Friday, August 26, 2011
“Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.” –James Madison
The Obama Plan to — Hold On — Fore!
It’s August, which means much of Washington is shut down for recess, but even then, there’s always something going on. While members of Congress are at home avoiding town hall meetings and the president is out on the golf course at Martha’s Vineyard skipping holes to avoid photographers, the capital is recovering from the earthquake Monday (they’re calling it “Bush’s Fault”) and preparing (along with the entire East Coast) for a weekend hurricane. You might say that what goes around comes around.
Out here in flyover country, the economy is still stagnant and jobs are hard to come by. Not that we’re looking to Washington to create jobs, but to truly get out of the way so entrepreneurs can do so. No such luck. Out on the eighth fairway, Barack Obama came up with a plan to create jobs. He will make a big announcement about it, too … in September. As usual, though, some details were leaked. It turns out that his grand plan is — drum roll please — to repeat the stimulus. Yes, that stimulus, which cost nearly $1 trillion and delivered, well, nothing.
Speaking in Iowa on Aug. 15, the president plugged his “new” plan (same as the old plan) to “invest in infrastructure.” That same day, The Wall Street Journal reported that Obama hopes “to create a new ‘infrastructure bank’ to finance highway and rail construction, create jobs and jump-start the stalled economy.” Sound familiar? It should, because it’s the same rhetoric the president used to tout Stimulus 1.0 back in 2009.
Even Obama strategist David Axelrod said, “These are not all new ideas.” Not new, but definitely failed. As National Review’s Jim Geraghty notes, “Somehow Obama made ‘the largest new investment in America’s infrastructure since the Interstate Highway System’ and yet nearly three years later the roads and bridges of his rhetoric are still falling to pieces.” When Thomas Edison repeatedly came up short in his quest to create a working light bulb, he contended he hadn’t failed but rather found 10,000 ways that didn’t work. In his quest to fix the economy, Obama has found one way that doesn’t work but seems determined to try it 10,000 times.
As for federal spending, the Congressional Budget Office released a new report that spending will reach a new high of $3.6 trillion this year, and the deficit will near $1.3 trillion, despite Democrat claims in 2009 that stimulus spending would be temporary. CBO predicts that, as taxes are increased massively when the Bush tax rates expire, federal revenue will skyrocket from 15.3 percent of GDP today to 20.2 percent in 2014. This assumes no behavioral changes for the tens of millions who will be paying those higher taxes. Stunningly, CBO also predicts economic growth between 4.4 percent and 5 percent in 2014 and 2015 – after those massive tax increases. Oh, and they also have some oceanfront property in Arizona to sell.
For all this spending, the CBO sees unemployment remaining above 8 percent until 2014 (Democrats promised that it wouldn’t top 8 percent with the first stimulus). If taxes go up, however, it could remain over 9 percent well into the future. If you don’t believe us, ask the people of Illinois, who are hemorrhaging jobs after that state’s major tax increases. Meanwhile, according to a new Associated Press survey, economists are also painting a none-too-rosy picture. While they “foresee economic growth, job creation, consumer spending, and home prices all rising over the next year … the gains they expect are so slight that many Americans won’t notice.” Quarter 2 GDP growth was just revised downward from 1.3 percent to 1.0 percent. In fact, economists have pessimistically put the likelihood of another recession within the next 12 months at 26 percent, up from 15 percent in June. This begs the question: Who exactly thinks the last recession ever ended?
Finally, it’s interesting that several federal buildings in DC, as well as the Washington Monument, suffered some damage in Monday’s earthquake. In fact, we think it’s quite symbolic that the cracks in the monument to our first and greatest president occurred just after our nation’s credit rating was downgraded because of the reckless policies of his utterly unworthy successor.
Really, though, what’s all this compared to the trouble Obama’s having finding his ball in the rough? Indeed, one might say he’s showing courageous leadership by refusing to cut his vacation short, even as Hurricane Irene heads his way. Way to stand your ground, sir. Now would you like the 9-iron, or the pitching wedge?
Quote of the Week
“The problem is that the way [President] Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents — number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome — so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back. [That's] $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.” –Barack Obama on July 3, 2008
Apparently, Bush was unpatriotic because adding $4 trillion to the debt took him eight years. Obama needed just two.
