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Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Disgraceful response to Syria

Reports from Syria today say that the Assad regime slaughtered another 62 people in attempts to put down anti-government demonstrations. Some reportedly died as a result of tank and artillery fire. With Ramadan almost here, the tempo of the protests is due to accelerate since the heaviest protests follow prayer services and Ramadan moves that schedule from Fridays only to every day for a month. If nothing is done to stop the Assad government, we can expect thousands to be killed in the next 30 days.

I realize that America cannot simply stop the Assad regime from what it is doing absent armed intervention which no one wants. The question, however, is why is the USA so silent about the ongoing slaughter? Where is the outrage? Overthrowing Assad would do more for the cause of peace than overthrowing Gaddafi in Libya, but Obama went all in on Libya and just sits by with regard to Syria. Why? Is it because Libya has oil and Syria does not? That is exactly the kind of behavior that Obama denounced in the 2008 campaign. Is Obama that much of a hypocrite?

Syria is the one Arab country that is truly allied with Iran. If Assad is overthrown and a Sunni leader takes office, the chance of the Iranian alliance remaining in place is nil. That would be a stunning blow to Iranian regional aspirations. It would also isolate Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah is an Iranian controlled terror organization that is resupplied by Iran through Syria. The end of the Syrian-Iranian alliance would cut those supply lines. The implications for peace in the region of such a change are profound and good. But Obama just ignores the region.

The truth is that Obama ought to have a policy on Syria. There are many steps that can be taken well short of armed conflict that could hasten the fall of Assad. Assad has already killed thousands in his efforts to terrorize the populace into supporting the regime. He has to go. Why can't we get an American leader who at least recognizes this reality?

UPDATE -- Sunday afternoon finally brought some statement from the White House. The French news agency AFP reported the following:

"US President Barack Obama said he was "appalled" by Syria's crackdown on Sunday, which activists say killed nearly 140 people, and vowed to step up pressure to isolate President Bashar al-Assad.

In a statement, Obama saluted demonstrators who have taken to the streets as "courageous" and said Syria "will be a better place when a democratic transition goes forward."

"I am appalled by the Syrian government's use of violence and brutality against its own people. The reports out of Hama are horrifying and demonstrate the true character of the Syrian regime," Obama said.


Panic and Bewilderment on the left

Maureen Dowd's column for the Sunday New York Times is something that I rarely read. MoDo (as Dowd is known) has a penchant for nastiness that annoys me. I do not mind a well placed zinger; in fact, I enjoy them, but there has to be substance and reason that underlie the insult, characteristics that MoDo rarely shows. Todoay's column, however, while suitably nasty, is worth reading. It clearly demonstrates the panic and bewilderment that those in the liberal government/media bubble are feeling.

MoDo laments the lack of leaders currently in government. She quotes a Congressman who says that he is watching Obama turn into Jimmy Carter before his eyes. MoDo cannot understand why her hero Obama has no plan that he is trying to sell and instead is careening towards defeat doing no more than criticizing others but offering nothing himself. MoDo also points out that Harry Reid is just not up to the task of leading either.

MoDo saves special venom for the Tea Party. They are trying to destroy the government according to her. She is partly correct, but her vision is so distorted that she does not understand what is happening. The Tea Party is trying to destroy BIG government, government that spends and spends and spends with no demonstrable effect other than running up the debt.

Even in MoDo's distorted reality, however, she recognizes what is happening in part. Here is her summary:

"Consider what the towel-snapping Tea Party crazies have already accomplished. They’ve changed the entire discussion. They’ve neutralized the White House. They’ve whipped their leadership into submission. They’ve taken taxes and revenues off the table. They’ve withered the stock and bond markets. They’ve made journalists speak to them as though they’re John Calhoun and Alexander Hamilton."

MoDo also recognizes that no one other than the Tea Party has achieved anything.

The truth is that the left does not understand how any group could refuse to follow their guiding dogma of "Government is good and more government is better. People cannot be trusted; they need the government to guide them."

Here you have the GOP and its Tea Party wing trying to roll back the government. It is heresy of the first order. Where is the compliant GOP of years past, the ones who spoke about smaller government but went along with bigger government? MoDo and the left cannot figure it out. When the GOP says no new tax revenues to feed an ever bigger government, it bewilders MoDo and the left. To them it makes no sense since they understand that by starving the government of tax revenues, it will inevitably get slimmed down. Imagine that, a smaller, leaner government. No sane person could favor that! No one ever proposes such things in Manhattan, DC or Beverly Hills. That is why the Tea Party consists of "crazies" in the world of MoDo.

The truth is that the real world has intruded into MoDo land. Indeed, although MoDo land is about as real as Mordor, the inhabitants have managed to delude themselves for years about the true reality. Now that they have to face it, we see them in full panic mode.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Now it gets worse

I just read two articles that are highlighted on Drudge. The first one from the Washington Times explains that Senator Reid is not willing to go ahead with a vote on his own bill; he is insisting on using a cloture motion to stop a fillibuster that does not exist and only then voting on the bill. Reid says that this will show the country that the GOP is being obstructionist. Huh? Reid delays his own bill without reason but the Republicans are obstructing. How dumb does Reid think the American people are? In truth, Reid wants to have a vote on his bill at two in the morning on Sunday so that no one will watch the proceedings.

The second is an article from CNBC in which a Washington insider expresses annoyance that Wall Street has not gone into panic mode. Apparently, the political biggies want the markets to melt down in order to force people to compromise. So, not only does Obama not want to waste a good crisis, he also wants to create one in order to use it.

How bizarre is this?

More Language Goodies from the left

I wrote about Terrorism and Hostage-Taking as the talking point of the week. Now there is a new language game going on in the media. So far today, I have seen five articles describing the Boehner plan that passed the House yesterday as "hard line". I have also seen four articles that say that "the House finally has done something" or words to that effect. Where do they come up with this stuff?

As to "hard line", the Democrat plan that is the counterpoint to the Boehner plan is, of course, the Reid plan. According to the Democrats, the Reid bill cuts about a trillion dollars more in spending than the Boehner plan. While it is true that the extra spending cuts found by Reid are actually phony savings from assuming that the war in Iraq will end rather than continue at the levels of the surge (a pretty good assumption), in the Democrat dictionery there are more cuts in Reid than in the hard-line Boehner plan. Boehner and Reid do differ with regard to how large a debt ceiling increase is approved; the difference is about a trillion dollars. This is not enough to determine which one is hard line. Boehner also requires a vote on a balanced budget amendment. Since this amendment is approved by three quarters of the people in poll after poll, it can hardly be called hard line. In short, to the Democrats, "hardline" is anything that they oppose.

As to the House "finally" doing something, the story is even clearer. Since January, the House has proposed and passed a budget for 2012. It has passed two different bills to raise the debt ceiling. It has pushed for and achieved cuts in the 2011 budget. It has been the driving force behind getting budget cuts to be part of the debt ceiling debate. On the other hand, the Senate and its Democrat majority have neither proposed not passed a 2012 budget. The Senate has not passed any bill with regard to the debt ceiling. The Senate has not even bothered to vote on either of the bills raising the debt ceiling that the House passed; instead, the Senate just put consideration of them on hold for possible future discussion. The Senate opposed cuts in the 2011 budget and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to finally take action. So clearly, it is the House that has been doing its job, not the Senate.

So what about the president? He did propose a budget for 2012. It called for massive spending increases and even the Democrats in Congress could not support it. It was rejected in the Senate by a vote of 97 to 0. After that, Obama came forward with no new plan. Indeed, after countless speeches and press conferences, Obama has no plan as to how to deal with the debt ceiling increase. Even his speeches have been all over the lot. the last speech touted the importance of tax increases at the same time that Obama said he supported the Reid plan which has no tax increases. In fact, Obama's inconsistencies in negotiations have been so severe that he was a hinderance rather than a help in reaching a solution. Congressional leaders have actually frozen him out of the process for now in order to try to reach a deal. Now, the White House is leaking word that Obama has a secret plan to resolve the dispute. How pitiful is that! Obama has no plan so he tries to put out the word that he actually has one but is keeping it secret. It will be hard to pass the plan through Congress if no one tells the Congressmen and Senators about the terms of the plan.

