Royal Abuse

 

 

Obama-the-King

 

It’s been noted over the years of his reign, that King Barack simply decides to rule by decree. Ignoring what he doesn’t like and enforcing what he does. The ‘rule of law be damned’. There was his fiasco on oil exploration, permits, etc., following the Gulf oil well disaster. His so called ‘welfare reform’, an effort to relax the requirements for applicants, and now the delaying of the employer mandate in ‘Obamacare’. HIS signature piece of legislation. The irony here being he had little to do with crafting the law. However, he undoubtedly approved of the final mess of a bill.

Michael McConnell, writing at The Wall Street Journal, takes a look at the latest tangled web the administration finds itself in…

OBAMA SUSPENDS THE LAW

Like King James II, the President decides not to enforce laws he doesn’t like. That’s an abuse of power.

President Obama’s decision last week to suspend the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act may be welcome relief to businesses affected by this provision, but it raises grave concerns about his understanding of the role of the executive in our system of government.

Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” This is a duty, not a discretionary power. While the president does have substantial discretion about how to enforce a law, he has no discretion about whether to do so.

This matter—the limits of executive power—has deep historical roots. During the period of royal absolutism, English monarchs asserted a right to dispense with parliamentary statutes they disliked. King James II’s use of the prerogative was a key grievance that lead to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The very first provision of the English Bill of Rights of 1689—the most important precursor to the U.S. Constitution—declared that “the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of parliament, is illegal.”

To make sure that American presidents could not resurrect a similar prerogative, the Framers of the Constitution made the faithful enforcement of the law a constitutional duty.

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which advises the president on legal and constitutional issues, has repeatedly opined that the president may decline to enforce laws he believes are unconstitutional. But these opinions have always insisted that the president has no authority, as one such memo put it in 1990, to “refuse to enforce a statute he opposes for policy reasons.”

Attorneys general under Presidents Carter, Reagan, both Bushes and Clinton all agreed on this point. With the exception of Richard Nixon, whose refusals to spend money appropriated by Congress were struck down by the courts, no prior president has claimed the power to negate a law that is concededly constitutional.

In 1998, the Supreme Court struck down a congressional grant of line-item veto authority to the president to cancel spending items in appropriations. The reason? The only constitutional power the president has to suspend or repeal statutes is to veto a bill or propose new legislation. Writing for the court in Clinton v. City of New York, JusticeJohn Paul Stevens noted: “There is no provision in the Constitution that authorizes the president to enact, to amend, or to repeal statutes.”

The employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act contains no provision allowing the president to suspend, delay or repeal it. Section 1513(d) states in no uncertain terms that “The amendments made by this section shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013.” Imagine the outcry if Mitt Romney had been elected president and simply refused to enforce the whole of ObamaCare.

This is not the first time Mr. Obama has suspended the operation of statutes by executive decree, but it is the most barefaced. In June of last year, for example, the administration stopped initiating deportation proceedings against some 800,000 illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. before age 16, lived here at least five years, and met a variety of other criteria. This was after Congress refused to enact the Dream Act, which would have allowed these individuals to stay in accordance with these conditions. Earlier in 2012, the president effectively replaced congressional requirements governing state compliance under the No Child Left Behind Act with new ones crafted by his administration.

The president defended his suspension of the immigration laws as an exercise of prosecutorial discretion. He defended his amending of No Child Left Behind as an exercise of authority in the statute to waive certain requirements. The administration has yet to offer a legal justification for last week’s suspension of the employer mandate.

Republican opponents of ObamaCare might say that the suspension of the employer mandate is such good policy that there’s no need to worry about constitutionality. But if the president can dispense with laws, and parts of laws, when he disagrees with them, the implications for constitutional government are dire.

Democrats too may acquiesce in Mr. Obama’s action, as they have his other aggressive assertions of executive power. Yet what will they say when a Republican president decides that the tax rate on capital gains is a drag on economic growth and instructs the IRS not to enforce it?

And what of immigration reform? Why bother debating the details of a compromise if future presidents will feel free to disregard those parts of the statute that they don’t like?

