Thursday, January 9, 2014

As if we needed proof…

As a follow-up to my last post.

Go read this from Ace.

Funny, that reads even worse than what I’ve seen about the emails driving “Bridgegate.”  This email says the choice to make sequester as painful as possible was directly from the Executive Branch.

Yet, from the MFM we received crickets.  Indeed, sequester and the shutdown were lain at Republicans’ feet- despite the fact that it was the SCOAMT, as President, who had most control over how that financial impact would be felt.  He even ordered (at increased expense) open-air monuments closed.

But “Bridgegate” (aside: why must everything be “whatever-gate” how about “Bridge-aquiddick?”) is the Worst! Scandal!!  EVAH!!!

And the Media are mere neutral observers.  Nothing but the facts from them…

Worst. Scandal! EVAH!!!

Imagine this.  You have an executive- doesn’t matter of what.  Maybe s/he is the CEO of a major company.  Maybe s/he is a mayor, governor, or even the President.  At some point during the Executive’s tenure, some of their aides/assistants engage in corrupt behavior.  Whatever form it takes, they wield the power of the executive to harm political enemies.

Word of the abuse leaks out.  The Executive is asked and denies any wrongdoing by him/herself or his/her staff.  More information leaks out proving the bad behavior.  Suddenly we have a scandal.

Now, because of recent events, this scenario could apply to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  Certainly the traffic scandal with which he’s dealing fits the mold.  Certainly the Media would have you believe this is the Worst. Scandal. Ever.

But I’m not talking about that.  President Barack Obama (a stuttering clusterf*ck of a malignant traitor) should have been plagued by many worse scandals.  I say “should have been” because the Media had approximately 1/100th the interest in any of those scandals than they have displayed with Governor Christie.  The NSA scandal?  Oh, Obama only heard about that from the papers- and the media bought it.  The IRS Scandal?  Oh, he didn’t see the IG Report until it ran in the paper- and the media bought it.  Benghazi?  Oh, he had nothing to do with that.  Fast & Furious?  Nothing to do with the president.

Yet it is Chris Christie who is labeled as “either an incompetent executive or a liar.”  Chris Christie at least fired the person at the heart of the scandal.  The woman at the heart of the IRS scandal?  Yeah, she got a promotion.  The only people fired in relation to Fast & Furious are the whistle-blowers.  Kathleen Sebelius (if you believe the SCOAMT) completely concealed the fact that (which still doesn’t work) didn’t work- and she’s still working as head of HHS.

This is the Media that claim to be “fair” and “nonpartisan.”  Later this year they will want to be the arbiters of “truth” for hundreds of Congressional and Gubernatorial races.  Yet they cannot find the interest to investigate abuses by the Most Powerful Man in the world (or, at least, his aides and Secretaries), but a scandal in New Jersey is Major National News.

Remember that as summer turns to fall.  Remember it again in 2016.  They are not non-partisan.  They are not “fair.”  And the ones they cover for are much worse offenders than those they persecute.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Lawless Administration: PT ???

I've seen this story[] in various places (that link is AoSHQ) and I think most are missing something.  Burying the lede, if you will.  Everything I've seen has focused on the fecklessness of the President, or on the "purely symbolic" gesture or whatever.

I want to focus on something else here:

"WH: Pres Obama's staff signed him up in person thru DC exchange. POTUS wasn't present, but involved"

That, right there, is an admission of insurance fraud.  When you purchase an insurance policy, YOU must purchase the policy.  Some "staff" can't purchase it for you, any more than a secretary could sign a contract for her boss.  If "Obama's staff signed him up" they had to positively identify themselves as him.  They would have been challenged on this and asked, "Are you the person applying for insurance" (well, they would except for the part where they're members of the Mob Presidency).

Now, I don't know about you, but if I admitted to insurance fraud, I'd go to jail.  Of course, I'd also go to jail for a host of other things SCOAMT has done- there's a reason we call it the Lawless Administration.

So when you hear people "ooh" and "aah" over the fact that King Barackenhenan I lowered himself like a serf and "signed up for ObamaCare," make sure you point out that he is guilty of a crime that would send them to jail.

By his own admission.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Monarchy Moment

When is the moment that men looked up and realized they had a king?  At what point did tribes- until then living freely (if, in many places, violently) suddenly realize that one man literally had the power to decree their deaths?  Because America is getting close to that moment.

Barackahanen I has been acting especially Imperial over the last several weeks, and no one with power to do so is saying "boo" about it.  It seems he modifies the written law of ObamaCare on a near-daily basis, fitting whatever whim he has that day.  Now he is "encouraging" Insurance Providers to allow people who get insurance through the exchanges to carry their insurance until sometime in January without payment.  That is, that they would have insurance coverage starting Jan 1, but would not pay for siad coverage until sometime later in January.

