Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

A sour legacy

It’s slowly being undone, and not a moment too soon.

Barack Obama was inarguably the least Atlanticist president since the end of World War II. Within a year of Russia’s brazen invasion and dismemberment of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, Obama scrapped George W. Bush-era agreements to move radar and missile interceptor installations to Central Europe. In 2013, the last of America’s armored combat units left Europe, ending a 69-year footprint on the Continent. By 2014, there were just two U.S. Army brigades stationed in Europe. The folly of this demobilization became abundantly clear when Vladimir Putin became the first Russian leader since Stalin to invade and annex territory in neighboring Ukraine.

A year later, Putin intervened militarily in Syria, where U.S. forces were already operating, resulting in the most dangerous escalation of tensions between the two nuclear powers since the end of the Cold War. Putin’s move in Syria should not have come as a surprise; Barack Obama outsourced the resolution of the Syrian conflict to Moscow in 2013, if only to avoid making good on his self-set “red line” for intervention in that conflict despite the norm-shattering use of WMDs on civilians. Even Rice’s chief complaint about Trump, his failure to condemn Putin’s brazen intervention in the 2016 election, didn’t elicit a reaction from Barack Obama until the final month of his presidency.

By contrast, and to the surprise of just about everyone, the Trump administration has been tough on Russia. Trump has ordered harsh sanctions on Moscow’s Iranian allies for violating United Nations resolutions—a course the Obama administration declined to take even if it allowed Hezbollah terrorists with direct links to Putin to operate with impunity. He ordered long overdue airstrikes on Putin’s vassal regime in Syria, halting any further use of chemical weapons in the process. Trump not only declined to lift Obama-era sanctions on Moscow, as many feared he would, but expanded them. This administration closed Russian consulates and annexes in the United States. It has targeted Putin allies like Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov under the Magnitsky Act—the same act that Kremlin cutout Natalia Veselnitskaya lobbied the Trump campaign to scuttle. Trump has even gone so far as to open U.S. arms sales to Ukraine, representing a significant blow to Putin’s ambitions in Europe. It is without a doubt that Trump now has a stronger record on Russia than Barack Obama ever did. No wonder Susan Rice is so angry.

Even as early as March of 2017, it was clear that the Obama administration’s foreign-policy professionals were quite insecure about how posterity would remember their stewardship of American interests abroad. They had every reason to be.

They sure did. I said right from the beginning that Obama was going to be way more interested in completing his “fundamental transformation” of America into another staggering socialist shitrapy, and would remain relatively indifferent to foreign policy. Even so, he managed to do plenty of damage with his usual feckless, halfwitted blundering about.

Remember my rule: it’s not that he’s incompetent, it’s that he’s a moron: a vile, hubristic, America-hating douchebag whose success can only mean damage to us all. The ideology he so stubbornly, stupidly hews to has never created anything but misery, impoverishment, and destruction for those unfortunate enough to suffer under it. Even now, he’s not smart enough to see it.

Obama has a legacy all right; even after the mess made by his reign of error has been put right, that legacy will be remembered. But not in the way he hoped and expected. He’ll go down in history as one of the worst presidents the American people ever were foolish enough to elect; thankfully, he’s been succeeded by one of the best. Given the chaotic, ever-fluid nature of foreign relations, the wreckage he left there will be a lot more easily and quickly straightened out than cleaning up his domestic trainwreck will be. But I guess we earned it; we’re the ones who inflicted him on the world, after all.

On the bright side: her desperate fantasies notwithstanding, Hillary!™ will never be president. So we got that going for us, at least.

(Via Insty)

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The Great Destroyer

Has there ever been a single human being in all of history so smug and self-satisfied, with so little justification for it? Even one?

When President Obama was asked recently what he wants to be remembered for, he quickly answered that it would be as the savior of the American and global economies.

“There are things I’m proud of,” he said, citing Obamacare, then added, “Saving the world economy from a Great Depression, that was pretty good.”

Well, I suppose it would have been, if he’d actually, y’know, done it.

The American economy grew at an annualized rate of only half a percentage point in the first quarter of this year, it was announced Thursday. This is bad news for Obama’s legacy and for Hillary Clinton, running for her former boss’s third term. It is certainly a strain to see it as vindication of Obamanomics after six years of stimulus, pump-priming and stagnation.

This is the bitter fruit of creationist economics, the erroneous belief that government activity can somehow conjure new wealth and value.

Obama clings to the belief he brought with him into office, that he can legislate and regulate economic activity into existence. He promoted and signed a much-touted stimulus law that gave taxpayers’ money to items on a Democratic wish list and to well-connected businesses, while doling out microscopic tax refunds to some workers. Beyond that, Obama’s economic policy has consisted of imposing greater burdens on business in the form of labor rulings, environmental regulations, and mandates that increase the cost of job creation.

Higher minimum wages, new mandatory health costs, obligatory paid leave, and new powers for corrupt labor unions all hamper economic growth. For workers to get a larger piece of pie, the pie must grow. And right now, it is growing by only five thousandths per year.

And if that statistic is anything like the parboiled garbage we get on other economic indicators like unemployment, say, it’s nothing but a lie too.

Gee, whodathunkit? Socialism, which has failed every single one of the numerous times it’s been tried, is failing again. Turns out that if you strangle an economy with overregulation and taxes far higher than those which inspired an earlier, better generation to chuck a bunch of tea into Boston Harbor and launch a revolution, why, that economy chokes and dies. Imagine my surprise. Heinlein’s Rule One, in full dismal effect.

Obama’s self-congratulation is nothing more than the prattle of a fool–a lazy, unintelligent, petty mountebank without even a single real accomplishment to his credit. It’s to America’s eternal shame that it ever allowed itself to be hoodwinked into allowing him to occupy the Oval Office as anything other than a janitor or tour guide. We’ll all be paying for that grievous error for a long time to come.

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Oblivious irony

It burns.

Monday at the White House press briefing, press secretary Josh Earnest said the media vetting of Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson was “appropriate” and “good for our democracy.”

