Hell Has Frozen Over: I Agree with Barbara Streisand

Posted by hllf on Jul 14, 2010 in Politics |

I came across something yesterday when I was browsing the news on the web that made my jaw drop, which, by the way, is not an easy thing to accomplish. So I figured I’d share it with everyone.

Last week Monday marked the start of the annual Aspen Ideas Festival, which is a conference sponsored by the Aspen Institute. For those of you who do not know what the Aspen Institute is, here is how Wikipedia describes it:

“The Aspen Institute is an international nonprofit organization founded in 1950 as the Aspen Institute of Humanistic Studies. Today, the organization is dedicated to ‘fostering enlightened leadership, the appreciation of timeless ideas and values, and open-minded dialogue on contemporary issues.'”

The annual Aspen Ideas Festival is a forum in which many individuals gather together for a week to discuss a variety of issues and to determine policy initiatives. Translation: It is an opportunity for rich elitists to emerge from their ivory towers, hang out together, and decide how the rest of us should live our lives.

So you can imagine my shock when I read some of the things said by the various speakers at the festival, most notably Mortimer (Mort) Zuckerman, Niall Ferguson, Michael Splinter, and Arianna Huffington. I’ll first start out with some of the things Mr. Zuckerman said:

“We are, without question, in a period of decline, particularly in the business world. The real problem we have, are some of the worst economic policies in place today that, in my judgment, go directly against the long-term interests of this country.”

Now I know you might be saying to yourself, “Who is this Mort Zuckerman guy? He’s probably some Republican politician.” Quite the contrary. Mr. Zuckerman is the owner and publisher of the New York Daily News (hardly a conservative or even a moderate publication), as well as the editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report. He is a billionaire, and in 2008, he was the 147-wealthiest American, up from 188th a year earlier. On July 12 of this year (just two days ago), he stated publically that he helped to write one of President Barack Obama’s political speeches. He appears regularly on MSNBC and The McLaughlin Group, and if you have ever seen him speak, he is no conservative; an independent at best, and I would definitely characterize him as liberal. Finally, if you would like yet still more evidence, Zuckerman has donated more than $68,000 to political candidates since the 1970s. Of this $68,000, $42,700 has gone to Democratic candidates and $24,000 to independent interests; notice the word Republican doesn’t appear.

Mr. Zuckerman continued in his statements to tear apart Obama’s trillion-dollar deficit spending (the so-called economic stimulus package), calling it fiscally ruinous, potentially turning America into a second-rate power. He went on to say that he detects in the Obama White House, “a hostility to the very kinds of business culture that have made this the great country that it is and was. I think we have to find some way of dealing with that or else we will do great damage to this country with a public policy that could ruin everything.”

Now let’s move on to Niall Ferguson. Dr. Ferguson is a British historian, who is currently the Lawrence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, as well as the William Ziegler Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Here are some of the things he said at the Aspen Ideas Festival:

“The critical point is if your policy says you’re going run a trillion-dollar deficit for the rest of time, you’re riding for a fall…Then it really is goodbye.” Drawing on his British heritage, he added, “Can I say that, having grown up in a declining empire, I do not recommend it. It’s just not a lot of fun actually—decline.”

He went on to say, “The curse of long-term unemployment is that if you pay people to do nothing, they’ll find themselves doing nothing for very long periods of time. Long-term unemployment is at an all-time high in the United States, and it is a direct consequence of a misconceived public policy.”

He then called for a reform of the entitlement system in this country and said we must “unleash entrepreneurial innovation.” And he warned us to the alternative: “Do you want to be a kind of implicit part of the European Union? I’d advise you against it.”

And there is more. Michael Splinter, a Silicon Valley superstar and president of the Applied Materials solar energy company, said this:

“From an industry standpoint, it’s below what a lot of people in industry have viewed as the solution to the jobs problem. When I talk to venture capitalists, their companies are starting to move their manufacturing operations out of the United States…Our corporate tax rate, on a worldwide competitive basis, is just not competitive. Taiwan is lowering their rate to 20 to 15 percent in order to stay competitive with Singapore. These countries have made it their job to attract industry. You don’t get that sense here in the United States.”

Keep in mind this is from the president of a solar energy company, I.E., green technology. These people used to be in bed with Obama and his policies.

Finally, even Arianna Huffington, a known liberal Democrat and Obama supporter , couldn’t put a positive spin on things, stating,

“He said jobs were going to be his No. 1 priority—there’s a huge disconnect between Washington and what’s going on out in the country. The president’s economic team kept talking about a ‘cyclical’ problem. Larry Summers said jobs were a lagging economic indicator. All these things are simply wrong. The president put all his trust in the wrong economic team—an economic team that didn’t understand what was happening.”

Now I would say that Ms. Huffington is not exactly right here, because Obama didn’t put his trust in the wrong economic team, but rather, in an economic team that was perfect for him, since it mirrored his views and vision and philosophy to the letter. But that discussion is for another time.

So all this was definitely incredible to read. But the best is yet to come. Zuckerman’s and Ferguson’s comments were met with tons of applause from a crowd that included Barbara Streisand and her husband James Brolin. Mrs. Streisand later said, referring to the speeches, “Depressing, but fantastic. So exciting. Wonderful!”

Did I read that right? Barbara Streisand, one of the most radical, nutty, left-wing wacko people out there, thought these speeches were wonderful? Well, I never thought I’d see this day. The day when Barbara Streisand makes more sense than and receives my own applause over the entire Republican Party!

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