Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Into the fray step Joe Lieberman and Tom Coburn with a plan to cut $600B in Medicare spending in the next decade, in no small part by raising the Medicare age to 67 from its current 65.
Democratic reaction was predictable. Here is Madame (Former) Speaker Pelosi: “It is unfair to ask seniors to get less in benefits and wait longer to get onto Medicare — all while Republicans back tax breaks for big oil and corporations that ship American jobs overseas,” Pelosi said. Yawn.
We have come to a lamentable place in the evolution of this country when a political party cannot bring itself to cut benefits for people who aren't even receiving them yet, or to delay benefits for people who do not qualify for them.
Every time I hear Pelosi talk about "tax breaks for big oil", I want to see statistics on the profit margins for companies operating in and near her district--you know, San Fran, Silicon Valley.....where margins DWARF those earned by the oil companies.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Meanwhile, our Evolver-in-Chief continues to meander on the issue.
My thoughts? I've provided them many times here on the CW. Government has no place in marriage, gay or straight. Marriage should be a socio-religious issue with no legal emoluments flowing from one's marital status.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Everything seems to revolve around Republicans' stand on taxes--that is, no tax increase will make it through the House, so don't even consider one. Here are two tax increases I'm willing to support:
1. The "Super-rich" tax. This would be 3% surcharge on all income--or capital gains--realized over the amount of $10M in any one year. Several facets of this tax appeal to me. The first is that it treats capital gains like income, which i believe it ought to be in the regular tax code. Secondly, my Spidey senses tell me that it will disproportionately impact liberals and Democrats, or at least those who are so rich that they have the luxury and time to "care" about issues like social justice, poverty, the environment, and public eduction without ever giving a crap about the consequences of their largess.
2. The creation of a "1% bracket". What does that mean? It means that the very first thing one would do on a tax return is figure out what 1% of one's taxable income is. That figure would then be THE FLOOR. Everyone earning a wage would AT LEAST pay 1% of their income to the continuing operations of a government from which they draw continuing succor and from which they continue to demand an increasing flow of benefits.
VP Biden had this bit of fatuity for our listening pleasure:
“The only way to make sure we begin to live within our means is by coming together behind a balanced approach that finds real savings across the budget — including domestic spending, defense spending, mandatory spending, and loopholes in the tax code,” Biden said in a statement. “We all need to make sacrifices, and that includes the most fortunate among us.”
All of us, Mr. Vice President? All of us? Then stop weeding out "the middle class" from consideration. Stop fencing off the elderly. If there truly is to be shared sacrifice then LET IT BE SHARED. This notion that we can get what we need by simply soaking the rich is loony.
So what's on your minds, folks? Afghanistan pull out too slow for you? Collapse of Joe Biden's debt talks got you down? Share people, share!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
|Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif, formerly known as Joe Davis|
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
I am glad that the President will stay true to his word, but I would prefer that he not hunt and peck around the margins. It is time to wrap things up on the Afghanistan COIN front, to recognize that Karzai is not a stable partner, and that our interests there are primarily in killing terrorists and not in creating a stable democracy.
He's coming out swinging now (not running for re-election, natch), pushing the Vice President and his debt control confab to cut deeper--not $2T but at least $4T. In the course of his activities, he has fairly well articulated support for the strategy most Republicans advocate vis-a-vis the debt ceiling. The President and his people would prefer a clean raise to the debt ceiling--claiming that making a rise contingent upon spending cuts (as desired by Republicans) hazards financial markets and "plays politics" with the fiscal reputation of the United States. Republicans disagree, recognizing that absent the debt ceiling cudgel, there would be little incentive on the Dems side to actually DO anything about debt. Into the discussion steps Kent Conrad in this morning's WaPost: "But Conrad argued that all incentive will be lost once the debt ceiling is raised.
“If they reach an agreement and that passes and the debt limit then does not have to be dealt with until after next year’s election, there will be very little appetite here to come back and do what really has to be done to get our financial house in order,” he said."
Now that we all agree on that--let's start to cut some spending, shall we?
Monday, June 20, 2011
|Miss California won the swimsuit competition and the crown|
I've never met the guy, but we've exchanged a number of incredibly interesting Facebook chats.
Erik's writing is raw and gritty, but it comes from the point of view of a guy who has earned the right to have a bit of a jaundiced view. He's a Buddhist who recognizes the value of both guns and money. I see in him a "save the world" liberal who now and again realizes that some of the world isn't worth saving, and some of the world doesn't want our saving.
This won't be every reader of the CW's cup of tea, but some of you will see great things in this blog's beginning. I do.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
United Food and Commercial Workers union President, Bruce Both, saw Target employees'137-85 rejection of his union as proof that these sweat shop workers (you've seen the horrible conditions in a Target store haven't you?) needed him to continue their fight:
"Target did everything they could to deny these workers a chance at the American dream," he said. "However, the workers’ pursuit of a better life and the ability to house and feed their families is proving more powerful. These workers are not backing down from this fight. They are demanding another election. They are demanding a fair election. They are demanding justice and they are prepared to fight for it."
Uhm, Mr. Both, it's pronounced "the Soviet dream" and if the workers knew they could be protected from you and your pipe-wielding thugs, you wouldn't have even gotten the measly 38% yes vote that you did get.
Look, you and your extortionist dues collectors don't get it, but it appears most of the free Americans who are, in fact, living the American dream fortunately DO get it: unions = destruction of profitable employers and less personal freedom. Turns out most Americans still cherish the ability to make our own decisions and reject the notion that government and/or union "officials," who take our earnings through threat of violence, can make those decisions better than we can--especially when it comes to matters such as our own health care and our own jobs.
So here's some advice for every last one of you unionistas--go to Venezuela--they LOVE your thinking down there. Brother Hugo is raising the minimum wage again--to contend with 25% inflation. Pretty much a foregone conclusion that doing so will jack what is already the highest inflation in the developed world up another 5-10%. And the poor, who keep buying this pile of socialist BS, get poorer, just as everywhere this "experiment" gets reattempted.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
|Adam Allegro and Friend|
It's a terribly superficial treatment of the subject, but it gives one a sense of the scope and glacial pace of this project. For instance--the reporters blithely pass around scurrilous anti-Yucca propaganda like "it is too wet" for long term storage and "subject to earthquakes". The science that went into Yucca's selection was estimable, and the fact that there is contamination in ground water might have something to do with the fact that we exploded mondo-nukes in that desert in the 50's--as opposed to deep storage underground in sealed vaults with sealed casks for the waste.
But that makes no difference. Nevada was happy to take $15B in construction.....just don't put any waste there.
Brooks' column this morning is particularly good--it zeroes in on the pathologies of BOTH parties effectively and conveys his sense of disappointment the miniaturization of American politics. My favorite line: "Covering this upcoming election is like covering a competition between two Soviet refrigerator companies, cold-war relics offering products that never change"
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
She has taken now to providing occasional commentary at CNN (natch), and in this one, she concludes the following with respect to "L'Affaire de Weiner": "Absent criminal behavior, which is another category entirely, the issue is whether sexual misconduct undermines a politician’s ability to represent his or her constituents and contribute to the common good."
No, Professor Slaughter, sexual misconduct is NOT the issue; at least it is not the ONLY issue. How about lying--repeatedly, cold-bloodedly, in situation after situation, to the public, your constituents, the leadership of your party and perhaps even your President? What about the question of trust? What about the smearing of Breibart and others in the not Bought and Paid For Media?
No--sexual misconduct doesn't alone undermine Weiner's ability to continue to serve. But his utter lack of trustworthiness does.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
appear to have been serious, sympathetic, rational and sometimes banal. No smoking guns here, folks--though I wonder who among us would stand up to this kind of scrutiny.
This has not been a good moment for the media--but has been a wonderful time for Mrs. Palin.
The question Mead's piece leaves one with is--what is to be done? I'd really love to see a progressive criticism of Mead's piece--the logical gyrations necessary to contest it would be breathtaking to behold. Mead sees a need for reform--but what kinds of reforms? Can we as a people be trusted to vote in ways that may impact our short term benefits, but which are good for the nation in the long run? Are we ready as a nation to concentrate on the truly needy and deserving--who presently comprise just a portion of the entitlement class (look around folks, we're all in it)? I think we're moving in this country toward a great debate, one in which someone who tells the truth will be pitted against someone who protects the status quo. I know which side I'd like to be on.
I'm not a Palin supporter and wish she would exit the stage (and I wish the press would stop covering her every move as though she's a Kardashian or something). She's done very little to advance herself as a serious person and much (not all) of the criticism she's received has been justified. But just think what may have been if reporters had honestly covered her when she emerged onto the national scene a few years ago. Instead, we were treated to a portrayal of a woman that was power-mad, that had a low I.Q., and that may or may not have been the biological mother of her youngest child.
The irresponsibility of the media truly reached its nadir with Sarah Palin.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Thursday, June 9, 2011
25,000 pages of Palin's emails during her tenure as governor of Alaska will be released tomorrow. Because of course these emails require total perusal by this country's news organizations, the Washington Post is seeking citizen journalists to analyze them. The Post is looking for 100 folks to work in teams to ferret out the most important information contained in the emails.
One can just imagine what they consider the 'most important information.'
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
The media were justifiably all over the Sanford story--here was a conservative, married, God-fearing Governor sneaking down to South America without telling his staff. The hypocrisy was manifest. The media is all over this one too (though some conservatives think insufficiently, looking for a double standard), but hypocrisy isn't the issue. As I said in an earlier post--Democrats aren't the "family values" party and they don't wish to be. Scandals like this one are reprehensible in and of themselves--but in the case of a Democrat--there's not much here on the hypocrisy charge.
What strikes me about the difference in the Weiner and the Sanford cases was the motivation. Sanford's wrongs--while many--were clearly the actions of a man in love (he is still with the woman). He said it right there in the news conference. Weiner's actions? What motivated him? Doesn't seem like love to me.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Sunday, June 5, 2011
This apparently will lead to nothing but healthy, balanced meals on Americans' plates. Time to put away the Bugles, people!
Despite Mrs. O's claim in this article that 'I can already tell how much this is going to help parents across the country,' I'm pretty certain most of us have a good idea of what we should be serving our kids.
I would like to see Ryan get in the race. He's so closely associated with GOP prescriptions for improvement that his forceful advocacy thereof on the Presidential stump would be a natural. But I doubt he will.
Someday, however, he will be our President.
After 29 months of the most left-wing presidency in US history, the American superpower is heading towards the economic abyss
So--Anthony Weiner's wiener does not "rise" to the level of my attention--but it has got Mark Steyn's--which is wonderful, as it gives Steyn a platform for lines like this:
"So we're drifting from outrageous cybercrime to "prank" to "Hey, who doesn't have snaps of his genitalia out there in the world?" To revive another Clintonian line: Everybody does it. "Everyone lies about Twitter-flirting," wrote the blogger Little Miss Attila, "and everyone knows that everyone lies about Twitter-flirting." "Flirting"? Why, yes: I'm assured by correspondents more au courant in "social media" that there's nothing unusual about Tweeting your nether regions to people you've never met in distant time zones. Get with the beat, daddy-o, it's a widely accepted courtship ritual of the 21st century: the flower of American maidenhood wants to see a prospective swain straining his BVDs at what I believe the lads at the TSA call Code Orange alert before they'll agree to meet him for a chocolate malt at the soda fountain.
To each her own. In my day it was "A White Sport Coat And A Pink Carnation," as Marty Robbins sang (Billboard Country & Western Number One, 1957). But apparently these days that leaves the ladies cold, and the pink carnation can prompt titters, unless it's artistically positioned across one's crown jewels, and you'd probably need to get in a professional photographer and some double-sided Scotch tape."
The man is unstoppable.
No--I'm more interested in Weiner's choice of vehicles....
|Weiner, in his manly S-10 Blazer 4 x 4--for the mean streets of Brooklyn|
Friday, June 3, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Who made the cut, you wonder. Hitler? Check. Osama bin Laden? Another check. Charles Manson? Right-o. The last two? George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Parents are rightly outraged. The school district's brilliant solution was to cover the list with black tape. And no one seems to have any idea how it happened.
What would you do if your son or daughter brought home such a yearbook?
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Being bitterly partisan may go with the job, but she's so over the top it's hard to believe she's advancing her party's cause. Her latest gem is the assertion last week that 'Republicans believe illegal immigration should be a crime...the Republican solution is to pack them all up and ship them back to their own countries.'
Has anyone heard any serious person articulating this position? Tom Tancredo doesn't count. Why is the concept of illegal immigration so difficult for some to grasp?
National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. African-American Music Appreciation Month. Great Outdoors Month. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.
So have a mojito, crank up the Run DMC, go camping and watch Boys Don't Cry. Or watch Wild Things. It's downright American!