- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Obamanomics

Conservative author and columnist Tim Carney doesn’t believe President Obama is a socialist, as do some other right-wingers.

Rather, Mr. Carney says the president better fits the description of a “corporatist” who melds big business and government together to create mutually beneficial relationships between political leaders and wealthy corporations that employ high-powered lobbyists to help them get richer.

Mr. Carney explains it all in his new book, “Obamanomics,” which follows his first book, “The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money.”

“Obamanomics” has an entire chapter to devoted to the business dealings of General Electric, a powerful company that has also been singled out by other prominent media figures, such as Fox’s “O’Reilly Factor” host Bill O’Reilly, for doing business with Iran.

Mr. Carney’s complaint is that GE relies heavily on tax dollars for new business ventures. “General Electric is the prime beneficiary by far” of the Obama administration’s efforts to boost the economy, Mr. Carney said, citing some of its various, newly created business efforts.

“Look at any major Obama policy initiative,” he writes. “Health care reform, climate change regulation, embryonic stem-cell research, infrastructure stimulus, electrical transmission smart grids - and you’ll find GE has a shop, angling for a way to pocket government handouts, gain business through mandates, or profit from government regulation.”

And who helps bring business and government together? Lobbyists. Although Mr. Obama originally may have intended to decrease their influence in Washington, his top agenda items, such as his $787 billion stimulus, are having the opposite effect. Mr. Obama campaigned strongly against lobbyists - refusing to accept campaign donations from them during the 2008 election and even banning former lobbyists from working for the White House, although the latter policy has been waived for some employees.

But when there’s so much money being spent, companies like GE will try to secure dollars by hiring well-connected lobbyists such as Linda Daschle, wife of former Sen. Tom Daschle who was President Obama’s first choice to be secretary of health and human services. (He had to turn down the job.)

“Obama strongly believes in government directing the economy,” Mr. Carney said. “It’s inevitable when government directs the economy lobbyists become more important, so whether he likes it or not, he’s making them more important.”

Britney’s sexy single

Pop songstress Britney Spears has come out with another sexually charged single after her controversial hit “If You Seek Amy.” This time she’s singing about having romantic encounters with two or more partners at the same time in a song titled “3” that’s getting heavy radio play.

“Living in sin is the new thing,” the chorus says, “Are you in?”

Although there are no blatant descriptions of sexual acts in the song, much like “If You Seek Amy,” the message is unmistakable. “What we do is innocent,” Miss Spears coos, “Just for fun and nothin’ meant/if you don’t like the company/let’s just do it you and me/you and me/or three/or four/on the floor.”

The main chorus of the song is “1, 2, 3/not only you and me/got one eight degrees/and I’m caught in between/countin’/1, 2, 3.”

“3” is included on her new greatest hits album, titled “The Singles Collection.”

Reviewed

“Populists, from William Jennings Bryan and Huey Long through Joseph McCarthy and George Wallace, have always been divisive and polarizing. Their job is not to win national elections but to carry the torch and inspire the faithful, and this [Sarah] Palin seems poised to do. That she is the first woman to generate populist fervor on such a scale enhances her appeal- and makes her, potentially, a figure of historic consequence.”

- Sam Tanenhaus in his New Yorker review of 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s book “Going Rogue”

Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@ washingtontimes.com

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