“This process is good for our democracy,” Earnest said to a question from ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl. “It’s not easy to run for president. It shouldn’t be. And people when they make public comments are going to have their claims scrutinized, even if they are claims about their own biography. And that is part of the process and it was difficult when those questions were raised about Sen. Obama.”

They were never raised about Ogabe. College records, medical records, Bill Ayers, Rev Wright, Moochelle’s no-show bribe of a “job,” the Annenberg Challenge, crooked real estate deals greased by Chicago-mob grifters–these and who knows how many other things have received almost no Praetorian Media scrutiny whatsoever, even to this day.

To even insinuate, much less baldly assert, that Obama had anything other than an ass-kissing free ride from a worshipful media establishment operating as the propaganda wing of the Democrat Socialist Party and determined to float him into the White House on gentle seraphim wings is absolutely laughable. To compare his kid-gloves treatment to the kind of no-lube proctoscopic exam anyone to the right of Mao must expect from them is despicable.

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How policy gets made

It’s a lot like sausage, as it turns out. Or shit.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had not been asked to sit down and he had learned early on that Obama was very sensitive about members of the military usurping his authority. The last time he did it, he had been asked if it was “a racial thing.”

Instead he remained standing while a fly slowly circled his head like an orbiting satellite.

“So we’re on for the conference,” Obama said, without taking his eyes off the iPad. His legs were curled up behind him on the sofa and his neck was craned over as if he were trying to physically project his body into the game.

It was a stance that Brighton often saw on his teenage boys.

“Completely.” Valerie Jarrett drifted in from somewhere. Brighton had gotten used to her appearing out of nowhere with the covert skills of a Special Forces team.

“I shake the Iranian guy’s hand and then I make a speech. Damn.” Obama winced as unhappy sputtering noises rose from the game. Something had gone wrong.

Valerie affectionately patted his head. “You’ll get it right next time.”

The Commander in Chief of the United States shook her hand away. “I know I’ll get it right next time,” he said, without looking up. “I don’t need you to tell me that.”

“Of course you don’t. You’re too smart for that.”

“I know I am,” he mumbled, swiping again.

General Brighton’s face paled. He had thought it was a bad idea when the White House first suggested it. Modernization was good and these were changing times, but there was too much that could go wrong. Still Valerie had insisted and she had gotten her way.

The general had served in Vietnam, but his stomach had never churned as much acid as when his boss had gotten an iPad because next to a dozen Angry Birds apps was one app defined by a bright red button labeled NUCLEAR BUTTON. One wrong tap could reduce the world to a cinder.

Obama paused with his finger in mid-air. “What about the military preparations?”

“Well we have one carrier in the region in case anything goes wrong,” General Brighton said. “We would have had two if not for the cutbacks.”

His boss frowned in that look which meant that he thought his failure to understand the answer was someone else’s fault. “Why do you need two aircraft carriers for a gay wedding? Are the two grooms going to come in on separate aircraft carriers that are going to dock together?”

“What gay wedding,” General Brighton said, and cursed inwardly a moment too late. Maybe he could have gotten the budget for the second carrier restored.

Obama sighed with patient impatience. “We talked about this. Didn’t we talk about this Valerie?”

Valerie seemed to materialize in front of Brighton out of thin air glaring angrily up at him with the air of a poodle pretending that it’s a bulldog. “Every branch of the service is supposed to hold a gay wedding. Barack thinks it’s of the highest priority.”

“My apologies, Ma’am,” General Brighton said wearily. “I thought he might have been referring to Iran.”

Valerie Jarrett’s hand slapped his face, or the air underneath it, which was as close as she could reach. “There are no military preparations for Iran. None whatsoever! This is a peace conference! Have those Jews gotten to you?”

“I’m a Lutheran,” Brighton said.

I can’t decide if it’s a parody or a dead-serious, dead-accurate insider report of an actual policy meeting. No reason it can’t be both with this klown-kar regime, I guess.

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SOTU slopjar

I almost added this on to my SOTU post yesterday as un update, but decided to hold off and give it its own space. Like I said the other day: as long as Williamson remains at NRO, then NRO will be worth a visit.

The annual State of the Union pageant is a hideous, dispiriting, ugly, monotonous, un-American, un-republican, anti-democratic, dreary, backward, monarchical, retch-inducing, depressing, shameful, crypto-imperial display of official self-aggrandizement and piteous toadying, a black Mass during which every unholy order of teacup totalitarian and cringing courtier gathers under the towering dome of a faux-Roman temple to listen to a speech with no content given by a man with no content, to rise and to be seated as is called for by the order of worship — it is a wonder they have not started genuflecting — with one wretched representative of their number squirreled away in some well-upholstered Washington hidey-hole in order to preserve the illusion that those gathered constitute a special class of humanity without whom we could not live.

It’s the most nauseating display in American public life — and I write that as someone who has just returned from a pornographers’ convention.

It’s worse than the Oscars.

And he’s just getting started. Which, after a launch like that–resembling more than anything a Top Fuel dragster blasting out of the traps, tires smoking as it thunders down the line, skittering to and fro in the lane, about half-airborne, belching fire and thunder like some ancient’s conception of the God of Death His own Self–you know it’s gonna be goooood. And it is. Kevin winds it up this way:

It’s expensive maintaining an imperial class, but money isn’t really the object here, and neither is the current occupant of the White House, unlikeable as he is. Whether it’s Barack Obama or some subsequent pathological megalomaniac, Republican or Democrat, the increasingly ceremonial and quasi-religious aspect of the presidency is unseemly. It is profane. It is unbecoming of us as a people, and it has transformed the presidency into an office that can be truly attractive only to men who are unfit to hold it.

George Washington showed the world that men do not need a king. We, his heirs, have allowed the coronation of something much worse.

We certainly have. Read all of it.

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Shrinking the smallest pResident ever

Head-shrinking, that is.

I’m going to show my readers this paragraph, than walk them through it. Background: it’s part of Robert Gates’ memoir on his time as SecDef. Specifically, Gates (with the help of the military brass) was trying to keep Afghanistan from sliding off of the beam under the new administration, and running headlong into the Obama administration’s apparent inherent inability to understand that wars are messy and not subject to control.

