Hump-Day Link-Around

Ramirez Cartoon via Townhall.

Pundette is sounding a bit depressed about the budget battles: It’s all a sham.

I spoke too soon about who lost the budget battle. We wuz robbed. The budget deal includes “cuts” of billions of dollars that weren’t going to be spent anyway. The jury is out on whether this sham deal will actually pass. John Podhoretz has his doubts.

The politics here are very complicated now. On the one hand, polls suggest the public is overwhelmingly in favor of there having been a deal, around 60 percent or so. On the other, politically engaged people on both the Right and the Left are profoundly upset by what they take to be unprincipled caving on the part of the leaders of the two parties.

That profound concern is likely to spur a populist revolt this week, over the next 72 hours, before the vote is taken. Already there are indications that a great many House members are going to vote against the deal. What we don’t know, or can’t know, is whether grass-roots velocity has sped up to such a degree over the past several years that we could be looking at a major meltdown of support when the votes are cast, as Republican members honestly balk at the clear deceit of the negotiators in making non-existent cuts in federal spending—and as they fear the wrath of the voters (particularly tea partiers).

Ace is despairing:

Oh: By the way, the deficit shot up almost 16% (15.7%) the first six months of this year alone and due to the magic of compounding interest it only gets worse from here.

Oh: And the Republicans are no better, because they won’t cut spending or tell the public the truth.

My position on taxes and spending is evolving, I have to admit. If the Republicans won’t cut spending, as they apparently will not, always promising to get serious on cuts after the next election cycle (and then, when that cycle has passed, declaring the next cycle is even more important so we mustn’t cut until after that one, too), then I have no choice but to support broad-based, significant tax increases.

Since I don’t want the country to be destroyed.

If we have two parties which are determined to spend this much money, then there is no alternative than to bring “revenues” (as I guess I’m supposed to call them) to match this level of “investment.”

And maybe when the public actually gets a big tax hike they’ll start to reconsider whether subsidizing themselves is a smart idea.

Gabe at AoSHQ: Compare and Contrast on the Debt Ceiling

Republicans are well-positioned to take major concessions over the debt limit (assuming they actually want some, I’m looking at you Speaker Boehner, dammit). The public is on our side. More importantly, the Democrats are pursuing the same strategy they always do.

Compare and contrast:

“I will not support an increase in the debt ceiling without real and meaningful changes in spending in the short-term and in the long-term. We’ve got to change the way we spend the people’s money. … The President sends the budget to Capitol Hill that will double the national debt in the next 10 years. And simply expanding the credit card is not the right answer.”

“”It will be hugely dangerous for the Republican colleagues to play a game of chicken on the debt ceiling. You would see an economic catastrophe if the United States defaulted on its debt.”

The first is GOP Rep. Mike Pence, who offers a cogent explanation for what it will take to increase the debt ceiling. The second is Dem Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who simply pushes the panic button.

The Democrats are hoping that they can make enough people afraid that the Republicans will feel pressured. But there’s no reason to believe that will happen.

I’m not sure I agree with that after the way Boehner caved on the FY2011 budget in order to avoid a government shutdown. Boehner and McConnell are  already out there saying that not raising the debt ceiling would be a huge mistake.

Michelle Malkin says it’s time to: Make 70 the new 65:

Raising the traditional and early retirement ages will mean extending workers’ taxable earning years, fueling economic growth, and putting a dent in our unfunded liabilities crisis by delaying payouts. Some senior citizens’ lobbying groups fret that today’s workforce wouldn’t be able to handle longer careers. Tell that to Betty White or Joan Rivers or Helen Mirren. More to the point, as domestic policy analyst Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute observes, “Perhaps the best evidence that future Americans can work longer is that past Americans did: Despite poorer health, shorter lives and more strenuous jobs, in 1950 the typical individual did not claim Social Security until age 68.5. In 1950, more than 20% of Americans worked in physically demanding jobs; today only about 8% do. While today’s technology-driven service economy places demands on older workers, it is hard to imagine that things were easier when Americans typically worked on farms or in factories.”

