Same old, same old, which I enliven with predictions for the next twelve months *UPDATED*

bored-baby

Here’s an old joke:

An established comedian invited a friend to join him at a very exclusive “comedian’s club.”  The guest instantly noticed something peculiar.  In the main room, a person would periodically stand up and shout out a number.  “57,” one would say, and a few people in the room would chuckle.  After a moment’s silence, someone would holler, “18,” and be rewarded with a chorus of good-natured “boos.”

This pattern continued for a while, until someone shouted out “77.”  While a few people let out a short bark of laughter, one guy in the corner was utterly beside himself.  He roared with laughter, until tears were rolling down his face.

The guest turned to his host and asked, “What gives?  What is it with these numbers?”

“Well,” the host explained, “it’s like this.  We’re all professional comedians here and, to be honest, there are only so many jokes around.  It got tiring and boring for someone to tell a joke that everyone already knew, so we started assigning them numbers.  It’s kind of like a joke short-hand.  People still laugh — if they want — but it definitely saves time.”

“Okay,” said the guest.  “I get that.  But what about that guy in the corner who collapsed with laughter when someone shouted out ’77′.”

Oh, him,” answered the host.  “I guess he hadn’t heard that joke before.”

Yes, it’s a surreal joke, but it also explains why I’m having problems blogging lately.  When I read a story about Obamacare, I can’t add much to posts I’ve written going all the way back to 2009.  I predicted then what would happen now.  “You’ll find that in posts 384, 943, 6749, and 34052.”  Events in the Middle East?  I foresaw those too, including Obama’s love affair with Iran, and Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s entirely predictable coming together against that common enemy.  “See posts 3489 and 9492.”  Government data manipulation?  We covered that too, as we did with gun control, amnesty, foreign policy, etc.

I’ve moved out of fresh and into “I told you so.”  As a writer, “I told you so” is boring.  It’s also especially boring for all of you, because you were right there with me, making the same predictions.  We all saw all of this coming.

The only thing that’s kind of newsy now is watching the oh-so-smart Leftists figure out that they’ve been had.  It’s not actually real news, of course, because we all saw this coming too, but it’s still fun to watch.  As to these Obamabots, it’s not just that a specific politician has “had” them.  Their entire ideology is disintegrating in front of their eyes.  Most, of course, will plunge into frenetic denial.  That’s old stuff too.  For 100 years, communists have been saying that communism is perfect; it’s the implementation that’s flawed.  When today’s Leftist’s rant against the president, the party, and the people, they’re foll0wing an old script.

A few Leftists, however, will draw back and say, “We were wrong.  We were wrong about everything.”  That’s been done too.  They’ll be joining David Horowitz, Michael Medved, Thomas Lifson, David Mamet, Sally Zelikovsky, the Power Line guys, and scores of other people who already had their Road to Damascus moment when they realized that Leftism isn’t poorly implemented; it is, instead, fundamentally flawed.  I certainly won’t think as highly of these new converts as I do of the older generation.  The older generation didn’t need to see America’s economic collapse and her fade into international irrelevance to see which way the wind was blowing.

Since everything seems to be “same old, same old,” except even more so, what would be new and exciting news for a blase blogger in the next twelve months?

1.  Obamacare’s repeal, although unscrambling that egg will be virtually impossible.  Even if they wanted to, huge institutions such as heavily-regulated insurance companies and hospitals cannot turn on a dime.  The somewhat functioning market will have been destroyed, which nothing lined up to take its place.  Worse, we know that Republicans politicians are incapable of using the headwinds of repeal to revitalize the free market.  (Remember:  Democrats have bad ideas and effective politicians; and Republicans have good ideas and brain-dead cretins in office.)

2.  A groundswell of popular support for Obama’s impeachment.  Of course, that would leave Biden in charge, which is not a pretty thought.  The likelihood is that, if he could, he’d move Elizabeth Warren into the Veep seat to stymie Hillary.  It would be amusing, but just as bad for America as Obama himself.

3.  Israel’s alliance with the Gulf States to launch a devastating attack against Iran’s missile systems and nuclear centers.  With strong American leadership, this could actually have a good outcome, freeing Iranians from decades of appalling Islamist repression and destabilizing tyrannies in a way that leads to genuine freedom throughout the Middle East.  With our current leadership, a leadership that will have made such an attack necessary in the first place, one can only imagine that the Middle East, the entire Middle East, will manage simultaneously to implode and explode.  The human costs will exceed imagination and, because of oil, those costs will encompass the entire planet.  Canada, Brazil, the US, and other places may be coming up as major oil producers, but losing Middle Eastern oil in a single day would have incalculable consequences on modern life.

4.  The 2014 elections resulting in a Republican sweep the likes of which has never been seen in America.  In a way, though, coming as it would midway through Obama’s so-far disastrous second term, this would also be ho-hum news, even if both House and Senate changed hands.  What would be more interesting would be to see places such as Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco jettison their Democrat ruling class.  I’m not holding my breath on that one.  The residents in those cities routinely use elections to double down on failure.

5.  Obama comes out of the closet.  (And, come on, you know he’s in there.)  That wouldn’t affect anything politically, but it would make for great headlines, especially if Hillary refuses to be one-upped and comes out too.

6.  Schadenfreude here, but I will enjoy watching New York in the first year of the de Blasio administration.  I should start running a pool taking bets as to how long it will take de Blasio to reduce New York to its 1970s status.  We all know that it’s easier and faster to tear down and destroy something than it is to renew and revitalize.

7.  The New York Times will declare bankruptcy.  I see that as inevitable, although would actually be surprised if it happened in the next twelve months.

8.  People definitively reject anthropogenic global warming.  As with the New York Times’ bankruptcy, this is inevitable.  I just don’t see it happening in only 12 months.

9.  Oprah recants and announces that she’s no longer calling for the genocide of “racist” people who don’t support Obama.

10.  Palestinians lay down their arms.  The previous nine hoped-for headlines all have a possibility, even a small one, of coming true.  This one does not, but it sure would be great news, and it would snap me completely out of my writer’s doldrums.

And, for those joining me in ennui, some music:

UPDATE: Hmmm. A James O’Keefe tweet suggests that tomorrow may bring some news we haven’t already heard before.

Charles Murray taught me libertarianism in a hurry

One of my favorite songs when I was young was Betty Hutton’s Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry.  Because of the way my mind plays with words, the song always pops into my head whenever I think of Charles Murray, the deservedly famous libertarian thinker and writer.  The rhyming names are, of course, a facile connection between the man and the song.  The deeper, more meaningful connection is that Murray’s 1994 book, Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, was one of the pivotal books that hastened my transition from knee-jerk liberal to thinking conservative.

