Friday, September 11, 2009
Obama and the Left
The abrupt resignation of White House aide Van Jones, deep in the news hiatus of Labor Day weekend, will probably be forgotten in a few days. But it's a story that still deserves elaboration for what it says about the political coalition that helped to elect President Obama and whose demands are leading him into a cul-de-sac.
As a candidate, Barack Obama was at pains to offer himself as a man of moderate policies, and especially of moderate temperament. He said he would listen to both the right and left, choosing the best of each depending on "what works." He sold himself as a center-left pragmatist. When his radical associations—Reverend Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers—came to light, Candidate Obama promptly disavowed them. Now comes Mr. Jones, with a long trail of extreme comments and left-wing organizing, who nonetheless became the White House adviser for "green jobs." This weekend he too was thrown under the bus.
However, Mr. Jones wasn't some unknown crazy who insinuated himself with the Obama crowd under false pretenses. He has been a leading young light of the left-wing political movement for many years. His 2008 book—"The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems"—includes a foreword from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and was praised across the liberal establishment.
Mr. Jones was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, which was established, funded and celebrated as the new intellectual vanguard of the Democratic Party. The center's president is John Podesta, who was co-chair of Mr. Obama's transition team and thus played a major role in recommending appointees throughout the Administration. The ascent of Mr. Jones within the liberal intelligentsia shows how much the Democratic Party has moved left since its "New Democrat" triangulation of the Clinton years.
Mr. Jones's incendiary comments about Republicans and his now famous association with a statement blaming the U.S. for 9/11 had to have been known in some White House precincts. He was praised and sponsored by Valerie Jarrett, who is one of the two or three most powerful White House aides and is a long-time personal friend of the President.
Our guess is that Mr. Jones landed in the White House precisely because his job didn't require Senate confirmation, which would have subjected him to more scrutiny. This is also no doubt a reason that Mr. Obama has consolidated so much of his Administration's governing authority inside the White House under various "czars." Mr. Jones was poised to play a prominent role in disbursing tens of billions of dollars of stimulus money. It was the ideal perch from which he could keep funding the left-wing networks from which he sprang, this time with taxpayer money.
This helps explain why the political left is so upset about Mr. Jones's resignation. Listen to David Sirota, another left-wing think-tank denizen and activist, who wrote the following Sunday on the Huffington Post Web site:
"Finally, the Jones announcement will inevitably create a chilling effect on the aspirations of other movement progressives. Van is a fantastic person who has done fantastic work. He's kept his advocacy real and didn't compromise his principles. And so when he was appointed to a high-level White House job, it seemed to validate that you could, in fact, keep it real and also advance in American politics and government. That is to say, his story seemed to prove that an outsider could also succeed on the inside—and that outside advocacy doesn't automatically prohibit you from one day working on the inside."
Mr. Sirota is speaking for many on the movement left who believe they helped to elect Mr. Obama and therefore deserve seats at the inner table of power. They are increasingly frustrated because they are discovering that Mr. Obama will happily employ "movement progressives," but only so long as their real views and motivations aren't widely known or understood. How bitter it must be to discover that the Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck, who drove the debate about Mr. Jones, counts for more at this White House than Mr. Sirota.
No President is responsible for all of the views of his appointees, but the rise and fall of Mr. Jones is one more warning that Mr. Obama can't succeed on his current course of governing from the left. He is running into political trouble not because his own message is unclear, or because his opposition is better organized. Mr. Obama is falling in the polls because last year he didn't tell the American people that the "change" they were asked to believe in included trillions of dollars in new spending, deferring to the most liberal Members of Congress, a government takeover of health care, and appointees with the views of Van Jones.