So, the truth is that the Boehner plan is not hard line and it is the Senate and the president who have done nothing, not the House. But then again, why would anyone expect the truth from the liberal media?

Terror and Hostage Taking

The talking point of the Obamacrats over the last week has been that the Tea Party Congressmen are "terrorists" who have been holding the country or the economy "hostage". I am sure that many of you have seen or heard the montage of various Democrats and media commentators repeating this line. When I thought about this for a while, I went through a few stages, but ultimately, I arrived at finding the whole effort quite funny. Let me explain:

For quite some time, the Demcrats have stayed away from using the terrorist. When Major Hassan attacked and killed thirteen army personnel at Fort Hood, neither the media nor the Obama Administration described him as a terrorist. He was a loner. He was someone who had suffered various unspecified indignities at the hands of his fellow soldiers. But he was not a terrorist even though he had planned for a massacre and then carried it out fairly successfully. When the underwear bomber or the Times Square bomber were caught and their attacks failed, they too were not "terrorists". No, they were acting alone (even when it later turned out that they were not) and they were poor incompetent fools. The rule of the Democrats seemed to be that it was not possible to use the words "Muslim" and "terrorist" in the same sentence. Even the War on Terror became just an Overseas Contingency Operation under Obama and the Obamacrats. So the fight against those who have killed thousands of innocent Americans no longer involved a struggle with terrorism.

So, if terrorists and terrorism are words not to be spoken in the Obamacrat lexicon, what did the Tea Party do that led to them now being called terrorists. Here is the list (and perhaps I should warn you that some of the items may be too graphic for young liberals.):

1) The Tea Party (shudder) opposed Obamacare.
2) The Tea Party opposed the high spending of the stimulus. Indeed, it was the stimulus spending spree that gave rise to the Tea Party in the first place. (Only the truly brave should go one from here. At least read the list while seated.)
3) The Tea Party wants to reduce federal spending.
4) The Tea Party wants to cap future spending so that future spending sprees by the Congress will be nearly impossible.
5) The Tea Party wants the private sector to grow so it opposes higher taxes.
6) The Tea Party wants a smaller government.
7) Here is the clincher: The Tea Party is actually voting to do many of the things on this list. The Tea Party Congressmen are not just going along with business as usual which is what got the USA into its current mess.

I am sure that any of you who managed to read the entire list without screaming in fear can now recognize why the Obamacrats say that the Tea Party are indeed terrorists, but for any who remain confused, let me clear things up. In the world of Obama and the Obamacrats, terrorists are not folks who kill or kidnap innocents. No, in the distorted world of the left, terrorists are those who want to diminish the power of the government with the effect that is will diminish the power of the left over all the people. They cannot imagine anything more terrifying than Americans who determine their own futures without resort to some government agency run by the left which will tell everyone what to do. Nothing is more terrifying to the left than the loss of their power.

Personally, I think it is funny that Obama and the Obamacrats actually think that ordinary Americans are going to buy into this crap. The Tea Party are no more terrorists than they are racists. (Okay, so a bunch of you just said that the Tea Party is a bunch of racists. They said so on MSNBC.) But those out there who still can recognize reality understand that what we are seeing from the left is actually a massive panic attack. For the last eighty years, there has never been such a strong and widely supported push to roll back the government and the power of the left in America. The Obamacrats are in a full melt down because they no longer control the dialogue and they cannot even control the direction of the political flow.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jon Huntsman --done in by global warming

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman is out today with his latest campaign thrust in the GOP nomination battle for president. Huntman is criticizing those who question the science behind global warming. This is indeed a sign that Huntsman does not have a clue. My guess is that neither he nor his staff spend much time reading the news. The bombshell news in climate science of the last few days has been the publishing of a peer-reviewed scientific paper in a journal called "Remote Sensing". That paper demonstrates that the amount of heat being trapped in the atmosphere by
carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases is much less than the level predicted by the computer models used by the global warming crowd. The paper reports on the heat emissions detected by the NASA satellites during the period from 2000 to 2011, so the data used is not insubstantial.

Let me explain why this is so important. The entire science of man made global warming has been based upon two causes. The first is that the greenhouse gases created by humanity will by themselves trap heat in the atmosphere. It has long been agreed that the direct trapping of heat is minor; even the Al Gore crowd would concede this. The second cause, however, has been that the greenhouse gases would create conditions which in turn would trap heat on Earth. These conditions, like an increase in high cirrus clouds, are theorized to be the principal cause for global warming. The data published in the new paper, however, proves that whether or not there are additional clouds and the like, over the last eleven years the level of heat being retained rather than radiated back into space is only a small fraction of the level predicted by the computer models. In short, the study shows that the primary engine expected to cause global warming does not exist in reality.

Since the study was published during the debt ceiling debate and you couple that with the fact the the study essentially destroys global warming theory, the press made almost no mention of it. In truth, however, this news is of earthshaking importance.

It is a good thing that Obama'sCap and Trade plan never passed the senate. Imagine how bad it would have been if we had crippled the US economy the way that Obama wanted in order to fight a non-existent problem.

But, let's go back to Huntsman. With his latest effort, he has demonstrated that he is not suited to be president. America needs someone who at least studies an issue before he shoots off his mouth about it. Huntsman is treating science like politics. Too bad for Huntsman, unlike most politics there are demonstrable right and wrong answers in science.

Now Obama has to spin whether or not he is working?

Reuters breathlessly reported this morning the following: "President Barack Obama is deeply involved in trying to win a debt deal and his White House was working flat out, aides said, pushing back against any impression Congress had sidelined the administration. 'He's getting absolutely no sleep. He's working tirelessly, meeting with his economic team, doing a lot of outreach, exploring all kinds of possibilities for compromise,' top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett told Reuters Insider."

Can you believe this? Obama and his team feel so irrelevant that they send out Jarrett to report on how much sleep Obama is losing. It reminds me of Obama's oft repeated claim that some subject is the last thing he thinks of before going to sleep and the first thing he thinks of when he wakes in the morning. Of course, he has said this about so many things that he must spend his days going to sleep repeatedly and then waking repeatedly just so he will have enough times to think about all of these subjects.

The truth is that Obama has disappeared from the stage since last Sunday. Sure, he gave a speech on TV the other night, but he spent most of that talking about things that have already been passed by like the need for tax increases. And to make matters worse, he still has not offered any plan for resolving the debt ceiling issue. Obama just stands around and complains. Is he staying up just to do that? A good president would at least TRY to lead the country out of this mess. He could put forth his own compromise plan. He is not even following the Nancy Reagan strategy he was using for so long of just saying no. Instead, he is reaching even farther back into the past to use "The Sounds of Silence" as his anthem.

By the way, here is a note to Jarrett: if you are going to claim that Obama is working tirelessly reaching out to all sorts of people, you ought to produce at least one person who can say that he actually got a call from Obama. My guess is that he was hard at work on his golf game as some undisclosed location. At least I hope he was. In that way at least something positive will come from all of this. Maybe Obama can lower his handicap.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Obama's desperation is showing again

In an hilarious new pitch, the White House is claiming that it is against the Boehner bill to raise the debt ceiling because it would put the next vote on the subject near Christmas and it would ruin the holiday season. The argument has actually been made in public by both the president's spokesman Jay Carney and Obama political adviser David Plouffe. I have never seen the Obamacrats this desperate.

