Few Americans needed Standard & Poor to confirm the mismanagement of the United States government and its finances. The downgrading of American credit will raise interest rates on America’s huge debt and ultimately on all Americans. Popular polls say that most Americans blame Congress—but that’s too simplistic. As much as Barack Obama would like to shift that blame onto Congress, the fault lies squarely on the shoulders of President. It is first and foremost a leadership problem that is crippling America—and the leader is President Barack Obama—not the many members of Congress.
No matter how many speeches he makes, the conclusion is clear: Obama’s greatest failure is spending America into enormous deficits, and being clueless about how to get the economy to recover. His speeches, riddled with “I” and “We” are mostly serving to indict him for his failings. Appearing on TV more than any other sitting president, Barack Obama is constantly “explaining” why things aren’t working, when he should be working on what to do different and better.
Instead he is “campaigning,” which is the only thing he knows how to do reasonably well. But he can’t fix the economy; he has neither the experience nor the knowhow to do it. His failed, misguided policies have only exacerbated the size of his mistakes and shortcomings.
“I didn’t say ‘Change we can believe in tomorrow.,.’ I didn’t say, ‘Change we can believe in next week…’ “We knew this was going to take time.” —Barack Obama, Aug. 4, 2011.
“When Presidents talk like that, they’re saying: ‘This isn’t working’.” —Peggy Noonan, WSJ, Aug. 6, 2011
Obama has surrounded himself with academics, theoreticians and politicians and all of their solutions are wrong, flawed and ineffective. Don’t take my word for it. Look at the evidence. Nobody in his inner circle has meaningful business experience. He not only doesn’t understand business, he dislikes businesses; they are only useful as a way to collect taxes to redistribute.
Sunday, August 7, 2011
|The weeping alluded to in the last article is confirmed by my great grandfather in this piece. |
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Certain years have gone down in history as great global turning points, after which nothing was remotely the same: 1914, 1929, 1939, 1989. Now it looks horribly plausible that 2011 will join their number. The very grave financial crisis that has hung over Europe ever since the banking collapse of three years ago has taken a sinister turn, with the most dreadful and sobering consequences for those of us who live in European democracies.
The events of the past few days have been momentous: the eurozone sovereign debt crisis has escaped from the peripheries and spread to Italy and Spain; parts of the European banking system have frozen up; US Treasuries have been stripped of their AAA rating, which may be the beginning of a process that leads to the loss of the dollar’s vital status as the world’s reserve currency.
There have been warnings that we may be in for a repeat of the calamitous events of 2008. The truth, however, is that the situation is potentially much bleaker even than in those desperate days after the closure of Lehman Brothers. Back then, policy-makers had at their disposal a whole range of powerful tools to remedy the situation which are simply not available today.
First of all, the 2008 crisis struck at the ideal stage of an economic cycle. Interest rates were comparatively high, both in Europe and the United States. This meant that central banks were in a position to avert disaster by slashing the cost of borrowing. Today, rates are still at rock bottom, so that option is no longer available.
Second, the global situation was far more advantageous three years ago. One key reason why Western economies appeared to recover so fast was that China responded with a substantial economic boost. Today, China, plagued by high inflation as a result of this timely intervention, is in no position to stretch out a helping hand.
But it is the final difference that is the most alarming. Back in 2008, national balance sheets were in reasonable shape. In Britain, for example, state debt (according to the official figures, which were, admittedly, highly suspect) stood at around 40 per cent of GDP. This meant that we had the balance sheet strength to step into the markets and bail out failed banks. Partly as a result, national debt has now surged past the 60 per cent mark, meaning that it is impossible for the British government to perform the same rescue operation without risking bankruptcy. Many other Western democracies face the same problem.
The consequence is terrifying. Policy-makers find themselves in the position of a driver heading down the outside lane of a motorway who suddenly finds that none of his controls are working: no accelerator, no brakes and a faulty steering wheel. Experience, skill and a prodigious amount of luck are required if a grave accident is to be averted. Unfortunately, it is painfully apparent that none of these qualities are available: Western leaders are out of their depth.
As local commuters drive to work every day, the vast majority of are impervious to an event that occurred 147 years ago.
This is the 150th year since the beginning of the American Civil War. So much conflict history surrounds Atlanta and North Georgia.
Just down the road from a myriad of strip shopping centers in Atlanta and Roswell is a story of unimaginable suffering.
The Allenbrook residence in Roswell, owned by the family of Roswell King, served as the home of the Ivy Woolen Mills Superintendant.
In 1864, the mills were churning out 191,000 yards of cloth and 30,000 yards of "Roswell grey" uniforms made by hundreds of white and black women.
11Alive reporter Jeff Hullinger asked the State of Georgia's "go to guy" on the Civil War, Barry Brown, "Are you surprised we don't really know this story in Atlanta?"
"Absolutely, it's one of the most heart rendering stories of the Civil War era," replied the heritage tourism specialist with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
A quarter-mile down river stands the ruins of the mill, through the thicket, the mosquitoes, the mud, and the snakes.
Large snakes stand guardian over the ruins near the intersection of Roswell Road and Riverside Drive, off the Chattahoochee River.
It was here Union General Kenner Gerrard and his men first saw the French flag flying and the hundreds of women working to make the Confederate cloth.
The flag was flown to try to fool the army crossing the chest-high river.
Why the ruse?
"It was the only idea they had left. The ivy woolen mill manager, Theofile Roche, thought it would keep the Federals at bay and they wouldn't burn the operation," Brown said.
It didn't work. They burned the mill.
General Sherman ordered General Gerrard to arrest the 400 women and their 300 children and charge them with treason. He said, "let them foot it."
The Union soldiers rounded up the Southern women and quarantined them in Roswell's Square until early August. Then they marched with children in tow 10 miles to Marietta.
In Cobb County, women and children were put on railcars, shipped north of the Ohio River with nine days of rations and dumped.
Many died. Many were never seen again.
"They were cut loose on their own. Their families were still down here in the South," said Brown. "They were left to make a living for themselves in a land not familiar with. Some made it back to Roswell."
Fewer voters than ever feel the federal government has the consent of the governed.A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 17% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government today has the consent of the governed. Sixty-nine percent (69%) believe the government does not have that consent. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.
The rest of their House colleagues are home in their districts for the traditional August recess, but the group first-term lawmakers has pledged to hold pro-forma sessions in the lower chamber every three days for the remainder of the summer, effectively blocking the Democrat-controlled Senate from adjourning.
The move prevents Obama from unilaterally making new appointments to federal agencies, which can be done only if both chambers are in recess. And the Constitution states that neither the House nor the Senate can be in recess without the consent of the other chamber.
For Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), who brought his young son to Friday’s pro forma session, the responsibility of wielding the House’s gavel and serving as speaker pro tempore is as much a family affair as it is a duty to his political beliefs.
“As long as the president wants to bypass the usual processes and make recess appointments, that’s his power to make them and it’s our power not to recess,” said Harris in an interview with The Hill after returning to his Maryland home on Friday.
“If this is what it takes to make our feelings heard then that’s the way we’ll do it. And I brought my son with me today, which was nice, he got to watch his dad preside over the House, so we try to make a family thing of it whenever possible.”