Archive for February, 2010

Greece: The Latest Casualty of Liberalism

February 28, 2010

Excellent piece from Mark Steyn in the National Review on Greece’s troubles and how the U.S. heading in the same direction due to Liberalism, the current Congress, and The One (without a clue).

While Barack Obama was making his latest pitch for a brand-new, even-more-unsustainable entitlement at the health-care “summit,” thousands of Greeks took to the streets to riot. An enterprising cable network might have shown the two scenes on a continuous split-screen — because they’re part of the same story. It’s just that Greece is a little further along in the plot: They’re at the point where the canoe is about to plunge over the falls. America is farther upstream and can still pull for shore, but has decided instead that what it needs to do is catch up with the Greek canoe. Chapter One (the introduction of unsustainable entitlements) leads eventually to Chapter Twenty (total societal collapse): The Greeks are at Chapter Seventeen or Eighteen.

What’s happening in the developed world today isn’t so very hard to understand: The 20th-century Bismarckian welfare state has run out of people to stick it to. In America, the feckless, insatiable boobs in Washington, Sacramento, Albany, and elsewhere are screwing over our kids and grandkids. In Europe, they’ve reached the next stage in social-democratic evolution: There are no kids or grandkids to screw over. The United States has a fertility rate of around 2.1 — or just over two kids per couple. Greece has a fertility rate of about 1.3: Ten grandparents have six kids have four grandkids — ie, the family tree is upside down. Demographers call 1.3 “lowest-low” fertility — the point from which no society has ever recovered. And, compared to Spain and Italy, Greece has the least worst fertility rate in Mediterranean Europe.

So you can’t borrow against the future because, in the most basic sense, you don’t have one. Greeks in the public sector retire at 58, which sounds great. But, when ten grandparents have four grandchildren, who pays for you to spend the last third of your adult life loafing around?

By the way, you don’t have to go to Greece to experience Greek-style retirement: The Athenian “public service” of California has been metaphorically face down in the ouzo for a generation. Still, America as a whole is not yet Greece. A couple of years ago, when I wrote my book America Alone, I put the then–Social Security debate in a bit of perspective: On 2005 figures, projected public-pensions liabilities were expected to rise by 2040 to about 6.8 percent of GDP. In Greece, the figure was 25 percent: in other words, head for the hills, Armageddon outta here, The End. Since then, the situation has worsened in both countries. And really the comparison is academic: Whereas America still has a choice, Greece isn’t going to have a 2040 — not without a massive shot of Reality Juice.

Is that likely to happen? At such moments, I like to modify Gerald Ford. When seeking to ingratiate himself with conservative audiences, President Ford liked to say: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.” Which is true enough. But there’s an intermediate stage: A government big enough to give you everything you want isn’t big enough to get you to give any of it back. That’s the point Greece is at. Its socialist government has been forced into supporting a package of austerity measures. The Greek people’s response is: Nuts to that. Public-sector workers have succeeded in redefining time itself: Every year, they receive 14 monthly payments. You do the math. And for about seven months’ work: For many of them, the work day ends at 2:30 p.m. And, when they retire, they get 14 monthly pension payments. In other words: Economic reality is not my problem. I want my benefits. And, if it bankrupts the entire state a generation from now, who cares as long as they keep the checks coming until I croak?

View the entire article here.

Rangel to Blame Staff for Ethics Violations

February 27, 2010

Rep. Charlie Rangel was recently admonished by an ethics panel for accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean.  And while he’s always been known as a crook, he can now add “coward” to his resume. He’s set to blame his staff for the ethics violations and predictably, the Washington Post writer agrees with him.

It’s unseemly when members of Congress throw their staffs under the bus when they get into trouble. That Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) is the latest offender is no surprise. But the embattled chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee might be justified — in this instance.

Carib News Foundation hosted Rangel and four other members of the Congressional Black Caucus at seminars in Antigua, Barbuda and St. Maarten in 2007 and 2008. The trips were cleared by the House Ethics Committee. But now the committee says it was given misleading information by the foundation about the corporate sponsorship of the trips, which would have put the kibosh on congressional participation. Yet Rangel was the only one of the five members to be admonished by the ethics committee. Even though it found no proof that he knew, Rangel is being held responsible because two of his staffers knew about the corporate sponsorships.

View the full article here.

David Gergen on Healthcare Summit: Republicans Had Their Best Days in Years

February 27, 2010

Obama Names SEIU President Andy Stern to Debt Panel

February 27, 2010

From The Hill via Gateway Pundit:

President Obama named SEIU Chairman and close associate Andy Stern to his deficit panel today.
The Hill reported:

Other appointees include Alice Rivlin, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ann Fudge, former CEO of Young and Rubicam Brands, and Dan Cote, CEO of Honewell. Obama had previously named former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and Clinton official Erskine Bowles to co-chair the group, which wil make recommendations for reducing the nation’s long-term debt.

The choice of Stern is already drawing fire from business groups.

The Workforce Fairness Institute, which has steadfastly opposed major labor legislation supported by SEIU, blasted the decision in a statement Friday morning.

