Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Coming to the right conclusion

I've been reading Alison Weir's excellent "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" and just recently I read about Anne Boleyn's first pregnancy which eventually produced Elizabeth I. Henry VIII desperately wanted a male heir to the throne and expected his new wife would produce a boy. The royal house consulted soothsayers and astrologers about the sex of the baby.
Only one dared predict it would not be a boy: William Glover, famous throughout the kingdom for foretelling the future, told Anne he had a vision of her bearing 'a woman child...." This was not well received.
Over a Pajamas Media, Charles Martin explains "Reasons to be a global warming skeptic." If you're a researcher, that's where the money is:
The predictions of further warming are necessarily based on models. Now, it happens I did my PhD work on Federally funded modeling, from which I developed the NBSR Law (named after the group for which I worked): All modeling efforts will inevitably converge on the result most likely to lead to further funding.

Anyone with a unbiased eye who looks into it will find any number of people who have found that a model that predicts more warming gets funded; a model that predicts relatively less warming gets less funding. Pre-tenure researchers in particular are warned away from results that don’t fit orthodoxy.
There's much more to make you relieved that Al Gore lost the Presidency.
Are you ready for some football? - Yeah! Thursday, September 8th, opening kickoff at Lambeau Field, it's a Saints-Packers showdown. No point watching that other thing.
"Regulatory and policy uncertainties" you say! - Patterico has a good write up about the collapse of green job darling Solyndra. Goodbye jobs, goodbye tax money.
Slouching towards Europe - Michael Barone: "The price of entitlements - We face not only current budget problems but a Western Europe future."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The jig is up! - Big Think: "Majority of Americas agree with Perry that Social Security is a lie." To be specific, a wide majority of younger voters don't believe they'll see dollar-one of their Social Security benefits.
Master prognosticator

I have not come here to question this man's prediction of Obama's re-election. Rather, I'm going to laugh and point at his first foray into the crystal ball:
Allan Lichtman, the American University professor whose election formula has correctly called every president since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election, has a belated birthday present for Barack Obama: Rest easy, your re-election is in the bag.
In other news, Prof. Lichtman took the Harlem Globetrotters over the Washington Generals by three-and-a-half.

Extra - From Hot Air and Ace.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I'm starting to like this Perry fellow

Here's Governor Perry talking about my favorite subject: "Social Security is a monstrous lie."
"It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people. The idea that they're working and paying into Social Security today, that the current program is going to be there for them, is a lie," Perry said at a campaign stop in Ottumwa, Iowa. "It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can't do that to them."
But then he's just repeating what's been stated by the Social Security Administration:
The projected point at which the combined Trust Funds will be exhausted comes in 2036 -- one year sooner than projected last year. At that time, there will be sufficient non-interest income coming in to pay about 77 percent of scheduled benefits.
At 77% of promised benefits, Social Security becomes a deeply negative investment for the future and one that cannot be passed on to survivors if you die. As I like to say: it's such a good program, they had to make it mandatory.
Cable's out - That's about the extent of the disruption due to Irene.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

He's their guy - Fred Barnes on Weekly Standard: "Obama's enablers - Meet the mainstream media."
Looting HDTVs

Mark Steyn has some choice thoughts on the rioters in England: "The Desperation of Deprivation Myth."
In fact, these feral youth live better than 90 percent of the population of the planet. They certainly live better than their fellow youths halfway around the world who go to work each day in factories across China and India to make the cool electronic toys young Westerners expect to enjoy as their birthright.

To justify their looting, the looters appealed to the conventional desperation-of-deprivation narrative: They’d “do anything to get more money.” Anything, that is, except get up in the morning, put on a clean shirt, and go off to do a day’s work. That concept is all but unknown to the homes in which these guys were raised
.As Steyn notes in his conclusion, this is the endgame of a society where Xbox-less looters are the victims while those who produce to pay for everything are on the wrong end of the "us vs. them" class warfare narrative.
Another one bites the dust - It's Saturday night so it's the perfect time to bury some praise for the Obama administration. Although I think Obama is heading this country over a cliff towards insolvency, he's making all the right moves in killing terrorists. CNN: "U.S. official: Al Qaeda's #2 has been killed."

