Monday Brief

Brief

Feb. 27, 2012

The Foundation

“Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression.” –James Madison

For the Record

“With the average price of a gallon of gasoline rising 40 cents just last week, President Obama attacked Republicans [Thursday], trying to distract voters from his own failed energy policy. ‘The American people aren’t stupid,’ Obama said. ‘You know there are no quick fixes to this problem.’ … Obama has been in office for three years now. There is plenty the federal government can do to lower gas prices in three years. Problem is, everything Obama has done on energy has been designed to increase Americans' pain at the pump. … Yes, oil and gas production is up in the United States. But this is happening in spite of Obama, not because of him. It is being driven entirely by increased production on state and private lands, areas where Obama has little power to shut down production. The reality is that Obama’s goal has always been higher gas prices. His Energy Secretary Steven Chu famously told The Wall Street Journal in 2008, ‘Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.’ And when Obama was asked by CNBC’s John Harwood that same year if high gas prices actually ‘helped’ the United States, Obama said, ‘I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment.’ Americans aren’t stupid. They remember Obama’s words. They know that the only real regret Obama has about high gas prices is that he may get blamed for them at the ballot box.” –Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll

Is Obama playing political games with gas prices?

Opinion in Brief

“Corporate tax reform has long been an opportunity for a win-win bipartisan effort in Washington. Everyone agrees that the corporate code needs significant changes, if not a complete overhaul; it’s too complicated, too costly, and rewards the larger companies that can afford to analyze it for every possible benefit. Both parties have made corporate tax reform part of their platforms, Democrats arguing that we need to close loopholes, Republicans that we need simplification and lower rates. The White House decided to go first on corporate tax reform. … [F]rom a political perspective, [Obama’s proposal] may be even worse than its economics. For the second straight year, Obama has launched a major proposal while deliberately disregarding his own advisory panel’s recommendations. That turned into political disaster last year, when Obama’s budget ignored his own appointed deficit panel. … Now his new corporate tax proposal ignores the recommendations from the panel Obama created to much fanfare last year as part of his focus on job creation and economic growth. The obvious conclusion is that Obama has prioritized punitive tax changes on American business in order to fund his spending expansion over economic growth. Republicans need to emphasize that Obama’s job council turned out to be nothing more than a smoke screen, just the same as Simpson-Bowles, and that this corporate tax ‘reform’ is anything but.” –blogger Ed Morrissey

Government

“It turns out that under Obamacare … all insurance plans must cover, at no charge, abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, sterilization, and patient education and counseling for women of reproductive age. … This is not a one-time exception to the rule of Obamacare; it is the establishment of the rule itself. One can only imagine what life will be like when the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) begins rationing health benefits to reduce Medicare spending. It is not the details in Obamacare that are the real problem but the form of governance it establishes, by which unelected experts are empowered to make the rules as they go along. What is happening has little to do with health care or even public policy and everything to do with the role of government in the most immediate and intimate matters of our lives. All is subject to government control, regulatory dictate, and administrative whim. … It is what happens when a model of government focused on determining outcomes, despite good intentions, finally acquires the unlimited authority to reshape society to its bureaucratic blueprint.” –Heritage Foundation’s Matthew Spalding

The Gipper

“[W]e can either have an economy that puts the private citizen at the center – the consumer, the worker, the entrepreneur – and lets each individual be the judge of what to buy or sell, where to work, where to invest, and what to create. Or we can put the government at the center of the economy and let the bureaucrats and politicians call the balls and strikes and decide who’s out of business, or who will get the big contract and be home free.” –Ronald Reagan

Essential Liberty

“This perversion of rights is killing the Western world. … All the free stuff is free in the sense of those offers that begin ‘You pay nothing now!’ But you will eventually. No nation is rich enough to give you all this ‘free’ stuff year in, year out. … According to the Senate Budget Committee, U.S. government debt is currently $44,215 per person. Going by the official Obama budget numbers, it will rise over the next 10 years to $75,000. As I say, that’s per person: 75 grand in debt for every man, woman and child, not to mention every one of the ever swelling ranks of retirees and disabled Social Security recipients – or about $200,000 per household. … [A]t some point, no matter how painless the seductions of statism, you run up against the hard math: As those debt per capita numbers make plain, all this ‘free’ stuff is doing is mortgaging your liberty and lining up a future of serfdom.” –columnist Mark Steyn

