Reminder to the ‘Civility Police’: Reagan Savaged Carter and the Democrats With the Truth

The Carter record is a litany of despair, of broken promises, of sacred trusts abandoned and forgotten. Eight million — eight million out of work. Inflation running at 18 percent in the first quarter of this year. Black unemployment at 14 percent, higher than any single year since the government began keeping separate statistics. Four straight major deficits run up by Carter and his friends in Congress. The highest interest rates since the Civil War, reaching at times close to 20 percent, lately they’re down to more than 11 percent but now they’ve begun to go up again. Productivity falling for six straight quarters among the most productive people in the world.

Through his inflation he has raised taxes on the American people by 30 percent, while their real income has risen only 20 percent. The Lady standing there in the harbor has never betrayed us once. But this Administration in Washington has betrayed the working men and women of this country.

The President promised that he would not increase taxes for the low and middle-income people, the workers of America. Then he imposed on American families the largest single tax increase in our nation’s history. His answer to all this misery? He tries to tell us that we’re “only” in a recession, not a depression, as if definitions, words, relieve our suffering.

Let it show on the record that when the American people cried out for economic help, Jimmy Carter took refuge behind a dictionary. Well if it’s a definition — if it’s a definition he wants, I’ll give him one.  A recession is when your neighbor loses his job.  A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/ronaldreaganlibertypark.htm

Niall Ferguson: Decline of the USA and the Rise of Asian Economies

Ferguson: Chinese economic growth has been almost 10% but more importantly China’s consumer growth has been even higher.

[Editor’s Note – America’s “recovery” if that is what you want to call it is not consumer friendly, it is not investor friendly, it is not production friendly which means it is just not business friendly unless of course that business is well-connected to government, but even that is not a guarantee when one looks at Solyndra and these other “green jobs” boondoggles that have proved to be a colossal waste of money with the only people who benefitted were those who were politically connected who paid themselves ridiculously.

China and even Canada’s recovery has been more consumer and risk taker friendly. China has no capital gains tax and they are still bringing in revenue in a big way which is another indicator of the utter brokenness of our gargantuan tax code.

I disagree with Ferguson that we need to weaken our dollar even further, quite frankly enough is enough.  We have weakened it plenty and we have not seen the desired/theoretical increase in manufacturing exports. Why? Confidence in America, its leadership, and as a place to do business cannot recover while we are trashing the dollar. Of course this interview was done in June 2010 so perhaps Ferguson has moderated his view on this by now. There are other reasons the consumer and the risk taker have lost confidence besides the deliberate trashing of the dollar, but it is a significant reason nonetheless.

Ferguson correctly states that what is bigger than our current economic problem is the lack of those in power to deal with our unsustainable fiscal path. The Paul Krugman/leftist idea of trillion dollar deficits for the next 70 years is ridiculous because those who by our bonds will just stop loaning us the money. The TEA Party zeal to tackle this problem combined with the genius of those like Paul Ryan/Mitch Daniels/Herman Cain etc may yet save America.]

Niall Ferguson speaks out on Paul Ryan, Paul Krugman, and America’s debt

Pardon the dopey 15 second introduction before the substance of the video begins (we didn’t edit this piece), but watch this video.

The Chinese have noticed what the rest of the worlds investors pretend not to see: The United States is on a completely unsustainable fiscal course with no apparent political means of self correction…

Prof Niall Ferguson: Paul Krugman is a joke, Keynesianism is dead, China is more capitalist than we are, get the debt under control or Western Civilization is done for…

Have you ever heard one of those sports guys on the radio who can tell you the stats of every football and baseball game since 1940 right off the top of their head? Prof. Niall Ferguson is like that, but with history and the history of economics. Prof Niall Ferguson is accepted by many academics as the most brilliant historian alive and judging by all I have seen in recent years I have only seen one man in my lifetime who is in the same ballpark as far as ability in this area is concerned. Take a look at his bio HERE.

Ferguson said in another interview that only one time in history has a major power emerged from this kind of debt and survived and that was England after the wars of the 1800’s. It doesn’t look good unless we change course now.

The volume is low on some of the videos so you may have to adjust your speaker volume.