Bell Curve was so relentlessly logical it dealt a death-blow to the cognitive dissonance that is a necessity for a moral, rational Jew who lives in the real world, but who continues to vote the Democrat ticket. I read the book in 1995 and became hungry for more and more books that inevitably destroyed my Jewish, San Francisco, UC Berkeley, PBS, New Yorker, New York Times world view. (Some of those books were Keith Richburg’s Out Of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa; Charles Sykes’ Profscam: Professors and the Demise of Higher Education; and, believe it or not, Arthur Schlesinger’s The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society, in which an old Leftist mourned multiculturalism without realizing that he ushered it in America’s front door.)  It took until 9/11 before I was able to sever completely the cord between me and the Democrat party, but I never would have reached that state had it not been for The Bell Curve.

As always, there’s a point to one of my meandering introductions.  I was fortunate enough today attend a luncheon in San Francisco at which Mr. Murray spoke.  The theme of the speech was the same theme he sounded in his best-selling book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010:  namely, that 21st century America is experiencing a class divide the likes of which has never been seen before in this country.

We’ve all seen this divide in the responses to the previous and current occupants of the White House.  George W. Bush may have come from an old American family, and been educated at all the right (i.e., Ivy League schools), but he was considered a class traitor by the Leftist elite, who relentlessly mocked his speech (“new-cu-lar,” “misunderestimated,” etc.), and sought to portray him as an ill-educated yokel who squeaked into the Ivies because of family connections.  Meanwhile, Barack Obama, the stoner who drifted into the Ivies on a cloud of marijuana smoke and affirmative action, is held up to the world as the most intelligent president ever to occupy the White House (never mind his staggering ignorance about everything but Leftist cant), in large part because he plays the class game so adroitly.

I certainly saw the class divide in my own world when a liberal family member was horrified to learn that I admired Sarah Palin — a gal who didn’t go to the Ivies, who believes in God, and who shoots moose.  He didn’t even bother to challenge me on political substance.  He simply said, “She’s not one of us.”  We stared at each other over a giant chasm of value differences.  To me, she’s “one of us,” because she believes in American exceptionalism, distrusts big government, supports the Constitution, recognized the inevitable loss of freedom that comes with socialized medicine, supports Israel, supports the troops, etc.  While this relative disagrees with Palin on every one of those issues, her real crime was being a yokel.  If he was the bumper-sticker type, he’d have had one that said “We don’t vote for yokels.”

The point Murray made in his speech is that the Bush/Obama or Obama/Palin divides are more than just political.  He began with something simple:  marriage.  Upper middle class white people marry — 84% of them today, as opposed to 94% of them when I was born.  Lower class people have abandoned marriage — 84% of them were married when I was born; only 48% of them are married now.  The problem isn’t just an economic one, although the economic effects of single-motherhood are so catastrophic that even the New York Times has had to acknowledge it.  Two-parent families are the glue that holds a community together.

As Murray said, single dads don’t coach Little League and single moms don’t go to PTA meetings.  In Marin County, Tiburon and Ross moms bring their formidable energy and skills to scarily efficient and excessive PTAs and school plays, while in San Rafael and Marin City (Marin’s genuinely poor communities), those same Tiburon and Ross moms, as charity work, try to do the same in communities that have virtually no parental participation.

It’s not just that the rich are richer and the poor are poorer (although that too is a problem, because it means the middle is vanishing).  It’s that the rich and the poor live entirely separate lives.  Back in 1960, even in affluent neighborhoods, neighborhoods were more blended than they are today.  Incidentally, much as I hate to give any praise to my former law-prof and current-Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren, she diagnosed this problem almost a decade ago.  In The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents are Going Broke, she pointed out that the upper middle class drive for public schools that offer the same quality as prep schools drove up housing prices in certain areas, making it impossible for middle and working class families even to remain within the school district’s boundaries.  While Warren had the smarts to divine the problem, she’s so ideologically blinkered that she thinks government control and intervention is the solution.

Murray describes a lost American world in which the upper classes and upper middle classes sought to blend in, not to stand out.  They bought Buicks, not Cadillacs, because it was déclassé to flaunt ones wealth.  Nowadays, with stratospheric incomes propelled by information technology, you’re failing the new upper class if you don’t have the $100,000 Tesla.

Our children grow up untouched, not just by poverty, but by a connection to the blue-collar working class.  Many of the children in Marin have never met a parent who makes his living using his body (unless he’s a chichi personal trainer) as opposed to his brain.  I certainly know that’s the case for my little community.  I like to describe my delightful neighborhood as one populated by old people with young children.  This used to be a nice suburban working class neighborhood, with stay-at-home moms and blue collar or low-level white collar (i.e., teachers and clerks) dads.  Now it’s an expensive, upper class neighborhood where every adult has at least one degree, where all the fathers are professionals, and where the mothers were professionals before their income level gave them the luxury of staying home to raise their children.  All of us worked like the dickens in our 20s and 30s so that we could afford these homes in this top-flight school district for our late-in-life kids.

Popular culture has also divided.  As  I like to tell my kids, back in the 1940s, everybody listened to Bing Crosby and Benny Goodman, and in the 1950s, everybody watched I Love Lucy.  Now, our popular culture is divided up by 500 cable channels, God-alone-knows-how-many pop music charts, and movies targeted to micro-stratum demographics.  Murray saw this as a class issue, and I agree.  He pointed out that the audience before him watches Mad MenDownton Abbey, and Breaking Bad, while that other class is watching shows we don’t even know exist.  (Although I do know about Duck Dynasty and one day, if I can drag myself to the TV, a box I usually avoid, I  might watch it.)

I’m very aware of the pop culture chasm, of course, because I have kids.  My blogging means that I know everything my kids know, which is very fortunate.  I’m usually a step ahead of them, and can deconstruct Miley Cyrus or “I kissed a girl and I like it.”  They wouldn’t listen to me if I just concluded that it’s “nasty” or “inappropriate.”  They do listen to me because I can describe the behavior in detail and, in the same detail, explain why it’s destructive.  Most parents, of course, don’t have the freedom to be as informed as I am, and the children pay the price.  They grow up in a pop culture world where it’s not just that “anything goes,” it’s that anything that is base, demeaning, and immoral is elevated and emulated.

I do believe, though, that children are beginning to see through the noise of a sleazy, degrading pop culture, and they’re recognizing that, no matter how much they’re forced to read a second-rate, civil-rights-era play such as Raisin in the Sun, that they’re being lied to.  Whatever pathologies may be plaguing today’s black community, they understand that systemic institutional racism is no longer an issue., especially when there’s a black man in the White House.