Don’t Miss Mark Alexander’s Essay
Hope ‘n’ Change: Another Court Defeat for ObamaCare
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit recently ruled as unconstitutional ObamaCare’s mandate for all Americans to carry health insurance. This is the biggest defeat for the law so far, and it affirms a January ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson of Florida in a case brought by 26 state attorneys general. The Obama administration’s appeal of Vinson’s ruling maintained that the government can compel everyone to purchase health insurance because of its power to regulate interstate commerce. This view was soundly rejected by 11th Circuit Court Judges Joel Dubina and Frank Hall, appointed by George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, respectively. Dubina and Hall wrote in their 207-page opinion that such reasoning suggests the government has the power to regulate every part of a person’s life because all persons influence interstate commerce by virtue of their existence.
The decision conflicts with the Sixth Circuit’s complete affirmation of ObamaCare in June, further assuring that the Supreme Court will make the final call. It won’t be a matter of just ruling ObamaCare constitutional or striking it down in total. The 11th Circuit decision introduced the concept of “severability.” While they agreed with Vinson on the mandate, Dubina and Hall decided that the mandate could be removed from the law while leaving the rest of its provisions intact. Vinson ruled the entire ObamaCare law as unconstitutional, believing that the mandate is too integral to the law to be removed and still leave the remaining provisions functional. Insurance companies would be compelled to accept all potential new customers, but people would have no incentive to buy insurance until they’re sick. The market would be turned upside down, and costs would necessarily skyrocket.
Despite this latest legal setback, ObamaCare continues to chug along with the Department of Health and Human Services granting another 106 waivers in July. Many of the 1,472 waivers will now last until 2014, whereas they were originally set to expire a year from their issuance. The latest batch will last three years. There is still no explanation forthcoming of the process of accepting or rejecting applicants, although the disproportionate number of unions and public sector groups already in the pool does suggest one important criterion.
On the Campaign Trail: Perry Up, Pawlenty Out
The Republican presidential field experienced some major changes in the aftermath of the Aug. 13 Iowa Straw Poll. Michele Bachmann came out the winner, with Ron Paul trailing her by less than 200 votes. Tim Pawlenty needed a big showing to revive his moribund campaign, and he pushed all his resources into the contest, but he came in a distant third with less than half the votes received by Bachmann and Paul; he accordingly dropped out the next day. Frontrunner Mitt Romney received just 567 votes, though he didn’t actively participate in the Straw Poll. Texas Governor Rick Perry received 718 votes as a write-in candidate.
The day of the Iowa Straw Poll, Perry was in South Carolina, where he officially announced his candidacy. Perry has been suffering steady attacks in the press ever since, particularly for his Christian views. Other GOP candidates, including Romney, are aiming for him too — a sure sign that he has everyone worried. The other sure sign is that he has double-digit leads on even Romney in a couple of recent polls.
From the Left: Muddying the Waters
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) doesn’t appear too worried about keeping a low profile while the House Ethics Committee investigation of her lumbers on. At a recent gathering of unemployed people in Los Angeles, Waters accused House Republicans of deliberately stalling jobs bills that she claims would help reduce California’s 12 percent unemployment rate. “As far as I’m concerned,” Waters raged, “the Tea Party can go straight to hell.” So much for civility!
The event was attended by more than 1,000 jobless people who were allowed to vent and share their struggles. It’s unknown whether any information was shared that would have actually led to jobs. More troubling is that taxpayers will have to pay $500,000 for the aforementioned House Ethics Committee to hire an outside law firm to rule on Waters’ abuse-of-power case. The internal committee inquiry stalled in November 2010 when Waters accused the panel of fixing the investigation against her. Billy Martin, a prominent defense lawyer, will first examine Waters’ accusation. If he finds she’s right, then the whole thing gets thrown out. If Martin finds that the case can go forward, then his firm will handle the investigation. In the meantime, Waters remains at large.
Looking to Libya’s Future
Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s days as dictator of Libya appear to be over, even though he promises to keep fighting in the wake of Tripoli’s fall to rebel forces Monday. Earlier this year, Libyan rebels began a sixth-month campaign to topple Gadhafi after 42 years of his brutal rule. For various reasons, the Obama administration deemed this North African civil war worthy of our time, energy and nearly $1 billion that we don’t have. Rather than take the issue to Congress, however, Barack Obama cited a non-unanimous 10-vote nod from the United Nations Security Council as all the justification he needed for what White House officials called a “kinetic military action.”