And while cowardly politicians pull their hair out over which policies to adopt and which wasteful and bloated government programs to cut…

Weasel Zippers: IMF Says Obama Regime Lacks “Credible Strategy” to Stop Mounting Public Debt, Risks Triggering New Global Economic Crisis…

(FT) — The US lacks a “credible strategy” to stabilise its mounting public debt posing a small but significant risk of a new global economic crisis, says the International Monetary Fund.

In an unusually stern rebuke to its largest shareholder, the IMF said the US was the only advanced economy to be increasing its underlying budget deficit in 2011 at a time when its economy was growing fast enough to reduce borrowing.

With all the bad economic news out there, it sure is good to know that there’s an honest and impartial media out there to sort it all out:

Gateway Pundit: Oops… NY Times Admits That Obama’s Economic Policies Have Failed – Then Quickly Scrubs the Line

Peter Fererra at The American Spectator says the Democrat party’s huge lurch to the left will be rejected in even huger numbers at the polls in November, 2012: Death Trap Democrats:

The Bell Actually Tolls for Thee Democrat Party

With Pelosi, Schultz, and Obama in control, today’s Democrat party is transforming itself into an outright socialist party. The die is now being cast to go into next year’s elections with the issues framed around the Republicans calling for taxes and spending to be limited to their historical, postwar levels, as Ryan proposes, and the Democrats calling for higher taxes to finance higher spending.

***

Steve Foley at The Minority Report: TMR Exclusive: 10 Questions with NYT Bestseller David Freddoso Author of Gangster Government

A sample:

1) Do you think Obama’s OJT (on the Job Training) is working?

If the yardstick is his ability to prostrate himself and grovel before union bosses, puff up and persecute political bogey men, and denigrate even average voters who disagree with him, Obama didn’t really need any on-the-job training. He comes from Chicago, where these things are built into the job description of every office-holder. The readers of Gangster Government should not be surprised, especially if they read my 2008 biography of Obama, The Case Against Barack Obama.

But one area where Obama really seems to have a slow learning curve is foreign policy. They could give him ten Nobel Prizes and he still wouldn’t have a clue about current events in the Arab world. The Wikileaks cables on Yemen bolster this, as does the additional war into which he has plunged us. We don’t know what we’re doing in Libya, or why or whether or how we should be supporting the rebels, in part because Obama acted alone. There was no debate. Typical Chicago, where politicians believe themselves to be above the law.

Jay Cost offered this stinging appraisal of Obama at The Weekly Standard:  Obama Is Just Plain Bad at Politics:

2. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This was a total political disaster. The grotesque spectacle of passing this bill completely undermined Obama’s pledge to change the way Washington works. The policy substance was just as bad; most Americans want it repealed even a year on. And, to top it all off, it might just be unconstitutional!

3. The war on terror. As the president would say, “let me be clear:” we’re closing Guantanamo Bay and we’re trying KSM in New York City. Oh…wait!

4. The deficit. Today, President Obama is scheduled to give a major speech that will outline a new vision for cutting the deficit. Never mind that his budget, unveiled in February, was supposed to do precisely that. The fact that he’s trying again to get a handle on the deficit issue means that the White House is tacitly admitting that his original budget was a complete and total political disaster.

And then of course, we have the regular verbal gaffes. The Cambridge police acted “stupidly.” Hispanic voters need to “punish [their] enemies.” Doctors are taking out children’s tonsils for profit. People who own gas guzzlers (like for instance, the Cadillac Escalade from government-backed GM!) should trade them in if they don’t like the price of fuel today.

Keep reading…

Sometimes I wonder what his approval numbers would look like if he didn’t have a complicit media carrying his water.

Of course, if you look at Obama’s agenda in terms of  irreversibly transforming the nation into a Socialist state, the personal politics are secondary. He may be bad at politics, but he was very, very good at grabbing the steering wheel of the Dem Socialist ship in the midst of the perfect budget-busting, spending storm. That’s the main thing. And he know how to squeeze in time for golf, vacations, and campaigning for 2012, too. Then again, it’s hard to pinpoint just when the 2008 campaign ended and the 2012 campaign started. He’s always been in campaign mode.