Michelle Rhee: Some schools got their funding doubled and scores still went down…

For those of you who do not know Michelle Rhee, she is one of the stars from the hit film “Waiting for Superman”. The film is a brilliant documentary about people who made a difference or who tried to make a difference in public schools. Rhee was the Washington D.C. Schools Chancellor. While she was able to make positive changes, the key aspects of her reform plan were stopped by the teachers union who is desperate to maintain the failing status quo [if you think that what I just said is even a MILD exaggeration please consider this your personal invitation to demonstrate otherwise in the comments below – Editor].

Sarah Palin: What We Were Saying One Year Ago About Obama’s Failed Energy Policy

Related – The latest lie from the left: Two-thirds of oil and gas leases in Gulf inactive

[Sarah Palin from April 2011. Those who say that Sarah is dumb or parrot other such elite media smears just didn’t do their homework – Editor]

It’s unbelievable (literally) the rhetoric coming from President Obama today. This is coming from he who is manipulating the U.S. energy supply. President Obama is once again giving lip service to a “new energy proposal”; but let’s remember the last time he trotted out a “new energy proposal” – nearly a year ago to the day. The main difference is today we have $4 a gallon gas in some places in the country. This is no accident. This administration is not a passive observer to the trends that have inflated oil prices to dangerous levels. His war on domestic oil and gas exploration and production has caused us pain at the pump, endangered our already sluggish economic recovery, and threatened our national security. Through a process of what candidate Obama once called “gradual adjustment,” American consumers have seen prices at the pump rise 67 percent since he took office. Meanwhile, the vast undeveloped reserves that could help to keep prices at the pump affordable remain locked up because of President Obama’s deliberate unwillingness to drill here and drill now. We’re subsidizing offshore drilling in Brazil and purchasing energy from them, instead of drilling ourselves and keeping those dollars circulating in our own economy to generate jobs here. The President said today, “There are no quick fixes.” He’s been in office for nearly three years now, and he’s about to launch his $1 billion re-election campaign. When can we expect any “fixes” from him? How high does the price of energy have to go?

So, here’s a little flashback to what I wrote on March 31, 2010, at National Review Online’s The Corner:

Many Americans fear that President Obama’s new energy proposal is once again “all talk and no real action,” this time in an effort to shore up fading support for the Democrats’ job-killing cap-and-trade (a.k.a. cap-and-tax) proposals. Behind the rhetoric lie new drilling bans and leasing delays; soon to follow are burdensome new environmental regulations.  Instead of “drill, baby, drill,” the more you look into this the more you realize it’s “stall, baby, stall.”

Today the president said he’ll “consider potential areas for development in the mid and south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, while studying and protecting sensitive areas in the Arctic.” As the former governor of one of America’s largest energy-producing states, a state oil and gas commissioner, and chair of the nation’s Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, I’ve seen plenty of such studies. What we need is action — action that results in the job growth and revenue that a robust drilling policy could provide.  And let’s not forget that while Interior Department bureaucrats continue to hold up actual offshore drilling from taking place, Russia is moving full steam ahead on Arctic drilling, and China, Russia, and Venezuela are buying leases off the coast of Cuba.

As an Alaskan, I’m especially disheartened by the new ban on drilling in parts of the 49th state and the cancellation of lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. These areas contain rich oil and gas reserves whose development is key to our country’s energy security. As I told Secretary Salazar last April, “Arctic exploration and development is a slow, demanding process. Delays or major restrictions in accessing these resources for environmentally responsible development are not in the national interest or the interests of the State of Alaska.”

Since I wrote the above, we have even more evidence of the President’s anti-drilling agenda. We have the moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico as well as the de-facto moratorium in the Arctic. We have his 2012 budget that proposes to eliminate several vital oil and natural gas production tax incentives. We have his anti-drilling regulatory policies that have stymied responsible development. And the list goes on. The President says that we can’t “drill” our way out of the problem. But we can’t drive our cars on solar shingles either. We have to live in the real world where we must continue to develop the conventional resources that we actually use right now to fuel our economy as we continue to look for a renewable source of energy. If we are looking for an affordable, environmentally friendly, and abundant domestic source of energy, why not turn to our own domestic supply of natural gas? Whether we use it to power natural-gas cars or to run natural-gas power plants that charge electric cars, natural gas is an ideal “bridge fuel” to a future when more renewable sources are available, affordable, and economically viable on their own. It’s a lot more viable than subsidizing boondoggles like these inefficient electric cars that no one wants. I’m all for electric cars if you can develop one I can actually use in Alaska, where you can drive hundreds of miles without seeing many people, let alone many electrical sockets. But these electric and hybrid cars are not a quick fix because we still need an energy source to power them. That’s why I like natural gas, but we still have to drill for natural gas, and this administration doesn’t like drilling or apparently the jobs that come with responsible oil and natural gas development. They don’t have a coherent energy policy. They have piecemeal ideas for subsidizing impractical pet “green” projects.

