June 2010

Instapundit has a post linking to COMMENT OF THE DAY. The comment was:

A reason for the “wealth or income gap”: Smart people keep on doing things that are smart and make them money while stupid people keep on doing things that are stupid and keep them from achieving.

People who get an education, stay off of drugs, apply themselves, and save and wisely invest their earnings do a lot better than people who drop out of school, become substance abusers, and buy fancy cars and houses that they can’t afford, only to lose them.

We don’t have an income gap. We have a stupid gap. Guess which group voted for Obama.

Instapundit omitted that last sentence. Perhaps it is because so many of the people who voted for Obama were “smart”. Like Warren Buffet. Like Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Like most of Wall Street. Like a lot of “smart” people I know.

So, here’s something that needs much more explaining: why did so many “smart” people vote for Obama, donate to Obama and promote Obama when 10 minutes Googling would have revealed him as a man with no executive experience, an inconsequential legislative record, troubling associations with virulently anti-American radicals, and an utterly opaque personal history. Would any of those “smart” people have hired Obama to run a $10 trillion business based on his resume? I think not. But they were happy to make him President and their wealth helped make it happen.

The gap I want explained is the one between personal, wealth-creating smarts, such as that displayed by the founders of Google, and the stupidity of the same people in their support for Obama. The only explanation I can come up with is cupidity. Which makes poetic sense: Stupidity combined with cupidity gave us Obama, the worst President yet, not even halfway into his term.


In the Washington Post he writes:

The hubbub over Nikki Haley’s win in the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary eclipsed what for the rest of the nation could be more significant:Thurmond’s son was defeated in a run for Congress — by a black man [Tim Scott] . This is a beautiful thing, because the fall of the late segregationist’s son counters some stereotypes of the South and some of the noxious impressions Tea Party activists have made.

Dana, you do realize that Tim Scott was the Tea Partiers’ favored candidate and that he had that most potent of GOP endorsements, the nod from Sarah Palin, don’t you? The “noxious impressions Tea Party activists have made” are entirely the product of the left’s Alinsky tactics being directed at the Tea Party movement.

Oh, and then there is the deliberate conflation of the far-left La Rouche Democrats, who showed up at Tea Party events with images of President Obama defaced with a Hitler mustache, with the Tea Party. Well, these loons have a candidate, too: Democrat  Kesha Rogers is running against GOP Rep. Pete Olsonin Texas 22nd District.

There is another point to Tim Scott’s victory that Milbbank misses. Tim Scott won in a district that was majority white. Virtually all black Democrat congressmen come from heavily gerrymandered districts that are overwhelmingly black. GOP voters look at the content of their candidate’s character; Democrat voters look at the color of his skin.

Both won by huge margins in South Carolina. In a delicious slice of irony, Scott beat Strom Thurmond’s son, in a deep South state. Both were supported by the Tea Party movement. Both received endorsements from the Republican king-maker-in-chief, the former Governor of Alaska. Both won big. They all represent the new wing of the Republican party. The two largest personalties of the 2008 Presidential Campaign created this vigorous new wing; Sarah Palin by her feisty, fighting spirit, and Barack Obama by his all-out assault on American values.

Doctor Zero describes the two wings of the Republican party. His key insight is in their first two paragraphs:

There are two Republican parties, and both had a candidate on the 2008 presidential ticket.  John McCain was the candidate of the thin-blooded aristocracy, tired men who dislike certain elements of their nominal constituency far more intensely than their political opposition.  They have no strenuous objection to the premises of the Left, as could be seen from McCain’s swift acceptance of the freedom-has-failed spin pushed by the Democrats during the 2008 financial crisis.

The other Republican party is young and vital.  On the 2008 ticket, its banner was carried by Sarah Palin.  It’s the yeoman wing of the party, composed of people with middle-class backgrounds and real-world business experience.  These people are appalled at the bloated mess in Washington, and the smaller but equally fatal tumors infecting many state capitols.  They see a government speeding toward systemic collapse, its doom spelled out in the simple math of unsustainable entitlements and economy-crushing taxation.  They’re in love with the American people, a sincere passion that rings from every speech Palin delivers.  Their idealism and energy leads them to stumble occasionally, and some veteran political operatives of the old Republican gentry are eager to give them a firm shove from behind.  They correctly view the dinosaur media as an implacable opponent, and sometimes waste energy complaining about it… but the evolution of Palin’s media presence demonstrates they are learning to control the media, instead of fighting it.

Tim Scott and Nikki Haley are in the Palin wing. Moreover, they destroy the left’s attempts to demonize of the Tea Party movement as racist.

Perhaps they are putting too much emphasis on one potential point of failure, but I found the this article useful in understanding blow-out preventers and the role they played, or rather, didn’t play, in preventing the gulf oil spill.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do for these animals. From the Guardian:

To date, 1,282 seabirds have been taken from the oil, of which 725 were already dead. Forty have been cleaned and returned to the wild, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

The figures are even bleaker for sea turtles: 324 of the 387 recovered were dead. Three have been returned to the wild. All 42 of the dolphins stranded by the spill died.

“There is a lot of debate about whether these are just mercy missions,” said Elizabeth Griffin, a marine scientist at Oceana.

The scientific literature is divided. Two years after a 1990 spill in southern California, fewer than 10% of the rescued brown pelicans could be found, and none of those went on to breed, one research paper found.

Other papers pointed to a higher survival rate, and conservationists say there is an ethical obligation to try to right the damage done by the spill. “What should we do? Just let them die?” said Jay Holcomb, the director of the International Bird Research Centre, which is involved in the rescue effort.