Obviously, Obama and his folks understand how bad he has looked in the entire debt ceiling debacle. Instead of looking like the "adult" in the room as he likes to claim, Obama has looked more like a disinterested and incompetent fool who has made clear that he does not know how to accomplish anything besides giving a speech.

So here is a suggestion: if Obama is actually concerned about the Christmas holidays, then he should have adequate work done to come up with the next proposal for raising the debt ceiling no later than October 15th, and he should put forward his own detailed proposal to the Congress by the end of October. After that Obama should have at least weekly meetings with the Congressional leadership on just this bill in order to hammer out a compromise that can pass both houses. By exerting presidential leadership (something that Obama has not done this time), Obama ought to be able to have the matter resolved long before there is any impact on the Christmas season. Of course, that would require Obama to focus and work hard, so it is unlikely to happen.

Here is another suggestion: Obama could propose in October that there be a cut of one half of one percent across the board in all federal plans and spending for the rest of the fiscal year with resulting changes to the baseline. That alone would more than cover all the money needed in a further debt ceiling rise to get into 2013. That's right, there is no need to overthink the matter. Just cut one cent out of every two hundred. Of course, that would reduce social security payments and medicare reimbursements. For a person getting $1500 per month in social security, however, that is a cut of $7.50. Most Americans would be willing to see cuts of that sort if it meant preventing default. Alternatively, Obama could propose larger cuts to other programs and no cut to social security.

Why are we stuck with these clowns in the White House?

Good news on jobs

For the first time in four months, the new unemployment claims for the week have fallen below 400,000. This is really good news. The number is still above the 375,000 figure that used to be cited as the level needed to allow for significant job growth, but falling below 400,000 is still a wonderful sign. The weekly figures are quite volatile, so most analysts look at the four week average that remains above 400,000. Still, if the number can decline again next week, we could be in the start of a new trend. That would be wonderful. It would be nice to get some good economic news after all these months of poor results.

If at first You don't succeed

This morning, the AP is reporting that investors are becoming increasingly "frantic" about the impasse in the debt ceiling negotiations. All I can say is "What planet is the reporter on?"

Interest rates are basically steady. The dollar is up. Gold has not moved much. Those are signs of anything but frantic worry about the deficit.

On the other hand, there is a decline in the stock market. That decline, however, ought to be properly attributed to the slow down in the economy, not the debt negotiations. We have now seen four months of poor job growth, a lengthy period of slow growth in GDP, and there is no end in sight. Investors who thought we had just hit a "bump in the road" (as Obama calls it) have come to realize that instead we are likely in the midst of the new normal. Slow growth is not good for stocks, so the market is reacting.

Of course, if there is a total breakdown that delays resolution of the debt negotiations past the deadline, the markets could go crazy. But they are not there yet. Indeed, it is either stupidity from the reporters to put this forth, or they are trying to use claims of upset to put pressure on Congress to act.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Obama picked this idiot to lead the DNC

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the chair of the Democrat National Committee. She was chosen for that post by president Obama. It is a choice that I bet he regrets. In the few weeks she has held office, she has spent time attacking African American Republicans in what seems to be a racially motivated offensive. Now, she has taken to charging that the GOP is trying to undermine the USA. Here is how Politico describes the latest Schultz attack: "Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chair of the Democratic National Committee, said Wednesday that House Republicans are trying to impose 'dictatorship' through their tactics in the debt-ceiling negotiations."

Dictatorship? Huh?

Years ago, there was another Schultz who was famous for saying "I know nothing! I know nothing!" My guess is that Debbie may be Sgt. Schultz' direct descendant. If not, they share the same knowledge base.

Obama needs to fire her quickly. Or maybe not...she is like a GOP secret weapon.

Suddenly, they wake up

Here is an excerpt from Politico, usually a member of the Obama media in which the reporter discusses the lack of any plan being put forth by the White house for raising the debt ceiling. "Questions about Obama's plan -- where is it, what's on it -- are proving tricky for the White House, because the omission is suddenly getting traction. Talking about an appealing, detailed plan doesn't work if you don't produce the plan. The lack of disclosure also doesn't track with Obama's pledge on transparency."

IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! For the last six months we have watched the spending debate move forward with Obama avoiding release of any details about his own plan for the country. Instead, Obama plays this silly game of being the adult in the room who has to deal with squabbling children in Congress. The act is irresponsible and it has finally gotten old even for the Obama press. suddenly, they realize that Obama, as president, is supposed to lead and not stand on the side and criticize. Obama is supposed to have a position of his own and not just comment on what others say. Obama is supposed to offer real solutions and not just allude to imaginary plans that no one ever gets to see.

If there actually is a default by the USA or if the ratings agencies downgrade US debt to AA, there will be more than enough fault and blame to go around. The lion's share, however, of the blame should go right to the White House. No responsible executive trying to resolve a problem could ever handle it the way Obama has. It is as if he wanted there to be a catastrophe.

I haven't said this for a few hours, so here goes: OBAMA HAS GOT TO GO!!!

Clear Insanity -- even for Paul Krugman

In one of the weirdest articles I have ever seen, Paul Krugman of the New York Times claims that the debt ceiling crisis is the result of president Obama and the Democrats being too conservative. Krugman calls Obama a "moderate conservative". He says that the media is too quick to blame the dispute on partisan bickering when the Democrats are giving in on everything but getting no credit for that. He says that this is crazy. Of course, then he gets in his shot at actual conservatives by saying, "my feeling about those people is that they are what they are; you might as well denounce wolves for being carnivores. Crazy is what they do and what they are."

Only a true believer like Krugman could possibly look at Obama and the Obamacrats and say that they are just agreeing to everything the GOP wants. Maybe he missed Obama's psychotic speech to the nation two days ago in which Obama called for tax increases while endorsing a plan that had no tax increases. Maybe he missed Harry Reid's plan that tries to call the end of the war in Iraq a spending cut. Maybe he missed Obama telling the country in effect that the only plan he could support would be one that pushes the next debt fight past the day he runs for re-election.

Krugman is always good for a laugh, but this is so far out there as to lead me to wonder if he is losing his mind.

Want free cell phone service

Today, I heard a commercial on the radio telling me that if I receive food stamps or certain other forms of public assistance, I could qualify for a free cell phone with free service for 250 minutes per month. I investigated this on the internet, and I found that the ad was not a phony. Right now, folks who are on many different kinds of federal assistance can get free cell phones and free service. This all leads me to a simple quesiton: WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE WE DOING???

There is enormous pressure now in Washington to cut spending, and at the same time the federal government is now giving out free cell phone service. WHY???? When did it become appropriate for the federal government to fund the phone bill for citizens? This is ridiculous.

I am sure that there are people who could explain to all of us that the country will do better if everyone has a cell phone. So what! The country would probably do better if everyone had a new car, but we do not give them out. The crazies in Washington who decided to fund this cell phone service need to rethink it.

And Now for Something Completely Silly

When I turned on my computer this morning, I saw an article by Yahoo News headlined "Bachmann Criticized for Silence On Suicides in District". I was surprised by the headline, and I thought that perhaps there was some unknown skeleton in Bachmann's closet that was now being exposed. Then, I read the article and found that Yahoo News (and many other sites) had seemingly gone crazy. According to the article, there were some high school students in Bachmann's district who have committed suicide over the last few years. They may have done this in response to being picked on for being gay or it may have been for some other reason. (Even the reported did not claim to have any evidence as to the cause.) A reporter for uber liberal Mother Jones Magazine wrote an article about the suicides and asked Bachmann for comment. Bachmann had no comment for the article. That's right, let me repeat the outrage again: BACHMANN HAD NO COMMENT FOR THE ARTICLE!!! And that is not all of Bachmann's outrages. Five years ago, she spoke out against anti-bullying legislation being considered in Minnesota; according to the article, Bachmann was concerned that the legislation was unclear as to what constituted bullying and that it would stifle free speech as a result. Oh the horror! Oh the outrage! No wonder Yahoo News had to put this in its top stories of the day. No wonder there is such upset. How could Bachmann do such a thing!

