Sunday, July 31, 2011

Details of the Backroom Boehner-Reid-Obama Debt Deal

Via Prof. Jacobson, here's Boehner's executive summary.

Now for some details...

Grain of salt alert: this is coming from E Klein via twitter, but I think there may be some truth here…
Boehner’s powerpoint misstates the deal to his members. 1) The baseline is not specified in the bill, and does not prevent taxes.

2) Boehner suggests that deficit reduction or [Balanced Budget Amendment] has to pass for Prez to get second debt increase. Not so. McConnell mechanism.

Now, I don’t know if this was just written hastily or Speaker’s office is trying to mislead House GOP. But it’s wrong.
Stay tuned for additional updates as they become available.

Update I (via john.frank):

PIMCO chief: Deal won't prevent downgrading of US AAA credit rating

Update II:

White House "Fact" Sheet on the Backroom Debt Deal

Update III:
Enforcement mechanism established to force all parties – Republican and Democrat – to agree to balanced deficit reduction. If Committee fails, enforcement mechanism will trigger spending reductions beginning in 2013 – split 50/50 between domestic and defense spending. Enforcement protects Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries, and low-income programs from any cuts.
So 40-50% of the budget (Medicare + Medicaid + etc.) would be protected from any cuts, while Defense (20% of the budget) would be subject to half of the $1.5 trillion in cuts?

Update IV (via Ace):

NBC News...
Andrea Mitchell: There has always been anger and animus in among leaders and among the followers - the rank and file, the caucus. But these new members really are willing to tear the place down. And they not only don't care whether or not are re-elected - they don't want pork (laughs). There are no inducements to get them to follow the speaker or the other leaders. So they don't want the traditional methods of buying loyalty here and that was a reform that now has changed the dynamic.

Brian Williams: Alright, Andrea Mitchell from our Washington newsroom. Wish there was better news to report to folks especially about our era in Government.

I could spend hours fisking this conversation - but let's focus on the last two paragraphs. Tea Party Congressmen refuse to take pork - Brian and Andrea are dismayed. I Don't Have To Say Anything Else.
This is one of the reasons I don't watch TV "news."

Update V:

Adding $7 trillion to the debt over the next decade = Drastic teabagger budget cuts

Update VI:

Wall Street Journal: Those stupid filthy hobbits are winning! Except that the deal will practially force Republicans to raise taxes:
This trigger is intended to be an incentive for committee Members of both parties to agree on more cuts, but defense cuts of this magnitude would do far more harm to national security than they would to domestic accounts that have been fattened by stimulus. This is the worst part of the deal, and Mr. Obama's political goal will be to press Republicans to choose between tax increases and destructive defense cuts. The GOP will have to fight back and make the choice between domestic cuts and harm to our troops fighting multiple wars.
This fight is far from over.

Update VII:

PJM: Just because something is touted as a victory doesn’t mean that it is.

Update VIII:

Allen West Blasts "Incredible, Unconscionable" Defense Cuts in Reid Bill

Update IX:

...cuts would be split equally between military and domestic programs. Social Security, Medicaid and programs for the poor would be spared, but Medicare providers -- not beneficiaries -- would take a hit.

Earth to Congress: A cut to providers is a cut to beneficiaries.

Equal Division of Misery

Behold the future of American health care!

An official report from an independent panel that advises the British National Health Service (NHS), revealed that the NHS delays operations 'as it waits for patients to die or go private,' and that the NHS also forces private hospitals to delay surgeries so that patients at private facilities can suffer just as much:
An independent watchdog accused the National Health Service of forcing waiting times for surgery even when unnecessary in order to reduce the number of publicly-funded procedures in an attempt to save money. In fact, as the Telegraph reports, the NHS forced private hospitals to delay surgeries, too, in a “levelling down” of health care service to keep the NHS from looking bad:

Health service trusts are “imposing pain and inconvenience” by making patients wait longer than necessary, in some cases as long as four months, the study found.

