Thursday’s Thumps and Bumps

  Witch’s Will For An April Morning

  My Pick Of The Litter Today

When Administrations Implode

by Victor Davis Hanson

Administration meltdowns are hardly novel. In almost every presidency there comes a moment when sheer chaos takes hold, whether self-induced or as a result of an outside crisis.

Vietnam had effectively destroyed Lyndon Johnson by 1967. Watergate unraveled the Richard Nixon administration, as the disgraced president resigned in the face of certain impeachment. Gerald Ford could not whip inflation and was not re-elected. One-termer Jimmy Carter was undone by the Iranian hostage crisis and skyrocketing oil prices.

For a time, it seemed that Ronald Reagan’s second term might not survive the Iran-Contra scandal. George H.W. Bush could not be re-elected after he broke his promise not to raise taxes and Ross Perot entered the 1992 race. The popular Bill Clinton was impeached over the Monica Lewinsky affair and limped out of office tainted. The insurgency in Iraq and the fallout from Hurricane Katrina crashed for good the once-high poll ratings of George W. Bush.

The Obama administration over the last month has seemed on the verge of one of these presidential meltdowns.

An open mic caught the president promising Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would be more flexible after the election — as if Obama might grant concessions that would be unpalatable if known to the general public before November. That embarrassment followed an earlier hot-mic put-down of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year.

The president also unwisely attacked the Supreme Court as it deliberated the constitutionality of Obamacare. He needlessly referred to the justices as “unelected” and wrongly claimed that that they had little precedent to overturn laws that dealt with commerce. The gaffe about the court and its history was doubly embarrassing because Obama has often reminded the public that he used to teach constitutional law.

    Stories/Articles You Might Find Interesting – or not

Democrats don’t even bother to show up for Budget Committee Meetings


 Powerful Government Equals Powerful Problems

“Sixty-five percent of likely U.S. voters agree,” according to the Rasmussen poll, “with the statement that a government powerful enough to do everything you want is also powerful enough to take away everything you have.”

This year, it is once again up to the American people to remind big government, big media and big institutions who is in charge: We the People.

 Challenging Sacred assumptions

by Peter Wehner

We channel facts in a way that reinforces views that are based on something different than – something deeper than – mere empirical evidence. None of us, then, are completely open-minded; and we’re all understandably reluctant to alter deeply-held views. The question, really, is given all this, how open are we to persuasion, to new evidence, and to holding up our views to refinement and revision? How do we react when our arguments seem to be falling apart? And what steps can we take to ensure that we don’t insulate ourselves to the point that we are indifferent to facts that challenge our worldview?

Kent Conrad’s final markup and fiscal legacy

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad is often described as a fiscal hawk, but as he prepares to retire after 26 years in the Senate, his legacy may be as the chairman who failed to pass a budget for three years as national debt shot up by $4 trillion.

It’s not that Conrad didn’t try this week. Despite opposition from Democratic leadership, he scheduled a markup on a budget proposal for this afternoon – his last one before retirement – but yesterday suddenly backed down from the plan. There would still be a “markup,” he said – but it would be a markup in name only. No voting, no room to propose amendment, no chance of bringing anything to the Senate floor.

Why do they want to pick on Ann Romney


Colombian “Escort” speaks about Secret Service scandal

CARTAGENA, Colombia — A Secret Service agent preparing for President Obama’s arrival at an international summit meeting and a single mother from Colombia who makes a living as a high-priced escort faced off in a room at the Hotel Caribe a week ago over how much he owed her for the previous night’s intercourse. “I tell him, ‘Baby, my cash money,’ ” the woman said in her first public comments on a dispute that would soon spiral into a full-blown scandal.

 Media Behaving Badly:

   WashPost Promotes Obama Silver-Birther Swipe at Romney — Then Rebuts It, Low in the Story


  Worth reading: 

Heads Begin to Roll in Secret Service Sex Scandal

More layoffs at Fisker; Delaware plant is ‘absolutely empty’



92% Favor Strict Limits on Government To Protect the Individual

Voters believe too much government power is a dangerous thing and put a very high value on protecting the rights of the individual.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of Likely U.S. Voters agree with the statement that a government powerful enough to do everything you want is also powerful enough to take away everything you have. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that only 23% disagree with that statement. Eleven percent (11%) are not sure about it.

  What’s Going On In The World?

The Argentine Model

Why not expel a thieving Buenos Aires from the G-20?

‘I’m the head of state, not a thug,” Argentine President Cristina Kirchner felt it necessary to explain on Monday in Buenos Aires. This is never a good sign from a politician.

And, sure enough, she was trying to defend her decision to nationalize the oil company YPF by expropriating 51% of the shares belonging to majority owner Repsol from Spain, an act the civilized world is calling “theft.” Only Hugo Chávez applauded.

In modern Latin America, Brazil is a growing economic power, Mexico has developed a middle class, and Colombia, Chile and Peru have joined the world economy. Then there’s Argentina, which seems intent on fulfilling all the political and economic stereotypes that have made that blessed land so much poorer than it should be.

The expr0priation shook Spain, which is already struggling with high unemployment and a debt crisis. The decision also makes zero sense for Argentina given its need for foreign capital to develop what are believed to be vast supplies of oil and gas. The country’s political risk level has leapt into Caracas-ville.

But if history is any guide, Mrs. Kirchner doesn’t care. She’s trying to save her presidency as the economic model she inherited from her husband, the late President Néstor Kirchner, runs out of steam.

Kirchner came to office in 2003 after the collapse of the convertibility law that pegged the peso at one-to-one to the dollar. To lead the recovery he imposed price controls, confiscated property, abrogated contracts, reneged on debt and drove out foreign investors. After a sharp economic contraction, Argentina enjoyed a robust recovery.

The growth was off a low base and was fueled by an artificially weak peso and increased protectionism designed to generate internal demand. But after the hardship of recession, Argentines celebrated their heavy-handed president. The Federal Reserve’s easy money also helped by creating a boom in prices for commodities that are a major chunk of Argentine GDP.

Now the bust seems inevitable. The economy is slowing down and international reserves are fleeing. By stealing Repsol, Mrs. Kirchner is playing to nationalist sentiments while gaining political control of oil supplies and a potential patronage machine. But this will also encourage more capital flight , which rigid controls and even sniffer dogs on the ferries across the Rio de la Plata to Uruguay haven’t been able to stop. After generations of peronismo, the Argentine public knows how to stash its cash abroad.

Quote For Today:

  “What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.” ~  Albert Einstein

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