The truth is that this is a perfect example of the liberal media bias at work. Let's blame Bachmann because some students have committed suicide. I checked this morning. There were suicides by students in Nancy Pelosi's district too. Will she be blamed? There have been suicides by students around the country since Obama became president; will he be blamed? As long as I can recall, there have been suicides by students. That does not make these events any less terrible for those involved. It is just silly, however, to blame Bachmann's refusal to comment for a story in Mother Jones as a cause of suicides. It is just silly to use Bachmann's protection of free speech in a debate on a flawed bill to blame her for the suicides. but would anyone like to bet how many times we will hear this story in the next week?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Obama has lost it altogether

Last night, president Obama told the nation that he supported the Reid plan for raising the debt ceiling. That plan called for what Obama said were spending cuts of about 2.5 trillion over ten years together with a rise to the debt ceiling sufficient to take the country until just after the 2012 election. The House Republican leadership has an alternative bill that has a little over a trillion in spending cuts, a debt ceiling rise of the same amount and the appointment of a commission to come up with further cuts that will allow a further rise to the debt ceiling. Neither bill has any tax increase of any sort. Of course, Obama spent most of his speech calling for tax increases that he has already abandoned by endorsing the Reid bill.

Now the other shoe has dropped so to speak. Obama has announced that he would veto the House GOP bill were it to reach his desk. That is truly amazing. According to Obama himself, the difference between the two bills is that the Reid bill pushes the next debate about the debt ceiling out for longer. Indeed, the Reid bill conveniently pushes the issue out past the next election, while the GOP bill does not.

Both bills end the current "crisis" that Obama says will lead to a default by the USA. Both bills allow the government to get back to dealing with more usual matters. Both bills would restore the world's faith in the USA and its economy. But Obama is threatening to veto the GOP bill because it would force him to address the issue again in the middle of his election campaign.

It is hard to think of a more cynical and, indeed, despicable exercise of presidential power. Obama is putting his own well being ahead of that of the country. It is shameful.

Unanswered questions on the debt ceiling debate

For much of the last month, the media and the nation have been focused on the negotiations about raising the debt ceiling. President Obama has given speeches, held press conferences and given interviews during which he has spoken repeatedly about the subject. The Republican and Democrat Congressional leaders have also been seen again and again discussing the issue. Countless articles and analyses have been written. But in all this palaver, serious questions remain, and there do not seem to be clear answers. Here are just a few of the questions:

1) In all of the projections regarding future revenues, what is assumed with regard to the current tax rates? In other words, the Bush tax rates were extended for two years last December, but they are scheduled to rise to prior levels as of 2013. Were this rise in the tax rates to be stopped, the estimate is that tax revenues would be about 3.2 trillion dollars lower over the next decade. If only the so-called middle class rates were extended and the rates for those who Obama calls millionaires and billionaires rise to prior levels, there would be about 2.6 trillion dollars less revenue over the next decade. These amounts are so large that extending the rates in either case would enlarge the deficit by more than all the cuts being contemplated in every plan out there. Someone had better tell us what is being assumed here.

2) The Alternative Minimum Tax is another tax that is scheduled to kick in at mich higher levels in another year and a half. If it does, there will be substantial tax increases for the middle class. What are the negotiators assuming with regard to this tax? If the AMT is kept at current levels and not allowed to kick in fully, the cost over ten years is close to a trillion dollars.

3) In connection with Medicare, there is the issue of the Doctors' Fix. Years ago, Congress passed a proposal into law that required the amount of reimbursement to doctors for seeing Medicare patients to be reduced below current levels. Every year since that time, Congress has extended the old rates and prevented the new rates from kicking in. If Congress does nothing, the new rates will go into effect and will save a quarter of a trillion dollars per year for a ten year total of 2.5 trillion bucks. What does Congress and the president assume will be happening to this issue over the next decade?

4) There are other taxes that are supposed to change, and no one is telling us what will happen to them. The Estate Tax is scheduled to go from 35% on estates over $5 million to 55% on estates over $1 million starting in 2013. The payroll tax is supposed to rise by 2% in January for all Americans. There are other smaller changes scheduled as well. The aggregate here is about 400 billion dollars over a decade. What is the assumption that the negotiators are using?

5) The Wars in Iraq has ended for the most part, and all troops will come out by the end of the year. The plan put forth by Harry Reid supposedly includes over a trillion dollars of "cuts" for the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. How much of the total future expenditures from which cuts will be made consists of costs for these wars?

6) Obamacare was financed by a supposed savings reducing waste and fraud in Medicare. This savings was to total half a trillion dollars over ten years. One and a half years later, there have yet to be any savings achieved towards that goal of $500 billion. What are the negotiators assuming with regard to any future savings from waste and fraud?

These are just a few of the larger items that make the discussions about cuts hard to follow. Depending on the answers to these issues, the swing in the size of the federal defict over the next decade is in the area of $8 trillion. That swing is almost four times larger than the total amount of the cuts being debated. In other words, without knowing the answers to these baseline questions, it is impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of any of the plans for deficit reduction. The media has to start asking these questions and insisting on answers from Obama and Congress.

Wu Flew Boo Hoo

That did not take long. Congressman Wu has announced that he is resigning from Congress. The Oregon Democrat who was accused the other day of raping the daughter of one of his supporters, says that he will leave as soon as the debt ceiling negotiations are decided. (That may take a while.) Wu says he is leaving for the sake of his children. I guess that the allegations of rape had nothing to do with it.

Wu had previously suffered mass resignations of his staff due to alleged psychological problems. Isn't it great that this allegedly mentally unbalanced man who allegedly raped a teenager is so responsible as to stay to figure out the debt problems.

Where do these folks come from?

Another Obama Lie..err Mistatement Exposed -- 2

According to the latest word from president Obama and his Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, August 2 is the date on which all hell breaks loose because of the lack of an increase in the debt ceiling. The Obama compliant media has run story after story highlighting the terrible things that will occur with this "first ever default by the USA". Now, this is, of course, the fourth date that the administration has put forward as the last possible date before financial Armageddon, but it has not shifted for a few months.

It now appears that the rhetoric from Obama is just not true. Here is a report from Bloomberg News: "The U.S. government can avoid a default for at least a month after the Aug. 2 deadline to lift the debt ceiling set by the Treasury Department, said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC.

'The Federal Reserve and the Treasury can work together to generate enough cash probably for the next two or three months to avoid any kind of automatic default on the Treasury debt,' Silvia, who is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s 'In the Loop' with Betty Liu. 'There’s a way of getting around this issue for at least another month or two.'”

So last night we get the speech in which Obama waves his arms and yells "danger Will Robinson" or at least "danger America"; yet, it turns out that it is just more scare tactics. Maybe he should have added in his speech that if we like our medical insurance plan we can still keep it even after Obamacare forces some fifty to sixty million workers off of insurance provided by their employers.

We need an honest president. Unfortunately, we have Obama instead.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Obama Debt Ceiling Speech

I watched president Obama speak tonight and was amazed. Here was the president of the United States of America making a national address from the White House that was really just another campaign speech. It was bizarre. Obama spoke about a fantasy world in which he is the one who wants to cut spending. Obama first spoke about the great need to cut the federal deficit and about how strongly he felt about accomplishing that. This is the same president who called for and got from a Democrat Congress the greatest spending increases in history. Obama tripled the annual deficit and kept spending at that level year after year. Indeed, Obama sent a budget for next year to Congress that had spending increases, not cuts. He also asked for months that Congress give him an unconditional increase in the debt ceiling, one that had no cuts attached to it. To their credit, the Republicans in the House said that the days of unlimited spending were over. The GOP insisted on spending cuts to offset the increase in the debt ceiling. At that point, Obama decided that in order to avoid any meaningful spending cuts, he would call for tax increases. Just last December, Obama had agreed with the Republicans that increasing taxes when the economy is weak is a very bad idea. But, as they say, that was then and this is now. So Obama went all out to promote the need for additional taxes on millionaires and billionaires (who include people making $200,000 per year or more.) He also railed against the tax breaks given to owners of corporate jets, breaks that only exist because Obama and the Democrats pushed them through in the Stimulus to help promote job growth.

