EnduringSense

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Posts Tagged ‘Johnson’

Liberalism Fails Society and Those Most in Need

Posted by Steve Markowitz on March 7, 2017

Since the early 1960s liberals have promoted the narrative that people on the Left are more compassionate than those on the Right. This proposition was based on a motion, not empirical evidence. It emotionally seems right that the government should give to those in need. Conversely, those who would withhold government’s largess from the less fortunate lack compassion.

While a governmental safety net has been a part of American society since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Administration, it advanced significantly under President Lyndon Johnson. Given we are now a half-century into Johnson’s Great Society, it is reasonable to determine efficacy of the programs.

The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley recently published some important statistics since the initiation of the Great Society:

  • In 1962 the percentage of the Americans receiving government assistance in the form of cash transfers was about 12%. Today this has nearly doubled to 21%.
  • In 2012 over 48% of Americans resided in households receiving some form of government benefits. This number was only 30% in 1983.
  • By 2011 the US published property rate remained flat compared to 1965. During the same period, US governmental expenditures on poverty rose by 900% per receiving person (after inflation adjustments).
  • The Heritage Foundation marks 2014 as the 50th anniversary of Johnson’s Great Society. They calculated that federal government spending increased by 16 times, adjusted for inflation, for means tested welfare during this period.

Cause and effect are often difficult to prove. However, in the case of the Great Society Programs and their offspring, the evidence seems convincing that at the very least, much of the spending was wasteful and have not benefited those most in need over the long-term. At the same time, these programs significantly benefited certain industries that serve the programs and distributed their benefits. Those industries offer significant resistance to fundamentally changing governmental spending habits.


 

Posted in Progressives | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Americans Don’t Trust the Government

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 20, 2013

Many Americans are conflicted on the issue of the NSA tapping into our telephones and Internet.  On the one hand all desire protection from the radical terrorists that threaten the Country.  At the same time we fear what the government will do with the information they are collecting on incent citizens.  This conflict has made for unusual political bedfellows that mate up Leftists and conservatives into coalitions on both sides of the argument.

One preeminent conservative thinker of our time is Dr. Thomas Sowell, who also is a respected economist.  He published an article titled Trust in Government Long Gone that clarifies why Americans are conflicted about an issue that should not be creating such dissonance; our leaders have lied so often that the trust in government has been broken.  Sowell correctly concludes:

 “Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon happened – and both were shameless liars.  They destroyed not only their own credibility, but the credibility of the office.”

“When Barack Obama squanders his own credibility with his glib lies, he is not just injuring himself during his time in office.  He is inflicting a lasting wound on the country as a whole.”

“But we the voters are not blameless.  Having chosen an untested man to be president, on the basis of rhetoric, style and symbolism, we have ourselves to blame if we now have only a choice between two potentially tragic fates – the loss of American lives to terrorism or a further dismantling of our freedoms that has already led many people to ask:  “Is this still America?””

Trust in Government Long Gone, by Thomas Sowell, June 18, 2013

Amid all the heated cross-currents of debate about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance program, there is a growing distrust of the Obama administration that makes weighing the costs and benefits of the NSA program itself hard to assess.

The belated recognition of this administration’s contempt for the truth, for the American people and for the Constitution of the United States, has been long overdue.

But what if the NSA program has in fact thwarted terrorists and saved many American lives in ways that cannot be revealed publicly?

Nothing is easier than saying that you still don’t want your telephone records collected by the government.  But the first time you have to collect the remains of your loved ones, after they have been killed by terrorists, telephone records can suddenly seem like a small price to pay to prevent such things.

The millions of records of phone calls collected every day virtually guarantee that nobody has the time to listen to them all, even if NSA could get a judge to authorize listening to what is said in all these calls, instead of just keeping a record of who called whom.

Moreover, congressional oversight by members of both political parties limits what Barack Obama or any other president can get away with.

Are these safeguards foolproof?  No.  Nothing is ever foolproof.

As Edmund Burke said, more than two centuries ago: “Constitute government how you please, infinitely the greater part of it must depend upon the exercise of the powers which are left at large to the prudence and uprightness of ministers of state.”

In other words, we do not have a choice whether to trust or not to trust government officials.  Unless we are willing to risk anarchy or terrorism, the most we can do is set up checks and balances within government – and be a lot more careful in the future than we have been in the past when deciding whom to elect.