I have always been in favor of an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy independence, but “all-of-the-above” means conventional resource development too.  It means a coherent, practical, and forward-looking energy policy. I wish the President would understand this. The good news is there is nothing wrong with America’s energy policy that another good old-fashion election can’t solve. 2012 is just around the corner.

– Sarah Palin

The latest lie from the left: Two-thirds of oil and gas leases in Gulf inactive

The talking point: What do you mean drill for more oil, the oil companies do not want to drill for more oil, they bought the leases and just let them sit there so we will pay Brazil to look for oil there.  [Oh by the way who has a money stake in Petro-Brazil? Obama money man and buddy George Soros – Editor]

That entire narrative is a complete scam as you will soon see.

AP:

WASHINGTON – An Interior Department report to be released Tuesday says more than two-thirds of offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico are sitting idle.

According to the report, obtained by The Associated Press, those inactive swaths of the Gulf could potentially hold more than 11 billion barrels of oil and 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The report also shows that 45 percent of all onshore oil and gas leases are inactive.

President Barack Obama ordered the Interior Department review earlier this month amid pressure to curb rising gas prices. The White House says Obama will address his plans for the country’s energy security during a speech in Washington Wednesday.

The first problem is that the permitting process to actually get the permits to drill on the lease take years.The government puts years worth of roadblocks in the permitting process, this complicated by the fact that in each stage of the permitting process that gets approved by the federal government, eco-extremist groups sue to stop it.

Obama instituted an offshore drilling ban as was widely reported. The ban was illegal and a federal judge ordered him to stop. Obama ignored the court order. Then look at what Obama did to the regulations to have a de facto ban anyways. The film below explains how they did it. It will infuriate you.

So here is the situation, the government charges money for the lease and then works with anti-capitalist and eco-extremist groups to prevent that lease from ever getting the permits.

Related:

Obama pushed Brazil to drill more, promises aid to Brazil to help drill. While at home imposes drilling ban.

Obama Administration Held in Contempt for Violating Court Order

API: Recent Studies Show Obama Drilling Moratorium Will Cost 50,000 Jobs; 160,000 by 2032.

Heritage: Anti-Drilling Policies Costing Federal Government Billions in Lost Revenue

Now Russia, along with Mexico, Spain, Cuba, and China are building oil wells just miles off our shores while Obama keeps Americans out. UPDATE – Steve Forbes: Obama repeating Carter’s mistakes.

If You Ever Needed Proof that Democrats Want Higher Gas Prices…

UPDATE

Sarah Palin (from April 2011): What We Were Saying One Year Ago About Obama’s Failed Energy Policy

UPDATE II – Dick Morris:Obama has zeroed out new drilling permits. The few that are starting now are left over from permits that were approved from the Bush Administration

Gov. Rick Perry on the stream of lies from the Obama Administration. Withholding disaster funds for political reasons.

Talk about a slow response to Katrina, how about no response because you are a Republican.

White House: Gov. Perry disrespected us because he would not greet us when the President flew in.

The Facts: Obama flew into El Paso, a two-hour flight for Gov. Perry and yet just a few hours later Obama was to be in Austin, where Gov. Perry was, for two fund-raisers. “We offered to meet the President here in Austin” says Gov. Perry. President Obama refused to meet with him.

White House: Border counties are safer than ever.

The Facts: The White House bases that number on the number of illegal immigration apprehensions. The apprehensions are down because the economy in the USA is bad and fewer people are coming across, but the drug cartels and border violence are up and some parts of the border have been ceded to the drug cartels and are not under our control.

White House: Gov. Perry is not telling the truth about the fires as the federal government is paying 75% of the bill.

The Facts: The Federal Government is helping with 25 fires out of 9000. [Editor’s Note – By the way, wild fires would not be so bad if the federal government did not have restrictions on forest management such as cutting fire breaks and cleaning underbrush.]

UPDATE – If you want to see the depth of President Obama’s border security lie, the Federal Government through the BLM is posting these signs in Arizona just south of Interstate 8. This is not just on the border as Interstate 8 is THREE COUNTIES inland.

If the border is safer than ever, why are these signs needed now and say not when Reagan was in office or even Clinton?

