Friday, June 22, 2012

Top 10 Reads of the Week - June 22, 2012

Obama's Pity Party - Matthew Continetti [Washington Free Beacon]
I can’t be the only person in America who, at about minute 35 in President Obama’s almost hour-long “framing” speech in Cleveland Thursday, wanted to tell the president, as the Dude famously screams at Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski, “You’re living in the past!”
Obama’s overly long, repetitive, and by turns self-pitying and self-congratulatory address was so soaked through with nostalgia that MSNBC should have broadcast it in sepia tones. The speech—which even the liberal Obama biographer Jonathan Alter called one of the president’s “least successful” political communications—revealed an incumbent desperately trying to replay the 2008 election. But no oratory will make up for a flawed record and a vague, fissiparous, and unappealing agenda... Read the Rest

'Clean Energy' is Money Wasted - Charles Lane [Washington Post]
In blackjack, doubling down is a high-risk, high-reward move. If you think you can win, based on the first two cards dealt, you bet 100 percent more — but you also pay for the privilege by agreeing to take one, and only one, additional card.
Doubling down is also the semi-official metaphor of President Obama’s energy strategy, as we know from his speech in Cleveland last week: “My plan would end the government subsidies to oil companies that have rarely been more profitable — let’s double down on a clean-energy industry that has never been more promising.”
Blackjack pros like doubling down; it’s a chance to profit from newly acquired relevant information. Whether that logic applies to the U.S. government’s energy bets, however, is a different story. What we’ve learned so far suggests that the president should fold his cards... Read the Rest
We've Reached The Penultimate Jimmy Carter Moment of the Obama Presidency - Erick Erickson [RedState]
...The dirty little secret of our American Republic is that our ungovernability at the national level is a feature, not a bug. The founders intended it to be extremely difficult to pass legislation having just fought, bled, and seen friends die for a liberty they thought they already had only to see their government, of both a king and a Parliament, barter away their freedoms.
The difficulty in “good” governance is one of the last in a series of resistors designed to protect the citizens from the “good” government intentions of those they sent to Washington. It is a powerful reminder, should we pay close attention to this difficulty and resistance, that the federal government is supposed to be a government of limited powers. The difficulty and resistance reduce and largely go away when the President, for example, deals with foreign affairs. In that area, unlike the implementation of a domestic agenda, the President has much more constitutional power because his operations are not directed at the American citizens, but at other sovereign powers. At such time as his foreign policy powers might come to restrict the rights of citizens via treaty, again we see the resistors in operation with a two-thirds vote in the Senate required to approve at treaty... Read the Rest
 Morgan's Big Secret - Charles Gasparino [New York Post]
While the Senate Banking Committee last week spun its wheels trying to get JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon to admit to something nefarious during testimony about his “London Whale” trading loss, executives at the big bank were concealing a far bigger scandal.
OK, it’s no secret that nation’s public pension funds are in big trouble, holding large “unfunded” liabilities owed to public workers once they retire. But most politicians (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is an exception) will tell you the problem is fairly containable, that there are simple fixes — such as raising taxes on the rich or pruning benefits... Read the Rest
 Wikileaks, Meet Obamaleaks - Marc Thiessen [Washington Post]
Imagine there was an organization that serially leaked the nation’s most highly protected secrets — exposing intelligence sources and methods, and sharing classified information with the press that put lives at risk.
Sounds like WikiLeaks? Think again. It’s ObamaLeaks.
The difference, of course, is that WikiLeaks releases information that it believes will be embarrassing for the United States, while ObamaLeaks releases information intended to make President Obama look good. But ObamaLeaks has done damage to U.S. national security on a scale of which WikiLeaks only dreams... Read the Rest

Obama's 'They Did It' Campaign - Victor Davis Hanson [National Review Online]
The next five months should be interesting — given that Barack Obama is now experiencing something entirely unique in his heretofore stellar career: widespread criticism of his performance and increasing weariness with his boilerplate and his teleprompted eloquence.
Starting with his Occidental days, and going on through Columbia, Harvard, Chicago, the U.S. Senate, and the 2008 campaign, rarely has Mr. Obama faced much criticism, much less any accountability that would involve judging his rhetoric by actual achievement... Read the Rest

The Thatcher Line and Obamanomics - Robert Tracinski [Real Clear Politics]
Years ago, the great free-market economist Henry Hazlitt wrote a book called Economics in One Lesson. The "one lesson" is: "The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups." If Paul Krugman and his adherents followed this rule, they might ask such questions as: why can't we continue to increase the government payroll indefinitely? Why can't we just keep writing checks? Why can't we just assume that interest rates will flop around near zero forever?
If they asked, they might find a specific answer... Read the Rest
It's A Single-Issue Election - Daniel Henninger [Wall Street Journal]
The terms on which the 2012 U.S. election will be contested have been set, appropriately by the incumbent president speaking recently at a community college in Ohio. Mr. President, the microphone is yours:
"Yes, foreign policy matters. Social issues matter. But more than anything else, this election presents a choice between two fundamentally different visions of how to create strong, sustained growth."... Read the Rest
Furiouser and Furiouser - Editors [Chicago Tribune]
... Sure, this confrontation is about politics in a campaign season. Republicans hope to find details in those papers to embarrass the White House, maybe even force Holder to wear the jacket for ATF bungling. Democrats are in a defensive crouch, eager to paint Republicans as motivated solely to ... embarrass the White House. Holder rightly describes this clash as "political theater," although both sides are playing to a national audience.
But there's much more at stake here than politics. Fast and Furious needs to be explored. And this standoff between the administration and Capitol Hill won't vanish with Obama's wave of the executive privilege wand. We'd like to hear him explain why he has claimed such a shield.
Until then, we're with George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who describes Obama's privilege claim as "overbroad and excessive."... Read the Rest
Europe Still Doesn't Get It - Nicole Gelinas [City Journal]
Europe faces withered economies and double-digit unemployment rates from Ireland to Italy. Now, after yet another summit, Europe’s wise men and women have hit upon yet another fix. This time, they’re pushing universal deposit insurance across the Eurozone, in which the people of any nation in trouble would be bailed out by people in other euro nations: Spanish bank depositors, for example, would pay for rescues of Greek bank depositors if Greek banks failed, and vice versa. The new idea, like many before it, ignores the problem at the root of the European crisis: the euro itself.
Greece, Spain, and others are in trouble because they—and their banks—borrowed so much money so recklessly during the boom years. Global money managers thought these nations’ euro membership made investment in their debt a sure thing. Strong countries like Germany, the thinking went, would never countenance defaults on government or big-bank debt issued in the common currency. Easy money, in turn, allowed much of Europe to avoid hard questions on unaffordable retirement benefits and inflexible labor markets... Read the Rest
The Funniest Thing I Saw This Week

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