The courts cannot be counted on to intervene in cases like this. As the Supreme Court recently held in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the same-sex marriage case involving California’s Proposition 8, private citizens do not have standing in court to challenge the executive’s refusal to enforce laws, unless they have a personal stake in the matter. If a president declines to enforce tax laws, immigration laws, or restrictions on spending—to name a few plausible examples—it is very likely that no one will have standing to sue.

Of all the stretches of executive power Americans have seen in the past few years, the president’s unilateral suspension of statutes may have the most disturbing long-term effects. As the Supreme Court said long ago (Kendall v. United States, 1838), allowing the president to refuse to enforce statutes passed by Congress “would be clothing the president with a power to control the legislation of congress, and paralyze the administration of justice.”

Mr. McConnell, a former judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, is a professor of law and director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

A version of this article appeared July 9, 2013, on page A13 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Obama Suspends the Law.

More reading….

WHITE HOUSE DETERMINED TO START OBAMACARE MONEY FLOW – Townhall

THE FIASCO THAT IS OBAMACARE – The Weekly Standard

OBAMACARE IS COMING UNDONE – Reason

 

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Dysfunction and Dysfunctional

As the country learned more and more about the incompetence of the Obama administration this past week, it continues to astound me…well, not really…it’s to be expected…how utterly dismissive and contemptuous the White House and its supporters continue to be.

We have a President who is as disconnected from the American people and, apparently reality, as one can be. An administration that seems to operate from whim to whim. Staffed by individuals whose vindictiveness is only exceeded by their arrogance. There is no accountability and no responsibility. Yet those that dare to question this dangerous and damaging behavior are, THEMSELVES, portrayed as the problem. A sympathetic media, which long ago decided its roll as watchdog was over, continues to shield Mr. Obama despite the obvious. And, of course, the usual cast of moronic characters decide it’s time to come to his defense with their atypical incendiary and senseless remarks. As if THEIR opinion matters even in the slightest! Elitist attitudes and snob commentary has no value and no relevance. Unfortunately for us, no one has told these morons…

"That’s really what it is. I think these conservatives and right-wingers for as much as they say they love this country — they hate it. They hate the government. They hate the people.”

“That’s really what it is. I think these conservatives and right-wingers for as much as they say they love this country — they hate it. They hate the government. They hate the people.”

Michael Moore on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’…THIS is what passes for rational thought on the left…

Watergate really was a scandal, but we now have a lot of people who try to use scandal to settle policy differences by other means, who take mini-scandals and try to use them to get some policy edge or a political edge"... “And I actually think we as a country have become over-addicted to scandal as a way to destroy other people. And that was in the Supreme Court hearings, and that’s in a lot of the scandals. So, I think it’s bred a politics of cynicism which kind of reverberates, without the actual substance of a major act of corruption.”

Watergate really was a scandal, but we now have a lot of people who try to use scandal to settle policy differences by other means, who take mini-scandals and try to use them to get some policy edge or a political edge”… “And I actually think we as a country have become over-addicted to scandal as a way to destroy other people. And that was in the Supreme Court hearings, and that’s in a lot of the scandals. So, I think it’s bred a politics of cynicism which kind of reverberates, without the actual substance of a major act of corruption.”

Columnist, David Brooks, trying desperately to downplay the incompetence of the Obama White House…In his mind, this is all trivial; nothing but political maneuvering…He looks at all of it as no “major act of corruption..”

" And the question isn't who edited what talking points. That is largely irrelevant."

” And the question isn’t who edited what talking points. That is largely irrelevant.”

