09 April, 2011

How The Tea Party Can Win

We can change the debate. In fact, we already have. as has been said previously, the debate is no longer about whether to cut, but where to cut, and how much to cut. The importance of that point can not be overstated.
We have to realize we’re not going to win this war in one shot. We’re not going to get President Barack Obama (D-USA) to suddenly cut trillions of dollars. Probably not even hundreds of billions. It’s just not going to happen. Even if we get someone in the White House with an R after their name, it’s still not going to be as easy as we’d like.
We have to fight this war one battle at a time. One penny at a time. Every single appropriations bill that comes along needs to be attacked and whittled down. If someone wants the debt ceiling raised, that’s going to come at a price. As heavy a price as we can manage. Every single tax bill needs to be attacked. If a new department or grant is being considered for creation, we need to jump in and shut that off or trim it down.
Obama and Reid need to know that we’re not going away. That we’re going to penny pinch them to death, and that we’re in it for the long haul.
And we don’t let up when we do get a better Senate and White House. That’s a big reason we got into this mess. Despite all my compliments about President George W. Bush (R-USA), there’s no doubt he was a big spender.
We have to understand that we’re not going to get everything. When we ask for $100 billion in cuts, we might only be able to achieve $30 billion, and then only by some serious brinkmanship. And if that means using the troops as a bargaining chip, then we have to do that. We have to use every bargaining chip, every tool we have at our disposal. Because the other side is going to do that, and it’s the only way we’re going to win.
Yes, we’re trying to kill socialism in the United States. But it’s going to have to be a death by a thousand paper cuts. We don’t have the tools and there isn’t the political will in Washington to kill it out right. There may never be.
Those that say that compromise is wrong, and that Boehner screwed up, are flat wrong. Yes, compromises got us in to this mess. But it’s a whole different ball game now, and the compromises we’re seeking are totally different. As I said at the beginning, we’ve changed the argument. We’re not compromising on how much to grow, but how much to cut.
And if we can do that every time, there’s still hope.
Now yes, we have to get that clown out of the White House. And we have to replace him with someone who is serious about cutting. Because we do need some big cuts, and we do need them fast. But, sorry to say, Tea Partiers, but those big cuts ain’t happenin’ before January 2013. It’s impossible.
Shutting down the government is a losing proposition. Independents expect our government leaders to lead and to compromise. Not to pick up their ball and go home. Allowing the government to shut down is no different than what the Democrats did in Indiana and Wisconsin. And in fact, in many ways it’s worse. The GOP might get a boost short term. But then people are going to be needing to go to the Social Security Administration office because they’re dealing with identity theft, and they’re not going to be able to. People are going to get ticked off because all construction has stopped on the interstate they take to work. And the tide will turn against the GOP. And not slowly. Quickly.
Also, there’s a fine line between standing firm and being obstinate. Speaker Boehner (R-OH-08) et al have to walk that line very carefully. Tea Partiers may want him to step over the line to obstinate, but that’s a losing proposition for us long term. Frankly, so far, Beohner has been brilliant. We’re getting an up and down vote in the Senate on ObamaCare. Ed Morrissey describes perfectly how big that is:
So this isn’t important because it holds some new hope for a quicker repeal.  Rather, it forces Democrats to defend the massive government expansion of control yet again, this time closer to the 2012 election.  Democrats didn’t run on ObamaCare in 2010, except in reliably liberal districts for House races, and the last thing they need in an already-difficult cycle is another reminder to voters of the unpopular program.  By forcing a floor vote in this agreement, Reid will have to get his caucus — now reduced to 53 rather than 59 — to entirely back ObamaCare in a new vote.
That means Senators like Bill Nelson in Florida will have to back it, even with the latest Quinnipiac poll showing voters there opposing it 41/49 more than a year after its rollout.  Jon Tester in Montana will have to explain yet again to his constituents why he wants the IRS to be health-insurance cops.  Claire McCaskill already has enough problems in Missouri, as does Ben Nelson in Nebraska.  Even Democrats running for re-election in 2014 — like Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Pryor in Arkansas — will have to go back on the record to support it in order to keep the repeal from passing Congress, and that comes after the clear expression of voter disapproval in last year’s midterms.
Of course, even if that happened, Obama would veto it, but that creates problems for him as well.  If Democrats peel away from ObamaCare and he has to veto it to keep it in place, he suddenly looks very extreme and out of touch.  He’d have to explain why his only real legislative accomplishment has become so toxic that his own party doesn’t back it any more, which would put him even further on the defensive and eliminate the “GOP used scare tactics” defense of ObamaCare that he’ll undoubtedly use on the campaign trail.
Frankly, I’m surprised Reid and Obama agreed to this.  This has zero upside for Democrats heading into 2012, and looks like a political trap.
The next big battle is over raising the debt ceiling. We’re going to have to get some concessions for that. And frankly, they should be big. Bigger than the $39B we just got. But we’ll see how it goes. Then we have next year’s budget, which will be in a dozen different budget bills. That gives us a dozen different votes. And then we’ll have the 2013 budget, which will be voted upon right before the elections in November 2012. Huge opportunities there.
Attack each one. Get every penny. But understand when you’ve gotten all the pennies you’re going to get.
And move on to the next battle.
Perseverance is the key. This isn’t the lottery. We’re not going to wake up one day and discover that we hit the jackpot and now we’re flush with money.
So, in that spirit, I can accept yesterday’s compromise. Am I happy about it? No. Am I even satisfied? Not hardly. But I can accept it. Win what you can. Move on to the next battle. That has to be our motto, or we’re going to lose.
Remember, the very future of this country is at stake. We can’t afford to lose the war because we’re pouting that we didn’t get enough from one tiny battle.
And we can win this way. Remember, a billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