In other words, the fact that the Left controls the discourse in the media and the schools, so that children get a monolithic Leftist world view, also means that the cognitive dissonance grows and grows.  In this way, we’ve become like the Soviet Union, where people became cynical as they looked at housing shortages and hunger while the government trumpeted the stunning success of whatever iteration of Stalin’s Five Year Plan happened to be in vogue that year.  Our children too are struggling with cognitive dissonance.  It’s a slow process, as I know personally, but a real one.

All in all, it was a very good lunch.  The meal was delicious (perfectly prepared chicken, wild mushrooms, and fruit tart), and the intellectual food was just as good.  If you live in the Bay Area, I strongly suggest that you get on the Pacific Research Institute (“PRI”) mailing list.  The speakers that PRI brings to San Francisco are always worth hearing.

An Elizabeth Warren presidential candidacy

Elizabeth Warren quotation

The two top names currently being bandied about for the Democrat presidential slate in 2016 are Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren.  Democrats are saying that Hillary is “inevitable.”  I recall them saying the same thing in 2008, and that was before she had the Benghazi albatross hanging about her neck.  My suspicion is that, just as happened in 2008, were she to run, the media would roll out the red carpet for her, and she’d soil it within a few months.

No matter what Hillary does, she cannot get past the fact that, at some visceral, lizard-brain level, people who are not true believers neither like nor trust her.  And I do mean visceral.  We here are informed about what a squirrelly person she is, both personally and politically, whether one looks at Benghazi, lesbianism, political and economic ties to antisemitic Arab leagues, or whatever else.  Most Americans neither know nor care.  They just don’t like her.

And what about Elizabeth Warren?  Well, Americans neither know nor will they care that Warren’s Senatorial race proved that she’s a liar.  As Democrat politicians get caught in increasingly egregious lies, it’s rather ironic that people care less, not more.  “That’s just what politicians do,” they say, when what they really should be saying is “That’s what Democrat politicians do, so why the Hell are we voting for them?”

I’m embarrassed to admit this about the American people, but I suspect even Obama’s manifest, gross, far-reaching lies about Obamacare will eventually get nothing more than shrugs from Americans.  Those who are ideologically blind will even add “The Republicans made him do it.”  So Warren’s lies won’t get her.

I suspect that what will destroy Warren in the end is the same thing that wiped out Hillary:  she’s not likable.  Exactly like Hillary, Warren is angry, smug, and condescending.  Obama is too, but he was clever enough to hide that on the campaign trail.  Hillary couldn’t and Warren can’t.

My own outdated experience with having Warren as a law professor some decades ago is that she’s also a terribly bad communicator.  Like Obama, she does fine with the prepared speech, but she’s incoherent when she’s off the cuff.  And unlike Obama, she’s not black nor does she have a photogenic smile nor “ripped abs” to help her out.  Ask her the right question, meaning an important question for which she doesn’t have a pre-packaged answer, and all you’ll get is a boatload of angry BS.

William Jacobson, of Legal Insurrection, thinks as I do about Warren, and therefore devoutly hopes that she runs, because he’s assuming that she will collapse before a Republican candidate.  I’d like to agree with him, but I fear greatly that Republicans will, as always, destroy themselves.  With our luck, rather than having Ted Cruz, or Bill Lee, Alan West, or even Chris Christie (whom I’ve come to dislike but whose still more conservative than not) on the ballot, Republican primaries are going to result in our having John McCain on the ballot.  Indeed, with Open Primaries now in major states such as California, the best tactic the Democrats could use would be to put John McCain or Lindsay Graham or some other self-hating “conservative” on the ballot against Warren or whomever else the Democrats run with.

Yet another ferocious attack from the Wall Street Journal against President Obama

Yesterday I directed your attention to one of the angriest editorial opinions I’ve ever seen in the normally temperate Wall Street Journal.  What I missed was that Daniel Henninger, who’s also a normally temperate writer, also leveled a huge mortar round of ugly facts against our President:

We should admit the obvious: Barack Obama is the most anti-political president the United States has had in the post-war era. Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter (even), Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush. All practiced politics inside the tensions between Congress and the presidency that were designed into the system by the Founding Fathers. Not Barack Obama. He told us he was different. He is.

Mr. Obama doesn’t do Washington’s politics. Disappointed acolytes say it is because he is “passive.” That underestimates him. For Mr. Obama, the affairs of state are wholly a function of whatever is inside his mind.

Some things remain in his mind, like the economic benefits of public infrastructure spending, which appeared one more time in Monday’s post-Navy Yard speech on the lessons of the financial crisis and Congress’s obligations to agree with him. Some things enter his mind and then depart, like red lines in the Syrian sand.

From where he sits, it is the job of the political world outside to adjust and conform to the course of the president’s mental orbit. Those who won’t adjust are dealt with by the president himself. They are attacked publicly until they are too weak politically to oppose what is on his mind.

This is the unique Obama M.O. For historians of the Obama presidency, this September has been a case study in the 44th president’s modus operandi.

Please read the whole thing here.

As with climate change, I feel vindicated — but a fat lot of good vindication does me.  The damage is already done whether to our economy or our national security.

Voters duped by a Leftist media first gave us two years of unbridled Progressive politics, then at least four years of divided politics (2010-2014, or maybe 2016), and another three plus years of Barack Hussein Obama.  Eight years is a long time within which destructive forces can do their dirty work.  The turnaround won’t be instant and won’t even be eight years.  If conservative principles do take hold again, it may take decades to undo the damage.  And given the current infighting amongst those who call themselves Republicans, it looks as if the somewhat more conservative party in America is once again setting up its circular firing squad.

Sometimes I think that the only thing that will save the Right in 2016 is the fact that Democrats are also going to have a presidential primary.  No matter how the actual election goes, I’ve got the popcorn and chocolate ice cream ready for the delightful spectacle of Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren, three of the worst liars in politics today, squaring off against each other.

Elizabeth Warren continues to be inarticulate and mentally muddled

Elizabeth Warren

From the first day Sen. Elizabeth Warren showed up on the national political scene, I’ve reminisced about what a dreadful teacher she was.  In post after post, I’ve noted that, while she was very nice (she is a nice lady in a one-on-one), she was totally incoherent as a teacher.  She never could seem to finish a thought before bouncing on to the next, apparently random, thought that popped up in her brain.  Sometimes she didn’t even bother finishing sentences.

She hasn’t gotten any better with time:

New senator Elizabeth Warren was asked by a Boston reporter the other day, “when you mention ‘middle class,’ what numbers are we talking about, in terms of income level?” The next Senate supposed financial-industry wonk first asserted, “It’s not a numbers issue. I know you’d expect a very wonky answer for me, you know, about the percentiles.”

