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March 30, 2011

In Libya, it may be that the enemy of our enemy is also our enemy – but the Obama administration has no clue one way or the other

Yesterday, Byron York wrote about the staggering incoherence of the decision process that led to our “kinetic military action” in Libya:

Admiral James Stavridis, commander of NATO and overall chief of U.S. and coalition forces in the Libyan war, says American intelligence agents are "examining very closely" the rebel forces for whom U.S. forces have gone to war.  So far, Stavridis says, the U.S. has discovered "flickers" of the presence of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, although Stavridis calls the opposition leadership "responsible."


Stavridis' testimony raises two questions.  One is the extent of al Qaeda and other terrorist presence; what is a flicker?  The second question is why the United States did not complete its "due diligence" before, and not after, going to war. "I don't say this critically of you, because you didn't make this decision," Inhofe said to Stavridis, "but wouldn't that have been a good idea to find out before we took the steps we are taking?"

Why are we in Libya right now?  Who are these rebels that we’re assisting?  Do we really know enough about the “opposition leadership” to conclude that they’re “responsible”?  Does the Obama administration really care if they are?  When is the last time that the U.S. took sides in a civil war, knowing little or nothing about the side we supported?

March 23, 2011

Senator Biden thinks President Obama should be impeached for going to war against Libya

Senator Joe Biden, campaigning for president in 2007, does not mince his words* regarding a president’s constitutional war powers.  He is absolutely unwavering in his insistence that if a president goes to war with a country in the absence of an imminent threat to the US – even worse, without congressional approval – this is an impeachable offense:

* (Although, it could be said that he never minces his words regarding anything.  It’s quite entertaining sometimes.)

March 22, 2011

Senator Obama opposes President Obama’s use of force in Libya

In a December 2007 interview with the Boston Globe, candidate Obama had this to say about presidents who send our military to war without first consulting Congress:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

March 16, 2011

Another grim milestone for federal spending

Total federal spending has consistently outpaced tax receipts for so long that to even raise the point tends to elicit yawns. 

However, as the Weekly Standard reports today, this year brings us to a milestone without precedent:
We have now gotten to the point — as I noted yesterday — where if national defense, interstate highways, national parks, homeland security, and all other discretionary programs somehow became absolutely free, we’d still have a budget deficit. The White House Office of Management and Budget projects that in the current fiscal year (2011), mandatory spending alone will exceed all federal receipts. So even if we didn’t spend a single cent on discretionary programs, we still wouldn’t be able to balance our budget this year — let alone pay off any of the $14 trillion in debt that we have already accumulated.

Just an Olympiad ago, in 2007, the picture was quite different. In fact, in that year, federal revenues not only exceeded mandatory spending, but they exceeded it by more than $1 trillion ($1.117 trillion, to be more exact). The next year, 2008, during which the gap fell to a still-huge $914 billion, the Bush administration released a report issuing a rather dire warning (p. 25).  The report said that, “if left unchanged, mandatory spending alone is projected to exceed total projected Government receipts in approximately 50 years.”  That dire prediction has now come true — about 50 years earlier than projected.
This bears repeating: Even if we brought discretionary spending to $0.00 this year, there still would not be enough tax receipts to fund the mandatory (in other words, entitlement, or wealth-transfer) spending programs.

This problem goes much, much deeper than the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.  As Kevin D. Williamson observed in NRO on March 14, there aren’t enough millionaires out there to balance the budget.  Even if  all of the income of “the rich” was simply confiscated, the debt would continue to grow.

The Bush administration might be forgiven for being so far off on its projection… truly, this country has never before seen anything like the profligacy of this administration and its allies in Congress.

March 11, 2011

How much more evidence do we need that belief in global warming borders on fundamentalist religion for many?

Fundamentalist Christians are often mocked for suggesting that this or that natural disaster is a sign of God’s judgment on the people living in the affected area.

As I took in the news this morning about the horrific results of the earthquake in Japan, at one point I wondered: How long before someone blames this on global warming? Not quite ready to believe that anybody would be so absurd, I dismissed the thought and went on with my day.

As it turns out, the Church of Global Warming has taught its disciples well.  The Daily Caller reports that a lot of tweets are coming up on Twitter like the following:

AliceTMBFan said “2 hours of geography earlier talking about Japan has left me thinking…maybe global warming is way more serious then we thought…”

Arbiterofwords tweeted “I’m worried that Japan earthquake, on top of other recent natural ‘disasters’, is a sign we’ve passed point of no return for climate change.”