Oh, and the fact that the Democrats advising the President on military affairs were also, by and large, clueless idiots. But you knew that already.

…Oh, dear. This is rather exquisite narcissism, isn’t it? – And no, not self-reflection, either. The President was ‘infuriated,’ remember? That suggests that the President took the entire thing personally, in precisely the way that one should not. It’s not the military’s fault that Barack Obama was not mentally prepared to be Commander in Chief. Neither is it their fault that Obama apparently does not take constructive criticism well. Or at all. And it certainly isn’t their fault that the man thinks that the military updating their needs is somehow an indication that they dislike President Obama.

But I digress.

Anyway, here we go.

And go he does. Enjoy.

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Holy crap

I was all set to uncork a little snark on this nonsense, but Ace got in ahead of me and nailed ’em to the, uhh, cross.

WH Chief of Staff Jon Podesta: “A Cult Worthy of Jonestown” Controls the House of Representatives
Progressive Barbara Walters: “We Thought [Barack Obama] Was Going to Be…the Next Messiah”
—Ace

Wait, what? We’re the Cult?

Heh. Don’t know why it is that the Left has to elevate their “leaders” to objects of worship, but damned if they don’t do it every time. I suppose Voltaire was right when he said if God didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.

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His way or the highway

His Pluperfect Majesty speaks.

President Obama likes to invoke his predecessors in the Oval Office, as all Presidents do, but in one sense he is unlike the others: Presidents traditionally try to reach a rough domestic consensus if they are faced with going to war abroad. Mr. Obama wants to smooth everything over abroad so he can get back to his favorite pursuit of declaring war at home.

At least that’s how it’s gone the last week, as Mr. Obama all but wrapped up that ghastly business in Syria and turned his attention to the real enemy—Republicans. Backed by the good offices of Vladimir Putin and the assurances of Bashar Assad, United Nations inspectors will now remove Syria’s chemical weapons from the battlefield. Congress doesn’t even have to vote on it, and the American people can forget the recent unpleasantness. Peace in our time.

Which means it’s now safe for Mr. Obama to begin the war he really wants to fight. The President spoke Monday afternoon at the White House in remarks pegged to the fifth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the financial panic of 2008. But the financial crisis was merely an excuse for Mr. Obama’s real purpose, which was to demand unconditional surrender from his domestic opposition.

Mr. Obama did at least once or twice suggest he’s willing to compromise, sort of. He said he’ll call off his domestic strikes if Republicans agree to a framework for political and fiscal disarmament, including another tax increase on top of the one extracted as recently as January.

“As far as the budget goes,” the President warned, “it’s time for responsible Republicans who share these goals—and there are a number of folks out there who I think are decent folks, I’ve got some disagreements with them on some issues, but I think genuinely want to see the economy grow and want what’s best for the American people—it’s time for those Republicans to step up and they’ve got to decide what they want to prioritize.”

With malice for all, and charity toward none. Perhaps to honor Lincoln’s memory, Mr. Obama will suspend habeas corpus for those indecent folks who genuinely want what’s worst for Americans.

Soon enough, bub. Soon enough. But just like America itself–which was embroiled in a war with Muslim terrorists for twenty years before deigning to actually fight back, albeit even then only feebly and half-heartedly–the supposed “opposition” party refuses to notice the scrawny runt yapping at their ankles and kick him to the curb for good. Which means that he’s free to continue biting hunks out of them with perfect impunity, and that the country will continue to bleed from the wounds he’s inflicting.

Journalism 101 update! Read it, learn it, live it, lest your official Federal Journalism License be revoked and you be imprisoned for Crimes Against The State:

The Media Stylebook…
…dictates when Obama refuses to negotiate or compromise, we call that “steely,” “masterful,” and “commanding.” Possibly even “panty-dropping.”

When Republicans do it the media style guide demand it be called “hostage-taking,” “terroristic,” “partisan,” and “ideologically extreme.”

Please update your records accordingly.

Yes sir, I surely will, sir. Thank you, sir. Please, sir, I’ll just be moving along now if I may, sir. *tugs forelock, shuffles on back to J-school*

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Strong message follows

Walsh on fire:

The First Amendment specifically addresses three separate issues: freedom of religion; freedom of personal speech (spoken) and of the press (written); and free assembly. To say that it has been turned on its head by administrations both Democrat and Republican is a commonplace. Atheism has effectively been established as the new state religion; “hate speech” can land you in jail; and “free speech” zones beyond which speech is restricted or prohibited are now routine in our political life, so as not to discomfit our emperors and robed masters as they swan about. If Americans actually cared about their Constitution, there’d be a revolution.

But this is how freedom dies, one “reasonable” restriction at a time, until the whole enterprise collapses under its own artificial weight. There’s a bracing quality to the muscular prose of the Constitution, free as it is of petty legalisms and multiple subordinate clauses. A whole industry, nourished by law schools across the country, has grown up to “interpret” a document that was meant to be read and understood by every citizen, not just lawyers.

Enter the Emperor Hussein.

From the moment he invented the Office of the President-Elect, Obama signaled that his would be a different kind of presidency, one solely dedicated to him and his wishes. (Would we even have noticed if Mitt Romney had become president? He would have been the most invisible resident of the White House since Silent Cal.) America was at last to be “fundamentally transformed,” delivered from its “charter of negative liberties” and brought into the sunny uplands of the Progressive vision of My Way or the Highway. For his vice-president, Obama chose the risible plagiarist Joe Biden, perhaps (only “perhaps” because the competition is so fierce) the stupidest man in the Senate, and very likely the only fellow member who had even less intellectual firepower and record of accomplishment than Obama did.

Read it all.

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Leopard’s spots: unchanged

Great line from Jeff G:

Hey, let’s not act so surprised when would-be tyrants working on behest of a totalitarian ideology act the part. Just because Obama hasn’t grown a thick mustache and taken to wearing fatigues and speaking from balconies doesn’t mean he isn’t who he’s always been.

The rest of it is just as good.

