Saturday, June 26, 2010
The big ego that turned a rooster into a feather duster in less than 3 years
The Federal legislators of the Australian Labor Party (Australia's major Leftist party) have just done something impossible in America: fired the head of the administration. The man fired, Kevin Rudd, was Australia's Obama in more ways than one. Congress can't fire Obama but under Australia's British ("Westminster") system such things are possible. Below are some comments about Rudd by Andrew Bolt, a prominent Australian conservative commentator. It is striking to note how typically Leftist was Rudd's psychology
Blame the early loss of his father, or just his wiring, but Rudd has had a manic need to assert himself, as if to make up for a deep insecurity. He'd do whatever was needed to win authority over others, or just praise. He'd be whatever you wanted him to be.
And so he'd tell me one pleasing thing in private, but another populist thing in public. He'd hold press conferences outside his church to impress conservatives, but visit a strip club to impress an editor. He'd talk primly to voters, but abuse a stewardess.
To win the election, he promised to be a Howard-lite, crying: "This sort of reckless spending must stop." To win applause, he embarked on the greatest spending spree we've seen.
And he had to be The Man. As chief of staff to the Queensland premier, or as prime minister visiting an office, he'd show his place in the pecking order by putting his boots on the desk or table.
None of this need matter. But Rudd gave in to the same deep insecurities in trying to run a team of ministers. He had to decide everything, so delays were endless. Most ministers other than Treasurer Wayne Swan, Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner and Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard were cut out of the loop.
Rudd chose as his most intimate advisers, mostly people barely 30, eminently bully-able, and he ordered his MPs to visit homeless shelters and report back, as if they were children doing homework.
But when he tried his hectoring on the premiers over his health "reforms", he bought a brawl. And when he repeated the dose on our biggest mining chiefs, he bought a war he could not win.
Those insecurities killed him in the end. His fatal confrontation with Gillard was prompted in part by his refusal to believe she was as loyal as she professed. To check she was not plotting, he sent a 31-year-old aide to ring his MPs, and this last insult fuelled a bushfire.
Yet Rudd could have been saved, if voters had now not seen through him. For almost three years he has had stratospheric approval ratings. He was rated highly for trustworthiness and vision, and seemed to have a plan, and to be meticulous in implementing it.
His fall started when his grandiose schemes started to fail - and none more badly that his "free insulation" disaster.
How could this man who seemed so diligent bungle one thing after another? But the public smelled fraud only when Rudd was this year forced to drop one more overblown, oversold plan - the emissions trading scheme that he'd promised to tackle, "the great moral challenge of our time". Now it seemed to many that Rudd had tricked them. He was a fake.
Even yesterday, in his moving farewell speech, Rudd showed how much of his achievements were just cardboard scenery. He listed the targets he'd set for tackling homelessness and Aboriginal poverty - targets he wasn't actually meeting. He cited his apology to the "Stolen Generations" - people no one can find. He praised his signing of the Kyoto Accord - which led to what? He mentioned his health reform - which hasn't even been settled.
But in standing there crying, Rudd showed at last the wounded man he was. He was as humble as it would have suited him to have been from the start.
SOURCE. (For comments on the new Australian Prime Minister see my AUSTRALIAN POLITICS blog)
Why Congress might like to fire Obama -- if it could
Obama's all-round failed policies are much like the all-round failed policies of Kevin Rudd
The Wall Street Journal/NBC Poll out today confirms that the nation that entertained such high hopes for Barack Obama has lost confidence in his capacity to lead. Sixty-two percent of all Americans believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction. For the first time, more Americans disapprove of Obama than approve. Fifty-seven percent would prefer someone else, rather than the member of Congress they now have.
Though green shoots have appeared in the economy, Americans no longer believe it. Only one-third thinks things will get better before they get worse again. Independents are deserting Obama. One in six Democrats now disapproves of the job he is doing.
The Obama economic program -- $800 billion in stimulus money piled on top of the Federal Reserve's doubling the money supply, giving us two straight deficits of 10 percent of gross domestic product -- has failed to ignite a robust recovery. Unemployment still hovers just below 10 percent.
The two-month-old oil spill, where BP's malfeasance was matched by government incompetence in preventing it from destroying the gulf ecology and economy from Louisiana to Florida, has cast a pall over America's spirit as wide and deep as the oil slick itself.
The war in Afghanistan is not going well, casualties are running at a nine-year high, and the country no longer wants to fight it, but to get out and come home.
Three months after Iraqi elections, there is no government in Baghdad. The August deadline for withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops will likely be missed. U.S. relations with Israel have rarely been worse.
Turkey, black-balled by the European Union, a friend and ally of 60 years, is thickening ties to Tehran and Damascus and emerging as first Muslim state of the Middle East and principal patron of the Palestinian cause.
The Russians are pushing Kyrgyzstan to force the United States out of Manas air base, a critical link in the resupply chain to Afghanistan.
Brazil is bitter that America trashed the deal it helped to negotiate to transfer half of Iran's nuclear fuel out of the country.
For the first time since the late 19th century, the United States is about to be surpassed as the world's first manufacturing power -- by China, which in Mao's time was still trying to make steel in backyard furnaces.
America is facing a crisis of confidence in government, with the nation unable to win its wars, balance its budgets, control its borders, stop the bleeding of its manufacturing base or plug a hole in the ocean floor.
By hiring General Petraeus, Barack Obama has taken just one more step toward President Bush's approach to fighting the war on terror -- along with okaying the Patriot Act, drone attacks, intercepts, military tribunals, rendition and more.
More than anything, this is turning out to be a moment of truth for the left. Will they continue to stand by Obama, suggesting that their opposition to "Bush's war" was just an unprincipled cover for their hatred for a socially conservative, Republican President? Or are their convictions about (not) fighting terrorism strong enough to compel them to speak out even against a President they once idolized?
It will be interesting to see. The fact that MoveOn.org has scrubbed their site of the attack ad they took out on Petraeus back when he was a Bush nominee isn't encouraging for those who believe in the left's purity.
I put up daily on my EYE ON BRITAIN blog examples of how badly Brits are served by their socialized medicine system. The leading posts yesterday and today are however particularly horrible and a terrible warning about what Obamacare has in store for Americans. I love children so both reports brought tears to my eyes.
There is an interesting article here which gives a very cautious introduction to a piece of research on economic illiteracy. You will see the reason for the cautious wording if you open the associated PDF and look at Table 2. You will see there that Conservatives are roughly twice as likely to understand basic economic truths as are liberals. Some of the truths are so basic and obvious to anyone capable of thought that the denial of them by liberals has to be seen as mostly defensivesness and dishonesty.
New Australian PM reassures Obama of Australia's continuing commitment to Afghan campaign: "Australia’s new prime minister said she used her first telephone conversation with President Barack Obama on Friday to assure him the country’s military commitment to Afghanistan would not change under her leadership. Some observers have speculated Prime Minister Julia Gillard may push for an early withdrawal of Australia’s 1,550 troops from Afghanistan as the war loses popularity among Australians and elections loom.”
Bush Was Right About Petraeus: "A brief smile of satisfaction may have crossed George W. Bush's face when President Barack Obama said "Get me Petraeus" to take command of the war in Afghanistan. Bush picked Gen. David Petraeus to implement and successfully carry out the troop surge in Iraq at a time when it seemed all was lost and the former president was under fire from his many critics to pull out -- including Obama who incorrectly predicted his effort would fail. Bush's name was strangely absent from nightly news reports on Obama's decision to turn to the man his predecessor had chosen to tackle an almost impossible assignment".
Rasmussen poll finds a classic Left/Right divide: "Nearly half of American Adults see the government today as a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of those rights. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Adults see the government today as a threat to rights. Thirty-seven percent (37%) hold the opposite view. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided. Most Republicans (74%) and unaffiliateds (51%) consider the government to be a threat to individual rights. Most Democrats (64%) regard the government as a protector of rights. Additionally, most Americans (52%) say it is more important for the government to protect individual rights than to promote economic growth."
There’s no level playing field nor equal opportunity: "Yet another excuse for some people to gain power over others is this idea of the level playing field. It’s a metaphor, of course, but used often to mean starting in a race with no advantages for any of the participants. Another term by which to indicate this is equal opportunity. Even those who see through the ruse of peddling equality for all people tend to cave in to this one, agreeing that at least everyone has the right to an equal opportunity. The opportunity for what is not often spelled out but it may include obtaining a job, entering a school, embarking on travel, winning a contest or whatnot. The image that’s called to mind is that when people start out to achieve some goal, none may be favored or disfavored, none may have special advantages or disadvantages, etc. But the the idea is hopeless. In no actual or even imaginable endeavor do people enjoy the level playing field or an equal opportunity.”
MA: Backers say sales tax cut to be on ballot: "Voters in November will get the chance to slash the state sales tax from 6.25 percent to 3 percent, according to advocates who say they submitted more than enough petition signatures yesterday to force the item onto the ballot. Carla Howell — chairwoman of the Alliance to Roll Back Taxes, based in Wayland — said her group submitted about 19,000 signatures to town and city clerks by yesterday’s deadline, a comfortable margin over the required 11,099 signatures. Her group put similar measures on the ballot in 2002 and 2008, but neither passed. She called the latest campaign a ‘modest start to bringing the state government in line with the level of spending that’s appropriate.’ The proposal, Howell said, would force state officials to cut spending by more than $2 billion.”
Exploited kid: "When the Fayetteville, Ark., Gay Pride Parade steps off on East Street Saturday on its way to the Wal-Mart parking lot, it will be led by a young man who has made a career out of fighting for gay rights. Make that a young boy. Will Phillips, the grand marshal, is 10 years old, and his presence has thrust Fayetteville’s Gay Pride Parade into the national spotlight. Ordinarily, the annual parade is pretty low-key, residents say. The mayor issues a proclamation, the police close a few streets and a few hundred people show up. … But the selection of young Will, who last November refused to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school to show his support for gay rights, has changed all that. This year the parade has drawn national attention, and it’s promising to tread the line between farce and confrontation.”
Attacks on the Electoral College gain momentum: "You won’t hear about it in the mainstream media, but the Electoral College is on the verge of being eliminated. One important legislative vote could occur Thursday. Two others could occur in the upcoming days and weeks. A California-based group, National Popular Vote, is lobbying hard for a dangerous piece of anti-Electoral College legislation. … Five states have already approved NPV, but now three additional states are dangerously close to joining them: Delaware, Massachusetts, and New York.”
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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 12:04 AM