Executives believe the delays mean some people will remove themselves from lists “either by dying or by paying for their own treatment” claims the report, by an independent watchdog that advises the NHS. …

Under government targets, patients should be treated within 18 weeks of referral by a GP. But even when surgeons could see them far sooner, the study found that some trusts made hospitals wait as long as 15 weeks before operating. The tactic forced private hospitals, which were more likely to be able to treat patients quickly, to operate as slowly as overcrowded NHS units in an “unfortunate levelling down”.
Remember, the Obama administration openly aspires to pattern the American health care system after the British NHS:
Dr. Donald Berwick, nominated by President Barack Obama to run Medicare and Medicaid, praised the government-owned British National Health Service (NHS) for not letting their health care system 'play out in the darkness of private enterprise.'
Berwick is also quite fond of the British health care rationing organization, NICE.
Q: NICE is a bogeyman here in the United States.

A: I know that, and it’s a misunderstanding of the deepest sort. NICE is extremely effective and a conscientious, valuable, and — importantly — knowledge-building system. The fact that it’s a bogeyman in this country is a political fact, not a technical one.
I can think of no better real-world illustration of Winston Churchill's famous quote:

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the uneven division of blessings, While the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal division of misery"

Of RINOs and Hobbits

For their demands for meaningful spending cuts under the weight of crushing debt, Tea Party activists have been showered with insults from an array of Republicans. Tea partiers have been called "worse than foolish," "unfair," "obtuse," "vain," and perhaps most puzzling, "hobbits."

Even conservative Thad McCotter says the "Time has come for the Tea Party to grow up."

I see all of this a bit differently.

Some Republicans are unprincipled, opportunistic RINOs ― and, yes, a few Tea Partiers are a bit naive and impatient.

But elder Republican statesmen who fancy themselves more sophisticated than the average Tea Partier would do well to demonstrate their level-headed maturity by educating and encouraging the Tea Party.

Republicans who instead endeavor to deride and demoralize the Tea Party are cowards and snobs.

In only two minutes and nine seconds, Mark Levin explains and analyses this story as well as anyone.



JCG: Who are these dangerous tea party folk, and what do they want?


Today, We Are All Zimbabweans

Via the Washington Post's Ezra Klein, a punk whose knowledge of history goes back at least 100 years, here's one of the bright ideas enjoying considerable buzz in the ultra progressive blogosphere ― magical platinum coins.
Obama could always just solve the crisis with a pair of magical platinum coins. Sure, that sounds preposterous, but Yale’s Jack Balkin argues that this is actually a perfectly legal strategy. Here’s the logic: Under law, there’s a limit to how much paper money the United States can circulate at any one time, and there are rules that limit how many gold, silver and copper coins the Treasury can mint. But the Treasury is explicitly allowed to mint however many platinum coins it wants and can assign them whatever value it pleases.
So the Mint makes a pair of trillion-dollar platinum coins. The president orders the coins to be deposited at the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve moves this money into Treasury’s accounts. And just like that, Treasury suddenly has an extra $2 trillion to pay off its obligations in the near term without issuing new debt.
This Zimbabwe-esque crack political thinking is hardly a tongue-in-cheek proposal. One of Matt Yglesias' favorite ivy league fascists promoted it at CNN, so it must be reasonable ― and it might be inevitable, or something:
It actually seems to me that there’s a colorable argument that President Obama is legally obliged to order Secretary Geithner to order the mint to start creating large denomination platinum coins. The debt ceiling is legally binding. We can’t borrow any more money. But at the same time, the Social Security Act is still valid.
Someone tell John McCain that his friends in the left-wing media are getting a little nutty. We all know how much he hates "foolish," "bizarro," sophomoric ideas.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Norwegian Lefties: Our Bigotry is Better

In a piece entitiled "A Blogosphere of Bigots," Jostein Gaarder and Thomas Hylland Eriksen take to the pages of the New York Times to blame "the international right-wing blogosphere" for last week's massacre in Norway.

Understandably, Gaarder and Eriksen hope this black cloud has a silver lining. If, as expected, Norway's left-wing receives "many sympathy votes, the right could be adversely affected." The nightmare in Norway would not be for naught!

In the meantime, Gaarder and Eriksen fret about the "caustic antigovernment rhetoric" that virtually gunned down a congresswoman in Tucson, and the "virulently anti-Islamic" blogs in America that oppose the mosque on ground zero. Moreover, they fear a "global Islamophobic blogosphere" that threatens to engulf the whole world in wanton violence.