Ryan’s Path To Prosperity–Second Look

Speaking of crap sandwiches
No, Paul Ryan’s (R-WI-01) plan isn’t a crap sandwich. But it’s no Philly Cheesesteak either. And it’s certainly not filet mignon.
I stand by what I said in my first look, that overall it’s a great start.
But there are some problems.
  • Spending is still too high. It’s still over 20% of GDP. As I said in my last, that’s a problem. It’s barely over, at 20.5%, but it is over. We need to get it to around 19%. Or lower.
  • Defense spending is still too high. Which is probably why it’s still over 20% of GDP. Look, I understand that defense is always where the Dems go first for “cuts”, and that many on the conservative side feel like defense has given up enough. But, we need to put everything on the table if we’re going to be serious about remaining an economic power. We have no chance of being a military power if we’re not an economic one. Defense cuts need to be part of the plan. Just not the biggest part.
  • Ryan claims we’ll get to 4% unemployment by 2015, which is extremely unlikely. That makes all of his numbers following 2015 circumspect.
  • The long term entitlement reforms are extremely vague. He makes broad strokes and gives us numbers, but it’s hard to believe these numbers without more detail.
  • It doesn’t balance the budget until nearly 2040. And that’s under a best case scenario. Of course, this destroys the argument that it’s extreme. Supposedly we had a balanced budget back in 1998, a mere 13 years ago. Taking 29 years to rebalance it is “extreme”? Not hardly.
  • The final bad thing is that this document is going to be the starting point for budget negotiations in 2012. This is a bad starting point. We should be looking at something like this as the end point. Because whatever we get in place of this, will be a crap sandwich.
No, before you think I’m being super critical, you have to understand that Ryan clearly sees the problems we’re facing. And he’s bold enough to point them out. And he has presented a serious plan to address them. No one else has done that. Certainly not President Barack Obama (D-USA), who seems to have decided that it’s best to pretend that the problems don’t exist. I may have problems with the details (or lack thereof in some places), but that’s going to be true no matter what plan we eventually adopt. At least this is a serious proposal to get us pointed in the right direction.
For more on his seriousness, and the seriousness of our situation, look at this week’s weekly Republican address, given by him.

Veronique de Rugy has more criticisms at Reason. Many mirror my own, but she’s even more critical.

More On Budget Deal

Yes, $39B in cuts amounts to a crap sandwich.
But, we knew when we came in to this diner that all they serve are crap sandwiches.
We got the best crap sandwich we were going to get.
You want something other than a crap sandwich? In November 2012, you will have a chance to change the management.
Look, you can grouse all you want. You can point out that this isn’t 1995, and that President Barack Obama (D-USA) is no President Bill Clinton (D-USA). But, the media is still in the Dem pocketbook. And, long term, a shutdown favors the Democrats. Probably not short term. It isn’t 1995, and he isn’t Bill Clinton. But long term, no doubt.
So, right now Speaker Boehner (R-OH-08) was negotiating from a position of strength. Give it 2-3 weeks, or a month, and he’s negotiating from a position of weakness. We would not have gotten a $39B deal in May. No chance whatsoever.
One more point, it can not be denied that John Boehner’s political power increased greatly over this deal. The 536 people in Washington, D.C. that matter know exactly who won this round and who lost. When the next battles come, that may turn out to be the most significant part of this deal.

Liberal. Hypocrite. Same Thing.

No, I don’t see hypocrite as a synonym for liberal in my thesaurus. It was probably written by liberals.

I’ve previously written about liberal hypocrisy regarding peace and violence.

There’s even more to find here. A couple of my favorites:

Elections have obviously failed. We need to have democracy by other means. We can save the people by getting rid of the Republicans. We know best what to do for the future . . .

The only good Republican is a dead Republican.

What’s amazing though is that these are the very same liberals that just a few weeks ago were complaining about “violent rhetoric” causing the Giffords shooting. Funny, I don’t hear any complaints now.

These are the same liberals that last year felt that public discourse had gotten impossible and we needed a “Rally to Restore Sanity”.

Hey, Jon Stewart, where’s the complaining about the sanity of protesters now?

As I said at the time, this was never about restoring sanity or removing violent rhetoric. It was about shutting up conservatives.

Angry mobs and threats are ok from the left. Peaceful mobs and imagined threats are evidence of hatred and intolerance from the right.

But the liberal hypocrisy isn’t limited to just violence (although it’s still related to shutting up conservatives). The Koch brothers are the latest scapegoats of the left. In fact, Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) has been excoriated for taking money from KOCHPAC. Just one teensy problem with that criticism though.

[T]he DSCC and a handful of Democratic senators have given no indication that they are willing to give back the thousands of dollars their campaigns received from KOCHPAC, the political arm of Koch Industries. In fact, a spokesperson for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) justified the at least $10,000 the Landrieu campaign received from KOCHPAC last year because the money was not directly from the Koch brothers but comprised of donations from Koch Industries employees in Louisiana.


And then there’s the Citizens for Responsibility for Ethics in Washington (CREW), who have complained about Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS not being willing to reveal it’s donors.

[T]he effort immediately drew criticism from Democrats and campaign watchdog groups, who noted that Crossroads had been under fire since its inception for refusing to reveal its donors.

“It is incredibly ironic that Crossroads wants to take about openness when they are highly secretive,” said Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “I think the whole thing is a gimmick. It is ridiculous coming from Rove.”

Ok, but

I called CREW this morning to see if Melanie Sloan would talk about her own group's donors.

"CREW does not discuss its donors," said communications director Garrett Russo. I asked him why not, since Sloan said Crossroads GPS was guilty of hypocrisy for not doing the same thing.

"CREW does not discuss its donors," Russo repeated. "That's about all I can tell you."


And, of course, we have the Andrew Breitbart Huffington Post incident, where he was summarily dismissed from the front page after calling Van Jones a “commie punk” (among other things) on another website.

Ok, if HuffPo only wants people on the front page who are willing to promote civil discourse everywhere they go, that’s their prerogative. And I don’t have a problem with it.


By contrast, Maher on March 18 called Palin a "twat" and on March 27 called her a "c**t."

Which is worse: calling a man a "commie punk" or a woman a "c**t"? One would certainly think the latter, yet HuffPo has yet to comment.

With this in mind, I sent co-founder Arianna Huffington and editor Roy Sekoff the following email message Tuesday:

Ms. Huffington and Mr. Sekoff:

Noel Sheppard here from NewsBusters. I'm wondering if Bill Maher calling former Alaska governor Sarah Palin a "twat" and a "c**t" violates the Huffington Post's "tenets of debate and civil discourse" that Mario Ruiz noted in his statement concerning Andrew Breitbart's banning from your front page.