Just like former Secretary of State Clinton, Obama aide, Dan Pfieffer on “Face the Nation” continues the Benghazi cover up strategy employed by his boss… Mr. Pfeiffer also used “irrelevant” to describe the law’s application to the I.R.S. tactics targeting conservative groups while appearing on ABC’s “This Week”…

The mindset of these people, and many more like them, is to disregard the seriousness of the situation by dismissing any competent claim whatsoever. The tactic is to cast aspersions as to the “motive” behind charges and accusations. And, as is often the case with President Obama, these charges are solidly rooted in truth and fact. But we know that doesn’t matter. Excuses and denial. That’s what matters to the Obama administration. Americans can die. Americans can be subjected to unfair governmental practices…and it doesn’t matter. Defending the actions of THIS administration are the first priority. Mr. Obama and his staff will NEVER accept any connection that ties them to what really happened in Libya, with the I.R.S., or with the Justice Department’s tactics in seizing the phone records of the Associated Press. Never! They will parade before the adoring media to continue the parade of lies before an increasingly weary American public.

In the meantime, we are expected to disregard it all as just Washington politics. Which is EXACTLY what THIS President hopes for!

More….

Something at the IRS doesn’t “add up” – Townhall

AP CEO calls records seizure “Unconstitutional” – Townhall

Obama scandals reveal the true face of government! – Reason

After Obama’s roughest week, White House points finger at GOP – Washington Examiner

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Your Monday morning headlines!….

"I much prefer f**king around here with you idiots...I mean...nice people...than dealing with that sh*t in Washington!"

“I much prefer f**king around here with you idiots…I mean…nice people…than dealing with that sh*t in Washington!”

OBAMA TO ATTEND 3 DEMOCRATIC FUNDRAISERS MONDAY – The Weekly Standard

Can you say “too busy to be President”..??..!!

"Yeah..whew!..I didn't think I was going to get away with it for a while there!...Just goes to prove as long as the media is in your pocket, you can get away with anything..especially in you're in government!"

“Yeah..whew!..I didn’t think I was going to get away with it for a while there!…Just goes to prove as long as the media is in your pocket, you can get away with anything..especially if you’re in government!”

ON BENGHAZI PROBE, GOP’S ISSA SAYS ‘HILLARY CLINTON IS NOT A TARGET’  – NBC News

If she isn’t, she damned sure should be!

They're likely paying taxes...

They’re likely paying taxes…

It's a safe bet to say she isn't...as well as millions more like her!

It’s a safe bet to say she isn’t…as well as millions more like her!

HOW THE IRS TARGETED TEA PARTY GROUPS FOR ABUSE – Reason

Gee! What a surprise!

"Yeah..this job f**kin' sucks..I'm nothing more than a mouthpiece for an administration full of pathological liars..."

“Yeah..this job f**kin’ sucks..I’m nothing more than a mouthpiece for an administration full of pathological liars…”

GEORGE WILL: JAY CARNEY’S USEFULNESS TO THIS ADMINISTRATION IS DIMINISHING RAPIDLY – The Daily Caller

Tell us something we DON’T know!

Read them and weep!…or at least shake your head in disgust!

What it boils down to…

Forget all of the analysis, the punditry, the speculation……..THIS is what’s in store for EVERYONE!!!..UNLESS, we wise up!…Like THAT will ever happen!…

"It's simple..we're taking MORE of YOUR money..if you don't like it, f*ck you!

“It’s simple..we’re taking MORE of YOUR money..if you don’t like it, f*ck you!

CONFIRMED: SENATE DEMOCRATS’ BUDGET ACCELERATES SPENDING, NEVER BALANCES – Townhall

"SCREW the 2nd amendment!...We simply CANNOT allow law abiding American citizens the right..I mean..the privilege...to defend themselves!"

“SCREW the 2nd amendment!…We simply CANNOT allow law abiding American citizens the right..I mean..the privilege…to defend themselves!”

THE ILLOGIC OF DIANE FEINSTEIN’S ‘ASSAULT WEAPONS’ BAN – The Washington Times

michael-bloomberg

Hey!..Dumbass!…I know what’s good for you and don’t you f*cking forget it!”

WHAT IF NEW YORK’S ‘NANNY IS ACTUALLY A THUG? – Reason

obamacare-1

OBAMACARE: HIGHER PREMIUMS, LESS PRIVACY – The Weekly Standard

If you were not part of the moron class that returned Barack Obama to office last November, not to worry! Get ready to bend over! You’ll get yours soon enough!

