There are many definitions of karma. For my purposes today I'll define it as the natural consequences of one's acts -- you know, you reap what you sow. In that respect it's been a terrible, horrible, awful no good karma week for the White House.
1. Vice President Biden
In the first place, with the President off campaigning and Michelle busy offering fashion advice and doing campaign Mutt & Jeff appearances with Dr. Jill, the Vice President has been left home alone. You might recall Joe Biden was selected to be Obama's second because he was considered by Obama's transition team -- which included Caroline Kennedy -- the best elder statesmen and experienced hand in the Democrats' stable.
For some reason, one would have thought after Dan Quayle there'd be some law banning appearances by Vice Presidents in elementary school classrooms. For the children. But no. Apparently this is still permitted despite passage of the Leave No Child Behind Act .
It seems he's harboring under the misapprehension that fourth graders vote, because he used the occasion to plug Obama's jobs bill which the Senate later went on to reject (with the votes of several Democrats) .
In the process Biden gave the kids a math lesson which will probably trip them up when they apply to college and then goodness knows what will happen to them;
And the way we're gonna do it is we're going to ask people who have a lot of money, who are in good shape, who are doing very well, to pay just a little bit more in taxes. So for example, we're going to say to people who make a million dollars, and there's not a lot of those people, we're going to say, you pay $500 a year more in taxes. And if everybody making a million dollars, or those people who make more than a million dollars like billionaires, if they pay a little bit more in taxes they can pay for all the teachers and all the firefighters and all the police officers who lost their jobs to come back and help the community. And that's what we're here today talking about.
Actually, under the administration's 5 % surtax proposal those people would be paying $50,000 in additional taxes. $500.00, $50,000 -- to our vice president (and most of his party's leaders) it's all the same. Decimal points are so hard.
To adults his message was equally cockeyed: ""Murder will continue to rise, rape will continue to rise, all crimes will continue to rise," if the Democrats agenda isn't passed, he added." This went too far even for the Washington Post, which otherwise is assiduously searching for dirt through the baptismal and kindergarten records of any potential Republican presidential candidates.
2. Moammar Gadhafi (no matter which spelling you use , he's dead.)
Libya's Queen of the Desert met his fate outside a culvert in a particularly appalling way, apparently having been beaten and shot after he was already seriously injured. His last moments must have approximated the horror and pain of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing for which he was responsible.
The manner of his death -- no matter that he deserved it -- was distasteful. His demise leaves only three fashion forward figures on the world stage: Gaga, Hamid Karzai, and Michelle Obama.
As to what will follow in Libya, the absence of stable institutions and political parties and the general tenor of the mobocracy now in place gives us less cause for optimism than even the ardent well wishers of the Tahrir square gangs had right after the uprising in Egypt. Well, France and Germany which instigated this incursion in a place where we have no national interest, at a cost to us of over a billion dollars, do not seem to have a "if you break it you fix it" ex-General running his mouth off on TV demanding they turn the place into a new Babylon. And one expects the French will, without criticism from the foreign press, NGO do-gooders and the international set, restore order and maintain access to their oil concessions. And if that doesn't work, the UN blue helmet rapists and plunderers under French command will finish up the job for them.
3. Fisker Karma
That's the name of the automotive equivalent of Solyndra. That is to say, a project that the Administration threw about half a billion dollars at, that added almost no new jobs for Americans and provided no discernible reduction in convention energy use. In Solyndra's case the enormous investment failed because the company was producing solar panels at a substantial loss and finally went bankrupt no matter how much money we sunk in its continued operations.
In this case the company was not bankrupt. It couldn't produce the cars here so they were made in Finland. In any event they are terribly costly and buyers -- the very millionaires whose private jets and "greed" are a subject of Obama's ire--- are provided a substantial tax credit for buying these high priced Finnish-made turkeys.
Our tax dollars at work... a half-billion dollar loan (actually $529 million) from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a hybrid toy for the wealthy and/or celebri-licious (like Leonardo DiCaprio, one of the first customers) that, in real world driving, won't get much better mileage than your average crossover utility vehicle. Not only that, but the cars are manufactured in Finland -- that's right, Finland -- and shipped here for sale, where their purchasers will then receive a $7,500 tax credit for buying one (the "cheap" base model starts at $96,895, with the full-zoot Eco Chic model going for a bargain $108,900).
The EPA issued its mileage report on this expensive bit of work: It gets 20 miles to the gallon, about the same mileage as those too frequently demonized domestic SUV's. Even the Volt gets better performance.
Half a billion blown. No Jobs. No environmental benefit. A special tax break to the rich , including De Caprio. Does the administration know where to invest our money or what?
Al Gore and Colin Powell are on the wait list for the car. I can't wait for them and De Caprio to get behind the wheels of their karmas so we can hoot and holler at them even as I weep for the waste of taxpayer funds that created this over priced energy guzzling heap.
4. Occupation Force Karma
There's so much karma around the occupation forces that I hardly know where to start.
In the first place their target -- which seems to be the banks which lent them money they cannot now repay or the "corporations" which apparently will not hire them -- is misplaced, which means even if they succeed in annoying everyone and making a lot of places filthy, they cannot get any meaningful relief. James Taranto:
Their anger is understandable but misplaced. The banks were merely doing what banks do; if they had refused to make student loans, these youngsters would have been just as upset. As for the corporations, the reason they demand college degrees, as we wrote in 2007, is that is that the government forbids them to screen applicants directly for basic intelligence under a doctrine of antidiscrimination law known as "disparate impact" that the U.S. Supreme Court established in the 1971 case Griggs v. Duke Power Co.:
But why are employers able to get away with requiring a degree without running afoul of Griggs? Because colleges and universities -- again, especially elite ones -- go out of their way to discriminate in favor of minorities. By admitting blacks and Hispanics with much lower SAT scores than their white and Asian classmates, purportedly in order to promote "diversity," these institutions launder the exam of its disparity.
Thus the higher-education industry and corporate employers have formed a symbiotic relationship in which the former profits by acting as the latter's gatekeeper and shield against civil-rights lawsuits. Little wonder that in 2003, when the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of discriminatory admissions policies at the University of Michigan, 65 Fortune 500 companies filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging that they be upheld.
Now of course the kids at Occupy Wall Street don't know any of this. They have received four-plus years of "education" from mostly left-wing professors who owe their sinecures to this arrangement and who are happy, for reasons of both ideology and self-interest, to vilify the capitalist system they feed off. When we explained this to Taylor, it was totally new to him, and he was fascinated.
If these young people ever figure out the real reasons they're so deeply in debt, maybe they'll "occupy" Columbia and NYU rather than Wall Street.
Then there's the atmosphere in the occupation venues they created.
If you run around with signs attacking private property as theft and extolling expropriation of others' wealth, can you be surprised when your fellow would- be- communards steal your good stuff like Apple iPhones and iPads? If you discourage law enforcement from entering your occupation territory, should you be surprised when your fellows assault and rape you? If you hang out with folks who covet other peoples' things, can you be astonished when whatever you earn (in this case by your drumming ) is taxed at 50% by those who are sitting around eating chef-prepared donated organic food and trying on free shoes? And when you gather with those who eschew any order are you entitled to cry:
"Someone has to be told what to do. Someone needs to give orders. There's no sense of order in this fucking place."?