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What we want to continue doing in some of these Wednesday Updates is begin to look at major events in the news in their larger historical context.... And maybe even how some things will be viewed in 50 years, 100 years or even 500 or 1000 years...
Subject: The Stimulus, Omnibus, Slush Fund, Medical Coverage,
Redistribution, Spread-the-wealth-around Budget Plans
(Wed., March 18, 2009)
(approx. 2995 words, 6 pp.)
Time to get real about getting this nation back on track,
economically and otherwise...
The Omnibus, un-necessary, Special Interest, Bill passes and is signed...
The Slush Fund II Bill is law? Exactly what Obama promised us not to sign, ever?
We need to start a new national discussion on the role and function of government...
In my opinion, it is time to get real. This crowd, this virtual mob, in Washington DC, in Congress, and in this administration is proving to be the most corrupt and incompetent bunch of so-called "public servants" in the history of the Republic, by far? This nation, as we have known and loved it, may not be able to survive its outrageous Washington special interest politics, its all-knowing Northeastern elite establishment, and its unbelievable California crazies! What a mess? Things have gone from just plain surreal in the last few years to a virtual outright nightmare for millions upon millions of Americans living in the heartland of this our great country! And the bottom does look yet in sight! Last week we got the so-called "Omnibus Bill"! What next? An eye-popping budget, no doubt?
The Omnibus Bill and its so-called "earmarks"
I am not even sure what an "earmark" is. A "pet project" for a Congressman or Senator it is said, perhaps even slush funds for Congressmen? The President got his unprecedented and outrageous Slush Fund first, and now it is Congress’s turn, apparently? However, one would hope this bill is not simply personal discretion spending for Congressmen as the President’s Stimulus Bill was for him and "Joe" in an unheard of manner, previously at least! In truth, this Omnibus Bill may or may not be all bad, but whether it is or it isn’t, the President promised before the nation on a virtual stack of Bibles not to sign any such bill without going through it line by line to eliminate such things called "earmarks."
Conservatives said there were 9000 such things in this Omnibus (Stimulus II, Earmark, Slush Fund) Bill. I do not know, myself. All I know is what I read in the newspapers. Liberals said there were only four or five thousand ‘earmarks," whatever they are! The problem here is the President has not been on the up and up with us whether a mere 5000 times (as his supporters say) or 9000 times (as some of his political adversaries say). He simply was not true to what he had promised the nation on this matter (let alone numerous others?). I am not sure so-called "earmarks" are all bad, myself, but that is not the point here. This is a matter of personal credibility and perhaps even "the content of his character," as the late Dr. Martin Luther King would say!
A certain end to Presidential credibility here? And an ultimate undoing?
In my opinion, the President is not the problem here nor even the so-called earmarks, themselves, but rather we have, as a nation, lost good faith politics, generally, and the President is just a prime example. Today, virtually all politicians say virtually anything to get elected these days, even say the exact opposite of what they have full intention of doing.
The President’s real problem may be that a "community organizer" can say or do just about anything because nobody really knows or cares what he does as long as it is not illegal, but it is a mistake, in my opinion, to assume that no one is paying any attention to what you are saying or doing as President of the United States, no less. This will probably be his undoing? I would bet a dollar to a nickel that W Bush tried to warn Obama about this, but the advice, if given, was clearly not heeded?
Redistribution and spreading-the-money-around can be appropriate at times...
I, personally, am not against all redistribution, in theory, but you cannot base a society or economy on it because it is utopian, and, further, it tends to be self-serving to those in power. This means President Obama’s past is actually more "radical" than "liberal," as such. There is a difference. For example, for better or worse, Jimmy Carter was a Liberal, not a radical, and I do not think even Clinton was a "radical," though he was far more liberal than Carter. In truth, Clinton was mostly a smooth talking good ole boy, who liked the girls, but was smart as a whip, no doubt!
However, Miss Hillary is a "radical," I would say, as is the current President is; so this makes Bill Clinton something of a transitional figure between Carter and Obama in the Democrat Party’s downhill slide? To his credit Obama not only kept Ms Hillary out of the White House, but got her out of the country, at least most of the time! Again, for this the nation will always be indebted to him. A very able politician the President is proving to be? (Not enough room in town for the both of them?)
Still, I do not think this Presidency is going well...
The President says he does not have time for the economy and, hence, the average citizen because he is too busy ignoring international relations with the British and re-distributing wealth, he says. In my opinion, as a utopian (a so-called "utopianist"), the President simply does not understand if there is no healthy economy, there is no wealth being created to "spread around"! But it is good to know he is busy doing something! So, busy and exhausted he says he can hardly get through the day! It might be medical? Might want to see a doctor? Probably he has a pretty good government healthcare plan as President?