The facts about a US recovery and GDP: There is much talk of a US economy with 'green shoots' apparently sprouting up everywhere, even in manufacturing where the PMI is now growing. However, it is being forgotten that though a reduction in idle capacity increases GDP it is still not growth. A genuine economic recovery must also lead to increased capital accumulation. That does not seem to be the case at present
Can a loose monetary policy generate economic growth? : So called economic growth that is a response to loose policy simply mirrors the monetary expenditure rate of growth and is not true economic growth. This means that the more money is pumped by the Fed the larger the so called economic growth rate will be. There may not be sufficient savings to support an increase in economic activity. In this situation neither loose monetary policy nor loose fiscal policy can work. Such a situation may be developing now
The recession: once again our rightwing get it wrong : Once again recession has struck and once again the economic commentariat get it wrong. Failure to grasp the root cause of the boom bust cycle means that central banks will keep on repeating the same gross monetary error while economic pundits continue to act as a cheer squad
The government's green Renewable Energy Target legislation is economic lunacy :If the government's Renewable Energy Target legislation is implemented the consequences for the economy will be severe. This nonsense is obviously the work of a bunch of economic illiterates who are in thrall to the fanatical greens
The Global Warming Scam is The Battle of our Times : Global warming is the biggest political bait-and-switch con in political history. It becomes the Trojan horse that give power-hungry politicians the excuse to massively extend the power of the state. That in doing so they would savage living standards does not bother them one iota
Kennedy and the KGB: the story the media spiked: Senator Kennedy was a vicious partisan opportunist. A man prepared to betray his country for partisan gain. In 1983 this man offered his services to Andropov, the then current dictator of the Soviet Union. Andropov was a former chief of the KGB and was instrumental in Nagy's arrest in 1956 and his murder in 1958 in the KGB's Lubyanka prison. And this is the man Kennedy admired and whose help he sought in an effort to bring down the Reagan presidency. And the treasonous mainstream media spiked the story
Honduras-Cuba: political Kerenskyism and ecclesiastic Kerenskyism : The specter of Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky seems to have recommenced to round up the Americas. Both the political and the ecclesiastic Kerenskyism are right now forming the two teeth of the same jaws used against the cause of freedom not only in Honduras and Cuba, but also in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador. And Obama is helping
What Socialism Is : Students of history insist on asking the question: How long can a society survive that rewards failure and punishes success? Unfortunately, America will get an answer to that question if Obama is allowed to continue transforming our country into his 'new and improved' idea of a socialist utopia
Post Bombshell: Conservative candidate Actually - gasp - Conservative! :Bob McDonnell is running against Creigh Deeds, a Democrat senator for Virginia. Fortunately the Washington Post (one of the Obama administration's in-house publications) has discovered that McDonnell is at the heart of one of the worst scandals in Virginia's history. Not only is McDonnell a Republican - the scroundrel is also a committed Christian
I have been rather dissatisfied with the template/theme I have been using for the Wordpress version of my EYE ON BRITAIN blog. I have however now found a template/theme that I like a little better and have applied it. It is still pretty plain but I think it makes the blog a bit easier to read and navigate. Have a look at it and see what you think. I have tried it with Firefox, IE and Google Chrome and it seems to be fine with all 3 of those. All I need now is for some Wordpress maven to tell me how to change the background colour to my preferred lemon yellow. To my mind, the mirror site is actually much prettier as it needs only html to generate its effects and I know a bit about html. Wordpress blogs for some reason ignore a lot of html, even when you set them to html. I obviously have a lot to learn.
Pentagon keeps wary watch as troops blog: "Over the course of 10 months in eastern Afghanistan, an Army specialist nicknamed Mud Puppy maintained a blog irreverently chronicling life at the front, from the terror of roadside bombs to the tyrannies of master sergeants. Matthew C. Burden is a former intelligence officer in the Army who started one of the earliest military blogs, Black Five. Often funny and always profane, the blog, Embrace the Suck (military slang for making the best of a bad situation), flies under the Army’s radar. Not officially approved, it is hidden behind a password-protected wall because the reservist does not want his superiors censoring it.”
