Granted it’s just a Vast Right Wing conspiracy manifesting itself (again) as a Republican attack on her candidacy but she still mustn’t make bad jokes over it. Instead she might consider saying “I’m sorry”. That would make it all better and it would get the press off her case and soothe their fears that Joe Biden might be their candidate in 2016.
Then read the comments section of the article where further hilarity will ensue, you might go read many lead articles in nationally syndicate media outlets as well. The excuse making and denial is epic. National security concerns are; contrived, overstated, inappropriate, really not necessary, or all in all clearly exaggerated. Perhaps some minor law was broken by some unnamed unknown non-entity who is, you can be sure, not Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Come on America! Any good Democrat can tell you unless you’re part of the G.W. Bush White House and your name is Lewis “Scooter” Libby classified data isn’t a reason to start some crazy witch hunt to find out who knew what when and did what with secret information! Valerie Plame’s secret identity, now that’s some TS/SCI classification stuff! On the other hand Satellite intelligence that would demonstrate we can read this article from space as I write it on my monitor in Texas, through the window behind me and over my shoulder not so much. Come on….how is that a secret! Sheesh! (I exaggerate…..maybe).
For those of us who at least have a passing understanding of security clearances, I think we have all acknowledge regrettably the woman is unlikely to see jail time over this, because “Clinton”. But the idea that if she just says she’s sorry she can go on with her Presidential bid is a bit much. The reason she didn’t deal with it sooner is because she knew she broke the law and she never expected to be called on it. Who exactly was going to call her out? Obama Justice, State or FBI? While she was breaking the law the House and Senate were busy crafting and frog marching ObamaCare through the halls of Congress. Like Nan and Harry were going to allow us to peek into Hillary’s doings or dare to do it themselves.
But the wheel has turned.
The Dems need to find another candidate because this one is once again fork tender.
One the Republican side it’s all Trump, all the time.
The latest mosquito boat tactic the GOP mouthpieces have formulated is essentially “if you support Donald Trump, you’re a racist” and the implication from the linked article here is Trump supporters are looking forward to shooting some brown people too, I’m just sayin. They remind us Trump is a racist because only a racist would want to deport people who are here illegally. Only a racist would consider deporting children of these same people after they’re born on American soil, so by extension only a racist would support him. Got that all you racists?
Never mind that racist thing is merely the reverse of the Democratic strategy that’s kept Barack Obama in the White House for two consecutive terms. Hey, it probably worked.
The 14th is cited as automatically granting birth location citizenship. None of these people want to discuss the perfection in contradiction then offered in explaining why Congress felt it had to pass an Act in 1924 to grant the birth location right to American Indians though the 14th Amendment passed in 1868. The 14th was extent for 56 years yet Congress went and addressed the issue again specifically in 1924 because? Yeah, go figure, Native Americans had to have a special act because they weren’t considered citizens although physically born in the US, which, sans Congressional act, sounds exactly like any child of people who sneak in illegally yesterday and are born here today.
Robert Tracinski wants you to know if you’re supporting Trump it’s likely you’re not only a racist, but you’re probably a moron and did I say ‘fanatic’, well yes, you’re possibly a fanatic.
George Will, I think, has given up trying to scare you with the Ronald Reagan Democratic talking points from 1979 (NUKES!!!!! HE’LL KILL US ALL!!!!) and joins in to remind us that (racist) white voters need to get some color mix in their party voting plan to get a President elected and that’s why Trump the Racist isn’t a good choice.
Sometimes mentioned is that many people who might vote for Trump aren’t really ‘in kids’ who vote in most elections and the implication is you probably don’t want to hang around with those kids do you?
Other writers, less interested in trying to tell you you’re a white racist b*****d (but probably still a US Citizen) and more interested in appealing to your rational side point out Trump is; hardly conservative, blindingly undiplomatic, rather bullying, and generally has the personality one associates with a circus ring master.
Not sure I’m a ‘writer’ but I’m in that group, and yet I’m not trying to dissuade you from any Trumpish feeling you possess because, well, read on.
The last one I will mention is Mark Salter, who I think accurately describes Trump as a narcissist and demands to know what your excuse is for supporting him.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” he asks.
I want it noted for the record that Mr. Salter worked for John McCain as a senior advisor on his Presidential campaign – I do that so I can laugh about winning campaign strategists as well as making it clear I believe Mr. Salter, who I have absolutely no personal acquaintance with, is a ruling class GOP Gentry hack.
