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Avatars of Progressivism

Victor Davis Hanson writes in the National Review, Moral Schizophrenics

excerpts:

The danger of the new hard-left progressivism is that the old sins of greed, connivance, and malfeasance are now offset by assertions of cosmic morality. The ostentatiously green Solyndra could hardly be thought of as shaking down operators in the Obama administration to provide a sweetheart loan for the crony-capitalist architects of a money-losing mess. Al Gore is so worried about how corporate culture promotes damage to the planet that he was forced to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars for his own green corporations to warn us about other such cynics. He is so shocked about CO2 emissions and the global petroleum culture that he unloaded his underperforming and overpriced cable channel to a carbon-exporting, anti-Jewish autocratic sheikhdom that paid him handsomely with its petrodollars.

Michelle and Barack Obama are so concerned about global warming that not long ago they left two huge carbon footprints, when simultaneously they took separate government jumbo jets to fly out to Los Angeles to appear on separate talk shows. This was worthy of Leonardo DiCaprio, who on his private jet flew to conferences on the carbon excesses of hoi polloi. Elizabeth Warren is so committed to a fair and just society where egalitarianism is the shared goal, and where we assume that no one creates anything without the government, that she and her husband often augmented the generous incomes from their Harvard law professorships with lucrative corporate consulting to achieve 1 percenter status, with nearly $1 million in annual income.

The avatars of modern progressivism are not distinguishable in the lives that they live from the targets of their attack. Those on campus who talk the most loudly of the bane of white privilege at Harvard or Stanford do not live like poor whites in Tulare or El Paso, who have no privilege, racial or financial. The pajama-boy progressives of Cambridge or Menlo Park can enjoy their white privilege freely — but only by damning it in others. (Do such young campus auditors ever drive down to a Bakersfield brake shop to explain to its grease-smeared mechanics in the pit that, being white, they enjoy too much racial advantage?) The Obamas and the progressive black elite have to decry stereotyping, profiling, and the prejudices of low expectations; only by such preemptive doublespeak can they jet to horse races with impunity or put their children in Sidwell Friends rather than in the Washington, D.C., public schools.

The Left created a culture of pajama-boy elites, one that sought cosmic absolution for its own privilege by attacking the less privileged — and then they called this ethical desert progressivism.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417181/moral-schizophrenics-victor-davis-hanson

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Confusion of Virtue

From the New York Times, Weary of Relativity by Frank Bruni

excerpts

Set the bar low enough and all blame is deflected, all shame expunged. Choose the right points of reference and behold the alchemy: naughty deeds into humdrum conformity. Excess into restraint. Sinners into saints.

When it comes to money, almost everybody looks up — not down or sideways — to determine how he or she is doing and what he or she might be owed. There’s always someone higher on the ladder and getting a whole lot more, always someone who establishes a definition of greed that you fall flatteringly short of.

One titan’s bonanza becomes the next titan’s yardstick, and the pay of the nation’s top executives spirals ever further out of control.

Then there’s the moral jujitsu that American voters have become especially adept at in these polarized times. Many of them unreservedly exalt their party’s emissary — and inoculate him or her from disparagement — simply because he or she represents the alternative to someone from the other side. Being the lesser of evils is confused with being virtuous, though it’s a far, far cry from that.

President Obama stumbles or falls and is pardoned by all-or-nothing partisans on the grounds that he’s not George W. Bush. Those same partisans wave off any naysaying about his foreign policy by bringing up the invasion of Iraq. And the bungled rollout of Obamacare? A mere wisp of inconvenience in comparison with the botched response to Hurricane Katrina. Everything’s relative.

Except it’s not.

There are standards to which government, religion and higher education should be held. There are examples that politicians and principled businesspeople should endeavor to set, regardless of whether their peers are making that effort. There’s right and wrong, not just better or worse.

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Poverty Pathology

walterwilliams

From Townhall Walter Williams writes The True Black Tragedy

excerpts:

Today the overwhelming majority of black children are raised in single female-headed families. As early as the 1880s, three-quarters of black families were two-parent. In 1925 New York City, 85 percent of black families were two-parent. One study of 19th-century slave families found that in up to three-fourths of the families, all the children had the same mother and father.

