State of the Union By the Bear

Six years+ into the Obama Presidency and we have an economy moving along at a snail’s pace and 1 or 2% growth won’t buy you an extra cup of coffee.

Average wages for people who have a job are declining and the number of full time workers is at a historic low, equal to 1978.

90 million plus Americans are out of work and 49 million+ people receive food stamps. The good news is they got free mobile telephones from Obama.

The National debt has just about doubled since Obama took office, but the good news is the Feds have plenty of paper and ink left to print more money.

We are losing a war in Iraq, a war that we won a decade ago, because the Commander-In Chief has yet to put a plan together to win the war.

Iran is about to get the “Nuclear Bomb” because the Mullahs can read Obama and John Kerry like an open book. They will get everything that they want plus the bomb because the Mullahs know how desperate Obama and Kerry are to make a deal. The Mullahs have outsmarted these two incompetent political hacks at every turn.

While we are in the midst of a global cooling period Obama and Kerry keep pushing the myth of global cooing. Who do they think they are fooling with this B.S.?; we all know what this all about: TAXING CO2.

Another Myth that Obama and Eric(the Red) have been pushing is racism is on the rise in America. If anything racism is at an all time low, what is on the rise looting and crime by blacks on blacks and this is a cultural problem that they must solve in their own communities.

The Obama administration will go down in history as the most scandal ridden administration in our recent history. And the basic reason why? Because no one every gets punished for breaking the law.

Despite earning $174,000 per year Congressman Alcee Hastings (D) wants a pay raise, if not he threatened to not do his job. And just what is his job? Porking at the pig pen of taxpayers dollars. The good news is, if he doesn’t do his job, the country will be better off.

SideBear: Other than that what could go wrong? Russia will take over the Ukraine, Iran will control the Middle East, China will control the South seas in the Pacific and the world will be facing a “Nuclear Holocaust.”

Charles Krauthammer: Obama Surrender Brought Iraq Collapse BY CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER

Ramadi falls. The Iraqi army flees. The great 60-nation anti-Islamic State coalition so grandly proclaimed by the Obama administration is nowhere to be seen.

Instead, it’s the defense minister of Iran who flies into Baghdad, an unsubtle demonstration of who’s in charge — while the U.S. air campaign proves futile and America’s alleged strategy for combating the Islamic State is in freefall.

It gets worse. The Gulf States’ top leaders, betrayed and bitter, ostentatiously boycott President Obama’s failed Camp David summit. “We were America’s best friend in the Arab world for 50 years,” laments Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief.

Note: “were,” not “are.”

We are scraping bottom. Following six years of Obama’s steady and determined withdrawal from the Middle East, America’s standing in the region has collapsed.

And yet the question incessantly asked of the various presidential candidates is not about that. It’s a retrospective hypothetical: Would you have invaded Iraq in 2003 if you had known then what we know now?

First, the question is not just a hypothetical, but an inherently impossible hypothetical. It contradicts itself.

Had we known there were no weapons of mass destruction, the very question would not have arisen. The premise of the war — the basis for going to the United Nations, to the Congress and, indeed, to the nation — was Iraq’s possession of WMD in violation of the central condition for the cease-fire that ended the first Gulf War.

No WMD, no hypothetical to answer in the first place.

Second, the “if you knew then” question implicitly locates the origin and cause of the current disasters in 2003. As if the fall of Ramadi was predetermined then, as if the author of the current regional collapse is George W. Bush.

This is nonsense. The fact is that by the end of Bush’s tenure, the war had been won. You can argue that the price of that victory was too high. Fine. We can debate that until the end of time. But what is not debatable is that it was a victory.

Bush bequeathed to Obama a success. By whose measure? By Obama’s. As he told the troops at Fort Bragg on Dec. 14, 2011, “We are leaving behind a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people.” This was, said the president, a “moment of success.”

Which Obama proceeded to fully squander.

With the 2012 election approaching, he chose to liquidate our military presence in Iraq. We didn’t just withdraw our forces. We abandoned, destroyed or turned over our equipment, stores, installations and bases.

We surrendered our most valuable strategic assets, such as control of Iraqi airspace, soon to become the indispensable conduit for Iran to supply and sustain the Assad regime in Syria and cement its influence all the way to the Mediterranean.

And, most relevant to the fall of Ramadi, we abandoned the vast intelligence network we had so painstakingly constructed in Anbar province, without which our current patchwork operations there are largely blind and correspondingly feeble.

The current collapse was not predetermined in 2003 but in 2011. Isn’t that what should be asked of Hillary Clinton? We know you think the invasion of 2003 was a mistake. But what about the abandonment of 2011? Was that not a mistake?

