Obama administration

The Missing Ingredient: Economic Growth

Featured image Unemployment, low wages and lack of opportunity for income advancement dominate discussion of our economy these days. But an obvious ingredient is too often missing from the conversation: economic growth. Growth, the rising tide that lifts all boats, creates more jobs, more wealth, and more opportunities for advancement. The various ills that voters and politicians complain about are all largely the consequence of slow or non-existent growth. This is the »

Buffett: Hedging His Hedging?

Featured image No sooner do I note here the other day that Warren Buffett seems to be lining up with climate skeptics and saying nice things about the Keystone pipeline, than I find this very revealing chart from OpenSecrets.org about the rather conspicuous ramp-up of lobbying by Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway: Hmmm.  What happened in 2009 that so suddenly changed Buffett’s spending for lobbying?  I can think of one thing.  Probably you can too. »

Barack Obama’s Credit Card: Declined!

Featured image Democrats love to say that George Bush put two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, on the nation’s credit card. That means he didn’t push for a tax increase. But what about Barack Obama? He put a trillion dollar stimulus program, multiple bailouts, Medicaid expansion, Obamacare and God knows what else on the credit card. And, oh–by the way–he also put two wars on the credit card. He wound down the Iraq »

Poll contains good news and bad news for Democrats [With Comment on Hillary By John]

Featured image According to a new Fox News poll, President Obama’s approval rating has slipped to 38 percent. In January and February, his approval rating was 42 percent in Fox’s polling. He has never before been below 40 percent in this survey. 54 percent disapprove of the president’s performance. A 59-percent majority thinks the Obama administration has mostly failed at creating jobs, up from 52 percent in October 2012. 56 percent believe »

Obama Administration Can’t Describe Its Own Budget Honestly

Featured image This morning Cynthia Burwell, Director of the White House Office of Management And Budget, testified before the Senate Budget Committee on President Obama’s just-submitted FY 2015 budget. Currently, federal discretionary spending is capped by the Ryan-Murray compromise spending bill that Obama signed just 10 weeks ago. Yet Obama’s budget ignores that compromise entirely, and proposes to spend an additional $56 billion in the discretionary category, above and beyond the current »

A unified theory of Obama’s domestic bullying and international fecklessness

Featured image Dana Milbank, the Clown Prince of the Washington Post, argues that conservatives are inconsistent when they accuse President Obama both of grabbing power domestically and being ineffectual on the international front. The argument is silly even by the Clown Prince’s standard. Milbank concedes that “in theory, it is possible for Obama to rule domestic politics with an iron fist and yet play the 95-pound weakling in foreign affairs.” He adds, »

Obama’s “stop America before my successors sin again” imperative

Featured image As Scott points out below, Chuck Hagel announced yesterday that the Obama administration plans to shrink the Army to its lowest troop levels since before World War II. What are we to make of this? Peter Wehner provides the correct answer in the title of a post called “Obama Consciously Engineering America’s Decline.” As Wehner explains: [Obama] views the weakening of American power as a downright positive thing, as a »

In search of antithesis

Featured image Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that the Army is to shrink to its lowest troop levels since before World War II under the budget proposed Monday. The budget contemplates the mothballing of hundreds of aging aircraft and warships. If the budget is approved, the Army would drop from today’s active-duty force of 522,000 soldiers to between 440,000 and 450,000 over the next three years. “Since we are no longer »

Jeh Johnson gets a few things right

Featured image Jeh Johnson, who recently became Homeland Security Secretary, has delivered his first policy address. He devoted part of his speech, delivered at the Woodrow Wilson Center, to pushing for immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. The fact that the implementation of immigration reform legislation would, in no small measure, be in the hands of a left-liberal partisan like Johnson provides additional reason, if any were needed, »

Is Obama About To Be Sacked?

Featured image That is the implication of this Michael Ramirez cartoon. It is, of course, a consummation devoutly to be wished, and with the Super Bowl a recent memory, the metaphor is apt. Click to enlarge: A couple of cautionary notes are in order. Obama has been a veritable Fran Tarkenton as an escape artist (apologies to Tarkenton, a solid conservative), and he has a powerful offensive line, the news media, running »

Theory of the new leisure class

Featured image Thorstein Veblen made a name for himself with the publication of Theory of the Leisure Class in 1899. In a democracy, how can the rich distinguish themselves? Veblen came up with the notion of “conspicuous consumption” geared to the display of social status. The notion has long survived Veblen and the evidence for it seems to be all around us. (Digression: Charlotte Hays works the other side of the street, »

Obama ties military’s hands by reading al Qaeda out of Benghazi

Featured image Katherine Zimmerman of AEI, whose work we have highlighted before, wrote an op-ed in Sunday’s Washington Post about the need to formulate a reasonable definition of al Qaeda. The whole column is worth reading, but I was struck most by her explanation of why the military won’t take action against the perpetrators of the Benghazi attack: Here’s the problem: According to recently declassified testimony of Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of »

Keystone Tea Leaves Today? (Updated)

Featured image Lots of “folks” (as Obama quaintly calls his fellow citizens) have puzzled over the language of Obama’s State of the Union speech—especially its omissions—to try to get a clue about what he may be thinking about the Keystone pipeline.  Canada is increasingly public in its fury about the delay in the decision, and when soft-spoken Canadians are publicly complaining, you know they’re really really angry. Ben Geman, a solid environmental »

A seminal nominee

Featured image I’m pretty sure that if George Tsunis were the ambassadorial nominee of a Republican president, you’d know his name by now. As it is, he is the nominee of Barack Obama to represent the United States as ambassador to Norway, and you probably have never heard of him. Tsunis’s sole qualification for the job is quantitative. He contributed large sums to the Democratic Party and Democratic causes; he also bundled »

Obama’s new plan — no more Mr. Nice Guy

Featured image Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that President Obama plans to bounce back from his rotten 2013 mainly by pursuing his agenda through executive action rather than by working with Congress. The idea is that given the problems the country faces and the fact that Congress has become a hopeless bottleneck, Obama needs to use executive power — mainly in the form of executive orders — to get the country moving »

Another reason to miss President Bush

Featured image John Rizzo spent 34 years as a lawyer at the Central Intelligence Agency. The memoir of his service between 1976 and 2009 — Company Man — has just been published. It was the subject of a harshly negative review by Fred Kaplan in the New York Times Book Review a few weeks back. By contrast, in a review behind the Wall Street Journal’s loosely guarded paywall (you can dig it »

He’s talking as fast as he can

Featured image Senior presidential advisor Dan Pfeiffer turned up on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace this morning in advance of Obama’s state of the union address this week. I give Pfeiffer credit for showing up. Wallace quizzed Pfeiffer on the weakness of the economy as measured by factors with which we have all become too familiar. In the video clip below, Pfeiffer claims some victories that he attributes to Obama and »