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Monday, January 31, 2011
DOH! Well, not really.
Those of us that knew better expected this to happen.
Really? Congress must remain within the limits of what the Constitution tells it is allowed to do? How novel an idea! These democrats don’t care much for the constitution unless they can use it as an excuse to expand the power of government and take over 1/5th of the US economy is just too rich a bounty to let pass. Their response?
That means they intend to force the judicial branch to ignore the constitution and wholesale invent another new “right” that you won’t find in the Constitution, and as usual it benefits the statists over the people, at the expense of their freedoms and all for a false security that will evaporate if these crooks ever get their way. And they are pulling out all the stops:
The CHILRUN! If you don’t want government to control healthcare you hate children, the poor, seniors, puppy dogs, and are a shill for insurance companies. The same companies that the left helped create this fooked system where our costs are out of control in BTW. No Harry, this lawsuit was an attempt to stop government from owning us as if we were its serfs. And the only Americans that like this plan seem to be the ones that don’t have to be covered by it or the usual group that thinks they are entitled to everything at other people’s expense. Pfeh to both of them. The usual suspects in the MSM won’t tell yout judge is right BTW, but he is.
UPDATE: This is just to good to be true. Hope it was entered into the record. I expect a “What’s the memaning of these words” lawyerese defense like the whole Clinton “What’s the meaning of IS” moment. The beast can only live if they force us all to purchase insurance. Without that power, they are doomed.
UPDATE 2: Not surprised at all. In fact I suspected these morons would end up acting like total tools once the law bitchslapped this thing silly:
Emphasis mine. Obama’s team defended this idiotic mandate to force people to buy insurance on the ground that it was integral and not to be separated from the rest. Now the libs are claiming the judge is CRAZY! for keeping them to their word in his opinion that the entire law is thus bad. Can’t have it both ways libs. If you had not been playing asshat, you would have known this shit wasn’t going to fly. I guess now they will have to rely on a Rham Emmanuel maneuver where some corrupt court gives them a chance. Me, I bet this gets three strikes all the way up to the SCOTUS unless we have some activist judge inventing shit as the left always does.
UPDATE 3: More bad news for the left after this ruling. It seems the NYT and the WaPo are trying hard to pretend this isn’t so, but they are basically pulling shit out of their arse according to the facts as they exist.
Posted by AlexinCT on 01/31/11 at 04:33 PM in Deep Thoughts Elections Election 2010 Health Care Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics The Press Machine • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Can You Hear Me Now?
As before, we see that good will always triumph because evil is dumb:
Apparently, using cell phones in this fashion is pretty common. It’s not clear how many terrorist have figured out the “do not call” thing.
We’ve heard stories like this before: from terrorists setting off bombers with group hugs to terrorists poisoning or exploding themselves trying to assemble bombs (the latter being the pinnacle achievement of the Weather Underground). I realize this might have gone very badly had she been successful in her attack. But I think of some ideology-addled idiot sitting in a safe house and the moment of panic that must have hit in the split second between the ring tone and the explosion, I can’t help but laugh. It sounds like something out of the Simpsons:
And these guys think they’re going to take over the world.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/31/11 at 12:01 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Nickels and Dimes on the Brain
You know, there are some liberal pundits whose influence I can understand. Paul Krugman, for example, is frequently wrong but at least won a Nobel Prize and has said some right things about trade. So I can understand why people pay attention to him. Ezra Klein is at least honest and brings facts to the table—it was his writing that brought Paul Ryan to my attention. There are others—Ta-Nehisi Coates, Matthew Yglesias, Glenn Greenwald—who I profoundly disagree with but have a least a modicum of respect for.
But there is a group of liberal pundits—people like Naomi Klein and Thomas Frank and Michael Moore—who are so frequently wrong, so frequently idiotic, so easily debunked that I’m puzzled why anyone pays attention to them. Well you can throw Barbara Ehrenreich into that pile. She continues to prove that her book Nickled and Dimed (or How to Stay Poor and Fail in America by Really Really Trying) was just the tip of the idiot iceberg:
Well mainly, because Americans aren’t as stupid as the Greeks and certainly not as stupid as college students of any nationality. These people believe that governments can be an endless source of money—that all we need to is raise taxes or “cut waste” and more money can magically appear. Most Americans do not believe this. Their over-riding concern right now is debt—personal debt, national debt, future debt.