The Arizona TEA Party recently posted this message on one of their web sites:

“Sheriff Dever’s Dept. (Cochise County) and also the Pinal County Sheriff’s Depts (Sheriff Paul Babeu) which are the two counties that are directly on the AZ/Mexican border, are now being sued by Obama and Eric Holder to prevent them from enforcing immigration laws? Mark, this situation has become extremely dangerous now. Not only are thousands of illegal Mexican immigrants crossing our border daily, we have thousands of OTM’s (Other Than Mexican….a-hem, middle-easterners).  Obama and Holder want to stop these Sheriff Depts from apprehending them, and handing them over to ICE for deportation.”

ABC’s Jake Tapper makes a few observations about the president’s border speech. He quotes the increase in border agents from the early Bush Administration, counting the increases authorized by the former president as his own. In short putting up a light fence on a few hundred miles of border when that border is thousands of miles long is hardly securing it, and neither is adding 3000 border agents which is an ounce in the bucket. Obama has hardly secured the border and in fact files harassment suits against local law enforcement to stop serious enforcement of it.

Veronique de Rugy: The Alternative Minimum Tax Targets the Productive Middle Class, Not the Rich

The taxes Democrats propose to “soak the rich” always seem to miss those who they demagogue for not paying their fair share. They have been “soaking the rich” for decades and keep missing the target. Why?

Veronique de Rugy is one of the most respected economists alive today.

Political Arena Editor Chuck Norton comments from June 2011:

[Note – some people who are just reading the first few paragraphs are assuming that we are endorsing any form of class warfare, actually it is quite the opposite. Class Warfare is foolish because it not only causes wealth to flee, but it eventually destroys wealth. The opposite of poverty is wealth. One cannot be against poverty and against wealth at the same time as it is as perfect an economic paradox as is possible. Class warfare spreads poverty and that is what it is designed to do, because a prospering middle class whose wealth is growing doesn’t a host of government dependence programs.]

UPDATE  10-10-2002 – I have repeatedly talked about “Consolidation” as Obama’s economic theory. Dick Morris is on Sean Hannity right now saying that Obama wants to have one big union, one big corporation in each industry, along with one big government. He is describing Obama’s merging of Corporatism and Socialism. “The left voted for socialism and got Goldman Sachs”. Anyone mind of I just gloat for a minute 🙂 I started saying this over a year ago on my old college blog. We try to always bring you the cutting edge. ]

This came as absolutely no surprise to me. As with most taxes that are “designed to target the rich” they do no such thing and the “alternative minimum tax” is no different.

The Democratic Party leadership pretends to be interested in genuine class warfare. You hear President Obama talk about “taxing millionaires and billionaires” yet the very policies he and much of the Democratic leadership advocate do no such thing.

Democrats have not been interested in taxing the genuinely rich and aren’t today. John Kerry made $5,072,000 in 2003 and had a total federal tax burden of 12.34%. The very wealthy enjoy a 60,000 page tax code that is filled with exceptions. Much of the income those like John and Teresa Kerry receive is defined as “unearned income” or earnings that are not taxable at the wage earner rate so even if the regular income tax rate was increased to 50% the percentage the Kerry’s would pay would only go up by a couple of points, if that.

Yet small business “sub-s corporations” (most domestic small businesses that have between 1-200 employees) are taxed at the wage earner rate  and would be devastated by a 50% rate. Small businesses do most of the hiring in this country. Would someone care to explain how Democrats can claim to be for workers while being against their employers?

We need to be mindful of how a politician defines “The Rich”. I have a close friend who owns a small car repair business. My friend qualified as “The Rich” because his small business is an s-corp that brings in more than 250k per year. Out of that 250K he pays federal and state taxes, his employees, the payroll tax matching, rent, equipment, insurance, parts to put on cars, consumables such as motor oil, advertising etc. What is left is what he gets for his family. He drives an old Chevy truck because that is what he can afford.

The truth is that very few people make over $250k in taxable wages. President Obama talks about taxing billionaires and millionaires (defined as those who make over $250k), but the way the tax code works the wealth of George Soros like billionaires is almost perfectly protected. If George Soros and the Kerry’s paid a percentage like small businesses must, who would fund the Tides Foundation and the Democrat’s 527 groups?