Update! More, and very much related:

I tire of repeating this, but here it goes: it’s the political left. This is who they are. It’s what they do. They despise any real intellectual independence and religious liberty, which is why they write up and support egregious speech codes and use identity politics and its political correctness enforcement arm to “nudge” speech and thought into something that must first, in practice if not in law (yet), pass government sanction. It is why they seek tirelessly to re-imagine traditional American tropes and imbue them with new meanings, essentially preserving the labels while deconstructing and then resignifying them until they come to mean their opposites: “fairness” becomes about redistribution and equality of outcome; “tolerance” becomes about not giving offense and the “right” not to perceive any offense even where none was intended (I like to call this the READER POLL school of post-textual textualism, essentially, a motivated heckler’s veto suffused into law and culture); “liberty” becomes a product of government largess and help (“you didn’t build that!”), a product of collectivism and not of individual autonomy.

They will, as statist ideologues, always and forever pressure the Constitution, because they cannot as a political movement officially act within its constraints and remain committed to their collectivist cause. This is why they pretend to revere the Constitution when it favors them (usually through some wholly unjustifiable judicial interpretation) and in other instances insist we abandon it as old and the product of racism and antiquated notions of individual liberty and self-reliance.

People like Lerner are the mid-level officers in such a war against the Enlightenment and its flowering political achievement: a Constitution that takes the ultimate authority for granting certain rights away from men entirely, one that grants ownership of the government to a free people and one that is suspicious and hostile to entrenched ruling class ideas and attitudes, and about the centralization of governmental authority.

To achieve statist Utopia, the left must defeat our Constitution.

S’truth. And they’ve been all too successful at that–almost entirely so, in fact. Read all of this one, too.

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Sen Inouye dead; Obama hardest hit

The greatest orator in human history–the most brilliant student, the most accomplished “professor,” the most insightful author, the most effective pResident, and above all, the best darned community organizer Chicago ever had–descends from the Throne of Heaven to eulogize some guy or other. You can guess what the speech ended up being all about.

Someone needs to tell Barack Obama—it must get particularly confusing this time of year—that his own birth is not Year One, the date around which all other events are understood. His much-noted, self-referential tic was on cringe-worthy display Friday when the president gave his eulogy for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, who served in Congress for half a century representing Obama’s birth state of Hawaii.

Inouye was a Japanese-American war hero (he lost an arm in World War II, destroying his dream of becoming a surgeon), and as a senator he served on the Watergate committee, helped rewrite our intelligence charter after scandals, and was chairman of the Senate committee that investigated the Iran-Contra affair. It’s the kind of material any eulogist could use to give a moving sense of the man and his accomplishment. But President Barack Obama’s remarks at Inouye’s funeral service were a bizarre twirl around his own personal Kodak carousel.

Obama likes to see events through the lens of his own life’s chronology. Thus we learn that Inouye was elected to the Senate when Obama was 2 years old. Now you could make this relevant by describing how Inouye worked to send federal dollars (you don’t have to call it “pork” at a funeral) to transform Hawaii’s roads and schools, for example, so that the Hawaii Obama grew up in had the kind of facilities people on the mainland had long taken for granted. But no, we simply learn that Inouye was Obama’s senator until he left the state to go to college—something apparently more momentous than anything Inouye did during his decades in office.

Inouye had accomplished more before he was thirty than the useless, lazy bum currently disgracing the Oval Office ever will. It’s about time some of you left-wing dullards started paying attention–although since it’s Salon, the worshipful commenters predictably beclown themselves defending their beloved slow-witted Narcissus from the unwelcome revelation about his singular lack of humility and character, just as you’d expect.

Enjoy yet another of your ridiculously excessive “free” vacations, Barky. Don’t be in any too big a hurry about coming back, hear?

(Via Insty)

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Litany of shame

Our pal Zombie runs it all down.

Almost everyone anticipated this year’s “October Surprise” — some last-minute, unexpected, shocking scandal to rock the presidential election and derail one of the candidates. But it never appeared. In an era of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink gutterball politics, this mysterious absence of any major scandal was itself noteworthy. How could nothing have happened?

In Mitt Romney’s case, the answer is pretty obvious: He’s squeaky clean. His entire adult life has been like a boring treatise on Mormon moral rectitude. His political career has long been an open book — moderate, bipartisan, essentially uneventful. The Democrats have tried to squeeze some droplets of outrage over Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital, but those attacks came earlier in the summer and turned out to be extremely slim pickin’s. There are no skeletons in Romney’s closet, otherwise we would have heard about them.

But in Barack Obama’s case, the situation is reversed: Everything he’s ever done is scandalous. The reason there was no October Surprise for Obama is that we’re all scandaled out. Anyone’s who been paying attention since 2008 has literally been in paralytic shock every single day. We spent October 2012 exactly as we’ve spent every month of the last four years: Our jaws on the floor, aghast, stupefied, unable to breathe. Almost every single thing Obama has done since he’s been in the national spotlight could have been and should have been a career-ending October Surprise. But the mainstream media, as we all know, has devoted itself to protecting him.

Not a day has gone by since Obama took office when I didn’t learn of some fresh outrage and say Oh. My. God. But we’ve been traumatized so often that over time the scandals have all blurred together and fused into a single red-hot thought: Please let this nightmare end.

Amen to all that. Z has a list, and everyone in the country should be checkin’ it twice, just to help keep Naughty and Nice straight and ensure that each gets what’s coming to them. It really is pretty stunning to see all this malfeasance gathered together in one spot.

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Il Douche

Progressivists sure do love them some dictators. But given the history of liberal-fascism, that shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

Whoever made it, the Mussolini/Fascist/dictator vibe is undeniable. And even if you were entirely unfamiliar with the famous Mussolini scowl replicated in the 2012 campaign sign, why would any Democrat voter find this particular Obama portrait appealing or impressive? It reeks of Big Brother-ish totalitarianism all on its own, even without an historical precedent. Why depict your lovable candidate as a menacing, frowning tyrant?

Could this be the progressives’ secret love of totalitarianism peeking through once again? Many have already demonstrated the progressive/totalitarian connection. In fact, our own Ed Driscoll previously noted back in the 2008 campaign some extremely disturbing graphic parallels between Obama campaign/cult posters and those of earlier, uh, shall we say movements.

