Archive for March, 2009

Wait a minute . . . he's a Socialist?

March 24, 2009

Even liberals are starting to notice we’ve elected an empty suit and a teleprompter:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03/23/campbell.brown.transparency/index.html#cnnSTCText

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03/24/cafferty.economy/index.html?iref=topnews

Keep in mind, these were both enthusiastic Obama cheerleaders, even in recent weeks.  Granted, based on their writings it is also safe to conclude that they’re also both intellectual midgets, but this is as close to liberal media scrutiny as I’ve yet seen of BO.  Check out the harsh language Campbell Brown uses to end her recount of the utter lack of Obama’s promised transparency:

“As for President Obama’s promise of a five-day public review once a bill leaves Capitol Hill headed for his desk, it would be nice if he kept his word on this going forward.”

Go get ’em Campbell!!

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Why is it that liberals have higher incomes, but conservatives give more to charity?

March 9, 2009

Hey, all!  I try not to do this too often, but I did get into a discussion with a liberal friend from college about whether or not Obama was fulfilling all of my friend’s hopes and dreams.  What followed was an interesting exchange, and while I’ve included the whole (long!) thing here what I really wanted to share was the last piece of it.  I asked my friend why he thinks it is that nearly everyone knows liberals who’ve turned conservative as they grow up, but I’ve never met a single person who went the other way.  No liberal I know (and believe me I know hundreds) had ever previously expressed to me any conservative leanings, nor has any liberal I know ever claimed to have previously been a conservative.

I argue that this is because so much is invested by the teacher unions, college professors and the media at indocrinating kids into liberalism, that if you haven’t fallen for it by the time you graduate college, you’re probably free from it forever.  He argued (not surprisingly):

* people become more republican b/c they are wealthier, have families and want to protect their pocketbook and unfortunately I think some of this or some of these people are just becoming more self centered and less concerned with others

So I shared with him the study at the bottom of this thread, showing that not only do liberal families on average have 6% higher income, but conservative families donate 30% more to charity.  It’s fascinating, and not at all surprising to me.  I thought the study and the links might interest some of your liberal friends as well.

–Jason
———- Forwarded message ———-


From: Jason
To: My friend
Sent: Fri Mar 06 21:09:12 2009
Subject: Proposed new Obama policy: Gift cards only

It was a rough week for gift-giving in the BO administration.  Maybe they should just start giving out Target gift cards instead. I mean, come on, who doesn’t want a Target gift card . . .

I can’t decide which is more embarrassing . . . First there was the Prime Minister of England, a country that’s been our staunchest ally for going on a century or so.  Gordon Brown came bearing a first edition of the definitive seven-volume biography of the greatest leader of perhaps the last century, Winston Churchill. He also bestowed upon the President a pen holder meticulously carved from the timbers of a British naval vessel which had been used to end the Arabian slave trade out of Kenya, Obama’s ancestral homeland.  What did BO give in return?  Read on . . .

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/03/022991.php

Next, Secretary of State Clinton met with her Russian counterpart in Geneva.  Being the clever person she is, she built on Obama and her brilliant strategy of “rebooting” the relationship with Russia after all the evil misdeeds of the criminal Bush administration (whatever). And she brought along a gift of a big red emergency button.  They put a big label on it in English and in Russian to say “RESET”.  Pretty funny, right?  Except in the Obama State department, apparently no one speaks Russian.  So the Russian Foreign Minister had to point out to them that the word didn’t mean RESET, it meant OVERCHARGED.  Oops.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/03/06/clinton-goofs-russian-translation-tells-diplomat-wants-overcharge-ties/

Perhaps Hillary should have asked her predecessor, Condi Rice.  In addition to her PhD in Political Science which she received at age 26 for a dissertation on military policy and politics in Czechoslovakia, she’s also a fluent Russian speaker.  Remind me again what Hillary’s qualifications for Sec of State were?  Oh yeah, losing in the primary to BO.

Trust me guys . . . you can’t go wrong with Target gift cards.

–Jason

On Sun, Mar 8, 2009 at 4:31 PM,  my friend wrote:
Just wish your president hadn’t spent years getting us into all this crap in the first place…..

From: Me to my friend

Sent: Sun Mar 08 18:20:17 2009
Subject: Re: Proposed new Obama policy: Gift cards only


Hmm. It’s a pretty interesting response, and as you’ve hopefully concluded I’ve long since given up on convincing anyone on the left that there might, possibly, conceivably, remotely be anything redeeming about the conservative principles on which our country was founded.  It’s interesting to note, however, that everyone knows people who were liberal when they were young and, as they grew and matured, they became more conservative.  When was the last time you met someone who went in the other direction?  Do you know any lefty adults who were conservative in their twenties?  Interesting, isn’t it?  Not saying it means anything, maybe it just means that we conservatives are old and crotchety, but maybe it means that the entire educational infrastructure of our country is dedicated to indoctrinating kids into the merits of the left (because, after all, our kids are exposed ~8 hours a day almost exclusively to employees of one of the most devoted Democratic unions in the country, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers).

But this email wasn’t about any of that.  It was a fairly amusing (doncha think) example of a pretty amateurish example of a guy who’s never had a job with any real responsibility (seriously, a US Senator?) who’s now responsible for probably the largest, most complex and highest-profile organization the world has ever known.  And, not surprisingly, he’s making some mistakes.

You may not care, you may forgive him for it, you may think that our relationship with Britain isn’t all that important and so who cares if we insult them . . . but George Bush had an excellent relationship with Tony Blair and with Gordon Brown. Hell, the relationship was so strong with Blair that it cost Blair his job.  And your response to that story is to relexively blame George Bush.

I’ve got no problem listing the things Bush did which I thought were wrong. I think he overspent. I think he could have been more consistent with his approach to the financial crisis, and in general I think the markets would be better off if we let them sort out winners and losers.  But in general I think he did a good job as President.  Is there anything Obama could do that would cause one of his true believers to question whether he’d done the right thing?  What about when he moves to the right?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123638765474658467.html

The link above is from the Wall Street Journal today.  It documents how Obama’s Justice Department just pushed a position that is far more aggressive on Executive Power than Bush or Cheney ever proposed . . . is that disappointing to you? Is anything?

Look, I certainly admire the job Obama did in his campaign, and he certainly did a great job tapping into the hatred that the media stirred up over the last 8 years for the policies of Bush.  And it’s enlightening to see that in his first 50 days Obama’s actually continued a bunch of those anti-terror policies without the left emitting a peep (see link above).  And the “It’s all Bush’s fault” argument will probably work for another year or so since most people will never read the Community Reinvestment Act and will never watch Chris Dodd and Barney Frank’s jaw-dropping statements in favor of “rolling the dice” on subprime mortgages.  But you’ve got a Harvard MBA and work for a pretty impressive icon of capitalism.  You must know in your heart that Obama’s demonizing of companies and of the wealthy and of success, combined with the tax policies he’s proposing, are causing the markets to respond as they have.  And the more successful he is at implementing those policies and that spending, the higher the unemployment rate will go, the slower the recovery, and the more it will hurt.  In 2010 or 2012 do you think he’s really going to convince a nation with Carter-like 20% unemployment and hyper-inflation that he’s still just cleaning up Bush’s mess?  How’d that work out for Carter’s second term?

In any case, like I said, I write none of this in hopes of changing your mind.  I invite your thoughts rebutting any of it, and if you take offense I’m sorry.  It’s just as compelling for me to try and explain why I feel Obama’s policies are killing our economy (and hurting our national security) as it no doubt was/is for you to explain why Bush’s did.

Take care, friend.

–Jason

On Sun, Mar 8, 2009 at 7:17 PM,  my friend wrote:

I know a lot of republicans who voted for obama this time. People who thought bush screwed things up.

From: Me
To: My friend

Sent: Sun Mar 08 19:50:47 2009

Subject: Re: Proposed new Obama policy: Gift cards only

I agree a lot of Republicans voted for Obama.  He couldn’t have won without them.  In fact, at least three of them were very prominent conservatives: David Gergen, Christopher Buckley and David Brooks.  I can’t count how many of liberals cited these three during the election as proof that Obama was no leftist.  As you may have read in Forbes this week, all three have now ackowledged that they were wrong about Obama and that the policies he’s pursuing are neither moderate nor good for the economy or for the country.  Do you think the Obama today, who pushed through the largest spending bill in history and is now following it with an even larger one, would attract as many Republicans today as he did back in November when he had no record at all to run against?

But my question was not how many Republicans voted for Obama (an unreliable metric considering that McCain is hardly what one would call a conservative).  My question was whether more liberals become conservatives as they accumulate evidence and experience or whether more conservatives become liberals.  I know, literally, hundreds of liberals.  None of them ever expressed conservative leanings earlier in life.  I know, perhaps, dozens of conservatives.  Many of them were not always that way.

Again, you can write it off as mere crotchetiness as many like to do. But I spend a lot of time questioning whether I may be wrong about my political convictions.  I read liberal opinion pieces. I read Krugman, and Friedman . . . I even read DemocraticUnderground.com.  I wish those who think Obama walks on water would dedicate a few minutes a day to reading something like Powerlineblog.com, one of the smartest, most thoughtful and independent blogs I’ve ever read.  If you can read four or five posts there each day and not find something that, as a parent and as an American, concerns you . . . well, then you’ll be that much more sure that your ideology is the right one.