Anyone old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when President John F. Kennedy took this country to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, may remember that there was nothing like the distrust and backlash against later presidents, whose controversial decisions risked nothing approaching the cataclysm that President Kennedy’s decision could have led to.

Even those of us who were not John F. Kennedy supporters, and who were not dazzled by the glitter and glamour of the Kennedy aura, nevertheless felt that the President of the United States was someone who knew much more than we did about the realities on which all our lives depended.

Whatever happened to that feeling?  Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon happened – and both were shameless liars.  They destroyed not only their own credibility, but the credibility of the office.

Even when Lyndon Johnson told us the truth at a crucial juncture during the Vietnam War – that the Communist offensive of 1968 was a defeat for them, even as the media depicted it as a defeat for us – we didn’t believe him.

In later years, Communist leaders themselves admitted that they had been devastated on the battlefield.  But, by then it was too late.  What the Communists lost militarily on the ground in Vietnam they won politically in the American media and in American public opinion.

More than 50,000 Americans lost their lives winning battles on the ground in Vietnam, only to have the war lost politically back home.  We seem to be having a similar scenario unfolding today in Iraq, where soldiers won the war, only to have politicians lose the peace, as Iraq now increasingly aligns itself with Iran.

When Barack Obama squanders his own credibility with his glib lies, he is not just injuring himself during his time in office. He is inflicting a lasting wound on the country as a whole.

But we the voters are not blameless.  Having chosen an untested man to be president, on the basis of rhetoric, style and symbolism, we have ourselves to blame if we now have only a choice between two potentially tragic fates – the loss of American lives to terrorism or a further dismantling of our freedoms that has already led many people to ask:  “Is this still America?”

 

Posted in Government Ineptness, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Attorney General Eric Holder; Perjury or Stupidity

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 26, 2013

The scandals coming out of the Administration grow by the day.  While the three basic scandals remain constant, Benghazigate, IRSgate and AP/Foxnewsgate, their cover-ups and related lies serve as amplifiers to the scandals.

Last week it was Atty. Gen. Eric Holder that got caught in the web.  On May 15 Holder was being questioned by the House Judiciary Committee’s Hank Johnson, Democratic Congressman from Georgia.  During Johnson’s questioning he asks Holder about prosecuting reporters under the Espionage Act of 1917.  Holder’s response included: “You’ve got a long way to go to try to prosecute the press for publication of material.  A bit later in his testimony he continued: “In regard to potential prosecution of the press for disclosure of material, this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, of would think would be wise policy.

Holder’s comments are straightforward enough.  However, they do not match reality.  On Friday the Justice Department announced that the AG himself signed the search warrant for James Rosen’s emails under the Espionage Act, the law Nixon used to go after Daniel Ellsberg over the leak Pentagon Papers.  In addition, the Justice Department claimed in an affidavit to the Court that Rosen was “at the very least, either as an aider, abettor and/or co-conspirator.”

Below is a video clip of Holder’s question-and-answer session with Congressman Johnson.  While the first five minutes of the exchange is entertaining given Johnson’s difficulty putting coherent thoughts together, the issue germane to this posting begins at about 4 minutes and 55 seconds into the video.

At the very least, Atty. Gen. Holder’s testimony shows incompetence, i.e. not knowing what documents he signs.  More than likely, it is perjury.  In either case President Obama should immediately fire the AG.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AW7GhfOXe5U&list=UUqMici9I7nz_i-PN7eSYjwQ&feature=player_embedded

Posted in Eric Holder | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hillary Clinton Loses it at Senatorial Committee Hearing

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 23, 2013

 

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on the Hill today answering questions concerning the attack on America’s Benghazi, Libya consulate that resulted in the death of four Americans including the US ambassador.  Apparently some of the questioning by Republican Sen. Ron Johnson struck a nerve with Ms. Clinton losing it, as shown the video clip below.

Remarkably, Clinton said: “With all respect, the fact is we have four dead Americans was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans.  What difference at this point does it make?  It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.”

Someone should remind Ms. Clinton, with all due respect, that she and the rest of the government employees in Washington, including the President, work for the People.  The People were given false information for weeks about the attack in Benghazi, first of blaming it on the scooter video that had nothing to do with the attack.  If this false information was supplied for the purpose of misleading the People for political reasons, We the People have a right to know.  Is more than transparency, it is our right.