Second of all, what the fuck is Ehrenreich talking about? The Greeks and Brits are responding to ... actual budget cuts. Our problem is this country is that our budgets are not being cut. Bloated civil service payrolls, massive pensions and endless entitlements remain. Ehrenreich wonders why college students aren’t protesting. Well, that’s probably because they have nothing to complain about. The Fed has increased education aide massively over the last decade, resulting in bloated university administration, incredible amenities and a declining personal cost at a bargain price of $100 billion a year.
And just who is this mysterious agency taking away people’s “jobs, 401(k)s, even their homes”? My 403(b) is diminished, but no one has “taken” it from me (and its value was inflated by a bubble anyway). If I lose my home, I’m going to lose it to the bank—you know, the people who actually own it.
Now what Ehrenreich may be trying to get at—it’s always hard to tell with her muddled writing—is that Americans should be mad that the banks that contributed to the bailout and the politicians who created the situation have gotten off scott free. The banks got bailed out but didn’t have to fire anyone. Congressmen got re-elected.
That is something to be mad about. And indeed, Americans have protested against that. You may have heard of it—it’s called the Tea Party. I mean, I know the Tea Party are a bunch of racist redneck goobers. But the bailouts and the economy are a big part of what they’re angry about. And two of the biggest architects of our financial catastrophe—Chris Dodd and Barney Frank—were not exactly favorites of the Tea Party.
Ah, but as we will find out, Ehrenreich’s real purpose is to, in fact, bash the very Tea Party that is producing the protests she wants. She goes on about how Glenn Beck’s listeners have been giving hell to Frances Fox Piven. Piven, a college professor, penned an essay that is what Ehrenreich’s opening salvo would like to be when it grows up. In it, she calls for mass protests of the jobless for public works programs. Fox has been getting a heavy dose of threats and harassment. (As Jim could tell you, Left wing pundits never ever highlight obscure commentators so that their followers can harass and threaten them). So Ehrenreich argues, I think, that this is chilling any protests that might arise. Gun ownership comes in for a requisite bashing as well. And the Gabby Giffords’ shooting is used as ... actually, I’m not sure what it’s used as.
It’s ridiculous that Beck has focused on an otherwise obscure academic and labelled her “an enemy of the Constitution”. And it’s terrible that people are threatening her. But this has nothing to do with anything, as Conor Friersdorf demonstrates:
“Really, this is embarrassing.” Too right. But it’s become a more and more common meme among the Left. Why are here no big protests? Oh, sorry, we meant Left wing protests. We need rabble rousing! Oh, but not Glenn Beck’s rabble rousing. Sigh. We wish we’d been born back when America was a more desperate, more impoverished and more violent place.
It’s a bunch of crap. To fix our economic situation, we need a stable debt situation, a streamlined tax and regulatory structure and less politicization of investment and development. Americans, thankfully, know this will not be achieved by screaming and yelling and rioting. It will be achieved the way Americans usually achieve things—by putting our shoulder into it and working our asses off. It will be achieved by competent leadership. And it will especially be achieved by ignoring over-educated Lefties pining for a bygone age of political activism that never existed.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Is Winston Smith working for Time now?
The total lack of historical perspective is evident here. Reagan made major pushes to slow the growth of government, when he could, the Media and democrats labeled him as a monster trying to kill old people ad strip them of there social security and such, my how times change. NOW, it seems the media is trying to play Obama off as a protege of Reagan, any one see the irony?
Friday, January 28, 2011
Egypt In Chaos
Rather than post one selective slice of the story, I’ll point you at Sullivan’s blog. As with the eruptions in Iran and Tunisia (and now, possibly, Yemen), there are few websites doing a better job of keeping on top of this rapidly developing story. It’s interesting how good his blog is when it involves subjects other than Sarah Palin’s uterus.
I have no idea what’s going to happen here. Mubarak might remain in power. Or the Mulsim Brotherhood might take over. Or maybe, just maybe, the Egyptians will navigate between the Islamist Scylla and Mubarak Charybdis and emerge sane on the other side.
