Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Barack Obama’s biggest critic: Charles Krauthammer

May 20, 2009

The dinner guest that night at George Will’s house in Chevy Chase was intellectually nimble, personally formidable and completely baffling, recalled columnist Charles Krauthammer – who was getting his first up-close look at President-elect Barack Obama.

“We sat around and said, ‘Does anybody really know who he is and what he wants to do, now that we’ve had this?'” Krauthammer recalled of Obama’s January sit-down with conservative columnists. “And the answer was no. We don’t know.”

By Ben Smith

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer sits in his Washington office.

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer sits in his Washington office.

“I didn’t understand what he was up to until he just unveiled it openly, boldly, unapologetically and very clearly within two weeks of his inauguration,” Krauthammer told POLITICO in an interview in his corner office off Dupont Circle. “That’s what was so stunning.”

Since then, Krauthammer has emerged in the Age of Obama as a central conservative voice, the kind of leader of the opposition that that economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman represented for the left during the Bush years: A coherent, sophisticated, and implacable critic of the new president.

Obama, he has written in his syndicated Washington Post column, is committed to “radical health-care, energy and education reforms,” central to a “social democratic agenda” that promises deep – and ominous – transformations to American life. The columnist has offered, in five installments, a “unified theory of Obamaism.”

At a moment when the right is decimated and divided, and unsure what to think of the new administration, Krauthammer’s confidence is much in demand. His columns circulate widely on conservative e-mail lists and blogs, and even his utterances on Fox News are received as gospel: National Review Online’s group blog, The Corner, posts long transcripts of his remarks without comment, under the heading, “Krauthammer’s Take.”

“He’s the most important conservative columnist right now,” said Times columnist David Brooks.

Read more:

Top Ten Reasons The Republican Party Will Recover

May 13, 2009

Here’s our Peace and Freedom list of the top ten reasons to expect the Republican Party to make gains over the course of the next two to four years:

1)  The economy: Despite the huge spending measures already enacted by the Obama administration, including the stimulus and the many ‘bailouts,” the economy may not even start any really significant recovery until this time next year.  Voters are already tiring of the recession and showing discontent.

Bank of England: Recovery will be slow, starting next year
New Jobless Claims Rise More Than Expected, as 52,000 Auto Workers Become Unemployed

2)  Democratic leaders like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and John Murtha.  There is already rumbling that our Congressional leaders are disappointing voters.  Most polls rate congress very poorly even though some 60% like Obama.  Scandals, a lack of integrity and broken promises on transparency can add to the woes of Democrats easily over time.

Pushy Practices of Pelosi, Murtha Back To Haunt Them?
Democratic Party a “One Man Show” — After Obama, It’s a “Second-Division Ball Club”
Pelosi Vehemently Challenges CIA’s Account of Briefings To Her on Waterboarding; Agency “Lied to Congress”
“Democratic Party is Bought and Paid For By The Unions” Lawmaker Says

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gestures during a news ...

3)  National debt, deficit and spending.

America’s Ability To Borrow More Questioned, At Risk — Too Much Spending “Breaking the bank”?
What Did We Get for $180 Billion “Bailout”? AIG Still “Toxic”
One Hundred Billion Goes To IMF: Money U.S. Taxpayers Will Likely Never See Again
Obama’s Spending, Debt, Taxes Will Lower America’s Standard of Living

4)  Taxes.  Taxes will go up.  There is just no way to support all our current spending let alone the promises of overhauls to health care, education, and the environment without raising more money and that means raising taxes.

Taxes: People and Business Flee Higher Rates; Why Can’t Obama, Congress Get That?
Governors of Texas, South Carolina to Host “Tea Party 2.0″ This Week

Gov. Rick Perry, Texas
5)  Unexpected world events.  Just as nobody could have predicted 9/11, there could well be an event as yet unknown that unfolds to change the game for everyone before long.  Just as Joe Biden predicted last year, this president will be tested….

Battles over energy may lead to wars, Russian strategists conclude

China’s Navy Grows and the World Watches Warily
6)  Democratic Infighting.  This is the party that has, for a long time, been unable to get along with itself, for too long, before all hell breaks loose….

