Tag Archives: Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer On Solyndra: A “Toxic Combination Of Lenin Socialism and Crony Capitalism”

September, 17, 2011 — nicedeb

Charles Krauthammer and other guests on Hannity, Friday night, discussed the bankruptcy of Solyndra along with some other scandals and corrupt practices within the Obama administration. Krauthammer soberly explained the problems with the Obama administrations approach, calling it a classic example of the toxic combination of Lenin Socialism and crony capitalism -”the Socialist idea of experts over the markets made even worse when it involves cronyism, favors and corruption.”

“You destroy an economy when you think a politician in a centralized state knows where the capital should be allocated,” he said.

Later on in the show, Pat Cadell and Bill Cunningham joined him. Cadell’s disgust and contempt for what’s been going on in the Obama administration was palpable, and he slams the media for failing to cover plethora of scandals adequately:

Read more……via Nice Deb.

Charles Krauthammer takes Obama to task for his “doctrine” of “leading from behind”:

It is the fate of any assertive superpower to be envied, denounced and blamed for everything under the sun. Nothing has changed. Moreover, for a country so deeply reviled, why during the massive unrest in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan and Syria have anti-American demonstrations been such a rarity?

Who truly reviles America the hegemon? The world that Obama lived in and shaped him intellectually: the elite universities; his Hyde Park milieu (including his not-to-be-mentioned friends, William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn); the church he attended for two decades, ringing with sermons more virulently anti-American than anything heard in today’s full-throated uprising of the Arab Street.

It is the liberal elites who revile the American colossus and devoutly wish to see it cut down to size. Leading from behind — diminishing America’s global standing and assertiveness — is a reaction to their view of America, not the world’s.

Other presidents have taken anti-Americanism as a given, rather than evidence of American malignancy, believing — as do most Americans — in the rightness of our cause and the nobility of our intentions. Obama thinks anti-Americanism is a verdict on America’s fitness for leadership. I would suggest that “leading from behind” is a verdict on Obama’s fitness for leadership.

Leading from behind is not leading. It is abdicating. It is also an oxymoron. Yet a sympathetic journalist, channeling an Obama adviser, elevates it to a doctrine. The president is no doubt flattered. The rest of us are merely stunned.

Read it all.

via Nice Deb.

Charles Krauthammer – Obama’s next act

Charles Krauthammer – Obama’s next act.

Charles Krauthammer – Obama’s next act

Charles Krauthammer – Obama’s next act.

Obama’s next act

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, July 16, 2010; A19

In the political marketplace, there’s now a run on Obama shares. The left is disappointed with the president. Independents are abandoning him in droves. And the right is already dancing on his political grave, salivating about November when, his own press secretary admitted Sunday, Democrats might lose the House.

I have a warning for Republicans: Don’t underestimate Barack Obama.

Consider what he has already achieved. Obamacare alone makes his presidency historic. It has irrevocably changed one-sixth of the economy, put the country inexorably on the road to national health care and, as acknowledged by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus but few others, begun one of the most massive wealth redistributions in U.S. history.

Second, there is major financial reform, which passed Congress on Thursday. Economists argue whether it will prevent meltdowns and bailouts as promised. But there is no argument that it will give the government unprecedented power in the financial marketplace. Its 2,300 pages will create at least 243 new regulations that will affect not only, as many assume, the big banks but just about everyone, including, as noted in one summary (the Wall Street Journal), “storefront check cashiers, city governments, small manufacturers, home buyers and credit bureaus.”

Third is the near $1 trillion stimulus, the largest spending bill in U.S. history. And that’s not even counting nationalizing the student loan program, regulating carbon emissions by Environmental Protection Agency fiat, and still-fitful attempts to pass cap-and-trade through Congress.

But Obama’s most far-reaching accomplishment is his structural alteration of the U.S. budget. The stimulus, the vast expansion of domestic spending, the creation of ruinous deficits as far as the eye can see are not easily reversed.

These are not mere temporary countercyclical measures. They are structural deficits because, as everyone from Obama on down admits, the real money is in entitlements, most specifically Medicare and Medicaid. But Obamacare freezes these out as a source of debt reduction. Obamacare’s $500 billion in Medicare cuts and $600 billion in tax increases are siphoned away for a new entitlement — and no longer available for deficit reduction.

The result? There just isn’t enough to cut elsewhere to prevent national insolvency. That will require massive tax increases — most likely a European-style value-added tax. Just as President Ronald Reagan cut taxes to starve the federal government and prevent massive growth in spending, Obama’s wild spending — and quarantining health-care costs from providing possible relief — will necessitate huge tax increases.

The net effect of 18 months of Obamaism will be to undo much of Reaganism. Both presidencies were highly ideological, grandly ambitious and often underappreciated by their own side. In his early years, Reagan was bitterly attacked from his right. (Typical Washington Post headline: “For Reagan and the New Right, the Honeymoon Is Over” — and that was six months into his presidency!) Obama is attacked from his left for insufficient zeal on gay rights, immigration reform, closing Guantanamo — the list is long. The critics don’t understand the big picture. Obama’s transformational agenda is a play in two acts.