Tyrants, semi-tyrants and elected thugs are shaking all over the Middle East right now. And it’s all their own fault. It’s not just the oppression; it’s the huge baby boom they encouraged among their people. The age distribution in these countries is so skewed toward the young that it’s only a matter of time until, one by one, they fall.
I’m also relieved that Obama is reacting to these events the way he should—by keeping us the hell out of it.
Update: Mubarak has apparently dissolved the government. Hold onto your butts. That two regimes in two weeks that have fallen, both of which were kinda-sorta helpful in our WOT.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/28/11 at 09:43 AM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Just to piss off muirgy, some truth about our economic problems..
I probably should not be doing more of this because all it gets me is insane and irrelevant rants from muirgy, but CATO has an awesome piece that shows that the problem is the crazy spending that demcorats have pushed, and that spending cuts are key to returning to fiscal sanity. Get that? S-P-E-N-D-I-N-G C-U-T-S!. And these numbers come from the CBO itself.
My only objection to this incredible yet very commons sense driven revelation, is the assumption that we should freeze the budget at current spending levels. Heck, no! Roll them back, because they are just flat out ridiculous to begin with. I am not in the mood to wait 5 years to get things to look better. Slash as much of that bloated government growing social spending we have now as possible, and do it yesterday. Oh, and kill the government takeover of healthcare dead ASAP, please. Then do some real reform that isn’t just intended to eventually force us all on a single payers system run by the same people that run our DMV or HUD. That’s going to save us money.
Check out the facts, historical ones, that show why the left is always pretending Clinton balanced the budget – BTW, he didn’t do anything of the sort, a republican controlled congress forced him to roll back huge portions of the welfare, the same one Obama then expanded to new record levels, and made it look, on paper, like eventually government would run surpluses, but then we got the DotCom bust, and unfortunately after 9-11 the republicans abandoned fiscal sanity (no not the tax breaks, but the constant and expanded social spending) and that was the end of that – as the model to follow:
Let me say it again: S-P-E-N-D-I-N-G C-U-T-S! Oh yeah, I also need to point out that as the Obama campaigners get in high gear for 2012, we all not fall for the new strategy where Obama suddenly has become a great fan of Ronald Reagan. Merely giving props to Reagan’s positive views of American exeptionalism, while doubling down on the collectivist stupid no less, doesn’t suddenly make Obama either a centrists or fiscally responsible. If the guy had really seen the light he would be demanding Obamacare be scrapped and we start from scratch for one.
Anyway, this crisis we are in can be solved, and the answer isn’t to take more money from the productive, but to stop our government from the insane socialist expansion it has been on for the last 3 or so years. Think the press will mention this simple solution? Heh, not the MSM.
Update: Oh no! Social Security is going to run a $45 billion dollar deficit this year, not waiting until that 2017 date they told us! $547 billion in red over the next 10 years. But Obama and the donkey refuse to either raise the age or look at alternatives. The whole Ostrich approach the Keynesians are stuck on is bothersome.Close this post...
Posted by AlexinCT on 01/28/11 at 05:13 AM in Decline of Western Civilization Deep Thoughts Elections Election 2010 Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics The Press Machine • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Thursday, January 27, 2011
WH to politicize the Giffords targedy, anyway!
In order to better take control of the populous, a tyrannical government’s first action is to deny law abiding citizens the right to bear arms, right before you then confiscate the things outright.
Don’t let a crisis go to waste. When the MSM couldn’t blame the Tea Party for this and help the left score points, the WH was forced to do a conciliatory speech. But they aren’t letting go, and fully plan to use this tragedy to screw us over some more.
And who decides who’s mentally unstable? People like that creep of a democrat sheriff that immediately politicized the tragedy – guess what party affiliation he has – in what I believe we will sooner or later find out was a weak ass attempt to cover the fact he had been massively negligent about the danger Jared posed? Have no doubt about it: Dupree is culpable in this instance. Or will it be more government lackeys, always left leaning turds, that will then claim anyone they don’t like, mostly the conservatives, are not qualified? How about we freaking enforce the laws we already have and hold the people that don’t do so responsible for their actions in the first place, huh?
