Morning Briefing for March 26, 2009

MARCH 26, 2009

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1. Can we Dispense with the ‘President Obama Didn’t Use a TelePrompTer Last Night!’ Charade Already?

Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan — but we’ve known that for a while now.

2. Promoting Statism in the Name of Service

Obama’s compulsory service legislation advances

3. Democrats’ Executive Pay Sham Continues

Government needs to get out of the bailout business once and for all.

4. The True Cost of Our Rising Deficit

In addition to burdening our children and grandchildren with the debts of our poor choices, we could potentially be worsening our already fragile economy.

5. Alexandria, Virginia Can’t Handle The Truth

Jim Moran Wanted To Bring Terrorists To His District. His Constitutents Are Not Thrilled.

6. Obama’s Organizing for America targets… Evan Bayh.

No, you’re not misremembering. Bayh’s a Democrat.

7. EU: Obama has U.S. on the road to hell

“This ain’t no upwardly mobile freeway”

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1. Can we Dispense with the ‘President Obama Didn’t Use a TelePrompTer Last Night!’ Charade Already?

Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan — but we’ve known that for a while now.

Yes, he left the old familiar glass-paneled prompters that helped him recall childhood memories he said he would “never forget,” that helped him talk down to attendants at dirt-floored midwestern appearances, and that allowed him to thank himself for a St. Patrick’s Day invitation. But it wasn’t because he didn’t need them, or because he could be trusted to speak on his own to a room full of reporters and a few thousand people watching on television around the country. Rather, it was because he was upgraded to a full-size plasma screen at the back of the room from which to read his remarks.

SOURCE

2. Promoting Statism in the Name of Service

Obama’s compulsory service legislation advances

With all the focus and attention on the TARP, the so-called “stimulus” bill, the nationalization of huge chunks of our economy and the various issues economic – lost in the weeds have been a host of destructive “programs” being developed and passed by the Obama-Democrat machine.

Right now on the floor of the United States Senate is one of the most disturbing pieces of legislation I have seen in a long time. HR 1388, the “Serve America Act” is cloaked in feel-good rhetoric and supposedly noble goals, but it is nothing more than another Washington power-grab – this time targeted at non-profits and education – and ultimately at indoctrinating a whole new generation of Obamanistas into forsaking individual liberty and free will for the Statist worldview.

The bill is far too onerous to detail here – and given Republican support for it, it would seem somewhat futile. But, the legislation is far too destructive not to spend some time on, and one of the few remaining patriots in Washington – Jim DeMint (R-SC) – gave an excellent speech yesterday explaining the bill’s misguided approach and his opposition.

And here are just a few of the lowlights in the legislation:

  1. The bill will substantially increase the size and reach of an existing federal government program;
  2. The bill will burden taxpayers with more than 5 billion tax dollars at a time when we should be cutting back, not spending more;
  3. The bill will steer funding and volunteers for public service away from churches, individuals, neighbors, and others who would like to lend a helping hand and toward organizations selected by bureaucrats;
  4. The bill is full of vague language and has insufficient safeguards to prevent left-wing special interest groups from using tax dollars to advance their agenda in the name of “community service;”
  5. The bill risks politicizing charity and community service by funneling funds and volunteers toward the preferred organizations picked by ideologues;
  6. The first 25% of this bill is really education legislation, and should be in an education bill at the state level; and
  7. The bill will compound the disincentives created by new limits on federal tax deductions for charitable giving, thereby decreasing the role of families, churches and other local organizations in their communities.

When you look at the details – one realizes that it’s far worse than even that… more along the lines of full-scale indoctrination camps toward Statism. The legislation will, in many circumstances, force our children to participate in charitable activity as part of school – and that activity may well be chosen by or approved by a bureaucrat. The bill causes a federally chartered, Washington-based institution to, essentially, pick priorities and winners and losers in the charitable universe – undoubtedly putting many charities at a significant disadvantage…

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More here.

3. Democrats’ Executive Pay Sham Continues

Government needs to get out of the bailout business once and for all.

Today, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Congressional Democrats have taken their false outrage over AIG bonuses a step farther by introducing a plan to limit pay for employees who work for TARP recipients. The entire controversy over executive pay demonstrates why the government has no business interjecting itself into the private sector. Washington has gleefully jumped at the opportunity to rack up political points over an episode that involves a small fraction of the total taxpayer money wasted during the bailout spree, but unfortunately has left the larger problem unaddressed.