Political Futures

“Obama supporters are beginning to feel more confident, or at least less embarrassed. A year ago, even three months ago, they were thinking: What a confounding, confusing loser this man is. They didn’t bother defending him never mind advancing him. But now they’re starting to get friskier. They believe there’s a new lay to the land: The economy is coming back, at least for now and at least a little; the Republican nominee will emerge so bloodied his victory will hardly be worth having; the Republicans are delving into areas so extreme and off point that by the end Mr. Obama will look like the moderate. … It is true the Republican candidates are making the president look better, and part of it has to do with circumstances. … They’re accusing each other, he’s ignoring them. He pounds away on his issues, they have a thousand issues, a jumble of questions and answers and stands. There is no nominee and so no prioritizing of concerns, and therefore no central meaning. It’s all an acrimonious blur. Good news: This may be the Republicans' low point. Bad news: The low point may last until the convention, and through it. It’s all getting a little exhausting.” –columnist Peggy Noonan

Insight

“The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The greatest achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from … grinding poverty … the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kind of societies that depart from that.” –economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006)

Faith & Family

“Yelling racist and bigot and charging cowardice are the only stratagem left to liberals who cannot win on the merits of their arguments. They dismiss defense of marriage and pro-life measures as ‘wedge issues.’ In fact, they are bridge issues, since they form a bridge between races, religions, and ethnic groups. Those liberals who press to overturn marriage laws resort to name-calling and character assassination. All the while they hypocritically wrap themselves in the mantle of civility. … In the past decade, the Supreme Courts of Washington State, New York, and Maryland – three very liberal states – came down on the side of true marriage. Why? Each court said that the raising of children was a compelling state interest. Each court – of course – is being radically transformed by liberal governors to facilitate their assault on the family. In Maryland, Attorney General Doug Gansler openly avows this as his governor’s strategy. We who defend true marriage are equally committed to civil rights. We strongly believe that marriage is a civil right – and that overturning true marriage will cause grave harm to all Americans, not the least to the poor and to minorities.” –columnist Ken Blackwell

Culture

“There is nothing good about illegitimacy. … In the 21st century, we pretty much affirm everybody’s right to do as he or she wants – no advice, no lectures or finger-pointing, just do it! It shows. An above 50 percent bastardy rate for under-30s is more than a scandal; it’s a social crime. … The marriage structure – one man, one woman, children of differing number – is a society all its own. It binds and in binding, liberates by enabling. … A man and woman who make a covenant of lifelong union … have a structure within which to live, and I don’t mean a house. I mean something bigger: an undertaking within which sorrow and joys are to be duly enacted and – the present point – children to be conceived and raised. … Illegitimacy strips children of rights and dignity and exposes them to insecurities and anxieties (not least concerning who they really are) that they would less commonly encounter as members of the ordinary family tribe. … Do we ever think we’re smart in the 21st century – so smart that we can let go of rules and institutions, doing just what we like and no more?” –columnist William Murchison

Reader Comments

“Not that my reverence for the towering figure required bolstering but Mark Alexander’s essay on the character of George Washington was, without doubt, the greatest single compendium of tributes to Washington I have ever encountered. Thank you much!” –Jack

“In Mark Alexander’s essay, ‘Model for Presidential Character,’ General Washington’s horse is identified incorrectly as ‘Traveller.’ I believe you will find that ‘Traveller’ was the name of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s horse, and that General Washington’s horses for most of the Revolution were ‘Nelson’ and ‘Blueskin.’” –Carolyn

Alexander’s Reply: OK, you get the award, Carolyn. I wondered how many of our readers knew enough about history to question “Traveller,” and suffice it to say many did! George Washington had seven horses. Old Nelson and Blueskin were most noted, but he also rode Mongolia, Samson, Steady, Leonidas and Traveller. (His dogs did not have such distinguished names, Drunkard and Tipsy, for example, but that is another story.) The son of Washington’s longtime friend, Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, was Robert E. Lee, who had the greatest admiration for his lifetime historic mentor, General Washington. Like Washington, Lee was called to lead a Revolutionary War for Independence and was said to have carried one of Washington’s battle swords in his personal baggage. Indeed, R.E. Lee named his horse Traveller after one of his mentor’s favorite steeds.