[snip]

The reporter then pointed out to Warren that, when it comes to bills like the legislation surrounding the fiscal cliff, defining the middle class does indeed involve numbers — how, exactly, did the president just supposedly shield middle-class Americans from tax increases if it is not possible to say, on the basis of income levels or percentiles, whom that group includes?

Warren then goes off on a completely unrelated tangent, saying, “When we strengthen education, when we make it possible for kids to go to college, then we strengthen America’s middle class, and that doesn’t need a dollar figure.” This is a problematic statement: If we offer more subsidies to all Americans of any income level who’d like to attend college, and to the colleges themselves (as Warren would surely like, rather than means-testing college loans and savings programs or spending less on university compensation), then that is actually unlikely to “strengthen America’s middle class” — the benefits will accrue mostly to the upper-income Americans who already win most of the slots to America’s pricey private universities and flagship state schools, and to the upper-middle-class Americans who staff them, ossifying, not eroding, America’s inequality.

Pure Warren:  superficial, muddled, obfuscatory, and tangential.  That she’s considered a shining star in the Democrat firmament is scary and depressing.

The cult of personality trumped ordinary considerations

I do believe that vote fraud had an effect on this election, although I don’t know if it was big enough in swing states to change the outcome.  Abe Greenwald’s theory makes a lot more sense when it comes to explaining how conservatives could have so completely misread the election outcome:

Barack Obama ushered in America’s first large-scale experiment in personality-cult politics. The experiment continues apace. Obama got reelected because he enjoys a degree of personal popularity disconnected from his record. No modern president has ever been returned to office with employment figures and right-track-wrong-track numbers as poor as those Obama has achieved.

Obama couldn’t run on his record, which proved to be no problem—Americans didn’t vote on his record. According to exit polls, 77 percent of voters said the economy is bad and only 25 percent said they’re better off than they were four years ago. But since six in ten voters claimed the economy as their number one issue, it’s clear this election wasn’t about issues at all.

The president’s reelection is not evidence of a new liberal America, but rather of the illogical and confused experience that is infatuation. For multiple reasons, Americans continue to have a crush on Barack Obama even after his universally panned first term. No longer quite head over heels, they’re at the “I know he’s no good for me, but I can change him” phase. Whatever this means, it surely doesn’t suggest conservatives would be wise to move closer to policies that aren’t even popular among Obama supporters.

(Read more here.)

What we saw on election day was the continuing power of the old media.  Indeed, it is flush with power.  This year, the old media abandoned any pretense of objectivity and still shaped an election.  That’s quite something.  For decades, the old media hid its partisanship, believing that doing so was the only way to sway the American people.  This year, it learned that it could be hyper-partisan because it is still the gatekeeper.

We in the blogosphere were deluding ourselves about our reach and ability to change the dialog.  By ignoring some stories (Benghazi, for example, or the scope of Sandy’s disaster) and by hyping other story’s (Romney’s offshore accounts or dog driving), it kept Obama in office despite the fact that he has failed to fulfill every promise he made and left the country in a perilous state.

I know that the economic numbers were creeping up ever so slightly before the election (improved stock market, slightly improved job numbers), but those would have been irrelevant if the press had been hostile to Obama.  This was indeed a “cult of personality” election, as I see regularly on my Facebook page.

There certainly were issues that excited Democrat voters — the elite voted on social issues grounds (lady parts and gay marriage being the things they trumpet most triumphantly) and the 47% vote to keep their government benefits — but those issues were of paramount importance to them because the media colluded with the Obama administration to hide from the public the scope of the coming economic disaster.  Had the American people better understood the economy, the elite might have decided that lady parts and gay marriage could wait a while, and the 47% might have realized that no government money means no government benefits.

Here’s the good news, though:  Next election, the media doesn’t have Obama to elevate any more.  We won’t have Romney, who is a a truly nice man, but whom the media demonized to the proportions of Sarah Palin, who is a truly nice woman.  The press will still demonize the Republican candidate, but I’m not certain they’ll have anyone to anoint as the second coming.  Neither Hillary nor Elizabeth Warren lend themselves to a personality cult.  This hagiography worked once with Obama.  I doubt it will work twice with someone else.  The American population might be in a “fool me twice, shame on you” frame of mind.

Or, of course, Obama could bring in a new Golden Age in the next four years, in which case all of us will have to retire our animus and rejigger our political views.  Currently, I’m not holding my breath on that one.

Monday morning quick links

I spent a very family-centric weekend, which inhibited both weekend blogging and weekend information gathering.  So today, I’m playing catch-up.  Nevertheless, I do have a few interesting things to highlight.

Dennis Prager is one of my favorite political commentators.  His approach to morality and politics can be summed up in one sentence that he frequently uses:  “I prefer clarity to agreement.”  So often, as Prager demonstrates on his show, and as I find in my own life, if one brings clarity to a subject, people find themselves agreeing — and what they agree with are traditional moral principles and a constitutional world view.  That is, if you force people to look beyond what Jonah Goldberg calls “the tyranny of cliches,” you find that they’re still capable, not only of independent thought, but intelligent thought too.

Dennis now produces a video series that he makes available at Prager University.  He’s invited people who have something worth saying, and who can say it clearly, to expound upon basic factual or moral principles.  The latest video has Adam Carolla talking about “luck.”  It’s a great video since it distinguishes random chance (a coin in a slot machine) from hard work.  The “lucky bastard” who lives in a huge home in a rich neighborhood, might have won it in the lottery, but he is much more likely to have created his own luck by studying hard, working hard, taking risks, etc.  This is the kind of thing you should show your kids when they whine to you “but that’s not fair.”  Here, see for yourself:

Here are a few more interesting things I’ve found today:

At PJ Media, David Swindle shows that in this election, unlike the 2008 election, no voters can pretend that they don’t have at least a suspicion that Obama is a corrupt man who is advancing a political agenda antithetical to America’s traditional trajectory.

Also at PJ Media, David Steinberg calls out those Leftist Jews who cannot forgive the Germans for the 1972 Munich Olympics, but happily turn a blind eye to the Obama administration’s Benghazi fiasco.

And also at PJ Media (which had a spectacular run of good posts in the last 24 hours), Victor Davis Hanson examines Obama’s political fantasies (and it’s not just “hope and change”).

My own Watcher’s Council has a forum about clipping the wings of the teacher’s unions.  I didn’t participate in this one (see my excuse about the family-centric weekend), but I wish I had, because then I could boast about having my ideas appearing amongst the thoughtful, intelligent, and practical ideas my fellow Council members advance.