A Day that will live in infamy….

 

Obama-0002

 

 

Well…the day has arrived….

The impervious ‘leader’ crowns himself emperor….at least for four more years.

Barack Obama’s second inauguration is met with much indifference and not much cause for celebration today. He begins with a divided, divisive, and frustrated America. Much of which he helped create.

Fred Barnes at The Weekly Standard takes a look at the President whose hallmark is feigning compromise will trying to convince the nation that’s what he’s all about. NOTHING could be further from the truth…

LET’S NOT MAKE A DEAL!

“President Obama complained in a Saturday radio and Internet address that crucial issues are resolved in Washington only at the last possible moment. It was late December when he spoke, three days before the deadline on the fiscal cliff. A deal to avert automatic tax increases had yet to be reached.

‘America wonders why it is in this town why you can’t get stuff done in an organized timetable,” he said. “Why everything has to always wait until the last minute. We’re now at the last minute. .  .  . Let’s not miss this deadline. That’s the bare minimum we should be able to get done.’

As usual, the president accepted no responsibility, much less blame, for the recurring phenomenon of brinkmanship. Two weeks earlier, he said Republicans were the impediment to reaching timely agreements because “it is very hard for them to say yes to me.”

True, it is difficult. But there’s a bigger problem. It’s not Obama’s inability to get along with Republicans. Nor is it the fact that he’s an exceptionally poor negotiator. The real problem is simply Obama’s refusal to compromise.

The president claims to be open to compromise. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not a coincidence that he hasn’t arranged a single bipartisan compromise with Republicans. Others in his orbit have—Vice President Biden twice, Senate majority leader Harry Reid once—but not Obama personally. He wrecks compromises. He doesn’t facilitate them.

In 2011, he came close to negotiating a $4 trillion “grand bargain” with House speaker John Boehner—before blowing it up. Boehner went out on a limb by agreeing to $800 billion in tax hikes, but Obama insisted on $400 billion more in taxes. That killed the compromise.

Following his reelection in November, the president appeared receptive to a compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff. But he suddenly increased his demands far beyond what Republicans could swallow. Thus, no compromise. Instead, a cliff deal was forced on Republicans, who feared being blamed for raising taxes. It was largely on Obama’s terms.

Why is Obama unable to compromise? I think there are both personal and political reasons. Far more than other politicians, Obama is convinced of the rightness of whatever he proposes. As best I can tell, this is not merely an excess of self-confidence. It’s a vanity, a conceit. On top of that, Obama regards practically everything Republicans want as ideologically toxic.

He was spoiled in his first two years as president. Democrats had overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate, so he got most of what he wanted—Obamacare, stimulus—without the need to compromise with Republicans for their votes.

When those majorities vanished in the GOP landslide in 2010, Obama was confronted with a Republican House and a barely Democratic Senate. He still hasn’t adjusted. And with reelection, he doesn’t think he has to. He believes it’s time for Republicans to knuckle under.

He talks about a “balanced” approach to taxes and spending. But the balance is heavily weighted in favor of tax increases, the bigger the better, and what often amount to phantom spending cuts. He’ll cut money for overseas wars that was never going to be spent in the first place.

Yet as the president told journalist Richard Wolffe, “You know, I actually believe my own bull—.” Indeed, he does, now more than ever.

The political rationale for spurning compromise comes from Obama’s attachment to his Democratic base—labor, liberals, feminists, environmentalists, minorities. He relied on them in his campaign for a second term and he’s loath to cross them now. And they’re dead set against any meaningful cuts in spending (except for defense).

To reach a compromise with the other party, “you can’t just sit back and hope that a bipartisan deal will fall in your lap,” says Keith Hennessey, an economic adviser to President George W. Bush. “You have to proactively challenge your own party to make it happen.” Obama is unwilling to do that.

In speeches and at press conferences, he pays lip service to tackling entitlements, but it’s always in the future. He’s endorsed a small reduction in Social Security’s annual cost-of-living increase, but backed away from actually offering it to get a bipartisan compromise. Why? His base opposes even this tiniest of concessions.

In the next three months, Obama faces three deadlines, or cliffs. Government borrowing will reach its limit—the so-called debt limit—in late February or early March. The $1.2 trillion sequester goes into effect on March 1. And the continuing resolution that keeps the government operating in lieu of a budget expires on March 27.

If the president wants to deal with these before the last minute, he’d better be prepared to compromise. Last week, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell urged him to “engage now or force a crisis later” on increasing the debt limit. To clear the way, McConnell said, what’s required is “a bipartisan spending-reduction solution.”

Spending cuts are precisely what Obama refuses to consider. He’s called for a “clean” bill to increase the debt limit, unlike 2011 when he was forced to compromise and accept spending cuts (negotiated by others). That was a painful episode for Obama. And he’s adamant about not compromising this year.

He’s no help on the sequester either. To replace its across-the-board cuts, half defense, half domestic, Obama wants to include tax increases. This is reminiscent of the spending cuts that passed muster with Biden last year, only to be brushed aside when Obama joined budget talks.

In all this, President Obama may be unaware that his allergy to compromise has a downside. It keeps him from acting in his own interest. For a freshly reelected president, he has a surprisingly low job approval rating. It hovers around 50 percent. But he has it within his power to improve his standing. Americans crave two things in Washington: bipartisanship and reduced spending. Deliver them and his approval rating will soar. All that’s required on his part is compromise.”

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

 

More…

Barack Obama’s Deficit Problem – Townhall

A Divider, Not a Uniter – The Daily Caller

Obama Inaugural Rewind: Rhetoric vs Reality – Reason

 

What lies ahead….

 

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I’ve deliberately avoided current events…politics and such…the past few days. Sometimes you need a break. Especially with the holidays upon us. But, of course, some things just draw you back.

The year and years ahead will be..unsettling..to say the least. I don’t see improvement in much of anything with Barack Obama and the Democrats running the show. I’ve contended all along that an event of catastrophic proportions is what it will take to wake the American people up to the fact that we lack leadership in the White House..in Washington. A few matters are an absolute certainty. Barack Obama has no intention and no interest in an improving economy. He DOES have an interest and an intention on the expansion of government. The Democrats have no interest in solving fiscal problems. They do have an interest in expanding government dependency. They are the party of dependency and wear that moniker proudly. It cements their power and validates their existence. If not for those factors, there would be no need for them.

The years ahead will see a continued shift of blame to the Republicans, no matter the issue. The media will eagerly play along, turning a blind eye to the actions of Mr. Obama. The American people have made a regrettable choice. I just hope they eventually have the common sense to realize that. A pipe dream, I know…

In the meantime…

Victor Davis Hanson has a good piece on what four more years of the most dangerous President in United States history may look like…

Hope and change has been replaced with envy and jealousy.

RIPPLES FROM THE ELECTION

Now that the election is over, we are starting to see the contours of what lies ahead for the next four years. Here are some likely consequences from the Obama victory.

1. Barack Obama is not very interested in tax reform, deficit reduction, or curbing annual spending. He believes in big government, and the bigger the better. His tenure is not so much a repudiation of Reaganism as it is of Clintonism, and the whole notion of keeping the annual growth of federal spending at or below 2 percent, balancing the budget, and declaring the era of big government over. Going off the cliff would give Obama the extra revenues from across-the-board tax hikes on the 53 percent that can fund further expansions for the 47 percent in federalized health care, food stamps, unemployment, and disability insurance and in block grants to bankrupt cities, states, and pension funds. Gorging the beast always demands more revenue; and more revenue will always come from those who must “pay their fair share.” That is also a good thing in itself given the innately unfair compensation of the marketplace, which must be rectified by an intelligent, always-growing government, run by humane technocrats rather than grasping Wall Street speculators. In other words, why should we expect serious discussions on the deficit? When so many have so much less than so few, we have hardly begun the necessary “redistributive change.” That is facilitated, not retarded, by large deficits and the need for much higher taxes on the fat cats who did not build their own wealth.

 

 

obama-state-of-union-2009

 

2. One could make the argument that Barack Obama was the first president since Jimmy Carter to put daylight between Israel and the United States — both rhetorically and materially on issues such as settlements, the Netanyahu government, and disputes with the Palestinians. Yet Obama still received over 60 percent of the Jewish-American vote. That anomaly might suggest a number of things. For all practical purposes, the supposed Israeli lobby is now analogous to the fading Greek lobby — with similarly diminishing clout in foreign policy.

 

If Obama can still count on a strong majority of the self-identified Jewish vote, then he has established that U.S. policy toward Israel is largely freed from domestic political concerns. Diehard support for Israel now no longer rests with the American Jewish community, though it may come from evangelical Christians and from Americans in general who prefer to support consensual governments in their wars against authoritarians. Obama correctly saw that, more than six decades after the creation of Israel, and a century after the great Jewish immigrations from Eastern Europe, many of today’s American Jews are assimilated and intermarried, not all that familiar with Israeli issues, or simply no more aware of being Jewish than I am of being Swedish. That may be a good thing for the melting pot of America, but it is most certainly a different thing as far as U.S. support for Israel is concerned — as we return to a pre-1967 relationship with a Jewish state that is increasingly on its own.

3. The traditional conservative antidote to Obamaism has fallen short. That is, the arguments of principled conservatives about the perils of big government, redistributionist economics, and diminutions in personal freedom seem for a majority of Americans to be outweighed by the attraction of government subsidies and entitlements. If there is going to be a check on Barack Obama’s redistributionist agenda, it will probably have to come from upper-middle-class independent voters and blue-state residents. Such Obama supporters may soon notice that the new federal and state tax rates, the envisioned end to traditional deductions such as those for blue-state high taxes and for mortgage interest, and means testing for most government services are aimed precisely at themselves. When the Palo Alto resident grasps that his total income- and payroll-tax burden will be well over 50 percent, his tax deduction for the mortgage interest on his million-dollar-plus, 1,000-square-foot home will be eliminated, and his $250,000 salary still gets him counted as “rich” even after huge taxes and mortgage costs, we may see change — perhaps not in terms of the number of large swings in actual votes, but in the nature of campaign donations, political commentary, and campaign organization. Blue-state elites do not yet believe the voracious Obama tax monster is coming for them, but it is — as they will see.

4. Barack Obama has successfully conducted a number of wars of hyphenated-Americans against the regressive establishment. When the Obama campaign asked supporters to check off which “constituency groups” they identified with but did not include “whites” or “men” among the options, or when the Reverend Joseph Lowery, who gave the 2009 inaugural benediction, can declare without pushback that white people are going to Hell, or when one totals up the Obama administration’s vocabulary of racial polarization (e.g., “nation of cowards,” “my people,” “punish our enemies,” “put y’all back in chains”) and collates the invective with that of the Black Caucus and the likes of MSNBC, then we are headed for a backlash analogous to that of the 1970s among the white working class. In the new racialist landscape, is it any surprise that Jamie Foxx can joke about killing white people, or that Chris Rock can call the Fourth of July “white people’s independence day,” or that Samuel L. Jackson can brag of voting along strictly racial lines, or that Morgan Freeman can equate opposition to Obama with racism, even as he reminds us that Obama is only half black?

Many of us had hoped that the phenomenal rate of intermarriage and assimilation had made the old racial rubrics anachronistic, if not irrelevant, but Obama has managed in brilliant fashion to resurrect them in terms of minority groups’ having grievances against the assumed white majority that does all sorts of awful things, from arresting children on their way to purchase ice cream to stereotyping people solely on the basis of race.

 

It was almost surreal to watch the pre–November 6 media and political commentariat daily allege racism and attempts to prevent minorities from voting, only to witness their post–November 6 jubilation that Obama’s reelection had given America a reprieve and proven the power of the Other to express itself at the ballot box. When asking a would-be voter to show his a driver’s license is declared tantamount to voter intimidation, while 59 Philadelphia precincts collectively reporting a margin of 19,605 to 0 against Romney is merely proof of the president’s popularity in minority communities, then we have a growing divide that will not be assuaged by cheap “no more red state/blue state” rhetoric from those who help to foster it.

 

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5. In the new climate of “fat cats,” “corporate jet owners,” “pay your fair share,” “you didn’t build that,” and “1 percent,” the more Americans have, the more they are envious of those who have more. One might have thought that the technological revolution, in combination with the welfare state, had redefined poverty altogether in ways that the fossilized entitlement bureaucracy could hardly grasp. Certainly, a Kia, an iPhone, and a big-screen TV do not disqualify one from the menu of American entitlements. That today’s earner or recipient of $35,000 in wages or entitlements has better appurtenances — in terms of computer power, phone, and car — than the $250,000 earner of 30 years ago means little. The point is not that the modern iPhone gives the poor man access to more knowledge than the entire RAND Corporation had 50 years ago, but that the contemporary RAND Corporation has more access than what an iPhone can provide, leaving its owner in relative terms still poor. That today’s Kia is better in many ways than yesterday’s Mercedes matters little — it is still not today’s Lexus. One of the great lessons in the age of Obama is that wealth and poverty will always remain relative. Happiness is now defined not as having the basics I need, but as ensuring that someone else does not have more. Obama has successfully appealed to the oldest and basest of human emotions — envy and jealousy, masked with the notion of enforced fairness — and for now they trump even the human desire to be free.

 NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institutionand the author, most recently, of The End of Sparta, a novel about ancient freedom.

 

More…

 

15 SIGNS THAT THE ECONOMY IS RAPIDLY GETTING WORSE AS WE HEAD INTO 2013 –  The Economic Collapse

CAN BIG GOVERNMENT REALLY BE ROLLED BACK? – Michael Barone @ The Washington Examiner

DEJECTION 2012 – Reason

 

The Exhausting Obama….

 

 

Barack Obama

 

 

 

I think one of the most disconcerting aspects of the Obama presidency is the fact that crisis after crisis, conflict after conflict, seems to go on FOREVER. With NO resolution. NO problem resolved. The only “ending” arrives because we move on to ANOTHER event!…

One of my favorite columnists, Peggy Noonan, sums it up PERFECTLY….

THE DRAWN OUT CRISIS: IT’S THE OBAMA WAY!

The President seems to prefer frustration to good-faith negotiation.

The president’s inviting Mitt Romney for lunch is a small thing but a brilliant move. It makes Mr. Obama look big, gracious. It implies the weakened, battered former GOP nominee is the leader of the Republican Party—and if the other party has to have a leader, the weakened, battered one is the one you want.

Mr. Romney is not the leader of the party; he left no footprints in the sand. There is no such thing as Romneyism, no movement of which he’s the standard-bearer. Nor is he a Washington figure with followers. Party leaders already view him as a kind of accident, the best of a bad 2012 lot, a hiccup. The bottom-line attitude of Republican political pros: Look, this is a man who’s lived a good life and would have been a heck of a lot better than Obama, and I backed him. But to be a successful Republican president now requires a kind of political genius, and he didn’t have it and wasn’t going to develop it. His flaws as a candidate would have been his flaws as president. We dodged a bullet.

Republicans may be the stupid party, but they’re not the sentimental one. Democrats often like their losers. Republicans like winners, and they find reasons to be moved by them after they’ve won.

To the extent the GOP has an elected face, it is that of Speaker John Boehner. And he is precisely the man with whom Mr. Obama should be having friendly lunches. In fact, the meal with Mitt just may be a clever attempt to obscure the fact that the president isn’t really meeting with those with whom he’s supposed to be thrashing out the fiscal cliff.

At a news conference Thursday, Mr. Boehner looked frustrated. In fact, he looked exactly the way he looked at the end of the debt-ceiling crisis in the summer of 2011—like someone who wanted a deal, was willing to gamble to get it, and failed. There has been “no substantive progress” toward an agreement, he said. In a meeting with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and in a Wednesday night phone call with the president, he saw no willingness to reform or cut entitlement spending. What about an increase in tax rates? “Revenues are on the table.”

