The President of Fantasyland


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“By almost every measure, we’re better off than we were when I took office. By almost every measure!” So said President Barack Obama recently on one of his latest fundraising trips, this one in Colorado.

Yet this is quite a strange statement, though conceited as it was and coming as it did on the heels of surveys that show his approval numbers in record-low territory, and a Quinnipiac poll that rated him the worst President since World War II. And rightly so, for one has only to look around to see there are problems aplenty.

Let’s start with the economy. How could the President even begin to imagine there’s been any meaningful recovery from the financial panic that struck as he took office? The numbers for the first quarter of 2014 show an economy that shrank by 3 percent. One more dismal quarter and we will officially be in a recession. But as any right-thinking economist will tell you, a true depression has been with us since 2008.

According to the latest stats, there are now more than 92 million Americans out of work, those who have given up looking for a job, even as the administration says the unemployment rate has fallen to 6.1 percent. How can they say such things? By not counting those 92 million unfortunate souls. By any measure the economy is a mess.

How about the porous (to put it mildly) southern border? As we speak, thousands of illegals from Mexico and Central America are flooding Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, overwhelming an already weakened border patrol. Some 70 percent of agents are now trying to house and process the torrent of illegals, not secure the border from further encroachments. And Obama will not call out the military to assist.

Since October of last year, some 60,000, many of them unaccompanied children, have reached American soil, and Washington is expecting tens of thousands more, with no end in sight. According to reports, some 95 percent of these illegals expected to receive “permisos” upon their arrival. Yet we hear from the administration that the “border is secure” and is more secure than it has ever been. Do they think we are that stupid? And do they think we have not figured out that this is Obama’s own doing? Continue reading

Thad Cochran Is No Reagan Conservative


It remains fashionable these days for Republicans to cloak themselves in the legacy of Ronald Reagan, especially those who served in Washington during the 1980s.  Thad Cochran and his supporters have already tried to remind the people of Mississippi of his steadfast conservatism.  But don’t be fooled.  Thad Cochran was no soldier in Reagan’s army.

Let us begin our story in Kansas City, at the Republican National Convention in July 1976, the nation’s 200th birthday.  Ronald Reagan, the former two-term governor of California, decided to challenge the unpopular President, Gerald Ford, who had angered a good many citizens by pardoning Richard Nixon before any charges had ever been brought in the Watergate case.  His foreign policy was also a disaster, allowing South Vietnam to fall to the North without any response and signing the Helsinki Accords, essentially handing the Soviets control of Eastern Europe. Continue reading

Thad Cochran Showing Early Signs of Desperation


With less than four months until the primary election for US Senate in Mississippi, the political season is now in full swing.  And like clockwork, the long-anticipated attacks against Senator Chris McDaniel by allies of the Thad Cochran camp have begun in earnest, and sadly, in dishonestly, if not downright hilarity.

Finding themselves in what must be an increasingly desperate situation, Senator Cochran and his well-funded surrogates and friends have initiated a campaign of low blows.  This operation of deceit is nothing more than the establishment of the Republican Party, both on the national and state level, rallying around a weakened leader in a desperate attempt to make him look good by tearing down his opponent. Continue reading

Thad Cochran’s False Leadership


Webster’s dictionary defines leadership this way:  “The power or ability to lead other people.”  A business dictionary defines it as “establishing a clear vision, sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly, providing the information, knowledge and methods to realize that vision.”  Can we honestly say this describes Thad Cochran’s time in Washington over the last four decades?  Many conservatives think not. Continue reading

Ranking President Kennedy


Was JFK a great President?  As the nation marked the 50th anniversary of Jack Kennedy’s tragic assassination, new polling shows that many Americans consider him to be among our very best, ranking higher than any President in the last half century according to the latest Gallup survey.  Two years ago, he rated fourth all time, ahead of such Presidents as Washington and Jefferson.  But is this accurate?

As a historian, it makes little sense to rank a President who served just over one thousand days in office, rather than a full term or even two.  It’s very difficult to judge his more limited accomplishments and what effect they had on the nation and even the world. Continue reading

Exposing Thad Cochran’s Real Fiscal Record


No sooner had Senator Chris McDaniel launched his campaign for the United States Senate, a race pitting him against a six-term incumbent, when the defenders of the status quo came to the aging incumbent Thad Cochran’s defense.  One fearless Cochran guardian, Brian Perry from Madison County, recently wrote in the Laurel Leader Call that without the elder Senator’s presence in Washington there would be Mississippi “counties without hospitals or roads to get to where the hospitals are not.”  Without the tireless work of Senator Cochran, says Perry, we would have closed military bases, fewer police, and smaller universities.  Perry’s inference is clear: if we vote for change and a true conservative in Chris McDaniel, we won’t have any roads, public buildings, police officers, military bases, or schools to attend.  We will immediately revert to the 18th century I suppose. Continue reading

The Constitution and the Income Tax


Americans love anniversaries and this year marks some pretty remarkable ones, most notably the sesquicentennial of the battle of Gettysburg and the fall of Vicksburg, two events that dealt a crippling blow to the Confederacy in the summer of 1863, and the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.  But 2013 also marks the centennial of another crucial event, the enactment of the infamous income tax.

Pushed by Liberals for decades in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the income tax was supposed to be the “great leveling,” a policy that would correct the long-festering problem of wealth inequality.  However, there was one problem – the Constitution specifically prohibited the government from taxing the American people directly. Continue reading

Are we keeping our republic?


Emerging from deliberations during the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman what kind of government the delegates had crafted for the new country.  “A republic,” he told her with a warning, “if you can keep it.”  Doctor Franklin’s message has become eerily prophetic, as our republic, once the envy of the world, is in tatters.  And whom can we blame?  To quote Ross Perot, “Go look in the mirror.”

A Republic is the hardest form of government to maintain because it requires a wise and virtuous citizenry, one that is also highly educated and vigilant, and views the government with suspicion, ever mindful and jealous of its liberty.  It is laughable to think that description can, in any way, define the state of our people today. Continue reading

Prosperity in the Hands of Fools


The richest and wisest man who ever lived, Solomon, counseled us in the Book of Proverbs that “the prosperity of fools will destroy them.” Notice that Solomon did not say prosperity will ruin anyone, but the fool only.  So his wisdom is simple:  If you have wealth, don’t be a fool with it and you will remain prosperous.  If you want wealth, remain wise and not foolish and you will gain it, and hopefully keep it.

Now let us look at that foolish institution called the United States government.

Our great country grew from a late 18th century economic joke into the world’s super economy in a little more than a century, with much of the phenomenal growth coming in a 50-year period from 1865 until World War I.  Using wise policies the United States led the globe in every conceivable economic category as the 20th century began, and all because of free market capitalism.  The government was largely absent. Continue reading

Why do Americans have to learn the hard way?


It seems we never learn. Every now and then, the American people hand some poor soul, undeserving in many cases, the national levers of power.  And in each and every instance, it has cost us dearly.  There are several historical periods of note.

John Adams, himself a political giant, was imminently qualified for the presidency, at least on paper.  But he had the most unenviable of tasks, perhaps in all of American history.  He had to follow George Washington as president.  And he did a lousy job.

Rather than reverse course from what Washington and Alexander Hamilton had begun, Adams built on it, continuing an oppressive system of taxation and top-down management of the nation’s affairs.  A people who had just fought a war of independence over taxation now saw the imposition of an even more draconian system, one that included direct federal taxes on everything from whiskey and tobacco to land and homes. Continue reading