Call Monday’s 2012 budget release the St. Valentine’s Day Non-massacre.
President Obama’s budget director Jacob Lew announced on Monday that he was presenting Congress with a budget that would compel the nation to “live within our means, but also invest in the future.”
Can we leave out “but also invest in the future”?
Why does Obama always append damaging clauses to seemingly responsible proposals? Is it so that when he fails to do what he should—have us live within our means—and merely does what he wants—spend, spend, spend—he can say he at least kept half his promise?
In a press conference defending his proposal, Obama scolded Republicans about the need to have an “adult conversation” with him on the budget and stop being “impatient” about his failure to deal with entitlement reform.
Obama is enormously proud of the fact that he has pledged to freeze domestic spending for the next five years. Since that means freezing spending at 2010 levels, which were 22% higher than bloated 2008 levels, Obama has done the equivalent of freezing the national diet at Michael Moore’s instead of Alec Baldwin’s.
Even Obama’s spending freeze applies only to non-defense discretionary spending, which makes up just 15% of the federal budget. His proposal does nothing to address reform of Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security.
Everyone knew that the bipartisan deficit reduction commission Obama sanctioned last year to “study” the federal debt and make recommendations was window dressing. Obama never had any intention of following recommendations that were unpalatable for his base, such as raising the retirement age for Social Security or means-testing Medicare. read more »
If Hosni Mubarak is a crooked card dealer guaranteed to stiff anyone who plays at his table, most conservatives’ reaction to the events unfolding in Egypt has been to throw their support to the house rather than pro-Western Egyptian protestors, simply because the latter might not win the game against the Muslim Brotherhood.
In the early 1990s, when the U.S.S.R. disintegrated and Soviet provinces began deposing their Communist overlords and electing pro-reform leaders, I must have missed the barrage of sworn affidavits from fringe groups in every Eastern European state promising they would never attempt to form voting blocs that would influence their nations’ parliaments.
I don’t recall President Reagan speaking out against demoralized Eastern bloc peoples who yearned to breathe free, telling them to zip their lips, stay home, and put up with political oppression, because neo-Communist groups might someday try to swoop in and fill the power vacuum.
The number of conservatives who have been getting it wrong, and liberals who have been getting it right, on Egypt is embarrassing.
Mark Levin claims that the Eastern European revolutions were different, because those nations had a “tradition” of democracy before they were enslaved by Communists. Oh? So no nation can become democratic unless it was democratic at some point in the first place? Doesn’t that preclude half the world from ever becoming democratic?
When did the political party that won the Cold War decide it would be prudent to wave the white hankie and let monsters—I mean sweet, dear friends of the U.S.—like Mubarak stay in power over the wishes of their subjects? read more »
Liberals mocked George W. Bush’s “Forward Strategy of Freedom,” sneering that it was corny and idealistic, wouldn’t work, and didn’t suit exotic, backward, brown people who wouldn’t know what to do with liberty if it fell in their laps.
In the years since U.S. forces ousted the Taliban in Afghanistan and deposed Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the world has beheld a remarkably long line of popular uprisings in Middle Eastern and Eastern European states that has thoroughly vindicated Bush’s approach.
Four months after U.S. Marines took Baghdad in Operation Iraqi Freedom, a quivering-in-his-boots Muammar Gaddafi acknowledged Libya’s responsibility for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and paid billions in compensation to relatives of victims, and to those of the UTA Flight 772 bombing and the Berlin discotheque bombing.
Three months later we witnessed the Rose Revolution in Georgia, in which the public protested against rigged parliamentary elections, removed President Eduard Shevardnadze, and installed reformist Mikhail Saakashvili.
In 2004 we watched the Ukrainian Orange Revolution, in which protestors kept Viktor Yanukovych from assuming office as Prime Minister after fraudulent elections and instated pro-reform Viktor Yushchenko.
In 2005 we observed the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, in which citizens rioted to protest the assassination of pro-Western former Primer Minister Rafik Hariri, the presence of tens of thousands of Syrian troops, and the rule of a pro-Syrian government.
Days after the Cedar Revolution, we had the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, in which protestors ousted corrupt President Askar Akayev. read more »
Ever since Democrats suffered historic, butt-spanking losses in the 2010 midterms, they’ve been whimpering for “bipartisanship,” “cooperation,” “compromise,” “togetherness,” “shared responsibility,” and “national unity.”
President Obama has been coaxing House and Senate Republicans to work together with Democrats to get things done.
Recently New York Senator Charles Schumer, one of the most viciously partisan individuals on the planet (you might say he’s full of “vitriol”), suggested it might be melodious for Democrats and Republicans to sit mingled among one another at Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Address, rather than hunkering down battalion-style on opposite sides of the room.
Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn was the first to stupidly take the bait, followed by dozens of other Congressmen including Charles Grassley, Pat Toomey, Mark Kirk, Olympia Snowe, and—surprise!—John McCain.
Obama, it should be remembered, campaigned for president on the promise that he would usher in a “new era of bipartisanship.”
If the Democratic 111th Congress took Obama up on his idea, they had a funny way of showing it.
When they weren’t shutting Republicans out of committee meetings to write the 2009 stimulus bill and health care reform act, they were failing to post bills online for enough time to allow Republicans to read them and offer input. read more »
This week the newly majority Republican House of the 112th Congress will vote on repeal of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as The Albatross Around Democrats’ Necks.
Republicans have named their bill the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, proving again that Republicans are more likely to give their legislation names that are corny, contentious, and accurate, whereas Democrats are more likely to give their legislation names that are slick, mollifying, and deceptive.
Pundits expect H.R. 2 to easily clear the House, where ObamaCare narrowly passed 219-212 last March, before the great Republican Reckoning of November 2010. In that election, not only did Democrats lose a net 63 seats to Republicans, but the remaining Democrat flotsam left after the tsunami realized they ought to consider switching their votes unless they want to be swept away in November 2012.
In an insightful analysis, The Weekly Standard reported that in swing districts, just 28% of sitting House Democrats who voted for ObamaCare held onto their seats in the 2010 elections. In contrast, 57% of sitting Democrats in swing districts who voted against ObamaCare kept their seats.
If all House members still in office after November’s election vote the way they did last spring, all newly sworn in Republicans vote to repeal ObamaCare, and all newly sworn in Democrats vote not to repeal ObamaCare, the House would vote for repeal by 255-180—a margin more than 10 times as large as the one by which ObamaCare passed. That’s assuming no newly sworn-in Democrats—none of whom are saddled with a prior vote for ObamaCare, some of whom campaigned on the idea that they would have opposed it—will vote to repeal it. read more »
What do the following quotes have in common?
In a recent article on the upcoming 112th Congress, the Associated Press warned that gridlock between the Republican House and Democratic Senate might result in a failure to act that “could threaten the nation’s economic health.”
Are they kidding? What do they think has been going on for the past two years, when Democrats controlled both chambers and the White House and put us further in debt than the first 100 Congresses combined? Gridlock in Congress is the best prescription for helping our economy recover.
Mainstream news outlets have noted that Republicans hold two main objectives after their swearing in on Wednesday: repealing or defunding ObamaCare and finding a politically palatable solution to the imminent overrun of the federal debt ceiling President Obama signed into law last year.
If Republicans don’t vote to raise the ceiling above its existing limit of $14.3 trillion by March 4, when the current stopgap measure runs out, we are told that they will be responsible for a government shutdown like the one in January 1996.
Obama’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee declared that failure to raise the debt ceiling would have a “catastrophic” effect, in that the federal government would essentially be in default. read more »
In 2000 the British paper The Independent ran a story with the wistful headline “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”
Faithfully advancing the theory of anthropogenic global warming like a good leftist media foot soldier, the author nostalgically declared, “Snow is starting to disappear from our lives. Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture.”
The Independent cited Dr. David Viner of the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia, who predicted that in a few years, snow will be “a very rare and exciting event… Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”
That would be the same climatic research unit involved in last year’s Climategate scandal, in which a whistleblower released thousands of e-mails documenting researchers manipulating, covering up, and losing data used in the UN’s report on dangerous manmade global warming.
In The Independent’s story, one researcher at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research envisioned a world in which British children might have to settle for experiencing online “polar scenes” or feeling “virtual cold.”
Meanwhile, in the decade since, Brits, Americans, and the rest of the world have gotten to experience actual polar scenes and feel real cold in spades. read more »
The congenitally leftist site Media Matters regularly collects “controversial” quotes by conservative personalities and displays them on its website for liberals to gawk at. It’s supposed to be self-evident to visitors how insane these statements are.
Evidently this soft-sell strategy works, as evidenced by the reams of snarky remarks dumped in the comments section by loyal readers.
Rush Limbaugh is of course a favorite target of Media Matters. Please join me while I deconstruct a sampling of contentiously worded but eminently sensible recent Rush quotes (thanks to David Swindle for post idea):
“Continued unemployment benefits increases unemployment”
Rush bemoans the fact that recent Republican opposition to extending unemployment benefits has been based, not on the philosophy behind endless benefit extensions, but on the technicality of paying for them. Rush points out the fact that it’s easier for people to accept a $325 a week check than to look for a job. Subsidizing something (unemployment) gives you more of it; taxing something (working) gives you less of it. Contrary to Nancy Pelosi’s claims, unemployment benefits do not increase employment.
Everything Obama has done has been “an attack on the greatness of this country”
Rush cites the following disasters in Obama’s first term: ObamaCare, intrusive financial regulations, a moratorium on drilling, bank and auto company bailouts, and the stimulus bill. So where does Rush get it wrong? Is it part of America’s manifest destiny to impose socialized medicine, constrict financial institutions, ban exploration of natural resources, keep bad businesses from failing by punishing good ones, and spend trillions of dollars we don’t have on projects we don’t need? read more »
On Monday a Virginia federal district court judge ruled that the primary enforcement mechanism of ObamaCare, the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision—also known as the individual mandate—was unconstitutional.
Justice Henry E. Hudson’s summary judgment did not rule on any other aspect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Obama Justice Department will likely appeal the decision, but the individual mandate is key to making ObamaCare work, since requiring the purchase of health insurance by virtually all U.S. citizens is the only way the rest of the bill can be paid for. Hudson’s ruling provides ammunition to those who argue that requiring people to purchase a product or service against their will is unconstitutional.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius took two primary lines of defense against the Commonwealth of Virginia, whose Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed the suit.
First, she argued that the purchase of health care insurance is an activity that affects interstate commerce, which the Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate per the Commerce Clause and via the Necessary and Proper Clause. She cited the cases of Wickard v. Filburn, which upheld the government’s ability to regulate farmers’ growing and consumption of wheat on their farms, and Gonzales v. Raich, which upheld the government’s ability to do the same for marijuana for medicinal purposes, as evidence that the government can regulate private individual economic activity due to its effect on interstate commerce. read more »