If you are a progressive reading this, you likely imagine yourself the polar opposite of the Fascists, but I ask you to stop and ponder a moment how you, your belief system and your behavior are viewed by others. When we see people demanding greater government power and expressing unquestioned devotion to a charismatic leader, we think “incipient totalitarianism.” You only exacerbate that impression by imitating the very design philosophy of previous totalitarian movements.

Are you sure you’re on the right side of history?

I’m damned sure they aren’t, deny it though they always have. The Progressivist ideology is one with the other statist blights on human history; socialism, communism, Islamism, all are at their core about rigid government control over the masses, necessarily denying them liberty and self-determination. Just because our present-day liberal fascists bleat disingenuously about their devotion to “freedom” doesn’t make it so.

As for Mussolini, their devotion to him (and Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Che, et al) is another thing they’re desperate to deny, but also an incontrovertible part of the historical record:

For example, in 1926 the famous progressive muckraker Ida Tarbell visited Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. She gushed:

“I saw that he had a most extraordinary smile, and that when he smiled he had a dimple … When Mussolini accompanied me to the door and kissed my hand in the gallant Italian fashion, I understood for the first time an unexpected phase of the man which makes him such a power in Italy.”

Another progressive journalist, Lincoln Steffens, called Mussolini “the divine Dictator.” Steffens wrote, “The man is as powerful as an elemental force.” Not to be outdone, the magazine publisher Sam McClure, who published articles by these and other progressive authors, declared that fascism was “a new and dawning civilization,” Mussolini solved “the problem of democracy,” and Italians were “the one free people.”

Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin excited progressives even more than Mussolini. An estimated 20 million citizens of the Soviet Union were killed by their own government, and Stalin was responsible for more those deaths than any other Soviet ruler. English author H.G. Wells reported that he “never met a man more candid, fair and honest…no one is afraid of him and everybody trusts him.” The English playwright George Bernard Shaw hailed Soviet prisons where victims “could stay as long as they liked.” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s ambassador to Moscow Joseph E. Davies purred that Stalin’s “eye is exceedingly wise and gentle.” One of the members of FDR’s “Brain Trust” was Rexford Guy Tugwell who became an admirer of the Soviet Union after his 1927 visit. He admitted that there was “ruthlessness, a disregard for liberties and rights,” but he insisted it was all worthwhile. Economist Stuart Chase praised communists for their “burning zeal to create a new heaven and a new earth.” Chase added, “Why should Russians have all the fun of remaking a world?”

The most famous of Stalin’s shills was New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty, the first Western reporter to interview Stalin (1930). Duranty described Stalin as “a quiet, unobtrusive man who saw much but said little.” Duranty claimed that Russian peasants welcomed the Soviet seizure of their homes, their fields, their crops and their farm animals. Duranty soared to awesome heights of duplicity when, during the early 1930s famine that killed some 6 million people in the Ukraine, he reported: “There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation.” He told a fellow journalist: “The ‘famine’ is mostly bunk.”

Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for whitewashing Stalin.

As I said above, there’s a reason for the affinity for monstrous tyrants:

The totalitarian impulses that animated both fascism and progressivism were once viewed by the Left as evidence of compassion and humanitarian concern for the welfare of the lowly. In its original sense, the word “totalitarian” did not have the negative connotations it has acquired over time. Mussolini himself coined the term to describe a society where everyone belonged, where no one was abandoned socially or economically. This ideal dovetailed neatly with the progressive (and fascist) desire to eliminate class differences among the populace. In many of his speeches, Hitler clearly stated his intent to erase all lines of division between rich and poor. Robert Ley, who headed the Nazis’ German Labor Front, boasted: “We are the first country in Europe to overcome the class struggle.”

Consistent with the totalitarian roots of fascism and progressivism alike, was the progressives’ dismissal of America’s traditional system of constitutional checks and balances as an anachronistic impediment to social progress. Progressives reasoned that such restraints on power would only slow the process by which the governing elite could implement their programs to refashion society in accordance with their own progressive vision.

The degree to which progressive and fascist values complemented and echoed one another was on clear display in the work of the progressive writer and New Republic founder Herbert Croly (1869-1930), one of the most important voices in American intellectual history and a leftist icon for more than a century. Specifically, Croly embraced economic socialism; promoted febrile nationalism; said that a “great” and heroic revolutionary leader was needed in order to restore American pride; rejected the concept of parliamentary democracy; believed that society could be guided to enlightenment by an intellectual elite – a cast of “social engineers” whose “beneficent activities” could bring about a “better future”; and rejected individualism, saying that “an individual has no meaning apart from the society in which his individuality has been formed.” All of these ideals were, by definition, both fascist and progressive.

They can squirm all they like, but there has never been a more appropriate and plainspoken appellation for them than “liberal-fascists”–a term originally coined by dedicated Progressive HG Wells to describe the movement, now despised by modern Progressivists who conveniently wish to disassociate themselves from fascism and, as Jonah G says, “projected their own sins onto conservatives, even as they continued to borrow heavily from fascist and pre-fascist thought.” The very fact that classical liberals are no longer referred to as “liberals” at all is testament enough to their success at rewriting and falsifying history.

Back then, they were a lot more honest and forthright about what they were, and about the totalitarian nature of their big plans for the little people. Otherwise, though, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Death of a salesman

Second verse, same as the first.

Energetic in body but indolent in mind, Barack Obama in his frenetic campaigning for a second term is promising to replicate his first term, although simply apologizing would be appropriate. His long campaign’s bilious tone — scurrilities about Mitt Romney as a monster of, at best, callous indifference; adolescent japes about “Romnesia” — is discordant coming from someone who has favorably compared his achievements to those of “any president” since Lincoln, with the “possible” exceptions of Lincoln, LBJ and FDR. Obama’s oceanic self-esteem — no deficit there — may explain why he seems to smolder with resentment that he must actually ask for a second term.