7)  Inflation.  With all the borrowing of the federal government, inflation is indeed likely.  Nobody will like that one bit.  Which will hurt incumbents….

8)  Loss of buying power and credit.  Obama’s current campaign to rein in the credit card companies is admirable but it may result in millions of people unable to get the credit they’ve grown used to….Expect retail sales to lag other indicators of recovery…..

Retail sales remain slow in April:

9)  Broken Promises.  “Green jobs” won’t be as numerous or high paying as once promised and work for good jobs will dry up as GM and Chrysler and others move more jobs overseas….The health care overhaul may actually harm enough people that there could be a backlash that wants to punish lawmakers…

Latest News On Social Security, Medicare, Debt Show Inability of Government To Make Accurate Financial Predictions
Obama, Daschle and Socialized Medicine: Care of GE
Fiat threatens to walk away from Chrysler deal unless unions agree to concessions

10) Desire for Change/Hope (The Pendulum): In our American system, the pendulum has been swinging to and fro; from Republicans to Democrats and back again for almost all of time.  People will tire of our current way of doing business and even the euphoria over Obama will wane.

Republican Party Dead? Hardly. Polls Show Erosion and Doubt in Democratic Advantage


11) Traditional Republican Discipline.  The Republicans in general have traditionally shown much more discipline and togetherness than Democrats.  The current squabbling over Cheney, Powell, Gingrich, Rush et al can be expected to wind down as elections near.

12)  The law of unintended consequences.  President Obama has changed so much, so aggressively, so often, so soon in his presidency that the effort is unprecedented.  But this could mean that there is trouble lurking that has not been foreseen.  And we know how well our government foresees things: like the current recession….

13)  Bad Obama planning and staff work.  Nobody had time to read the stimulus?  This will come back to hurt the president and the Democrats in Congress.  Many other examples of stupidity an ineptitude come to mind…..

14)  The “Tea Parties.”  “The real genesis of the tea party movement was not taxes, but out-of-control spending and the debts we are leaving our children,” wrote Paul Gessing in the Albuquerque Conservative Examiner.  “The tea party movement (at least in Albuquerque) is not simply a bunch of angry Republicans who don’t like Obama and understand their own self-interest. Rather, the tea party here was organized by average citizens who are terrified of what the government is doing to our economy. The fact is that America can’t live on borrowed money forever.”  The fact that people are taking to the streets — people who are both Democrats and republicans — is unprecedented.John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
In this photograph released by the White House, Air Force One ...


Republicans Determined to Lose?
Obama Backs Off Promise to Release Abuse Photos
If you had told me some of these Obama stories three months ago I would have said “impossible!”
Obama’s Dumb Moves Getting More Difficult to Ignore? On Friday Mainstream Media Realizes Monday’s Cabinet Meeting Was Laughable, Really

Conservatives Need To Recommit to Conservative Values

Michelle Malkin:

Latest News On Social Security, Medicare, Debt Show Inability of Government To Make Accurate Financial Predictions

May 13, 2009

This is exactly why all Americans should be gravely concerned about the current rates of government spending:

“Today’s report confirms that the so-called Social Security crisis exists in only one place — the minds of Republicans,” said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada on March 23, 2005. “In reality, the program is on solid ground for decades to come.”
Yesterday, Social Security trustees said that Social Security will start paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes in 2016, one year sooner than projected last year, and the giant trust fund will be depleted by 2037, four years sooner than predicted last year.

The trustees said Medicare was in even worse shape. They said that the trust fund for hospital expenses will pay out more in benefits than it collects this year and will be insolvent by 2017, two years earlier than the date projected in last year’s report.

Both of these programs are likely to be adding to the national debt before long.

President Obama has already added to the national debt with the $787 billion stimulus, the omnibus spending bill topping $400 billion, enormous “bailouts,” and budgets in the trillions.

He still wants to fix health care, education and the environment.
On Monday, the Office of Management and Budget said for the first time ever, the U.S. government is borrowing 50 cents of every dollar it spends.
This could even still go up.

