War is hell. So go big or go home, Mr. President. Big means bold, confident, wise assurance from a trustworthy Commander-in-Chief that it shall all be worth it. Charge in, strike hard, get out. Win.
Obama famously claims to despise the “theater” and “optics” of the presidency. In tonight’s speech he illustrated the “optics” of toughness. He tried to show a war-weary America that he’s tough in his speech concerning the threat of ISIS/ISIL. “The One” who believes in leading from behind can’t have it both ways. He sure wasn’t concerned about “optics” when he let the crisis starring this Islamic death cult reach this point as he dithered and danced and golfed the time away while the Middle East exploded into chaos.
Tonight he announced he’s flipped and will finally militarily engage inside Syria – the red line he’d set and then forgotten about surfaced again. This, after three and a half years of civil war, 200,000 people killed, and millions displaced amid horrifying humanitarian conditions. Last month, he authorized U.S. military action to stall ISIS’ momentum as it’s taken nearly complete control of Iraq. Tonight, President Obama pledged to fight Islamic militants “wherever they exist” with a very small coalition of the willing. (Can you blame foreign nations for not trusting the resolve of this president enough to join us? Right now he has a coalition of nine; President Bush had over 40 allied countries that could trust America’s leadership.)
Remember the inexperienced presidential candidate speaking from Germany at the Brandenburg Gate (2008)? Or the know-it-all state senator (2002), known for merely voting “present” on the big things, yet lecturing about this “dumb war” he claimed was a distraction from his desire to force income redistribution to create security. Remember him? Today, he seems more worried about contradicting his campaign promises (2002-2008) and typical political poll angst than leading as president (2009-present). These are the “optics” he’s worried about.
The rise of the animalistic terror group, ISIS, is the result of Obama’s lead-from-behind foreign policy. He had broadcast his war strategy for all the enemy to see in Iraq, so the enemy could wait us out and strike as soon as America turned tail and turned away from all we’d sacrificed there. Terrorists who we had under control got to regroup and grow after Obama’s premature pull out. Those are the facts, and some tough talking speech is still just talk. Ronald Reagan was described by the Soviets as a politician for whom “words and deeds are one and the same.” When Reagan said his vision of the Cold War was “we win, they lose,” he meant it, and his policies won the Cold War. The real question Americans and our allies must ask is whether Obama-the-lecturer’s words will translate into deeds.
Go big and be real, Mr. President, if you’ve really changed your mind again and now wish to engage. You must acknowledge reality: the organization calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is, in fact, “Islamic.” Not many of us pretend to be experts on the Muslim religion, but these terrorists obviously consider themselves Muslim and they believe what they’re horrifically doing to innocents is part of their “religion of peace.” So, you can use your soapbox to fiercely encourage the sane, civilized Muslims of the world to tell ISIS and all these sickening terrorists that they’re wrong. In the meantime, we must identify and understand the enemy by at least acknowledging their ideological motivation and identity. Our president is naive to ignore this.
ISIS must be stopped in Iraq and Syria before we need to stop them anywhere else. As they dominate the region they head for us; we’re next on the hit list. For the sake of peace-loving people in America and throughout the world, let’s hope Barack Obama means what he says when he uses terms like “defeating ISIS.” He is so inconsistent in leading a failed agenda that it’s virtually impossible to put any hope in his new promises, because either his past statements shrugging off ISIS as just a “JV squad” was all talk or tonight’s new terminology is just all talk.
We should honor and understand our brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces today more than ever. Please do not support politicians who join Obama in diminishing our military. Our finest, trained to fight for what is right and determined to win, deserve our support. Thank you, military, may you be heard when you pray America’s leadership understands that if we’re in it, then we’re in it to win it; no half measures. Troops, we are always with you.
– Sarah Palin
As we continue to knock down individual members from the long list of liberal talking points, another we can add to the scrap heap of history is that Republicans are the “party of the rich.”
In polling data during the 2012 election campaign, two and a half times more registered voters said that the Republicans’ policies favor the rich versus those of the Democrats. Twice as many voters thought the Democrats’ policies favored the middle class compared to those of the Republicans. And twelve times as many voters indicated that the Democrats’ policies favored the poor over those of the Republicans.
And yet, when we look at the data, what do we see? The Democrats are actually the party of the rich, the Republicans are the party of the middle class, and the Republicans may even have a slight lead over the Democrats in representing the poor.
The US Census Bureau has released its latest installment of “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States,” a document that includes measures of household income dispersion.
The following figure shows the change in share of household income going to the top 5% and the highest quintile (i.e., top 20%) over each presidential term since Reagan.
Well, now. This doesn’t fit the liberal narrative very well. Clinton increased the share of household income going to the top 5% by a whopping 3.5% during his two terms, double the rate of Reagan at only 1.8%. After four years, Obama increased this share to the rich (0.8%) more than Reagan had following his first term (0.6%). Bush 43 actually dramatically decreased the share of household income headed to the top 5%, and his father saw only a very small increase.
So, on a time-equivalent basis, the two presidents who increased the household income share the most for the top 5% are both Democrats, with Republicans pulling up the rear in third, fourth, and fifth place. After four years, the three Republican presidents average only a 0.2% increase, compared to a 1.8% increase for the two Democrat presidents. After eight years, the two Republicans are up only 0.6% versus a 3.5% increase for the Democrat.
We see the same message in the share of household income for the highest quintile. Clinton is well out in front in terms of increasing the income share for the highest 20%. Reagan and Obama are in an effective dead heat after their first four years. After four years, the Republicans average a 0.7% increase; the Democrats are at +1.6%. After eight years, it is Republicans at +1.2% and the Democrat at +2.9%.