In March, we wrote, “To be sure, a long list of reasons support America’s desire to oust Gadhafi and his regime, especially his role in state-sponsored terrorism. It was Gadhafi that ordered the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270, most of whom were Americans. That said, a number of countervailing arguments counsel against intervening in Libya’s civil war,” including no congressional approval, a glaring lack of vital national interest or imminent threat, Gadhafi’s more recent cooperation with the West and an unclear picture of who will lead Libya post-Gadhafi. The latter will be of utmost importance going forward.
Given that the U.S. “led from behind” in the effort, and that using ground troops is extremely unlikely, it will be difficult to exert great influence over the rebels who will now control Libya. Rebel efforts turned out to be fairly unified and impressively persistent after NATO saved them from annihilation in their stronghold of Benghazi. However, questions remain about the size and influence of Islamists among the rebel forces. There are rumors of Sharia law as being foundational in a new constitution, news that bodes ill for the nation’s future and for U.S. national security. Even without Sharia, Libya will almost certainly not become a beacon of liberty. Instead, it could descend into anarchy and perpetual tribal infighting, thus creating an excellent opportunity for al-Qa’ida to establish a haven. Based on previous Middle East history, anything bad is possible.
Furthermore, NATO and U.S. reputations suffered for their waffling, and for their disorganized and half-hearted effort, particularly in the early going. That likewise isn’t good for our national security. NATO’s task now is to secure Libya’s weapons stores, including chemical weapons and heat-seeking missiles — pretty handy for shooting down civilian airliners — and to try to ensure that Islamists don’t take control of the country. Extraditing Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Pan Am bomber the British released to Libya in 2009, would be a good thing to add to the list as well. The verdict is undoubtedly mixed, but we suppose as the old adage goes: Time will tell.
Warfront With Jihadistan: Staying in Iraq, Calling for Change in Syria
Nothing to see here; move along. In one of the classic moves for dealing with such news, the Obama administration chose a Friday afternoon during a slow Washington news week to let slip an inconvenient truth: U.S. troops will almost certainly stay in Iraq in significant numbers past the end of 2011. Despite Obama’s campaign pledges and numerous other pronouncements promising to remove U.S. troops, the Iraqi government will likely agree to the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq well into 2012 and possibly beyond — a position that, ironically, was John McCain’s in 2008. It won’t be just advisers and trainers, either, but combat formations and support troops. Cynical observers would say that Obama has decided it’s less damaging for his re-election chances to have troops in Iraq in November 2012 than it is for the voting public to see nine years of blood, sweat and tears thrown away for the sake of an arbitrary withdrawal date. We would agree.
In other news, U.S. and European leaders screwed up their courage and finally called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to surrender his power, but just as surely as the sun rises in the east, the Russians tried to throw a wrench into the works. “We do not support such calls and believe it is necessary now to give President Assad’s regime time to realize all the reform processes that have been announced,” said the Russian Foreign Ministry. It’s impossible to caricature a statement so absurd, so we won’t bother. Suffice it to say that old habits die hard, and Moscow seems perfectly willing to support a pariah in the face of pressure from the free world.
Immigration Front: How ‘Our’ System Works
What a difference a month makes. Way back in July — that’s right, a whole month ago — Barack Obama had this to say about Rule of Law in America: “I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books. … I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own — that’s not how our system works.”
However, in a shameless ploy to secure the Hispanic vote by hook or crook, and unfazed by congressional rebuffs, Obama has resorted to fiat execution of the wildly unpopular Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM Act — a.k.a. the “Amnesty Bill.” Specifically, the Department of Homeland Security just announced that it will halt all deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants who attend school, who have family in the military or who are primarily responsible for the care of other family members, allowing them to apply for work permits. This means that only illegal aliens who have committed serious criminal offenses in the United States — setting aside of course the first serious criminal offense of entering the U.S. illegally — will now be candidates for detention and deportation.
The same president who swore an oath on his inauguration to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” is thus continuing to trample it by refusing to enforce existing immigration laws and by making up his own. Apparently, that’s how “our system” works.