One would think such vulgar slurs are far worse than anything Breitbart said to the Daily Caller concerning Van Jones.

Is Maher going to be banned from your front page? When are you planning on notifying your readers of this decision, and if not, why not?

Noel Sheppard/NewsBusters.org

Read the whole thing. Noel still hasn’t received any response. Despite sending several e-mails. Bryan Reston has similar results, i.e. none.

Again, this is obviously not about promoting civil discourse, but about silencing conservative voices.

Short version:

Liberal. Hypocrite. Same Thing.

UPDATE: Got this on Twitter:


Notice that this lib doesn’t even try to refute any of my points. Just throws out attacks. Typical. Notice also that he seems to think that conservatives are servile, despite the overwhelming evidence that the Democratic party is all about dependency on government.

So, not just a hypocrite, but dumb too. Outstanding combination.

Irony Alert–San Francisco Style

Tax Breaks Keep Twitter In San Francisco

That’s the headline of the article. Here are some quotes:

San Francisco leaders have given preliminary approval to legislation that would keep fast-growing Twitter in the city with the lure of a payroll tax break.

The bill squarely aimed at keeping the hip microblogging service from moving out of town was portrayed as a way to revitalize a pair of chronically downtrodden neighborhoods in the heart of San Francisco.

Even better:

City officials hope Twitter will spark an economic revival in the area by attracting other companies.

Now, San Fran is about as left as you can get. And yet, even they realize the need to lower taxes to make a more business friendly environment. When it’s in their own backyard anyway.

And I guess these “tax loopholes” the libs want to close are ok after all. When it’s in their own backyard anyway.

This is without a doubt the funniest thing I read this week.


I saw last week that the Washington Post is reporting that inflation is back.

Also, that wages aren’t keeping pace, and that the driving forces behind the rising prices are food and fuel. That means that the poor are being hit the hardest by this administration’s policies. I thought the Dems were the friends of the poor?

Inflation is back, with higher prices for food and fuel hammering American consumers, and this time it really hurts.

It’s not just that prices are rising — it’s that wages aren’t.

Previous bouts of inflation have usually meant a wage-price spiral, as pay and prices chase each other ever upward. But now paychecks are falling further and further behind. In the past three months, consumer prices have been rising at a 5.7 percent annual rate while average weekly wages have barely budged, increasing at an annual rate of only 1.3 percent.

And the particular prices that are rising are for products that people encounter most frequently in their daily lives and have the least flexibility to avoid. For the most part, it’s not computers and cars that are getting more expensive, it’s gasoline, which is up 19 percent in the past year, ground beef, up 10 percent, and butter, up 23 percent.

It really does seem like this administration is determined to make more poor people. But, I guess that makes sense. They’re certainly determined to increase dependency on government. That’s what ObamaCare is all about. And they don’t seem to have any interest in improving the economy or ending unemployment benefits.

How best to increase dependency on government? Make more poor people.

Well, this will certainly help.

Oh yeah. One more thing. I think someone predicted inflation was coming and was ridiculed for it. Now who could that have been?

Another “Peaceful Green Hippie” No Doubt

Nice person. Could at least learn to use hashtags right.
More examples of the peace loving left here.

Ezra Klein–Dirtbag Is Too Kind Of A Word

This from Ezra Klein regarding budget battles yesterday.

The fight also isn’t about cutting spending. The services Planned Parenthood provides save the federal government a lot of money. It’s somewhat cold to put it in these terms, but taxpayers end up bearing a lot of the expense for unintended pregnancies among people without the means to care for their children.

Here’s the problem, Ezra. I may complain about the high cost of government, but you’ll never hear me complain about the high cost of a human being.

That’s because I am one.

And, I submit, that if you do complain about the high cost of a human being, then you are not one.

Now, About That “Big Money” In Politics.

Hat Tip: The Distributed Republic via Instapundit.

Look at this chart and remember it the next time a liberal complains to you about all that “big money” the GOP gets. This chart represents the top 20 groups in campaign contributions over the last 20 years.

Not a whole lot of red on that chart, is there? Click on the pic to go to OpenSecrets.org to see the details.

Look at some of those blue lines: AFSCME, Goldman Sachs, IBEW, NEA, Teamsters, SEIU, AFT, and UAW. A “who’s who” of organizations getting special favors from the current administration.

Also worth mentioning is that the first red line is “National Auto Dealers Assn”. Hey, wasn’t one of President Barack Obama’s (D-USA) first acts to shut down a ton of auto dealerships in the United States?

What an amazing coincidence.