Two economic themes of Obama’s campaign have been that outsourcing jobs is sinful and that he saved GM, which assembles 70 percent of its vehicles on lines outside America. He thinks that ATMs and airport ticket kiosks cause unemployment but may understand that buying an iPhone involves outsourcing to China the jobs of assembling it. Although his campaign slogan is “Forward!” he evidently wants America to compete with China in the manufacture of T-shirts and toasters. His third economic theme — that he will “invest in” (spend on) this and that — has been inaudible amid the clatter of crashing companies he has invested in.

Four more years…of this? No, thanks.

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The blind leading the stupid

“Low-information voters” is just a polite way of saying dumbasses, you know.

This struck me as an example of how thoroughly liberalism has confused sneering for intellectual confidence. It shouldn’t be surprising, given that comedy shows often substitute for news programs, particularly for younger liberals. That’s probably why the president has been spending more time talking to DJs, entertainment shows, and comedians than to reporters. He desperately needs the support of low-information voters, who’ve replaced the old adage “it’s funny because it’s true” with “if it’s funny, it must be true.”

There’s another problem. What innovation does he have in mind? Many of our warplanes and nearly all of our major naval vessels are much older than the pilots and sailors flying and sailing them. It’s great to talk up the benefits of innovation, but that argument starts to sputter when you realize we are often relying on the innovation of older generations. For all his talk about the game Battleship, we haven’t built a real battleship in almost 70 years, and the Navy hasn’t had one in its arsenal for decades.

But what I find most interesting about this argument is how selective it is. For instance, defenders of Obama’s Keynesian economic policies are constantly touting the benefits of big, high-tech spending programs because of the “multiplier effect” — the increased economic activity “primed” by government spending.

Indeed, the economists who subscribe to these views tend to tout military spending as particularly good evidence in their favor. Many argue that it was the massive spending during World War II that really pulled us out of the Great Depression (a flawed theory but more credible than the New Deal itself, which mostly prolonged the Great Depression).

And yet, it seems that military spending is the only Keynesian pump-priming this president doesn’t like.

Naturally. He despises the military every bit as much as he does the nation as a whole, maybe more–and is equally ignorant about both.

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Good night, foul prince

How it all happened, why it’s all gone sour:

The President is also missing the larger import of the Register’s question. As Mr. Obama likes to remind voters now, in 2009 the economy had suffered a financial heart attack and needed to be nurtured back to health. That required careful management and attention to reviving consumer and business confidence.

Yet rather than work with both parties to fashion a growth agenda, he went all-in for a Keynesian spending blowout and subcontracted the details to House Democrats. And rather than wait to see how strongly—and even whether—the economy then recovered, he dove headlong into fighting to pass 40 years of pent-up liberal social policy.

It wasn’t merely ObamaCare. The President also tried to impose a cap-and-tax on carbon energy production, end secret ballots for unions via card check, while promising to raise taxes in 2011 until he was stopped when voters elected a GOP House in 2010.

Mr. Obama likes to say he inherited “the most severe economic emergency we’ve had since the Great Depression,” but then he claims that it didn’t matter that he staged a two-year fight to remake one-sixth of the economy and threatened to remake another four-sixths.

If recessions following financial crises really are worse than normal, as the President also told the Iowa editors, then why didn’t he take special care to postpone legislation that would add new costs to business, undermine confidence and thus weaken the recovery?

Mr. Obama didn’t really answer the Register’s question, so we will. He didn’t focus on the economy because he didn’t and still doesn’t understand how the private economy works. He doesn’t understand that incentives matter, or how government policies and regulation can sabotage growth. He really believes that government is the engine of economic prosperity.

Of course he does. There’s a shorter way of putting it that meets the case, although it’s good now and then to go over the details again: he’s a damned socialist. And to hell with everybody on our side who thinks it too impolite to say so right out loud so’s somebody might hear.

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Marvel shoulda published it

Or more aptly, DC, since they always sucked anyway.

As an artifact of the diminishment of President Barack Obama, it is hard to top his newly released pamphlet, “A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security.”

The plan purports, first, to be a plan, and second, to outline a second-term agenda distinct from his first-term agenda. It fails on both counts. It cobbles together his current policies with some ill-defined new bullet points to barely cover 20 pages largely devoted to nice pictures of the president.

Why would the president wait until 14 days before the election, after the conventions and the debates, to release his plan? And then print 3.5 million copies of it, making the plan a publishing phenomenon to rival “Dreams from My Father”?

It’s the panicked realization that his campaign’s attempted destruction of Mitt Romney hasn’t worked and isn’t enough to win. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll this week found that 62 percent of people want major changes in a prospective Obama second term. Four percent — that’s almost down to Obama administration officials and immediate family — want more of the same.

If the pamphlet works, it deserves to join the ranks of the classic picture books of all time, right up there with “Go, Dog. Go!” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” In an amusing touch, it has a table of contents — as if readers would have trouble navigating the extensive volume.

Well, hey, Obama-suckers would. It’s miraculous they can even feed themselves, or tie their own shoes, or keep from drooling on themselves without a string around their heads to tie their jaws shut.

And don’t insult “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by comparing it, even favorably, to any Obama swill, Rich. My daughter loves that one, and I wouldn’t want any positive memories tainted for her by any association, however tenuous, with the worst president in history.

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A question

So…is there ANY American institution Ogabe hasn’t expressed both contempt for and ignorance of yet?

Two weeks now. Just two more weeks before the end of this reign of error is truly in sight.

Update! Jack M: “I only know of one place in which this assertion by President Obama is true: Benghazi. We certainly didn’t have any bayonets there.” Nope. And no good old-fashioned obsolete Marines to wield ’em, either.

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The Obama agenda: more of the same

The same policies that got us into the mess in the first place, as he’s so fond of saying himself, including but not limited to these:

We can glean this much: He’d like to hire 100,000 new teachers and he wants to raise taxes on “millionaires and billionaires.” That’s a flimsy agenda for a great nation. Does it even make sense?

Let’s start with the teachers. This may be an old-fashioned idea, but shouldn’t states and localities decide how many teachers they need? Isn’t it just possible that Bangor, Me. might need fewer teachers and Yuma, Ariz. might need more?