Legal Insurrection has a pretty viral post about the fact that Elizabeth Warren had a continuously operating law practice in Massachusetts for nigh on a decade, although she isn’t licensed to practice law in that state.  The only way Warren can douse this fire is to prove absolutely that she only practiced in federal courts (including the United States Supreme Court).  I’ll be interested to see how this one plays out.

Consider this an open thread, and please add anything you’ve found today that’s interesting.

 

 

Re that Veep spot on the Democrat ticket — I have a guess about the dark horse replacement

I’m with American Crossroads, which believes that Joe Biden is just what the Democrat ticket needs:

Gravitas! (Giggle, giggle.)

I’m suspect, though, that the Democrats themselves are becoming disenchanted with Good Old Joe. Apparently they cast around for the Hillary alternative, only to get a resounding “No!” from a woman who neither wanted to be on a winning nor a losing Democrat ticket, because she thought both would be bad for her career.  You can always trust the Clintons to keep their eyes on the main chance.

So who’s next?  I’m voting for a “Draft Elizabeth Warren” movement.

Think about it for a moment:  while the Republican party has more young guns than it can count, who does the Democrat party have?  Jesse Jackson, Jr.?  No.  Poor guy has a bipolar disorder.  I wish him well, but no one wishes him on the ticket.  Rahm Emanuel?  Nope.  You don’t go from Chief of Staff, to Mayor of a corrupt, crime-ridden city, to second on the presidential ticket.  Raddled old Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi?  Big NO there. Debbie What’s-her-name Schlemeil?  I think Baghdad Debbie has had her dishonest day.

Anyone?  Anyone?

I didn’t think so.

The only “young” gun they’ve got is Elizabeth Warren.  She’s struggling to stay above water in Massachusetts, but Democrats might see her as someone who can revive the base if she’s on the presidential ticket.  After all, when it comes to “You didn’t build that,” she and Obama are two minds with but a single thought.  Better an exciting candidate on the presidential ticket than a struggling candidate for a senate seat that’s already filled by a fairly popular, attractive RINO.

My best guess today is that, in a week or so, poor old Joe is going to get very sick and need to retire abruptly.  And stalwart Progressive Elizabeth Warren will valiantly step up to fill Joe’s shoes.

What do you think?

Chris Matthews interviews Elizabeth Warren — good for a laugh

Chris Matthews managed to do an entire interview of Elizabeth Warren without once mentioning the scandals now dogging her.  Instead, he offers, “as a journalist,” to help her.  See the video and read more about Matthews’ water-carrying at American Power.

I’ll add only that, while liberals like to sneer that “military intelligence” is an oxymoron (and I’ve heard similar sneering from some military types who were confounded when the battlefield intelligence they received was wrong), that oxymoron is a piker compared to “journalistic ethics” in the age of Obama.

When Hollywood imitates real life — “Bowfinger” versus Elizabeth Warren

Despite any actual evidence, Elizabeth Warren sticks resolutely to her claim that she is 1/32 Native American.

This is how crazy people think.  Do you know how I know that?  Because I just watched Bowfinger with the kids.

Bowfinger, which was made in 1999, when one could still be at least a little bit un-PC, is a very silly movie.  The premise is that a down-and-out producer (Steve Martin) puts together an “aliens are attacking” action-adventure film by having his little team of amateurs act around the unwitting Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy), a famous action movie star, who also happens to be ravingly paranoid.

Kit’s manic delusions are established in his very first scene, when he complains that all the great lines (e.g., “Hasta la vista, baby”) go to non black actors, proving a conspiracy.  From that start, he counts all the “Ks” in a script, points out that the resulting number is perfectly divisible by three, raves about the “KKK” conspiracy he’s just proven, and transmutes “Shakespeare” into the racist “Spear Chucker.”  No surprise, then, that the next step is to Elizabeth Warren-land:

Here’s the key language (starting at 2:00):

Kit: And I suppose Teddy Kennedy ain’t 1/16th black, eh?

Agent: Teddy Kennedy?

Kit: He’s not like the other Kennedys. Look at him. He’s different!

(I toyed with the idea of calling this post “When real life imitates Hollywood,” because Warren’s staunch defense of her minority status came to light in 2012, while Bowfinger dates back to 1999. I decided in favor of “Hollywood imitates real life,” though, because Warren started claiming Native American status long before 1999.)

Entropy is setting in and Obama will lose this election

I tend to shy away from predicting the future.  If I’m right, the future was probably so obvious that everyone else had the same prediction.  If I’m wrong, I should have known better, and I end up walking away sadly scraping the egg from my face.

All morning, though, I’ve been toying with a post about the fact that I think November 2012 is going to be a blow-out election for Romney.  Originally, I thought he’d run a competent campaign (I’ve always had faith in his competence) and sort of ooze by Obama in a small victory.  With five months to go, though, I started revising that thought.  Day by day, especially this week, I’ve had a bizarre mix of metaphors running through my brain:  the walls are caving in, the dike is cracking, the avalanche is beginning its descent, etc.  Regardless of image, the point is the same:  a slow breakdown in a system is followed by a speedy collapse.

Politically, one of the best examples of the speed with which entropy occurs when a natural or man-made organism runs out of the energy to hold itself together is the Soviet Union’s collapse.  It was only in retrospect that people understood how rotten and fragile the USSR was.  It had been sold to us as a nation and political system every bit as hardy as the United States.  That’s why, in establishment eyes, Reagan committed the ultimate sin when he called the USSR an Evil Empire.  The establishment thought to itself “Never wave a red flag in front of a raging bull.”  Reagan, however, knew two things.  First, that something rotten to its core will disintegrate at the slightest touch and, second, that the USSR was just that rotten.  Reagan, and then Bush 41, tapped and tapped and tapped away at the weakened Soviet carapace and then, overnight it seemed, the Wall fell and the Iron Curtain vanished.

Precisely the same thing is happening with the Obama campaign.  It is imploding.  It was a bubble, a facade, a Potemkin village.  It’s essential fragility is making itself increasingly obvious.

I thought that earlier today and then I had that thought reinforced when I wandered over to HuffPo and saw this front page:


Keep in mind as you look at that screen shot that HuffPo one of Obama’s friends.  But it’s also a business (even though it’s run by people who view business as an activity for them, the elites, but not for all the peons who need to be under government control).  And a business goes with a big, big headline:  Total Mess.

“Total Mess” doesn’t just describe the world economy on Obama’s watch.  It describes the Middle East on his watch.  And it describes his own implosions:  the boastfulness, the arrogance, the ignorance, the viciousness. The campaign is stumbling from one incompetent moment to another.

