GOP: Polls and hinge points of history

Shocker: polls show GOP divided.

What does it mean that recent polls show 7 in 10 respondents think Republicans are putting their agenda ahead of what’s good for the country, as opposed to the 5 in 10 respondents who think President Obama is doing the same?

The answer probably lies in an analysis of the ancillary question posed in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll: do respondents agree or not with the statement that the GOP or the president is “demonstrating strong leadership and standing up for what they [he] believe[s] in”?

For Republicans, only 27% of respondents agreed with that statement.  For Obama, 46% of them agreed.

On the face of it, that’s actually a contradictory assessment Continue reading “GOP: Polls and hinge points of history”

Obama threatens vets’ pensions, Social Security checks

His lips are moving.

In his quest to get the debt ceiling raised, President Obama issued a threat in his Wednesday press conference that troops won’t get paid and veterans’ pension payments will be delayed.  He warned of delays in Social Security payments as well.

It’s important to understand that these comments constitute a threat (which may or may not be a hollow one).  Obama is not stating some inescapable reality, to which he along with the rest of us is subject.  If retirees and vets see a delay in their payments, it will be because Obama himself decides to hold the payments up.  Moreover, Obama is not caught in a trap when it comes to paying the troops; he can make sure they get paid, if it’s his priority to do so.

The payments to retirees are going to go out unless Obama stops them.  The debt ceiling doesn’t prevent those payments from being made.  It requires that other types of federal expenditures Continue reading “Obama threatens vets’ pensions, Social Security checks”

The unguarded life is unsustainable

Guard thyself.

Americans are learning a powerful lesson right now. A community of public trust isn’t the natural state of things, especially not at the complex level inherent in modern urban life.  It depends on the constant supervision of qualities our society has been busy making fun of and rebelling against for at least the last 45 years.

Here is the example that got me thinking about it recently.  Victor Davis Hanson wrote last week, as he has several times, about the rampant property theft in his area of California.  People come onto his property uninvited in order to scope out the equipment he has installed on it, and then come back later to steal the stuff.  Nothing can be left out unattended.

He lives in the Central Valley, Continue reading “The unguarded life is unsustainable”