Besides, Laughner could just as easily obtained a gun illegally. See criminals, sane or insane, don’t much care about these kinds of laws. Also have no doubt that this is an attempt to give the rabid left some red meat. The giant “All you can eat” shit buffet the American people have been feeding these morons for their disastrous policies and incompetent ways, defeat after defeat, has made them desperate. They hope to politicize this issue. It’s about power, deviding the people, and not about protecting anyone. Don’t buy it.
Posted by AlexinCT on 01/27/11 at 02:43 PM in 2nd Amendment Elections Election 2010 Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Blame it on the rain!
Start from the premise that the people that wrote this article seem to be seriously concerned with the daunting task of pointing out there are problems, but then in a way that doesn’t make everyone realize the problems are so huge and ingrained that they make the whole exercise, if not outright futile, destructive, and you can see that the real victims here are the American tax payers.
The bad guys? Well guess who?
So the thing is being abused from both ends. The libs working these kinds of scams and pretending to be humanitarians are raiding the coffers – and they only seem to catch the really big fish doing that. And the system itself is rife with corruption and abuse from those it portends to help. What about the people doing the piss poor work, or no work at all, in the middle? The government employees? But what’s new? This stuff is always worked like this. And what’s being done about it, especially in recent times when the left holds the reign of power? Well:
Sounds familiar? Education results suck: plow more money into it. Public sector unionized employees do piss poor work: plow more money into it. The bloated welfare state is bleeding us to death: plow more money into it! As long as government is running the show, the waste and inefficiency is fine, because we all know government is the new god. So let’s deflect from the problem here and play on people’s heart strings.
It’s for the poor! It’s for the children! If you oppose this crap you are racist! What utter bullshit. These organizations are mismanaged and abused primarily because they are government run. Accountability is minimal, and in my experience these people claiming to care about the poor or disenfranchised tend to be just as big a bunch of crooks, if not worse, as the people in the private sector the left always is yakking about.
WTF? Where are the crooks that let this happen, and why are they not going to jail? My guess is that the report from the investigation they mention above read like this article: it was soft on pointing out that government sucks at this and is the primary reason for this shit. And the thing that pisses me off is that they think mediocre to piss poor is a decent job. This shit sounds a lot like ACORN on steroids.
Again: WTF?? The rest of the article is more of the same. Case after case of money disappearing, and nothing of consequence to show for it. That’s because the real objective of these large government agencies is to be make-work entities for the connected that can get these jobs. The cash is spent paying too many people to do the minimal, and too often absolutely nothing, to look like they are helping the people they portend to want to be helping. I am going to put the point forward that things wouldn’t be much worse than they are now if this entire bloated entity simply didn’t exist. And I am not talking about the wasted money here. I am talking about the conditions of public housing. Do you for a second believe that they would tolerate this level of incompetence and the mess we have if this organization was run privately?
Remember this when you think about the future of our country, the wasted spending, and the fact government is getting ready to take over healthcare.Close this post...
Posted by AlexinCT on 01/27/11 at 08:16 AM in Decline of Western Civilization Deep Thoughts Health Care Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Life for Ghailani
Incidentally, something that got missed with yesterday’s pep rally:
That’s life without parole (the US was not seeking the death penalty).
Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/26/11 at 06:01 PM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
If Boosh-Hitler was president….
You know that it would be front page news today, especially considering the piss poor SOTU address last night that the usual MSM people are trying to sell as Obama going centrist - what a joke that is - and thing suddenly going better, as if this song and dance over the last 2 years hasn’t turned us all tone deaf, if news like this came out:
I already suspect that Google has been rigging their search results to hide the stuff that’s unfavorable to the left while pushing the crap promoting that nonsense to the front, and I will admit I am not surprised to hear that Google is working with the NSA, but I am kind of disgusted at how the MSM is going about this revelation. Do you doubt we would be hearing accusastions of loss of freedom and comparisons to facist/Nazi Germany if we had a guy with an (R) next to hsi name in the WH. Going by MSM coverage of such things during the 8 years of Bush, not whatever libs will tell you they want things to be, that is. Could you imagine the reaction to something like this?