***

Megan Fox at NewsReal Blog has The 10 Best Conservative Replacements For Glenn Beck’s Fox News Slot

The thing I’ll miss most about Beck being gone is the reaction from all the statist twerps who hate him with a frenzy that can only be compared to neurotic miniature poodles who pee on the carpet when overexcited. Ailes should focus like a laser on replacing Beck with only the most hated personality he can find. Not only will it keep the ratings up, but it will provide sane people with fantastic entertainment. The following are 10 suggestions for conservative hosts sure to make the Left angrier (and funnier) than they already are.

Love her suggestions.

Obama’s timely tax the rich speech (two days before April 15) is going over like a lead balloon over at Ace o Spades HQ: Rhymin’ & Stealin’: Obama to Give Address On Raising Taxes For 40th Time

Obama’s game is to appear mature and serious, in as much as he talking about these things, while reassuring older votes (and liberal Democrats who just want everyone on as much welfare as possible) that it’s entirely talk.

It costs you nothing to just talk around a thing, particularly when you keep insisting that you just mean to talk. And that’s the way Obama will play it, as he always has.

Oh, I forgot, he’ll call for raising taxes on the rich which will cut our ten year deficit all the way down from $20 trillion to $19 trillion.

Republicans say this is a “reactionary” move and Obama’s just doing as I suggested, talking and talking to sound as if he’s doing something. Which he is — he’s running for re-election.

Soothsayer sums up the speech, well: “It’s not me; it’s you.”

7 thoughts on “Hump-Day Link-Around

  1. The Glen Beck case presents an argument in favor of the free market. In his case the free market corrected itself by booting him without ceremony into the radio world. Sometimes the free market can work, but generally it doesn’t.

    Take the cases of Prince William Sound, Macondo, the Finance industry, Enron, US healthcare, etc. In each of these, we can see that private enterprise has wrought a series of terrible disasters on the people of the USA, and in each case attempted to cover up the damage and walk away without taking responsibility.

    Looking back at these, why would you want industry to regulate itself without any government oversight?

    Do you seriously believe that corporations, who are obsessed with the quarterly reporting cycle, have the long-term well-being of the nation as a top priority?

    The CEOs of large corporations live in a culture in which the aim is to make $100m as fast as you can (about 10-15 years) then retire without looking back.

    Why would you trust these people to make long term decisions that protect us, the consumers?

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  2. Brian, sadly, you’re too blind to see that government interference in the free market is what causes it to fail. Instead. You lobby for even more government interference.

    You’re hopeless.

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  3. In his case the free market corrected itself by booting him without ceremony into the radio world.

    Uh, dummy? He never left “the radio world”. He’s always had his 3 hour a day show (3rd highest rated in the country) the entire time he’s been on TV, even including his time at CNN.

    And that “radio world” you’re lamely attempting to disparage? It does well enough in the market to provide on air talent like Rush Limbaugh multi-million dollar contracts. That doesn’t happen without an audience and the influence that comes with it. Being unable to compete in that marketplace of ideas, great outlets trying to bring us more of the same of what we already get on National Propaganda Radio, Most of the alphabet networks, and a large portion of print media, like Air America, have gone down in flames, inspiring the left to steal what it is incapable of earning through measures such as the new Unfairness Doctrine by pretending that the Left’s message isn’t available anywhere else, so they must be given equal time with successful shows.

    Of course there is the little matter of Beck continuing to produce other content for FOX even after he isn’t on every day… but don’t let facts get in the way of your fevered wishcasting.

    You’re hopeless.

    He’s been hopeless.

    But he’s been factless, logicless, reasonless, and meaningless. So this comes as no surprise.

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  4. The fact of the matter remains that Beck’s content became a commercial liability to Fox and he was booted out in a market self-correction.

    Advertisers were fleeing from his show and his Nielsen rating was down. Painful as it may be for you, you cannot refute that his appeal was confined to a shrinking minority.