As you may be aware, Google made $3.1 BILLION last year and had a federal tax burden of 2.4%. Google throws fund-raising galas for Obama and the Democrats and have given the Democrats massive donations. Where are the “liberals” condemning the Google Corps of the world? How about GE, whose former CEO now works at the White House, earned 14.2 billion dollars and not only did they have a tax bill of zero, they received taxpayer subsidies.

Yet Obama has waged a rhetorical war against the Chamber of Commerce and who do they represent, you guessed it, most small and medium-sized domestic businesses. Obama blasted the Chamber of Commerce for daring to oppose his plan to tax such businesses at a rate of 39.6%.

[Note: In some cases capital gains is double taxed in that the corporate income tax is paid before hand on the same money. Some connected corporations pay next to zero tax anyways, and if the company is overseas the  corporate income tax is usually less and is paid to another country.  Once again it is the case of the medium sized corporation here in America that gets creamed because we have the highest corporate income tax in the industrialized world and those American companies do not have the resources to get goodies in the tax code or how it is enforced. Japan and several other countries have lowered their corporate income tax dramatically so now the US is the highest. – Editor]

Policies such as ObamaCare, tax increases, and other actions that cause regulatory uncertainty all but force the producers and investors to stop moving their money domestically. They have the option of just parking it or investing it in China, all of which has the effect of transferring the tax burden away from the wealthy onto the working poor and middle class. Democrats are not interested in taxing the wealthy; they are interested in taxing the domestic producer class.

This brings us to Norton’s First Law: big Business loves big government because big government taxes and regulates the small and medium-sized competition out of the competition. This is a staple of modern “Alinsky” style Democrat strategy. This process is called “consolidation”. The goal of leftist philosophy is to control the wealth “rationally” from above so that less is “left to chance”. With all of these small businesses creating wealth that is chaos which is difficult to control. Through consolidation more of the wealth that is created flows through large corporations that are easier to control.

The Obama bipartisan deficit commission was tasked with the challenge of how to raise revenue, grow the economy and pay off the debt. After an exhaustive study the commission concluded that lowering tax rates, lowering the corporate tax rate and simplifying the tax code to encourage tax compliance, and to encourage more wealth to come back home (so it at least can be taxed), was the most prudent course of action. Reagan would have been pleased with those recommendations.

If you wonder why so many jobs have moved overseas and in some cases to places where governments are corrupt and workers are really exploited; now you are seeing the other side of the coin. The private sector and the jobs that go with it cannot be expected to pay for a government that costs $4 trillion a year and hope to remain competitive. If you want to see demand for American labor to rise, start by making it more economical for jobs to come home.

UPDATE – The Obama Administration is using a variation of this very theme that I wrote about last June in it’s recent effort to raise taxes. Rest assured in the 6o,000 plus pages of the tax code that those who are the Democrats biggest donors will not be impacted greatly. As we have seen with Solyndra, the Stimulus Bill, and the other spending in this administration, much of the spending is done for the purpose of Chicago style kickbacks. One can be most confident that taxes will continue to follow that same path just as the so called Alternative Minimum Tax has.

UPDATE II – Warren Buffet opposes Obama’s new “Buffet Rule” campaign trial balloon because he sees it for what it really is. Real Clear Politics (follow the link to see the video):

CNBC: “Are you happy that the way it is being described. Is the program that the White House has presented a million dollars and over your program? ”

Warren Buffett: “Well, the precise program which will — I don’t know what their program will be. My program would be on the very high incomes that are taxed very low. Not just high incomes. Somebody making $50 million a year playing baseball, his taxes won’t change. Make $50 million a year appearing on television, his income won’t change. But, if they make a lot of money and pay a very low tax rate, like me, it would be changed by a minimum tax that would only bring them up to what other people pay.”

CNBC: “Does that mean you disagree with the president’s new jobs proposal which would be paid for by raising taxes on households with incomes of over $250,000.”

Buffett: “That’s another program that I won’t be discussing. My program is to have a tax on ultra-rich people who are very tax rates. Not just all rich people. It would probably apply to 50,000 people in a population of 300 million.”

Indeed. There is a small group of people who greatly benefit from the way the tax code works which is only a small portion of who most people would consider wealthy. Among these people are among the largest political donors in the country.

I am glad that Buffet clarified (read changed his tune just slightly) on this issue because the way his close friend President Obama had presented this it was going to just as we had described it earlier, a new tax that would barely touch him but sock smaller competition and CNBC called him out on it:

Prof. Niall Ferguson on Obama: A colossal failure of American foreign policy.