Act One is over. The stimulus, Obamacare, financial reform have exhausted his first-term mandate. It will bear no more heavy lifting. And the Democrats will pay the price for ideological overreaching by losing one or both houses, whether de facto or de jure. The rest of the first term will be spent consolidating these gains (writing the regulations, for example) and preparing for Act Two.

The next burst of ideological energy — massive regulation of the energy economy, federalizing higher education and “comprehensive” immigration reform (i.e., amnesty) — will require a second mandate, meaning reelection in 2012.

That’s why there’s so much tension between Obama and congressional Democrats. For Obama, 2010 matters little. If Democrats lose control of one or both houses, Obama will probably have an easier time in 2012, just as Bill Clinton used Newt Gingrich and the Republicans as the foil for his 1996 reelection campaign.

Obama is down, but it’s very early in the play. Like Reagan, he came here to do things. And he’s done much in his first 500 days. What he has left to do he knows must await his next 500 days — those that come after reelection.

The real prize is 2012. Obama sees far, farther than even his own partisans. Republicans underestimate him at their peril.

The fruits of weakness

By Charles Krauthammer

Friday, May 21, 2010; A19

It is perfectly obvious that Iran’s latest uranium maneuver, brokered by Brazil and Turkey, is a ruse. Iran retains more than enough enriched uranium to make a bomb. And it continues enriching at an accelerated pace and to a greater purity (20 percent). Which is why the French foreign ministry immediately declared that the trumpeted temporary shipping of some Iranian uranium to Turkey will do nothing to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

It will, however, make meaningful sanctions more difficult. America’s proposed Security Council resolution is already laughably weak — no blacklisting of Iran’s central bank, no sanctions against Iran’s oil and gas industry, no nonconsensual inspections on the high seas. Yet Turkey and Brazil — both current members of the Security Council — are so opposed to sanctions that they will not even discuss the resolution. And China will now have a new excuse to weaken it further.

But the deeper meaning of the uranium-export stunt is the brazenness with which Brazil and Turkey gave cover to the mullahs’ nuclear ambitions and deliberately undermined U.S. efforts to curb Iran’s program.

The real news is that already notorious photo: the president of Brazil, our largest ally in Latin America, and the prime minister of Turkey, for more than half a century the Muslim anchor of NATO, raising hands together with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the most virulently anti-American leader in the world.

That picture — a defiant, triumphant take-that-Uncle-Sam — is a crushing verdict on the Obama foreign policy. It demonstrates how rising powers, traditional American allies, having watched this administration in action, have decided that there’s no cost in lining up with America’s enemies and no profit in lining up with a U.S. president given to apologies and appeasement.

They’ve watched President Obama’s humiliating attempts to appease Iran, as every rejected overture is met with abjectly renewed U.S. negotiating offers. American acquiescence reached such a point that the president was late, hesitant and flaccid in expressing even rhetorical support for democracy demonstrators who were being brutally suppressed and whose call for regime change offered the potential for the most significant U.S. strategic advance in the region in 30 years.

They’ve watched America acquiesce to Russia’s re-exerting sway over Eastern Europe, over Ukraine (pressured by Russia last month into extending for 25 years its lease of the Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol) and over Georgia (Russia’s de facto annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is no longer an issue under the Obama “reset” policy).

They’ve watched our appeasement of Syria, Iran’s agent in the Arab Levant — sending our ambassador back to Syria even as it tightens its grip on Lebanon, supplies Hezbollah with Scuds and intensifies its role as the pivot of the Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas alliance. The price for this ostentatious flouting of the United States and its interests? Ever more eager U.S. “engagement.”

They’ve observed the administration’s gratuitous slap at Britain over the Falklands, its contemptuous treatment of Israel, its undercutting of the Czech Republic and Poland, and its indifference to Lebanon and Georgia. And in Latin America, they see not just U.S. passivity as Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez organizes his anti-American “Bolivarian” coalition while deepening military and commercial ties with Iran and Russia. They saw active U.S. support in Honduras for a pro-Chávez would-be dictator seeking unconstitutional powers in defiance of the democratic institutions of that country.

This is not just an America in decline. This is an America in retreat — accepting, ratifying and declaring its decline, and inviting rising powers to fill the vacuum.

Nor is this retreat by inadvertence. This is retreat by design and, indeed, on principle. It’s the perfect fulfillment of Obama’s adopted Third World narrative of American misdeeds, disrespect and domination from which he has come to redeem us and the world. Hence his foundational declaration at the U.N. General Assembly last September that “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation” (guess who’s been the dominant nation for the last two decades?) and his dismissal of any “world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another.” (NATO? The West?)

Given Obama’s policies and principles, Turkey and Brazil are acting rationally. Why not give cover to Ahmadinejad and his nuclear ambitions? As the United States retreats in the face of Iran, China, Russia and Venezuela, why not hedge your bets? There’s nothing to fear from Obama, and everything to gain by ingratiating yourself with America’s rising adversaries. After all, they actually believe in helping one’s friends and punishing one’s enemies.

letters@charleskrauthammer.com

Krauthammer’s Take [NRO Staff]

From Wednesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s criticism of the Arizona immigration law:

Well, I’m sort of offended when the president of Mexico says, criticizing the Arizona law: ‘It’s placing our people in the face of discrimination.’ If they’re his people, what are they doing in the United States? If they’re his people, why did they leave Mexico, abandon his country, to live under the jurisdiction and the laws of the United States?