Those closely allied with Obama are falling too.  Watching the Elizabeth Warren debacle, which has finally made it to the MSM, is almost embarrassing.  She can’t open her mouth without humiliating herself with another stumbling lie or explanation.  The only thing that saves the Warren spectacle from being truly embarrassing, as opposed to almost embarrassing, is the fact that Warren had this downfall coming.  An academic and political career built upon dishonesty and arrogance should flame out spectacularly.  The people of Massachusetts may yet step in to save Warren, but the public humiliation will never go away.

And how about the Wisconsin story?  It’s not just that Gov. Walker leads in the recall polls.  The really big story is that, given the choice not to join public sector unions, workers aren’t joining those unions, and they’re not joining in droves.  This means that, for all the corruption at the top — both within the State House and the Union shops — the ordinary workers didn’t feel they were getting a benefit.  If they had, they would have checked off that little contribution box without the necessity of political coercion.  Perhaps people are starting to figure out that, when the union bosses raise the funds that put the politicians in office, who then pay off the union bosses, the only ones who benefit are the politicos and the bosses.  The reality is that nobody likes either of those groups very much.

More than Obama’s flame-out, we’re also seeing Mitt Romney run a nimble, aggressive, and likeable campaign.  His team is getting responses up in minutes or hours.  Romney himself, having been shaped in the primary crucible, is more fluent in his speech and more accessible in his presentation than he’s ever been before.  He’s also adroitly side-stepping each of the traps that the Obama-ites think that they’ve oh-so-cleverly baited for him.

The snowball is rolling bigger and faster.  The avalanche is going from a whisper to a thunderous roar.  The dike’s cracks are widening into unstoppable failures.  Romney will win and Obama will lose.  And the win will be big and the loss will be a significant blow to Progressive politics.  To finish on a schadenfreude note, I will not regret seeing the most arrogant man ever to occupy the White House, and moreover a man whose arrogance was completely unjustified, take a well-deserved and public fall.

Is Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, a 1978 case rejecting academic racial quotas, the smoking gun behind Obama’s Kenyan identity? *UPDATED*

Barack Obama has kept carefully hidden all of his college records.  Many of us have assumed that this secrecy is because those papers show that he took nothing but Leftist Mickey Mouse classes and ended up with lousy grades.

Now that we know that Obama marketed himself to publishers as a Kenyan, though, we’re beginning to suspect that the papers hide, not only academic mediocrity, but the same Kenyan identity Obama was using to market himself in the publishing world.  The question, of course, is why would Obama pretend to be African?  After all, when it came to college admissions, wasn’t being black good enough for affirmative action purposes?

Normally, in the years since the Civil Rights movement, the answer would be “Yes, being half-black (not half-white, but half-black) should have given Obama the leg-up he needed to parlay mediocre grades and a drug habit into a shiny diploma from one of America’s best institutions of higher education.”  Obama’s problem, though, was that he came of age at a very specific time in the annals of affirmative action.  To appreciate this, you have to know that Obama, who graduated from high school in 1979, must have started looking at colleges in 1978.

When it comes to college admissions, 1978 isn’t just any year.  It’s a very special year.  It was the year that the Supreme Court decided Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) 438 U.S. 265.

Allan Bakke was a young man with an excellent academic record, who nevertheless got turned down by 12 medical schools.  When he applied to the medical school at UC Davis, and was again rejected, he learned that he had almost certainly lost out on the opportunity to attend that medical school because UC had set a quota for admitting non-white people in order to meet the University’s “diversity” requirements.   Bakke sued.  In a deeply fragmented decision, the Supreme Court held that this race-based admission process was unconstitutional.

With that decision, Obama, who was a self-confessed slacker in high school, suddenly lost his e-ticket to a good college.   He couldn’t know then (nor would it have mattered) that the various concurrences in this deeply divided opinion would eventually open the door to colleges and universities making race a “factor” in admission, so much so that this “factor-ness” eventually created a whole new quota system.

My best guess is that, denied an opportunity to use quota systems to parlay a lousy academic record into a quality college admission, Obama searched around for other means of bypassing his academic failings.  It was this search that led him to announce that he was Kenyan.  I’m sure that a certain amount of digging will reveal that, just when the Bakke decision came down, American universities were engaged in some sort of pro-active policy involving increasing the number of African nationals on America’s college campuses.  Obama was happy to oblige the universities in this effort by co-opting his father’s nationality, and burying the fact that he was a garden-variety American black kid.

There’s the nexus — In 1978, Obama, who already then was willing to lie to achieve his goals, created a false identity to deal with the changes the Bakke decision wrought on college admissions.

UPDATE:  This isn’t so much an “update,” as it is further thoughts.  Although this post might explain why Obama did what he did, it’s really less of a post about Obama himself than it as an indictment showing the rot in the whole race/affirmative action system.

I actually came at the theory bass ackwards, when I was writing about the commonality between Warren and Obama.  I began by looking at affirmative action’s origins as a well-intentioned paving stone on the road to Hell.  In the beginning, do-gooders felt that it made sense to give the then-current generation of blacks a leg up, rather than making them wait the two to three generations it took other disenfranchised people (Irish immigrants, Italian immigrants, Jewish immigrants, etc.) to “make it” in America. After all, we had forced upon these blacks their sufferings, and it was up to us to fix it, and to fix it quickly.

Once it affirmative action became institutionalized, however, it inevitably became corrupt.  From the institution’s side, it was a numbers game and a way to boast about liberal credibility, irrespective of whether the student or employee benefiting actually suffered handicaps from his or her race.  (Witness the way Harvard milked Elizabeth Warren’s Native Americanism, despite the fact that, even if true, it never handicapped her upbringing or denied her educational opportunities.)

From the point of view of ordinary Americans who were willing to say anything to advance, it became a ginormous loophole.  For example, back in the 1970s, I knew a rich Jewish girl with average grades who got into Lowell, San Francisco’s academic high school, by using a dark complexion and a fake accent (~) on her lily-white name to pretend to be Hispanic.  Fearing a charge of racism, the district caved and let her in, despite the fact that other students who did not run from their white heritage had better grades.  Elizabeth Warren is not the first to play this game.

Thinking about this history, I asked myself why Obama didn’t just leverage himself through the system based upon his being half-black?  Why did he have to be African?  It was those high school memories that let me to the answer.  Like me, Barack Obama, who is almost exactly my age, graduated in the shadow of Bakke.  It didn’t affect me, but it sure as heck must have affected him.

Standing alone, my Bakke theory does nothing more than prove, once more, that Obama lies, which is something we’ve seen in real time over the last 3.5 years.  Nevertheless, I think this theory has a larger utility insofar as it lays bare one of the rotten pillars of the Leftist race hustlers.

(Welcome, Daily Caller readers!)