The Founders made every effort to protect that most precious commodity of individual liberty. Article II, Section 3 directs the president to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” That is, it directs the Executive Branch to ensure that laws Congress enacts are carried out. Itdoes not direct the president either to write his own laws or to carry out laws Congress itself has refused to pass. To do so is a blatant violation of the “Separation of Powers” doctrine that the Founders integrally wove throughout the fabric of the Constitution.
This doctrine is not merely a “nice-to-have” element; it is fundamental to individual liberty. As Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia noted in the landmark Morrison v. Olson case, “The Framers of the Federal Constitution viewed the principle of separation of powers as the absolutely central guarantee of a just Government. … Without a secure structure of separated powers, our Bill of Rights would be worthless, as are the bills of rights of many nations of the world that have adopted, or even improved upon, the mere words of ours.” When the doctrine of separation of powers is usurped — as here, by a president who reserves for himself a unilateral power to enact and enforce immigration laws — America’s freedoms are in grave jeopardy.
Profiles of Valor: Marine Corps Cpt. Jeremy Henwood
While America’s troops continue to take the fight to jihadis in Afghanistan and elsewhere to protect our country, other Americans, walking that thin line between barbarism and civilization, also try to protect Americans at home from our own criminal element. Occasionally, some individuals will serve nobly in both capacities and, sadly, where the jihadis fail, our own homegrown vermin may not.
This past May, Marine Corps Captain and Iraq War veteran Jeremy Henwood returned home from a one-year deployment in Afghanistan, where he survived without a scratch in a hostile region full of roadside bombs and snipers. Picking up where he left off, he rejoined the San Diego Police Department, patrolling the City Heights area, a blue-collar neighborhood that has seen a sharp decrease in crime recently. But his life of serving soon came to a tragic and violent end. Just minutes after buying lunch for a 13-year old boy, Officer Henwood was shot in cold blood, dying a day later. San Diego police said that after Henwood left the restaurant, he was at a stop sign in his patrol car. The driver of a nearby Audi flashed his lights, drawing the officer’s attention. The Audi’s driver then pulled alongside Henwood’s cruiser, lowered his front window, leveled a shotgun at Henwood and fired, striking his head. The shooter, later identified as Dejon Marquee White, 23, turned out to be the suspect in another shooting minutes earlier. White was later shot dead in a confrontation with police.
Given that both Hanna and Henwood were white and the killer was black, race may have been the motivation, but don’t look for any mention of that in the Leftmedia, as they continue to ignore the issue of race in black-on-white crime, and even black-on-black crime. This tragic story is especially noteworthy because after a career of service to his nation and community, the officer’s last act on this earth, buying a meal for a needy black boy, was one of compassion and racial harmony. Rest in peace.
Downgrade at Their Peril
In a development that once would have been surprising but now barely turns heads, it was revealed in recent days that the Obama Justice Department has set its investigative sights on Standard Poor’s rating agency, turning over stones to find misdeeds in their rating of mortgage-backed securities. The timing is certainly suspicious, given the recent SP downgrade of government debt from the platinum standard of AAA to AA+.
The probe was under way a few weeks before the debt downgrade, but certainly the federal government was warned that a shift was imminent well before the actual change in status unless significant spending cuts to the tune of $4 trillion were made. While economists agree that spending cuts are needed, Obama and Congress failed to deliver, so our rating was lowered. Given that SP is the only rating service under scrutiny, the “sour grapes” aspect can’t be overlooked.
We really should be asking, though, just why securities backed by mortgages, many given to borrowers with poor or no credit or job histories and then bundled into grab bags of toxic assets, were given such a high rating in the first place. With housing values fueled by a bubble that burst back in 2006, analysts should have sounded warning bells much earlier — in fact, many experts did but were ignored. Downgrading these securities would have made them less lucrative for the sellers. It’s an investigation that needed to take place much sooner, but the thought of “better late than never” still doesn’t come to mind.
In the meantime, the message is clear: If you do something this administration doesn’t like, watch your back.
Income Redistribution: TARP Recap
The Treasury Department reported this week that the actual level of lending by the Federal Reserve to banks under 2008′s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was much higher than previously reported. It seems the true number is $1.2 trillion, not $700 billion. Then again, the Fed received $13 billion in interest payments, and most of the money was paid back.
So who got the money? For one thing, almost half of the top 30 borrowers were foreign-based entities, including a real-estate holding company (i.e., not a bank). It seems to us that this is an exception to the Fed’s authority, and there should be some accountability. Domestically, the big three recipients were Bank of America ($91 billion), Citigroup ($99.5 billion) and Morgan Stanley ($107 billion). All three either lost billions in market capitalization or required more than their shareholder equity to keep the lights on, or both. Indeed, all three of these firms have seen their market value halved over the past year as revelations of bad mortgages continue to surface. The continued economic weakness, combined with impediments to the liquidation of bad loans, will continue to undermine the efforts of management to correct and collect the sins of the past. It appears that being members of the “too big to fail club” also means being too big to manage.
Addressing the crisis of confidence resulted in the Federal Reserve Bank providing liquidity as the lender of last resort to the banking system. What we find especially troubling, though, is the secrecy that surrounds all Fed operations, as well as the dubious list of recipients. It’s extremely difficult to sell the American public on the idea of an economic recovery when information like this continues to drip into the public consciousness.
Regulatory Commissars: Obama Strikes Back at Big Oil (Again)
Four years ago, Exxon Mobil made a thrilling find: an oil field under the watery depths of the Gulf of Mexico that may hold a billion barrels of black gold. Yet when gold is in them thar hills, so are those out to plunder it; in this case the bandits are the Obama administration. Regulators at the Department of the Interior have set up roadblocks that will prevent Exxon Mobil from creating jobs and energy, claiming that because the oil giant asked for a brief suspension of drilling operations in 2008 it had essentially abandoned three of its five permits. Ironically, the interregnum was safety-related and made voluntarily by Exxon Mobil. Never mind that they sank $300 million into these “abandoned” wells.
So instead of Exxon Mobil perhaps just now bringing this new domestic oil to market and sending gas prices down to more reasonable levels, they’re forced to head off to court to fight what they call the government’s “arbitrary and capricious” action to secure what is rightfully theirs through hard work and risk-taking. Unfortunately, this is the result of electing a socialist president. Turns out he’s not much of a friend to job creation of any sort, despite 9.1 percent reported unemployment and the prospect of thousands of potential jobs securing and refining those billion barrels of oil.
Say Goodbye to the Fairness Doctrine
In 1987, the Federal Communications Commission under President Ronald Reagan voted to revoke the Fairness Doctrine, setting the stage for a massive growth in conservative talk radio and other alternative media. No longer did stations need to be careful to present “equal time” to all sides of an issue, an edict that generally led stations to shy away from presenting editorial opinion at all, effectively stifling free speech. Yet the rules never actually came off the books until last week. In a rare trimming back of government regulation, the Fairness Doctrine was one of 83 obsolete rules erased from the federal register by the FCC.
Of course, leftists are apoplectic over the demise of the Fairness Doctrine because conservatives have benefited, using talk radio as a means of bypassing the once-dominant mainstream media. Yet they could never muster the votes to restore it, even when they controlled Congress, because voters never saw it as a priority. Conservative media has succeeded because the market is there for it, not because of government favor. Of course, axing the Fairness Doctrine and the other FCC rules means there are 83 regulations down but countless thousands to go.
Second Amendment: Fast and Furious Promotions
We have noted on numerous occasions the scandal that is Operation Fast and Furious. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began the operation, part of which was Project Gunrunner, ostensibly to track firearms headed from the U.S. to Mexico. At least 2,000 guns have been lost, however, and many have turned up at crime scenes, including numerous instances in the U.S. Such guns were also used to kill two American officials, ICE Agent Jaime Zapata and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
Despite this egregious incompetence, none of the ATF’s players involved has been held accountable. In fact, three of the agents responsible for this disastrous operation were justpromoted. According to Pajamas Media’s Bob Owens, “The three supervisors have been given new management positions at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. They are William G. McMahon, who was the ATF’s deputy director of operations in the West, where the illegal trafficking program was focused, and William D. Newell and David Voth, both field supervisors who oversaw the program out of the agency’s Phoenix office.” The whistleblower, Vince Cefalu, was fired. Somehow, the Obama administration, the Justice Department and the ATF must be held accountable for this continuing outrage.