On whether Krauthammer was in black tie for the White House state dinner after the show:

No. I had thought about crashing it. … And if I was caught, I would say that — my defense would be that — I’m simply an undocumented guest, I’m not illegal.

On Arlen Specter’s defeat in Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary to Joe Sestak:

I think it’s very simple explaining that election. Specter demonstrated the limits of political opportunism — even by senatorial standards . . .

On Democrats’ retention of John Murtha’s old seat:

I think it’s reminiscent of what happened in New York-23 in the elections last November, where Republicans swept in Virginia and they swept in New Jersey statewide races. But the one race they lost was a House race, which was localized. The issues were localized.

Here again, across the board, it was a good night last night for Republicans, but this House race. . .demonstrated that if you run in your district on local issues, you stay close to the ground, you stay away from nationalizing an election and stay away from Obama and Pelosi and the Democratic agenda in Congress, you have a chance.

05/20 04:26 PM

How to modernize Miranda for the Age of Terror

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, May 7, 2010; A27

“[Law enforcement] interviewed Mr. Shahzad . . . under the public safety exception to the Miranda rule. . . . He was eventually transported to another location, Mirandized and continued talking.”

— John Pistole,

FBI deputy director, May 4

All well and good. But what if Faisal Shahzad, the confessed Times Square bomber, had stopped talking? When you tell someone he has the right to remain silent, there is a distinct possibility that he will remain silent, is there not? And then what?

The authorities deserve full credit for capturing Shahzad within 54 hours. Credit is also due them for obtaining information from him by invoking the “public safety” exception to the Miranda rule.

But then Shahzad was Mirandized. If he had decided to shut up, it would have denied us valuable information — everything he is presumably telling us now about Pakistani contacts, training, plans for other possible plots beyond the Times Square attack.

The public safety exception is sometimes called the “ticking time bomb” exception. But what about information regarding bombs not yet ticking but being planned and readied to kill later?

Think of the reason we give any suspect Miranda warnings. It is not that you’re prohibited from asking questions before Mirandizing. You can ask a suspect anything you damn well please. You can ask him if he’s ever picked his feet in Poughkeepsie — but without Miranda, the answers are not admissible in court.

In this case, however, Miranda warnings were superfluous. Shahzad had confessed to the car-bombing attempt while being interrogated under the public safety exception. That’s admissible evidence. Plus, he left a treasure trove of physical evidence all over the place — which is how we caught him in two days.

Second, even assuming that by not Mirandizing him we might have jeopardized our chances of getting some convictions — so what? Which is more important: (a) gaining, a year or two hence, the conviction of a pigeon — the last and now least important link in this terror chain — whom we could surely lock up on explosives and weapons charges, or (b) preventing future terror attacks on Americans by learning from Shahzad what he might know about terror plots in Pakistan and sleeper cells in the United States?

Even posing this choice demonstrates why the very use of the civilian judicial system to interrogate terrorists is misconceived, even if they are, like Shahzad, (naturalized) American citizens. America is the target of an ongoing jihadist campaign. The logical and serious way to defend ourselves is to place captured terrorists in military custody as unlawful enemy combatants. As former anti-terror prosecutor Andrew McCarthy notes in National Review, one of the six World War II German saboteurs captured in the United States, tried by military commission and executed was a U.S. citizen. It made no difference.

But let’s assume you’re wedded to the civilian law-enforcement model, as is the Obama administration. At least make an attempt to expand the public safety exception to Miranda in a way that takes into account the jihadist war that did not exist when that exception was narrowly drawn by the Supreme Court in the 1984 Quarles case.

The public safety exception should be enlarged to allow law enforcement to interrogate, without Mirandizing, those arrested in the commission of terrorist crimes (and make the answers admissible) — until law enforcement is satisfied that vital intelligence related to other possible plots and threats to public safety has been sufficiently acquired.

This could be done by congressional statute. Or the administration could, in an actual case, refrain from Mirandizing until it had explored the outer limits of any plot — and then defend its actions before the courts, resting its argument on the Supreme Court’s own logic in the Quarles case: “We conclude that the need for answers to questions in a situation posing a threat to the public safety outweighs the need for the [Miranda] rule.”

Otherwise, we will be left — when a terrorist shuts up as did the underwear bomber for five weeks — in the absurd position of capturing enemy combatants and then prohibiting ourselves from obtaining the information they have, and we need, to protect innocent lives.

My view is that we should treat enemy combatants as enemy combatants, whether they are U.S. citizens (Shahzad) or not (the underwear bomber). If, however, they are to be treated as ordinary criminals, then at least agree on this: no Miranda rights until we know everything that public safety demands we need to know.

letters@charleskrauthammer.com