Friday, August 26, 2011

A mighty wind approaches - That's all they're talking about on the news. We get it. I already have camping provisions because I go camping. Sheesh.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The impersistence of memory

I was heading into the garage tonight to check the tire size on my wife's car, armed only with my cell phone, when it occurred to me: how will I remember the tire type? Well, I could take a picture of the sticker inside the driver's side door. Or I could speak into my cell phone: "P215 60R16" and then retrieve it later. Or I could send myself a text.

OR...I could just remember it for the twenty seconds it takes to get to a pen and paper. And that's what I did! Hooray for me and my big brain.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What do the Red Queen and the Congressional Budget Office have in common?

They can each believe six impossible things before breakfast. Well, in the case of the CBO it's five things, including the notion that Congress will slash Medicare payments by 30% by the end of 2011 and all the Bush tax cuts will be allowed to expire. But, like the Obamacare mess, that's the way they have to score because that's the current Washington policy...until it changes. Anyway, here's Hot Air with "CBO: Deficits will drop, thanks to measures that will never take effect."

Extra - Over at Hit & Run, Peter Suderman speculates that somewhere in the multiverse, there may be a parallel Earth where Washington gets its fiscal house in order. But it ain't here.

More - Here's Lesley Gore on Shindig, and why not?:


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

An expensive half-functional product for the mildly insane

The Truth About Cars has a great blog post comparing the frenzy behind Apple's infamous "Lisa" computer and the Chevy Volt: "GM's Apple moment: Could it already be time to dump the Volt?"
In retrospect, it seems obvious that a $9,995 computer wasn't going to set the world on fire, particularly in an era when a new Oldsmobile Cutlass cost less than that, but Apple had become a navel-gazing maze of slightly insane people who had been isolated from the real world by a tidal wave of cash, success, and public acclaim. The Lisa arrived with a bang but barely sold a whimper's worth of volume.

To begin with, the Lisa didn't deliver what it promised. The display wasn't as big as we'd hoped, the resolution wasn't as good, and performance inside the applications was dog slow. The proprietary floppy disks were hideously expensive and difficult to find. Peripherals were nonexistent. Even if you didn't care about any of the above and possessed a new car's worth of cash to drop on a Lisa, your local Apple dealer might not be able to get you one due to production issues.

Does any of this sound familiar? I bet it does --- to Volt intenders. The Volt has consistently under-delivered on its promises, from the styling to the open-road fuel mileage. It costs more than anyone outside of GM's own insane maze thinks is reasonable . The man on the street doesn't want one and the the Volt true believers couldn't take delivery thanks to restricted production.
Autoblog reports that Chevy sold 125 Volts in July, down from 561 in June. It's looking like this thing is heading for a museum somewhere.
Grab your headbags - Hit & Run: "The real hostages - The trouble with Obama's favorite metaphor."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Specificity creep

I'm trying to coin a new term for Obama's penchant for over-promising on details before he falls back onto another amorphous speech of empty demagoguery. Remember his "very specific plan" on jobs? Yeah, not so much: "Is Obama's specific plan now just an outline?"
"The president is going to outline a short-term plan to accelerate the economy," Axelrod said on ABC's This Week, "in the face of the hits we've taken, because of the Arab Spring and oil prices, because of the Japanese earthquake, because of Europe that have slowed down economic growth.

On Meet the Press, Gibbs used similar language, "The president is going to outline some ideas, the president has outlined ideas every day he's been in the White House."
By the time he gets back to Washington, Obama's plan will be down to "do some stuff."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The government that governs best - Jeff Jacoby "When 'inconsequential' means 'better'": "Of course some functions can only be performed at the national level. But Washington does far more than it should, in so many ways treating Americans like children who cannot be trusted to run their own lives. The effect of that infantilization has been an erosion of the virtues without which no free society can thrive: Work, honesty, discipline, gratitude, moderation, thrift, initiative."

