Krauthammer: Obama Has Republicans Right Where He Wants Them

Pundit and perpetually dour Travelocity Gnome Charles Krauthammer, took to his token WaPo seat today to inform the world that the Compromiser-in-Chief really hornswoggled those waskly Republiwabbits with his captiulation compromise on the Bush tax cuts. A plan so clever that Obama, Democrats, and apparently judging by their reactions, Republicans too, are just too dim to see.

Yup Chuck, that wiley old Kenyan socialist has ‘em right where he wants ‘em now!

According to the Great and Glorious Oz-Hammer, Obama tricked Republicans into what the Wall St. Journal calls, “a second, stealth stimulus package” worth a $1 trillion by agreeing to tax cuts for all and extra money for those not lucky enough to be unemployed corporate titans.

Psst…don’t tell anyone that many economists see the tax cuts for the wealthy as making up the lion’s share of the trillion and providing the least stimulus – unless by stimulus you mean stimulus for yacht and corporate jet makers.

Oh wait! The wealthy already get private jet service as part of their measly compensation packages. Silly me!

Alienating Voters for Fun and Profit
Obama gave up his objection to tax cuts for the rich – before negotiations even started – in exchange for tax cuts for everyone and unemployment money the Republicans didn’t care a whit about anyway – except to the extent that the have nots would’ve been momentarily pissed if they got nothing.

Now here’s the genius of Barack Machiavelli’s plan. Give the Republicans what they really want (tax cuts for the rich) in exchange for letting them off the hook for their most outrageous and politically embarrassing proposals (no middle class cuts and unemployment continuation).

Then, kick the can down the road so that Republicans will be in power and more easily able to strip the tax cuts down to only those for the More Money Than God tax bracket while pummeling Obama with accusations that those budget-busting middle class tax cuts and extended unemployment benefits just ruined the economy. Ruined I say!

If the Republicans gave a crap about their constituents – other than their corporate donors I mean – the unemployment extension shouldn’t have needed to be negotiated. It was a worthless bargaining chip as far as the Republicans were concerned, “Let the little people have their crumbs. Pass the $5,000 per ounce caviar Mr. Halliburton.”

As for middle class taxpayers it’s not such a ‘victory’ either. The deal could raise taxes for 1-in-3 workers. And as usual, the working poor get bupkis. The Obamicans giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other.

Lighting $100 Cigars with $100 Bills
The Bush tax cuts were passed during the period of the inflating bubble. The corporate titans could light $100 cigars with $100 bills worth $200. Middle class folks could buy homes well-beyond their means with money loaned by banks engaged in the world’s largest 3-card monty game. Most everybody, except those losing their jobs to offshoring, was working. And, we were flush enough to finance two wars – creating much of the deficit Obama inherited – “off the budget books”.

There’s an old fable that makes too much sense to possibly be true. To balance a budget you have to have more coming in than you have going out. But when your economy is built with all the stability of a Jenga game on quicksand you won’t be able to do it quickly. The economy took a long time to get so thoroughly and royally hosed.

It’ll take sacrifice and austerity by EVERYONE – yes Robber Barons and your super-citizen corporations, this means you. It also means middle class folks who won’t like to bite the bullet, but guano happens. The poor aren’t generally paying taxes anyway because the tax on zero is, oddly enough, zero.

The truly fiscally responsible way would’ve been to give no tax cuts to anyone. The rich and middle class are where the money is and are best equipped to weather the storm, even if income disparity is as equal as an elephant on the other side of a scale from a squirrel. Not a popular solution, but everyone suffers equally, if not proportionately, and the treasury is that much closer to getting more coming in than going out.

As for the extension of unemployment benefits, pass them independent of any deals. The politicians have shafted these people quite enough already, giving them a break is the least they could do. At least that money will be spent on something useful, like keeping a roof over the unemployed’s heads and food on the table. It’ll cost a little, but not as much as the cuts.

Rich folks, and those who ride their ample coattails, I know it’s tough to forgo that yacht the size of an aircraft carrier, but come on. Dig deep. Get the holiday Christmas spirit. Middle classers, you’ll have to suck it up as you always do. That sucks, but it is the way of capitalism – greed always wins.

The Republicans don’t give a damn what the electorate thinks of them. The Democrats are more disorganized than a herd of feral cats. And Barack…poor, poor Barack…got his feelings hurt because he’s become mono-partisan – that special state of grace where everyone – left, right, and center – thinks you’re an incompetent boob.

No more negotiating. No one ever negotiates anything that’s good for the country and it just depresses the hell out of the rest of us.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

New Year, Same Old Fox

Over at Fox News, the headline reads Democrats Join Calls for Napolitano to Step Down Following Failed Attack. Of course, such a headline is bound to grab my attention, so I read on.


Some Democrats have joined in calling for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to step down following the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight a week ago.

Though the CIA and an agency under the Director of National Intelligence have been under particular scrutiny in the preliminary review of possible missteps, Napolitano so far has taken the most heat from lawmakers. Not only does her department oversee the Transportation Security Administration, but her initial claim Sunday that "the system worked" was widely ridiculed and interpreted by critics as a sign that she's in over her head.

Some Republicans, who've taken issue with her in the past for calling terrorist acts "man-caused disasters" and other remarks, started calling for her ouster in the spring. The failed bombing on Christmas Day revived those calls.

Now Democrats have joined the chorus.


And just who are these Democrats? Well Fox found two of them. So not exactly a chorus but a duet and an off-key one at that. One is the President of the New Jersey State Senate and the former acting Governor, Richard Codey. The other is Dan Gerstein, a Democratic strategist and former advisor to Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. While these are indeed some Democrats, they are not exactly household names.

There's more beneath the fold.


Krauthammer: The Narcissism of 'Baby Jesus' Obama is 'Unbounded'

Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer was as the Fox News Special Report Host Bret Baier noted "fired up." The Fox analyst tore into the President not so much for bowing to the Japanese Emperor but more rather for having declared himself America's "first Pacific President" by virtue of having been "presumedly" born in Hawaii and having grown up for a time in Indonesia. Upset by the 'unbounded narcissism' of President Obama, Mr. Krauthammer cited others who in his view were more deserving of such a title. Mr. Krauthammer argued for Teddy Roosevelt who built the Panamá Canal, for William Howard Taft who was the first American Governor of the Philippines, and for John F. Kennedy and George H.W. Bush who served in the Pacific theatre during World War Two and who spent time "in" the Pacific itself courtesy of the Japanese. I'm surprised that the Mr. Krauthammer forgot to cite Richard M. Nixon who was born in Yorba Linda, California in 1913 and who could well claim the title by virtue of his opening to China.

But I'd make the case for Herbert Hoover who while born in Iowa grew up in Oregon - he attended Friends Pacific Academy in Newberg, Oregon - and went on to attend Stanford University in Palo Alto. After graduation Hoover then moved to Australia in 1897 and China in 1899, where he worked as a mining engineer until 1902 before returning to Australia. Hoover, in fact, would largely live abroad until 1917 with stints in Burma and London. Furthermore, Herbert Hoover was elected President while living in California and was the first President elected from a state west of the Mississippi. If anyone has a claim to being America's first Pacific President, it is probably Herbert Hoover.

Let's be frank what's bothering Mr. Krauthammer isn't the President's claims or his supposed narcissism. What disturbs Mr. Krauthammer are the President's policies and he is seemingly coming unhinged by them. Here's his comment:

"So these people actually spend time in the Pacific, but in Obama's mind, it doesn't in any way match the experience of the baby Jesus -- excuse me, the baby Obama -- growing up on some Pacific island. The narcissism of the man is rather unbounded."

I'm going to guess that Obama has probably spent more time in the Pacific than both Kennedy and Bush combined. This was just more birther nonsense from Krauthammer. The President wasn't "presumedly" born in Hawaii. He was born in Hawaii. Mr. Krauthammer would do well to drop the adjectives and relearn his history.

There's more...

Krauthammer: 2008 A Historical Anomaly

Writing in the Investor's Business Daily, conservative political pundit Charles Krauthammer finds that "the most important effect of Tuesday's elections is historical." According to Krauthammer, the results from these but two state elections in New Jersey and Virginia demolish "the great realignment myth of 2008."

In the aftermath of last year's Obama sweep, we heard endlessly about its fundamental, revolutionary, transformational nature. How it was ushering in an FDR-like realignment for the 21st century in which new demographics -- most prominently, rising minorities and the young -- would bury the GOP far into the future.

One book proclaimed "The Death of Conservativism," while the more modest merely predicted the terminal decline of the Republican Party into a regional party of the Deep South or a rump party of marginalized angry white men.

This was all ridiculous from the beginning. 2008 was a historical anomaly. A uniquely charismatic candidate was running at a time of deep war weariness, with an intensely unpopular Republican president, against a politically incompetent opponent, amid the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression.

And still he won by only seven points.

Exactly a year later comes the empirical validation of that skepticism. Virginia -- presumed harbinger of the new realignment, having gone Democratic in '08 for the first time in 44 years -- went red again. With a vengeance.

Barack Obama had carried it by six points. The Republican gubernatorial candidate won by 17 -- a 23-point swing. New Jersey went from plus 15 Democratic in 2008 to minus-4 in 2009. A 19-point swing.

What happened? The vaunted Obama realignment vanished. In 2009 in Virginia, the black vote was down by 20%; the under-30 vote by 50%. And as for independents, the ultimate prize of any realignment, they bolted. In both Virginia and New Jersey they'd gone narrowly for Obama in '08. This year they went Republican by a staggering 33 points in Virginia and by an equally shocking 30 points in New Jersey.

The Obama coattails of 2008 are gone. The expansion of the electorate, the excitement of the young, came in uniquely propitious Democratic circumstances and amid unparalleled enthusiasm for electing the first African-American president.

November '08 was one-shot, one-time, never to be replicated. Nor was November '09 a realignment. It was a return to the norm -- and definitive confirmation that 2008 was one of the great flukes in American political history.

I wouldn't judge national trends by just two governors races in an off-year election. To begin with, Governor Corzine, deeply unpopular in the Summer, nearly eked out a win. And let's not forget that the GOP has lost four straight special Congressional elections, two of them in districts that lean Republican and one of them that had been in GOP hands since Reconstruction. There are now but two Republican members of the House east of the Hudson. Nor would I take solace if I were a Republican from this election because while the conservative base was energized while the Democratic one stayed home. In heavily Democratic Hudson County, only 39% of registered Democrats bothered to vote.

There's more...

Krauthammer Blasts Obama, Forgets His Place

It is quite understandable for Der Spiegel to have chosen Charles Krauthammer to put forth the conservative take on the Obama Administration thus far; with the recent departure of so many intellectuals from the Republican Party, the columnist's own articulateness relative to others who still speak for the movement has thereby increased.

There's more...


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