“Regarding Friday’s ‘Competing Tax Visions,’, both the president’s and governor’s ‘plans’ tinker around the edges to determine winners and losers in the income tax game. Why don’t we just hit the ‘Delete’ button on the income tax and totally replace it with the FairTax?” –Chuck

“Tax proposals come and tax proposals go. It’s all just more sleight of hand to distract us from the real issues. That’s right, the real issues. Like so-called national leaders who regularly and routinely violate their oaths.” –David

“How am I coping with gas prices? I’m not. I have to drive 80 miles a day for my job. There is no public transportation here and no car pooling. So I pay whatever the going rate for gas and pray God gets me where I have to go. And as for the president not taking the blame? What ever happened to, ‘The Buck Stops Here’?” –Sandra

The Koran is nothing but a book, the soldiers were Americans. I am outraged but not surprised at his outrage turned upside down. It is time to end this egregious hypocrisy and end this traitorous regime.“ –Les

"Let us know when the Million Mullet March will be, I have a friend who needs to be in the front row!” –Lyna

The Last Word

“It’s becoming clear that the more the United States apologizes to Afghanistan for burning a few Korans, the more Afghans leap into the streets. So White House Dossier has helpfully compiled for Obama a list of ten alternative approaches that the president could have taken to deal with the problem. … 1. Dedicate a round of golf to the people of Afghanistan. 2. Send Michelle for a symbolic vacation to Jalalabad. 3. Ask the Afghans if they’d like the Russians back instead. 4. Head to a local Afghan restaurant and bow to the wait staff. 5. Offer to make Afghanistan’s heroin ‘The Official Heroin of the United States.’ 6. Give Afghan children a permanent exemption from Michelle’s ‘Let’s Move’ school lunch offerings. 7. Provide unlimited, free doses of Prozac to the entire adult population of Afghanistan. 8. Change the lyrics of O Tannenbaum to O Taliban. 9. Set up a program to provide virgins to Afghan men who refuse to commit suicide bombings. 10. Demand an apology from Afghanistan for the more than 1,800 U.S. forces killed since the start of the war.” –White House Dossier’s Keith Koffler

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

View all comments

121 Comments

Len said:

My question to Obama would be:1) You wanted gas pricres to increase way back in 2008. Salazar and Chu actually predicted $ 5.00/gall and even $ 6/gal. So it seems to me that among all the promises you made at least one you Kept!2) Yes it takes 5-6 yeras to get New oil explorations to get unrefined product ( oil) to refineries( fewer and fewer) to make gasoline. It was the Pelosi and Yours Mantra when Bush increases the permits to Drill... Drill... Drill that you now claim crdedit for. So here we are 5 years after the Bush/Oil Bashings.. you closed public lands on both Coasts, Alaska and the Gulf, Claim credit for more oil being produced in the US and yet you are willing to Waste Billions on more Imported oil from Venezuela and the Middle East??? Are you that Clueless or just inexperienced on creating EXPORTS , cheaper Gas and creating a blance of Payments????

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM

ockyWocky in Wheeling WV said:

When, pray tell, has Obama not played politics?...or should that be "politrics?"

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Lisa said:

My thought on gas prices is this: Obama is smart enough to know that driving up oil prices in an election year is going to hurt his chances. I think you may be on the right track that the increase at the pumps is happening in spite of Obama. I believe that it is partly due to the decrease in the value of the US Dollar along with the Israel/Iran issue. Also, from a conspiracy theorist standpoint, consider that the oil companies could be increasing the price to intentionally hurt Obama's chances for re-election; however, oil companies will tell you that, with paying exorbitant taxes, their profit last year was much less than the previous years. Personally, I believe that it's the decrease in the value of the dollar.

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM

mrbillga said:

Add the TAXES that will be necessary to fund ObamaCare, and you are now at $9.00 - $10.00 a gallon.... just like the prices in England and the rest of Europe. Obama will have achieved his goal, the U.S. economy will grind to a complete standstill, and we will be in the biggest depression the world has ever seen. We better elect Barack Hussein Obama for four more years so he can achieve his total destruction of the U.S.VOTE FOR BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA IN 2012!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Mike_Texas said:

In "For the Record", the Washington Examiner's Conn Carroll states that "Americans aren't stupid" as to the reason for high gasoline prices. Carroll should rephrase that to state "SOME Americans aren't stupid"...the REST will still vote for Obama's reelection.

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Sally said:

He has done everything he promised if the people had just listened. His whole presidency has been to destroy America and he is doing just that.He has done absolutely nothing for the Men and Women of this Country. He only understands collapsing and change to meet his losing mind games and destruction.