In truth, I think the President will pretty much get anything he wants until moderate Democrats start getting cold feet, if nothing else when they start thinking about their own re-election chances in 2010? Still, big problems are starting to emerge already...
The "moderate" Warren Buffet is swept aside...
There is actually genuine debate within the conservative community, if not within the liberal community! I think losing Warren Buffet was a major political loss for the President, but Rush disagrees; he thinks it was no big deal, but it is a big deal because the President, by his seemingly reckless actions, has lost his credibility in the eyes of his biggest, most famous and influential supporter. It also took courage for Warren Buffet to say he thinks Obama is leading us over or "off the cliff" with the economy.
None of this is a good thing for a "politician," but I think President Obama does not care he has lost Buffet’s economic endorsement because President Obama thinks his reckless, even corrupt actions will secure political power for himself and the Democrats in perpetuity, and at this point with or without the venerable Mr. Buffet. ("Thanks, sucker"?) This is classic radical/ revolutionary politics to turn on the moderates who helped put you in power. Who knows who the good old "moderate" Mensheviks were? Very few people I would bet, but I’ll bet another dollar to a nickel our "community organizer" President does. It seems to be that Mr. Buffet can read financial statements quite well but not so much political statements, and he was quite surprised by all of this stuff? But Buffet’s "gone" nonetheless?
However, the Buffet Problem is not small in the long run?
As a practical matter losing Warren Buffet may not make much difference at this time, but down the road it may be a very big deal? In the end, The Stimulus Bill, the Mortgage Bill, the Omnibus Bill, and the soon coming eye-popping Budget are one and the same for the President and the Democrats in my opinion, that is, ill-advised and won’t work, and will probably make most matters worse? Almost all of these bills are designed to redistribute some wealth (not necessarily always a bad thing), build a political machine of unprecedented historical proportions, and to stimulate the economy.
Without question, Obama will definitely build his national political machine, I think, (Chicago-style), but he may not succeed in restoring the economy of private enterprise, and when the (Democrat) Spending Party is over, the nation may just be left with one giant headache, which is of course somewhat typical of how many parties of excess end? The President seems to be seeking absolute power and utopia at the same time, maybe he will pull it off, maybe he won’t?
The gamble of reckless bleeding?
The reason why I think Obama will fail is because he says he thinks if you give poor people enough money to spend in general and on "education" and healthcare in particular, this money will flow into the private sector and jump start the economy and end poverty in America at the same time. I personally think there is some truth to this idea, but in the end poverty is often as much a life-style problem as it is anything, and he is not addressing this problem at all, and in fact he is "rewarding" not just immoral behavior but even illegal behavior in real estate speculation and so forth in order to build his political machine while re-distributing wealth. The people getting mortgage money are said to be the very ones President Obama said would not get money! That is, those who cheated!? (Another lie?)
All of this seems to me to be a reckless gamble with the nation’s well-being, but maybe he will pull it off. However, to be honest I must say I do not see this leading to a utopia in America in 6 years, let alone in a mere 6 months, as he has promised. I like to call this "fuzzy thinking," at best. In any case, once his massive spending bills are passed to "fix" things, it is then his and the Democrats’ economy. One commentator has likened Obama’s economic massive spending plans to the old medical practice of bleeding patients who were sick. When one bleeding did not do the trick in getting a sick person well, they would do another, and when that bleeding did not make the person well, they would do yet another, and then the patient would die, of course. In the end the supposed "cure" was obviously, or at least probably, the cause of his death.
"What’s a fishing pole?" "Beats me."
Let me make this very simple! This may all be a matter of the old adage "Give a man a fish, and you have fed him for a day, teach him to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime." Obama is handing out fish, and lots of them, but in the end it will probably not solve the poverty problem? And, further, unfortunately, our wonderful education system is not teaching people moral virtue nor to fish these days and has not been for some time now? Big mess?
And further, historically, "community organizers" do not believe in the fishing thing anyway but simply seizing power and wealth as the means to improving people’s lives. Again, maybe it will work, maybe it won’t, we’ll see? Again, the clock is ticking on the increasingly infamous "Mere 5 or 6 Hour, Closed-door, After mid-night Stimulus Plan" which barely got a Republican vote! Talk about open and bipartisan and serious consideration! That is "hope and change" we can believe in? Maybe, for some? But for some reason it seems to me to be more like old-fashioned power politics and even bad faith, utopian nonsense?
