After three decades of rapid economic growth, China has just passed Japan as the world's second largest economy. Experts now predict that if Beijing can sustain such levels of growth, China will pass the United States around 2025 to become the world's biggest economy.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch....second quarter growth slowed to 2.4%, weighed down by massive government spending and intervention and whopping uncertainty about new taxes and regulation. Unemployment remains staggeringly high. Consumer confidence is at frightening lows. Home foreclosures continue to hit record highs.
China---and now, Europe---are growing at much faster rates than we are, even though we have the bigger economy. The reason: we've got Far-Left leadership that has instituted destructive economic policies based on unprecedented deficit spending and government intervention. We've got pathetic growth because we've now largely got a command and control economy.
Which is what China USED to have...until they wised up to the power and beauty of the free market. Europe is also moving away from socialist commands and back to market principles. Our leadership is putting us in reverse....which is not only anti-growth, it's anti-American.
I can see November from my house. Ah yes, elections: one thing we've still got over the Chinese.
The opponents of the Arizona illegal immigration law have shown themselves to be wrong on the law, politically perverse, and a malignant force.
The Arizona law was drafted as completely consistent with federal law. There was nothing in it that colored outside the lines. It was all perfectly aligned with the immigration laws that have been on the federal books for decades; it was all about concurrent enforcement. Perfectly legal, correct, and constitutional.
Except in the hands of a left-wing activist judge. U.S.District Judge Susan Bolton was appointed by President Bill Clinton. Of course she was. Yesterday, she red-lined key parts of the Arizona law on the most specious and nonsensical grounds. Basically, she ruled that if the feds aren't enforcing immigration laws, the states can't either, because they'd be violating the federal policy...of non-enforcement. Makes no sense, but that didn't stop her.
Before the judge ruled, a group of professional protesters---union thugs, illegal aliens, the usual---made its way to Phoenix for a planned protest. After the judge ruled in their favor, they STILL went ahead with their "protest." Protest of what? Who knows? These morons protested, even though they won the judgment, and dozens were arrested. What a bunch of brain trusts, no?
It shows that their side isn't interested in the law or the Constitution or enforcing the border or the immigration laws. Their side is only interested in one thing: undermining this country by creating and sustaining chaos. This is why they protested even after the judge ruled in their favor.
For the radicals, the issue is never the issue. For them, this is not about the border or the immigration laws. It's about power and social justice and chaos. It's about destroying America from within, like a malignant cancer. Get on to them. Stay on to them. Know their routine. And then expose them. Blow the lid right off their destructive plan and tactics. Push back. The survival of the country depends on it.
Four years ago tomorrow, Academy Award winner Mel Gibson was stopped and arrested for DUI in Malibu, California. Gibson allegedly asked the arresting officer if he were Jewish and then allegedly swore at the Jews, saying, "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."
Following those reports, Gibson was ostracized by Hollywood. He was denounced and shunned, and later issued an apology calling his comments "despicable" and saying how "deeply ashamed" he was by his behavior. He's got new problems today, but the alleged anti-Semitic comments have dogged him ever since.
Yesterday, another Oscar winner made blatantly anti-Semitic statements. Director Oliver Stone, fresh off his newest film, a love letter to South American dictators, said that Adolf Hitler was an "easy scapegoat" who needed to be understood "in context." He also blasted "the Jewish domination of the media" and Israel, which he said "has f------ up United States foreign policy for years."
He made a "sort-of" apology today, claiming he's "sorry" for his "clumsy association about the Holocaust."
Stone's comments were even more despicable than Gibson's, and yet, where was the outrage toward Stone? Sure, Jewish groups condemned what he said, but where was the Hollywood community which lashed out at Gibson for his disgusting comments? When Stone's comments were published yesterday, Hollywood was all crickets and tumbleweeds. You could hear a pin drop in that town.
Could it be because Gibson was a social conservative and Stone is an outspoken Far-Left guy? Could it be all about politics? Could Hollywood be protecting one of their favorite Hard-Left sons after having thrown the conservative to the lions?
Oh, it couldn't be, right? Hollywood isn't THAT transparent!