Friday, August 19, 2011

What are words for, when no one listens anymore?

During his Midwest swing of not-campaigning, President Obama promised a "very specific" plan to create jobs and control the deficit. Charles Krauthammer takes a guess:
He will propose: spend now, cut later. That’s going to be in the speech, I guarantee it. It will be: You’ve got to have stimulus now, perhaps tax cuts, surely spending on the roads and bridges and all of that stuff. That you hear about endlessly.
Undoubtedly. Ace thinks this is all a setup to go "full Truman" so Obama can rail against the "do-nothing" Congress.
So here is the plan: He will "challenge" the Republican House to pass a new "stimulus" plan which is (this is my gloss; this he did not say) unpalatable by design to the GOP. That is, his challenge is designed to be rejected.
My emphasis added. In other words, this jobs plan is designed to save one job in particular.

But let's put that speculation aside for now since my question is more prosaic: can Obama put forward a "very specific" plan for the economy without putting it on paper? This has been the knock against Obama since his budget was unanimously voted down in Congress and the head of the CBO famously said: "We don't estimate speeches." Obama talks and talks and talks, but actual budget plans with numbers prove elusive from this President.

In my opinion, Obama can't bring any real pressure on Congress without an actual Excel spreadsheet showing the income and expenses. Another speech will be dismissed by Congressional Republicans out-of-hand as grandstanding and campaigning - not leading. But, by the same coin, I don't see how Obama could possibly present a credible plan with realistic numbers. Despite his Warren Buffet-inspired bit about getting the rich to pay their "fair share" even a 100% tax on the rich won't close the gap on this Administration's spending binge.

So will Obama finally take on entitlement spending which will overwhelm the entire budget in only a decade? Ha-ha, not a chance: "Mediscare" is like crack to Democrats. There is no way that Obama will head into the 2012 without his "protector of entitlements" shield.

So - realistically - after two-and-a-half years of useless Keynesian spending stimulus, there's no combination of income increases and expense cuts that can bridge the yawning deficit gap that remains. Which is why Obama won't put numbers to paper. Time for another speech.

Missing Persons, indeed.
How to kill Obamacare - Enforce the law. The Hill: "HHS grants 106 new healthcare waivers." We're closing in on almost 1,500 waivers now. Let's have equal enforcement of the law then see how much everybody likes it.
Aw, snap, we should have put on two stamps - During his recent bus trip (not a campaign tour), Obama claimed at every stop that Congress was holding back job growth by failing to pass free-trade agreements. As it turns out, the White House has not submitted the agreements to Congress, a fact that totally escaped Obama's press secretary.

Let's not let the facts get in the way of a good talking point. Darn you, Tea Party!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Verizon's land-line business - Megan McArdle: "The incredible shrinking union."
Don't take the A-train - Hit & Run: "Poltifact gets high-speed rail facts in Florida wrong."
Obama doesn't care about black people

Well, that's what Maxine Waters said:
At her town hall meeting, Waters questioned why Obama hasn't gone to any black neighborhoods during his bus tour.
"We don't know what the strategy is. We don't know why on this trip that he's in the United States now, he's not in any black communities," she said.
Funny how 19% unemployment changes opinions.

Extra - From Big Government.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Reasonable Obama reasons that he's reasonable

Remember how reasonable he was when he shamelessly broke his campaign promises about entitlement reform? And how, when Paul Ryan got exasperated at the lack of leadership on this issue of utmost fiscal gravity, he risked political destruction to offer his own solution instead — and got dumped on by Obama at a televised press conference for his trouble? That was pretty reasonable. How about when the “grand bargain” for the debt-ceiling deal was just about to come together, replete with $800 billion in new tax revenues, when Obama suddenly decided he needed another $400 billion in revenue or else his base would be grumpy? That was the end of the bargain, and the bill that did finally pass, of course, produced nothing in revenue. And yet, somehow, on the stump it’s all the GOP’s fault for not putting “country first” and compromising. Reasonable.
Allow me to go back a little further. Remember when Obama was putting the finishing touches on his useless stimulus package and Republicans thought maybe it wasn't such a good idea? The new President told the GOP "I won" then crammed it through the House with no support from the Republicans. Reasonable.

Later the Republicans resisted the unpopular restructuring of one-sixth of the U.S. economy with Obamacare. When John McCain raised some objections to the legislation being crafted behind closed doors with special deals, Obama told McCain: "we're not campaigning anymore - the election's over." Reasonable.

And whole some may criticize that the President has "never once" presented a budget plan or a debt-reduction plan amidst his taxpayer-funded campaign tour, it's OK. Because the man, after all, is reasonable.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Winding down the "green jobs" scam - Boston Globe "Evergreen Solar files for Chapter 11": "Evergreen Solar Inc., the once promising alternative energy company that received millions in state subsidies, revealed today that that it has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection." That would be millions in direct state funds to fire everybody in Massachusetts and move operations to China.

Before the collapse, the White House touted Evergreen Solar as part of their "Real Results in Massachusetts" - don't laugh now - "because of the stimulus bill."
About what you'd expect - Doug Ross: "Time magazine nails it: the cause of S&P's downgrade of the U.S."
Obama answers

"Well, let me put it this way, I'm like Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln rolled together except those dudes never got to fly in Air Force One. Boo-yah!"
And if I may follow up, are you awesome or merely sublime?

This was typical of the hard-hitting questions President Obama faced today:
Q Yes, for sure. My name is Will Morrison (ph). I actually live in Rochester, Minnesota, home of the Mayo Clinic. Well, I just want to say I don’t think we should solve this debt crisis -- and it is a crisis -- on the backs of the middle class and the poor. (Applause.) They don’t have special interests, they don’t have lobbyists. And I want to be their lobbyist and special interest. And I just think that if we are serious about this debt, we need to ask the millionaires and billionaires to give up their tax breaks so not all the burden is on us.
Pow! Not one person asked Obama about his budget plan or debt-reduction plan. But, ooh, those darn Republicans.

By the way, virtually everything Obama says about Social Security is a lie.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The mainstream fringe party

Jeff Jacoby takes aim at Senator John Kerry in "Tea Party sounds a needed alarm."
But he [Kerry] ought to have the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that the Tea Partiers are not “absurd’’ to focus on budget cuts and entitlement reform - not when federal outlays have more than doubled (from $1.8 trillion to $3.8 trillion) in a decade. Not when entitlement payments are eating up two-thirds of the federal budget. Not when Washington has to borrow about 40 cents for every dollar it spends. And not when, as a result, the US debt burden has ballooned from 40.3 percent of GDP in 2008 to an alarming 72 percent this year - and growing.

In explaining its downgrade, S&P did not call for the higher taxes that Kerry and many Democrats seek. Instead it said that the debt deal “fell well short’’ of the deficit reductions needed, that it provided only “modest savings’’ in discretionary spending, and that Congress was unwilling to curb Medicare and other entitlements, which is the “key to long-term fiscal sustainability.’’ That sounds an awful lot like what the Tea Party has been saying - except that the Tea Partiers were raising the alarm well before S&P got involved.
By a nearly 2-1 margin, Americans did not want the debt ceiling raised and yet, according to Kerry, it's the Tea Party that represents a fringe that should be censored.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Obama and his Magic Jobs Program

Did you catch that line below?
President Barack Obama sought to reassert economic leadership on Thursday by pledging to deliver new ideas every week to create jobs...
Every week, it's a whole new bitchin' jobs proposal! [Sung to Rebecca Black's "Friday"] "Jobs plan, jobs plan, gonna hear some new job plans!"

And yet. Whenever I hear about the pending new smart-power-driven budget or jobs plan, all I can think of is "The Gong Show."
"Larry And His Magic _____", an alleged musician (also portrayed by Spencer) whose various appearances featured a series of different instruments. His call-and-response act featured him proclaiming, "I'm gonna play my (trumpet, fiddle, xylophone, kettle drum, accordion, etc.)" and the audience shouting back, "Whatcha gonna do?" This exchange would be repeated twice, after which he would announce, "I'm gonna play my (instrument) nowwww!" Instead of playing, though, he would merely repeat his audience-punctuated declaration. After a few verses of this, the skit would inevitably end with Spencer failing to play his instrument.
Don't worry, Obama's got some ideas, and boy-howdy, they're gonna turn this economy a-round.
The Whiner-in-Chief

How did America elect such a crybaby?
President Barack Obama sought to reassert economic leadership on Thursday by pledging to deliver new ideas every week to create jobs, and he slammed Congress for "bickering" that hurts economic recovery.
In a passionate speech to auto industry workers aimed at deflecting public anger over policy gridlock in Washington, Obama said the refusal to put country ahead of party "has got to stop."

"I'll be laying out more proposals in the days ahead," Obama, a Democrat, said. The problem was not a lack of answers to the pressing issue of economic growth and hiring, rather it was people "playing political games," he said.
This is the infantile foot-stomping of a guy who has never had to work hard for anything, who has never held a position of responsibility, never had to do much in the Senate except vote “present” and spent the first two years of his Presidency with a filibuster-proof Congress that rubberstamped every useless and unpopular piece of legislation he wanted.

Then, in 2010, the voters said “enough” and sent a landslide of Republicans to Washington, state houses and governor mansions. In response to this “shellacking” does Obama recognize the shift in the national mood? No, he wants it his way and he wants it now. Why can’t those poopyheads be reasonable?
"Reasonableness," you'll remember, is shoving a wholly partisan, Byzantine restructuring of the health care system through Congress in the midst of an economic downturn. But chipping a few billion off a $3.7 trillion budget in exchange for raising the debt ceiling is an act of irrationality that has, apparently, sucked the very soul from the American project.
As usual, Charles Krauthammer explains that what Obama calls “unreasonableness” is what the rest of us call “democracy.”
Of all the endlessly repeated conventional wisdom in today’s Washington, the most lazy, stupid, and ubiquitous is that our politics is broken. On the contrary. Our political system is working well (I make no such claims for our economy), indeed, precisely as designed — profound changes in popular will translated into law that alters the nation’s political direction.
The process has been messy, loud, disputatious, and often rancorous. So what? In the end, the system works.
Obama’s unpresidential outbursts evolve from his hardwired sense of entitlement. Nothing is ever his fault and those who oppose his policies, well, they’re unpatriotic:
"There are some folks in Congress who would rather see their opponents lose than see America win," Obama told an audience at a battery facility in Michigan.
What a tool. November 2012 can't come soon enough.
And since we're doing legal opinions - Legal Insurrection: "11th Circuit strikes down Obamacare mandate." As usual, a good review by Prof. Jacobson and my favorite part of the decision is that "uniqueness is not a constitutional principle."
Judge takes swipe at toilet paper dispute

I'm a couple days late to this one but a judge on the 7th Court of Appeals had to rule on an argument between two toilet paper manufacturers and a trademark design. At least Judge Evans had a little fun before he flushed the plaintiff's case:
We’ll start by introducing the combatants. In the far corner, from an old cotton-producing state (Dixie: “I wish I was in the land of cotton, old times there are not forgotten.”) and headquartered in the area (Atlanta) where Scarlett O’Hara roamed Tara in Margaret Mitchell’s epic Gone With the Wind, we have the Georgia-Pacific Company. Important to this case, and more than a bit ironic, is that the name of Georgia-Pacific’s flagship toilet paper is Quilted Northern. In the near corner, headquartered in the north, in Neenah, Wisconsin (just minutes away from Green Bay), and a long way from the land of cotton, we have the Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Ironically, its signature toilet paper brand is called Cottonelle.
It's a switcheroo!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

We can't let these massive corporations prosper - Fox News: "Apple is the most valuable U.S. company." Clearly, it's time for a windfall profit tax or something.
Economies of scale - Hit & Run: "Medicare is more efficient if you ignore its inefficiencies."
It's all been said

Here's Don Surber with "Boring Barack":
I challenge readers to - off the top of their heads - come up with one quote from a speech that Obama has given since taking office.
Challenge accepted. Here's the quote I remember (over and over): "Some people think [strained representation of one position]. Still others believe that [extreme representation of the opposite position]. But the best approach is [middle way designed to give the appearance that Obama is the rational adult in the debate.]"

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

London brawling

In the wake of riots in London, I heard that on certain city streets they're only letting through police cars, street sweepers and glazier vans to repair windows.

More - From Verum Serum.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Smart power, 2008-style - Here's a post-election laugher from the WashPost: "So it's not [sic] surprise that in the first month of his transition to the presidency, the president-elect is putting a premium of competence above all else." Thank heaven we still have Geithner.
Dog bites man - Actual Reuters headline: "Obama says he inherited economic problems." I think this is the "F9" key on their keyboards.

Whatever happened to this bravado?: "Obama: It's my economy? Fine, give it to me." "My job is to solve problems, not stand on the sidelines and carp and gripe." Still waiting on that budget plan, big guy.

Let's not forget this interview from February 2009: "I will be held accountable" [on the economy.] Today? Well, there were these earthquakes and stuff.
Shorter Obama speech

"You know those Republicans who have controlled one-half of one-third of the government for the past seven months? It's all their fault."

Extra - Jennifer Rubin: "Obama's horrifyingly bad speech."

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Win the future - WashPost: "Without reform, the U.S. faces a slow-growth future."
I may disagree with what you say, so shut up - Powerline "Chronicles of Ill-liberalism": "Perhaps the hallmark of historic liberalism, at least the 19th century variety of Thomas Jefferson or John Stuart Mill as well as mid-20th century liberals, was toleration and free expression. But does anyone doubt for a nanosecond that if those who today call themselves “liberals” had the power to do so, they’d censor or shut down Fox News and Rush Limbaugh immediately? That’s what the attempted revival of the “Fairness Doctrine” is all about, since for liberals “fairness” means stopping any fight where they’re losing."

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Cooling it - Joe Nocera of the NY Times apologizes for calling the Tea Party a bunch of terrorists. Heat of the moment and all that.

I have to note that Nocera is the co-author of one of the best books I've read about the financial meltdown called "All the Devils are Here" so I was surprised at his over-the-top rhetoric. I blame the NY Times and its editorial board which breeds a certain brand of vapid contempt.
Red menace - NY Times: "China tells U.S. it must 'cure its addiction to debt.'"

Friday, August 05, 2011

The predictable downgrade

I want to take issue with this conclusion from Daniel Indiviglio in the Atlantic: "S&P downgrades the U.S. - but why?"
But S&P must be counting on more than just Republicans acting insanely enough to cause default: Democrats would have to act just as irresponsibly. After all, spending and entitlement cuts alone can easily allow the U.S. to avoid default. The agency makes this point, saying that the nation needs entitlement cuts and/or more tax revenue. S&P must assume that Democrats, like Republicans, could reach a limit of how much they'll concede and just let the U.S. economy burn on mere principle.
No. Not "and/or" - there must be entitlement cuts. Take a look at this graph from the CBO showing revenue estimates and the combination of entitlements and interest payments on the U.S. debt. Revenue is held constant at around 19-20% GDP since that's historically the high average the government has been able to take in from taxes.