Obama and Elizabeth Warren: birds of a feather who fake facts to capitalize on Orwellian institutional diversity

Ed Driscoll has the best wrap-up I’ve seen of the bombshell report that Barack Obama either told his literary agent that he was born in Kenya or, when she made a mistake to that effect, was happy to let that mistake sit around, uncorrected, until 2007. Ed’s point, like mine, is that this agency squiblet doesn’t actually mean Obama was born in Kenya.  As someone pointed out (and I’ll add a link when I remember who did the pointing), if Obama really was born in Kenya, Hillary would have worked that angle back in 2008.

Nevertheless, this 1991 document, one that pre-dates Obama’s political career, establishes more clearly than anything else could two important things.  First, it proves beyond all doubt that Obama lies and lies and lies.  Jack Cashill and Roger Simon, both published authors, say no agency would ever publish a bio without running it by the author first.  Whoever wrote those words, Obama was complicit.  Assuming as I do that he’s just a second-rate mind from Hawaii, he actively or passively lied back then.  And when he scrambles now to recover from that lie, he’ll be lying again.

Second, this little print publication, which was in active distribution through 2007, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the media is now and has been running interference for Obama.  The media should have found this document  — and would have found it if it had only stopped searching through Sarah Palin’s garbage cans.

I continue to have a deep, deep desire to see Obama’s grades and job applications.  Just as Elizabeth Warren cast herself as “Faux-cahontas” to get affirmative action benefits, I’m willing to bet that Obama, when applying to college and seeking jobs, claimed Kenyan birth in order to cast himself as an “exotic” who would lend even greater diversity cachet to colleges and businesses.  If American black is good, African black is even better.  The institution manages to get both a person of color and someone who suffered colonial depredations.  It’s a double sin expiation for the institution that grabs this person.

-

I was talking to someone today who claimed that the U.S. is still a deeply racist nation.  I suggested that it is no longer possible to call the U.S. racist, because it’s no longer possible to have a non-insane discussion about race.  In a world where George Zimmerman, a half-Peruvian, part-black man is a “white-Hispanic;” where lily-white Elizabeth Warren gets one job after another based upon an imaginary, possibly Cherokee ancestor  who bequeathed 3 droplets of non-white blood to Warren; and where an American born nonentity makes himself interesting by claiming an African birthplace, who the heck can have a reasonable discussion about either race or American attitudes towards race?

The topic of race in America is so toxic and polluted, it’s time to do what we should have done a long time ago:  abandon it altogether.  Otherwise, we risk return to a bizarre racial world of quadroons, octaroons, quintroons, and 32nd-roons — and worse, it does so, not even based upon actually genetic lines, but upon made-up histories.

The Obama government’s attack on JP Morgan and banks is something we should find very worrisome

I’ve been suffering from an ear worm for the past few days.  Every time I read the headlines, I hear President Gerald Ford’s voice in my head.  He’s always saying the same thing, too:

A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

Pithy, isn’t it?  Sometimes a pithy saying obscures the truth or means nothing at all.  But there are some pithy sayings that go to the heart of the issue — and with this one, Gerald Ford nailed it.

Right now, the government wants to take away private control over money.  Barack Obama phrased it as “reform,” with the government over seeing even those banks he concedes are “best-managed”:

“JPMorgan is one of the best-managed banks there is,” Obama said during an interview on ABC’s “The View”, which will air on Tuesday. “Jamie Dimon, the head of it, is one of the smartest bankers we got, and they still lost $2 billion and counting.”

[snip]

According to the president, if even a bank as well-managed as JPMorgan could make an error this glaring, other banks are susceptible to similar blunders.

“You could have a bank that isn’t as strong, isn’t as profitable, managing those same bets and we might have had to step in,” Obama said. “That’s why Wall Street reform is so important.”

Elizabeth Warren was more direct:

The era of self-regulation on Wall Street needs to end now, Elizabeth Warren says.

The Democratic candidate for Massachusetts Senate told CBS News Monday that America has to say “no, the banks cannot regulate themselves.” The comments were made in reference to JPMorgan Chase’s $2 billion trading loss on Thursday.

“Regulation” is not the same as the system we have now, which is a series of rules governing banks (and more on those rules later).  The regulation the Obam-ites envision really means central control of America’s financial systems, with the government calling the shots.  If they didn’t envision more government control, we’d be right back at our rules-based system.

As for the rules-based system (I promised I’d get back to it), that in itself is a laughable disaster.  There are too many rules, and they are too poorly written.  I’ve worked on banking related litigation and can tell you that, between the Code of Federal Regulations and the various state rules (a) nobody can get it right and (b) there is room for enough loopholes to make all the rules mere tools for those bent on nefarious behavior.

The government is promising order yet once it takes control over the banks, what’s to stop it from simply nationalizing the system?  Once the banks become indistinguishable from the government, we won’t have stability.  Instead, we’ll have reprise of what happened with social security.  Aside from being poorly managed, the government simply raided the “lock box.”

Yes, banks make errors.  Yes, big banks make big errors.  The smart solution is to have a few rules that are unbreakable — easy to follow; easy to police — rather than to trust a government that says, “We’re just here to help.”

 

Elizabeth Warren’s “minority status” certainly goes a long way to explaining her career trajectory

I had some brilliant teachers when I was at law school in Texas.  Elizabeth Warren was not among their number.  While she knew her stuff, her disjointed, elliptical communication style made her one of the poorer teachers I’ve had during my 20 years as student (from kindergarten through my J.D.).  I’ve always said that she was a nice lady (never mean or cutting to students), but teaching was not her skill.

I didn’t follow Warren’s career after she left Texas, so I was unaware that she had moved on to Harvard.  I learned that only recently, when the Obama election caused her to become a player on the national scene.  By then, I was so focused on what she was saying or doing, that it didn’t occur to me to ask how the heck she got to Harvard.  After all, she really wasn’t “all that.”

Now that the news has broken that she falsely claimed minority status based upon her alleged 3% (or may 1.5%) drop of Native American, her Harvard employment makes sense.  Harvard needed a Native American law professor — and there Warren was.

I realize that Warren’s coming out as a race hustler is somewhat stale news, but my history with her popped into my mind when I read Alana Goodman’s little summary of the effect Warren’s lies are having on her campaign:

The growing narrative about Warren, on the other hand, is that she’s an ivory tower liberal with some shady character flaws. This latest Trail of Tears development also makes her something of a punchline, similar to how Coakley became a running joke after she cluelessly claimed former Red Sox pitcher and Brown supporter Curt Schilling was a Yankee fan. While the Coakley’s meltdown happened shortly before Election Day, Warren still has time to repair her image. But her window of opportunity is quickly closing, and the drip-drip of details like this will make it difficult for her to turn things around.