As international right wing crusaders rampage, Gaarder and Eriksen believe that Norway's right wing "has swapped anti-Semitism for Islamophobia."

Jostein Gaarder should know a thing or two about Norwegian anti-Semitism:
In August 2006, Jostein Gaarder published an op-ed in one of the major daily newspapers in Norway, Aftenposten. This was written in response to the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict and condemned certain aspects of Israeli politics and Judaism. Gaarder also argued against recognizing the state of Israel in its current form. The article described Judaism as "an archaic national and warlike religion", contrasting it with the Christian idea that "[T]he Kingdom of God is compassion and forgiveness". The op-ed resulted in the Jostein Gaarder controversy. Gaarder disputed allegations of anti-Semitism, and sought to clarify that he didn't mean to offend anyone. He claimed that the piece was written in a state of moral outrage over the death toll in Lebanon.
Apparently, Israeli "baby killers" push Gaardner beyond the limits of his capacity for tolerance:
There are limits to our patience, and there are limits to our tolerance. We do not believe in divine promises as a justification for occupation and apartheid. We have left the Middle Ages behind. We laugh uneasily at those who still believe that the god of flora, fauna and the galaxies has selected one people in particular as his favorite and given it silly stone tablets, burning bushes and a license to kill.
Shame on the New York Times for giving their bigoted friends in Norway a platform for their hate.

Update: Linked at Legal Insurrection (to LCR). Thanks!

Here's a key excerpt from Jacobson's post on the topic:
A point I made the other day is that speaking out against the violence of the Islamists and Islamic radicals is not the same thing as calling for violence against Muslims or Islamophobic. These authors blur that distinction, and thereby leave themselves no moral ground on which to stand because they then necessarily stand by the side of those whose conduct they otherwise would condemn if committed in the name of Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion.

It this very tendency which leads to situations such as in Malmö, Sweden where leftist politicians find themselves incapable of standing up to anti-Semitic violence committed by Islamists because of a shared hatred of Israel.

Emphasis added

Update II:
Norway’s Jewish problem...

Despite indignant claims that the two are unrelated, Norway’s elite anti-Semitism merges seamlessly with their anti-Zionism....

Thursday, July 28, 2011

OMG Chart of the Day: Bold GOP Cuts ... UPDATE: Debt plan fails

Wow, look at that chart! The cuts are so deep, they're chipping away at bones now. This pleases my deviant teabagger soul greatly.

Old people will be eating from garbage disposal units and toddlers will be sold into slavery to work in the coal mines.

Compassionate multi-millionaire Nancy Pelosi is at a loss for words ― almost:
What we're trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget. We're trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.
Resistance is futile, Nancy. The unwashed tea party fat cat billionaires will smash you like the little mosquito that you are. When we're done with you, you'll be flying back home in coach.

Just look at that chart, Nancy. Look at that chart.

UPDATE: Looks like a dud...

FLASH: GOP's debt plan fails to get enough votes, leaders pull it...

Hat tip Cato via Malkin.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

When RINOs Fail

Mr. McCain mocked Tea Party-allied Republicans in the House for believing — wrongly, he said — that President Obama and Democrats will get the blame for a default if Republicans refuse to increase the nation’s debt ceiling.

By that flawed logic, “Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced budget amendment and reform entitlements and the Tea Party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth,” he said, quoting a Wall Street Journal editorial.

“This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into G.O.P. nominees,” he jeered, referring to two losing Tea Party candidates for the Senate in 2010.
Why is it that when RINOs fail, it's never their fault? Remember the "crack political thinking" that swept McCain into the White House?

Oh wait, I almost forgot! When the economy tanked, McCain panicked ― he suspended his campaign ― and then he went on to lose the White House.

More to the point, "blame" is not the key issue in this debt limit fight. (Although there will be plenty of blame to go around if Republicans in congress ultimately fail to prevent Democrats from spending us into bankruptcy and taxing us into abject poverty.)

Tea Party Republicans and Tea Party activists delivered a massive victory for the Republican Party in November. Those "Hobbits" were determined to clean up the tsunami of debt that has flooded this country.