MrVikas said “Events like the #Japan #earthquake and #tsunami MUST keep #climate change at forefront of policy thought: http://bit.ly/cZe8To #environment

Tayyclayy noted her frustration by tweeting “An earthquake with an 8.9 magnitude struck Japan.. And some say climate change isn’t real?!”

DanFranklin postulated “Never really believed all this global warming talk, but after the earthquake in NZ and today in Japan. Maybe we’ve ruined the world.”

And TeamIanHarding tweeted “While Japan witnessed an earthquake we were talking about the problems that global warming leads to in school. Think. Pray. And change.”

Back when I actively maintained my old Global Warming Heretic blog, I complained that proponents of the global warming (or climate change, if you insist) hypothesis had rigged the debate so that absolutely nothing that happened in the real world could undermine their case – whatever happened, it affirmed the hypothesis.

Is it any surprise, then, that a totally natural event – slippage along a tectonic plate boundary – is somehow confirmation of the notion that humans really ought to stop driving SUVs?

March 8, 2011

Why, despite the MSM/Dem complex’s earnest efforts, Sarah Palin remains wildly popular among conservatives

NRO reports March 7 that Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Peter Fitzgerald issued the following letter in response to the minority party senators who are currently shirking their constitutional duty by vacationing in Illinois (and occasionally lobbing demand-laden press releases across the border):
March 7, 2011
Sen. Mark Miller
Parts Unknown, IL

Dear Senator Miller,

Thank you for your hand-delivered letter with an offer to meet, in Illinois, about the business and future direction of Wisconsin.

Let’s set aside how bizarre that is for a moment.

As you know, this legislation is designed to finally balance the state budget, prevent layoffs and create jobs in the real world. There are hundreds of thousands of unemployed or underemployed Wisconsinites, and at least 1,500 more whose jobs are in the balance because of your media stunt. We all deserve better than this.

In the meantime, members of your caucus have been meeting with the governor’s staff, talking to the media, trying to find a way back to Madison, and contradicting your message in public. In case you don’t remember, you were present yourself at one of those meetings with the governor’s staff. Your grasp of reality, and control of your caucus as minority leader, continues to amaze me.

As you know, your opportunity to compromise and amend the bill was on the floor of the state Senate. As you know, you forfeited that right and opportunity when you decided to flee the state instead of doing your job.

Your stubbornness in trying to ignore the last election and protect the broken status quo is truly shameful. While we wait for you and your colleagues to finally show up, Senate Republicans continue to stand ready to do the job we were elected to do, here in Wisconsin. I hope you are enjoying your vacation, and your vacation from reality.


Scott Fitzgerald
Senate Majority Leader
CC: Governor Scott Walker
This letter is positively dripping with awesomeness.

Wisconsin Republicans are doing an awesome job of playing political hardball with their wayward colleagues.

Woefully few Republicans have the guts to do this on the national stage.  Sarah Palin is one, and I'm convinced that this accounts for a good portion of her popularity among the conservative base.

Ironically, this seems to be precisely the quality that makes establishment Republicans squirm.  Are they even capable of putting forth candidates who will refuse to let the MSM/Dem complex walk all over them?

March 4, 2011

Quick Quote: Benjamin Franklin on the War on Poverty

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

-- Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, November 1766
Read the rest here.  Franklin appears to be of the opinion that we shouldn’t allow the social “safety net” to become a hammock.

March 3, 2011

Are President Obama's opponents motivated primarily by racism?

Let's follow the logic here.

Democrats routinely accuse Obama's detractors of opposing him because he's black. 

So... Does this mean that I secretly agree with his ideology and agenda, but I'll oppose him to the point of harming myself... simply because he's black?  Seriously?

It's easy to jump to the conclusion that the Dems who make this charge are pathetically ignorant, but I really think that's not the case.  They're smart enough to know that if a conservative gets tricked into trying to defend himself against this absurd charge, he's already lost in the court of public opinion.

Conservatives need to stop trying to prove a negative.  When this slander is hurled our way, we need to laugh at our accuser, wondering aloud if he realizes how ridiculous he sounds.

Thomas More wrote that "the devil, the proud spirit, cannot endure to be mocked".  I doubt that the Dems will endure it well either.