Monday, March 17, 2014

Cruising the Web

George Will contemplates how the policies that Democrats embrace are exacerbating income inequality.
The monetary base having expanded 340 percent in six years, there is abundant money for businesses. But, says Fisher, the federal government’s fiscal and regulatory policies discourage businesses from growing the economy with the mountain of money the Fed has created. This is why “the most vital organ of our nation’s economy — the middle-income worker — is being eviscerated.” And why the loudest complaints about inequality are coming from those whose policies worsen it.
Meanwhile economist Edward P. Lazear explains "the hidden rot in the jobs numbers" as he notes that the number of hours worked have been steadily declined.

Ouch: Gary Kasparov says that "Carter looks like Churchill in comparison to Obama."

Chris Cillizza looks at websites shared by conservatives on Facebook and explains what this tells us about the general influence of conservatives. It sounds about right to me.

The WSJ argues that it is time for American and European leaders to wake up from their fantasies that world politics are somehow different in the 21st century from the 19th century. Not to mention the 20th century. My A.P. European History class is set to debate today whether there were any actions that the Allies could have taken to avoid World War Two. My take is that, given the economic and political circumstances in Britain, France, and the United States during the 1930s, it is simplistic to think that all could have been changed in 1938 at Munich. I suspect that Vladimir Putin has made the same observation of today's leaders that Hitler made of that era's leaders: "I saw my enemies in Munich, and they are worms." There are actions that the U.S. could take that would have a bite, if we could convince the Europeans to go along. But delay has not been our friend. One action - freezing the assets of Russian oligarchs in U.S. banks might already be withdrawing their American-held assets. And it doesn't help that the environmental lobby is stopping Obama from using our oil and natural gas resources to help eliminate Europe's dependency on Russian oil.

It sounds like California's Asian-American politicians are waking up to the harm that affirmative action policies are doing to their population.

One young Millennial tells President Obama that his generation might be young but they aren't stupid. And no matter what sort of dumb campaign is run trying to get them to buy insurance through Obamacare, they know a bad deal when they see one.

Michael Austin ponders "the unbearable lightness of Barack Obama: desperation, cunning, or disengagement?"
Indeed, to beat a twice-dead horse, it was his political celebrity status that got Barack Obama elected in the first place, a politician of the very thinnest of resumes, whose new-age blather caused vapors in a press that was itself as filled with celebrity worshipers as the viewers they seek. There’s no reason to re-litigate two elections, but the track record of this White House can only give credence to the judgments of so many who feared a popularity-driven candidate with no experience and who was so clearly hiding an ideological streak at odds with the majority of his fellow citizens. Yet none of that mattered next to the dancing and the star-studded endorsements and the coolness factor.

It’s the modern equivalent of bread and circuses, entertainment by our leaders that is eagerly swallowed by unserious and uneducated segments of the American public. Unlike other blessedly eternal optimists, however, as an historian, I am far more pessimistic that, once having started down this road, American political culture can easily recover its balance, competence, or clarity of purpose.
There is tough competition, but Paul Mirengoff searches out the "dumbest John Kerry statement ever."

Maureen Dowd gets caught on her poor knowledge of Yiddish phrases.

Peter Wehner writes about Barack Obama's effect on liberal politicians.
It is that Barack Obama, who was the embodiment of liberal hopes and dreams, is turning out to be a one-man political wrecking ball when it comes to his party–and to liberalism more broadly.

The evidence is scattered all around us, from the epic defeat Democrats suffered in the 2010 midterm, to the (likely) lashing that awaits them in 2014, to collapsing trust and confidence in the federal government, to an agenda that is unpopular virtually across the board. Add to that the rising disorder and chaos in the world that is the predictable result of Mr. Obama’s disengaged and impotent foreign policy.

The American people, having lived with the Obama presidency for more than five years, have come to the conclusion–later, I think, than they should have–that he is incompetent, weak, and untrustworthy. And that judgment is directed not just at Mr. Obama; it is implicating his entire party.

Barack Obama produced a health-care proposal that was a liberal dream for a half-century. It is a bitter irony for him, and a predictable result for many of us, that having achieved it, it may well set back the cause of liberalism for years to come.

Liberals wanted Mr. Obama. Now they have him. And now they may be undone by him.
If only this would be so. I have my doubts, however, that we will see any sort of permanent change. Politics move in a pendulum in American history. Just remember how 1994 supposedly spelled the end of Clintonian dominance.

Jon Stewart has a lot of fun with the mindlessly silly silent ad that Mitch McConnell's team has put out there.