As we hurtle toward Obama's fourth phony deadline for raising the debt limit, Tea Party Republicans in Congress are keeping their campaign promises by using the leverage of their debt limit vote to force Democrats to take some responsibility.

Shame on RINO ogre John McCain for joining the radical left in bashing the Tea Party with condescending, hateful and incendiary rhetoric.

Hat tip to The Other McCain for covering this story. I'm sorry your cousin is such an obnoxious troll, Robert.

Discussion: Memeorandum


Rand Paul: 'I'd rather be a hobbit than a troll'


Sean Hannity Takes Sen. McCain To The Woodshed Over Anti-Tea Party Remarks...


A friendly reminder from Ed...

McCain’s thinking is pretty clear here — the One cannot be defeated, and so one must join forces with it. Had McCain actually read the books that he references, he’d have seen how well that worked out.

By the way, just in case in you don’t recall … the hobbits win in Lord of the Rings. They got a lot of ridicule from the elite and the powerful along the way, but they end up saving the West from ruinous destruction.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Friendly Reminder

Are you a wealthy liberal who's worried that tax rates won't be going up any time soon? Here's a friendly reminder:
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Credit Accounting Branch
3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
Hyattsville, MD 20782
I'll leave this in the sidebar for your convenience.

Hat tip: Don Surber

Update: Another friendly reminder from Don and yet another from RSM.

There are two ways for you to make a contribution to reduce the debt:

  • You can make a contribution online either by credit card, checking or savings account at
  • You can write a check payable to the Bureau of the Public Debt, and in the memo section, notate that it's a Gift to reduce the Debt Held by the Public. Mail your check to:

    Attn Dept G
    Bureau of the Public Debt
    P. O. Box 2188
    Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

Friday, July 22, 2011

Unexpectedly: The Bitter Clingers Let Go

Democrats selected this guy to save us from ourselves: a lot of these communities ... people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn’t buy it. And when it’s delivered by — it’s true that when it’s delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism (laughter).
You go into some of these small towns ... the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them... So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
Three years later, the bitter clingers let go...of the party of Obama:
A seven-point Democratic advantage among whites under age 30 three years ago has turned into an 11-point GOP advantage today. And a 15-point Democratic advantage among whites earning less than $30,000 annually has swung to a slim four-point Republican edge today.
Behold the limitations of elitist race-card statism.

Via Memeorandum

UPDATE: American Power takes note of the fact that Bernie Sanders is now an honorary member of the bitter clinger club.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Obama Blames "Self" for Debt Crisis

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but Obama comes dangerously close to making a Kinsley gaffe in his recent discussion of the debt crisis:
"This is actually a self-created crisis in some ways. It has to do with folks who are digging into set positions rather than saying how do we solve a problem..."
I've been waiting for Obama to take some responsibility for our problems. This is probably as close as we'll ever get to that point.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jacobson Is Right: Forget About The "Big Deal"

Some on the right have been fantasizing about a "Big Deal" with Obama. Can we hope for modest entitlement reform in exchange for a little compromise on tax increases? William Jacobson says no. I agree:
We just have to last another 18 months and win the presidential election, and then our long national nightmare will come to an end. Until then, we’re just trying to limit the damage.

Until he put forth his “plan,” Mitch McConnell was on the right track.

You can’t make a “big deal” with this President and this Senate. The best you can do is limit the damage done by the (Nancy)-Harry-Barack tag team.

McConnell’s plan wasn’t damage control; to the contrary, it made Republicans participants in the continuing damage.

There is a way out, spending constraints short of an overhaul of entitlements and no tax increases. At the end of the day, Obama will have to take it.

And if he doesn’t, the damage is on him.
Obama is ideologically incapable of making a deal that's good for America. (If you think that's an overstatement, examine his record.)

A big deal with Obama will do big damage. A smaller deal will do less.

In addressing the looming debt limit, the GOP should make the smallest possible deal just to get us all across the November 2012 finish line. After that, there may be hope for real progress.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Debt Limit: Obama Presses, But Boehner Stands Firm

Behold the power of the Tea Party:
The influx of freshman Republican lawmakers, propelled into office by Tea Party support last fall, has hardened the party’s stance on limiting government spending and on rejecting any legislation that hints of raising revenues.