Mme. Secretary: When you arrived at State, al-Qaida in Iraq had been crushed and expelled from Anbar. The Iraqi government had from Basra to Sadr City fought and defeated the radical, Iranian-proxy Shiite militias. Yet today these militias are back, once again dominating Baghdad.

On your watch, we gave up our position as the dominant influence over a “sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq” — forfeiting that position gratuitously to Iran. Was that not a mistake? And where were you when it was made?

Iraq is now a battlefield between the Sunni jihadists of the Islamic State and the Shiite jihadists of Iran’s Islamic Republic. There is no viable center. We abandoned it. The Obama administration’s unilateral pullout created a vacuum for the entry of the worst of the worst.

And the damage was self-inflicted. The situation in Iraq, says David Petraeus, “is tragic foremost because it didn’t have to turn out this way. The hard-earned progress of the surge was sustained for over three years.”

Do the math. That’s 2009 through 2011, the first three Obama years. And then came the unraveling. When? The last U.S. troops left Iraq on Dec. 18, 2011.

Want to do retrospective hypotheticals? Start there.

Source: Investor’s Business Daily:

The “Income Inequality” Warriors by Richard A. Epstein

The critical political struggle of the 2016 presidential election may well be the redistribution of wealth. How that issue plays out is likely to depend on whether it is cast in terms of economic growth or income inequality. If the Republicans successfully push the growth agenda, then the Democrats will be on the defensive. If the Democrats drive home the theme of income inequality, then the Republicans will squirm. This is a contest that the Republicans should win if they play their cards correctly.

Let’s start with this fundamental observation: It is possible to reduce income inequality in one of two ways: lower the income at the top or raise it at the bottom. Indeed, it is possible, but only by extreme measures, to eliminate all inequality by spreading the wealth of the richest individuals around so that everyone has the same income. Yet none of the critics of income inequality will go that far, because they realize that that strategy will depress the income of the poor as well as the rich. So instead these critics moderate their demands: they are willing to sacrifice some measure of overall social welfare to obtain greater benefits at the bottom. Their theoretical position is that the substantial gains in utility for the poor will override the relatively small losses in personal satisfaction and living standards that the top income earners will experience as a result of redistribution.

Pity is, they have no idea how to steer this middle course. Politics is a very imperfect science to say the least, so that it is all too easy for these progressive policies to overshoot the mark, as it is much easier to lower levels of wealth than it is to raise them. Put simply, it is an intellectual fantasy to think that it is possible to address questions of inequality without taking into account any productivity losses that these proposals may take. Those difficulties do not arise if the first emphasis is placed instead upon the creation of wealth. Indeed it is altogether possible to improve the position of the worst off in society by a set of productive measures that widen the income gap between rich and poor.

Assume that we have just two groups in society, one of whose members all have wealth at the level of 10 and the second, far smaller, have wealth at the level of 1,000. A change in legal position that increases the wealth of the bottom group from 10 to 15 and the top group from 1,000 to 1,200 will increase absolute inequality even as it improves the position of the people at the bottom. Ironically, it will also give larger percentage increases to those at the bottom. Indeed, many social changes do produce gains across the board. But it is typically beyond the capacity of any social planner to steer productive activity in ways that ensure that whatever growth does take place will result in a reduction of any income gap by any system of state taxation and regulation.

This line of reasoning has not, of course, stopped the champions of income equality in the Democratic Party from pushing its front-running candidate, Hillary Clinton, into putting the inequality issue front and center during the current campaign. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find policy prescriptions that can achieve the lofty goal of producing a sustainable version of income equality. One outspoken critic of income inequality is the New York Times’ columnist Nicholas Kristof, who in a recent column, “Inequality is a Choice,” made it appear that the issue is more tractable to legislative fixes than is in fact the case.

Kristof used as his lightning rod the deplorable state of affairs in Baltimore, Maryland, to explain the urgency of the income inequality crisis. But, as I have already argued, the precarious situation in Baltimore is the necessary outcome of the very economic policies that progressives like Kristof would like to see implemented on a national scale. The simple economic truth is that the prolonged downturn in Baltimore does not trace its roots back, as has often been claimed, to segregation, but to the simple fact that Democrats have controlled every aspect of the public life in the city from 1963 to the present, during which time crime increased, taxes rose, regulations proliferated,

Read more at Hoover Institute

Let’s not forget the meaning of Memorial Day: A Soldier’s Pledge and We the People

We the People

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE | A Soldier’s Pledge

Bless the USA, the Texas Tenors”

Quote of the Day 05/25/15

“Obama’s solution for the Baltimore rioters: ‘making investments so they can get the training they need to find jobs.’ Yes. For example, training them not to loot the businesses where the jobs are.” —Fred Thompson