Shutdown Averted

Ok, first the bad. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH-08) agreed to a mere $39 billion in cuts. That’s about 1%. Or about 2.8% of the deficit. Symbolic, at best.
Ok, now that’s out of the way. Let’s talk about the good.
Despite controlling only 1/2 of one branch of the government, the GOP was able to achieve the first actual spending cuts in modern history. And did it despite the biggest spending President and Senate this country has ever seen.
The Corner has a couple nice quotes for us.
Harry Reid, Feb. 3, 2011, on Paul Ryan’s initial offer of $32 billion in spending cuts:
The chairman of the Budget Committee today, today sent us something even more draconian than we originally anticipated…So this isn’t some game that people have been playing. The House of Representatives [is] actually sending us some of these unworkable plans.
Harry Reid, April 9, 2011, on a deal to cut $38.5 billion:
This is historic, what we’ve done.
Yes, this is a drop in the bucket. But it’s the first drop in our bucket we’ve ever gotten. I believe that Boehner got the best deal he was going to get. Shutdown or no. We have a Keynesian socialist President, who is either incapable of seeing the crisis in front of us, or does see it and honestly doesn’t care. Every financial battle against him is going to go like this. We’re going to have to push him to the brink and settle for the tiniest of cuts.
But we’re setting the table for 2013, when hopefully someone more reasonable will be in office. And the GOP is keeping its promise to push as hard as they can. Victories are going to be small and far between. For now, we’re going to have to be happy with the ones we get, as long as there is reason to believe we took it as far as we could.
But we also got some more things.
Our military will receive their paychecks. That’s good. Not sure how you feel, but I find slavery somewhat abhorrent. Apparently the President feels differently.
The D.C. school voucher program has been restored. This is a huge win for Boehner.
Funding for Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare will receive an up or down vote on the Senate floor. ObamaCare defunding has no chance of passage, but it’s not out of the question that PP defunding could get to 51 votes. It’s a stretch, but not an unbelievable one. There are several vulnerable Democrats who are not going to want to go on the record on this issue.
Remember, the one cut proposal we got from the Dems prior today was for $4 billion in cuts. And passage of that looked unlikely. The Democrats are totally unserious about the financial state of this country.
Next big battle: raising the debt ceiling. We’ll hit it in about 5 weeks, so round 2 is coming up fast.
One question though. How did the Senate vote first on the CR? I thought funding bills started in the House? Was our shutdown avoidance unconstitutional?
UPDATE: Some good points at HotAir:
We’ll see who won in September, but Republicans have achieved one major accomplishment.  Not only did they force the first actual reductions in government spending in ages, but they have changed the political paradigm from whether to cut to how much and where to cut.  That’s a pretty impressive victory for a party that only controls one chamber of Congress.
Update: One last point along these lines.  Democrats have spent the last four months arguing that Republicans were too radical to govern and wanted to destroy government.  Instead, Republicans fashioned a deal on their own terms and passed a budget deal — something Democrats couldn’t or wouldn’t do when they had all the power in DC.  This gives the GOP a lot of credibility on leadership and governance, and all of it at the expense of Harry Reid and Barack Obama.

08 April, 2011

Current Budget Battle

Other than on my Twitter feed (@ChrisOfRights), I haven’t said anything here about the current budget battle and impending shutdown.
What’s there to say that isn’t obvious or hasn’t been said already?
I guess I’ll say it.
Democrats are cowards and shirked their responsibilities in 2010, so that they could blame Republicans in 2011. If they’d passed a budget last year, we wouldn’t be in this situation. They didn’t even try. Neither the House nor the Senate even submitted a budget proposal. The Senate, despite being required to do so every year, has not submitted ONE since the Democrats claimed the majority. They knew that any budget they passed would hurt them in the 2010 elections, and they already knew they were going to get a shellacking, so they tried to lessen the damage by not doing their job.
The current CR passed by the House that funds the government for one week and the troops for the rest of the year should be passed. There’s absolutely no reason not to pass that and for President Barack Obama (D-USA) to sign it, unless the Democrats want a shutdown. The only rider it has on it, defunds abortions in Washington, D.C. This rider has been submitted and approved pretty much every previous time it’s come up, with bipartisan support, including names like Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and then Senator Barack Obama (D-IL).
Therefore the only reason not to pass it is to cause, rather than avert, a shutdown. The only conclusion that can be drawn from that is that the Democrats actually want one.
Again, this is cowardice. They think they’ll win the PR battle on this and by doing so force the Republicans to cave on some provisions and be able to win some seats back next year. Notice, however, that all they have done is demonize. They haven’t submitted one budget proposal or CR proposal on their own. They haven’t tried to amend the ones that have passed the House, and then resubmit to the House. That’s because, again, they’re playing politics and trying to avoid being the bad guys. They’re more interested in political power than making the choices necessary to keep this country moving forward. They would rather see this country go down the toilet, as long as it helps them gain power.
That’s despicable. Every action that the Democrats have taken here since April 2010, is despicable. And if it doesn’t make you angry, then you’re part of the problem.

Peaceful Green Hippies

The title comes from a comment on a blog I was reading the other day, where a lefty was once again blaming all violence on the right. She laughed when countered and said that “peaceful green hippies” would never do anything like that.
Here’s some samples of some “peaceful green hippies” in action recently.
Katherine R. Windels facing charges for threats to Wisconsin lawmakers:
According to the criminal complaint, Windels allegedly sent an email threat to State Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) March 9. Later that evening, she allegedly sent another email to 15 Republican legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau).
The subject line of the second email was: "Atten: Death Threat!!!! Bomb!!!" In that email, she purportedly wrote, "Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks."
"I hope you have a good time in hell," she allegedly wrote in the lengthy email in which she purportedly listed scenarios in which the legislators and their families would die, including bombings and by "putting a nice little bullet in your head.
Sounds like a nice pleasant lady, doesn’t she?
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy (conservative think tank) has been receiving bomb threats after FOIA requests regarding a professor’s emails:
The Mackinac Center For Public Policy -- the conservative-leaning think tank in the news this week after it requested emails from Michigan labor studies professors regarding Wisconsin and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow -- says it has called in the FBI after receiving a series of threatening voicemails that promised to bomb their Midland, Michigan headquarters.
"You are on Main Street," one of the voicemails said, according to details posted on the Mackinac website. "You are the first place to be bombed."
Yes, they’re definitely peaceful.
And this is certainly nice. Just asking some nice local businessmen to help out by putting signs in their windows.
Members of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, have begun circulating letters to businesses in southeast Wisconsin, warning that they will face a boycott if they don't support collective bargaining for public employee unions.
The letters ask businesses to express that support by displaying union signs in their windows.
"Failure to do so will leave us no choice but (to) do a public boycott of your business," the letter says. "And sorry, neutral means 'no' to those who work for the largest employer in the area and are union members."
That sound like a protection racket to you? You’re not the only one.
Jim Haney, the outgoing head of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, a pro-business lobby, said the union effort was appalling. And he said the campaign would backfire.
"It's kind of like the old protection racket," he said. " 'If you have the right sticker, we won't break your knees.' This is beyond the pale to force a small-business person to choose when they want to stay neutral. But that isn't good enough."
UW-Madison law professor/blogger Ann Althouse has done quite a bit of blogging about the Wisconsin protests. The response wasn’t very friendly, to say the least:
WE WILL FUCK YOU UP. We will throw our baseballs in your lawn, you cranky oldpieces of shit, and then we will come get them back. What are you gonna do? Shootus? Get Wausau Tea Patriots to form an ad hoc militia on your front lawn? That wouldbe fucking HILAROUS to us. You could get to know the assholes on your side in realfucking life instead of sponging off the civil society we provide for you every single dayyou draw breath.
But those are just threats, right? They’re just venting, and they didn’t mean it. It’s not like it’s actual violence or vandalism.