As political outrage over bonuses continues to spawn more bad legislation, we can see the precise folly of mixing government intervention with the free market. Washington has done enough to damage the private sector by injecting itself into businesses with no discernible exit strategy. Now, Democrats are pushing legislation that would do irreparable harm to already-struggling recovery efforts by driving away the folks who are needed to repair our financial sector. Government bailouts have led us down the path of institutionalized tyranny. And, all signs out of the White House and the Speaker’s office point to more bailouts and more wasted taxpayer money.

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4. The True Cost of Our Rising Deficit

In addition to burdening our children and grandchildren with the debts of our poor choices, we could potentially be worsening our already fragile economy.

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the President’s budget proposal for 2010 will produce a $9.3 trillion addition to our current deficit over the next ten years. As with a person or company that borrows money, the federal government must pay interest on all borrowed funds. To do this, the federal government sells U.S. Treasury bonds and bills to people, companies, even foreign countries. Because they were considered the safest product on the market- after all, what other investment could be more sound than the United States government- the bonds were sold at a very low interest rate, giving rise to a low borrowing cost. The United States would primarily sell these Treasury bonds and bills to Asian markets and countries in the Middle East, but in addition they were sold to companies and people all over the world.

As the United States deficit grows, however, our need for additional borrowed money grows. Unfortunately, our two largest customers- Asian markets and Middle Eastern countries- have also been experiencing a market decline and falling oil prices, decreasing their ability to purchase these bonds and bills. Even more importantly, as our national debt continues to grow, investors will be less enticed to purchase bonds and bills backed by a government that seems intent on wracking up debt without paying it off.

All of this leads to one clear fact: sometime shortly, we will no longer be able to continue to sell as many Treasury bonds and bills as we need to run the government.

SOURCE

5. Alexandria, Virginia Can’t Handle The Truth

Jim Moran Wanted To Bring Terrorists To His District. His Constitutents Are Not Thrilled.

Northern Virginia is pretty much the classic example of an upscale suburban area that has gone much bluer in the past 4 years, and exactly the sort of place where it has been fashionable to be horrified by the detention without trial of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay…without giving a second thought to what you would do with those detainees if you closed the place. As long as George W. Bush was president, it was safe and easy to complain about Gitmo without facing those realities.

That was then; Bush is gone now, and with his successor actually entertaining the daft notion of bringing detainees stateside for trials in our criminal justice system, an idea long championed by Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia’s 8th District (which includes Arlington and Alexandria, “the heart of Northern Virginia”) suddenly the residents of Alexandria are awakening to the problem.

SOURCE

6. Obama’s Organizing for America targets… Evan Bayh.

No, you’re not misremembering. Bayh’s a Democrat.

Fresh from their general campaign last Saturday of utterly failing to convincing Congress to do anything, Organizing for America is now engaged in regional spamming of their email lists to go after of individual legislators considered either hostile or insufficiently favorable to the President’s plan to saddle the next three generations with even more crushing, unnecessary debt. This is primarily targeting Republicans: in fact, based on admittedly extremely limited communications with other people who might get spammed, I’m concluding OFA is not generically targeting Democrats. But they did go after Evan Bayh.

Bayh, of course, is hated by progressives – it’s one of his more endearing traits, really – and he’s certainly been on the administration’s radar since he announced his so-called “Gang of Fifteen.” While supposedly there were no public problems between the White House and the centrist Democrats over this unwillingness of the latter to blindly follow the former over the cliff*, it’s not really a secret that President Obama likes to have deniable proxies do his dirty work for him. Which is probably why Bayh is scheduled to be personally targeted by Moveon.org, Campaign for America’s Future, USAction, and the rest of the usual suspects: apostasy is always the worst of sins to the True Believer.

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7. EU: Obama has U.S. on the road to hell

“This ain’t no upwardly mobile freeway”

The Telegrah reports:

Mirek Topolanek, who is running the EU presidency despite the collapse of his government in the Czech Republic on Tuesday, highlighted European splits over the fiscal stimulus plans promoted by President Obama…

Mr Topolanek warned the European Parliament that the Obama administration’s stimulus package and financial bail-out “will undermine the stability of the global financial market”.

“All of these steps, these combinations and permanency is the way to hell,” he told Euro-MPs in Strasbourg.

Obama’s supporters assured us during the presidential campaign that The One would achieve a new respect for the U.S. among the European nations. That doesn’t appear to be working out very well.

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Erick Erickson

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