From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File
Just when they thought it was safe to take off the muzzle, Joe Biden has done it again. This time he has exposed yet another leftist myth: that being “pro-choice” is about … well, choice. The Obama administration has always gone out of its way to let female voters know that it supports their “right to choose” abortion. Yet on Biden’s recent visit to China, he made it perfectly clear that he was “not second-guessing” that nation’s one-child policy, whereby women are subjected to forcible sterilizations and abortions as the government dictates to its citizens how many children they can have.
His comments have once again sent the administration rushing into the spin zone. The White House defended Biden, pointing out that he also called the policy “unsustainable” and that he has since said he “believes such practices are repugnant,” but Biden’s initial assessment was clearly based on utilitarianism and finances, not individual freedom. The White House’s defense is that he meant the opposite of what he said.
Meanwhile, an Associated Press dispatch entitled “One Child Policy a Surprising Boon for China Girls” highlights the many ways in which females have “benefited” from this policy. In particular, it noted that girls are being educated at a rate never before seen in China. This result is indeed surprising, but, essentially, it means that if a family’s only permitted child happens to be a girl, that girl will be showered with the support and guidance that would have been reserved for a son. As problematic as that notion is in and of itself, it also ignores the fact that due to this policy, countless female babies have been murdered so that the parents could go on to try for a boy. Perhaps this is the Left’s way of kowtowing to our largest foreign creditor. Yet if we ignore China’s long list of human rights violations because we owe them money, then we as a nation have truly sold our soul.
Faith and Family: Full Cultural Assault
Three disturbing stories surfaced this week that we believe illustrate a trend in the sexualization of our society (CONTENT WARNING). First up, the Department of Health and Human Services has offered “Questions and Answers About Sex,” a link on their “Quick Guide to Healthy Living.” If you think the questions are scary, the answers are worse. The premise is, “Children are human beings and therefore sexual beings. … [E]ven infants have curiosity about their own bodies, which is healthy and normal.” HHS therefore tells parents not to worry about teen experimentation with sex, homosexuality or masturbation, as these are healthy steps for children to take. On the contrary, Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the conservative Family Research Council, puts it bluntly: “The idea that ‘children are human beings and therefore sexual beings’ is one of the most destructive myths of the sexual revolution.”
Meanwhile, B4U-Act, a 501(c)(3) organization in Maryland that was established “to publicly promote services and resources for self-identified individuals (adults and adolescents) who are sexually attracted to children,” held a “scientific” symposium last week. The topic was a proposed new definition of pedophilia in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Some actually pushed the idea that pedophilia should be decriminalized, a position HHS, for one, might have a hard time arguing against given the aforementioned story.
Finally, a Florida Teacher of the Year was suspended for posting comments on Facebook objecting to New York’s legalization of same-sex marriage earlier this year. He cited “biblical principles” — specifically, “Romans chapter one” — for his opposition. It is not known whether any students are his “friends” on Facebook, but, apparently, the “sexual beings” in his classroom mustn’t be given the information necessary to decide right from wrong for themselves. As a side note, in 2008, 62 percent of Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
A recent paper authored by a NASA-affiliated scientist and two professors from Penn University explores the possibilities of first contact with an alien race. Among the scenarios the trio imagines is that aliens might launch a pre-emptive strike to stop us from committing the galactic sin of global warming, “which therefore changes the spectral signature of Earth” (i.e., affects other planets). Not only that, but the likely reason we haven’t yet been contacted by these aliens is that we’re not sufficiently “progressive,” and they want us to reach a “societal benchmark such as sustainable development or international unity” before contact. Aside from the pre-emptive strike over global warming, they write that “an advanced society capable of interstellar travel may be less likely to turn to humans as a source of food or labor because they should have already solved these problems through some combination of machine labor, artificial synthesis, and conservation.” Well that’s a relief.
On the other hand, New York Times economist Paul Krugman theorizes that a looming alien attack would stimulate the economy. “If we discovered that, you know, space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months,” he said. That would be useful, he added, “in order to get some fiscal stimulus.” Krugman once won a Nobel Prize for economics. We suspect, however, that he was abducted by aliens soon thereafter, and that the “Paul Krugman” now writing loony columns and making bizarre TV appearances is actually an alien mole.
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
The Patriot Post Editorial Team