Niall Ferguson


WANTED: A Grand Strategy for America

By Niall Ferguson

“The statesman can only wait and listen until he hears the footsteps of God resounding through events; then he must jump up and grasp the hem of His coat, that is all.” Thus Otto von Bismarck, the great Prussian statesman who united Germany and thereby reshaped Europe’s balance of power nearly a century and a half ago.

Last week, for the second time in his presidency, Barack Obama heard those footsteps, jumped up to grasp a historic opportunity . . . and missed it completely.

In Bismarck’s case it was not so much God’s coattails he caught as the revolutionary wave of mid-19th-century German nationalism. And he did more than catch it; he managed to surf it in a direction of his own choosing. The wave Obama just missed—again—is the revolutionary wave of Middle Eastern democracy. It has surged through the region twice since he was elected: once in Iran in the summer of 2009, the second time right across North Africa, from Tunisia all the way down the Red Sea toYemen. But the swell has been biggest in Egypt, the Middle East’s most populous country.

In each case, the president faced stark alternatives. He could try to catch the wave, Bismarck style, by lending his support to the youthful revolutionaries and trying to ride it in a direction advantageous to American interests. Or he could do nothing and let the forces of reaction prevail. In the case of Iran, he did nothing, and the thugs of the Islamic Republic ruthlessly crushed the demonstrations. This time around,

in Egypt, it was worse. He did both—some days exhorting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave, other days drawing back and recommending an “orderly transition.”

The result has been a foreign-policy debacle. The president has alienated everybody: not only Mubarak’s cronies in the military, but also the youthful crowds in the streets of Cairo. Whoever ultimately wins, Obama loses. And the alienation doesn’t end there. America’s two closest friends in the region—Israel and Saudi Arabia—are both disgusted.  The Saudis, who dread all manifestations of revolution, are appalled at Washington’s failure to resolutely prop up Mubarak. The Israelis, meanwhile, are dismayed by the administration’s apparent cluelessness.

Last week, while other commentators ran around Cairo’s Tahrir Square, hyperventilating about what they saw as an Arab 1989, I flew to Tel Aviv for the annual Herzliya security conference. The consensus among the assembled experts on the Middle East? A colossal failure of American foreign policy.

This failure was not the result of bad luck. It was the predictable consequence of the Obama administration’s lack of any kind of coherent grand strategy, a deficit about which more than a few veterans of U.S. foreign policy making have long worried. The president himself is not wholly to blame. Although cosmopolitan by both birth and upbringing, Obama was an unusually parochial politician prior to his election, judging by his scant public pronouncements on foreign-policy issues.

Yet no president can be expected to be omniscient. That is what advisers are for. The real responsibility for the current strategic vacuum lies not with Obama himself, but with the National Security Council, and in particular with the man who ran it until last October: retired Gen. James L. Jones. I suspected at the time of his appointment that General Jones was a poor choice. A big, bluff Marine, he once astonished me by recommending that Turkish troops might lend the United States support in Iraq. He seemed mildly surprised when I suggested the Iraqis might resent such a reminder of centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule.

The best national-security advisers have combined deep knowledge of international relations with an ability to play the Machiavellian Beltway game, which means competing for the president’s ear against the other would-be players in the policymaking process: not only the defense secretary but also the secretary of state and the head of the Central Intelligence Agency. No one has ever done this better than Henry Kissinger. But the crucial thing about Kissinger as national-security adviser was not the speed with which he learned the dark arts of interdepartmental turf warfare. It was the skill with which he, in partnership with Richard Nixon, forged a grand strategy for the United States at a time of alarming geopolitical instability.

The essence of that strategy was, first, to prioritize (for example, détente with the Soviets before human-rights issues within the U.S.S.R.) and then to exert pressure by deliberately linking key issues. In their hardest task—salvaging peace with honor in Indochina by preserving the independence of South Vietnam—Nixon and Kissinger ultimately could not succeed. But in the Middle East they were able to eject the Soviets from a position of influence and turn Egypt from a threat into a malleable ally. And their overtures to China exploited the divisions within the Communist bloc, helping to set Beijing on an epoch-making new course of economic openness.

The contrast between the foreign policy of the Nixon-Ford years and that of President Jimmy Carter is a stark reminder of how easily foreign policy can founder when there is a failure of strategic thinking.  The Iranian Revolution of 1979, which took the Carter administration wholly by surprise, was a catastrophe far greater than the loss of South Vietnam.