Barack Obama and democrats will quadruple the U.S. deficit this year, based upon the current rate of spending and receipts.

The receipts of the U.S. government from taxes paid was down 15% in January 2009 compared to January 2008.  In April, receipts were off a full 30%.

April 2009 was the first April since 1983 that the U.S. government spent more than it took in….

Meanwhile, U.S. government spending is way up: up fully $38 billion in April alone over April 2008.

The difference between receipts and money spent is the deficit and that could exceed $1.8 trillion this year; added to the U.S. burden of borrowed money and interest paid.

The massive budget deficit created by democrats this year represents a massive 12.9%of gross domestic product. President Obama expected the deficit level to be 12% of GDP this year. This puts the US above the UK deficit that runs more than 10% of GDP, and puts the US above troubled states Pakistan and Hungary.

As several commentators have said, the U.S. would not be given permission to join the EU with this much debt….

Makes one ask: if the January and February government economic predictions on debt and deficit are $600 billion too low by May 11: what else is wrong and how bad can it get?

All the budget and debt figures in the Obama plan are based upon assumptions and prediction which have already been proven to be way wrong….

Social Security and Medicare Finances Worsen; Likely Will Add To Nation’s Debt
Obama Debt, Budget Numbers Stagger Most (One Trillion = Million Million)
U.S. Government Borrowing 50 Cents on Every Dollar Spent; Interest Likely To Rise
America’s Ability To Borrow More Questioned, At Risk — Too Much Spending “Breaking the bank”?


From CNN Money

The government ran up a $21 billion budget shortfall last month, the first April deficit in 26 years, the Treasury Department said Tuesday.

The total deficit for the first seven months of the fiscal year hit $802 billion, compared to a deficit of $153 billion in the same period a year earlier, the government said in the monthly budget report.

“This is historic,” said Dan Clifton, head of policy research at Strategas Research Partners. “Our country has never seen something like this.”

From October – the beginning of the fiscal year – to April, total revenue declined 19%, Clifton said. That’s the largest drop in revenue and almost double the previous record, he said.

Notably, April is usually a good month for Uncle Sam because many taxpayers file their returns and send checks to the Treasury. But this year, tax receipts have fallen sharply because of the recession and the government’s response to it.

The downturn is a triple whammy to government revenue: fewer people are working and providing income taxdollars; corporation tax receipts are on the wane; and tax cuts aimed at juicing the economy reduce paycheck withholdings.

“It’s a perfect storm of every tax revenue source declining at once,” Clifton said.

At the same time, government is spending massive amounts to try to recapitalize the nation’s financial system and spur economic growth.

In March, the government added $191.6 billion to the deficit.

Spending: The total outlays for April were $287.1 billion, a decrease from $320.5 billion spent in March.

Spending is up 26% year-over-year, according to Clifton, who said the number is “astronomical. Even a fifth of that increase would have been a big deal.”

So far this fiscal year, the government has spent $2.06 trillion and expects to spend $3.94 trillion for the full year ending Sept. 30.

Total receipts for April were $266.2 billion, bringing the total amount that the government has taken in so far this year to $1.3 trillion.

Read the rest:

Stimulus Meant To Make Jobs But States Lay-Off Amid Budget Cuts

May 12, 2009

Eleven weeks after Congress settled on a stimulus package that provided $135 billion to limit layoffs in state governments, many states are finding that the funds are not enough and are moving to lay off thousands of public employees.

By Alec MacGillis
The Washington Post

The state of Washington settled on a budget two weeks ago that will mean 1,000 layoffs at public colleges and several times that many in elementary and high schools.

The governor of Massachusetts, who cut 1,000 positions late last year, just announced 250 layoffs, with more likely to come soon.

Arizona has already laid off 800 social service workers this year and is facing the likelihood of deeper cuts over the next two. The state no longer investigates all complaints of child or elder abuse.

“Don’t be a child or a vulnerable adult in Arizona,” said Tim Schmaltz of the Protecting Arizona’s Family Coalition.