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Congresswoman Johnson Tells Cavuto to Shut Up

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 14, 2012

Congresswoman Johnson Tells Cavuto to Shut Up

Too many so-called conservatives on the Right don’t walk the talk.  While claiming to be against big government spending, they supported Pres. George W. Bush’s huge deficit spending.  They also claim allegiance to the Constitution, but often attempt to intervene in social issues not authorized to the government under that Constitution.  Neil Cavuto, commentator for Fox News, is no such interloper, one that is willing to attack either party for fiscal irresponsibility.

During an interview this week with Congresswoman Bernice Johnson, Democrat from Texas, Cavuto exposed Ms. Johnson and her Leftist allies as disingenuous on the Fiscal Cliff negotiations.  The Left has created the false narrative that raising taxes on the top 2% of Americans will solve the Country’s significant fiscal problems.  While taxes on wealthier Americans will need to increase due to the deficits, this increase will do little to address the Country’s deficits that it been caused by excess spending, especially in the area of entitlements.

During the interview, Cavuto asked Congresswoman Johnson that assuming Republicans agreed to Left’s requested tax increases, where she would cut spending.  It is clear in the answer in the video below that she and her colleagues would not agree real spending cuts.  In fact, when pressed on this matter, the Congresswoman told Caputo to “shut up”.  It is evident that Cavuto hit the crux of the matter.

Congressman Rand Paul, libertarian Republican Sen. from Kentucky, suggested that Republicans should give into the presence demand for the tax increase on wealthier Americans.  Paul’s theory is that with Democrats winning the presidential election, they should be given a chance to govern.  Their economic policies will fail forcing the Country to have a reality check and go back to a more realistic fiscal path.  Taxes can then be lowered after the Country is ready for more sound policies.  Rand’s approach is a sound strategy worthy of consideration.

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Afghan War Heading in Wrong Direction

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 17, 2012

The New York Times reported on the disintegrating military situation in Afghanistan in an article titled Afghan Assaults Signal Evolution of a Militant Foe.  This past weekend Taliban forces carried out a series of raids throughout Afghanistan that included its cities of Kabul, Jalalabad, Gardez, and Pul-e-Alam.  The breadth, scope and sophistication of these raids caught US military officials by surprise.

Shortly after the Taliban raids, Afghan President Hamid Karzai blamed his Western allies for not stopping the attacks stating that they were the result of “intelligence failure for us, and especially NATO.”  Making matters worse, the U.S. military believes the attacks were carried out by the Haqqani network who has been accused of close ties with the Pakistani intelligence service.  It doesn’t take a great deal of connecting the dots to conclude that the Pakistani spy agency is paying the United States back for its raid last year that assassinated Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil.

The Times also reported that some US military officials are beginning to now question Pres. Obama’s proposed 2014 timeframe for US troop withdrawal.  However, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as a bad case of denial saying of the raids: “We’re going to continue to see suicide attacks.  We’re going to continue to see efforts by them to try to undermine confidence in Afghanistan that we’re headed in the right direction. It hasn’t worked in the past.  I don’t think it’ll work in the present.”

Now in its eleventh year, the war in Afghanistan is going poorly.  Like Johnson and Nixon during the Vietnam war, President Obama mistakenly believes that incrementally increasing pressure on a nationalistic and insurgent enemy will break its will to fight.  Such policies are doomed to fail.  It is only a matter of time before the United States and NATO will leave Afghanistan.  The Taliban and, however, will remain and may likely defeat the corrupt government in Kabul.  Given this, President Obama’s unwillingness to exit Afghanistan merely waste American lives and money.  As this Blog has questioned previously, where is the mainstream media and Leftist antiwar movement that was so vocal when George W. Bush was president?

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Chris Matthews, Another Leftist Sexist, Attacks Michele Bachmann

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 18, 2010

Leftist moonbat Chris Matthews is at it again.  On Friday’s Hardball carried on MSNBC, Matthews used name calling to attack an opponent of his Progressive views.  This time Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was the target of the vitriol that has become synonymous with the Left.

Matthews had a laugh-fest at Bachmann’s expense with four liberal male colleges that included ex-San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, Howard Fineman of the Huffingtonpost.com, Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post and Ron Reagan talk show host.  Typical of bullies, Bachmann was not a part of the all male sexist party that through the following barbs at the Congresswoman.