Facts are easy to check and confirm, but the bias that’s built into so much of Obama’s media coverage is a lot harder to detect if it’s the only thing one sees.  I attended an awards dinner for George Bush a few weeks before he left office.  He was being recognized by Africare, an African non-profit called Africare for a humanitaran award.  They were recognizing him for the fact that his administration gave more money and accomplished more for stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa than, in the words of the charity director, every other administration before him, combined.  There were well over 1000 people at the dinner, and about 3 or 4 journalists.  Nearly everyone in America heard about Kanye West, the icon of wisdom, say that George Bush hates black people.  Did you hear that he’s also responsible for saving the lives of more of them than perhaps any other person in history?  Don’t you think you deserve to hear all the news, and decide how to factor it all together?

–Jason

On Sun, Mar 8, 2009 at 8:12 PM, my liberal friend wrote:
My views are the following:
* country is right center generally
* people become more republican b/c they are wealthier, have families and want to protect their pocketbook and unfortunately I think some of this or some of these people are just becoming more self centered and less concerned with others
* yet, that all being said, I’m not sure how to generalize the point the way you do. Clinton and obama won b/c the country (all these conservatives you cite) voted for democrats. This continues to shift back and forth over time.


From: Jason
Date: Sun, Mar 8, 2009 at 9:34 PM
Subject: Re: Proposed new Obama policy: Gift cards only

I really do appreciate your sharing your thoughts here. I think you’re a really smart guy, a knowledgable business thinker, and exactly the kind of person who I would otherwise expect to be troubled by some of the demonization of commerce and profit going on by the Obama/Biden/Schumer/Dodd/Frank/McCaskill crowd these days.

Your point about people becoming more conservative as they accumulate wealth and become more self-focused is an oft-repeated caricature of the right. Fortunately it’s contradicted by data.  There was a study at Syracuse University in 2006 which found that not only are liberal families’ incomes on average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

There’s a more detailed treatise of it here: http://newsbusters.org/node/9323
The author’s website is here: http://www.arthurbrooks.net/whoreallycares/statistics.html

And if you’re aware of any study contradicting it, I’d be happy to read it.  Another fun fact: If liberals gave blood like conservatives do, the blood supply in the U.S. would jump by about 45%.  So it’s not that conservatives don’t care about other people.  It’s that we’ve looked at the massive body of historical evidence and concluded that getting government out of people’s way and letting the private sector innovate and solve problems has lifted more people out of poverty than all the misguided “Community Reinvestment Acts” and “Economic Stimulus Packages” of every socialist government in history.

According to the author, “You find that people who believe it’s the government’s job to make incomes more equal are far less likely to give their money away.”  I think, by the way, that this is why Obama’s reducing charitable giving deductions.  The extent to which people donate to private charities makes poor people more dependent on the government and reduces the role of private charities and local communities in solving problems.

Clinton won because he ran a brilliant campaign against a lousy campaigner (who’d won in ’88 on Reagan’s strength), he was fairly centrist, and he governed that way.  Obama won because, in spite of being far and away the most radical person who’s ever run for a party’s nomination, with the most liberal voting record in the Senate and having Saul Alinsky and William Ayers as his political mentors and Jeremiah Wright as a spiritual mentor, the media sold him to the country as a moderate post-racial post-partisan healer, a salve for our political discord, and a centrist who would work to unite the country.  Fifty days into office he’s proposing more debt than the country had seen in total in its 230 year history.  I have no doubt we’ll still be hearing the story of Obama’s centrist/moderate philosophies in 2010 and 2012, but with 2 years of these types of radical actions to run against, and considering that a shift of <430,000 votes in 2008 would have given McCain the victory, do you think the same story will sell as well, especially if it turns out that demonizing businesses and taxing job creators doesn’t do much to fix the economy?  And G-d help the left if the right has the good sense to nominate another Reagan, instead of the milquetoast conservatism of a McCain.

The issues I have my eye on for the moment are things like Card Check, which would rob workers of the right to a secret ballot and allow unions to bully them into signing up, the ’10 census which Obama has proposed moving to the White House for the first time in history, and the Fairness Doctrine which would eliminate the only conservative media outlet in the nation, talk radio.  I pay attention to these because they’re all efforts to prevent a free competition of ideas in the country, in the same way that Chris Matthews feeling a “thrill running up my leg” at the sight of Obama already prevents most Americans from learning the truth about what their government is doing.  If there’s a free competition of ideas, I have every confidence that the inflation and unemployment that inevitably will follow the current policies will do the same for the Democrats in 2010 as the Dem Congress’s actions did in 1994.  One party rule, whether by the left or the right, is dangerous.  One party rule under the triumvirate of Obama-Pelosi-Reid is as sure a path to an economic wasteland as anything we ever saw during the long and death-filled reign of Socialism.

But seriously, how about those income and charity stats . . . surprised?

–Jason

Thus far I’ve not heard back . . .