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Robert in Alabama said:

The American people Are not stupid but too many of them do not realize the government is the problem.You show me A socialist (or any politician for that matter) with an agenda and I will show you political games.Beauracracy is how the hide their guilt and shift blame,It's how they live and stay in power."The tree of Liberty must be refreshed---"

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM

GMButler said:

Q.) Is Obama playing political games with gas prices?A.) Oil prices are not controlled by Osama Hussein Obama or any other President for that matter. They are controlled by the NWO Elite who raise and lower prices for their own purposes. The goal of the NWO Elite IS NOT lower prices at the pump for the serfs. If it were, Gull Island would be running at full capacity. No, Obama is a clueless shill, an empty suit, and dumber than a box of rocks (otherwise we would have been treated to his college transcripts).

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:32 AM

John W. Harvey said:

No he isn't playing games. He is serious about crippling the United States. If it takes high gas prices to do this, so be it. There is nothing in his background that give him any idea what it means to be an American.SincerelySFC (Ret) John W. Harvey

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:36 AM

AZRETIRED said:

OBAMA PLAYS POLITICAL GAMES WITH EVERTHING!!

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:38 AM

enemaofthestatistquo said:

"[energy] prices will neccessarily sky-rocket"_ Barack Hussein Obama

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Proud 2 B American said:

Newt Gingrich put it quite well... BHO with a stroke of the pen could do the following: Approve the Keystone Pipeline, open up the remainder of the Gulf of Mexico, open up Alaska offshore areas... this is not a short term fix as Keystone may be 3-5 years and the offshore 10+ years before oil flows. Listening to the news and how the Demokrats portray the increase in domestic oil production as their doing under BHO is “A DAMNED LIE”... BHO - Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! It quite obvious the News Media have no idea what accounted for this increase. There was one report from the API stating the truth that this was the results of the pro-petroleum industry policies of the G. W. Bush administration. For those of you not familiar with the petroleum industry... 1. From the time a lease is purchased from Uncle Sam, 2. Exploratory drilling is done to find out if in fact hydrocarbons are present, 3 A facility is then ordered, built and installed 4 Development drilling is started, 5 Pipelines must be installed from the facility to send it to market. All of this can take up to 10+ years before the first oil flows from the facility... Let’s do not forget that BHO and his Regime wanted gasoline prices comparable with Europe several years ago and their policies have almost done just that! Let there be no doubt. A big energy issue coming up in an election year, there could not be better issue for the Republicans, if they are smart enough to use it wisely!And last but not least... Once you realize that the GOAL of BHO and his Regime is to destroy America. EVERYTHING the Regime does makes sense!

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Hamilton said:

Everyone make sure to read and understand Ed Morrissey's 'opinion in brief'. I think Ed hits the nail on the head. Obama is exactly like a snake-oil salesman: promises to gain interest and trust, so people will drink the Kool-Aid.There is no other explanation for why Obama would go against his various advisory panels. He wants the panels to speak for him in the press while he goes in the opposite direction, hoping the press won't reveal his reversal, and hoping we won't see or hear it.This cannot be for political gain. It is to hide his skulduggery - his relentless attacks on our economy and his relentless efforts to create a majority 'dependent class'. (of socialists)

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Fred Pierce said:

He is on the record, along with those in his administration who are in a position to influence the price of gasoline, for supporting higher gasoline prices at the pump...and his/their stated reason has to do with the getting the 'price pain' high enough Americans find it too financially painful to use their automobiles...and, at the urging of our so called leaders (who or what is leading them? It certainly isn't the best interest of their countrymen) use modes of travel utilizing this administration's boondoggle alternative means (products and services provided by the highest bidder...ooops...I meant to say contributor), which it seems are all financially failing at a rate faster than businesses in the rest of the country, who I might add, did not receive federal funds...what a crock. A hundred years ago I dare say the voters of this country would have taken their elected leaders to the nearest low limb and introduced them to swift justice for their chicanery...

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:47 AM

hmmathis in Venice, Florida said:

Chris Wallace noted in a 2011 interview of Steven Chu, Obama's Energy Secretary, that Chu said in 2008: “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” So no one can make me believe that Obama's energy policy all along have been crafted to make gasoline prices go up. The suspension of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP rig disaster was unnecessary and was part of his plan to cause gas prices to rise. There was no valid excuse for not approving the Keystone Pipeline--that was another part of Obama's plan.

Monday, February 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM