Because I am constantly getting "looks" from new traffic, I'd like to just take a moment and lay out how "newsbites" work.
For those new to Usually Right, a "newsbite" is when I take a bit of news... or punditry... or government document... or think tank white paper... and via editing for brevity and clarity - with my own commentary inserted within in a manner making clear what is my opinion and what is "primary" material - share it with readers.
What I'm about to do now is use this "front page" to showcase a particular newsbite from today.
Normally, however, "newsbites" are found WITHIN the comments section of each day's "newsbites" stand-alone post.
Imagine if the government mandated that you buy an expensive certificate to eat at a certain restaurant chain, but you quickly discovered that this chain only provided you with limited food options and didn’t hire additional chefs or waiters to cover the new volume of customers. Moreover, what if the waiters who already worked there recognized the voucher holders as poor tippers and provided them with poor service?
Welcome to the world of Obamacare.
As objectionable as the new wrinkles of Obamacare are — the individual mandate, IPAB, etc. — perhaps its worst feature is the way it takes the most harmful aspects of our current health-care system and expands them, rather than cutting them back.
Whether or not the individual mandate is struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court as unconstitutional...we still face a situation in which we won’t have anywhere near enough doctors to care for the expanded volume of patients that ObamaCare will create.
Even without ObamaCare, doctors are already overwhelmed with low-paying, highly restricted insurance that lets a patient demand to be seen whenever he or she wants to, but restricts the tests and treatments a doctor can order, while paying us less and less to provide the service.
* IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T GUESSED... YEAH... THE AUTHOR IS A DOCTOR.
America has a shrinking number of doctors...
* AND YET...
ObamaCare will make things much worse by increasing the number of people who are insured, expanding the procedures and other items (e.g. contraception) that are covered, and enlarging the government’s involvement in running it all. Add to that the persistent liability concerns associated with performing high-tech procedures if they fail, and you can understand why the best and the brightest are no longer flocking to medical schools.
There has never been a greater obsession with health-care delivery than we have now, yet the number of medical-school applicants is actually down, from 46,965 in 1996 to 43,919 in 2011. And those who graduate from medical school are not choosing to become low-paying primary-care doctors, such as internists. Studies have shown that our ranks decreased by 32% from 1985 to 2008.
* PERHAPS THE DEMS WILL SIMPLY "DEEM" UNEMPLOYED DEMS TO BE DOCTORS AND THAT'S HOW THEY'LL SOLVE THE PROBLEM. YOU KNOW... THE EQUIVALENT OF CUTTING DOWN ON CRIME BY DECRIMINALIZING CERTAIN BEHAVIORS ONCE COUNTED AS CRIMINAL. PRESTO CHANGO!
[O]ur health-care system is broken, with a bias toward rewarding high tech but not hard work. And instead of addressing the essential problems that many doctors face (too many patients, too many restrictions, diminishing reimbursements, increasing expenses, the ever-present threat of malpractice litigation), ObamaCare just extends these problems to more patients.
Increasing the number of Americans with access to health care is a laudable goal, but simply "decreeing" it by expanding coverage won’t work.
You can make a case for the federal law mandating that emergency rooms must not turn away sick patients, but instead of providing actual medical services to the poor and needy — for instance, by building more government-run clinics or expanding the National Health Services Corp. — ObamaCare just extends an easy-to-overuse insurance that doesn’t guarantee anyone access to actual care.
* AND I WOULDN'T EVEN AGREE THAT ONE CAN MAKE A CASE FOR FEDERAL LAW MANDATING THAT EMERGENCY ROOMS ADMIT THOSE UNABLE TO PAY UNLESS AND UNTIL THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GUARANTEES PAYMENT!
The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that the U.S. will be 160,000 doctors short by 2025.
The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that the U.S. will be 160,000 doctors short by 2025.
But as overwhelming as this number is, it doesn’t take into account all the doctors who have stopped or will soon stop seeing patients who use Medicaid, Medicare, or HMOs that no longer pay us enough to cover our bills.
Whether or not the individual mandate is struck down, there isn’t a doctor out there now in the medical trenches who wouldn’t prefer to accept cash rather than work with insurance. But only if the so-called Affordable Care Act is dismantled can we begin to address the excessive costs and the doctor and patient discontent that lie at the heart of what is wrong with our health-care system.
As has been said, if the federal government wants to defy the Constitution and force my patients to buy something, it should have started with nutritious broccoli. At least broccoli will improve our health, whereas ObamaCare won’t.
If the individual mandate is upheld by SCOTUS, doctors will continue to drop out of insurance, probably at an accelerating pace, and I expect the feds to next create a mandate for all doctors to accept ObamaCare insurance.
If that bleak day comes, perhaps doctors will finally be ready to revolt.
* NOTICE, FOLKS... THE HEADER TO EACH NEWSBITE IS THE DIRECT LINK. YOU CAN'T JUST CLICK IT. YOU HAVE TO "CUT" IT AND THEN "PASTE" IT TO YOUR WEBPAGE ADDRESS BAR.
If it had been a white teenager who was shot, and a 28-year-old black guy who shot him, the black guy would have been arrested.
So assert those demanding the arrest of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin.
And they may be right.
Yet if Trayvon had been shot dead by a black neighborhood watch volunteer, Jesse Jackson would not have been in a pulpit in Sanford, Fla., howling that he had been "murdered and martyred."
Maxine Waters would not be screaming "hate crime."
Rep. Hank Johnson would not be raging that Trayvon had been "executed." And ex-Black Panther Bobby Rush would not have been wearing a hoodie in the well of the House.
Which tells you what this whipped-up hysteria is all about.
It is not about finding the truth about what happened that night in Sanford when Zimmerman followed Trayvon in his SUV, and the two wound up in a fight, with Trayvon dead.
It is about the exacerbation of and the exploitation of racial conflict.
And it is about an irreconcilable conflict of visions about what the real America is in the year 2012.
Zimmerman "profiled" Trayvon, we are told. And perhaps he did.
But why? What did George Zimmerman, self-styled protector of his gated community, see that night from the wheel of his SUV?
He saw a male. And males are 90 percent of prison inmates. He saw a stranger over 6 feet tall. And he saw a black man or youth with a hood over his head.
Why would this raise Zimmerman's antennae?
Perhaps because black males between 16 and 36, though only 2 to 3 percent of the population, are responsible for a third of all our crimes.
In some cities, 40 percent of all black males are in jail or prison, on probation or parole, or have criminal records. This is not a product of white racism but of prosecutions and convictions of criminal acts.
Had Zimmerman seen a black woman or older man in his neighborhood, he likely would never have tensed up or called in.
For all the abuse he has received, Geraldo Rivera had a point.
Whenever cable TV runs hidden-camera footage of a liquor or convenience store being held up and someone behind the counter being shot, the perp is often a black male wearing a hoodie.
Listening to the heated rhetoric coming from demonstrations around the country, from the Black Caucus and TV talkers -- about how America is a terrifying place for young black males to grow up in because of the constant danger from white vigilantes -- one wonders what country of the mind these people are living in.
The real America is a country where the black crime rate is seven times as high as the white rate. It is a country where white criminals choose black victims in 3 percent of their crimes, but black criminals choose white victims in 45 percent of their crimes.
Black journalists point to the racism manifest even in progressive cities, where cabs deliberately pass them by to pick up white folks down the block.
That this happens is undeniable. But, again, what is behind it?
As Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has written, from January to June 2008 in New York City, 83 percent of all identified gun assailants were black and 15 percent were Hispanics.
Together, blacks and Hispanics accounted for 98 percent of gun assaults.
Translated: If a cabdriver is going to be mugged or murdered in New York City by a fare, 49 times out of 50 his assailant or killer will be black or Hispanic.
Fernando Mateo of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers has told his drivers, "Profile your passengers" for your own protection. "The God's honest truth is that 99 percent of the people that are robbing, stealing, killing these guys are blacks and Hispanics."
Fernando Mateo is himself black and Hispanic.
To much of America's black leadership and its media auxiliaries, what happened in Sanford was, as Jesse put it, that an innocent kid was "shot down in cold blood by a vigilante."
Yet, from police reports, witness statements, and the father and friends of Zimmerman, another picture emerges.
Zimmerman followed Trayvon, confronted him, and was punched in the nose, knocked flat on his back and jumped on, getting his head pounded, when he pulled his gun and fired. That Trayvon's body was found face down, not face up, would tend to support this.
But, to Florida Congresswoman Federica Wilson, "this sweet young boy ... was hunted down like a dog, shot on the street, and his killer is still at large."
Some Sanford police believed Zimmerman; others did not.
But now that it is being investigated by a special prosecutor, the FBI, the Justice Department and a coming grand jury, what is the purpose of this venomous portrayal of George Zimmerman?
As yet convicted of no crime, he is being crucified in the arena of public opinion as a hate-crime monster and murderer.
Is this our idea of justice?
No. But if the purpose here is to turn this into a national black-white face-off, instead of a mutual search for truth and justice, it is succeeding marvelously well.
Official Document Title: USCIS Proposes Process Change for Certain Waivers of Inadmissibility
In English... open the floodgates wider.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today posted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register that would reduce the time U.S. citizens are separated from their spouses, children, and parents (i.e. immediate relatives) who must obtain an immigrant visa abroad to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.
It's called accelerating chain immigration.
This rule would allow certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to apply for a provisional waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility while still in the United States if they can demonstrate that being separated from their U.S. citizen spouse or parent would cause that U.S. citizen relative extreme hardship.
Meaning: "Well... if you broke the law to come here and/or stay here illegally... what the heck - all is forgiven."
Aderholt, Alexander, Bachus, Barletta, Bass (NH), Benishek, Berg, Biggert, Bilbray, Bilirakis, Bonner, Bono-Mack, Buchanan, Calvert, Camp, Canseco, Cantor, Capito, Carter, Cravaack, Crawford, Crenshaw, Davis (KY), Denham, Dent, Diaz-Balart, Dold, Dreier, Duffy, Duncan (TN), Emerson, Fitzpatrick, Forbes, Fortenberry, Frelinghuysen, Gallegly, Gerlach, Gibbs, Gibson, Granger, Grimm, Guthrie, Hanna, Hastings (WA), Hayworth, Heck, Herrera-Beutler, Hurt, Johnson (OH), Jones, Kelly, King (NY), Kinzinger (IL), Latham, LaTourette, Lewis (CA), LoBiondo, Lucas, Luetkemeyer, Lungren (Daniel E.), Marino, McCarthy (CA), McKeon, McKinley, Meehan, Miller (FL), Miller (MI), Noem, Nugent, Nunes, Paulsen, Petri, Platts, Reed, Rehberg, Reichert, Renacci, Roby, Rogers (AL), Rogers (KY), Rogers (MI), Ros-Lehtinen, Roskam, Runyan, Ryan (WI), Schilling, Schock, Smith (NE), Smith (NJ), Southerland, Stivers, Terry, Tiberi, Turner (NY), Turner (OH), Walden, Webster, Whitfield, Wittman, Wolf, Womack, Young (AK), Young (FL), and Young (IN).
These are the self-proclaimed yet phony "deficit hawks" and supposed "fiscal conservatives" who voted against a budget plan that would balance the budget over the next five years and instead supported the "leadership" plan that promises to balance the federal budget by... er... 2040 - that is if everything goes according to plan with Republicans controlling all three branches of government for the next... er... 28 years... with "best case" economic forecasts being not "hopes," but reality.
(Oh... by the way... Connie Mack did not vote. He's busy running for the Senate, so... I guess he figures "screw the day job.")
Folks... read through the list of RINOs. Is your representative on that list? Mine is!
Yep... Nan Hayworth...
Notice I "bolded" a few names other than hers. These are some of the biggest phonies in politics.
Notice Eric Cantor's name is on the "traitor" list! Cantor, as you know, is Boehner's number two. Why is Boehner's name not on the list? Easy. The Speaker usually does not vote; he (or she) votes in the case of a tie.
Folks... I don't know what to tell you.
I'm just gonna end here before I make some "suggestions" that may gain the attention of the FBI, Secret Service, ATF, and/or Homeland Security.
1) These endorsements we're getting now strike me as unprincipled.
Where were these clowns after the first few debates? Hmm...?!
No... if you're only "picking" your candidate now it has nothing to do with who you truly believe would make the best president. Rather, what Rubio's late endorsement - and Bush's to come - is all about concerns an attempt to forestall an actual open, public, and transparent convention fight for the nomination.
2) Notice, folks... you haven't seen any debates in awhile, have you? Do you think that's by accident? No. Romney simply refused to debate and with the GOP establishment and the so-called "conservative" media behind him as well as the mainstream media, he faced no backlash.
Folks... I have no idea what the actual percentage is, but I can tell you with total confidence that a great many of Romney's votes came simply out of a combination of name recognition and sheeple buying in to the storyline that Romney was the inevitable candidate so therefore a vote for him would give one "bragging rights" about having "picked the winner."
Seriously, folks... sheeple actually are this shallow and easily manipulated. (At least great numbers of our fellow citizens are.)
Will endorsement's such as Rubio's and Bush's help Romney get to 1144 delegates? Maybe. We'll see.
Me? I'm still hoping the people come to their senses.
Let me end by just noting... I hated George W. Bush back in 2000. (Well... "hate" is a strong word; let's just say he wasn't my candidate.)
After 9/11 I concluded that I'd been wrong about Bush. Yes, I still had my problems with him during his first term, but on the whole I was a Bush supporter. And then... second term Bush tried to appoint his old babysitter to the Supreme Court... he offered the Taliban the federal contract for U.S. Port Security... he declared that we had to turn away from capitalism in order to "save" it...
(Yeah, folks... the first two slams were purposeful exaggerations... but the third... not so much.)
Oh... and then there was McCain.
Folks... all I can say is that I'm pretty good at identifying losers, failures, incompetents, and phonies early.
I wish I could buy all the happy talk about yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court hearing on ObamaCare.
Here's the deal: Four members of the U.S. Supreme Court simply don't care what the Constitution of the United States says, let alone what our Founders and various Amendment writers and approvers meant.
Four members of the U.S. Supreme Court - Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayer, and Kegan - routinely put ideology above sincere Constitional adherence to when it comes to their rulings. They believe that America is a nation of men (and women), not laws, and that the Constitution is what they say it is at any particular point in time rather than the ultimate Rule of Law to be obeyed or changed via legal means... by which I mean the Constitutional Amendment process.
The fact that by and large this reality is simply "accepted" by most in the legal community, by most members of the Executive and Legislative branches, and most members of the citizenry as a whole, should serve to demonstrate why I constantly remark that the American Republic under the Rule of Law is dead.
Justice Kennedy...? The so-called swing vote? Regardless of what the logic of his questioning yesterday seemed to preview, he - like the "Court liberals" - has a history of ignoring the plain words and evident meaning of the Constitution when it suits his purposes.
I'll be honest with you, folks... the only Justice who I count as a sure vote against ObamaCare strictly based upon knowing the man reveres the Constitution above all else is Justice Thomas.
Scalia? Yes. I'm 95% confident that he'll vote to overturn ObamaCare, but you must understand... unlike Thomas, Scalia reveres the Constitution with an asterisk; Scalia believes if precedent is old enough and strong enough, it alone "changes" the Constitution and "over-writes" Original Intent.
Alito? I'm 98% confident he'll vote to overturn ObamaCare.
Roberts...? Let's say 90%.
If ObamaCare is not overturned... or even if the individual mandate is ruled unconstitutional yet the rest of ObamaCare is not struck down (as it technically "must" be since Congress didn't insert a severability clause into the legislation)... then America ceases to possess any true claim to retain the title of "Constitutional Republic."
Pray with me, friends.
Pray with me that at least five out of the nine men and women who sit upon the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States abide by their oaths and rule according to their sincere understanding of the Constitution rather than ruling on illegitimate "pragmatic" grounds that "just happen" to match their own personal policy preferences.
As the "Romney The Inevitable" tide continues to come in, I just hope that one day people realize how they've been manipulated by the media - both mainstream and "conservative" establishment.
Folks... it's no coincidence that debates have been basically "discontinued."
Folks... it's not just "by chance" that Romney refused to debate Gingrich one on one... that he wouldn't debate Santorum one on one... and that the media refused to pressure him to do so even though obviously such one on one debates would have made a splash - and made money - for the network(s) and indeed the media as a whole via follow-up coverage.
Some will reflexively reply that "there were enough debates."
A few million people watching even the key debates... out of a national population of over 307,000,000.
How many Americans could, if asked, accurately describe the Romney economic plan vs. the Gingrich economic plan vs. the Santorum economic plan?
No, folks... the American People have been manipulated once again by agenda driven media figures who "produced" the same old dog and pony shows and failed to provide the sort of context (let alone fact checking) that little ol' me provides day in and day out on this very blog.
You know that Romney biography I've spoken of... which I've read... the one written by those two Boston Globe reporters, Michael Kranish and Scott Helman? My prediction? The moment Romney is the official GOP nominee (if, God forbid, this comes to pass) we'll all be hearing about it... and what's in it.
I've actually gotta hand it to the mainstream media! It was a brilliant tactic to first "cooperate" with the Romney effort to destroy Gingrich via repeating lie after lie and then denying Gingrich the oxygen of coverage while shifting their focus to Santorum and "creating" - for a brief moment - a new "strongest challenger" to Romney.
People are mainly Sheeple and they tend to follow the media's lead. The media - both mainstream and "conservative" - told the Sheeple that Newt Gingrich couldn't win and so...
But the media also knew that enough of the Sheeple viscerally distrusted Romney that they needed to at least create a new "serious challenger" to Romney. That creation was Santorum. Thing is... as I told you all from the beginning... Santorum never had a shot. The religious Right candidate who opposes birth control and who supported Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey was never going to be the GOP candidate for president in 2012 and would be unable to beat Barack Hussein Obama in any case.
Oh, well... all I can do is create a record of how and why this mess came to pass.
I'm still praying for a miracle!
I'm still praying for an actual convention battle and for Santorum to come to his senses and join Rick Perry, Herman Kain, Art Laffer, and... er... me... by putting the national good above personal ambition.
I know... I know... Santorum has more delegates and more votes than Gingrich so why shouldn't it be Gingrich who throws his support to Santorum? Why that's an easy one, folks! It's because Gingrich could and would beat Obama while Santorum would lose! That's the pragmatic answer!
The philosophical answer? Because Gingrich is smarter, more visionary, and would make a better president than former Senator Santorum. (And I've explained why I believe this again and again and again... with specifics.)
Anyway, folks... happy last full weekend in March!
Presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Thursday said Republicans should give President Barack Obama another term if Santorum isn’t the GOP nominee...
Here's what the dumb bastard actually said:
“If they’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk of what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate for the future.”
This isn't 2008! Romney isn't McCain!
Obama's victory in '08 has served as the wake up call to America. In the national election of 2010 Americans demonstrated that they had heard the wake up call loud and clear by voting to return the House of Representatives to Republican hands.
(Unfortunately the Boehner Republicans have largely squandered the opportunity handed them by the American People over the past 14 months, but that's beside the current point...)
Obama's election served as the most nasty medicine possible in terms of laying the groundwork for "patient" America's recovery. The logic of electing Obama was that the short-term pain his policies would lead to would shock the American People into turning course and returning to responsible, limited, constitutional government.
Again... it "worked" in the sense that after two years of Obama, "We The People" threw Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats out of power in the House...
On the other hand, the Democrats retained the Senate and over the past 14 months Obama and Reid have continued to wreak havoc upon the American economy, American national security interests, and the very Rule of Law this nation was founded upon.
To even consider voting for an Obama second term - let alone suggesting others vote for Obama over Mitt Romney should Romney win the GOP nomination - that goes beyond mere pique and loss of self-control; Santorum's words are the the words of someone who clearly puts himself above the interests of America!
I've told you all along, people, Santorum is...
Well... I'll leave the descriptive language to others. Let's just say that I've never trusted Santorum and Santorum's intemperate and frankly indefensible statement of yesterday highlights the man's lack of character and lack of control.
We're in trouble, folks. You know my view of Romney. You know my view of Santorum. You know my view of Gingrich.
Gingrich is my candidate. But short of a miracle... Newt Gingrich isn't going to be the GOP presidential nominee nor the next president of the United States.
May God have mercy upon this once greatest People of the once greatest nation on earth.
It was only a matter of time before establishment Republicans started openly attacking conservatives. They did it aggressively in 2010... and now they're doing it again in 2012.
A column published last week in the Wall Street Journal outlines the establishment's strategy to blame conservatives if Republicans fail to win a majority in the U.S. Senate this year.
Kimberly Strassel writes, "Two things stand between Mitch McConnell and the Senate majority leader's office: Democrats, and the conservatives who might help elect Democrats."
We've heard this before.
We heard it when the establishment told us Pat Toomey was too conservative to win in Pennsylvania.
We heard it when they said Marco Rubio couldn't win in Florida.
And we heard it when they said Rand Paul would lose in Kentucky.
Toomey, Rubio, and Paul are all United States Senators today.
What the Establishment wants you to forget is that Republicans suffered major losses in 2006 and 2008 when party leaders failed to fight for conservative principles. But in 2010, with insurgent Tea Party conservatives leading the way, Republicans regained a majority in the House of Representatives and made significant gains in the Senate.
The Republican Establishment has been proven wrong time and time again, yet they continue to attack conservatives who offer the Republican Party the opportunity to regain its standing with the American people.
If Republicans fail to retake the Senate this year, it won't be because of conservatives. SCF-endorsed candidates Ted Cruz (R-TX), Don Stenberg (R-NE), and Mark Neumann (R-WI) all lead their Democratic opponents in recent polls. And now even the establishment acknowledges that Josh Mandel (R-OH) is the strongest candidate Republicans could have in Ohio. The electability argument used against these conservatives is designed to help their moderate opponents who have supported a number of liberal policies, including higher taxes, wasteful stimulus, ObamaCare, and the nomination of Eric Holder as Attorney General.
When the Establishment puts party before principle, they do great harm to our country and the Republican Party. As President Reagan once said, promoting pale pastels instead of bold colors is not a winning strategy.
If Republicans fail to retake the Senate this year, it will have more to do with the failure of Establishment candidates to inspire confidence with voters. It will also have a lot to do with the failure of Republican leaders to offer voters a real choice between the two parties by fighting President Obama on key issues like the debt limit and the full repeal of ObamaCare.
I don't know about you, but I'm tired of hearing these people lecture us about how to win a majority. Their strategy handed the keys of our government to Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama.
I'm also tired of watching them work behind the scenes to defeat conservative candidates who have the courage to save this country.
As a member of the Senate Conservatives Fund, you know how important it is for freedom-loving Americans to work together in a coordinated way to win races in key battleground states.
I hope these Establishment attacks against our efforts will motivate you to work even harder to elect true conservatives to the U.S. Senate this year.
If you're tired of Republicans in Washington and New York blaming you for their mistakes and if you're tired of being told to abandon your principles, then please help the Senate Conservatives Fund fight back.
We're trying to raise $100,000 for SCF and its endorsed candidates by this weekend and we need your help to do it.
If everyone makes a contribution today, we can overcome these establishment attacks and elect principled leaders to the U.S. Senate who will fight for less government and more freedom.
Thank you for your continued support for the timeless conservative principles that make this country great.
Jim DeMint United States Senator Chairman, Senate Conservatives Fund
It's come to my attention that some readers find my word-based emoticons - (*SMIRK*) (*CHUCKLE*) (*GRIN*) (*SNICKER*) etc. - distracting.
Apparently some readers even find my "reading between the lines" commentary and insertion of additional facts and context to be "a bother."
(*ROLLING MY EYES*)
Here's the deal, folks: If reading the actual "newsbite" is too much for you, feel free to simply avail yourselves of the link and read the "straight" news and analysis with no... er... distractions. Then... if you want to get my reaction... browse the actual newsbite in question.
Listen... folks... a huge part of newsbiting entails cutting through the manipulation of the reporter and/or editor of each piece. The worse the bias... the more "confused" the reporter/editor... the more work for yours truly adding facts and context!
And, heck... it's not even always bias! Often it's simply sheer ignorance on the part of the reporter/editor, and thus yours truly must "intervene" in order that readers who themselves might not be aware of the complete "context" of the news report, analysis, or punditry can better understand the full picture - in context.
Anyway, folks, let's be clear: While I consider this blog a public service and I do sincerely hope each and every one of you - whether you read it regularly, semi-regularly, or whether you just happen to stumble up it and quickly browse it before going on to the next blog - gain knowledge via my blogging... in the final analysis... this is my blog.
I do things the way I do them and if that doesn't meet someone's expectations and desires... tough.
The following is a public letter recently sent to Speaker of the House John Boehner and his fellow incompetent hypocrite Eric Cantor, Majority Leader of the House, under the auspices of Heritage Action for America:
Dear Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor:
We understand the [Republican controlled] House of Representatives is scheduled next week to consider legislation – the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act (H.R.452) – to repeal ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and we write to express our concerns with this strategy.
IPAB is an unelected and unaccountable board of 15 bureaucrats empowered to set Medicare reimbursement rates in order to control costs, and it will mean rationed health care for our nation’s senior citizens.
To be clear, we adamantly support its repeal. However, we are gravely concerned that IPAB alone is being proposed for repeal and not part of a full repeal of ObamaCare.
This legislation is part of a troubling trend to break off the worst portions of ObamaCare for individual votes, which muddies the water in this election year between those who are adamantly opposed to ObamaCare and those who want to see its implementation.
This approach is misguided at this point in our nation’s national dialogue.
The entirety of ObamaCare is both terrible policy and politically unpopular.
Poll after poll reveal the American people’s fundamental recognition that Obamacare is unconstitutional and will increase their premiums, lead to rationed care, and insert the federal government into their most personal medical decisions.
We cannot allow the idea to take root that the worst parts of ObamaCare can somehow be “removed” when in fact the entire law must be rescinded.
If this belief is allowed to take root, ObamaCare is very likely here to stay as K Street lobbyists rush not to put their shoulders to the wheel of full repeal but to get their easy scraps from Congress’ table. (And of course, the political consultants will clamor for only repealing the most overwhelmingly one-sided and poll-tested appealing provisions.)
In addition, partial repeal votes allow politicians of both parties to obfuscate on full repeal.
It gives many who have consistently opposed full repeal an opportunity to convince their voters that they are with them just because they register occasional support for repealing an IPAB or some other politically unpalatable provision.
For example, repealing IPAB has substantial support among many of the very same officials who voted for ObamaCare in the first place. ( A vote on H.R. 452 is an outright invitation for wolves to take on sheep’s clothing.)
Instead of continuing to put forth partial repeals of ObamaCare, the House of Representatives ought to schedule additional votes on full repeal before the coming elections. This will offer real checkpoints for the repeal coalition to grow the vote for full repeal and energize our activists.
The worst aspects of ObamaCare — and the target of many of these partial repeal bills — are already discredited as policy and destabilized politically. One way or the other, they will be repealed.
The question for this moment in our nation’s history is whether our coalition will insist on full repeal, and we look forward to working with you towards that end.
Edwin Meese III former Attorney General
Erick Erickson RedState
William Wilson President, Americans for Limited Government
Chris Chocola President, Club for Growth
Gary Bauer President, American Values
Brent Bozell President, Media Research Center
Dan Perrin President, HSA Coalition
Tony Perkins President, Family Research Council
Drew Ryun President, American Majority Action
C. Preston Noell III President, Tradition, Family, Property
Dr. Herb London President Emeritus, Hudson Institute
Morton C. Blackwell Chairman, The Weyrich Lunch
Richard Viguerie Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com
J. Kenneth Blackwell Chairman, Coalition for a Conservative Majority
T. Kenneth Cribb former Domestic Advisor to President Reagan
Michael Needham Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Action
Alfred Regnery former Publisher, American Spectator
Hon. Donna Hearne Executive Director, Constitutional Coalition
The rogue U.S. soldier's massacre Sunday of 16 Afghan villagers - nine of them children - follows the violent anti-American protests unleashed in Afghanistan over the burning of Qurans by American soldiers.
This continued violence reveals the latent animosity that persists between foreign and indigenous forces.
Accelerating the withdrawal of U.S. military forces would most likely save us from a costly strategic defeat in the future.
By October, the roughly 90,000 U.S. troops now in Afghanistan are due to shrink to 68,000, with a complete exit by 2014. Though these moves are steps in the right direction, officials are still grasping for a protracted presence.
Washington seeks a bilateral arrangement that allows indefinite outposts ("joint bases") with their Afghan counterparts.
* LET'S RE-INVADE VIETNAM WHILE WE'RE AT IT! (*SMIRK*)
Indeed, plans for an extended presence, which would embed civilian and military advisers at bases and Afghan government ministries, call for even closer contact between Americans and Afghans. But a long-term strategic partnership between Washington and Kabul is a mission doomed to fail.
* OH... AND BY "STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP" THEY MEAN AMERICAN TAXPAYERS SQUANDERING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS MORE... TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS MORE... PERHAPS HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS MORE OVER THE COMING YEARS... AND WITHOUT A DOUBT FURTHER LOSS OF U.S. LIVES AND GOD ONLY KNOWS HOW MANY MORE AMERICANS MAIMED!
The recent spiraling violence, accompanied by heightened mutual distrust and a dearth of local cultural knowledge, does not instill confidence in our victory. Each new crisis triggers yet another violent outburst fueled by public outrage. More troops, more money, more time and more resources are unlikely to change these underlying realities and could exacerbate them.
Foreign-led efforts to resuscitate Afghan institutions have made only limited progress toward enabling that country to function logistically without the continued assistance of the international community. Kabul's dependence on foreign patronage not only undercuts its domestic legitimacy, but its tightly centralized system of government undermines local ownership of the development process by the country's distinct and insular regions.
An indefinite U.S. military presence in this landlocked country could also be challenged by the tenuous supply lines.
After Pakistan closed two border crossings into Afghanistan, the U.S. and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have been using the Northern Distribution Network, a patchwork of roads, ports and railways connecting the Baltic and Caspian regions to Afghanistan, via Russia and Central Asia. This patchwork road system means far higher transit costs - $104 million a month compared with the Pakistani alternative of $17 million a month, according to one Pentagon official.
(As Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said after the killing of Osama bin Laden, Afghanistan no longer holds the strategic importance to match America's exorbitant investment.)
Rather than continue to tread water in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama should announce an accelerated drawdown of U.S. troops.
Sharing intelligence with allies and partners, scrutinizing people trying to enter the United States who may be linked to terrorist groups and relying on targeted raids against Al Qaeda leaders — as opposed to local insurgents who aren't trying to attack the U.S. — are the most efficient means of reducing the threat from terrorism.
Compared to drawn-out nation-building campaigns, targeted operations are the lesser of two evils. They don't require tens of thousands of U.S. troops to occupy Afghanistan or any foreign country.
These operations are far less costly in terms of lives, money, time and effort than attempts to cultivate a foreign people's allegiance to a rapacious and unpopular central government backed by foreign forces.
Without a drastic change in strategy, the war in Afghanistan will continue to be a slow bleed.
* AND, FOLKS... ANYONE WHO AGREES WITH ME... WHO AGREES WITH CATO... (*PAUSE*)... PLEASE NOTE THAT RICK SANTORUM FAVORS YET ANOTHER SURGE AND WAR WITHOUT END IN AFGHANISTAN AND ROMNEY TOO SEEMS TO BE MORE CONCERNED WITH "APPEARING TOUGH" THAN WITH BEING WISE.
* GINGRICH AND RON PAUL ARE RIGHT ON AFGHANISTAN. SANTORUM AND ROMNEY ARE WRONG.
Press reports have put Mr. Santorum in second place based on projections about how delegates will be allocated in some of the caucus states where voters have cast their ballots, but where the actual delegates won’t be decided until later, at county, district and state conventions.
Hmm... interesting! Had you heard this before? If not... you might want to wonder "why not?"
Indeed, five days ago this is what the Washington Times was reporting:
Rick Santorum may have won more primaries but the Republican National Committee’s current delegate count shows former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has more bound delegates than Mr. Santorum in the race for the party’s presidential nomination.
Now is this still the case today... after last night's contests? Frankly... I don't know. Here's what I do know though:
2,282,245 vs. 2,101,951.
Do you know what those numbers are, folks? They're the vote tallies so far for Santorum vs. Gingrich. Yep... Santorum has a slight lead. No denying that! But the word is "slight."
Again... let me ask you... do the numbers I've just laid out represent the slaughter that you've been hearing about on TV or on the radio or reading about in the newspapers or online?
And votes for Romney so far? Over three million; 3,472,365 to be precise.
And for Ron Paul? For the libertarian candidate, so far... 949,207.
Hmm... what does the math say...??? It says Romney 3,472,365 vs.
Again, folks... if any of this comes as a "surprise" to you, let alone a "shock," ask yourself why that could possibly be. Could it possibly be because the media - both mainstream and "conservative" - is in the tank for Romney and has been all along?
(That was meant as a rhetorical question, by the way...) (*SMILE*)
And could the past several months' focus on Santorum have been a deliberate tactic to boost the Santorum candidacy in the short term in order to weaken the Gingrich candidacy over the long term...???
(Again... rhetorical question.) (*CHUCKLE*)
Let me lay it out for you once again, folks:
The mainstream media wants Obama to win.
They believe Obama can beat Romney, therefore, they'll happily "hold their fire" on Romney the candidate for the GOP nomination. (On the other hand... if Romney gets the nomination... they'll go after him with both barrels. All of a sudden you'll hear things about Romney you've never heard before... things from that biography I read last month... things that will depress Republican voter turnout.
As to Santorum... the instinctual hatred for the "Christian Right" candidate runs deep and it does indeed seep out. On the other hand... even while believing that Obama is the odds on favorite to beat Romney (with their help, of course), I doubt the confidence level is through the roof.
But... they surely believe that if Santorum is the GOP nominee that the election is Obama's for the taking.
And the "conservative" media...???
Folks... we've gone over this before.
Giving the management at Fox News, NRO, and the Wall Street Journal the benefit of the doubt... analyzing their motivations in the best possible light... they truly believe that Romney stands the best chance of beating Obama and absent that, they believe his campaign would provide the best coattails to Republican Senate candidates in their effort to take control of the Senate.
Anyway... no need to reiterate Republican Establishment thinking... or, rather... lack thereof.
So where does this leave us? Where it always does... with me providing facts and analysis you can trust. You may not always agree with my conclusions... but you know I won't lie to you and I won't attempt to manipulate you.
I'll continue to do the work. You continue to decide how you react to it.
An open letter by United States Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Republicans talk about balancing the budget a lot these days. The idea is so popular that it's become a central part of their campaigns.
But do they really mean it?
* SERIOUSLY... NO. THE ANSWER IS "NO." THIS IS WHY I CAN'T SEE HOW - ABSENT VIGILANTE ACTION THAT STRIKES FEAR INTO THE HEARTS OF OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS - THIS ONCE GREAT NATION IS TO BE SAVED.
One way to find out is to see if they have ever written, co-sponsored, or voted for a budget that would balance the federal books in 10 years or less.
* WELL CONGRESSMAN RYAN... WHAT ABOUT IT?
If a politician cannot support a proposal to balance the budget within 10 years, they're probably all talk and no action.
* MR. RYAN...?!?! PAUL RYAN...?!?! YOO-HOO... COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE!
These same leaders talk about how their plans "bend the cost curve" in the future and put the nation on a "path to balance." These are clever phrases designed to trick voters into thinking their budgets do something meaningful when they don't.
* WHICH AGAIN BRINGS ME TO MY QUESTION: IF VIOLENCE ISN'T THE ANSWER... THEN WHAT IS? SIMPLY ALLOWING THE POLITICIANS TO CONTINUE DRIVING THE NATION OVER THE CLIFF?
There are many good ways to balance the budget, but it's time for conservatives to agree that doing it in 10 years or less must be the common goal achieved by every plan.
We simply cannot wait 20 or 30 years to stop the accumulation of our nation's debt. We must freeze it now.
* OH... BUT, WAIT... THE APPLAUSE IS COMING FROM ME. THE STANDING OVATION ALSO FROM ME. AS TO THE AVERAGE AMERICAN... HE/SHE COULDN'T CARE LESS.
You will be pleased to know that U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has authored a new plan called "A Platform to Revitalize America" that balances the budget in just five years. I support this plan along with U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah).
We believe it's time to get serious about stopping the spending and debt, and I hope you will join us in this fight.
Please contact your Senators and urge them to support Senator Paul's budget and to demand balance within 10 years.
This issue is another reminder of why we need to elect the right kind of Republicans.
* GINGRICH! NOT ROMNEY... NOT SANTORUM... GINGRICH!
We need more people in Washington who have the courage to actually cut spending, not just talk about it.
* BUT WITH A DEMOCRACY POPULATED MORE AND MORE EACH YEAR BY A PEOPLE UNWORTHY OF THE TITLE "AMERICANS" THIS JUST ISN'T GONNA HAPPEN. FOLKS... OBAMA'S APPROVAL RATING IS 41% EVEN NOW! HARRY REID RETAINED HIS SEAT IN 2010 AND THE DEMOCRATS RETAINED CONTROL OF THE SENATE IN 2010. THE SCUM... AND THE DUMB... GET TO VOTE TOO. AND WITH THE RULE OF LAW IN TATERS... WITH OBAMA AS PRESIDENT AND ERIC HOLDER AS ATTORNEY GENERAL - IN CHARGE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE - THE DECK IS STACKED AGAINST US.
Thank you for supporting the principles of freedom that make America great. If we work together, I'm confident we can take our country back.
It may be that the biggest single problem confronting the liberty-minded is the existence of a large (and growing) American proletariat.
There have always been poor people, of course. But the proletariat is distinct from people who are merely lower down on the economic totem pole – or down on their luck.
I am just now finishing up a book about the Dust Bowl in the 1930s by Timothy Egan, The Worst Hard Time. In it, you read of people who endured real poverty – as in, starvation poverty, living in a sod-walled, dirt-floored “dugout” in Oklahoma. No electricity – much less TeeVee (let alone a flat-screen TeeVee with Netflix streaming set up in front of a Rent-a-Center sofa in an air-conditioned Section 8 apartment with a refrigerator full of EBT-acquired food ).
[I'm reading] of how reluctant – how ashamed – these people (most of them) were to even ask for government assistance.
And when they did ask, in their utter desperation, all they wanted was enough help to keep them from literally dying – and to help them get back to work.
The gibs muh dat mentality so cancerously pervasive today was all-but-non-existent then.
People who could work but didn’t – and lived off those who did – were viewed as pariahs, as maggots.
Even the most penniless sodbuster had moral standards rarely found today among the affluent middle classes.
The Americans of the 1930s had been raised to believe in a day’s work for a day’s pay – and viewed with suspicion and contempt people who didn’t work and yet still demanded a day’s pay. Communism didn’t take root here then for that reason.
America, circa 1932, was still heady with the fumes of the late 18th century and its deeply entrenched notions of individual responsibility (the corollary of individual rights), thrift, delayed gratification – and self-reliance. Most people wanted to live by the sweat of their brows, not by the sweat of the brows of others. And the corollary of that was a similarly entrenched belief system which held that what you owned was yours – by dint of your hard work.
The wealth envy and resentment so commonplace now was much less in evidence as recently as 80 years ago – a mere generation or two in the rearview mirror.
Today, socialism (that is, communism taking its time) is all around us. We are immersed in it.
Because we now have a proletariat.
Millions who want what you have because you have it – and they don’t.
[And these people] will use any means available to take it from you.
These people cannot be reasoned with. They feel, they want – and they hate. Your quaint notions about property rights being the essential foundation of human rights are like the Latin scrolls of Cicero trampled underfoot by the hordes of the Germanic chieftan Odoacer as Rome slipped forever into that long good night. And when these modern-day hordes get a leader – a latter-day Odoacer or Lenin or Hitler – they will become as a swarm of locusts, destroying everything in their path.
That old piece of parchment, you know the Constitution of the United States and most especially the Bill of Rights – may survive in some monkish reading room. But only as relics of a forgotten era, to be puzzled over by future scholars parsing the unfamiliar words, the odd language…
(For a window into this future, visit YouTube sometime and watch an episode of the original Star Trek series titled The Omega Glory.) (Or watch this clip!)
The American proletariat really worries me – more than any other single thing. Because it will require a police state to contain it – or it will become the state.
I suspect we are headed for one of two likely outcomes: A Latin American-style strong-arm government, in which the proletariat is kept in check (and chained) by extreme brutality. Think Juan Peron – or current Mexico.
Or, the proletariat will sweep away the current order and we end up with an American Soviet Union – or Cuba. Possibly even an American Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, where any vestige of having been a member of the middle class – such as possessing spectacles or being able to read – often lead to a ditch by the road and a bullet in the back of one’s head.
Think of the casual, gleeful violence of the flash mobs erupting across the land. They are not characterized by desperate people looking merely to grab a loaf of bread a la Jean Valjean. They are destroyers – vandals and looters - whose purpose is mayhem for its own sake.
For the moment they are disparate and disorganized. But it will only take a Che or a Vladimir Illych to corral and focus their hate. And when that day comes, it will not be reasoned arguments about the rights of the individual and the virtues of a civilized order that determine the outcome.
It will be violence, given in equal proportion to that received.
And it will be horrible – regardless of the end result.
If the old ideas about the sanctity of the individual somehow survive, they will only have done so at a tremendous cost, to be borne on the shoulders of us all.
Forty-one percent of the American People supposedly think President Obama is... er... doing a good job...???
What would it take to get his approval rating down to "only a third" - YouTube videos of the man meeting with his Chinese handlers while in the background Michelle is caught on video torturing puppies?!
Big frigg'n deal... Obama's disapproval rating is 47%.
For Christ's sake, people, in any sane world it would be in the high 70's... perhaps the 80's!
Sources close to the Gingrich campaign say preliminary "what-if" conversations are underway that could lead to a Gingrich-Perry ticket being announced prior to the Republican National Convention at the end of August.
* FOLKS... NOTE: I'VE ALWAYS ADVISED GINGRICH (OR ANY POLITICIAN RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT) THAT "ANNOUNCING" A VP PICK - AND INDEED KEY CABINET PICKS - PRIOR TO "CLOSING THE DEAL" WOULD BE A BRILLIANT STRATEGY TOWARDS CLOSING THE DEAL!
* HEY... YOU WOULDN'T EVEN HAVE TO LOCK PICKS IN STONE; SIMPLY THROW OUT A FEW "TOP PICKS" FOR EACH KEY CHOICE!
Gingrich insiders hope forming a predetermined ticket with Perry will unite the evangelical, Tea Party and very conservative voters that make up the core of the GOP.
* IN LARGE PART IT WOULD, BUT BEYOND THAT, IF GINGRICH (OR EVEN SANTORUM) GETS THE NOMINATION THEY'RE GONNA NEED A GOVERNOR AS VP TO "BALANCE" THE TICKET IN TERMS OF EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS.
* FOLKS... LOOK AT WHAT WE'VE GOTTEN WITH BOTH OBAMA AND BIDEN COMING OUT OF THE LEGISLATIVE WING OF THEIR PARTY; IT'S BEEN A DISASTER ON A LEVEL BEYOND "MERELY" THE IDEOLOGICAL.
As discussions got underway, a spokesman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a statement saying, "Gov. Perry thinks Newt Gingrich is the strongest conservative to debate and defeat President Obama and truly overhaul Washington. The speculation is humbling but premature."
* AND NOTE AGAIN, FOLKS: THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING ABOUT GINGRICH ALL ALONG! PERRY GETS IT!
* FOLKS... WE CAN STILL SAVE THIS COUNTRY IF ONLY WE USE OUR HEADS! VOTE GINGRICH!
From a piece written by Dr. Milton R. Wolf which appears in today's Washington Times
This wouldn’t be the first time the media missed the real story. In the wake of a split Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum scored wins against each other, but it was former Speaker Newt Gingrich who single-handedly drove President Obama into panic mode.
While the mainstream media stayed focused on the game of checkers between Mr. Romney and Mr. Santorum, Mr. Gingrich forced President Obama into an astonishing game of chess.
In a 30-minute video titled “$2.50 per Gallon Gasoline, Energy Independence and Jobs,” Mr. Gingrich unveiled his vision for renewed American prosperity centered around oil and natural-gas production. He demonstrated his unparalleled insight into the intersection of energy, security and prosperity. Mr. Gingrich rightly declared that never again should an American president bow before a Saudi king.
Meanwhile, Mr. Obama, stung by his recent half-billion-dollar failed Solyndra boondoggle, began floating his latest green fantasy of harvesting algae to cure the pain at the pump.
Panicked by Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Obama was forced off his game and repeatedly tried to respond, only making matters worse for himself. He stayed true to the Democrats’ anti-energy agenda and mocked Republicans for wanting to drill for new oil. This made the president the butt of a joke for Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show”: Democrats claim that new drilling for oil won’t help us for at least 10 years, but haven’t they been saying that now for more than 10 years?
Mr. Obama boasts that oil production is up under his administration. True, but only because the president hasn’t yet stopped production on privately owned land.
Mr. Gingrich cut right through [Obama's] profound dishonesty: “Under President Obama, because he is so anti-American-energy, we have actually had a 40% reduction in development of oil offshore, and we have had a 40% reduction in the development of oil on federal lands,” Mr. Gingrich pounced. “So in the area he controls, production is down and the area that is hard at the free enterprise stuff where people get rich, production is up. So he is now claiming credit for the area he can’t control in order to have us think he is actually for what he opposes.”
* FOLKS... WE'VE COVERED THESE FACTS IN NEWSBITES. (*SHRUG*) I GET MAYBE 8-15 READERS A DAY. (*SMIRK*) MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ANY OF THIS.
Mr. Gingrich reduced the once-confident “Yes, we can!” 2008 version of Mr. Obama into the backpedaling “It’s not my fault” 2012 version right before our eyes. A defensive Mr. Obama dissembled: “We know there’s no silver bullet that will bring down gas prices or reduce our dependence on foreign oil overnight.” Wait, what about that algae?
Newt had Barack right where he wanted him.
“A presidential pen could today sign approval of the Keystone pipeline. That’s 700,000 barrels a day. A presidential pen could today sign approval to go back to the Gulf of Mexico. That’s about 400,000 barrels a day. A presidential pen could today approve areas of Alaska that we know have oil.” With three signatures, Mr. Gingrich instructed the president, “you would have 2.3 million barrels a day of additional energy in the United States. So I would say, we’re not looking for silver bullets. We’re looking for presidential leadership.” Check and checkmate.
With this, Peter Ferrara, former adviser to President Reagan, declared that Mr. Obama had just lost his first debate.
The GOP race remains open. So ask yourself this: Which Republican candidate beside Newt Gingrich has demonstrated the ability to make Barack Obama squirm?
* THANK YOU REPUBLICAN HOUSE! THANK YOU JOHN BOEHNER, ERIC CANTOR, NAN HAYWORTH, AND YES... THANK YOU, PAUL RYAN!
The CBO’s figures show that despite repeated efforts to trim spending, the government has borrowed 42 cents of every dollar it spent during the first five months of this fiscal year.
* FOLKS. DON'T LET THESE BASTARDS FOOL YOU. NO MONEY CAN BE SPENT WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE. THE HOUSE ALLOWS THIS SITUATION TO CONTINUE. THE HOUSE IS (SUPPOSEDLY) RUN BY REPUBLICANS.
The nonpartisan agency projected the government will run a deficit of $229 billion in February, the highest monthly figure ever. The previous high was $223 billion a year ago, in February 2011.
* FOLKS... FEDERAL BUDGETS RUN FROM OCTOBER THRU SEPTEMBER. THAT MEANS THAT BASICALLY THREE MONTH'S OF SPENDING HAD GONE ON IN FY2011 THAT THE GOP HOUSE DID NOT BEAR ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY FOR. THAT SAID, THE REPUBLICANS TOOK CONTROL OF THE HOUSE IN JANUARY 2011 AND HAVE CONTROLLED IT EVER SINCE.
It is the 41st straight month the government has run a deficit — itself a record streak that dates back to the final months of President George W. Bush’s tenure. Before now, the longest streak on record was 11 months.
* RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU BELIEVE VIOLENCE ISN'T THE ONLY ANSWER. OK., NOW EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT THE ANSWER IS.
For all of fiscal year 2012, which began Oct. 1, the budget analysts said the government has raised $869 billion in revenue but spent $1.5 trillion so far.
* THIS IS THE NEW NORMAL FOLKS. FORTY-ONE MONTHS IN A ROW! THIS IS WITH THE REPUBLICANS HAVING HAD CONTROL OF THE HOUSE FOR THE PAST 14 MONTHS!
Congress and President Obama sparred for most of last year on how to cut spending, but the CBO’s figures show that spending has actually remained flat in 2012 once the timing of certain payments has been adjusted.
* FLAT MY ASS! SPENDING WILL BE UP THIS YEAR!
Mr. Obama last month released a budget that showed the government averaging $1 trillion deficits for the rest of this decade.
House Republicans are working to write their own budget now.
Senate Democratic leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada has said he doubts his chamber will write a budget this year.
* FOLKS... THE SENATE - THE DEMOCRATIC CONTROLLED SENATE SINCE JANUARY 2007 - HASN'T BOTHERED TO WRITE A BUDGET IN OVER 1,000 DAYS!
* AGAIN... SHORT OF VIOLENCE... SHORT OF ACTUALLY KILLING A FEW OF THE LEADING POLITICIANS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ONGOING DESTRUCTION OF THE AMERICAN ECONOMY... HOW DOES THIS THING END?
There's been a lot of commentary from all sides about my recently published book, “Coming Apart,” which deals with the divergence between the professional and working classes in white America over the last half century.
Some of the critiques are fair, some are frivolous. But there’s one — “He doesn’t offer any solutions!” — that I can’t refute. The reason is simple: Solutions that are remotely practicable right now would not do much good.
The solution I hear proposed most often, a national service program that would bring young people of all classes together, is a case in point. The precedent, I am told, is the military draft, which ended in the early 1970s. But the draft was able to shape unwilling draftees into competent soldiers because Army officers had the Uniform Code of Military Justice to make their orders stick.
Administrators of a compulsory civilian national service program would likewise face young people who mostly didn’t want to be there, without being able to enforce military-style discipline.
* NOT TO MENTION SUCH A PROGRAM WOULD BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL...!!! (ONCE AGAIN, FOLKS... IF MEMORY SERVES... SLAVERY WAS OUTLAWED SOME TIME AGO; A MILITARY DRAFT IS THE ONLY ROUTE OPEN FOR SUCH A SCHEME.)
* MOVING ON...
I can see four steps that might weaken the isolation of at least the children of the new upper class.
For one thing, we should get rid of unpaid internships. The children of the new upper class hardly ever get real jobs during summer vacation. Instead, they get internships at places like the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute (where I work) or a senator’s office.
It amounts to career assistance for rich, smart children.
Internships pave the way for children to move seamlessly from their privileged upbringings to privileged careers without ever holding a job that is boring or physically demanding.
(*PURSED LIPS*) (*ANOTHER NOD*)
Those from the middle and working class, struggling to pay for college, can’t afford to work for free.
So let the labor unions win this one: If you are not a religious organization and have more than 10 employees, the minimum wage law should apply to anyone who shows up for work every day.
We can also drop the SAT in college admissions decisions.
The test has become a symbol of new-upper-class privilege, as people assume (albeit wrongly) that high scores are purchased through the resources of private schools and expensive test preparation programs.
Instead, elite colleges should require achievement tests in specific subjects for which students can prepare the old-fashioned way, by hitting the books.
* GOD BLESS CHARLES MURRAY...!!!
Another step would replace ethnic affirmative action with socioeconomic affirmative action. This is a no-brainer. It is absurd, in 2012, to give the son of a black lawyer an advantage in college admissions but not do the same for the son of a white plumber.
Finally, we should prick the B.A. bubble.
The bachelor’s degree has become a driver of class divisions at the same moment in history when it has become educationally meaningless.
We don’t need legislation to fix this problem, just an energetic public interest law firm that challenges the constitutionality of the degree as a job requirement.
After all, the Supreme Court long ago ruled that employers could not use scores on standardized tests to choose among job applicants without demonstrating a tight link between the test and actual job requirements. It can be no more constitutional for an employer to require a piece of paper called a bachelor’s degree, which doesn’t even guarantee that its possessor can write a coherent paragraph.
If I’m advocating these ideas now, why didn’t I propose them in “Coming Apart”? Because, sadly, they won’t really make a lot of substantive, immediate difference. Internships that pay the minimum wage are still much more feasible for affluent students than for students paying their own way through college. The same students who score high on the SAT score high on achievement tests, and for the same reason (they’re smart and well prepared).
Even without socioeconomic affirmative action, a high proportion of academically gifted children from the working class already get scholarships to good schools. And even if job interviews are opened up to people without a bachelor’s degree, those with the best real credentials will still get the job, and they will be drawn overwhelmingly from the same people who get the jobs now.
There may, however, be a symbolic value in these reforms.
* YES! AGREED!
The changes that matter have to happen in the hearts of Americans.
The haves in our society are increasingly cocooned in a system that makes it easy for their children to continue to be haves.
Recognizing that, and acting to diminish the artificial advantages of the new upper class — especially if that class takes the lead in advocating these reforms — could be an important affirmation of American ideals.
So let's see... that makes Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Art Laffer, Michael Reagan... (this is just off the top of my head)... in Gingrich's corner - with me - and yet Mitch Romney clearly leads the Republican nomination race with... er... Rick Santorum in second place... a distant second place.
Gingrich (and Santorum) really screwed up by not getting on the Virgina ballot.
I'm not gonna soft-soap it it, folks... so far Romney has a commanding lead in not just delegates (381 pledged to Santorum's 164, to Gingrich's 106, to Paul's 66), but Romney is winning the popular vote 3,117,886 to Santorum's 1,946,24, Gingrich's 1,817,910, and Paul's 894,959.
Now clearly it's not over till it's over, but things aren't looking good for Newt.
Should Newt get out? No. In my opinion he remains the only viable savior of the Republic.
I just can't see Romney beating Obama, and if he did... I just can't see him as the libertarian-leaning constitutionist conservative leader this nation desperately needs.
Santorum? I don't see it. I just don't see it. (If he's the nominee I hope and pray that my fears turn out to be groundless.)
But back to Palin...
(*GRITTING MY TEETH*)
WHY wait till now...???
Why was she not formally behind Gingrich all along...?!?!
It might have made a difference.
If Palin had gotten behind Gingrich then perhaps Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and other conservative "stars" would have followed suit!
(While both men are indeed Gingrich fans, both men are also Santorum fans. Hannity has actually said that Santorum is his favorite personally - even while noting that his comments to this effect were not an endorsement over Gingrich.)
Well, folks, this morning's Drudge headline is "Wikileaked: Bin Laden Not Buried at Sea; Body Moved on CIA plane to U.S."
Who knows...?! Maybe it's true, maybe it's not.
I'll be honest with you folks... I still hold out hope that Bin Laden was actually captured and properly interrogated! (That's what should have happened!)
Anyway... if we find out that Obama did indeed lie to us... will anyone be surprised?
Anyway... today is Super Tuesday.
More media spin.
(Notice the renewed media pronouncements about "Romney having it all sowed up"... regardless of the actual "details"... whether or not he wins Ohio... even if Santorum comes in a close second in Massachusetts...)
Keep tuning in to Usually Right and I'll do my best to give you 1) News you can use; and 2) The truth.