There is an additional consideration in the case of the brown pelican. The birds were brought to the brink of extinction by the use of pesticides in the early 1960s, and were only last year removed from the endangered species list. “If you have a threatened species, every single individual in that population that is rescued and returns to breeding status is critically important,” said Doug Inkley, senior scientist at the National Wildlife Federation.

In some cases, though, the animals are beyond saving. “They are going to be so damaged and so harmed by getting into the oil that it may not be appropriate to clean and rehabilitate them,” he said.

The WSJ published an article today that is truly horrifying. To see the whole article you may need to highlight the headline, right click, and make the obvious choice. Key points:

The Belgian dredging group DEME says it has offered the U.S. specialized vessels and technology that can help clean up the spill in three to four months compared to the estimated nine months that the U.S. will need. There are only a handful of these vessels in the world, and most of them belong to Dutch and Belgian companies. So why aren’t we calling on them?

Blame it on the protectionist Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also called the Jones Act, that requires ships working in U.S. waters to be built, operated and owned by Americans. Building specialized clean-up vessels in the U.S. is too expensive because of high union labor costs, and unions don’t want ships built with foreign labor to be used in U.S. waters. To circumvent the Jones Act, clean-up crews have had to outfit American ships with skimming technology airlifted from the Netherlands. This has resulted in serious delays and greater harm to the Gulf.

Presidents can suspend the Jones Act in emergencies, as George W. Bush did after Hurricane Katrina. But the Obama Administration continues to maintain that this isn’t necessary and that there are “no pending requests” for waivers.

Obama could have suspended the Jones Act and allowed specialized foreign craft into the gulf to clean up the spill, but chose not to, because the Jones Act protects American maritime unions  from foreign competition. He sacrificed the gulf for his union buddies. What a hero!

This fits a pattern that is defining President Obama’s domestic priorities. Who was the most frequent White House Visitor? Andy Stern, most recently head of SIEU, and likely destined for greater things within the Obama administration. So what has the Obama/Stern partnership delivered for organized labor? Unbelievable power. Let us count some of the pay-offs.

The $800 billion stimulus package did nothing for private sector employment; it mostly paid off the states to retain and expand their public sector employees. The Washington Examiner is good on this:

So why the $100 billion lagniappe for government workers? In the last two election cycles, the nation’s three largest public employee unions — the National Education Association (NEA), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) — have contributed more than $12 million to political campaigns, $11,625,835 of which went to Democrats.

It’s not just that Washington’s ruling party is paying them back. They are also counting on this bailout to keep the public sector unions flush with cash so that they can prop up the Democrats through what promises to be a brutal 2010 election.

In other words, our dear leader is giving our money to public sector unions so they can afford to contribute to the reelection of our dear leader. That’s the Chicago way of doing business, which seems to be the only business Obama understands.

Obama’s bail-out of GM and Chrysler had only one purpose: to save the UAW and their members’ gold-plated pensions and healthcare benefits at our expense.  Screw the bondholders. Screw all the other car manufacturers building cars in America. Even better, go after the biggest competitor on bogus “unintended acceleration” charges.

Obama also signed an executive order to stop non-union shops bidding on Federal contracts. From the Washington Times:

Mr. Obama issued an executive order in the first weeks of his presidency that would make the requirement, known as a “project labor agreement” or PLA, the norm for all government contracts on large-scale construction jobs. The order is under review and a final rule is not expected for months, but that did not stop the Labor Department from rushing to use a PLA to build its new Job Corps Center in Manchester, N.H.

The PLA executive order replaced a Bush administration order that discouraged the use of such agreements.

It was one in a series of early policy moves by Mr. Obama that has dramatically improved the unions’ fortunes, though the president has not delivered on labor’s top legislative priority, the so-called “card-check” bill that would make it easier to organize workplaces.

But Obama’s biggest accomplishment for the union movement is Obamacare. By design, it will destroy employer provided health insurance ($8k – $12k per employee vs $2k fine -easy business decision) . It will mandate pricing and coverage that will destroy private insurers, as is already happening under Romneycare in Massachusetts. It will create an immense bureaucracy that will dwarf Britain’s National Health Service, which is the third largest employer in the world. The Teachers’ unions are the bulwarks of the Democratic party. A unionized health bureaucracy controlling one sixth of the economy would dwarf the Teacher’s unions. It would also have a more powerful voice. Teachers say, “we strike, your kids don’t go to school”. Health care unions say “we strike, you die”. Obama cares as much about our health as he cares about the gulf. He doesn’t care about either.

He wants to make the Democratic party as powerful as the Communist Party in Cuba. That’s the prize Obama is after.

The American people are slowly realizing that Obama is the biggest threat to America since the Revolution. Let’s hope enough of us aware of the threat to retake both houses in the 2010 mid-terms. In every district, in every state, we need to maximize the American vote to overcome the corrupt Obama votes.


Michael Barone covers much the same territory. I think he is becoming much more critical of the Obama administration. Bloggers can go hard from day one and take their licks. Professional journalists and columnists need to treat their subjects more delicately.

President Bush had to deal with an incompetent Democrat Governor, Kathleen Blanco, in responding to Hurricane Katrina. The LSM lambasted Bush for his failure to fly in and take personal charge within 57 hours of the hurricane hitting land.

Governor Jindal has to deal with an incompetent Democrat President, Barack Hussein Obama, in responding to the Gulf oil spill. The LSM has given Obama a pass for 57 days and has yet to notice his complete lack of executive experience.

If Sarah Palin had been in charge…

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