More here.
But that’s just Wisconsin, right? We all know they’re a little kooky there.
No. Here’s one of many examples from the Bush years.

And they just love Andrew Breitbart.

Ken Gladney knows a little bit about peaceful green hippies.

These are just a few examples of the peaceful left. I could find thousands more with just a few hours research. These are the people telling us that the Tea Party is violent. That we need to restore sanity. That our violent rhetoric is harmful to America.
My response? You first. (And you thought I was going to say something with violent rhetoric, didn’t you? No, unlike the peaceful green hippies, I really am peaceful. Most of the time.)

Do Liberals Only Have One Speechwriter?

Every single time the GOP offers reforms for entitlement programs or offers up a budget, it’s the same litany.
You’re starving senior citizens
The plan will end Medicare as we know it
Tax cuts for the rich
Note that there are no counter proposals. Just whines. Dems never lead on something that takes courage. They have none.
It doesn’t starve senior citizens. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-08), you’re either a liar or an idiot. Or both. The link above tears her assertion to shreds.
Next. Well, yes, it’s going to end Medicare as we know it. And Social Security, and Medicaid as we know them too.
That’s a good thing.
Guess what? If you haven’t been paying attention libs (and based upon your screaming, you haven’t), these programs as we know them are going to end, regardless of the Ryan plan. And they’re going to end soon. If we do nothing, they won’t just get revamped. They’ll die.
Read that again. They’ll die. These entitlement programs are going to change drastically, at the very least, no matter what happens. There is no way to avoid it. Scream all you want about the changes, but face reality. Otherwise you’re just like my four year old throwing a tantrum when I tell her I’m not going to buy her another Barbie doll.
Ryan’s plan is an attempt to save these programs. And the only way that’s going to happen is to cut costs and to increase revenue. You may not like the way he tries to save them. Fine. But whining that it’s going to change isn’t accomplishing anything other than making you look childish and stupid.
Tax cuts for the rich. Yawn. You realize, of course, that the poor don’t pay taxes? You can hardly cut their taxes. You also realize that just about any tax cut is going to help the rich the most, right? I mean, let’s say we did a 1% tax cut across the board. To every single taxpayer in America. Who’s that going to help more? The person who pays no taxes, the person who pays $350 in taxes, the person who pays $35,000 in taxes, or the person who pays $3,500,000 in taxes? Well, the first person gets nothing. The second person saves $3.50. The third person will get to pay about $350 less. The last person, the rich one, will pay $35,000 less. Still the same 1%, but the last person gets to keep a lot more money.
Yeah, I’d like it if I could cut my taxes by $35,000 too. But I don’t think many flat tax credits like that are coming my way or your way any time soon.
Even if it was a sliding scale like 10% for the first, 5% for the second, 2.5% for the third, and a measly 1% for the rich person, the rich still saves the most money.
Why? Because they pay the most taxes! Like I said earlier, libs, this isn’t policy. It’s math. And math trumps politics every single time.
This is exactly why Dems punted on the budget last year. They had near super-majorities in both chambers, and the White House. And they didn’t even try to pass a budget. They knew that they’d either have to cut spending, or raise taxes, or put out a budget with an astronomical debt figure. They didn’t want to do that in an election year. They punted so that Republicans would be forced to handle it this year, and now the Democrats can demonize the Republicans for doing all the awful evil things they were afraid to do.
Ryan’s plan has flaws. A lot of them, actually, now that I’ve looked at it in more detail (coming soon), but it’s a start, and it’s a recognition of the problem. It takes courage to lead, and I applaud Ryan for attempting to do so. The Democrats in Congress prefer to shirk their responsibilities and demonize those with real courage. They should all be tarred and feathered and never allowed to work for the public again.
At the very least, they should get a new speechwriter.

Facebook Likes Me Again

Darn. I was enjoying my life as a rebel and rabble rouser. Anyway, Facebook never responded to my complaint, but the ban on sharing posts from this blog seems to have been lifted.

Catching Up With Mr. Barnum

When we last left P.T., rubes were jumping off the ObamaCare bandwagon as fast as they could. What’s happened since then?

Well, first thanks to Jamie Dupree,  we’ve discovered 129 new waivers, mostly given to unions, such as:

  • Teamsters Local 237 in New York, covering over 51,000 workers
  • Carpenters District Council of Kansas City Welfare Plan, for 20,898 workers
  • Southeastern Iron Workers, for 5,143 policies
  • Minneapolis Retail Meat Cutters and Food Handlers for 10,720
  • the Fulton Fish Market Welfare Fund for 1,211
  • That brings the total to 1,168. I just love it when the same law applies to everyone equally. Don’t you?

    But wait. That’s not even the best part. We also discovered some nice things inside the ObamaCare bill that no one bothered to read. Again, we have Jamie Dupree to thank for a nice summation.

    Facing questions from both parties in the Congress, the Obama Administration has now revealed how it has spent over $1.7 billion on part of the Obama health law, known as the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program.

    This plan is intended to help companies pay the cost of health care for their early retirees, but lawmakers say it is wrongly benefiting companies like AT&T and General Electric, who have billions in profits on their bottom lines.


    Here is the list of unions, companies, state and local governments and other business entities who received money under the Obama health law for their early retiree health programs:

    United Auto Workers Retiree Medical Benefits Trust 206,798,086
    AT&T, Inc. 140,022,949
    Verizon Communications Inc. 91,702,538
    Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio 70,557,764
    Teacher Retirement System of Texas 68,074,118
    Georgia Department of Community Health 57,936,127
    California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) 57,834,267
    State of New York 47,869,044
    State of New Jersey Treasury Department, Pension Accounting Services Department 38,622,698
    General Electric Company 36,607,818
    Employees Retirement System of Texas 30,175,627
    Commonwealth of Kentucky 29,666,516
    South Carolina Budget & Control Board Employee Insurance Program 27,142,502
    Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 24,522,631
    State of Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System 22,620,604
    State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio 20,334,357
    State of Michigan 20,247,338
    General Motors, LLC 19,002,669


    The list is much longer. Go to Jamie’s page for the whole list. I just did a few from the top. These are organizations that are getting taxpayer $ to fund their retiree programs. You’re paying UAW’s retirement benefits. So, not only is  ObamaCare taking money from me again for non-public use, but it’s giving it to selected organizations.