    Beck might still be hired by the station for this and that, but none of that alters the fact that the market didn’t want him.

    Beck may or may not have had a radio show before being booted out, but that’s really beside the point.

    Now please be so kind as to point out exactly how I am “lamely attempting to disparage” the radio world. You know nothing of my relationship with or attitude to the radio world.

    The radio world is an open receptacle for voices from the fringe. That is not a disparaging view of it. The concept of disparagement seems to be more in your mind than mine. I have no problem with radio.

    Overall, your response to me comprised irrelevant deflections of what must be a very painful issue for you. And you never tackled any of my questions. Well, I’m sure you would if you could.

    But what I’ve seen so far from the extreme rightists is very little in the way of debating skills, constructive arguments, suggestions or ideas.

    From what I’ve seen, you are skilled in tearing down what exists, reductionism, dodging issues, name-calling, stalling debate, deception, distortion, and hostile communication.

    The policies pursued by ultra-conservative operatives in government look like they are intended to strip the working class of bargaining rights in the workplace, demolish the middle class, hand control of the nation to corporations and create a tiny ruling elite.

    I’ve said this before and I’ve been derided and called names, but nobody has proved me wrong. I’m calling you out to prove me wrong.

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  5. The fact of the matter remains that Beck’s content became a commercial liability to Fox and he was booted out in a market self-correction.

    Um, Beck had the highest rated cable news show in his timeslot, and the 3rd rated Fox news show, overall. We don’t know for sure what caused the change, but it sure as hell wasn’t natural market forces at work.

    The reason advertisers were “fleeing his show” was because Obama approved Marxist front groups were threatening to boycott them if they bought ads for his show. And the craven advertisers didn’t want the headache of these thugs targeting their businesses.

    Oh, and Beck isn’t going anywhere. He’s still with Fox, and promises to be the left’s worst nightmare in the months to come.

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  6. The fact of the matter remains that Beck’s content became a commercial liability to Fox and he was booted out in a market self-correction.

    Uh, no. Market share like his is not a ‘liability’.
    However, if there is some uncertainty about who actually owns what content, and you have the daily grind of producing 3 hours of radio and an hour of television day in and day out for years, that might refocus your priorities and make the option of continuing it for another 3 or 4 years far less appealing. People who are “booted” rarely take executives with them when they go…it tends to create all sorts of contractual issues that lead to nasty and expensive litigation. Something you’d know if you spent anytime in the evvvvvviiiillll corporate world you so eagerly blather on about.

    Advertisers were fleeing from his show and his Nielsen rating was down. Painful as it may be for you, you cannot refute that his appeal was confined to a shrinking minority.

    “Fleeing” his show. Nice Hyperbole. Some left, and while he has recently had a ratings drop, the numbers have still far surpassed any of FOX’s competitors. His audience hardly constitutes a minority.

    Beck might still be hired by the station for this and that, but none of that alters the fact that the market didn’t want him.

    Except for the fact that there is no such fact. But then I might have been swayed if I had accepted your premise. And been dumb enough to believe progressive talking points.

    Beck may or may not have had a radio show before being booted out, but that’s really beside the point.

    Except for the fact that it was important enough for you declare that he had been booted unceremoniously into “the radio world”, as if he had been cast out of the garden with nothing more than the clothes on his back. Again, if you knew anything about the person you’re busy demagoging, you’d know that his career started in radio, never left it, and branched out into television, not the other way around.

    Now please be so kind as to point out exactly how I am “lamely attempting to disparage” the radio world. You know nothing of my relationship with or attitude to the radio world.

    You mean aside from it being a repository for someone unceremoniously booted into it? Seriously, I’m enjoying watching you tie yourself into knots as you try to walk back from a point you tought important enough to make until you learned you pantsed yourself in making it.

    The radio world is an open receptacle for voices from the fringe. That is not a disparaging view of it. The concept of disparagement seems to be more in your mind than mine. I have no problem with radio.