The layoffs are one early indication of how the stimulus funding could be coming up short against the economic downturn. As the stimulus plan was being drawn up, there was agreement among the White House, congressional Democrats and many economists that a key goal was to keep states from making big layoffs at a time when 700,000 Americans were losing their jobs every month.

Read the rest:

Obama Moving America To Less Dynamic, Less Innovative, Less Skilled and Poorer Nation

May 11, 2009

Something bad and dangerous is happening in Barack Obama’s America.

The powers that the Obama administration claimed in order to arrest the financial crisis and mitigate the recession are being used and abused in ways that are underming the legal and financial stability of the United States. Investors: You are warned.

By David Frum
National Post

The first warning was the attempt to snatch Chrysler’s assets away from their rightful owners to pay off administration friends and supporters.

The Obama plan to save Chrysler would have sold Chrysler’s most valuable assets into a new company co-owned by the U. S. and Canadian governments, Fiat and the United Auto Workers (UAW) — with the UAW getting the biggest piece, 55%. (more…)

Obama Paying People to be Unproductive: Economy in Reverse

May 10, 2009

The President’s desire to extend unemployment benefits for an additional 26 weeks for persons seeking to “re-train” tells us how bad the economy actually is.

I predicted some time ago that unemployment would reach double digits by summer. We are almost there now. In fact, there are some who believe we are already there, if you take into account those who have stopped looking for work, and those who now are working part-time, who were full-time employees. The President is warehousing people instead of creating the opportunity for employment. Providing an additional 26 weeks of government support provides no incentive, (during the total of 52 weeks of benefits), to get back to work. Paying people to be unproductive never works.

By Bradley Blakeman

Unemployment 8.9%, Highest Since 1983, Hiring Slow, Many Taking “Less Quality” Jobs, Government Grows

May 8, 2009

Headline writers were bending over backward today to scribble upbeat words on the economy.

“Layoffs slow,” “Joblessness Less Than Expected,” and “Fewest Job Cuts Since November.”

Everybody wants the economy to bounce back.  But the question is: Back to What?

Back to the Future.

Many people are now taking jobs requiring far less qualifications than the applicants possess: meaning that people are more highly trained than the economy is ready to support with jobs.  As the skill levels of our population rise: the economy expected to fulfill the hopes of better, higher paying jobs with benefits is not keeping pace.

But to the government: if you have a job you are not unemployed.  If your job now pays $20,000 but you once earned $120,000 you are employed, as far as government statistics tracking jobs can tell.

More good news: 66,000 people were hired into the government in April to help with the census.

That’s government creating government jobs.

Stuart Varney of Fox News says, “Private employers are still aggressively cutting jobs.”

Companies also kept a tight rein on workers hours. The average work week in April stayed at 33.2 hours, matching the record low set in March.

If you don’t work a 40 hour week you have little in benefits….

The government job statistics don’t tell you very much unless one looks closely….


America edges closer to the Third World as a job supplier: not further away and more toward “prosperity.”

Fed Tells California: Can’t Cut Pay of Union Jobs To Save Budget; Threatens Loss of Stimulus Money
Where Are The Jobs? Ask The Unions
Obama, Geithner Review Of Banks Says Multiyear Period of Economic Weakness Still Ahead
China, Asia Dig Out of Recession Much Faster Than U.S.
EU Leaders, Unions, Disagree On More Jobs Or Union Jobs
Under Restructuring, GM To Build More Cars Overseas
Obama Promised 5 Million Green Jobs But Sierra Club Says “green jobs are not always good jobs” that can support a middle-class lifestyle


WASHINGTON – The pace of layoffs slowed in April when employers cut 539,000 jobs, the fewest in six months. But the unemployment rate climbed to 8.9 percent, the highest since late 1983, as many businesses remain wary of hiring given all the economic uncertainties.

The Labor Department tally released Friday wasn’t nearly as deep as the 620,000 job cuts that economists were expecting, and was helped by a burst of government hiring. The rise in the unemployment rate from 8.5 percent in March matched economists’ forecasts.

The new report underscored the toll the longest recession since World War II has taken on America’s workers and companies. However, the slowdown in layoffs may bolster hopes that the worst of the recession’s hefty job losses are past.

Still, companies will remain cautious in hiring, making it harder for laid-off workers to find new jobs.

Read the rest:


By Chrystia Freeland

An influential Democrat who was also one of the world’s top-ten, highest-paid hedge fund managers last year thinks he knows which book is at the top of the White House reading list this spring: Animal Spirits, the powerful new blast of behavioural economics from Nobel prize-winner George Akerlof and Yale economist Robert Shiller.

Judging by the upbeat economic message we have been hearing from the White House, the Treasury and even the Federal Reserve over the past six weeks, that is a shrewd guess. The authors argue that “we will never really understand important economic events unless we confront the fact that their causes are largely mental in nature”. Our “ideas and feelings” about the economy are not purely a rational reaction to data and experience; they themselves are an important driver of economic growth – and decline.

Since mid-March President Barack Obama and his team have mounted a sophisticated effort to brighten those “ideas and feelings”, reassuring the nation with “glimmers of hope across the economy” and the assertion that “we’re starting to see progress”. The much bally-hooed stress tests – whose comprehensively leaked results were fully unveiled after the markets closed on Thursday – are both an important example of this confidence-building campaign and its toughest challenge.

The sunnier rhetoric of recent weeks marked a sharp shift both from the bleak mood of the fin de regime administration of George W. Bush and from the first weeks of the Obama White House. The outgoing president’s political capital was so low in his final months in office that the mere fact of his public appearances seemed to have a depressing effect on the markets. His secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson, enjoyed greater confidence, but he needed to convince lawmakers the situation was dire enough to merit his $700bn Tarp programme.

Likewise, Mr Obama needed the nation to be worried enough about the economy to pass his nearly $800bn stimulus plan. And too much good cheer in the first days of his administration could have wasted one of his most powerful trump cards – the country’s belief that this recession is owned by president number 43, not number 44.

But once the stimulus bill was passed, the White House calculated that, as Mr Obama told the Financial Times, lawmakers and US voters had reached their limits. No new money to rev up the economy or revive the banks would be forthcoming until the president and his team could demonstrate concrete results from the first instalment.

Since then Americans have been hearing a decidedly more optimistic vibe from Washington. It has seemed to work. A Google search for the term “economic recovery” turned up 6,991 references to the term in January and 7,831 in February. In the first week of May the phrase occurred 24,443 times.

More traditional yardsticks show the same result. According to a recent ABC/Washington Post poll, Americans’ belief that their country is heading in the right direction has soared from 19 per cent, just before Mr Obama’s inauguration, to 50 per cent, the highest in six years. In what could be a textbook example of behavioural economics, the stock market has followed the same curve, recovering from what rightwing commentators were calling “the Obama bear market” at the beginning of the year to a healthy rally.

Read the rest:

Obama, Republicans Need To Know: Nobody Wants the Government in Their Living Room

May 8, 2009

In good times or bad, there’s always someone willing to tell the Republican Party that the road to success is to embrace the liberal agenda. In a speech in Washington Monday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell joined the chorus. We hope for the sake of the country that his party doesn’t listen.

Mr. Powell insisted that he doesn’t want the Republicans to turn into Democrats or clones of the Democrats. But it’s hard to see what other space he hopes the GOP will carve out for itself given his analysis. According to press accounts, Mr. Powell argued that America has changed, and “Americans do want to pay taxes for services” and “Americans are looking for more government in their life, not less.”

If the American people want to pay more taxes, nobody seems to have told the Obama Administration. There’s a reason that the President ran as a tax cutter and repeats at every opportunity that he’s already, in his words, cut taxes for “95% of working families.” The appetite for Walter Mondale-style honesty about the consequences of huge spending increases remains low, to judge by the Administration’s own rhetoric.