A little more than a decade from now, entitlement spending will blow through the entire federal budget. So, yes, tax revenues are needed but it will not be enough to hold back the deluge of Medicare and Social Security. These must be reformed or we'll be nostalgic for the days when we had only a AA+ rating.
Does this mean "Recovery Summer" is delayed? - USA Today: "S&P downgrades U.S. credit from AAA."

What are they worried about? Entitlements:
We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process.
OK Go Homage

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Who stole Obama's ice cream when he was a kid?

After signing the debt deal the other day, President Obama give a speech (natch) where he repeated his call for new taxes:
Everyone’s going to have to chip in. That’s only fair. That’s the principle I’ll be fighting for during the next phase of this process.
Of course we all know that Obama doesn't believe that "everybody" is going to chip in. His personal vision of "shared sacrifice" is somebody else sacrifices their share, because then that's fair. And, man, Obama really wants everything to be fair.
He’s overly sensitive to someone differing with him on policy grounds,” Cantor says.
And he’s isn’t persuasive. “There’s never any sort of economic argument that he can make for his position. It always reverts to that social-justice end,” Cantor argues.

Not that Obama uses the phrase “social justice.” “It’s ‘fairness.’”
Flashback to the 2008 campaign. Charlie Gibson informs candidate Barack Obama that if the goal is to raise revenue for the government, it's best to keep capital gains taxes low. But that flies in the face of Obama's religion of fairness where the wealthy aren't allowed to hold on to their money. Here's how Ed Morrissey graded the exchange:
Read and listen very carefully to this. The higher priority for Obama isn’t to raise revenue; it’s to ensure fairness. In order to do that, he will have the government take a bigger share of the gains and redistribute them through social programs to others. The pretense of having more money acts as a veneer for good, old-fashioned redistributionism.
"Fairness" is Obama's North Star, although it's most immediate and repeated form is that of class warfare. The circumstances and ancillary effects matter not, since that's what's fair.
No kidding - White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: "The White House doesn't create jobs."

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Calling the bluff - Here's Paul Ryan with "Where's your budget, Mr. President?": "Ever since they abused the budget process to jam their health-care takeover through Congress last year, the Democrats have simply done away with serious budgeting altogether. The simplest explanation-and the president's real bluff-is that they don't want to commit publicly to the kind of tax increases and health-care rationing that would be required to sustain their archaic vision of government."
I did not mean to imply the next deficit commission will be useless - I meant to state it as forthrightly, lucidly, and unambiguously as possible. Nancy Pelosi: "My deficit committee members will oppose all entitlement benefit cuts."

Welcome to America 2.0: entitlements and an army.
Can we un-pass the debt limit increase?

This (long) headline from Zero Hedge says it all about how stoked the markets are about this new legislation: "Market reaction? 30 year just hit 3.99% as stock selloff accelerates, gold at all-time record."

Then there's this from Fox News: "Budget experts see deal as 'spit in the ocean.'" Don't fret your little head, America - the Super-Commission is coming!

Monday, August 01, 2011

It's the debt, stupid - Not just the debt ceiling. AP: "Experts say U.S. could still lose AAA rating."
All about Obama - It's obvious that the liberals are pretty upset about this debt deal and feel betrayed by Mr. Hope & Change. But they should have seen it coming. The Republicans gained power in 2010 thanks to independent voters and President Obama desperately needs them to swing back to his side for the 2012 election. Barack is betting that the ol' "Yes We Can!" battle cry can whip up the left wing in a year but for now he needs to win back independents if he has a prayer for a second term.
I want to believe - Well, the House just passed the debt deal and it will move on to the Senate where it is expected to be voted on tomorrow. Barring some windy speeches by Republicans and Democrats alike, it will pass through the Senate and go up to the White House.

My main complaint is the formation of yet another commission to face up to the main driver of our debt problem: runaway entitlement spending on the army of Baby Boomers. Senator Mitch McConnell seems to think that the "super-committee" will tackle entitlement reform where others have fallen short. I'm not so sanguine.