Also, possible Sticker Shock of another sort?
I may be all wrong here, but it seems to me there may be not only the sticker shock of all these various bills Obama and the Democrats are passing including the coming budget, but there may be a sticker shock of another sort, namely, massively falling tax revenues in our current recession, even depression. Maybe taxes will hold their own, maybe not, we’ll see? Still, even utopias need revenues? I have some money in my old Monopoly game, if the President and Democrats think it would be helpful. You never know? Stranger things have happened?
On these matters, I think Mr. Buffet is, again, correct! We should look on this current economic crisis as a "war" which we all need to get behind to "win"! Exactly what the President is not doing with his excessively partisan "solutions"! My recommendation on this from the very beginning was the same as Mr. Buffet’s, but the President and the Democrats did not heed my advice then, and now it is probably too late to take the similar advice from Mr. Buffet? We need to all work together as a nation! We all need to do our part in this "war"! All of us! That is, unless "we" are part of the well-oiled Obama/ Democrat political machine, of course, and then one just "takes" and does not "give"? (That is the whole point of all political machines, more or less, is it not? This isn’t going to end well for Obama and the Democrats, and I fear even for the nation.)
Also, one International scandal after another?
If domestic issues are a mess these days (poor "Joe" is stuck up a creek, he says anyway), international ones are often said to be even worse, if that is possible! All I know is what I read in the newspapers. Abroad it is said Ms. Hillary makes one gaffe after another, but in the end, out of sight, out of mind, at least for us here in America. Thank you, Mr. President. ("Take my Secretary of State, please!") However, it is said (and I honestly do not know) that the snub of British Prime Minster Gordon Brown was major in denying him a joint press conference and was virtually unprecedented in terms of violating diplomatic protocol with our closest ally.
I personally have no idea because I do not know one protocol from another, but assuming it is a significant violation of protocol, this is a big goof up, of the first order in my opinion. Different press accounts have emerged, and it is hard to sort through them all. The latest is the President is suffering from exhaustion. That does not seem likely to me, but maybe he is. Another speculation is the President did not feel ready to step on to the world stage, especially without a script, so to speak. That could be the case. Some others think Obama and his staff were afraid Brown would upstage him. That is also possible, but I think not likely. However, initial reports said something else entirely...
No "special relationship"?
Initial reports were that the Obama administration does not feel America has any "special relationship" with Great Britain and that their Prime Minister should be treated like the leader of any of the other of 170 something countries of the world. If this is true, which I suspect it might be, it strikes me as a possible international gaffe of the highest order, Mr. President. How many tens of thousands of young British men have died standing shoulder to shoulder with tens of thousands of American young men so you could have an Oval Office to sit in?
I do not know what they are teaching at Harvard these days but there were actually 2 world wars in the 20th century, and America and Great Britain united to save the world twice and make it "safe for democracy," to quote a guy named Wilson, a former President, you might not have heard of either? If there was a serious breach of protocol here it makes not only America but you personally look like an ingrate. This is not good, and this is at best. At worst, it makes you look like you personally have "issues" and "racial issues" in particular (with just another "white boy"), and, in my opinion, this is something you must avoid like the plague if you are to have even a slim chance of having a successful presidency. What’s the story with your staff? Fire them all?
Bottom-line: Time for another "Saturday Night Massacre"?
It was widely reported in the news yesterday that one Senator has even suggested that the President and Congress should either resign at this time or commit suicide! Can you imagine such a thing! I, personally, do not think it is that bad yet, but things are not going well, all agree? Mr. President, call me "John Dean"! You have some people on your staff who are not doing you any good, and are giving you unbelievably bad advice! Mr. President, please, take a lesson from Richard Nixon! Time for another "Saturday Night Massacre"! Get rid of all of them! Bring in some pros! And bring in a chief of staff who is non-partisan and experienced and can pull your administration team together and unite the country in common purpose!
I say, bring in a David Gergen or a Howard Baker or a Karl Rove, someone all Americans know, love, and admire. Those are my 3 recommendations! Any one of these 3 as your chief of staff would serve you and your administration well, I think, and more importantly serve this nation well, in this our darkest hour, that you say you are not having time to deal with as you need to... I think, because of the knuckleheads around you! It may or may not be too late to save this Presidency, but it seems to me if there is to be any such "hope" you need to act decisively now to make this "change"! (Maybe even call a national press conference, as Mr. Nixon did, accept responsibility, and apologize to the nation? It is not too late?)