But the Democrats are the party of the middle class and the poor, aren’t they? Wrong again. The following plot shows the change in share of household income going to the third quintile (i.e., middle class) and the lowest 40% over each presidential term.
Clinton decreased (-1.0%) the share of household income going to the middle class more than Reagan (-0.8%), and far more than Bush 43 (effectively unchanged at -0.1%). After four years, Obama (-0.3%) has decreased the middle-class income share more than both Bush 41 (-0.2%) and Bush 43 (-0.1%). Four years into their terms, the Republicans average a much smaller decline in the middle-class income share (-0.3%) than the Democrats (-0.5%). After eight years the gap is even wider, with Republicans averaging -0.4% and Democrats at -1.0%.
In his first term, Obama has decreased the household income share going to the lowest 40% by 0.5%, the same decrease as Reagan after four years, and more than either Bush 41 (-0.2%) or Bush 43 (-0.4%). Clinton leads the way in this statistic, decreasing the income share going to the poorest members of society by 0.6% after four years in office. After eight years, the two Republicans average out to equal Clinton at a 0.7% reduction in the income share for the lowest 40%.
Another liberal storyline in shambles. Could it be that “Reaganomics” and the “Bush tax cuts” actually favor the middle class more, and the rich less, than the corresponding liberal policies enacted under Clinton and Obama? Nearly three and a half decades of data suggest that this may be the case. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being rich — and promoting the acquisition and protection of wealth — but if liberals persists in using these terms pejoratively, they may find that the data works against them.
Fifty years after President Johnson started a $20 trillion taxpayer-funded war on poverty, the overall percentage of impoverished people in the U.S. has declined only slightly and the poor have lost ground under President Obama.
Aides said Mr. Obama doesn’t plan to commemorate the anniversary Wednesday of Johnson’s speech in 1964, which gave rise to Medicaid, Head Start and a broad range of other federal anti-poverty programs. The president’s only public event Tuesday was a plea for Congress to approve extended benefits for the long-term unemployed, another reminder of the persistent economic troubles during Mr. Obama’s five years in office.
“What I think the American people are really looking for in 2014 is just a little bit of stability,” Mr. Obama said.
Although the president often rails against income inequality in America, his policies have had little impact overall on poverty. A record 47 million Americans receive food stamps, about 13 million more than when he took office.
The poverty rate has stood at 15 percent for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s. The poverty rate in 1965 was 17.3 percent; it was 12.5 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession.
About 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, which the federal government defined in 2012 as an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four.
President Obama’s anti-poverty efforts “are basically to give more people more free stuff,” said Robert Rector, a specialist on welfare and poverty at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
“That’s exactly the opposite of what Johnson said,” Mr. Rector said. “Johnson’s goal was to make people prosperous and self-sufficient.”
The president’s advisers defend his policies by saying they rescued the nation from the deep recession in 2009, saved the auto industry and reduced the jobless rate to 7 percent from a high of 10 percent four years ago.
Gene Sperling, the president’s top economic adviser, said Mr. Obama has pulled as many as 9 million people out of poverty with policies such as extending the earned income tax credit for parents with three or more children and reducing the “marriage penalty.”
“There are things that this president has done that have made a big difference,” Mr. Sperling said Monday.
The White House again is pushing for an increase in the federal minimum wage, this time advocating a Senate bill that would raise the hourly rate to $10.10 from its current $7.25. Mr. Sperling said that action would lift another 6.8 million workers out of poverty.
“It would make them less dependent on government programs. It would not add to the deficit one penny, but it would reward work and reduce poverty,” he said.
The president is expected to use his State of the Union address Jan. 20 to pressure Congress to raise the minimum wage. He made the same pitch a year ago.
Democrats are advocating issues such as unemployment benefits and the minimum wage especially hard this year as the class-warfare rhetoric heats up to frame the congressional midterm elections. House Republican leaders oppose increasing the minimum wage and want unemployment benefits to be paid with savings elsewhere in the budget. Mr. Obama is insisting that the benefits be extended without offsets.
Washington Times: That’s rich: Poverty level under Obama breaks 50-year record
UNITED NATIONS, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – A record number of Libyans are leaving the country amid new airstrikes, outgoing UN Libya envoy, Tarek Mitri, told the UN Security Council Wednesday.
“In Tripoli, we have seen an unprecedented movement of population in an attempt to escape the fighting,” Mitri said.
“The damage inflict on the public institutions in Tripoli’s southern and western sections – including the airport, the main oil depot, roads and bridges – is nothing less than tragic,” he added.
Despite the destruction of the airport, many are leaving the Tripoli airport and the country as a whole.
“Conservative figures for those displaced are estimated at over 100,000, with at least another 150,000 having sought refuge abroad, including workers, who also fled the country,” Mitri said.
The UN Support Mission in Libya has pulled out its international staff, including Mitri, who is to be replaced as UN envoy by Bernardino Leon of Spain on September 1.
On August 7, a small team led by Mitri’s deputy traveled to Tripoli to explore options for an unconditional ceasefire.
“While all engaged constructively with our proposals, it is clear that more work is needed to overcome mistrust between the parties to the conflict,” he said.
Libya is currently facing its worst wave of violence since the 2011 overthrow of the country’s long-standing leader Muammar Gaddafi and the subsequent civil war. Clashes between government forces and Islamist-allied militias, armed with weapons, seized from Gaddafi government ammunition depots, have continued in the country for months. Many countries are evacuating their citizens and diplomatic staff from the country.