The Blog

Opine Needles

The Blog

The President, Middle East, and Japan

After an exended hiatus, Opine Needles is back. Spring break and the call of business (aka making a living) pushed the yearning to expand and expound to the back burner.

Obama-same man, different views

We have a first cousin for whom we have respect and consider a good friend. We spent some time together last week. We remember sitting in Starbucks with him before the 2008 election and learning that he was going to vote for Barack Obama. We were dumbfounded. Even more dumbfounding was learning last week that he is pleased with his decision. Our Opine Needles cousin is a smart guy, and certainly knows what’s up in the world of politics. So why are we left scratching our head(s) in bewilderment when we hear him support President Obama?

Perhaps the most perplexing comment we absorbed was that our cousin sees President Obama as a middle of the road pragmatist…someone who leans left when the political winds blow left, and toward the center when those wind shift toward the right. How can we see such utterly different people when we have watched the same man in action for more than half his term in office?

–Opine Needles has watched (and consistently written about) a man do everything in his power to emasculate the socio-economic fabric of our great country.

–We have listened countless times to him speak with vitriol and contempt for the business community in the United States. In particular, he and his Secretaries of Energy and the Interior have done virtually everything in their power to cripple our domestic oil and gas industry. With gasoline now exceeding $4 a gallon, when will the American people start to connect the dots?

–We have seen him stand by and encourage the unions he so strongly supports (and who so strongly support him!) to denigrate and slur Governor Walker in Wisconsin. He sees absolutely no irony in the use of “hate-speech” for causes with which he agrees.

–We continue to witness his Attorney General operate in contempt of our Constitution. He and his boss aim to use their positions of power to create a new social code, and they could not care less whether the Constitution grants them the leeway to actually do so. (We have a solicitor general’s office to help the Justice Department navigate Constitutional waters. This administration does not appear to want fact to get in the way of what it sees as social progress.)

–Yes, after the November “shellacking”, the President has made some centrist moves. But seriously folks, did you see the look of anguish and contempt on his face when he signed the extension of the Bush tax cuts? And recently in Florida he had Governor Jeb Bush stand behind him when he made a pitch for education in America. His theme was essentially “No Child Left Behind”. To the surprise of nobody, he did not use those words. There is only one reason he signed the extension of the Bush tax cuts, and one reason he asked Jeb Bush to share a stage with him. He is running for reelection!

–Opine Needles recently spent some time with a former member of the Obama Cabinet. This gentleman served the President for two years, and is now in the private sector. He is articulate, smart, and a committed democrat. He is an economist by trade. He is absolutely convinced that the ONLY way out of our deficit is to increase taxes. He refuses to concede that draconian cuts in spending should even be considered.

It was during the conversation with this former public servant that the light in our Opine Needles head(s) was activated. These people live in intellectual bubbles. Most of them have never run a business. Most of them studied John Maynard Keynes and actually believe all that rubbish. Democrats truly believe the Federal Government is the answer to all problems. They really believe that devaluing our once great currency by printing trillions of dollars (and then increasing taxes on the producers in society to balance the account deficit) will actually solve all economic ills. Let’s try to keep this simple. If a business spends more money than it makes, it is no longer capable of being an ongoing concern. That business thusly ceases to exist. This is where the “blue” states now find themselves, and where the United States will soon be. No business, state or nation can survive indefinitely on endless deficit spending predicated solely on the strength of past performance.

In soaring rhetoric, the President will talk about America’s greatness, and the uniqueness of its people. But underpinning his every thought is the notion that the people can only be lifted by actions of their government. And therein lies the fundamental difference between us and them. If they win this philosophical battle, we will never see vibrant economic growth again in the United States. It’s that simple, and that depressingly obvious.

And to our good friend and first cousin, we say, “You are still young and healthy. There’s time to reconsider!”

Back to the Middle East

With reference to our last blog, events continue to be mismanaged by the administration. We CANNOT use our bully pulpit to make idle threats. The President announced that Gadhafi “has to go” nearly two weeks ago. It took some ten days to achieve a UN Security Council resolution with accompanying Arab League support to start supporting the rebels. In the meantime, Libyan rebels and innocents were slaughtered. This diplomatic naivete is a product of the intellectual bubble referenced above. This administrative does not appreciate realpolitik. They have failed to grasp the importance of words uttered by the President of the United States. They are learning, but as they learn, valuable strategic relationships (and perhaps more importantly, the POTENTIAL for future valuable strategic relationships)in the Middle East are disappearing.


It would be inappropriate to blog and not mention the horrific earthquake and tsunami that hit northeast Japan. Opine Needles admires the stoicism of the Japanese people. The devastating effect of natural and man-made aftershocks could have wrought a total public meltdown. Instead, the only possible meltdown lies inside the cooling towers at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The Japanese people in the impacted area are doing what it takes to get control of their lives in unimaginable circumstances. Our thoughts are with them.

More to follow-