Heh, just look at the coverage of the SOTU and the difference between what people thought of it and the MSM does, and you have your proof.
Posted by AlexinCT on 01/26/11 at 08:53 AM in Left Wing Idiocy Politics The Press Machine • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
A Quick Fix
I repeat what I said last night: I wish Woodrow Wilson had kept the SOTU as a written report. The State of The Union Show has so little substances these days, so many promises and so much self-congratulatory applause, it’s really just a campaign event. But I thought I’d respond to a few things the President said:
Update: For more reactions, try Friersdorf, Cato, de Rugy and Gillespie and Reason. de Rugy points out that Obama basically said the same things Bush always said. Cato’s live blog was simply outstanding, debunking much of what the President said in real time. Favorite quotes, both from Sallie James:
Gene Healy described the SOTO as “a giant Presidential pep rally”. That’s an excellent description. Healy’s book, The Cult of the Presidency, is an excellent read, incidentally.
I’ll punt the talk of the Tucson shooting. We talked about that last week and the President didn’t say anything new. I do like the idea of the parties sitting together, rather than apart. Not because I think it will make any difference but because it reminds the public that they are really all the same.
So let’s get right to jobs:
Keep in mind that none of this was run through PAYGO and it blew an $800 billion hole in the budget. I am dubious that most of his will contribute to economic growth. But at least it’s not more pork spending.
For once, Obama said something right. The US has not stopped “making things” despite what many pundits like to claim. What has happened is that our manufacturing base has become much more efficient.
As I noted the other day, China’s rapid progress is not because of smart management and certainly not because of government policy. It’s simply because their country was so rock poor thirty years ago that almost any progress is gigantic. China’s industrial policies, even if you give them credit for China’s growth, have also come with massive pollution, contaminated products and ubiquitous influence peddling. Is this the model we want to follow? When the free market model has worked for so long and so well?
The extent that China and India have progressed is equal to the extent that they’ve embraced free market ideas.
By eliminating subsidies for worthless industries, stream-lining the tax and regulatory system and allowing school choice. Yes? Yes? Uh, no.
This is true as far as it goes. Science within the federal government is run very differently from everything else. Funding requires a proof of concept. Failure results in funding being taken away. And the Feds can afford to piss away money on things that don’t work. Pharma research is a perfect example. Many of our most popular and profitable drugs have come out of federally-funded research. However, developing a workable product, testing its safety and marketing it is the province of private industry.
If basic research were all the government did, we’d be fine. Unfortunately, it’s not. Obama cites the moon shot as an example. But the moon shot spend scads of money for political purposes. I’m glad we had it and support NASA. But I won’t labor under the illusion that it’s a model for economic growth. It’s a model for accomplishing a difficult and unprofitable technological feat.
Obama cites various projects in green energy. But for these to flourish, the government needs to stay the fuck out. Obama talks about electric vehicles. But it’s not clear that electric vehicles are all that green. It is clear, however, that they are expensive and politicized. Read here about the Tesla Corporation, which has gotten $465 million in federal loans to develope ... a $100,000 sports car for rich people. This is not the future. This is yet more influence-peddling. And that’s just one of many many companies that the federal government has sunk millions into for no readily apparent reason.
If you want innovation, create the conditions for it—free markets, low taxes and streamlined regulation. You don’t create it with massive subsidies to politically-connected businesses. That’s how you create ... China.
I’m fine with this. But why don’t we put that money from yesterday’s energy into today’s deficit instead of fantasyland’s energy. That’s just turning the pork barrel over to eat from the other end, to quote PJ.
So much bullshit in that paragraph, it’s hard to breath. No business ever knows if there is market for what they will be selling. Every investment is a gamble and it should be. We need the creative destruction of the marketplace to guide us. And Congress can set all the goals it wants: the science is going to dictate whether we can get 80% clean energy in 2035 (by which point, incidentally, Obama will have been out of office for at least 20 years and most of Congress will be, technically speaking, dead). If a cheap clean energy technology is developed, we won’t need Congress to make us use it. We’ll be stampeding to it on our own.