    Except for that whole bit about it being an open recepticle for voices of the fringe, you have no problem with radio. Of course, anytime I have the misfortune of turning into MSNBC, I get the same feeling…loons who would be unemployable anywhere else. Still, now that the eeeeevvvvviiillll Comcast owns them, I imagine that they will tire of being a ratings blackhole and clean house.

    Overall, your response to me comprised irrelevant deflections of what must be a very painful issue for you.

    I could care less. While I listen to his radio show, his television broadcast airs at 11pm here on the Left Coast. It’s a little late for me, and his presentation style on television is very different and one that I don’t particularly appreciate. What I did find irritating is your allegations, made without fact or apparent knowledge that what you were alleging is silly on its face.

    And you never tackled any of my questions. Well, I’m sure you would if you could.

    Your questions weren’t meant to be taken seriously, but if you insist…

    [The Free Market Can’t Work !!11!!Eleventy!!]
    Take the cases of Prince William Sound, Macondo, the Finance industry, Enron, US healthcare, etc. In each of these, we can see that private enterprise has wrought a series of terrible disasters on the people of the USA, and in each case attempted to cover up the damage and walk away without taking responsibility.

    Looking back at these, why would you want industry to regulate itself without any government oversight?

    Exxon paid approximately $2 Billion to clean up the spill, another $1 Billion to settle civil and criminal claims, $287 Million in actual damages, and $507.5 Million in punative damages. That’s hardly an attempt to cover it up or escape liability for damages.

    Macondo: BP established a $20 billion claims fund before ever being found guilty of anywrong doing in a court of law, and also has made it quite clear that this fund does not in any way, shape, or form, represent a cap on their liability…while there may have been problems with the operations, due in part to lax regulatory oversite, and idiotic regulations that pushed drilling that far out when reserves that could be reached with far less effort and risk existed further inshore, (in otherwords, regulation making it harder to do the work safely, and then not even checking what was done, thus demonstrating a 2 for 1 failure of government interference), it cannot be said that they have tried to avoid responsibility.

    US Healthcare: I spent a few minutes with a search engine, but came up empty. You’ll have to elaborate. Sorry.

    Enron: You do realize that the real wrath should be saved for a stupid idea that is remarkably similar to carbon exchanges and the accountants who helped to make this one get as bad as it did, right?

    I don’t trust government to regulate corporations any more than they already do (or don’t, as the case may be). If you really want to impact the behavior and focus of Boards of Directors even more than SOX already has, lobby for changes in corporate law to allow shareholders, who also get stuck with the consequences of some directors’ shortsightedness to permit them easier and quicker remedies for the behavior you complain of. That, and the financial penalties that would come with it would make more real change than a bevy of regulatory bureaucrats making it less efficient to work with no real effect on consumers other than increased costs and prices.

    But what I’ve seen so far from the extreme rightists is very little in the way of debating skills, constructive arguments, suggestions or ideas.

    That doesn’t even deserve a response.

    From what I’ve seen, you are skilled in tearing down what exists, reductionism, dodging issues, name-calling, stalling debate, deception, distortion, and hostile communication.

    Protip: Clean your glasses. Something on them is really obscuring your vision.

    The policies pursued by ultra-conservative operatives in government look like they are intended to strip the working class of bargaining rights in the workplace, demolish the middle class, hand control of the nation to corporations and create a tiny ruling elite.

    I have no problem with collective bargaining rights in the workplace for private sector workers. As long as people are not forced to join a union, I’m fine with that.
    However, if we are talking about public sector workers, I have a huge problem with that. The money that is being bargained with comes from neither party, and they both know it, frequently after one party has helped the boss procure their job.

    It doesn’t demolish the middle class to reign in government spending, so they can keep more of what they earn, and decide for themselves how their money is to be spent. It doesn’t demolish the middle class to reduce the size and scope of government so people can make more decisions about how they will live their lives.

    Handing control of the nation to corporations? Seriously? Even if it were true, you could expect government to become a great deal more efficient than it has ever been.

    Create a tiny ruling elite? Like the Poliburo that you undoubtedly be in favor of?

    Like

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