Cantor referred repeatedly to the GOP’s “Pledge to America,’’ unveiled weeks before the elections in November and filled with key goals of Tea Party groups.

“Our members did not come here to raise taxes,’’ Cantor said. “Sprinkled throughout is our pledge not to raise taxes on the American people.’’

Some Republicans said the president’s suggestion that Tea Party politics are dividing the Republican caucus and hindering its ability to compromise are off base.

“I have a core belief that I’ve maintained that raising taxes doesn’t solve the problem,’’ said Representative Frank Guinta, a New Hampshire Republican who was elected with support from Tea Party activists. Guinta suggested that the talk of a divided GOP is a tactic of Obama’s.

But Brandon of FreedomWorks agreed with the president that Boehner has a difficult task in corralling his caucus.

“Boehner’s problem is Obama’s problem. Both of these guys are struggling with credibility when it comes to debt issues,’’ he said. “Every single debt vote has been a fait accompli. Because of the Tea Party, for the first time it isn’t. I think that’s a healthy thing.’’
A healthy thing indeed.

Don't let the GOP cave in to Obama and his loyal allies in the media. Call your Congressperson today.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hitting the Debt Limit ≠ End of World

Contrary to popular Washington memes, hitting the debt limit would not end the world as we know it:
The [Bipartisan Policy Center] study found that the United States is likely to hit the debt limit sometime between August 2 and August 9. “It’s a 44 percent overnight cut in federal spending” if Congress hits the debt limit, Powell said. The BPC study projects there will be $172 billion in federal revenues in August and $307 billion in authorized expenditures. That means there's enough money to pay for, say, interest on the debt ($29 billion), Social Security ($49.2 billion), Medicare and Medicaid ($50 billion), active duty troop pay ($2.9 billion), veterans affairs programs ($2.9 billion).

That leaves you with about $39 billion to fund (or not fund) the following:
  • Defense vendors ($31.7 billion)
  • IRS refunds ($3.9 billion)
  • Food stamps and welfare ($9.3 billion)
  • Unemployment insurance benefits ($12.8 billion)
  • Department of Education ($20.2 billion)
  • Housing and Urban Development ($6.7 billion)
  • Other spending, such as Departmens of Justice, Labor, Commerce, EPA, HHS ($73.6 billion)
The decision to prioritize payments would fall on the Treasury department, and Powell points out it would be chaotic picking and choosing who gets paid (in full or partially) and who doesn't.

Powell notes, however, that Congress made sure during a budget standoff in 1996 that Social Security recipients would not be affected. “In 1996, during an impasse, [Treasury Secretary] Bob Rubin gave the Congress notice that he would be unable to pay the March ’96 Social Security payment. Congress immediately—and I mean, immediately—passed a law that allowed the Treasury to borrow money specifically for that purpose and exempted that borrowing from the debt limit.”
Why should we cut another blank check for Obama and his cronies when American voters believe that spending cuts are a much better idea?
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 55% of Likely U.S. Voters now think decreases in government spending help the economy. Twenty-four percent (24%) believe decreased spending hurts the economy...
Now is the time for the GOP to stop listening to the New York Times, Politico, the Washington Post et al. and do what's right ― for once.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fake Spending Cuts

In Washington, a "cut" isn't really a cut:

Is CA-36 up for Grabs? Follow Robert Stacy McCain's Coverage of CA-36

By the Left Coast Rebel

This morning (Saturday) is the first time I have been able to sit down and check out the blogosphere....I'm behind on a lot of things, like the details and updates in California's 36 Congressional district race.

Robert Stacy McCain called me on Thursday and I promised to give him a big hat-tip and put my Google-search-engine-stamp on the salacious CA-36 story.

Here's the lede (the meat and potatoes) of the story, from Stacy, last month:

Janice Hahn is the Democrat running for Congress in the July 12 special election in California’s 36th District, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Jane Harman.