Obama next talks about education. I’m not going to say much about this ... not when the comments come from the man who murdered the DC voucher program, the only program that had shown any success in educating kids. Not from the man whose “race to the top” was a transparent means of foisting federal standards on schools. Look to South Carolina, where Nikki Haley is trying to fix their schools. And look away from Ohio, where they want to put a mom in prison for five years because she lied to put her kids in a better school. And savor the absurdity of dictating what school a child can go to based on their geographical location.
He talks about the Bruce Randolph school, which is truly a remarkable story. You can read about it here. Money quote:
They axed 34 of their 40 teachers. The ones who remained worked overtime and weekends. Obama’s only policy proposal was to hire 100,000 more
Obama also calls for more funding for college tuition, despite growing evidence that the federal largess in higher education is driving skyrocketing tuition, creating legions of students who don’t learn anything and resulting in the hiring of legions of administrators instead of professors. We don’t need more of that, even if we could afford it.
Good idea? Let’s get the government out of it then. Obama talks about the transcontinental railroad. I’ve blogged on this subject before. The railroads did amazing work without government subsidies. Once it became an area of government intervention, it became a cesspool of corruption. (I can’t find the link a the moment; will put it in if I locate it.)
Infrastructure is beloved of politicians because it’s something government has a legitimate role in. But what he fuck has has happened to all the money we’ve already spent? Obama noted the bad shape of our roads (which is somewhat exaggerated). But what about the hundreds of billions we’ve already spent over the last decade? What about the stimulus of last year? And if infrastructure is so critical, why do we want to sink billions into poorly-planned, over-budget, behind-schedule hyper-expensive boondoggles that no one will use, like high-seed rail?
Obama talks of giving 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail in the next 25 years (again, making promises for future administrations to keep). This is insane. It’s well beyond even the most ardent imaginations of current planners. The current high-speed rail projects are fiscal, economic and ecological disasters. And that’s in places that could, theoretically, use them, like California. How the fuck is this going to work in Texas or Arizona or Utah? It won’t. It’s an empty promise. It’s an excuse to throw billions of dollars at special interests.
For once, this is a policy I agree with. He also talks about expanding free trade and reviewing regulations. I find this strange talk from the man who buried the Colombia FTA and massively increase our regulatory burden over the last two years. But if he can do this, great.
Next comes the defense of the healhcare bill. Here’s a good way to tell is someone is blowing bullshit. If he defends a policy with sob stories, which Obama does, it’s bad policy.
We’re most of the way through the speech now and Obama will finally address THE pressing issue: debt.
How is this going to happen with all the “new investment” in education, jobs, technology, high-speed rail, green technology? And you can put in as big a freeze as you want. Every year’s budget is set by itself. As we found out the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, promises from past Congresses are no constraint on present ones.
This is a lie. Oh, am I being uncivil now? The Fiscal Commission did not recommend cutting “excessive spending”. They recommended raising the retirement age, cutting Social Security and Medicare and cutting defense. Obama talks about malpractice reform (which is not a federal issue) but also repeats the lie that Obamacare cuts the deficit. Even a former head of the CBO is saying that’s bullshit, a result of gaming the system.
Again, I agree with this. The tax system is a multi-hundred-billion dollar anchor on our economy. If you simplified the tax system, you could actually raise taxes significantly and the economy would still be better off—as Reagan demonstrated in 1986.
Obama then talks about overhauling the government Administration to make it more efficient—a rehash of Clinton’s “reinventing government” initiative. I’m happy to see that go on, but am doubtful of its prospects.
Do it, then. Please. You haven’t yet.
Obama finally gets into foreign policy. I don’t want to wade too deeply into this. The Iraq War is “ending” in the sense that we’re turning it over to the Iraqis to fuck up on their own. No one has any idea of what to do about Afghanistan. He stands with Tunisia and South Korea. Frankly, I don’t feel like dissecting the usual tough talk. Obama has had some accomplishments here: tougher sanctions on Iran, START. He calls on colleges to stop banning ROTC and military recruiters and I agree with him. With DADT repealed, they no longer have an excuse for this.
Obama closes with the usual “inspiring rhetoric”. But I’ve had my fill of that.
To sum up: this was a nothing speech. Yeah America. Let’s invest. Boy, that debt is bad. Can we do anything about it? It’s a speech anyone could have delivered.