    ObamaCare isn’t about health care. It’s about taking your money, and giving it to the people that Obama likes. Obama and the Executive Branch get to pick and choose who gets rewarded and how. Please, someone…anyone, explain to me how this is fair and why anyone with a functioning brain should be in favor of this and support it.

    I still say that if you do, you’re either one of the lucky people getting the payouts, or you’re the one that P.T. Barnum is looking for.

    07 April, 2011

    I’ve Officially Made Facebook’s Blacklist

    Wow. I thought that only happened to famous people.

    You’ll notice at the bottom of each post, there are several buttons allowing you to share the posts on various sharing and bookmark sites. You’ll notice that one of them is a Facebook button.

    You’ll further notice that if you click the Facebook button and try to share the content, Facebook will block you.


    I’m abusive or spammy. Nice.

    I’ve contacted Facebook in an attempt to resolve this issue. I can’t wait to see their response.

    Apparently, AP Is Also A ‘News Service’

    Here’s a hint, AP. When you start actively scrubbing details that might be embarrassing to the politicians you favor, you cross the line from bias and into propaganda.

    If you follow this link, you’ll read a nice little AP story about President Barack Obama (D-USA) speaking about budget talks and high gas prices. Nowhere will you see this line:

    Obama needled one questioner who asked about gas prices, now averaging close to $3.70 a gallon nationwide, and suggested that the gentleman consider getting rid of his gas-guzzling vehicle.

    “If you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting 8 miles a gallon, you know,” Obama said laughingly. “You might want to think about a trade-in.”

    But that line was in the original version of the article, as Glenn Reynolds shows with a nice screenshot:

    Oh, good. He has the video now too.

    As Ed Morrissey at HotAir points out, this is more than a little reminiscent of Marie Antoinette saying “Let them eat cake”.

    Regardless, Obama fills the role of clueless aristocrat by telling a man who explains that he can’t afford to fill his gas tank at current prices that he should instead buy a new car.

    I don’t want to hear another person try to tell me that the MSM doesn’t have a bias problem. They are now actively covering up mistakes made by The One.

    I also don’t want to hear another person complain about bias from Fox News either. Neal Boortz has issued a challenge to all his listeners to call in and show ONE example of bias in the news reporting on Fox News. He issued this challenge in 2003! It’s been over 7 years, and not one single person has managed to do so.

    However, I can find it in places like NBC, CBS, Reuters, and now AP, nearly every day.

    More Faux News.

    06 April, 2011

    The Great War

    Today, in 1917, the United States entered World War I, officially declaring war on Germany. 16 months later, the war would be over.

    That was when we fought wars to win.

    Thank you, American service men and women and veterans, wherever you are.

    05 April, 2011

    Ryan’s Path To Prosperity–First Look

    Ok, I took my lunch hour and read Congressman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI-01) The Path To Prosperity. Is it perfect? No. In fact, my biggest criticism is that it doesn’t go far enough.
    But overall, it’s a great start. Highlights:
    Brings government spending to below 20 percent of the economy, a sharp contrast to the President’s budget, in which spending never falls below 23 percent of GDP over the next decade.
    This is a necessity. Play all the games with taxes you want. We know from history that we can’t consistently get tax revenue over 20% of GDP for any extended period of time. President Barack Obama (D-USA) and the rest of the Dems ignore the problem. If you never get anywhere near 20%, you’re being criminally irresponsible.
    Corporate Tax Reform: Improves incentives for job creators to work, invest, and innovate in the United States by lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent, which is the highest in the industrialized world, to a more competitive 25 percent.
    Well, if you’ve ever read this blog before, you know how I feel about that. It doesn’t go nearly far enough. Still, if you want to get the economy going and consistently moving forward, this is a necessity. It’s the minimum we can do, and we should do much more, but it’s a good first step.
    And the first big chart:

