Briefs: On Alinskyism, 411 Obama Speeches, the Jobs Gender Gap, Etc.

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Feb 18, 2010 12:00 AM
Briefs: On Alinskyism, 411 Obama Speeches, the Jobs Gender Gap, Etc.

A brew of oddities from the news columns....

Everyone in the jobless cohort is hurting bigtime, but there's a large and growing jobless gender gap. This economic downturn is falling especially hard on men. In the Great Recession, about 7.5 million Americans have lost their jobs -- about 5.4 million of them men. And today, for the first time, women hold a majority of payroll jobs.

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When Egypt's Mohamed ElBaradei departed late last year as head of the UN's nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency, he pronounced his and his agency's efforts to curb nuclear proliferation "in tatters" -- adding: "We have not done well over the past 25 years." Exhibit A: the accelerating nuclearization of Iran.

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A British commission has been keelhauling the country's former Prime Minister Tony Blair for joining forces with the U.S. to remove Iraq's Saddam Hussein. An unrepentant Blair told the commission: "The decision I took -- and frankly would take again -- was, if there was any possibility that (Saddam) could develop weapons of mass destruction, we would stop him." Sounds like he would be in favor of taking out Iran's centrifuges (etc.) as well.

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Regarding his tin-eared industry's obscene salaries and bonuses (before the public outcry, the 38 U.S. financial firms were set to award their execs $145 billion in bonuses for 2009), Stephen Green -- chairman of London's mammoth HSBC bank -- has definite views: "(There is) an immense amount of anger. And it is understandable, particularly in the context of an economy that had gone into recession and in which unemployment is high. Thirty-six million people have lost their jobs globally in the downturn. Is there public anger? Yes. Is it understandable? Yes."

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The late Saul Alinsky (author of "Rules for Radicals" and other leftist action manuals) was an idol of -- among too many others who should have known better -- Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. One of Alinsky's rules, or "power tactics" (his phrase), was: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. We see that tactic used over and over by the Obama/Pelosi administration -- regarding, for instance, Republicans, Bush I, Dick Cheney, "right-wing tea-baggers," evangelicals, the Supreme Court, Sarah Palin, "fat cat bankers," Fox News, etc. Maybe over-use of such tactics by Alinsky disciples helps explain the collapsing public support they face.

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Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is, let's see, a buddy of Iran's paranoid Ahmadinejad and a declared enemy of the United States. So perhaps it's not surprising Chavez is claiming the U.S. engineered the Haiti earthquake. How? The quake, he said with a straight face, was a direct consequence of a U.S. "tectonic weapon" being tested by the Navy for ultimate use against Iran.

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During his first year in office, President Obama (according to a White House count) gave 158 interviews to the press and delivered 411 speeches -- for an average of more than 1.5 a day. Question: Is this logorrhea the highest and best use of his energy and time?

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In a surprise, President Obama mentioned the need for more nuclear energy in his State of the Union address, and his administration soon will announce a federal loan guarantee for two Southern Co. reactors in Georgia -- the first in 30 years. But does he really back nuclear energy as a key element in any plan to liberate the U.S. from dependence on foreign oil?

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The president's 2011 budget, in an obvious gesture to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, includes no money -- zip -- for the Yucca Mountain (Nevada) nuclear repository for the storage of spent nuclear fuel. Yet without a repository (and aside from Yucca there is none), the long-term prospects for nuclear energy are bleak. The president's energy secretary, the reportedly brilliant Steven Chu, says that particularly because of global warming and with the Chinese locking up oil all over the world, "we must move beyond oil." How? One way, Chu says, is to begin painting the nation's roofs white.

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Final Four: (1) Phil Angelides, chairman of the U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that is, among other things, ripping Republicans and bankers for their recession behavior, is a former chairman of California's Democratic Party. (2) How does it help the argument of American leftists who want to socialize America's "broken" health-care system in the image of our northern neighbor's Canada-care, that yet another Canadian pol -- the provincial governor of Newfoundland and Labrador -- has chosen the U.S. for heart surgery? (3) Progressive talk radio had trouble all along. From its 2004 beginning, Air America tried to succeed -- featuring Al Franken, Rachel Maddow, Jerry Springer, Arianna Huffington, Randi Rhodes, and buckets of Al Gore money. Now? So few listened and bought its message, Air America has gone toes-up. And (4) Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag predicted as director of the Congressional Budget Office in August, 2008, that Social Security "outlays will first exceed revenues in 2019." Surprise! In July of last year, net inflow into Social Security turned negative -- and continued negative for the rest of 2009. Social Security outlays are exceeding revenues right now. The collapse of this grandest of all ponzi schemes is the freight train roaring at us.