The crushing issue right now is debt. And Obama’s SOTU was an utter failure on that subject. Read Gregg Easterbrook’s response. Easterbrook is somewhat liberal but is infuriated not just by runaway deficit spending, but this Administration’s refusal to really come to grips with it.
Obama had a chance to do something last night. He could have come out and embraced the Simpson-Bowles plan as an outline. He could have said something like this: “We can’t afford all this. We should prioritize science and technology and anti-poverty measures. But everything needs to be on the table. Everything. That includes Medicare and Social Security. That includes raising the retirement age. That includes raising taxes. Nothing can be sacred. And if I get voted out in two years, so be it.”
He didn’t say that. Paul Ryan, to my disappointment, didn’t say it either. And, as a result, the debate continues to sit behind eight ball. And the debt continues to pile up.Close this post...
Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/26/11 at 07:00 AM in Politics Cult of Personality • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Hatin’ on the SOTU
The State of the Union is conflicting with Sal 11000 Beta bedtime, so I won’t be live-blogging it. But I have to say that this is one of those things I least look forward to. The build-up ("What should the President say? How can he re-connect with middle class voters?"), the aisle hogs, the endless applause, the shopping list of new spending, the promises that will never be kept. Jefferson was right. This should be a written report. Or, at the very least, much shorter.
I’ll post thoughts as events warrant.
Update: I did get to watch Ryan’s response. Meh. I like Ryan a lot but the response was full of rhetoric and little substance. I don’t expect much more of a response speech.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/25/11 at 08:04 PM in Politics Cult of Personality • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
The Philly Butcher
I’ve gone back and forth on posting about this horrific story out of Philadelphia. I know it’s going to provoke an abortion fight. But damn it, I need to vent.
Hot Air has been covering this quite heavily, putting up details from the grand jury indictment. The second link details just how horrific Gosnell’s practice was and how little the state did to reign it in. Pennsylvania’s new Republican governor is promising an investigation.
Of course, as with any tragedy, there are those using it for their political advantage. Pro-lifers (like Morrissey above) have an obvious axe to grind, but pro-choicers are determined not to be left out. Libertarian basher and communion-wafer stomper PZ Myers says this isn’t about abortion but can’t resist arguing the pro-choice view, saying this is what all abortions would be like in back alleys (although Gosnell’s practice was not, in any way, a back alley practice). Probably the weirdest argument comes from XX, which purports to represent “what women really think” although I really hope it doesn’t. They blame this on the pro-life movement. Seriously.
First, I doubt that “most doctors” want to perform abortions. Maybe a lot of OB/Gyn’s do. But I seriously doubt that most proctologists dream of opening a sideline in abortion. Even doctors I know who perform abortions don’t “want” to do it. They see it as necessary.
Second, Marcotte tries to dismiss the allegations earlier in the article by noting that Jill Stanek made similar, since disproved, charges during the Presidential campaign. But those were the allegations by one activist; this is a grand jury investigation, meaning some credible evidence has been presented.
Third, Marcotte forgets that Gosnell was making millions off his shady practice, charging more than Planned Parenthood and was a legal abortion provider. So the “this is about poor oppressed women” line is complete garbage.
And finally, the most troubling allegations are that Gosnell killed babies that survived abortions—illegal late-term abortions.
Now maybe you could argue that part of the horror wouldn’t have happened without the ban on late-term abortions, which made women seeking them go to Gosnell. But you’re not going to find many people who agree with you. Late-term abortion bans are in place in 36 states and have been upheld by the Supreme Court. The ban is, in fact, perfectly consistent with Roe, which only forbad states from outlawing abortions in the first semester. A ban on partial birth abortion was passed by by veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress. And Gosnell appears to have also violated the BAIPA, which was passed by voice vote in the House and unanimously in the Senate. There is simply no twisting of the politics that could produce a situation in which Gosnell’s actions were remotely legal, even if we had nine Democrats on the Court.