Remind you of anything? “This is what happens when you get caught by surprise,” an anonymous American official told The New York Times last week.

“We’ve had endless strategy sessions for the past two years on Mideast peace, on

containing Iran. And how many of them factored in the possibility that Egypt

moves from stability to turmoil? None.”

I can think of no more damning indictment of the administration’s strategic thinking than this: it never once considered a scenario in which Mubarak faced a popular revolt. Yet the very essence of rigorous strategic thinking is to devise such a scenario and to think through the best responses to them, preferably two or three moves ahead of actual or potential adversaries. It is only by doing these things—ranking priorities and gaming scenarios—that a coherent foreign policy can be made. The Israelis have been hard at work doing this. All the president and his NSC team seem to have done is to draft touchy-feely speeches like the one he delivered in Cairo early in his presidency.

These were his words back in June 2009: America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles—principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

Those lines will come back to haunt Obama if, as cannot be ruled out, the ultimate beneficiary of his bungling in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood, which remains by far the best organized opposition force in the country—and wholly committed to the restoration of the caliphate and the strict application of Sharia. Would such an outcome advance “tolerance and the dignity of all human beings” in Egypt? Somehow, I don’t think so.

Grand strategy is all about the necessity of choice.  Today, it means choosing between a daunting list of objectives: to resist the spread of radical Islam, to limit Iran’s ambition to become dominant in the Middle East, to contain the rise of China as an economic rival, to guard against a Russian “reconquista” of Eastern Europe—and so on. The defining characteristic of Obama’s foreign policy has been not just a failure to prioritize, but also a failure to recognize the need to do so.  A succession of speeches saying, in essence, “I am not George W. Bush” is no substitute for a strategy.

Bismarck knew how to choose. He understood that riding the nationalist wave would enable Prussia to become the dominant force in Germany, but that thereafter the No. 1 objective must be to keep France and Russia from uniting against his new Reich. When asked for his opinion about colonizing Africa, Bismarck famously replied: “My map of Africa lies in Europe. Here lies Russia and here lies France, and we are in the middle. That is my map of Africa.”

Tragically, no one knows where Barack Obama’s map of the Middle East is. At best, it is in the heartland states of America, where the fate of his presidency will be decided next year, just as Jimmy Carter’s was back in 1980.

At worst, he has no map at all.

Niall Ferguson: Civilization – Is the West History?

This is the complete documentary of the six “killer apps” or ideals that made Western Civilization great by Prof. Niall Ferguson.

This six part series that explains the rise of the West, why it rose and why other civilizations did not. After looking into why our civilization became great, you will realize we are now struggling because we are abandoning those things that made us great. Get ready to learn and understand history better in a few hours than years of college would bring you. This series is entertaining and mega-informative. Every person alive should watch them as they are invaluable.

Competition

Science

Property

Medicine

Consumerism

The Protestant Work Ethic

Prof. Niall Ferguson: school history lessons ‘lack all cohesion’

Niall Ferguson is one of my very favorite academics. He creates narratives based on verifiable evidence and will not hesitate to rhetorically unravel anyone who skews history or what is obvious due to ideology or partisanship. Niall Ferguson is a site to see in a debate. Former professors of mine who thought I was too rough on people for displaying inexcusable ignorance, wait till you get a load of Niall.

Here is an example:

Interesting that Niall takes the same position that several on talk radio have (Limbaugh, Beck), as well as this web site has, that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a pro-democracy movement at all as the “establishment” insists and that is merely the organizations smiley front face. This video was from early last February. The Muslim Brotherhood is taking power, this is tantamount to 1979 in Iran and they want to break the peace treaty with Israel and impose Sharia, which will devastate their economy even more and create more instability. Notice what he says at the end, “This is a high probability scenario and the President is not even considering it.” He called it.

The Guardian:

Historian says too few pupils are spending too little time studying history, particularly in state schools.

The Harvard academic Niall Ferguson has warned that too few pupils are spending too little time studying history – and what they do study lacks a sweeping narrative.

He offers his own lesson plan to remedy what he says is a lack of cohesion, in which pupils place six “building block” events, including the Reformation and the French revolution, into the right order.

His plan aims to give pupils an overview of the years 1400 to 1914, and encourage them “to understand and offer answers to the most important question of that period: why did the west dominate the rest?”

Ferguson, who has been invited by the education secretary, Michael Gove, to play a role in overhauling the history curriculum, directs the teacher to show their class a map of the world circa 1913 “showing the extent of the western empires”.

The class then divides into groups to defend the merits of six ingredients of western success, ranging from “competition” to – perhaps more controversially — “the work ethic”.

Ferguson, who works as a consultant for a software developer that creates history-based games, encourages the class to play five rounds of the multi-player game Commerce, Conquest and Colonisation, as a supplementary activity. The plan is aimed at a mixed-ability class in year 10, the first year of a history GCSE course.

In an article for the Guardian’s education supplement, Ferguson disagrees with a recent Ofsted survey that praised history teaching in secondary schools. While Ofsted criticised “disconnected topics” in the primary history curriculum, it said that provision was good or outstanding in most secondaries they visited.

Ferguson says: “Clearly, all last year’s talk by Michael Gove, Simon Schama, myself and others about the urgent need for reform was mere alarmism, doubtless actuated by some sinister political motive.”

Ofsted’s report said it was a “popular and inaccurate myth” that students at GCSE and A-level only studied Hitler. Students were required to study a range of topics, including a substantial amount of British history, the school inspectors said.

Ferguson’s fellow celebrity historian Simon Schama has agreed to advise ministers on an overhaul of the national curriculum intended to restore a narrative “island story” of Britain.

Ferguson writes: “History is emphatically not being made available to all in English schools. Too few pupils, especially in the state sector, spend too little time doing it. And what they study lacks all cohesion.”

The academic criticises “an unholy alliance between well-meaning politicians and educationalists” for reshaping history teaching to focus more on skills such as analysing sources while neglecting facts.

“The challenge for the education secretary, Michael Gove, is to make sure that he is not the latest in a succession of politicians to see his plans for reform subverted by an educational establishment – here exemplified by Ofsted – that is still in deep denial about the damage its beloved new history has done.”

Ferguson laments the fact that England is the only country in Europe where history is not compulsory after the age of 14, and expresses concern that design and technology is a more popular subject at GCSE.

He quotes a survey of first-year undergraduates that found that around two-thirds did not know who was monarch at the time of the Armada, while 69% did not know the location of the Boer war. The survey was a quiz set by an economics lecturer at Cardiff University, which tested first years’ historical knowledge over a three-year intake.

Ferguson writes: “Such evidence should make us very skeptical indeed about Ofsted’s claim that history is ‘a successful subject in schools'”.

The historian approves of a passage in Ofsted’s report, which highlights a lack of narrative in primary school history teaching.

“The only thing wrong with this observation is that Ofsted seems to think it applies only to primary school pupils, whereas it could equally well be applied to those in secondary school – and students at a good few universities, too.”

The “long arc of time” has been replaced by “odds and sods”, Ferguson says.

Niall Ferguson’s history lesson plan is available to download from the Guardian Teacher Network.

Andrew Klavan: Left vs Right – Why Are Conservatives So Mean?

Why Are Conservatives So Mean? –

Financial Crisis 101 –

[Note – This is a fabulously brilliant explanation of what happened and who caused it in 3 1/2 minutes]

Night of the Living Government –

“It always makes me feel bad when a politician tells me that I am acting out of self interest…”

Liberal Fantasies vs. Reality, Can you Spot the Difference? –

Limbaugh and Coulter and Beck, Oh My! –

Soros, Huffington, Maher, & Olbermann Can’t Be Wrong –

“Shut Up” –

Beyond the Elitist, Preening America-Hating Stereotypes –

Stop the Hate! –

The road to hell is paved with….

Behold! Your (Leftist Controlled) Public Sector Unions at Work –

Bumper Sticker Police –

Andrew Klavan: Lies! Deceit! Treachery! You Too Can Be a Mainstream Media Reporter!

Just how corrupt is the elite media?

Andrew Klavan: The Extremists are Coming!

More on elite media corruption and how they try to manipulate the Overton Window.

Andrew Klavan: How the elite media lied to us about the economy, the war and engaged in the grossest double standards imaginable

Andrew Klavan: Leaving Al Gore

Andrew Klavan: The New York Times Answer Man

Andrew Klavan: The Ryan Plan vs the Obama Plan

Note – In this video Klavan tells us that the USA has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. At the time this video was made that was true, however Japan, Canada and many other countries have since drastically lowered their rates leaving the United States to have the highest business taxes in the world, which explains why so many jobs have left the country.