We’ve been hiring greater numbers of teachers for decades now, casting our ballots for candidates who promise that a vote for more teachers is a vote for a better future. In the process, we dramatically reduced class sizes and boosted the power of the teachers’ unions. As education reformer Jay Greene points out, in 1970 public schools employed one teacher for every 22.3 students. By 2012, the public schools employed one teacher for every 15.2 students. Yet student achievement has remained stubbornly flat during that period. The best evidence suggests that teacher quality, not class size, is the best guarantor of student success. And those goals may be in conflict. When you hire more teachers, there’s less money available to offer higher salaries to better teachers.

So Obama’s 100,000 new teachers proposal is at once an affront to federalism, a sop to the unions, and a waste of precious resources that could be better used to actually improve public education.

The second part of the president’s plan is to force “millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share” of taxes. First: a translation. When Obama refers to millionaires and billionaires, he’s talking about those earning $200,000 per year for an individual or $250,000 per year for a couple. That’s the actual proposal. So if you are in that income group, congratulations, you’re a millionaire or billionaire!

Obama doesn’t really pretend, or not very energetically, that raising taxes on “the rich” is a deficit reduction measure. He promotes it as “fairness” and circulates the flatly outrageous fiction that the wealthy pay less than their secretaries. Romney attempted to correct this at the second debate by promising “the top 5 percent will continue to pay 60 percent of income taxes.” A nation in which the top 1 percent earns 23.5 percent of national income but pays 40 percent of income taxes is not suffering from a lack of progressivity.

In 2008, then Senator Obama told Charlie Gibson that he’d support raising the capital gains tax despite the clear evidence that reducing the rate under Clinton had led to increased revenue from the rich to the Treasury. Treasury shmeasury, he just likes to raise taxes.

Yep. He also likes to flap his gums about “cutting spending” and his “balanced approach” to deficit reduction, which he patently doesn’t give a tinker’s dam about. He’s never once proposed any significant cuts, or any real cuts at all. As always, for him it’s about telling people what he thinks they want to hear, creating a diversion so he can get on with destroying America That Was and remaking it. That’s his real agenda, but since it has so obviously failed (as it must) to produce anything resembling prosperity or even recovery, he doesn’t seem to like talking openly about it as much anymore.

Odd, that.

Update! Related, sorta, but mostly just funny:

It was arguably Ronald Reagan’s favorite joke. In one version, two kids — one an optimist, the other a pessimist — rush downstairs on Christmas morning. The pessimistic kid gets a new bike and weeps that he’ll probably break it soon. The optimistic kid is presented with an enormous pile of manure and squeals with delight: “There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”

In fact, the joke took on a life of its own in the Reagan White House. Whenever bad news came in, someone would remark, “There’s got to be a pony in there somewhere.”

Barack Obama, who always wanted to be a liberal version of Ronald Reagan, has his own version of the joke. It’s not particularly funny, alas. In Obama’s telling, the kid runs downstairs, sees a huge pile of manure and yells, “Yay! Manure! Who needs a pony!”

Jonah wades around in the excrement, and comes up with some odoriferous facts Ogabe would much rather remain buried. But then, horseshit has always been Obama’s stock in trade.

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How do you make a turtle disappear?

Dan Henninger on the un-President:

Conventional wisdom holds that Barack Obama “lost” in Denver because he lacked intensity. He brought his A-game to Hofstra this week. There’s still a problem.

That right there has to be the understatement of the year. Or century.

So came the moment late in the Hofstra debate when moderator Candy Crowley looked at Mr. Obama and asked: “Does the buck stop with your secretary of state as far as what went on here?”

Staring back, the president clutched for a second. He looked like a fourth-grader being confronted in front of the whole class by Miss Crowley of all our childhood nightmares. That moment revealed the problem: At the core of Barack Obama’s persona and his presidency is a constant instinct to deniability.

It’s not my fault. He comes across as one of those smart kids who always had some elaborate excuse to disperse responsibility for anything bad in his vicinity. And so it was in his answer to Miss Crowley: “Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job. But she works for me. I’m the president. And I’m always responsible. And that’s why nobody is more interested in…” By the end, he said it was Mitt Romney’s fault for bringing it up! In contrast, the bin Laden takedown was accompanied by a Lady Gaga-like White House P.R. blitz in the media.

In hindsight, an irony of the 2012 campaign will be that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney traded places on stepping up to the plate. A main criticism from the right of Mr. Romney had been that he was playing it too safe, saying next-to-nothing about much of anything, such as his tax returns, for fear the Obama camp or the press would criticize him. No exposure, no responsibility.

That flipped in Debate No. 1. Mitt Romney exploded out of his turtle shell—and Barack Obama disappeared into his.

And come November 6, we’re gonna throw his ass back into the pond.

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“New Obama ad: Few presidents have faced so many challenges”

And none at all have whined so incessantly and annoyingly about them. I’ll just leave off the part about how he’s failed utterly to successfully resolve any of them, and remind you that A) the ad’s assertion isn’t even remotely true, and anyone who knows anything at all about history knows it, and B) Ogabe was, is, and shall remain a sniveling little bitch.

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Wheels: coming off Part the Third

Tin god, rusting.

What strikes me about the New Yorker cover is that it not only clearly takes Obama down several pegs, but references the Eastwood moment of the RNC convention, which we were assured by our betters for several weeks was a disaster for the Romney campaign. Think about it: the New Yorker is mocking Barack Obama using an image from a gag from the Republican National Convention.

It’s a singularity of irony, they just don’t know it.

The cracks in the Acela Corridor’s Barack Protection Protocol are showing because Obama’s most compelling attribute was the belief that his intellectual prowess is unmatched by any President, perhaps any mortal. A cornerstone of their faith in him was always that Barack Obama’s intellectual firepower could be deployed at will, and destroy Mitt Romney at a time and place of the President’s choosing.

What they saw Wednesday night wasn’t the demigod they’ve protected like so many cultural Myrmidons, but a stammering, detached, utterly outclassed man hoisted on the petard of his own laziness and incuriousity. The damage to their perception of him isn’t enough to draw them to Romney, but in their post-modern, super-ironic world, the moment Obama showed weakness, he became a legitimate target.