In fact the Democratic position on entitlements seems to have hardened.

In a way Mr. Boehner’s press conference was the usual, but in a way it was sad, because it harkened back to the protracted, harum-scarum and unsatisfying fiscal negotiations of the recent past.

The election is over, a new era begins—and it looks just like the old one. A crisis is declared. Confusion, frustration, and a more embittered process follow. This is . . . the Obama Way. Nothing has changed, even after a yearlong campaign that must, at times, have looked to him like a near-death experience. He still doesn’t want to forestall jittery, gloom-laden headlines and make an early deal with the other guy. He wants to beat the other guy.

You watch and wonder: Why does it always have to be cliffs with this president? Why is it always a high-stakes battle? Why doesn’t he shrewdly re-enact Ronald Reagan, meeting, arguing and negotiating in good faith with Speaker Tip O’Neill, who respected very little of what the president stood for and yet, at the end of the day and with the country in mind, could shake hands and get it done? Why is there never a sense with Mr. Obama that he understands the other guys’ real position?

It’s not as if Mr. Boehner and the Republicans wouldn’t deal. They’ve been weakened and they know it. A year ago they hoped winning the Senate and the presidency would break the stasis. They won neither. Mr. Obama not only was re-elected, it wasn’t that close, it was a clean win. If the president was clear about anything throughout the campaign, it was that he wanted to raise taxes on those he calls the rich. So you might say that a majority of the American people just endorsed that move.

No one would know this better than Mr. Boehner, who has risen to where he is in part because he’s good at seeing the lay of the land and admitting what’s there.

The president would only benefit from showing he has the command and capability to meet, argue, press and come to agreement. It would be heartening to the country to see this, and would impress the world. And the Republicans would like to get it done.

In narrow, purely political terms, they need two things quickly. One is that it now looks to everyone—even to them!—like the entire domestic agenda of the Republican Party is tax-cutting, and any party’s agenda has to be bigger than that. The other is that when they try to protect people from higher tax rates they always look like Diamond Jim Brady enjoying the company of the wealthy and not noticing anybody else. Republicans need time to work through, within their party, their own larger economic stands.

So they’re weakened, they want this particular crisis to end, and they badly need to win entitlement reforms that would, in the end, buttress the president’s historical standing—and the president isn’t working with them every day and making a deal?

***

Here’s just one thing they should be discussing. Mr. Obama wants to raise tax rates on those earning $250,000 or more, as we know, on the assumption that they are “the rich.” But if you are a man with a wife and two kids making that salary and living in Westfield, N.J., in no way do you experience yourself to be rich, because you’re not. You pay federal payroll and income taxes, state income and sales taxes and local property taxes, and after the mortgage, food and commuting costs you don’t have much to spare.

Tighten the squeeze on that couple, and they’ll change how they live. They’ll stop sending the struggling son to a neighborhood tutor, they’ll stop going out to dinner once a week, they’ll cut off the baby sitter, fire the guy who once a month does yard work, and hold back on new clothes. Also the guy will peruse employment ads in Florida and Texas, potentially removing from blue-state New Jersey his heartening, taxpaying presence.

It really is worth a discussion, isn’t it? A closer look at the numbers? Shared thoughts on how Americans really live?

***

In an interview last year, shortly after the debt-ceiling debate, Mr. Boehner spoke of how much he’d wanted a deal. He wanted entitlement reforms, cuts in spending, was happy to increase revenues through tax reform. He thought our fiscal realities the great issue of his speakership, said he meant it when he told staffers if it resulted in the end of his speakership then so be it. He’d have walked out of Congress knowing “I did the right thing.”

That’s who Obama should be negotiating with—in good faith, and with his eye not on ideology but on the country.

Instead, it’s going to be a long four weeks. Scratch that, it’s going to be a long four years.

MORE READING….
SAVE THE COUNTRY! TAX THE RICH! – William Tucker @ The American Spectator
HIGHER TAXES, SMALLER GOVERNMENT? – Steve Chapman @ Reason