  • Mathews said: “Let’s take a look at this.  My hero and heroine, Michele Bachmann, here, who’s been named today, by the way, to the Intelligence Committee – there’s a whopper”.  Again the boys responding with a frat-house laugh.
  • Just in case the audience didn’t get Mathews, negative vibes at this point in the show, he said: “You know why, I`ve suggested that Michele Bachmann does sort of represent sometimes the behavior of a zombie, that she does seem somewhat like she`s hypnotized.  I`m serious.”
  • Then sexist Brown chimed in: “You`re making an assumption that people who get elected to office in all cases are people who can think, people who pursue and reduce themselves for sure to quality information.  She is not in that category.  The voters elected her and the voters deserve her idiocy.
  • Reagan, then fearful he would not get his pound of flesh added: “We laugh about her – we laugh about her being on the intelligence committee, but that`s an important sort of post.  It`s actually a little disturbing that she`s going to have access to – you know, to top secret cables and things.  She`s a loon.” Junior, the Left said much worse about your father and that didn’t stop him from achieving, did it?
  • Finally, Willie Brown won the battle of sexist behavior with his deep conclusion: “She may not be able to find the meeting room.”

The Left has used name-calling for decades to cut off debate on important issues of policy.  It started with (and worked on) Barry Goldwater.  In these earlier days Progressives called their opponents “war mongers”.  Who can forget the despicable ad run by the Johnson campaign showing the little girl being consumed by a nuclear explosion?

With the ascendance of Ronald Reagan, the Left rightfully feared his popularity across a large political spectrum.  Here was a man that could bring conservatism to the mainstream.  In an effort to blunt the Gipper’s appeal, they attacked on his I.Q.  Unlike in Goldwater’s time, the mud did not stick.

The Left, a group that is genetically gripped by fear of global cataclysmic events, now has another fear to add to their list: the ascendance of conservatives with estrogen.  They understand the danger to the Progressive movement from conservative women who raise families and have successful careers.  Like Reagan, they can bring a new breed of conservatives to the Country and make it mainstream.  So the Left is back to the  name-calling that includes the old claim of questioning opponents’ I.Q., but now with the added twist of throwing the “bimbo” bard at these conservative women.

As for Michele Bachmann’s I.Q., its level does not affect the legitimacy of her views.  However, that’s the point with the Leftist attacks.  Their goal is to avoid discussion on the merits of other viewpoints.  At the same time it should be pointed out that Bachmann does have a JD and is a specialist on tax law.  Her JD is from William & Mary Law School, which U.S. News and World Report ranked tied with George Washington University for the spot of 28th top law school.

The vitriol of the Left’s current attack on conservative women, as epitomized by Chris Matthews and pals, is a sign of desperation and fear.  Given the historic outcome of last month’s elections, the fear is justified.  To sexists like Mathews we can only say: “get over it”.  The gals have “come a long way baby”!

Posted in Chris Matthews, Progressives, Sexism | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Worthy Quote on Appeasement

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 5, 2010

“No people in history have ever survived who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies.”

Those readers who disagree with the logic of this quote may see it as coming from a right-wing tea partier intent on bashing President Obama for his foreign policy.  His initiatives have included apologizing to the world for previous American behavior and his “feel-good” approach to Iran and dictators like Chavez.  Those readers not in favor of Obama’s foreign policy might see the quote coming from Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.  Both types of readers would be off the mark.

The quote was actually from Dean Acheson, a long time Democrat statesman who served in the Truman, Kennedy and Johnson administrations.  Yes, he was educated in Yale and graduated from Harvard Law Schools, today’s bastions of Progressive thought.  This pedigree is curious since anyone making that quote today would probably have their intellect impugned by Progressives.  It is sad what the Left has done to political discourse in more recent years.

It has been said that John Kennedy would be thrown out of the Democrat Party as it now stands ideologically.  That is sadly true.  It is not the Republicans who have gone further off center and to the Right.  In fact, just the opposite has occurred.  George W. Bush outspent all Democrats before him, only to be trumped by Obama.  No, the words from a dean of the Democrat Party in the 20th century conclude that it is the Democrats that have marched far off center and to the left.  More important, the failure of Obama’s charm offensive with Iran and others proves how correct Dean Acheson was.

Mr. President, spend some time reading Mr. Acheson’s writings.  To help get you started I supply additional Acheson quotes below.  While each generation narcissistically believes it invent something new, like sex, it’s all been done before!

More Dean Acheson quotes:

A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.

I learned from the example of my father that the manner in which one endures what must be endured is more important than the thing that must be endured.

Great Britain has lost an empire and has not yet found a role.

Negotiating in the classic diplomatic sense assumes parties more anxious to agree than to disagree.

Posted in Appeasement, Diplomacy, Progressives | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »