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Hat tip to Sarah Jenislawski.
Hat tip to Monica Showalter.
Between 2000 and 2012, America’s Median Household Income Dropped 6.6 %, While the District of Columbia Median Household Income Rose 23.3 %
Mark Steyn disputes the president’s contention.
This is the United States of America,” declared President Obama to the burghers of Liberty, Mo., on Friday. “We’re not some banana republic.”
He was talking about the Annual Raising of the Debt Ceiling, which glorious American tradition seems to come round earlier every year. “This is not a deadbeat nation,” President Obama continued. “We don’t run out on our tab.” True. But we don’t pay it off either. We just keep running it up, ever higher. And every time the bartender says, “Mebbe you’ve had enough, pal,” we protest, “Jush another couple trillion for the road. Set ’em up, Joe.” And he gives you that look that kinda says he wishes you’d run out on your tab back when it was $23.68.
Still, Obama is right. We’re not a banana republic, if only because the debt of banana republics is denominated in a currency other than their own — i.e., the U.S. dollar. When you’re the guys who print the global currency, you can run up debts undreamt of by your average generalissimo. As Obama explained in another of his recent speeches, “Raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt.” I won’t even pretend to know what he and his speechwriters meant by that one, but the fact that raising the debt ceiling “has been done over a hundred times” does suggest that spending more than it takes in is now a permanent feature of American government. And no one has plans to do anything about it. Which is certainly banana republic-esque.
Is all this spending necessary? Every day, the foot-of-page-37 news stories reveal government programs it would never occur to your dimestore caudillo to blow money on. On Thursday, it was the Food and Drug Administration blowing just shy of $200 grand to find out whether its Twitter and Facebook presence is “well-received.” A fifth of a million dollars isn’t even a rounding error in most departmental budgets, so nobody cares. But the FDA is one of those sclerotic American institutions that has near to entirely seized up. In October 1920, it occurred to an Ontario doctor called Frederick Banting that insulin might be isolated and purified and used to treat diabetes; by January 1923, Eli Lilly & Co were selling insulin to American pharmacies: A little over two years from concept to market. Now the FDA adds at least half-a-decade to the process, and your chances of making it through are far slimmer: As recently as the late Nineties, they were approving 157 new drugs per half-decade. Today it’s less than half that.
But they’ve got $182,000 to splash around on finding out whether people really like them on Facebook, or they’re just saying that. So they’ve given the dough to a company run by Dan Beckmann, a former “new media aide” to President Obama. That has the whiff of the banana republic about it, too.
The National Parks Service, which I had carelessly assumed was the service responsible for running national parks, has been making videos on Muslim women’s rights: “Islam gave women a whole bunch of rights that Western women acquired later in the 19th and 20th centuries, and we’ve had these rights since the seventh century,” explains a lady from AnNur Islamic School in Schenectady at the National Park Service website, nps.gov. Fascinating stuff, no doubt. But what’s it to do with national parks? Maybe the rangers could pay Dan Beckmann a quarter-million bucks to look into whether the National Parks’ Islamic outreach is using social media as effectively as it might.
Where do you go to get a piece of this action? As the old saying goes, bank robbers rob banks because that’s where the money is. But the smart guys rob taxpayers because that’s where the big money is. According to the Census Bureau’s latest “American Community Survey,” between 2000 and 2012 the nation’s median household income dropped 6.6 percent. Yet in the District of Columbia median household income rose 23.3 percent.
Hal G.P. Colebatch manages to identify a surprisingly long list of things in common between our current commander-in-chief and the famous captain of the USS Caine.
In President Barack Obama, the United States today has its Captian Queeg on the bridge. He has not committed the “high crimes and misdemeanors” which the Constitution has established as the grounds for impeachment, or at any rate the necessary majority of Congress could not at this moment be convinced that he has. Nonetheless, his administration has produced a record of bungling and bad judgment not even approached by any previous President of modern times and perhaps ever.
As the U.S. Navy regulations had nothing to cover the case of Queeg — what might be called borderline madness — so the U.S. Constitution has nothing to cover the case of Obama — a president with a fixed term of office, who is not mad in the literal clinical sense, but desperately incompetent, and who now appears to be looking to a strange, one-sided alliance with some of America’s most dire enemies.
Like Queeg, Obama functions adequately at a low level of responsibility, and like Queeg he is unable to handle a real crisis. Like Queeg he has never had to face a real enemy in the military sense. Like Queeg, he has very considerable cunning and plausibility in protecting his own ends. Add to this the fact that he is the first president to reveal himself as hating and despising much of the traditional culture of the United States and a wish to see it weakened.
The Queeg-type incidents are mounting up, though they are infinitely larger and more serious: the “beer summit” first showed, like cutting the tow-line, a disturbing oddity of behavior. This was followed by the betrayal of Poland and the Czech Republic over missile defenses, the ludicrous claim that the Benghazi massacres were provoked by a video on YouTube; the vow, made a year ago with all the sincerity of the utterances of a ventriloquist’s dummy, to bring the Benghazi killers to justice; the IRS scandal — a direct affront to the whole spirit of the Republic; his role in the Martin-Zimmerman affair, the destruction of American prestige in Egypt and almost every part of the Middle East and to a degree in Europe, the golf and safaris in the midst of crises… the list goes on and on.
How often do I ever agree with Dennis Kucinich? Not often. But he nailed it this time:
“So what, we’re about to become Al-Qaeda’s air force now?” said Kucinich.
“We are all Rodeo Clowns.” ~ MIKE LESTER — “The Future will not Belong to Rodeo Clowns who Slander Obama.” ~ DANIEL GREENFIELD
Richard Fernandez is worried that Putin might grab Egypt while Barack Obama bicycles and golfs on Martha’s Vinyard and his administration dithers over the decision to support secularism and the Egyptian Army or radical Islam, democracy, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Decisions, decisions.
So Obama remains hunkered down in Martha’s Vineyard, emerging periodically from his vacation home, like a cuckoo from a clock, to make a statement no one appears to hear, playing for time. No one in the Beltway seems to know what line to take. Shall they restore democracy in Egypt by supporting the Muslims Bros, knowing they too will take their revenge on the generals and the Copts? Suspend aid to the Egyptian military and open the door to Russia, who might do a hat trick and scoop up Saudi Arabia into the bargain?
Choices. Choices. What happened to the good old days when one could vote “present”? The Beltway is reading the tea leaves for a sign. And all they’re getting is Jay Carney.
I’m not worried. Frankly, I think Putin would do a much better job.