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The Obama Principle

Last week, President Obama spoke to Wall Street and expounded -- extemporaneously, it turns out -- on his views on success. He told the money men and women that success is fine and good, but after a while there's such a thing as "too much" success. To avoid that, they should at some point turn their energies away from further success and instead dedicate their efforts to the common good. He didn't spell out just how much is "too much," but if he's like most people he very carefully sets the line of "the rich" to somewhere above his own status.

His apologists later "clarified" his remarks to say what he mean was reserved for those who had used questionable or unethical or illegal means to gain their wealth, but that wasn't in the original remarks. I prefer to stick to the original material, thanks.

An interesting notion. Let's see how that applies in other areas.

Hey, ACORN. You've done a fine job in registering voters and helping poor people get housing. But in a lot of those cases, you cut corners. In fact, it's become clear that you've actually crossed the line on a consistent basis, boosting your numbers by committing voter registration fraud and helping people prepare fraudulent loan documents to get them into houses. You've been too successful, and you got that way by seriously improper means. It's time you stopped working so hard at running up your numbers, by any means, and instead put some energy into improving the quality of our electorate. So I'm calling on you to go back to all the communities where you held voter registration drives and help those communities clean up their voter rolls. Get the lists of registered voters and verify each and every single one of them as still alive, still residing in their precincts, and still eligible to vote. Because every single flawed registration on the rolls dilutes the validity of the honest voters, and is an invitation to voter fraud.

Excuse me, Mr. President? You've made great strides in bringing more and more aspects of business into the government. You've bought GM and Chrysler outright. You're planning on making health insurance companies creatures of the government in all but name. Now you're looking at doing the same to the financial market. Why don't you slow down a bit? Why don't you demonstrate that you know how to actually run a business before you take on more? Why don't you show us that you know how to take troubled businesses and help them stand on their own first, before you take on more? Get GM and Chrysler off the government's balance sheets and surviving on their own, and then we'll talk about your grandiose plans for other areas.

You know, this could work. I can see definite advantages to the Obama Principle. It has a "force the other side to live up to their own rule book" flavor that's straight out of Alinsky, and there's very little as satisfying or successful as using Alinsky's rules against Alinsky followers who've managed to become the establishment.

Update:Damn, I can't believe I forgot THIS example...

Mr. Obama, let's take a look at your career. You were a State Senator for several years, but had very few achievements. Then you became a United States Senator, and you've achieved very little in that job. Now you want to run for another, higher office? Sir, you have yet to show what you can achieve in the positions you've already held. Why don't you spend a little time in the Senate, give the people of Illinois at least one full term, show us that you actually understand and can perform the duties of that one, and then we'll talk about a possible promotion.


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Comments (23)

Congratulations, Jay Tea! I... (Below threshold)

Congratulations, Jay Tea! I didn't think I'd ever see "Obama" and "Principle" in the same sentence!

"Why don't you demonstrate ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"Why don't you demonstrate that you know how to actually run a business before you take on more?"

An excellent question that the media should be asking these statist, big-gov't types.
The chances of that happening: slim and none.

"His apologists later "clar... (Below threshold)
vinnievin:

"His apologists later "clarified" his remarks to say what he mean was reserved for those who had used questionable or unethical or illegal means to gain their wealth, but that wasn't in the original remarks."

So what they are saying is, if you acquire wealth by illegal unethical or questionable means, some gain is okay, but at a certain point it is no longer acceptable?

I don't think that helps his case at all.

You know exactly what he sa... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

You know exactly what he said, and you know exactly what he meant. He didn't "expound" at all, it was half of an off-the-cuff sentence, more of a figure of speech than anything else. Certainly not an exposition.

I think Obama was expressing what most people feel about these Wall Street pirates: "A 25 million dollar bonus?! Wouldn't fifteen million have sufficed? What could these people have done to EARN twenty five freaking million dollars?"

The answer is, they didn't earn it. They have managed to turn Wall Street into a giant casino, using OUR money, and THEY are the House. And the House always wins.

The only person who should be offended by the President's remark is the fictional character Gordon Gekko.

Good job, though, Mr Tea, building a six foot strawman out of that one remark. Got a whole post out of it.

Well Barry cleared 5 millio... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Well Barry cleared 5 million last year. Isn't that TOO much?

Or does Barry get to 'decide' that as well?

Bruce Henry ~ Do they have ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Bruce Henry ~ Do they have a special school where you have to go to learn to be that stupid?

The proper pay and bonus for any person - be they corporate executive, baseball player, or car salesman - is the one arrived at voluntarily between the parties involved. If someone wants to pay a banker or shortstop $25 million a year, what business is it of the government's?

But thanks for reminding us what a bunch of totalitarian Marxist aspholes comprise your side.

Of course that's true, Mr A... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Of course that's true, Mr Addison, and I'm not arguing that the government should set limits on pay -- and neither was the President.

My point was about Mr Tea's piece. He claimed that Obama "expounded" on the issue of banker's pay; he didn't.

My belief is that he was expressing, spontaneously, what is a common feeling: "How much is enough for these greedy motherf**ers?!" No, the government shouldn't limit their pay -- but good taste, and common sense, should. I for one, were I a Goldman Sachs shareholder, would not want executives rewarded for reckless behavior that helped bring the world economy to its knees.

Perhaps it could be argued, Mr Addison, that someone who argues that the government should set pay limits had to attend Stupid School to believe as they do. However, I did not advocate for it. I was simply pointing out Mr Tea's strawman. You invented one of your own.

What school did you attend?

We are still waiting for B.... (Below threshold)
donw:

We are still waiting for B.O. to educate the public as to what the limit is for earned income.
Is it the five million he earned last year, or even more?
If there is a limit on what someone should earn, then why didn't B.O. and his"circle of trust" friends set a limit in the fraudulent health bill for liability damages?
Just Curious!

bh - ""A 25 million dol... (Below threshold)
Marc:

bh - ""A 25 million dollar bonus?! Wouldn't fifteen million have sufficed? What could these people have done to EARN twenty five freaking million dollars?" "

Wouldn't a couple million paid to a rookie NFLer suffice instead of 5 year $125 million contracts?

Or 30 million for six months work from some hollywood A lister?

"Of course that's true, Mr Addison, and I'm not arguing that the government should set limits on pay -- and neither was the President."

No not this time, at least not openly.

But there is a history isn't there? Or are you ignorant of that history?

"The Obama administration's pay czar, Ken Feinberg, released new rulings today on the pay packages for some of the highest-paid employees at companies receiving what the administration deems "exceptional assistance" from the government. "

Well, then, Mr. Henry, feel... (Below threshold)

Well, then, Mr. Henry, feel free to buy some G-S stock and expound at your leisure.

J.

Not a bad idea Jay Tea, the... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Not a bad idea Jay Tea, the stock went down 15 bucks on Friday after the nitwits in D.C. got their pound of flesh.

It will go up at least that much or more in coming days.

"His apologists later "c... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"His apologists later "clarified" his remarks to say what he mean was reserved for those who had used questionable or unethical or illegal means to gain their wealth,..."

I don't buy that one either. Is there an acceptable level of money you can make by questionable, unethical or illegal means? Because if there is....

Damn! vinnievin beat me to... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Damn! vinnievin beat me to it.

I should start reading all the comments before I spout off.

"Of course that's true, ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Of course that's true, Mr Addison, and I'm not arguing that the government should set limits on pay -- and neither was the President."

Au contraire! He set limits on pay for execs of companies that took tarp money and then turned a blind eye to the strong-arming of others into into taking tarp money.

The whole point you fail to miss, Mr. Henry, is THIS IS WHAT HE BELIEVES and THIS IS the direction he is dragging the entire country by setting policy.

Re # 10:I take it ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Re # 10:

I take it that, in your opinion, only investors should have anything to say about how greedy sumbitches, trading worthless paper, made millions while causing the economy to go down in flames.

People who were laid off, or lost their life savings or pensions, or who just give a damn about their country, should just STFU and let the Real Men do what they do, right?

"The point you fail to miss... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

"The point you fail to miss", Oyster?

oyster - "Au contraire!... (Below threshold)
Marc:

oyster - "Au contraire! He set limits on pay for execs of companies that took tarp money and then turned a blind eye to the strong-arming of others into into taking tarp money."

Not to mention obummer looked the other way while the head of fanny m made 90 million dollars in his last five years there.

He also "failed" to note with any convection the millions the heads of AIG absconded with.

Well, #15, if thats how you... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

Well, #15, if thats how you feel perhaps you shoudl tell the government to go away, because frankly the government, and especially the government under Obama, is dwarfing anythign all of the 'evil corporations' in the entire country could ever do in putting and keeping people out of work, making them lose their savings, encouraging the trading of worthless paper . . .

So its kind of laughable having the mob boss castigating the mafiosa to stop misbehaving. . .

How does one note something... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

How does one note something with convection, Marc? Or with conviction, for that matter?

You have never heard of the... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

You have never heard of the definition of 'Conviction' which is 'A fixed or firm belief'?

And whats the matter, run out of any legitimate arguments so you have to start hunting for typos?


I don't have to hunt for ty... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I don't have to hunt for typos here, Ryan. Low hanging fruit.

And yeah, I know the definition of "conviction." My question was, how does one "note something with conviction?" Note it in italics?

Some of these are jokes, ladies and germs. Is this thing on?

How do you note something w... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

How do you note something with conviction? Easily. . . are you THAT obtuse?

Note(Verb)

1 a : to notice or observe with care b : to record or preserve in writing
2 a : to make special mention of or remark on b : indicate, show

Conviction:
3 a : a strong persuasion or belief b : the state of being convinced.

To note with conviction: "To make a special mention or remark about something with strong persuasion or belief." The same way that you can 'Speak with conviction'

That is completely proper use of the English language.

As I said, Ryan, some of th... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

As I said, Ryan, some of these are jokes. You must be a real hoot at parties, dude.

Hey, at least you're not calling me stupid for arguing a point I never made, like the Emeritus, Mr Addison.




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