Now it’s true that when you outlaw things, you push them into the hands of criminals. I myself have made that argument regarding the legalization of guns, drugs, gambling and even abortion. If you outlaw late-term abortions, only outlaws will perform them. But there are some things we want to keep illegal. No one wants to see kiddie porn or contract killing in the hands of “legitimate” providers. And late-term abortion—according to a big majority of even pro-choice Americans, Congress and the Supreme Court—is one of those things that we, as a country, are happy keeping in the hands of outlaws.
Personally, I think the only real political lesson here is utter failure of the state to properly regulate abortion clinics and investigate complaints. Were the authorities undermanned? Was there political pressure not to properly regulate the clinics (from Left or Right)? Gosnell was in business for 30 years and his clinic had not been checked in almost 17 years. The grand jury investigation has revealed a long line of people trying to alert the authorities that something was deeply, seriously wrong with his practice. Why was he not shut down two decades ago?
That’s the question we need to be asking. And, thankfully, that’s the question Governor Corbett is asking.
As for Gosnell ... word fails me. I can’t imagine ever doing even a fraction of what he is accused of. If these allegations are born out, this isn’t some nobel guy providing outlawed services to desperate women. This is an irresponsible anti-doctor butchering women and killing infants. There’s no excuse for him. There will never be any excuse for him.
Posted by Hal_10000 on 01/25/11 at 03:39 PM in Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
Tax payers to foot legal bills for left’s shenanigans
Should surprise no one that we the tax payers are now set to foot some $160 million in legal bills from the horribly botched and obviously rigged legal case against the management of Freddie and Fannie courtesy of those liberal champions, Chris Dodd and Barney Franks. Yeah, the same idiots that told us that there was nothing wrong with the whole security trading scheme and ludicrous money laundering scams Freddie and Fannie were engaged in, in order to keep alive the even more crazy and destructive idea the left had to force lending institutions to make homeowner loans to bad and real bad risks as long as they met with some government imposes special interest group status. We all know how well that worked out for us. Well, those of us that are smart enough to do the research and see the fundamental and underlying problem that caused our economic meltdown - that over $480 billion out of a nearly $5 trillion pot of money regulated by these two entities was pure shit and just doomed to bring down the housing market, Wall Street, and of course the US economy - instead of the usual “Boosh-Hitler and his wars & tax breaks only for the rich did it!” meme bandied by the very people responsible for our economic collapse. So, after paying out hundreds of billions in TARP bailouts and the many accompanying fund government redirection schemes to their special interests like the take over of GM, followed by a patronage bill that will cost us over $1 trillion dollars when all is said and done, a dysfunctional regulatory scam masquerading as strong regulation that basically only serves to allows the same crooks that gave us this recession to use the now much more expanded power of government to pick who will be the winners & losers instead of us the people, all for some nice payback of course, and all while leaving the biggest underlying problem entities - Freddie & Fannie - completely unregulated, compounded with several special bailouts for Freddie & Fannie, to the tune of some hundreds of billions more in tax payer cash, we now get to pay the legal bills of the crooks that ran these institutions! All because a rigged court let them off with a slap instead of throwing away the key after locking them up forever. SQUEEL LIKE A PIG!
Posted by AlexinCT on 01/25/11 at 09:20 AM in Deep Thoughts Left Wing Idiocy Politics Law, & Economics • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
That’s the way to respond
Say what you want about Putin - I think the guy is a dangerous ex-KGB operative throwback of the “good ole days” of the USSR ,and a manipulative bastard - but he, sure as hell knows how to repsond to terrorist scum:
The people behind this attack only understand and respect violence. Put asside the fact that security at this airport was piss poor according to the Russian officials own statements, the fact remains that these radicals attack where they see weakness. At least it is kind of Kharmic justice that the Russians are reaping some of that Islamic radicalism they helped foment back in the days that the KGB decided to teach Arraft’s goons how to be master terrorists so they could screw with the West. Maybe it will even make them worry about their cozy relationship with not jobs like the ones that are running Iran right now and getting help from the Russians to build nukes. I am sure nobody in Russia is right now saying how great of an ooporunity this tragedy is for Putin & Medvedev to look presidential, though I suspect they will take advantage of it too.
Posted by AlexinCT on 01/25/11 at 08:16 AM in Deep Thoughts The Religion of Peace™ War on Terror/Axis of Evil • (0) Trackbacks • Permalink •
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