Reading that made me realize that her shady days go back a long time, and have propelled her forward on a body of lies.

“I support what they do-do”

Over at Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft paired a quotation from Elizabeth Warren, in which she supports OWS (and lays claim to providing the movement’s intellectual foundation) with an iconic picture of a movement at the movement.  After you check out Hoft’s post, you’ll understand why I’ve slightly modified Warren’s boastful remarks (emphasis added):

Massachusetts Senate candidate, consumer activist, and Wall Street Enemy #1 Elizabeth Warren took credit for the Occupy Wall Street movement in a new interview with The Daily Beast.

“I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do-do,” she told Samuel Jacobs. “I support what they do-do.”

All blame for these terrible puns goes to Sadie, who didn’t create them, but who created the intellectual foundation that inspired me.  ;)

Elizabeth Warren — mob boss *UPDATED*

I woke up this morning to find that my Leftist friends literally plastered Facebook with the above poster.  (Since I grew up and still live in the Bay Area, I have lots of Leftist friends.)  If the text on the image is unclear, this is what it says:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.  Nobody.  You built a factory out there — good for you.

But I want to be clear.  You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.  You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.  You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.  You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory.  [Bookworm note:  Warren must have made this statement before the Gibson Guitar factory raid, when marauding bands of government agents did precisely that to a factory that forgot to pay off the Democrats.]

Now look.  You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea — God bless!  Keep a big hunk of it.  But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

There are so many things wrong with Warren’s statement that I really don’t know where to begin.  Tonestaple sent me an email that certainly gets the tone right (which led to my post’s title):

They [meaning the middle class Leftists who applaud the above statement] seem to think it is the ne plus ultra of common sense.  I think it sounds like a gangster saying, “Nice factory you’ve got here – be a shame if anything happened to it.”

As my interlineation about Gibson Guitar shows, Tonestaple perfectly nailed the reality behind Warren’s cutesy, nursery school-esque, “God blessy” statement that everybody should share with everybody else.”  The reality is that, in Obama world, if you don’t make nice with the government, the government is not going to make nice with you.  (The cutesy tone, incidentally, is classic Warren. She was one of my law school profs, and I found her invariably sweet in word, unintelligible in substance, and vaguely vicious in action.)

Tone aside, there are two major problems with Warren’s factory parable.  The first is the assumption that the factory owner contributed nothing to roads, education, police and fire forces, etc.  In Warren’s world, the factory owner is a pure parasite.  Warren conveniently forgets that the factory owner pays taxes (hugely more taxes than all those people whom she posits paying for roads, education, etc.); that the factory owner provides work for and pays the salary of those employees who then pay taxes; and that a successful factory owner makes a product that provides a benefit to people.

The second problem with Warren’s statement is actually a much more profound one than her “forgetting” that it’s the employers who provide the goods, services and salaries that make all those useful taxes possible.  Warren’s statement turns the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and everything else the Founders stood for upside down.

In Warren’s world, a socialist world, the government owns everything.  (And don’t you love it when well paid Harvard professors advocate socialism?)  The Founders would have been horrified by Warren’s pronouncement.  As their writings demonstrate, they believed that natural rights, the rights that ought to govern any righteous nation, mandate that ownership is vested in the individual.  The government is merely a servant of the people.  We, the people, pay its salary (taxes) so that it can provide services for us.  That’s all.

You don’t have to go very far to understand that the Founders wouldn’t have agreed with Warren that the government allows people to own things, provided that they then make nice with the government.  Our seminal document, the Declaration of Independence, spells out the master-servant relationship, and it is the people who are masters and the government the servant, not vice versa:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

These were the principles on which our nation was founded, and they provided the guiding paradigm for our Constitution.  When my children ask me what the Constitution is, I have a very simple answer:  It’s a contract under which the federal government promises to provide certain limited services for the American people and, further, promises not to abuse the power that the people hand the government to enable it to carry out those services.  Elizabeth Warren clearly has no use for our nation’s contract.

UPDATEJoshuaPundit comments too on Warren’s dangerous economic ignorance and class warfare.

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Bias and research results

Earlier today, I blogged about the problem of sourcing material:  information is only as good as the publisher’s knowledge and honesty.  It appears that Elizabeth Warren, whom Obama unilaterally (that is, without Congressional oversight) appointed to meddle in consumer financing, is guilty of letting ideology corrupt research.  I wouldn’t doubt it.  As you all know, I don’t like her, going back to my time as a student suffering her incoherent teaching.

Elizabeth Warren’s inchoate thought process

I know that not all (or even many) of her former students agree with me, but I hated Elizabeth Warren’s professorship because I often found her incoherent.  She had problems finishing sentences and wrapping up thoughts, and much of what she said came with built-in internal inconsistencies.  Dissecting her lectures was labor-intensive.

It seems as if nothing has changed, if Alan Reynolds’ analysis of a law review article she wrote is any guide.  If you add condescending and statist to Warren’s sins of incoherence, not to mention erroneous, you end up with a pretty dangerous person to have in charge of our nation’s banking system.

The Left’s love affair with Elizabeth Warren

You can draw your own conclusions about Elizabeth Warren and whether she is helping consumer finance or shutting it down.  The fact is that I can’t figure out the real facts in this puff piece, so I can’t determine where the truth lies.  To be honest, I kind of started gagging after this paragraph, which came right at the beginning:

Among all the dramatis personae of post-financial crisis Washington, there is no one remotely like Ms. Warren, 60, who has divided the town between those who admire her and those who roll their eyes at her. She is an Oklahoma native, a janitor’s daughter, a bankruptcy expert at Harvard Law School and a former Sunday School teacher who cites John Wesley — the co-founder of Methodism and a public health crusader — as an inspiration. She brims with cheer, yet she is such a fearsome interrogator that Bruce Mann, her husband, describes her as a grandmother who can make grown men cry. Back at Harvard, Ms. Warren’s teaching style is ”Socratic with a machine gun,” as one former student put it. In Washington, she grills bankers and Treasury officials just as relentlessly.

As one of her former victims, er, I mean students, I can tell you that people almost certainly fall apart when she grills them because she is incoherent. I’ve seldom had a teacher who was as poor at communicating ideas as was Elizabeth Warren.  Getting her to finish a thought or sentence was a nightmarish endeavor.  She communicated in elliptical half sentences, anchored by inchoate thoughts.  If I was in the hot seat, I would also cry if she was grilling me.  You know you’re supposed to say something, but her prose is so impenetrable, you can’t figure out what.

She is a nice lady in ordinary conversation, but I would rank her as one of the worst teachers I ever had.  (And if she’s considered one of the better Harvard Law professors, that tells me about as much about Harvard Law as I ever wanted to know.)