Americans are sick and tired of double standards wherever they may be: in politics, in Hollywood, in business, in the media. Those who engage in them had better watch out, because we're taking our votes and our wallets elsewhere.
During the Bush years, when the fight against Islamic terror was still relatively new, big newspapers and other media outlets raced to publish or broadcast major state secrets of the war. The New York Times splashed all over its front pages the secret of the warrantless wiretapping of suspected terrorists. They and other papers published on Page A1 the secret of the black sites abroad, including the names of the countries that were helping us covertly detain terrorists. They published the details of the enhanced interrogation techniques we were using to extract life-saving information from top al Qaeda terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. USA Today published a memorable piece detailing the specifics of the SWIFT program to track terrorist financing.
When these stories broke, most Americans were outraged at the lack of journalistic responsibility. How dare these left-wing outfits publish secrets that would likely empower our enemies with high-value information and endanger American lives? Normal Americans were aghast.
But the nutcases on the Left are not normal. They were so consumed with Bush Derangement Syndrome that they were automatically opposed to everything he did and were willing to imperil the nation in order to hurt him. National security was way down the list of priorities. The Bush White House begged these papers not to publish these state secrets, for fear of enhancing the enemy's intel. The papers told the White House to take a hike.
The Left elsewhere cheered the Times and the others. They were simply doing their patriotic duty, you see: informing the public of the evils of the Bush administration.
Of course, it would have been their journalistic and patriotic duty to inform the public of the evils of the ACTUAL ENEMY, but I digress.
Today, the Times, the UK Guardian, and Germany's Der Spiegel have simultaneously published portions of 91,000 secret documents about the Afghanistan war leaked to them by WikiLeaks. They pretend to have been all anguished about the decision to publish, which is nonsense of course. These papers are the Hard Left. Yes, they wanted to hit Bush when they previously published secrets. But above all, they are anti-war. They don't really care who is prosecuting it; to them, war is war and the U.S. is wrong to be anywhere.
So, they published these documents today, and it's fascinating to watch the same Left that nodded approvingly when Bush's war effort got hit be outraged today. "Irresponsible," said National Security Adviser Jim Jones yesterday. Murmurs of "treason" are bubbling up from Obama's supporters. The whole irony would be hilarious if it didn't involve the life and death of the nation.
Here's another thing to keep in mind: the leaked docs are from 2004 until December of last year, when Obama decided on the surge. Nothing after that was leaked. Convenient, isn't it? Obama's surge effort is protected, while the Left can still pound Bush for the previous years.
One last point: the docs indicate how nearly impossible the combat effort is, with Pakistan's internal security service, the ISI, helping the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand while Pakistan takes truckloads of money from us in aid. Let your conspiratorial mind wander: what if the leak is meant to HELP Obama? What if it's meant to help him GET OUT of Afghanistan? The story the docs tell gives Obama the perfect pretext to withdraw on his original timeline.
Whenever you see a story like this, always go deeper and ask yourself: who benefits?
The answer is: Obama.
Who clearly does NOT benefit? Has anyone asked General David Petraues how he's doing today?
Shirley Sherrod has had quite a week. She got out of bed on Monday morning as the rural development director for the Agriculture Department in Georgia, and finished the day a red-hot political football. Fired by a racially trigger-happy White House, Sherrod took to the airwaves to state her case that she's been misunderstood. She luxuriated in the attention. In fact, she looked a little TOO comfy on the couch on "The View." Whoopi had better watch her back.
So Sherrod contemplates her next move, Lebron-like. Should she accept the USDA's apology and take the new job they offered? Should she sue? Retire? Write a memoir? Pose for Playboy? The possibilities unfold.
But it seems to me that her next step is obvious. You can see it coming a mile away.
A reality show.
It'll be called "Keeping Up With Shirl!" It'll air after "Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami." Maybe Seacrest will manage some cross-promotion and have Lamar cameo on "Shirl!"
Girl: go with it! These are your 15 minutes. Just make sure you lock down your contract. You don't want to have to go on reality show strike, like Snooki and The Situation.
To quote Hall and Oates, "Whoa...here she comes." For those of you who still doubt my yearlong theory that Hillary Clinton is running for the Democratic nomination for president, please read my column in today's "Washington Times:"