As a member of the Los Angeles City Council, Hahn promoted a program to use taxpayer money to hire convicted criminals as “gang intervention specialists.” Predictably, Hahn’s government employment program for gangsters amounted to a taxpayer subsidy for violent crime.
A potential California liberal congress-critter (I know, that's redundant) that hired convicts? Sounds juicy indeed. It doesn't stop there, though. Stacy has followed with several updates from mid to late June:

Are you up to speed?

The plot thickens, keep your focus, this is crazy stuff.

Apparently this Democrat -- Janice Hahn -- was not happy with a particular L.A. news station coverage of her involvement in the convicts-for-hire program. Hahn's lawyers issued a cease and desist order against the station! Again, Stacy writes:
When Janice Hahn’s lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to KTTV Fox 11 — trying to stop the Los Angeles station from following up on its 2008 investigation of Hahn’s controversial “gang intervention” progam — they probably didn’t expect this. “Large mistake, madame,” says the award-winning Ace of Spades. Because KTTV and Chris Blatchford not only stood by their original coverage, they followed up with an in-depth eight-minute report that devastates Hahn’s credibility.
Here's the video from KTTV that Stacy eludes to:

Whiskey, tango, foxtrot! Hahn is facing her Republican candidate, Craig Huey on Tuesday. Does this lunacy mean that a G.O.P'er actually has a shot at a congressional seat here in the People's Republic of Kalifornia?

Stranger things have happened, like pigs flying and cows jumping over the we can all cross our fingers for next week's results. A Huey victory would be a pleasant palate cleanser after the November, 2010 Democrat rout here in California.

Follow The Other McCain's coverage of CA-36 here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Only One Thing Will Save America...


I found this ad over at Power Line, a decidedly right-of-center blog. Somebody's wasting some advertising resources.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Obama's Twitter Town Hall: It's The Money, Stupid

Obama had a town hall meeting on Twitter, and the data are in: it's still about the money, stupid. Jobs, debt and taxes. The dark blue mountains represent the tweets (per minute) about taxes, the red ones represent the tweets about jobs, and the light blue mountains correspond with tweets about debt.

The tiny purple molehills? Tweets about Bush. The professional leftists can't let W go, but the overwhelming majority of Americans are living in 2011.

It's your economy and your big mess now, Obama. You inherited nothing. You volunteered for this job.

The spotlight is on you. The clock is ticking.

UPDATE: Tweets Obama conveniently ignored...

johnboehner: After embarking on a record spending binge that’s left us deeper in debt, where are the jobs?

thehermancain: As a mathematician, I've got to ask: exactly how did you come up with the jobs "created or saved" number...?

nikkihaley: Why is your administration supporting the NLRB’s job killing policies in South Carolina?

heritage: You said your stimulus plan would keep unemployment below 8%. Do you agree that was a trillion dollars wasted?

jimgeraghty: Under 8 years of George W. Bush, the unemployment rate was never above 7.3%. When will it be that low again?

reptomprice: How can the WH reconcile the fact that the trillion dollar stimulus package failed and still push for more stimulus spending?

kerrypicket: Why should the U.S. citizens work til we're elderly to bail out Greece so their citizens can retire by age 55 with full benefits?

iowahawkblog: When you create jobs, why do always create them for Texas?

repreneeellmers: When will you put forward policies to promote job creation, not government growth?

joetaxpayer: How can you justifying sending your children to private school after working to end the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program?

iowahawkblog: Are you smart enough to create a problem so big that even you could not solve it?

huffposthill: Who is John Galt?

ben_howe: Have you fired the guy that suggested this twitter town hall yet?

Questions from Obama's useful useless idiots:

thedailybeast: A question from our Facebook fans: Mr. President, Have you gone too far in trying to compromise with Republicans?

thebrinos: Why is B Manning, who exposed war crimes, in jail while you awarded R Gates, who presided over war crimes, a Medal of Freedom?

aclu: What is your administration going to do to stem the tide of discriminatory, anti-immigrant laws coming out of state legislatures?

aflcio: Where are the jobs?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why The Left's Global Warming Agenda Is Wrong

A persuasive video:

What you missed...