The cover of the New Yorker — one of the tentpoles of respectable liberalism and elite opinion — is a signifier of the scope of Obama’s failure this week.

As the dozens of snarky articles, brutal editorial cartoons, late night comedy shows taking new and unaccustomed shots at Obama (I’m not counting Chris Matthews and his epic rant) build up a certain cultural momentum, the sense that Obama’s failings are suddenly funny is a deadly virus in the bloodstream of liberal opinion.

Barack Obama is a man of abundantly evident self-regard. The growing sound of mockery and derision must be painful to him, especially coming from the unexpected quarters of his erstwhile allies. Once the mockery starts, it’s hard to stop. Ask Bill Clinton.

Yeah, well, maybe in ten years Ogabe can tell a bunch of lies at the Democrat Socialist convention and make them all feel better again for a minute.

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The real Barky

Despite the best efforts of the now-weeping liberal press, he was finally right out in the open.

This was the first real debate Obama ever had with someone who dared to defend himself and to question not just Obama’s ideas, but also his dismal economic record — the worst of any president in the postwar era.

The media have instead focused on distorting Romney’s beliefs and record as a leader and successful businessman. Any wonder that Obama leads in the polls?

So the 60 million TV viewers tuning in to the debate were no doubt surprised at what they saw: A thin-skinned, ill-prepared, smirking, at times bored president, who stumbled over his own words and didn’t seem to have answers for Romney’s laserlike ripostes.

For the first time, Americans saw the real Barack Obama — not the one the media invented, elevated and subsequently protected from all scrutiny.

And who is this real Barack Obama?

A man with a murky, leftist past who never ran anything in his life, and whose lackluster state and U.S. senatorial career is characterized by “voted present.”

A man who distrusts business, the backbone of job creation, and seems to believe higher taxes and more government spending lead to greater economic growth — something no legitimate economist would agree with.

Romney took advantage of this to punch big holes in the myth of Obama as a successful president.

And in the process, just might have put the final nail in the coffin the Enemy Media’s credibility will now be buried in.

Update! Oh, fuck you, asshole. Just…fuck you. Racistracistracistracist. Fuck. You. But by all means, keep saying it. Let everybody get a good look at the disgusting true nature of modern “liberalism.”

Who would have thought that Barack Obama would come off as the candidate with a hollow core?

Anybody who’s been paying attention and has a lick of fucking sense, that’s who. Because that’s exactly what he is, and what he’s always been.

Yet there he was, giving a presentation devoid of substance, vision, principle, or even basic coherence. He didn’t show a spark of anger, even when Romney slyly found a way to call him a boy, comparing Obama’s statements to the sorts of childish lies his “five boys” used to tell.

How the right’s hard-core racists must have howled at that! Mitt, at long last, has secured his base.

Jeff has a lot more to say in response to this diseased twat, but I’m sticking with: FUCK. YOU. And the spavined nag you rode in on, too.

Updated update! Some of the usual astute analysis from Sen Blutarsky:

The upside, from Obama’s perspective, of his performance on Wednesday night, was that it kept his natural churlishness in check. He smirked, and offered other tells, but mostly you had to be looking for them in order to notice. In going after Mitt Romney aggressively, Obama risks showing Americans a side of his personality that he’d be better off hiding.

Simply put, Barack Obama is a smug prick. He is not used to being challenged, and is prone to react badly when it happens. The more effectively he conceals this, the better off he’ll be, but he is now under pressure to adopt a debate posture that risks highlighting it.

In this way, the town hall format of the second debate may work to his disadvantage. Obama may be disciplined enough to refrain from ad hominem attacks on Romney directly. But will he be able to resist inserting them into answers to the voters’ town hall questions? And once he goes on the attack, will he remain sufficiently self-disciplined to avoid revealing his inner Marxist?

In the first debate, Romney took the battle to Obama with great success. In the second debate, Romney needs to adapt to Obama’s heightened aggression and be prepared not only to parry more attacks, but to invite certain lines of attack that can be used to make Obama seem angry, extreme, or just generally less presidential.

I predict that this is just what will happen.

Seems like a pretty fair bet to me, too. I mean, what’s his alternative? To be more moderate and milquetoast-bland? To gaze even more longingly at his shoes whenever Romney calls him out on another lie? He just about has to go nasty, and that’s one thing–probably the only thing–he’s really good at. But all those nitwits out there who keep his numbers high in the “likeability” indexes (assuming they even exist–which, given the mug’s game the polls have become, is a pretty broad leap) ain’t gonna like it much.

I almost forgot to include this gem:

The Vice-Presidential debate may never take place, as the prospect of debating Paul Ryan may well cause Joe Biden to rationally decide instead to commit seppuku. And of the debate does take place, the end result is likely to be about the same as if he had: Biden’s entrails scattered across the floor.

Either way, we all win.

Been saying it for years update! The Diplomad weighs in:

President Obama got demolished by Governor Romney. He came off as an inept, ideological, lazy second-rate tenured university professor who has no need for concern about his employment.

He also came off as a coward. Yes, a coward. He is used to having others do his hit jobs for him; used to hurling insults and slanders from a distance, and then retreating behind his “charm,” smile, and silky voice. He is not used to face-to-face confrontation. He is not used to having the man he has insulted and lied about standing a few feet away. He was clearly intimidated by Romney, and let himself be dominated.

I think, my two cents, this is why he did not use the “47%” issue: he feared raising it directly with Romney and having to endure Romney’s counterattack. He is a coward. He couldn’t look Romney in the eye.

I kept wondering, what if instead of the genteel and civilized Romney standing a few feet away it had been the steely-eyed gangster Putin or the Iranian madman Ahmadinejad?

What I keep wondering, in a saddened, what-might-have-been kind of way, is what if instead of Romney it had been Gingrich? Love Gingrich or hate him, there wouldn’t have been enough of Ogabe left to bother vacuuming up. And how much more delicious would it have been to have “liberals” weeping, wailing, and gnashing their teeth because of a guy they hate as bad as they do ol’ Newt?

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