I also chose Mr. Salter for last because he’s almost got a clue about why you might be, at this time, cheering for Trump, even if you’re not actually supporting the man.
“Politicians and pundits are making excuses for you. They say you’re so sick of bad government and polarized politics that you’re willing to take a chance on making Donald Trump the most powerful man on Earth.”
My emphasis there – see, he does sort of understand. Part of bad government I think is being lied to by your leaders. I think we’re sick of being lied to by our elite elected servant-masters in addition to being sick of our ever expanding, and often badly managed, government. And I personally find being lied to by ‘real’ Republicans more sickening than being lied to by Democrats. So he almost gets it.
For Mr. Salter and the other clueless Ruling Party hacks, leaders and mouthpieces I’ll demonstrate with a single word why Trump gets cheered on by otherwise rational conservative voters. Nota bene, we don’t appreciate being lied to and then being called racist moron fanatics.
We already get that from the Democratic Party, thanks.
I submit for your consideration Speaker of the House of Representatives and squishy GOP leader, Ruling Class business as usual John Boehner, and his view of conservative Presidential candidate Ted Cruz.
Yes, Orange John prefers Senators like Mitch McConnell and John McCain and they’d all really rather you prefer Jeb Bush, or if not Jeb then maybe Marco Rubio, who it appears can be controlled. Both candidates have spoken in favor of the forms of Scamnesty that Trump is actively campaigning against. Jeb doesn’t think the country that built the Panama Canal can handle building a wall across its southern border if it wants to. And they’re all convinced since we can’t possibly deport 11 million people ALL at once in one afternoon in time for supper, we mustn’t bother discussing, let alone trying, anything of that nature at all.
They can’t see their get along, go along, bought and paid for by big money special interest plans of riding the big government train to socialist third world hell is what inspires a considerable portion of Donald Trump’s support.
So to help the clueless GOP Ruling class campaigners I leave this tweet from “Empire of Jeff” to explain where a lot of Trump’s conservative support probably comes from.
You know you’re asking yourself that question:
The inspector general for the Intelligence Community notified senior members of Congress that two of four classified emails discovered on the server Clinton maintained at her New York home contained material deemed to be in one of the highest security classifications—more sensitive than previously known.
You may or may not remember this, but in March of this year, she stated flatly, “there is no classified material” on the server. How she expected anyone to believe she could conduct her job as Secretary of State with that being true is left to you to imagine. And, it seems, no one did:
The untruth revealed, [Mrs.] Clinton changed her story in July to claim that no email was specifically marked as classified. Not that it matters. Clinton wants Americans to ignore the fact that federal rules put the onus on government officials like the secretary of State to protect classified material, even when it’s not marked as such.
You know, “accountability”?
So now, she’s agreed to “voluntarily” turn over the server and the emails. James Taranto gives us a little insight into that:
In fairness to Mrs. Clinton, it appears her decision to turn over the server and the thumb drive was “voluntary” in the formal—dare one say Clintonian—sense that she yielded to the investigators’ request rather than wait for an order.
Because, you know, for a Presidential candidate, such an order would have been politically damaging. So the “voluntary” aspect gives the campaign and the Clintons at least a little “good spin” on a very bad event. You can almost hear the klaxons sounding and the announcement of “battle stations, battle stations” within the campaign.
But back to that accountability thing:
Fournier notes further that “government officials have been convicted of mishandling unmarked classified material.”
Yes. Yes they have. But that’s not how the Princess of the Ozarks figures this should go. So who does she need?
Mr. Obama, of course:
And at least one critic is now speculating that the possibility that she is in legal jeopardy is influencing Mrs. Clinton’s policy pronouncements.
On Monday, as the Los Angeles Times reports from Manchester, N.H., Mrs. Clinton “made her most forceful defense yet of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran on Monday, saying that ‘all bets are off’ if Congress were to reject the deal and warning of the potential impact to America’s standing in the world”:
“The Europeans, the Russians, the Chinese, they’re going to say, ‘We stuck with the Americans. We agreed with the Americans. We hammered out this agreement. I guess their president can’t make foreign policy,’ ” Clinton said at a campaign stop in Manchester. “That’s a very bad signal to send in a quickly moving and oftentimes dangerous world.” . . .
“I’ve gone into this detail because you’re going to hear a lot about it in the weeks ahead,” she told an audience of more than 500 at the foot of a ski slope in New Hampshire’s largest city. “So please, educate yourself. . . . We have to pursue diplomacy if we expect to be able to solve difficult problems with the rest of the world supporting us.”That’s odd. Earlier, as we noted last month, Mrs. Clinton refused to take a position on the Trans Pacific Partnership—of which she was a forceful advocate as secretary—because, as she said, “I thought it was important for the Congress to have a full debate without thrusting presidential politics and candidates into it.” She now gives precisely the opposite reason for taking a clear position, if not a particularly well-argued one, on the Iran deal.
Ah, what a surprise. It is pleasing to be politically malleable, isn’t it? Principles … well, she left those at the Watergate hearings. It is raw politics and “I’ll do what ever it takes” to gain power for her.
One has to wonder how ever the cult of true believers can stomach her paranoia and willful disregard for the law. This is who they want to be President of the US?
Anyway, is Obama the key to how she wiggles free? Will her attempt to provide him his much desired legacy find this all to be “much ado about nothing?” Will she actually ever be held accountable for what others have been jailed for?
I’m sure the title doesn’t particularly surprise anyone who has watched the creep in the White House operate over the past few years. But while the GOP clown car steals all the headlines (because naturally that’s where the mainstream media would prefer to focus), we have this little side show going on where Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has dared to oppose his Royal Emptiness’s desire concerning the awful Iran deal. That has helped even some Democrats realize that this particular Emperor really is naked, his clothes having been a figment of the media and true believers. He’s now reduced to going after his own, in the sense that Democrats are about all that still have any belief in this man’s abilities.
This has led a few on the far left to label Schumer an “Israeli Jew traitor” for his opposition to the deal.
Tablet Magazine isn’t amused at all with the utterings of Mr. Obama, and they tell you why:
Accusing Senator Schumer of loyalty to a foreign government is bigotry, pure and simple. Accusing Senators and Congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a majority of the U.S. electorate of being agents of a foreign power, or of selling their votes to shadowy lobbyists, or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United States, is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South.
This use of anti-Jewish incitement as a political tool is a sickening new development in American political discourse, and we have heard too much of it lately—some coming, ominously, from our own White House and its representatives. Let’s not mince words: Murmuring about “money” and “lobbying” and “foreign interests” who seek to drag America into war is a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card. It’s the kind of dark, nasty stuff we might expect to hear at a white power rally, not from the President of the United States—and it’s gotten so blatant that even many of us who are generally sympathetic to the administration, and even this deal, have been shaken by it.
And shaken they should be. The mask if finally down. Finally. All the pretending in the world won’t change what Obama has said and implied. That’s what he believes. It is extremist and, frankly, extraordinarily biased, but it isn’t anything new for Democrats or the left. Just ask Condi Rice or Justice Thomas. It is identity politics at its finest. And, ironically, it is an attempt to destroy someone who was, once, an ally.
What in the world ever happened to the adults in politics? The statesmen? How have we allowed these creatures to take over our system?
Questions to ponder as, for the most part, the media focuses on Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly.
Ezra Klein of Vox interviews Bernie Sanders. Meh. Nothing particularly newsworthy there. But in the process of this softball interview, the question of immigration comes up. Read the exchange:
You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing …
Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.
Of course. That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. …
But it would make …
Excuse me …
It would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn’t it?
It would make everybody in America poorer —you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.
You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?
I think from a moral responsibility we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer.
OK, you can quit laughing now. Klein caught flat footed and gasping. Sanders echoes exactly what the right has been saying while at the same time trying to put the blame on … the right.
Yeah, no sale Bernie, but the rest? Right on. Nailed it. Oh, and about that $15 minimum wage … yeah, you just killed it.
In reality Bernie likens businesses who want cheap labor with the “right wing”. Hardly true but for many on the left, business = “right wing”.
However, to categorically call “open borders” a “right-wing” idea is simply absurd. It certainly isn’t the right in this country pushing for amnesty and open-borders (well, except for some establishment GOP types). It isn’t the right-wing that has established sanctuary cities. And it definitely isn’t a right-wing federal administration refusing to enforce immigration laws.
But you all knew that.