The craziest thing about Obama's speech is that the Democrats have already agreed to drop tax increases as part of the final bill to increase the debt ceiling. That happened three days ago. Now the president is on national TV telling the nation about the need for an approach that all sides have dropped. Obviously, Obama was not serious in this statement. He knows that tax increases are a non-starter at this point. But many of the folks who tuned in are not aware of the state of the negotiations. So Obama played the great compromiser for them. It was another of his phony performances. But it was a dangerous game that will not promote progress in the negotiations. It did make clear, however, that Obama's goal in his speech was to promote his re-election, not the well being of the country.

Another bizarre moment came when Obama told us that Americans have never stood behind leaders who had strong principles and stuck to them; no, Americans have always wanted leaders who were prepared to and did compromise. As those words were read off the teleprompter by Obama, I wondered what Abraham Lincoln, our greatest president, would think of them. Lincoln had strong principles that the country had to be preserved and slavery ended. He stuck to those principles through many dark and bloody years as the Civil War raged across the continent. He did not compromise with the Confederacy. He did not negotiate some lessened form of slavery. He stuck to his principles and carried the nation with him. And he is someone who is still revered today as a man of greatness. Living during the same era as Lincoln, Henry Clay was known as "The Great Compromiser". He engineered the compromise of 1850 and some other notable agreements that just put off the resolution of the issues of slavery and secession. He is remembered today by historians, but there are no monuments to him, no highways, schools or cities named for him. The truth is that Americans do not remember compromisers. Americans remember and honor those who stick to their principles. Obama is just wrong here.

Following Obama's speech, John Boehner gave a short address which pretty much put the lie to everything that Obama said. The House GOP already passed a bipartisan bill to raise the debt ceiling. Obama and the Democrats stopped it in the Senate. The House GOP has another plan that it will put forward tomorrow. Obama does not like it because it will bring the issue back for a vote in six or seven months when another debt hike will be needed. Obama finds that inconvenient for his election campaign, so he threatens to veto the very bill which would resolve the crisis that Obama created.

One last note: it has been eight months since the debt ceiling issue began to be debated. In all that time, Obama has never put forth a detailed proposal. In all that time, no Democrat has put forth a detailed proposal until Harry Reid did today. The GOP, on the other hand, has put forth four separate detailed plans, each of which has been killed when the Democrats said no. Nevertheless, Obama has the nerve to go on national TV and blame the GOP for intransigence.

Hopefully, the American people will see through all of Obama's nonsense. Obama really has to go!

Do Reporters ever go beyond talking points -- 3

For the last two days, I have been writing about the empty-headed reporters at Reuters who have been repeating that the financial markets are being disrupted in a major way due to the current lack of a deal on the debt ceiling. First, we heard that Sunday at 4 pm when the markets opened in Asia was the last possible time for a deal to avoid chaos. Next it was today's markets that would go crazy. Of course, neither was true.

Now we also know where the story line came from. Here is an excerpt from George Will's latest column that makes clear that it was Obama and his people who tried to gin up a false crisis so that the GOP would cave to their demands.

"At his Friday news conference-cum-tantrum, Barack Obama imperiously summoned congressional leaders to his presence: 'I’ve told' them 'I want them here at 11 a.m.' By Saturday, his administration seemed to be cultivating chaos by suddenly postulating a new deadline: The debt-ceiling impasse must end before Asian markets opened Sunday evening Eastern time, lest the heavens fall.

Those markets opened; the heavens held. The faux deadline, reportedly invoked at a Saturday White House meeting by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who should resign, inevitably seeped into the media and invited overseas panic, thereby risking the nation’s currency, for brief tactical advantage."

Wouldn't it be nice if the country, just for once, had reporters that actually did their jobs and uncovered the facts rather than parroting back Obama talking points?

Do Reporters ever go beyond the talking points -- 2

Yesterday, I commented on a Reuters article that said that the GOP was rushing to get its new plan to raise the debt ceiling before 4 PM since that is when markets in Asia opened. The story was ridiculous, and it was clearly written by someone who was either a complete financial illiterate or someone who was intentionally pushing a false story. This morning, there is another article from a different reporter at Reuters talking about how the markets are fearful about what will happen and this is causing the futures to tank. As I write this at 8:55 am Eastern time, the S&P futures are down 10. This is certainly a downward movement, but it is hardly a sign of panic. The decline is less than 1%. It is not unlike countless other futures trades that happen all throughout the year. Indeed, there are no big movements in the interest rates for treasuries, and it is here that the biggest move would be expected if the markets were "filled with fear". So, once again, Reuters is reporting a story that does not really exist. I am sure that the White House, which has been trying to cause panic for a while, will be pleased, but the reality is something quite different. We may get to the day that the markets panic. We are not there yet according to the trading.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nothing Like real life to reveal the truth

In 2008, the strongest age group supporting president Obama was those under 30. Young voters who had only known easy times voted the way that they had been taught by America's liberal educational establishment. There was no known difference between the ivory tower view and the reality that these folks saw. Then came the actual fact of the Obama administration and the three hard years of job insecurity or actual unemployment that have ensued. College students who expected the world to be given to them on a platter after graduation struggled to find work. People without college degrees found the struggle to find work that much harder. Even those with jobs spent the last few years watching friends look unsuccessfully for jobs while themselves worrying about keeping their jobs. Suddenly, it became clear that the world is a tough place and that prosperity is not a birth-right.

The net result of all of this has been a strong shift by young Americans away from the Obama and the Obamacrats. The latest Pew poll shows this in striking fashion. According to the poll, whites under the age of 30 have shifted 11% towards identification as Republicans. Pay close attention to what I just said. This is not a shift about a particular candidate or even a slate of candidates. The shift has moved 11% of this group from being self-identified Democrats to being Republicans. In polling terms, this is not a move; it is an earthquake.

Obama won in 2008 due to higher turnout among minority voters and youth. If, in 2012 the youth of America favor the Republicans, that takes away from Obama the one area where he could have increased his results over 2008. African American turnout as a percentage of all voters is likely to decline in 2012 over the level reached in the euphoria about the first black president. Even a 5% decline is a blow to Obama since he gets well over 90% of these votes. Hispanic population has risen faster than the population as a whole in the last four years, but it is unlikely that the voter percentage of Hispanics will rise. Indeed, if the GOP names Marco Rubio as the first national Hispanic candidate (for vice-president), there could be a massive swing by Hispanics towards the GOP. All that is left for Obama is the youth vote, and that seems to have slipped away.

Much can happen between now and election day to change all of these numbers. One thing is certain, however. Right now, things are looking bleak for the president. I, for one, hope there is no change.

Do the Reporters ever go beyond the Talking Points?

the latest from Reuters about raising the debt ceiling is that the House GOP is coming out with a plan this afternoon and that there is a mad scramble to do this before the markets open in Asia at 4pm eastern time today. According to Reuters, getting the plan out there by that point is critical because "Financial markets are growing more edgy...." I have to wonder what financial markets they are discussing. The remarkable thing about Friday's trading was that it completely ignored the debt ceiling issue. Treasuries were steady, even though they are the most likely to gyrate in the event of a problem. The same was true in markets around the world. Yesterday, there was no trading, and on Sunday there is very little market activity anywhere. So how did we get from calm markets that were ignoring the debt talks to markets "growing more edgy"? Did someone at the Treasury or the DNC issue those talking points? Is Reuters psychic? Maybe someone at Reuters has come back from the future and knows what the trading Monday will be like.

The simple truth is that the article is untrue. The markets are not growing more edgy. They are sedate and serene. There is no pressure from the markets to get the deal done. There is only pressure from the Democrats who are filled with panic and the idiot media which just repeates what the Democrats tell them.

Don't get me wrong. I think it would be a good thing for the country and the economy for the entire debt ceiling issue to be resolved. It ought to be done in an open and honest way, however.

GOP about to call the bluff of the Democrats

If the latest news accounts are correct, the House Republicans are about to call the bluff of the Democrats and president Obama. Byron York is reporting that the House Republican leadership will present a bill that will lift the debt ceiling in two parts. First, there will be an increase in the ceiling of about a trillion dollars which will be accompanied by spending cuts in the same amount. These cuts will come right off of the agreed list developed during the Biden led talks. It would be nearly impossible for anyone to argue against these cuts now since all sides have already agreed to them. Second, the Republican plan calls for establishment of a commission (composed of congressmen and senators) to develop other reductions in the deficit through further spending cuts, modifications to entitlement programs or tax simplification with marginal rate reductions. These would then be presented to Congress for approval on an up/down vote with debt ceiling increases of the same size. Prbably, this vote would come next spring.

So why is this calling the bluff of the Democrats? President Obama has said over and over that he will veto any short term increase in the debt ceiling. Harry Reid has also said that the Democrats want a longer term deal. The GOP plan gives everyone a clear path to increasing the debt ceiling as required, but it will not be long term (since a second vote will be needed). Will Obama actually veto a plan that prevents the chaos he has been predicting if the debt ceiling is not raised? I doubt it; it would be suicidal for his re-election.

What if Obama were to argue that the plan is not fair since there are no tax increases? That too is a losing argument since the plan has the commission looking at potential tax changes. In other words, Obama is boxed in and will, most likely, support this deal.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Not even voting present

Raising the debt ceiling has been on the agenda in Washington for many months now. Right after agreement was reached on the 2010 spending levels (which the Democrats had failed to pass in a timely fashion when they controlled Congress), president Obama asked vice president Biden to lead a group that would negotiate the rise of the debt ceiling. That was more than three months ago. Since that time, the Republicans in the House have put forward and passed a bill that lifts the debt ceiling. It was published and debated and then passed on the floor of the House. The House GOP has also talked with the Democrats and with the president. During those three months, the Senate Democrats have talked; then the talked some more. We have no proposal from them as to how to raise the debt ceiling, however. Indeed, when the House passed its bill, the Senate Democrats took that legislation and would not even allow it to be debated. No, Harry Reid and his fellow Democrats just tabled the House bill. There has been a lot of talk from the Senate Democrats about how the evil GOP was refusing to let taxes get raised sufficiently to meet the Democrats' goal of soaking the rich, but the Senate Democrats have not proposed a bill that sets forth the taxes that they want to raise. For his part, president Obama has also talked and talked and talked. He has talked to Congress, he has talked to the news media and he has talked to the American people. But in all that palaver, Obama has never once said what he actually wants done. Oh we hear that he would agree to spending cuts of various sizes, but the numbers keep changing. We have also heard that Obama wants tax increases, but the American people do not know what those increases would be for the most part. Sure, Obama has told us about changing depreciation for corporate jets, but the bulk of the tax increases he seeks (which total 1.2 trillion dollars in his latest general statements) remain undisclosed.

The government of the United States of America is supposed to operate iin public. Obama came to Washington to bring "transparency" or so he said. America would always know what was going on, he promised. Now, after months of talking, Obama still will not disclose to the public what it is that he wants. What cuts in entitlements will he agree to? what will the spending cuts be? What additional taxes is he seeking?

These are not inconsequential questions. America deserves to know what it is that Obama wants to do. Of course, that assumes that Obama himself knows what he wants to do, an assumption that many no longer believe.

The people of this country should contact their congressment and senators and tell them that unless proposals are made in public and in the form of legislation, there should be no further discussions. If Obama really wants to raise the debt ceiling, he can draft the legislation to do so. If that is too much work so that it will interfere with Obama's next golf game, then let him find a member of his staff who can put the measure together.

When he was a state senator in Illinois, Obama frequently avoided voting on tough issues by voting only "present". In this latest debate, Obama has actually not even bothered to show up and do his job. His conduct does not even rise to the level of voting present.

Is it a preview? The FAA shuts down

Congratulations are in order for the Senate of the United States. The Senate adjourned Friday without passing a bill to continue funding for the Federal Aviation Administration. As a result, the FAA has shut down and furloughed a large number of employees. The taxes on air travel that fund the FAA also expired with the failure to pass the bill, so the government is losing about 200 million dollars a week in revenue.

Why, you may ask, did the Senate throw in the towel? It seems that the big issue is that the House, in passing a bill to fund the FAA, cut about 16 million dollars in expenditures over the next year to subsidize air travel to 13 rural communities in 10 states. To put this into context, remember that the suspended taxes that support the FAA amount to about 200 million dollars per week or about ten and a half billion dollars per year. The cut made by the House comes to a cut of about one tenth of one percent of that amount. If the Democrats in the Senate cannot accept a spending cut of 0.1% in the FAA budget, how will they ever cut spending in the rest of the budget?

The truth is that the Senate Democrats have acted here in a most irresponsible manner. Instead of accepting cuts for 13 little used airports, the entire FAA system is now shut down and thousands are out of work.

Polls for all occassions

It is truly amazing to look at some of the polls about the debt ceiling negotiations that are being discussed in the media. No matter what position one favors, it is easy to find a poll that supports that view. Most of you have probably seen the poll that "reveals" that the public will blame the GOP by a margin of 3 to 2 if there is no deal. Then there are the polls that say that a majority of the public wants any deal to include tax increases. Then there is yesterday's Rasmussen poll which found that 55% of the public oppose any tax hikes in the deal. Another Rasmussen poll also found that 58% of voters disapprove of the performance of Obama and the Obamacrats in these negotiations while 52% disapprove of the performance of the GOP.

The truth is that there are polls, more polls and still more polls. Depending on how the questions are worded and asked, the results vary. Depending on whether or not a screen for likely voters is used, the results vary. To me, probably the best indicator of how the negotiations are going for Obama is to look at the trend in his approval ratings on Real Clear Politics which takes all the polls and averages them together. Over the last two months, those approving of Obama have declined by about 6% and those disapproving have increased by a like number. Right now, it is 49% disapprove and 45.9% approve. While this is not just dependent on the debt negotiations, they still are the largest event shaping perceptions in the last month or so, so this ought to be a proxy for the public view as to how things are going.

The real truth is that Obama has come to learn the hard way that you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

Where do they find these people --David Wu

Just when the Weiner mess was receding into memory, we hear of another Congressman who cannot seem to act appropriately. David Wu, Democrat of Oregon, has admitted to having a sexual relationship with the daughter of a friend and supporter of his. The woman in question says that Wu forced himself upon her, while the Congressman says the relations were consensual. The woman in question just graduated from high school, so she is not underage, although the idea of an 18 year old willingly hooking up with a 54 year old congressman does not seem too likely. Wu, of course, is the Democrat who had his senior staff quit last February on the grounds that he was mentally unstable and needed help. Wu also admitted at that point to an addiction to pills.

So, we have a mentally unstable, addict and possible rapist representing Oregon in Congress. Was Jack the Ripper unavailable? Where do they find these people?

Norway -- 2

The latest reports say that the perpetrator of the attacks in Norway was a Norwegian who appears to have acted alone. The early claim of responsibility by a radical Islamic group was just a lie. The gunman was not on the radar of local security forces; he had no criminal record or history of involvement with violent groups. He seems to be an ordinary Norwegian who also happens to be a mass murderer.

One has to wonder how this guy could have done what he did. It is hard to imagine any person intentionally killing children at a camp. While they were all teenagers, they remain children, innocent children. How anyone could kill 80 of them is beyond belief.

The debt ceiling fiasco

So what really happened in those discussions between president Obama and speaker Boehner? Did the GOP just refuse any increases in revenue as Obama portrays it? Did Obama change his position at the last minute to demand a big increase in revenue as Boehner says? Based upon past performance, I am inclined to believe Boehner rather than Obama. There have just been too many convenient political lies coming from Obama in the last three years to accept him as truthful. But more than history, there is the logic of the situation. Here the key is exactly what Boehner said. According to the Speaker, he had agreed to an increase of 800 billion dollars of revenue to be gotten from tax reform and enhanced enforcement. Those words are a major announcement from a GOP leader. He had agreed to higher revenue as well as big spending cuts. "Tax reform" that brings in 600 billion dollars or so is another way of saying higher taxes. True, the marginal rates would not go up and the revenue would come from taxes on groups that had gotten special treatment in the past from Congress, but these are tax increases nevertheless. If Boehner had just walked away from Obama (as the president claims) because he would not agree to tax increases, Boehner would not then go out and announce that he had agreed to certain tax increases. It would be like Obama falsely announcing that no deal could be reached but he had agreed during the negotiations to a 10% cut in social security. No sane politician would do that.

So what really happened? The truth is that Obama tried to take advantage of his own refusal to put forth his own plan. No one knows what the president's position is because he does not have one. There is no Obama plan for deficit reduction. Indeed, there is no Democrat plan for reducing the deficit. All we have ever heard from Obama is glittering generalities, not details. Sure, there were items like tax changes to undo the break on corporate jets that Obama and the Democrats pushed through in the stimulus package, but those are tiny changes that do not amount to much. Obama never identified to the public how large a tax increase he sought. He never told America how big a spending cut he would accept and what it would consist of. Even yesterday the president spoke of cuts in discretionery and defense spending as one big blob for the entire next ten years. No one knows what that means. No one knows how those supposed cuts were going to be allocated.

The time has come for the GOP to refuse to speak to Obama further until he puts a detailed plan on the table in public. If he has ever had any intention to reach agreement, Obama has to have details by now, so putting forth a plan is no big effort. At the same time, the GOP leadership can speak to the more responsible Democrats, namely, Reid and Pelosi. (That is a sentence I never thought I would write -- imagine Reid and Pelosi and "responsible" in the same thought.) At least Reid and Pelosi have enough experience governing to understand that there is a method to negotiation that has to be followed. Last minute switches simply do not work when both sides have to agree.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A total failure by the Obamacrats

We are now just two weeks away from the supposed drop dead date for the federal government to run out of money for full operation. At this point, it is a fair question to ask the president what he proposes. No, we do not want another vague speech, the country wants to know what he proposes. What is his plan. And if Obama has not got a plan, what is the plan of his party?

Since the start of this debate in January, the Republicans have proposed a budget and passed it in the House. The Republicans proposed a plan for raising the debt ceiling and passed it in the House. The Republican leader of the Senate has proposed a plan which has not been voted upon in the Democrat controlled Senate. During all that time, the only proposal from Obama and the Obamacrats was the Obama budget which no one took seriously. Indeed, when Obama's budget was put up for a vote in the Democrat controlled Senate, it lost 97 to 0. That's right, not a single Democrat voted for the budget proposal of their own president. Everyone recongnized that the Obama proposal was not serious. Instead of cutting spending, it proposed increasing spending and the deficit.

We have now watched the spectacle of months of discussions going on and on in Washington. In all that time, the Democrats did not respect the American people enough to put forward any proposal to the debt problem. All we have seen is yelling and screaming and rejection of the GOP proposals. The Democrats went on for years calling the Republicans the party of NO, but in truth, that is what they are. It is highly irresponsible for Obama and the Obamacrats to come forward with no plan to resolve the crisis. They are more worried about taking responsibility for the problem than they are about solving it. The Obamacrats and their leader are more concerned with holding on to their power than they are about doing what will benefit the country. It is a national disgrace.

Let's hope that in 2012, the voters remember this performance.


Today's terror attack in Oslo, Norway leads one to wonder what in the world is going on. We always hear nonsense about how the USA was attacked because of what we do around the world. The British and the French have a colonialist past, so they are targets. But even under the deranged view of many press commentators, why would anyone target Norway? I do not think that Norwegians had much effect on those outside their own country since about the tenth century when the Vikings were ravaging Europe. Certainly, there is no reason for Islamic terrorists to fear or hate the Norwegians. Of course, many terror attacks are clearly irrational.

Right now, the perpetrators of this attack should be caught. Those who have been injured need to be rescued. Let's hope and pray that no more than the two fatalities currently being reported turn up. Indeed, there is not much that we as Americans can do at this moment other than to offer our help to Norway as that country may need it and to pray for peace for Norway and for justice for the perpetrators.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, now a victim

I have to laugh at the conduct of Debbie Wasserman Schultz in response to Alan West's e-mail confronting her for what she has been saying. Debbie, the Chair of the Democrat National Committee, is now supposedly a poor downtrodden victim. Oh, how sad it is. Debbie cannot respond to West's e-mail by herself. How could she? She has nothing to say. No, after she singles out West for attack as the only African American Republican from Florida and she gets called for her racism, Debbie runs to hide behind others. Indeed, she has called out the entire professional victims' corps of the Democrats. The professional victims' corps says nothing about Shultz' racism. No, supposedly Debbie is now the victim due to West's "mistreatment" of women and his anti-semitism. What utter nonsense!

Let's just look at the facts. Wasserman Shultz has over the last year repeatedly attacked West. Is it coincidence that her attacks on Florida Republicans all seem to center on West who is the only black in the Florida GOP delegation? Was that the case during last fall's campaign when she called him crazy? What was the reason for all those attacks since then that she has leveled at West? Or is the actual explanation racism on the part of Schultz.

Wasserman Shultz can try to hide behind the professional victims' corps all she wants. It does not change the facts. West basically told her to shut up; the surprise is that it took him so long to do that, not what he said.

No one in America should be functioning on the basis of racism. We have all struggled for too long to get past that. It may be time for president Obama to suggest that the DNC get a new chairperson.

So What is actually going on?

In the last three hours, there have been reports by the New York Times and other media that Obama and Boehner are reaching a big deal on the debt ceiling. This position is reinforced by the fact that Boehner has called a meeting of the Trpublican caucus in the House for 9 am Friday. On the other hand, the White House spokesman confirmed within the last hour that a deal was not close. And, of course, no one from the White House or the Congress has disclosed what it is that they are discussing.

So here we are just days from the deadline announced by the White House, and Obama has yet to put forward any plan. That's right, Obama has proposed nothing, zilch, nada! He must have something that he is discussing with the GOP, but not anything that he is prepared to disclose to the American people.

It is truly unfair to the American people for these talks to proceed in this manner. We all have a right to know what is being discussed. Further, we need a president who actually understands what leadership means. Contrary to Obama's core beliefs, leadership is not making speeches. Rather, it is making choices and decisions, something that Obama seems unable to do.

Going from Really Bad to Worse

Quick, tell me who Cenk Uygur is! If you are one of the three people in the country who knows the answer, then you may have a big disappointment heading your way. Uygur is the loud mouth host of the MSNBC show on at 6 pm Eastern Time each weekday. If you do not know that, then you are part of the 99.8% of the public that does not watch that show. Indeed, I have seen the show in part on multiple occassions, but I never knew who the dark-haired, chubby guy was until news came that he had been fired. Uygur claims that he left due to creative differences. The MSNBC management has its own story. Who cares? I just realize that Uygur's leaving will have about as much impact in America as if someone in Ohio has squashed a bug.

Sadly, the MSNBC management has actually made things worse. In an amazing move, MSNBC is going to give the 6pm hour to a show headed by the Rev. Al Sharpton. While it is hard to imagine that MSNBC could have less viewers for a show than it had with Uygur as the host, Sharpton is one of the few personalities who could achieve what ought to be the unachievable. First of all, Shartpon is very hard to understand due to a combination fo the way he speaks and his accent. That is not a very auspicious start for a TV host. Second, there are the wacky views that Sharpton holds. After the Tawana Brawley scandal, we know all that we need to know about Sharpton.

It seems strange to me that Comcast does not close down MSNBC and re-open it with some other theme. Certainly, cable television could do with more reality tv. Maybe Cablevision could start the first the first channel to give hints on how to wash clothing. At least viewership would go up from the current levels at MSNBC.

New Unemployment claims -- the continuing saga

It's Thursday, and that means that we will all get to see an "unexpectedly" high number for new unemployment claims during the prior week. True to form, this week's number was 418,000 new claims. That is up 10,000 from last week, and it is right in line with the four week average of 421,000. It is also the 15th week in a row that the claims number has exceeded 400,000. In other words, it is the fifteenth week in a row that the economy is not producing jobs fast enough to lower unemployment and, perhaps, even keep the rate steady. Indeed, during the last three months, the unemployment rate has risen with each new monthly figure.

Today's news is just another blow to the myth that Obama has done anything to help the economy grow. Indeed, it is proof positive that Obama's policies have been a massive flop that has cost the American people dearly. Of course, that does not stop the media from still trying to downplay these terrible results. Here is what AP had to say today:

"Economists have attributed much of the slowdown to temporary factors, such as a spike in gas prices this spring. Manufacturing output also declined after Japan's March 11 earthquake disrupted global supply chains."

You would think that even the media would be embarrassed to keep telling us that the increase in unemployment is temporary when we are just short of four months of awful results, but nothing seems to stop their campaigning for Obama and the Obamacrats.

The real truth is that something major has to be done or we will see another year or even more of steady or rising unemployment numbers. There are a host of things that could help, some quickly and some long term. Right now, Obama is doing none of them. NONE! How can he ever hope to win re-election when his policies continue to raise unemployment and kill jobs? Who will actually vote for him?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is Debbie Wasserman Schultz a Racist?

The Chair of the Democrat National Committee, Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida has consistently criticized her fellow Congressman from Florida, Alan West. West, who happens to be African American, seems to be singled out each time by Wasserman Schultz when she decides to talk negatively about Republican representatives from Florida. Indeed, in the latest flap, when West responded to a tirade from Schultz that accused West basically of throwing seniors under the bus, Schultz brought out a group of female Congressmen to feign outrage that West would speak to her in such a manner. West had told Shultz that if she had something to complain about with regard to his actions, she should speak to him directly. Oh, how heinous!

So here we have it. Wasserman Schultz is attacking West repeatedly, but she is not attacking the other Florida Republican representatives, all of whom happen to be white. In plain English, Wasserman Schultz is singling out West because of his race. She has done it before and she continues to do it. Indeed, during the last campaign, she called West crazy, an epithet that she reserves for a black man.

I think that there ought to be an outcry calling upon Wasserman Schultz to apologize for her conduct. Then she should be sent to receive diversity training. Just because she is in congress and chair of the DNC does not excuse Wasserman Schultz for her conduct.

Things look bleak in Obamaland

There were two polls released today that ought to give the White House a panic attack. First, Rasmussen released a national poll which showed Mitt Romney leading Obama by 43% to 42%. Sure, the rap on Rasmussen is that his polls always seem to show the Republicans doing better than some others, and it is obviously way early to get too invested in poll results. If you add in the second poll, however, you find that Public Policy Polling which is a Democrat pollster shows a tie nationally between Obama and Romney at 45% each. The key to both these polls is not only that Obama is tied or just behind, but also that his numbers are so low. An incumbent president cannot feel safe unless his numbers are over 50%. After all, the public knows him well, and if they are still not in favor of his re-election, something major has got to change for him to win.

Things get even worse for Obama when he is matched against a generic Republican. In those matches, Obama is generally 6 to 8 percent behind the generic GOP candidate depending on which company is doing the polling.

Obama will have many chances to change the dynamic in the next 15 months. It will be hard for Obama to do anything now that will rescue the economy, however. If the USA economy continues to limp along like now, or if the economy gets worse (hopefully not), Obama will be stuck with much of his present position. In other words, at this early point, things do not look good for the Man from Hope and Change.

Let's look at spending reality

One of the big themes in the current coverage of the debt ceiling issue is that the USA cannot cut spending without doing terrible harm to the poor and middle class. No one ever investigates this to put forward the truth, so I think it is time to set it out there.

During the four years of George W. Bush's second term, the average level of federal spending was 2.7 trillion dollars per year. This included major defense expenditures in Iraq which drove spending levels higher. During the Obama years, federal spending has averaged 3.7 trillion dollars. During Obama's term, costs in Iraq plummeted, but costs in Afghanistan rose, just about offsetting the dollars in the defense budget. In other words, the rise in spending was not due to defense. To be fair, some of the increased spending was due to the recession, but that was not that big a percentage of the rise. In other words, in just three years in office, Obama has managed to spend an additional three trillion dollars over the levels that spending was at during the second Bush term. In percentage terms, spending has risen by about 37% on average during the Obama term.

Let's put what this means into clear English: If the Congress cuts four hundred billion dollars of spending per year over the next ten years, the USA will save the four trillion dollars about which everyone speaks. Spending, however, will still be at a level that is $600 billion higher than it was under Bush. There will be no calamity. There will be nothing close to a calamity. Everyone needs to think about what it is that the federal government is doing now that it was not doing under Bush. What services or benefits is the public now receiving from the government that were not there under Bush? Where is that extra 600 billion dollars going? In short, would anyone even miss the reduction of the 400 billion dollars that would be cut from the budget?

The answer is self-evident. Most of the hue and cry over the cuts to the budget is just partisan nonsense coming from the Obamacrats. It is time for Washington to get serious and just cut the budget already.

Will Anyone Call him on it?

Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa was busy telling lies again in the last 24 hours, but I wonder how many in the media will call him on it. Here is part of what Harkin said during a blast at the GOP for opposing a raise to the debt ceiling without spending cuts.
"Democrats are willing to do whatever is necessary to raise the debt ceiling, not for future borrowing but to pay the debts that we racked up in the past. Which, mostly was racked up by a Republican House, a Republican Senate and a Republican President in the last 8 years. Yet, they're not willing to pay the bills."

So let's look at the lies. During the last 8 years, Democrats controlled the Senate for 4 and a half years and Republicans for 3 and a half years. Democrats controlled the House for 4 years and Republicans controlled the House for 4 years. During those eight years (which run from October 1 2004, to September 30, 2011) the total deficit of the federal government was just undr 8.5 trillion dollars. That's right, during the last eight years (including the projection to the end of the current fiscal year in September) the federal government spent 8.5 trillion dollars more than it took in. During the time that the Republicans controlled the House and the Senate, the total deficit was just under 2.25 trillion dollars. In other words, during the time about which Harkin was speaking, the Republicans ran up only about a quarter of the deficit and the Democrats were responsible for three quarters. In English, these figures mean that Harkin is a blatant liar.

I will wait to see if anyone in the media takes on Harkin for such a blatant lie. I don't expcet to see anything, however. Under the new doubletalk from the Democrats, they are suddenly the party that is responsible about spending. Curiouser and curiouser.