“Either the White House doesn’t read the newspaper or simply doesn’t care, but naming Andy Stern as a member of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility doesn’t pass the laugh test,” said Katie Packer, the group’s executive director.

Andy Stern is also, thus far, the most frequent guest at the White House.  View some interesting quotes from the SEIU president below.

Al Gore Mocked at Apple Shareholder Meeting

February 27, 2010

From CNET via Gateway Pundit:

The presence of one of the world’s pre-eminent environmentalists at Apple’s shareholder meeting Thursday was the subject of much of the morning’s pointed discussion.

As expected, Apple’s attitude on environmental and sustainability issues was one of the main concerns of the stockholders present Thursday, followed closely by the company’s immense pile of cash. But early harsh comments about former Vice President Al Gore’s record set the tone.

Gore was seated in the first row, along with his six fellow board members, in Apple’s Town Hall auditorium as several stockholders took turns either bashing or praising his high-profile views on climate change.

At the first opportunity for audience participation just several minutes into the proceeding, a longtime and well-known Apple shareholder–some would say gadfly–who introduced himself as Shelton Ehrlich, stood at the microphone and urged against Gore’s re-election to the board. Gore “has become a laughingstock. The glaciers have not melted,” Sheldon said, referring to Gore’s views on global warming. “If his advice he gives to Apple is as faulty as his views on the environment then he doesn’t need to be re-elected.”

Another shareholder immediately got up to defend Gore and endorse his presence as an Apple director. And that wasn’t the end of it. Two different proposals from shareholders were presented in regard to Apple’s environmental impact.

MSNBC Host Says He Wants to Rip Out Cheney’s Heart and Kick it Around

February 26, 2010

Maybe then somebody would actually watch MSNBC.

Sen. Paul Ryan tells Obama his Healthcare Plan is a Fiscal Disaster

February 26, 2010

From the meaningless Healthcare Summit.

Ann Coulter Speech at CPAC, 2010

February 26, 2010

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) Attends SEIU Meeting and Laughs at Pledge of Allegiance Suggestion

February 23, 2010

Reid on Why Jobs Bill Should Be Passed: “Men, when they’re out of work, tend to become abusive”.

February 23, 2010

Obama Caught Lying About ACORN Relationship

February 20, 2010

Yet another fib from The One, courtesy of Gateway Pundit.

Liz Cheney v. Juan Williams on Fox News

February 14, 2010

Juan, while likable, never stood a chance.

Impeach Obama Billboard in Wisconsin

February 14, 2010

View the video here.  From 12 Fox Mankato:

President Obama is facing a billboard attack in the Upper Midwest.Just days after one supporting former President Bush popped up here in Minnesota… an anti-President Obama sign went up in Wisconsin.  The billboard appeared along US Highway 41 in Oshkosh on Thursday and reads, Impeach Obama.  The billboard contract calls for the sign to stay up though at least mid July.Last week a group of Minnesotans paid to have a billboard placed along Interstate 35 near Wyoming.It shows a smiling former President Bush and reads, Miss Me Yet?

The Case Against Tenure

February 13, 2010

Great piece from Bernie Reeves in the American Thinker on how tenure harms education.

As Ohio State University President Gordon Gee realizes in his recent call to study whether or not tenure should be modified or abolished, a guaranteed job for life for academics annoys most people. This negative feeling has been exacerbated in the last thirty years during the rise of the radical scholars in liberal arts departments in most colleges and universities. Once ensconced in their ivory towers, tenured activists are granted a free ride to propagandize students and make public pronouncements behind the skirts of the university. The Ward Churchill scandal at the University of Colorado is a sadly common example of professors politicizing and poisoning the commonweal.

But it is within academe and outside the glare of the media that radical scholars do the most damage. In case after case, qualified scholars are either refused tenure or never hired because they do not adhere to the leftist party line. At Duke in the mid-’90s, an American history professor — who served in the Army in Vietnam — assumed that his academic career was solid until the agitprop started to deny him tenure.

Radical professors set out to destroy him with innuendo, whispering that he was a chauvinist, a racist, homophobic, and imperialistic — the codewords that strike fear in university administrators. There was no proof that he deserved any of these labels, but the damage to his reputation became permanent as the drums grew louder. The professor picked up on the slander and decided to accept a position offered from the University of Kentucky to remove himself from the machinations of the Duke apparat.

Undeterred, the radical scholars intensified and transferred their campaign to Kentucky. With anonymous phone calls and unsigned letters, they mobilized their comrades in the Bluegrass State to vilify the professor. The president of the University of Kentucky capitulated, and the job offer was withdrawn. The professor finally found a position at West Point.

When radical scholars run off colleagues they don’t like, it advances their cause, but even more effective is the campaign to block potential heretics from entering the teaching ranks at all. This happened to a Harvard history genius who earned his Ph.D. at U.K.’s Cambridge University (where, by the way, there is no tenure), making him imminently qualified with enviable credentials. He applied to Georgetown and the Air Force Academy for an entrance-level teaching job, only to be told he “just wouldn’t fit in” — the euphemism adopted by the radical scholars that actually means “you are not one of us.” He now teaches at Marine University, and two schools lost the services of one of the country’s top military scholars.