    Debt over 100% of GDP is not sustainable. Japan’s debt is right at 200% of GDP and they are on the verge of economic meltdown. Greece was even higher, and they have already collapsed. You’ll notice that under Obama’s current plan, we hit 100% around 2020, and 200% around 2035, and then it really starts climbing. These are conservative and very optimistic projections. We’re likely much closer to these numbers than that. But even accepting them at face value, we have a date. 2035. Game over.
    Got that? At that point, we will have no choice but to cut, and cut deep. And it’s going to be painful for every single man, woman and child in America. Dems will tell you that the Ryan plan is “extreme” and complain about all the people that are going to be hurt by it. Well, to respond to the first criticism, it’s not extreme. The President’s own Debt Commission’s plan was far more extreme than Ryan’s.
    As for the second criticism, they’re right. A number of people are going to be impacted negatively by his plan. The government will not be giving them the money that they’ve been expecting. Frankly, this probably applies in some way to just about all of us.
    But, you know what? Doing nothing is far worse. Sure, we get 20 years (maybe) where we can blissfully ignore the coming collapse and continue giving out free lunches to everyone. And then, we have to stop giving out free lunches to anyone. Ryan’s plan is the choice between getting a bloody nose now, and getting both legs amputated later.
    I’ll take the bloody nose, thanks.
    At a time when the free-market foundations of the American economy were in desperate need of restoration and repair, the last Congress took actions that further undermined them. The President and his party’s leaders embarked on a stimulus spending spree that added hundreds of billions of dollars to the debt, yet failed to deliver on its promises to create jobs. Acute economic hardship was exploited to enact unprecedented expansions of government power.
    This did not sit well with the American people. Citizens stood up and demanded that their leaders reacquaint themselves with America’s founding ideals of liberty, limited government, and equality under the rule of law.
    In recent years, both political parties have squandered the public’s trust. The American people ended a unified Republican majority in 2006, just as they ended a unified Democratic majority last fall. Americans reject leaders who focus on the pursuit of power at the expense of principle. They reject empty promises from a government that cannot live within its means. They deserve the truth about the
    nation’s fiscal and economic challenges. They deserve – and demand – honest leaders willing to stand for solutions.
    Ryan remembers last November. I hope the rest of Congress does also. Yes, I’m talking to you too, GOP.
    In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “We cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves.” Will this be remembered as the Congress that did nothing as the nation slouched toward a preventable debt crisis and irreversible decline? Or will it instead be remembered as the Congress that did the hard work of preventing that crisis – the one that chose the path to prosperity?
    Call me skeptical. I still believe that this Congress will be remembered as the Congress that did nothing.
    Defense spending as a share of the budget has fallen from around 25 percent thirty years ago to around 20 percent today. Like all categories of government spending, defense spending should be executed with greater efficiency and accountability.
    Ryan plays a game with the numbers here. Sorry, but I’m not going to let him get away with it. Defense spending has fallen as a share of the budget, but that doesn’t mean that there have been defense spending cuts. There haven’t. Defense just hasn’t grown as fast as other parts of the budget. He should be comparing defense spending to GDP here, as he does with other things. In terms of GDP, defense spending has grown, so it’s still part of the problem. It’s just not as much a part of the problem as other areas of the budget.
    [It is] very clear that, absent action, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will soon grow to consume every dollar of revenue that the government raises in taxes. At that point, policymakers would be left with no good options. Making do without any federal government departments, including the military, is not really an option at all, and neither is raising taxes to a level that no free and prospering
    economy could sustain.
    Of course, if Congress continues to delay, it will lose even the ability to make such choices on its own terms.
    Each year that Congress fails to act, the U.S. government gets closer to breaking promises to current retirees while adding to a growing pile of empty promises made to future generations. The government’s unfunded liabilities – promises the
    government makes to current workers about their health and retirement security for which it has no means to pay – are growing by trillions of dollars a year.
    This isn’t spin. It’s a fact. To deny facts is to stick your head in the sand like an ostrich. Dems today want you to be an ostrich.
    The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has concluded that the tax rates needed to sustain the nation’s current fiscal trajectory into the future would end up sinking the economy. That is one reason that the Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform proposed, as part of an overall effort to fix the nation’s
    unsustainable deficits, a fundamental tax reform plan that actually lowered income tax rates to promote growth, while eliminating tax loopholes to broaden the tax base.
    Actually, I disagree with part of that too. I don’t want to eliminate loopholes. I want the “loopholes” to apply to everyone. There’s been a lot in the papers recently about GE not paying enough in taxes. The problem isn’t that GE doesn’t pay enough. It’s that everyone else pays too much. But I digress.
    The recent sovereign debt crises in Greece and other highly-indebted European countries provide a cautionary tale of the rough justice of the marketplace – lenders cannot and will not finance unsustainable deficits forever, and when they cut up the credit cards of profligate countries, severe economic turmoil ensues.
    Over the past few years, Americans have seen just how quickly a  severe financial crisis can create widespread pain and chaos. But the last crisis was foreseen only by a small number of perceptive individuals who recognized the implications of unwise decisions being made in Washington and on Wall Street.
    By contrast, nearly every fiscal expert and advisor in Washington has warned that a major debt crisis is inevitable if the U.S. government remains on its current unsustainable path. The government’s failure to prevent this completely preventable crisis would rank among history’s most infamous episodes of political malpractice.
    We are on the exact same path as Greece, Italy, and others. And we’re not as many steps behind as you might think.
    And here’s what Ryan says about how the debt crisis would unfold.
    The first sign that a debt crisis has arrived is that bond investors lose confidence in a government’s ability to pay its debts – and by that point, it is usually too late to avoid severe disruption and economic pain. Right now, the U.S. government is able to borrow at historically low rates, partly because of the Fed’s interventions in the market, but also because the bonds of most foreign countries are looking even riskier. Neither of these conditions is going to last. Interest rates – and the burden of paying interest on the debt – have nowhere to go but up.
    We may be mere months from this. If it’s years, it’s not very many (think less than 5).
    If foreign investors, especially foreign governments such as China, begin to lose confidence in the U.S. government’s ability to solve its most difficult fiscal challenges, they will demand higher compensation to offset the perceived risk of holding U.S. debt – meaning sharply higher interest rates.
    They may also demand payment in tender other than U.S. dollars. If China required that all future debt payments be made in gold, that would be catastrophic. At some point, that becomes not just a terrifying thought, but an destructive inevitability.
    The economic effects of a debt crisis on the United States would be far worse than what the nation experienced during the financial crisis of 2008. For starters, no entity on the planet is large enough to bail out the U.S. government. Absent a bailout, the only solutions to a debt crisis would be truly painful: massive tax increases, sudden and disruptive cuts to vital programs, runaway inflation, or all three. This would create a huge hole in the economy that would be exacerbated by panic.
    Well, that’s a pleasant thought.
    Want more pleasant thoughts? Ryan doesn’t have them.
    In the end, the debate about rising U.S. debt is not just about dollars and cents, but also about America’s status as a world power and its freedom to act in its own best interests. If the nation stays on its current path, interest payments on the national debt will begin to exceed yearly defense spending just 11 years from now. In just 16 years, yearly interest expenses will be double national defense spending.
    If it stays on its current fiscal path, the United States will be unable to afford its role as an economic and military superpower. Other nations with very different interests will rush in to fill that role.
    Last year in Foreign Affairs magazine, financial historian Niall Ferguson surveyed some of the great empire declines throughout history and observed that “most imperial falls are associated with fiscal crises. All the… cases were marked by sharp imbalances between revenues and expenditures, as well as difficulties with financing public debt. Alarm bells should be ringing loudly… [for] the United States.”
    That’s where we are. The rest of the document lays out how to fix it. And it ain’t pretty. But overall, it could look much worse. The cuts aren’t extreme. They’re manageable. In fact, it’s easy to argue that in some places, they’re too small. Far too small.
    Some more details of the plan:
    Ending corporate welfare: There is a growing and pernicious trend of government overreach into sectors of the private economy – a trend that stacks the deck in favor of entrenched interests and stifles growth. This budget ends the taxpayer bailouts of failed financial institutions and stops Washington from picking the winners and losers across sectors of the economy.
    Boosting American energy resources: Too great a percentage of America’s vast natural resources remain locked behind bureaucratic barriers and red tape. This budget removes moratoriums on safe, responsible energy exploration in the United States, ends Washington policies that drive up gas prices, and unlocks American energy production to help lower costs, create jobs, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
    This budget puts an end to empty promises from a broke government, offering instead real security through real reforms. The framework established in this budget secures health and retirement benefit programs both for current beneficiaries, who will receive the benefits they’ve organized their retirements around, and for future generations, who will inherit stronger programs they can count on when they retire.
    As Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) said recently:
    I went before the firefighters convention on Friday down here in Wildwood, New Jersey, and I said to them, you know, I understand why you're angry. For 20 years, governors have been coming here to your convention and lying to you about the kind of benefits they can provide to you. And you want to "boo' me, that's fine, but I'm the first guy who's telling you the truth, which is if we don't make these reforms, we are going to wind up with you not having a pension in 10 or 15 years, because the situation is so dire.
    I’ve seen a lot of booing and anger directed at the GOP lately. Especially the Tea Party wing. These aren’t the people you should be booing. You should be booing the people who have been promising you unicorns and rainbows for the last 50 years and telling you not to worry about how to pay for it because that’s a problem for the future. Guess what? The future is now.
    Look, this is very simple. You may disagree with the items on Ryan’s plan. You may think that parts of it are too extreme. You may think that parts of it don’t go far enough. You might think that it goes too fast or too slow. You may think that it cuts taxes too much. You may think it doesn’t cut them enough. You might even think that we should raise taxes. If you think any of those things, that’s fine. Those are reasonable criticisms, and would promote a reasonable debate. Ryan’s plan is not the only solution. It’s not even the best solution, in my opinion. But it is a solution.
    What you can’t do is to deny the need for a plan like Ryan’s. That is a path to economic suicide, and it’s not even a slow one. From what I’ve seen, and maybe they’ll surprise me and change, is that the Democrat leadership wants to continue down the path towards economic suicide. They will destroy this country if you let them.
    Again, that’s not hyperbole. It’s not even exaggeration. It’s not even a criticism of progressive policies versus conservative ones. It’s math. And no matter how much the Dems try to make it not be so, math trumps politics every time.