While you were enjoying your weekend...
  • How the Dutch Gaza Flotilla Backfired Politically

Monday, July 4, 2011

Three things you can do for liberty

Photomosaic, original image here

While Independence Day is about independence from Great Britain, today it's also associated with more general notions of freedom -- individual independence, not just political independence.

Unfortunately, America's political class doesn't want you independent. It wants you as dependent as possible. As the Rainmakers sang back in the 1980s, "They'll turn us all into beggars 'cause they're easier to please."

So what can you do? Everybody focuses on the 2012 elections, and those are important. But why wait? Here are three things you can do now.

Geller, The EBL et al...

Robert Stacy McCain draws our attention to a broiling controversy:
Disagreements about foreign policy are one thing. Jew-hating is something else. When someone says, “Zionists not welcome,” watch out.

Da Tech Guy informs us that some unpleasantness has developed among counter-jihad bloggers...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Does This Look Right?

From the NYT.

The relative sizes of the circles apparently represent name recognition. Vertical axis: insider vs. outsider. Horizontal axis: liberal vs. conservative (big government vs. small government).

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Left to Ginsburg: Croak now or get out of the way!

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been a reliable activist for left-wing extremism on the Supreme Court ever since she was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993.

But Ruth is now old and frail (78, cancer survivor), and her fans on the left are getting worried. They might or might not be concerned about Ruth's personal well-being per se, but if she lives just a bit too long, things certainly could get ugly for the left. Here's a look at what's at what could happen in the near future, from the left-wing perspective:
  • Best case scenario: Ginsburg retires now and Obama replaces her with a younger liberal → Cool, no worries!
  • Almost as good: Ginsburg dies soon and Obama replaces her with a younger liberal → So sad… but cool, no worries!
  • An acceptable but stressful scenario: Ginsburg refuses to respond to pressure from her left-wing comrades and she stays on the Supreme Court. However, detached from reality, Americans reelect Obama in 2012 → Liberals heave a collective sigh of relief and continue to pressure Ruth to retire (or hope for her to expire) before the end of Obama's second term.
  • Massive headaches: Obama's 2012 prospects darken, but Ginsburg steadfastly refuses to retire → Liberals pray to Anubis for a timely journey to the afterlife.
  • Doomsday scenario: Ginsburg stays on the Court, Obama loses in 2012, then Ginsburg dies or retires before 2016. A Republican appoints a conservative to replace Ginsburg. The world as we know it ends a few months later.
To be fair, we shouldn't assume that leftists want Ruth to die soon. They simply don't want the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court to be changed by the will of the voters in 2012. If Ruth "selfishly" decides to stay on the Supreme Court, she's a ticking time bomb for the left.

Apparently apropos of nothing in particular, the New York Times has now started the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Death Watch™:
Democrats and liberals have a nightmare vision of the Supreme Court's future: President Barack Obama is defeated for re-election next year and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at 78 the oldest justice, soon finds her health will not allow her to continue on the bench.

The new Republican president appoints Ginsburg's successor, cementing conservative domination of the court...
Whatever you choose to do with your days on this earth, don't put the left-wing statist agenda in jeopardy with your very heartbeat:
There are few more indelicate questions to put to a Supreme Court justice, but Ginsburg has said gracefully, and with apparent good humor, that the president should not expect a retirement letter before 2015.
Indelicate indeed. Leftists respond to Ginsburg's plans with their ghastly and ruthless pragmatism:
...some on the left say that the focus on the personal is misplaced. Ginsburg needs to put self-interest aside and act for the good of the issues they believe in, Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy wrote recently. Kennedy said 72-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer should leave, too.
For good measure, left wing activists accuse Ginsburg of harboring a "narcissistic attitude" for wanting to keep her job:
David Garrow, a Cambridge University historian who follows the court, said Ginsburg's situation points to an institutional problem for the court, "the arguably narcissistic attitude that longer is better."

The longest-serving justice, William Douglas, was on the court for more than 36 1/2 years, reluctant to retire even after a debilitating stroke. "History teaches us that often longer is not better," Garrow said.
Translation: "Don't be an idiot, Ruth. Pay attention to history and get out of the way!"

UPDATE: Welcome aboard, TOM readers!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Who are you, Mitt Romney?

Hat tip to Poor Richard's News for this one: