The House Republicans have produced a devastating video. Keep doing this, guys.
This past weekend, veterans and their supporters protested in Washington, DC. They took down the barricades surrounding the open-air World War II memorial, and dumped some of them half a mile away outside the White House. It seems like spending money, during an alleged government shutdown, to close something that doesn’t actually require opening was a bridge too far for an administration bent on making sure you feel the pain, even if the pain is manufactured.
Speaking at this protest were politicians of all stripes, standing with and supporting our vets. Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin spoke to the crowd, and… Hmm, just a minute. Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin… Aren’t they both Republicans? Why yes; yes they are. What should have been a bipartisan show of support, was partisan only because every available Democrat either supported this manufactured pain, or dare not cross his party leaders with a show of independence or support of the troops.
Is the question of this manufactured pain — shutting down things that have never been shut down during a government shutdown – a partisan issue? It shouldn’t be. And I do understand supporting the President who happens to be of your party. Generally, you don’t want to be the one giving the other side an easy target. I get that. But aren’t there some things beyond the pale? For some, it appears not.
Oh, and on Monday, the barricades were put back up. Now there’s an essential service for ya. Seems the World War II Memorial is more secure than our borders.
That’s right, the guy whom the Left said hated black people. The evangelical community, along with Bono, lobbied for it, and Dubya did it. It’s not something that’s mentioned often, but…
"This should be shouted from the rooftops. This is a heroic American story," Bono said in a remarkable radio interview with Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family, to be broadcast by the group Tuesday.
This is what you get when you try to soak the rich.
President Obama proposes to pay for his $447 billion jobs bill mainly by limiting tax deductions for wealthy Americans. Unfortunately, if enacted, this policy will likely dampen charitable giving and further shift perceived responsibility for social welfare from individual donors to the state.
The President’s plan calls for lowering the rate at which wealthy taxpayers can take itemized deductions—from the current rate of 35 percent down to 28 percent, beginning in 2013. The change would affect individuals making more than $200,000 (and families making more than $250,000) per year.
So how much would we be talking about?
The result of President Obama’s proposal will likely be several billion dollars in decreased revenue each year for hospitals, educational institutions, and nonprofits that help the poor. While giving would probably drop only a small percentage, the anticipated amount would total more than the combined annual operating budgets of the American Cancer Society, World Vision, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, and the American Heart Association.
Those who are served by these institutions aren’t the only ones who would be hurt by decreased giving. Many people’s jobs would also be threatened.
Perhaps most importantly, Obama’s proposal sends the message that federal bureaucracy can deploy the resources of the wealthy more effectively than civil society can. Decreasing an incentive for charitable giving implies that the state should assume responsibility for people’s needs, even at the expense of vital nonprofit organizations. Churches, ministries, and other community-based institutions, however, are often better equipped to serve people in need. And they often do so at reduced costs.
If Republicans vote against this, be sure that this analysis will not be mentioned. Instead, by protecting charities, Republicans will be said to be "against jobs".
I know I’m biased, but Romney was mopping the debate floor with Obama last night. Even on the ObamaCare vs RomneyCare situation, he’s came out on top.
Some of the big-name liberals were astonished as well. Jeff Jarvis, media critic at BuzzFeed tweeted, "How did Obama get backed into the corner defending the death panel?" Indeed, Sarah Palin deserves an apology. Bill Maher had to admit, "i can’t believe i’m saying this, but Obama looks like he DOES need a teleprompter". Markos Moulitsas of The Daily Kos top liberal blog lamented, "Nobody likes seeing a prevent defense in action, and that’s what Dems saw tonight."
Some good Tweets from the Right, too.
James Taranto: It’s a close one, but I’ll say Obama had a better night than Lehrer.
David Limbaugh: Again — listen to Obama- in almost every answer he focuses on what is and isn’t fair. He never addresses what will work esp 4 growht [sic] & debt
Blogger Ace of Spades quotes a pollster: Frank Luntz: "I have not had a group that swung this much. This is overwhelming for Romney. This is a big deal."
Again, I know I’m biased, but I think Romney won on substance as well as style; explaining the $716 billion he would put back in Medicare (and why), why RomneyCare was at least passed in a bipartisan way (as opposed to ObamaCare), and, as I said, getting Obama to admit and even defend "death panels".
It was a great first day of the rest of the campaign. Hopefully, this will translate into votes.
A couple months ago I started a new project; a political and cultural opinion podcast where I say what I’m going to say in 10 minutes or less. It doesn’t require as much a time commitment from you to listen in, and I want to hear back and make it more of a conversation than a monologue.
Today I hit a milestone; the 10th episode. There’s something of a psychological part of this as well. Folks who keep track of such things say that if you get (on average) past episode 7, that seems to be a tipping point. Podcasts that get past that generally continue on. So here I am at 10, and hopefully we’ll just roll along, with your input.
My topics are usually varied, but this episode focuses on the Paul Ryan VP pick. Let me know what you think of that choice by either commenting on the show notes, on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. You can even use that tried and true method; E-mail.
“I would not have you exchange the gold of individual Christianity for the base metal of Christian Socialism.” – Charles Spurgeon. He had quite a bit to say on economic and political issues of the day, applicable to that day and this.
For those still blaming Bush for our economic situation, Paul Mirengoff reminds us that the housing market collapse was the main cause of it, and the Bush administration tried to keep it from happening. Democrats would have none of that.
"The New York Police Department, the mayor and the city’s top prosecutors on Monday endorsed a proposal to decriminalize the open possession of small amounts of marijuana…." But the real scourge, Big Gulps, will not be tolerated.
A cautionary tale about hyper-partisanship.
Remember those advertisers that left the Limbaugh show after his remarks about Sandra Fluke? One big one tried to come crawling back, and Limbaugh just said No.
The Obama administration is against voter ID laws, but Michelle Obama herself required IDs to get a book signed. Irony. Meter. Pegging.
Austerity works, when it’s actually implemented. Just ask the European country who’s economy outpaced the average growth in the euro-zone by 500%, and has the only budget surplus there.
Obama actually was a member of a socialist political party while in Chicago. Stanley Kurtz of National Review has the documentation. Where was the mainstream media on this 4 years ago?
In case you heard otherwise, no, the Boy Scouts are not changing their policy on gay scouts and scout leaders.
Whenever I try to give credit to Ronald Reagan for participating in the fall of the Soviet Union, I often hear that its fall was an inevitability, and it just so happened to occur on Reagan’s watch. I have to point out to them that Reagan was the first President to come along with an intent to defeat communism, not just contain it. And then to have the Soviet Union defeated "on his watch", with nary a nuke dropped, is one of those "coincidences" you don’t often see in politics; where the effect so closely mirrors the cause.
Interestingly, some of those who say the fall of communism was inevitable weren’t around when it happened. I was. And so was Lech Walesa.
Lech Walesa said that there would not be a free Poland without Ronald Reagan, during the unveiling of a statue in Warsaw of the late American president on Monday.
The former Solidarity leader said that “as a participant in these events,” it was “inconceivable” that such changes would have come about without the last American president during the post-1945 cold-war era.
Walesa added that thirty years ago, it seemed that the fall of the communist system would not be possible without a nuclear war.
Reagan stood strongly, and very publicly, with Poland against the Soviets. This was not an appeasing President. The Soviet Union was wrong and evil, and Reagan was not afraid to call it that, to the consternation of so many American liberals. (Just ask if, after Reagan walked out of the Reykjavik summit, if they thought nuclear war was a distinct possibility.) Lech Walesa agreed, and understood that history could just as easily played out very differently, if Reagan had not believed that victory was possible.
Let’s give credit where credit is due. Poland certainly is.
Planned Parenthood keeps breaking all its previous records in abortions performed.
Chavez is running out of people/things to blame for socialism’s failure. "[I]n a remarkable volte-face, for the first time this week Hugo Chávez admitted that the government was, after all, largely to blame for the electricity shortages and rationing that are hampering the economy, having previously tried to blame it on a drought, which dried up Venezuela’s hydroelectric reservoirs. That argument didn’t work so well this year, with torrential rains flooding much of the country."
Down’s Syndrome death panels are getting setup.
The debt crisis in Europe threatens to tear apart the EU. That’s not some conservative think tank talking, it’s the EU itself.
"If you love me, pass this bill!" Apparently, Mr. Obama has lost a lot of love in his own party, as Dems pick apart his jobs bill.
We spend more and more on public schools — in absolute dollars and per student — and yet SAT scores continue to fall. There are proven ways to deal with this, but Democrats are against all of them (predictably).
If poverty leads to crime, why is the crime rate falling during this recession (and the decade before it)? Is it because, perhaps, we’re actually keeping criminals behind bars?
Talk about over-regulation, here’s a CEO who was fined for hiring too many people and required to stop hiring altogether. When government calls the shots, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing (or even that there is a right hand).
Palin Derangement Syndrome: Joe McGinniss wrote an expose on Sarah Palin that was essentially (according to the publisher) filled with unproved “tawdry gossip” and rumors that lacked “factual evidence.”
The new 2011 version of the New International Version of the Bible strives for gender-inclusivity. Mary Kassian gives her 10 reasons why this is bad for women.
And finally, never mind abortion, Michelle Obama thinks you should have parental consent before getting French Fries. (Click for a larger version.)
The Republican legislators in the Pennsylvania state government are pushing a bill that would relatively proportion their presidential electoral votes based on the results of the individual congressional district presidential votes. The (Republican) governor says he would sign such a bill. This is a bad idea.
The suggestion came up in Colorado and California in years past, and failed in both cases. The Electoral College is actually a very good way of apportioning votes, ensuring that a President has both a sufficient number of votes and also a diverse support base; broad support favored over the most support in close races. I posted a number of reasons why the Electoral College is a good idea here, with a link to the history of the EC.
As a side note, Markos Moulitsas, the "Daily Kos" himself, split his support over the Colorado and California efforts. One of them he called a "bad horror movie" and an attempt to "game the system". The other he called "brilliant" and suggested that "every state should allocate EVs in this manner". Why the difference in tone? As you can probably guess, it’s all about politics over principle. When Colorado wanted to do it, it would benefit Democrats, so he was all-in. When California wanted to do it, he had nothing but disparaging comments for anyone who even considered it. This clearly points out a pundit who a) has no appreciation for, not just history, but the status quo, and b) makes every decision based, not on what’s best for everyone, but what’s best for his political kindred.
Consider this when reading opinions. I will note that I’m always against this sort of thing, including in the guise of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Inform yourself.