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    The Most Predictable Economic Crisis In History

    More on where we are. This from Erskine Bowles, co-chair of President Barack Obama’s (D-USA) National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility. He also served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton (D-USA). In other words, he is not a tinfoil hatter, nor is he a “GOP hack”.
    Watch this. You have to understand where we are in order to move forward.

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    Paul Ryan Lays It Out

    Very powerful video here. Presented without commentary for now. Commentary will be coming later.
    Watch this. Until you do, you can not speak about the debt or the size of government. This is very simple, and easy to understand. I’ll have some more complex stuff with more details later.

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    Congrats to UConn

    They beat up the Bulldogs and won the national championship tournament last night. In the end, Butler was the antithesis of the 1985 Villanova Wildcat team who shot 78.6% from the field, and only missed one shot in the second half to beat Georgetown by 2. Butler shot a mere 18.8% for the game last night.

    And the final analysis of the season from the computer is complete. Here’s it’s top 10.

    1. Duke
    2. Kansas
    3. Pittsburgh
    4. Ohio State
    5. Brigham Young
    6. Syracuse
    7. Texas
    8. Purdue
    9. Kentucky
    10. San Diego St

    Other computers will no doubt have slightly different rankings. I’m sure you’ve noticed that neither Connecticut nor Butler appear at the top, or anywhere in the top 10. UConn finished the season ranked #13, and Butler #26.

    A lot of the teams in that top 10 are pretty young, so it’s a good of a list as any for a preseason top 10 for next year.

    And now my computer will sleep for a few months and pick up again when college football starts.

    Congratulations again to both the Butler Bulldogs and the Connecticut Huskies.

    04 April, 2011

    RNC Responds

    Hope Isn’t Hiring.

    T-Paw Responds

    Bend Over, Here He Comes Again

    President Barack Obama (D-USA) officially kicks off his 2012 campaign today. You can watch the video here. It’s rare for a sitting President to start campaigning so soon, but let’s face it, campaigning is the one and only thing he’s good at.

    And he’s not even that good at that.

    So, this blog is officially kicking off our campaign to add him to the unemployment lines.

    So, let’s look at a couple of highlights from his first two years in office, shall we?

    Well, there’s this from Moe Lane:

    And this:

    And more on unemployment from the 405 club, showing what the unemployment numbers look like assuming static levels in workforce participation.

    But let’s move on from unemployment and general human misery. How about American public debt? The Heritage Foundation has us covered here.

    But at least he ended all those wars that President George W. Bush started, right?

    According to this site, the Obama death toll stands at 1,118.

    Hey, but he promised to bring down gas prices. Let’s check GasBuddy.com.

    2 yr gas prices

    And then there’s one of my personal favorites, the corporate tax rate from Cato@Liberty:

    But he did lower our health care costs, right? Again, the Heritage Foundation sets us straight.

    Really, with numbers like these, I can understand why he would want to start campaigning before his opponents.

    And if you think these numbers are bad, imagine what he could do to America in a second term, when he doesn’t have to worry about trying to get re-elected.

    Bend over, here he comes again, America.

    03 April, 2011

    And The Championship Trophy Goes To…

    Well, I already told you that UConn would be favored over Butler. You didn’t believe me?

    Here’s the tail of the tape for the championship game, Butler vs. Connecticut.


    Team % chance to win title Projected Score







    The projected score is the projected score when that team wins. In other words, in the 54.58% of the time that UConn wins, they win 75-66. But in the 45.42% of the time that Butler wins, the score is nearly flipped, 74-66.

    Given how well the computer has done through this tourney, Butler fans should be happy with the pick.