Duke has allegedly weeded out some of the most pernicious of the radical scholars that infiltrated the school in the ’80s and ’90s, including the notorious radical Stanley Fish. But during the Duke lacrosse incident, a group from the remaining leftist culprits publicly attempted to destroy the reputation of the five team members by signing a newspaper ad as part of the now-discredited Group of 88 that allegedly represented the views of the Duke academic family. Thus, despite the effort at cleansing, it is clear that the school remains stuck with a phalanx of politically correct professors who hide behind tenure to affect university and public policy.

Professors are realizing the radical scholars are jeopardizing their cozy life sinecures, but it could be too late for them. The public is outraged at their antics and appalled that graduates from top-tier schools are functionally ignorant of the world around them. Instead, they have been inculcated with warmed-over anti-American and Marxist platitudes due to the intrigues of the radical — and often tenured — scholars who still hold sway in the liberal arts.

Gordon Gee’s courage to broach the subject is commendable. However, he does not mention that the concept of tenure reaches deep into the academic establishment to public school teachers. In my home state, a teacher is automatically extended tenure after only three years on the job. It is nearly impossible to remove bad teachers, and good teachers lower their standards and accommodate their often vociferous coworkers to protect themselves from attack.

It is no wonder that teacher unions have enormous sway. The mediocre gravitate to solidarity to mask their incompetence. And teacher unions are rarely interested in improving academic performance, instead focusing on legislative lobbying to increase salaries and benefits totally unrelated to educating kids.

 

Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) Says Obama “Beginning to be not believable”

February 12, 2010

Welcome to the party. 

Global Warming Update: Snow on the Ground in 49 of 57 States

February 12, 2010

Apparently this is a first, w/ Hawaii being the only holdout.  From Marc Sheppard in the American Thinker:

The storm that just dumped enough snow on the Florida Panhandle to force the closing of the University of West Florida has brought the official count of states with the white-stuff on the ground to a full 50.  

Patrick Marsh at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration told USA Today that “he’s unsure if such a weather phenomenon has ever occurred before.”  Others, including Janice Dean at Fox News, have declared the literally nation-wide measurable snow to be unprecedented.

With snowfall records being rewritten around the country (even Dallas reached a single-day record of 12.5 inches falling within 24 hours yesterday), watch for alarmists and their MSM accomplices to join the entire country in its exhaustive shoveling.

Of course, as they desperately cling to their claim that recent ferocious snowstorms somehow prove rather than refute manmade global warming, what they’ll be shoveling will be neither cold nor white.

Miss Me Yet?

February 9, 2010

Yep.

Sarah Palin’s Keynote Speech at Tea Party Convention

February 7, 2010

Andrew Breitbart Goes Off On Media at Tea Party Convention

February 6, 2010

“It’s not your business model that sucks, it’s you that sucks”.  Preach it Brother.

Liberal Bigotry on Full Display

February 6, 2010

Great read from Bob Weir in The American Thinker on several recent episodes that highlight the bigotry, and hypocrisy, of liberals.

“For an hour, I forgot that Obama was black,” said Chris Mathews, the host of MS-NBC’s “Hardball,” after he finished watching President Obama’s State of the Union address. Did Mathews mean that he’s not used to hearing from articulate blacks who sound just like educated whites?

Recently, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was quoted in the book Game Change as saying privately that Obama, as a black candidate, could be successful thanks in part to his “light-skinned” appearance and speaking patterns “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Did he mean that Obama wouldn’t have reached the White House if he was darker-skinned or spoke with the African-American vernacular English known as Ebonics?

In the same book, it was reported that Bill Clinton, when he was trying to persuade Ted Kennedy not to support Obama, remarked to the senator, “A few years ago, this guy [Obama] would have been getting us coffee.” Did he mean that Obama’s race qualified him only for menial jobs? During the 2008 campaign for president, Senator Joe Biden, referring to Senator Barack Obama, said, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” Evidently, these folks haven’t spent much time around black people. Hence, they’re shocked when they come across blacks who are physically attractive, well-spoken, well-dressed, and who bathe regularly.

View the full article here.

Nevada Mayor Slams Obama for Vegas Comment

February 3, 2010

Nevada Governor Gibbons comments on Obama’s latest slam (gaffe) of Vegas.  From LasVegasNow.com:

In a statement issued by Governor Gibbons he said he was stunned that President Obama was so thoughtless and heartless with his recent remarks about Las Vegas. Governor Gibbons said, “Doesn’t President Obama know that thousands of families in Las Vegas are suffering because of his failed economic policies?”

 Governor also said that “His comments are disgraceful and he should immediately apologize to the working families of Las Vegas.” Governor Gibbons plans to write a letter to President Obama asking him to temper his comments about Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Mayor Comments on Obama’s Latest Vegas Slam

February 3, 2010

Replying to Obama’s latest Vegas slam, Las Vegas Mayor Goodman says “When Obama comes I’ll give him the boot back to Washington”. 

Not Thinking Ahead: Minnesota’s Wind Turbines Don’t Work in the Cold

February 1, 2010