But even if Mr. Powell is right, this supposed newfound appetite for bigger government isn’t likely to last. Uncle Sam is like that overbearing relative that you only miss when he’s gone. The appeal fades quickly after he’s installed himself in your living room and starts pushing you around. If the Obama Administration manages to implement its agenda and grow federal spending to 30% of GDP or more — taking over the health-care system, the mortgage industry, major banks and the auto industry along the way — it won’t be long before Americans lose their appetite for big government, assuming they ever found it.

At that point, a GOP that had embraced Mr. Powell’s advice would find itself with even less credibility than it currently has on restoring government to a manageable size. Mr. Powell says it’s bad for the country to have a shrinking GOP, and he’s right. But even worse would be an opposition party in name only.

Opinion fromThe Wall Street Journal

Where Are The Jobs? Ask The Unions

May 7, 2009

When President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill, he promised it would create or save 3.5 million jobs. Ever since, federal and state officials have been trying to count those jobs, but it hasn’t been easy.  

We should just relax and ask the unions.

One man jumped to his death off the All-America Bridge in Ohio this year.

Two more used the Akron bridge — more commonly known as the Y-Bridge — to commit suicide in 2008.

Akron hopes to curtail future deaths on what has been dubbed ”Suicide Bridge” by installing a fence.

The fence is a stimulus jobs program: and the jobs have to be union jobs.

“The question to me was, ‘How in God’s name did Obama’s guys come up with these job numbers for us?’  So, being a good accountant I dove into it.”

“I think they used a ouija board.”

That’s from my friend in Massachusetts speaking about the number of jobs that would be saved there as estimated by team Obama.  The people in Massachusetts have no idea how they can ever save that number of jobs, we were told….

“They must have just manufactured these numbers in Washington DC….”

The unions now own Chrysler, or a big chunk of it.

The Teamsters Union is the main reason that more trucks from Mexico can’t carry goods into the U.S.

The teachers unions will be the biggest beneficiaries of the Obama education reform efforts — as near as we can tell.

And every little city in America that took stimulus money from the federal government hoping to gain 60 jobs may only get like 45 jobs — because they must be union jobs.

Obama also favors the controversial union building measure called “Cardcheck.”

Top Obama Billionaire Donors Object To His Support Of Unions, “Cardcheck”
ACORN Is In The News Again: New Charges of Falsifying Voter Registrations; Quota System, Union Ties
Under Restructuring, GM To Build More Cars Overseas
EU Leaders, Unions, Disagree On More Jobs Or Quality Jobs.
Stimulus Road Projects in Areas of Highest Employment; Contrary to Promises

Now we find out that one of the Obama Administration’s cost savings measures is to cut funding for those looking for corruption in the unions…..

The Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards took its job of policing unions seriously. Its actions led to 929 convictions of corrupt union officials and to the recovery of more than $93 million on behalf of union members during the Bush Administration. Yet the Obama administration has proposed slashing its budget from $45 million in 2009 to $41 million in 2010, citing an insufficient “workload” for the office.

Michelle Malkin:

American Spectator:

Reactions To Recession: Isreal Wants Huge Spending Cuts; Brits Mulling Huge Taxes; Obama Wants To Totally Fund Health Care, Education, Re-engineered Energy System

May 7, 2009

Fund education, health care, and environmental projects.  We’ve heard it over and over.

And the debt is already skyrocketing.

We are well past the stuff Barack Obama “inheritied” here: this is all of his own making.

The Obama plan sneaks out of the shade a bit more each day and guess what: it is an offer without a plan.  Speech text on the teleprompter without details or a reliable budget.

It is talk of transparency without real verifiable transparency.

It is we’ll be out of Gitmo — with no plan to make that happen.

The Obama plan is listen to your government on the flu: wash your hands.  Oh, and don’t listen to Joe Biden.

In Israel, the government is considering huge spending cuts to live in this uncertain recession era.
To Balance The Budget: Cutting Health Care, Education, Unemployment Benefits, Defense, and More
In Britain, taxes could top 61% of income.
Some of Britain’s Top Taxpayers Could Owe 61.5%
But in the USA we are expected to fund everything and trust our government.  We won.

Defying Logic: Obama Wants Congress To Give Him Money Without Plans (And The Money Is Borrowed)