So what is Bernie telling us with all this nation-state talk? That maybe, its really a form of “national socialism” he prefers?
Oh, wait …
As you’ll see it’s as unachievable and utopian as all the other “clean energy” plans we’ve heard. In fact, IBD calls it a “farce”. And rightfully so.
Why? Well here are the basics:
Clinton says she has two big goals that she’ll start working on “day one” to combat climate change. First is to expand solar energy supplies by 700% by installing half a billion solar panels by 2020. Second is to power “every home in America” with renewable energy by 2027.
She describes these as “bold national goals.” The more appropriate label is “expensive pipe dream.”
Again, the latter description is more apt. Consider the goal of half a billion solar panels by 2020. That’s 5 years from now, folks. We all know that solar panels are a) expensive and b) don’t live up to their billing as to making us energy independent (well unless we are willing to carpet every sun touched surface on our house and property with them). So how will she accomplish this goal? Well, with your tax dollars (or borrowing) of course. Subsides, tax credits, outright grants, subsides to solar panel manufacturing and big government projects that install millions of panels in desert areas (Environmental impact? Only pipelines have that.).
My goodness, haven’t we done this before? And what’s that popular definition of “insanity”?
Also consider that perhaps the cleanest renewable energy, one that has contributed most to the use of renewable energy, is hydroelectric energy (46%). That source has been in decline due to pressure from environmental groups. We have less hydroelectric power now than we did in 2000. And that trend is likely to continue.
Biomass comes in second (9%) and is also in disfavor with environmental groups (greenhouse gasses).
That leaves three “renewable” sources – geothermal, solar and wind. Between the three, they currently contribute just “6.7% of the nation’s electricity capacity, according to the Energy Department.” In total, we have about 15% of our energy from all renewable sources. So you get an idea of how small the contribution of these three really are.
While Clinton didn’t say much about the other two, wind is a favorite of the renewable energy crowd. The problem with both wind and solar is the usual – powerful environmental groups oppose both. Especially groups concerned with the negative impact on wildlife they’ve demonstrated. It is no secret that both wind installations and large solar instillations are abattoirs for wildlife, especially birds.
So how likely is a President Clinton to see this bit of campaign positioning come to fruition? Well thankfully not very. It’s a slapdash bit of campaign nonsense. It is pure pandering with no hope of realization. It is the usual political campaign “policy” making that is all talk with no walk. It has no possibility of being realized and is just thrown out there to feed the base and keep them happy. It is the underpants gnomes in action.
It doesn’t even stand up to casual scrutiny. But don’t worry, her base has no reason for even casual scrutiny. If she said it, they believe it and that ends it.
Meanwhile, upon finishing her delivery of this devilish clever energy plan, she boarded her private jet and smoked off to her next destination.
Did you know that Harry Reid and Donald Trump agree on the immigration issue? Or they certainly sound like they do. Of course Reid will likely tell you that his position has “evolved” over the years – what is commonly called a “flip flop” in politics. Like Hillary Clinton’s present position on gay marriage (and any number of other issues). They’re positions of political convenience, not principal.
Of course, today Harry Reid condemns Donald Trump’s position on illegal immigration. But not so long ago, Harry was an immigration hawk:
Reid authored the Immigration Stabilization Act of 1993 to remove asylum seekers, end birthright citizenship, expand deportations, and exclude legal immigrants from public assistance. The bill also included amendments that closed loopholes dealing with criminal aliens and mandated more cooperation between local and federal law enforcement, the Conservative Review reported on Tuesday.
“Our borders have overflowed with illegal immigrants placing tremendous burdens on our criminal justice system, schools and social programs. The Immigration and Naturalization Service needs the ability to step up enforcement,” Reid said in a statement.
“Our federal wallet is stretched to the limit by illegal aliens getting welfare, food stamps, medical care and other benefits often without paying any taxes,” Reid continued. “Safeguards like welfare and free medical care are in place to boost Americans in need of short-term assistance. These programs were not meant to entice freeloaders and scam artists from around the world.”
Apparently 1993 marks the date when Mr. Reid allegedly held the interests of American citizens to the forefront recognizing the drain unchecked and illegal immigration has on the nation’s budget, health and resources.
Now, not so much.
Had a Republican said all of what Mr. Reid said back then, he’d be branded a “racist”.
Oh, wait …