Clairvoyant economists still pessimistic: "The Economist magazine, in a column wryly titled ‘Pangloss Revisited,’ notes that ‘The average deficit over the next decade in now expect to be 5.1% of GDP, compared with an average of 4% in the original budget,’ and that even in the last year of the forecast, 2019, the budget deficit is supposed to be 5% of GDP! Wow! As weird as that is, it gets weirder later in the article when Peter Orzag of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), whom the article called ‘Mr. Obama’s top budget man,’ has ‘tried to put a positive spin on the situation. By 2019, he argued on his blog, America’s primary deficit (the difference between revenue and spending excluding interest payments) would be only 0.6% of GDP.’ Excluding interest payments? Hahaha! Why in the hell would you exclude interest payments? Hahaha! You shake your head in amazement that this is the kind of Silly, Stupid Crap (SSC) that is everywhere these days! ‘Excluding interest payments!’ Hahahaha!”
ObamaCare’s crippling deficits: "Martin Feldstein, an economic advisor to Obama, criticized ‘ObamaCare’s Crippling Deficits’ in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, noting that ‘the higher taxes, debt payments and interest rates needed to pay for health reform mean lower living standards.’ Obama probably chose Feldstein as an adviser because of Feldstein’s support for big stimulus packages during recessions. But selecting him was politically unwise, since Feldstein has a history of candidly criticizing Presidents for allowing deficit spending…”
Marxism’s last (and first) stronghold: "Marxism, we’re often told, is dead. While Communism as a system of authoritarian power still exists in countries like China, Marxism’s contemporary hold over people’s minds, many claim, is nothing compared to its glory days between the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia in October 1917 and the Berlin Wall’s fall twenty years ago. In many respects, such observations are true. But in other senses, they are not. We need only look at Western Europe — the place where Marxist thought first emerged and took root.”
Political anger: "I am not bitter, angry, or resentful, and even if I were it wouldn’t be due to being a freedom advocate. I doubt many freedom advocates are really angry, regardless of how blunt their words may be. Yet that is how we are usually characterized by advocates of coercion. It is how they justify sending out legions of LEOs to kill us for ‘the common good’ (they are not nearly that honest about their position, of course). What the statists see as ‘anger’ is simply self-assurance and confidence.”
Republican Party of Florida purges pro-liberty members: "On Friday — timed just right to minimize news coverage — Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer and the state party Grievance Committee notified a number of party members, many of them holding elective office, that they were effectively purged from the party and had been removed from their offices and would be ineligible to hold any other party positions for periods ranging from two to four years. The targets of this purge are mostly members of the Florida chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus, a group which seeks to return the party to its core beliefs of individual liberty, limited government, and free markets.
Socialist destruction in Britain: "“Remember the days, just a decade ago, when the UK was reckoned to be the world’s 4th most competitive economy? Well, the World Economic Forum (or ‘Davos’ as it’s known, from its annual conference in the Swiss resort) had downgraded it yet again, from 12th last year to 13th now. They cite the UK’s enormous and chronic public-sector debts as just one of the many causes for Britain’s gloomy report card. As they might. International economists figure that Britain is running a ’structural’ deficit of around £100 billion. That’s nothing to do with the crunch, and the bank bailouts, and the recession — it’s the amount by which the government is spending beyond its means, year upon year upon year. And £100 bn is a big wedge of moolah.”
Obama voter Camille Paglia hearts talk radio: "But the truly transformative political energy is coming from talk radio and the Web -- both of which Democrat-sponsored proposals have threatened to stifle, in defiance of freedom of speech guarantees in the Bill of Rights. I rarely watch TV anymore except for cooking shows, history and science documentaries, old movies and football. Hence I was blissfully free from the retching overkill that followed the deaths of Michael Jackson and Ted Kennedy -- I never saw a single minute of any of it. It was on talk radio, which I have resumed monitoring around the clock because of the healthcare fiasco, that I heard the passionate voices of callers coming directly from the town hall meetings. Hence I was alerted to the depth and intensity of national sentiment long before others who were simply watching staged, manipulated TV shows. "
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 12:38 AM