Today’s black illegitimacy rate of nearly 75 percent is also entirely new. In 1940, black illegitimacy stood at 14 percent. It had risen to 25 percent by 1965, when Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action” and was widely condemned as a racist. By 1980, the black illegitimacy rate had more than doubled, to 56 percent, and it has been growing since. Both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.

Much of today’s pathology seen among many blacks is an outgrowth of the welfare state that has made self-destructive behavior less costly for the individual. Having children without the benefit of marriage is less burdensome if the mother receives housing subsidies, welfare payments and food stamps. Plus, the social stigma associated with unwed motherhood has vanished. Female-headed households, whether black or white, are a ticket for dependency and all of its associated problems. Ignored in all discussions is the fact that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994.

HKO

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  It is hard to visualize  this trend being reversed without a form of moral preening from the government that few voters today would ever tolerate.

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She Didn’t Build That

hillary-clinton-winking

from Mark Perry in his blog Carpe Diem, John Tamny on ‘surging lifestyle equality’ and the source of the Clintons’ wealth

excerpts:

All of which brings us to the latest news about Bill and Hillary Clinton. According to numerous media accounts the formidable political couple has earned at least $30 million in speaking fees since 2014. The Clintons are maybe who President Obama had in mind when he famously said “You didn’t build that.”
The Clintons are extraordinarily rich not because Bill discovered a cure for cancer, or because Hillary has a knack for resuscitating companies that are on the proverbial deathbed, because both are expert as Ford, Rockefeller and Steve Jobs were at mass producing former baubles of the rich, or even because they were born well. No, the Clintons are rich for having been wise enough to make a profession of politics in what is the richest, most innovative country on earth. Without a hint of hyperbole, the wealth they enjoy is a function of their pull within a federal government that is empowered to tax away trillions on an annual basis. The Clintons are posh and supercilious, but their grand posture is directly attributable to the political class’s ability to plunder the actual wealth of America’s truly productive.

The Clinton’s millions are the result of government force, and those millions rob inequality of its life-enhancing beauty. While rising wealth inequality in the world of free markets is once again a sign of entrepreneurs shrinking the lifestyle gap, Clinton-style inequality is rooted in the political ability to influence the direction of economic resources created by others, but that were expropriated by the federal government.

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Sidney Blumenthal and Hillary Clinton

Blumenthal-headshot

from the Wall Street Journal, Who is Sidney Blumenthal?:

excerpts:

They reinforce, for starters, that the Clinton Foundation is not and never has been a charity. Bill and Hillary created it in 2001 as a vehicle to assist their continuing political ambitions, in particular Mrs. Clinton’s run for the White House. Any good the foundation does is incidental to its bigger role as a fund-raising network and a jobs program for Clinton political operatives.

The Blumenthal Files are the latest reminder that Mrs. Clinton’s email deletions deserve a criminal investigation. Recall that Mr. Blumenthal was barred by the ObamaAdministration from working at the State Department, despite Mrs. Clinton’s request to hire her old pal. We now know she worked with him anyway, potentially in violation of State rules, and that both used private email addresses.

The only reason we know this, however, is because a Romanian hacker a few years back infiltrated Mr. Blumenthal’s email and posted some correspondence with Mrs. Clinton online. Mrs. Clinton has now turned over (some of) her Blumenthal correspondence to the State Department. How many other private emails, which weren’t exposed through a hack, did Mrs. Clinton delete?

American Bridge describes itself as a “communications organization committed to holding Republicans accountable,” which is another way of saying it works—under Mr. Blumenthal’s tutelage—as Mrs. Clinton’s attack machine. Media Matters is a propaganda operation that got its start with help from the Center for American Progress, which was founded by John Podesta, who is now chairing Hillary’s presidential campaign.

HKO

Hillary’s history of corruption, ethical abuses and conflicts are stunning and growing.  It become increasingly difficult to imagine her as a serious candidate.  It is even harder to imagine a Republican with this much baggage making it nearly this far.