Is America losing power in the world? That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo." There was some good news today with unemployment dropping a little bit. But generally speaking, the economy remains weak and the dollar is in big trouble all around the world.
As we reported last night, the massive spending by Presidents Bush and Obama has severely weakened America. We simply owe too much money. In addition, U.S. foreign policy is dubious, to say the least. Our enemies are openly defying us. So how did it all happen?
There's no question the Iraq War badly damaged the country, because we've spent more than $700 billion on it. And the war severely burdened the military. Yes, we eventually prevailed, but the toll it took on the nation was dramatic. The distraction of Iraq may be one reason why the Bush administration didn't stop the irresponsible business practices that led to this hellacious recession.
So the one-two punch of Iraq and the terrible economy has put America on the defensive. Enter President Obama, who has accelerated government spending to a record degree. Whether that's necessary is debatable. What's not debatable is it's got to stop before the USA goes bankrupt and the dollar collapses completely.
Overseas, some of our enemies perceive Mr. Obama as being weak. That may not be fair, but the perception is there. When a back water like Iran can defy the world's sole superpower, us, you know things are not good.
Now, I believe most Americans understand the country's in trouble and rather drastic measures will be needed to turn things around. First, the incredible government spending has got to stop, as I said. Second, we have to fight smarter in Afghanistan and other places. We just can't keep spending trillions of dollars chasing an unlimited supply of Muslim terrorists around. And third, the president must demand sacrifice from all of us. All these new entitlements are economic suicide. And that includes the health care fiasco and the global warming madness.
Now, polls show the Democrats may lose big next November, even though the country's decline began under a Republican administration. But so far, Mr. Obama has added to that decline and doesn't seem inclined to stop the power erosion. In the end, it will come down to we, the people, demanding that our politicians concentrate on making us strong again. I think we'll do that. I hope we'll do that. And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
In Clearwater, Florida, a convenience store with a special clerk. Cody the dog has been greeting customers at the B.P. gas station for months. Seems like a pretty good idea, except the Board of Health is now involved. It says Cody has to go. No dogs in stores that sell food.
We understand the unemployment rate is high. But we think Cody may be a patriot.
On the pinhead front, as you know, when you go to the airport, you might be strip-searched if you have lotion or something. That's what happened to the singer Rihanna. She was forced to take off her jacket, and underneath was a little top, which revealed a big tattoo and some flesh. All right.
Now, Rihanna doesn't look too happy about any of this. But she was allowed to clear security. However, the tattoo was confiscated. No, it wasn't. She should have known. Rihanna should have known she might be subjected to that. Therefore, she could have been a pinhead but I don't think she is. You can make the call.