And the King hath spoken.

How does the King respond to those who question his policies?  By using the power of the State to intimidate them into silence.

This is an incredibly dangerous moment for America.  Either someone with some amount of power will oppose Barackahanen I, or we will all become serfs answering to the King and his Vassals.  If the President can merely decree law, and if he can modify private contracts, and if he can use the State to silence anyone who would criticize him, then we no longer live in a Republic, but we are ruled by a Despot.

h/t. Ace of Spades

Ben, it's because they DO think it's good policy.

Oh, and they DO think we're idiots.

Several days ago (by the time you're reading this) Ben Domenech went on a Twitter rant slamming GOP Leadership (especially Speaker Boehner) for "lying" to Conservatives.  That is, Ben's position is that the budget deal is good politics but bad policy, the leadership knows this (and agrees), and that the GOP reaction to Conservatives (who know that it's bad policy, and are dubious about the politics part) should have been to "tell the truth," and say, "Yes, we know it's bad policy, we're totally doing it for the politics.  Don't call us sell-outs and we won't call you idiots."

Let me, by way of rebuttal, provide a re-phrasing of Occam's Razor.  Put simply- the answer which assumes the fewest things not already in evidence is usually the correct one.  The let me suggest an answer- they do think we're idiots and they think this plan is good policy.

Now, let's judge them both against Occam's Razor.

Ben's answer assumes the following-

  • the deal is bad policy
  • the deal is good politically
  • the Republicans know both of the above
  • the Republicans are simply "lashing out" at Conservatives in response (pre-sponse?) to being called "sell-outs."

Of those, only one fact is actually in evidence- that the deal is bad policy.  Everything else is asserted but not proven.

My answer assumes the following-

  • the deal is bad policy
  • Republicans think it is good policy
  • Republicans think Conservatives are idiots.

All of my assertions have proof to back them up.  They are all in evidence.  The first is evident by the fact it increases both spending and taxes.  The second two are evident by the words that GOP Leadership are using.

So which is more likely?

It is no secret that a large number of Republicans in Washington both resent and fear the Conservative Grassroots.  Mitch McConnell uses harsher language against the Senate Conservatives Fund than he ever has against the President.  Ted Cruz has been pilloried as much by Republicans as by Democrats.  One miserable old troll in the Senate even called the TEA Parties "hobbits" (though- I'll take that one.  The Hobbits won in the end).

It is similarly no secret that the GOP Leadership loves them some spending.  None of them complained when Medicare D was passed.  They have never once asked for actual cuts to any government program.  Whenever Conservative Grassroots ask for something to be cut, they're among the first to tell us we're crazy, it can never happen, etc., etc.

Now, Occam's Razor only says that the answer which assumes the fewest facts not in evidence is the most likely answer- it doesn't make any guarantees.  So it's possible that Ben is right and I am wrong.  The fact is that it doesn't matter.  Leadership that detests- or even pretends to detest- its base is not "leadership" at all and should be replaced.

But... but... Shut Down!!!!

Oh.  My.  Lord.

Not this again.  Apparently the reason Republicans are caving on the budget talks is they're afraid the Government will shut down again.  Well, guess what geniuses, it might.  Guess what else?  Too bad.

First off, despite what the MFM and inside-the-Beltway types believe, the shutdown earlier this year did not actually hurt Republicans.  Here in Middle America, most people were for it.  Secondly, there's no reason you can't parley this into being the Democrats fault.  Yes, it might be hard, but so what?  You can even do it by sounding more reasonable than they do.

Now, for those who don't know, the issue is (once again) the debt ceiling.  OMG, if we don't raise the debt ceiling we can't pay our bills!!

Let's not discuss the absurdity of that statement.  Maybe I'll get to it in a future post.  Let's just look at just one possible Republican tactic.  I call it "raising the debt ceiling."

Look, I'm as fire-breathing as the next Ultra-Con, and I don't like raising the debt ceiling.  However, as a practical matter, ObamaCare is going down in flames, and we really don't want anything to give the President cover on that.  We don't want him to be able to distract the public from the train-wreck that is ObamaCare.

So, we say this:  "Alright, we'll raise the debt ceiling by 2 Trillion dollars.  That should last us at least one more full year."  And that's it.  No discussing budgetary matters ("that's settled law") no fee increases, nothing.  Republicans should simply say, "You're right, it would be irresponsible not to pay our debts, we'll agree to increase the debt ceiling by 2 Trillion dollars."

Then, when Chrissy Matthews spews the Democrat talking points of "you want to shut down government!" a simple rejoinder of, "Chris, we've agreed to raise the debt limit with no other preconditions.  So how is that wanting to shut down the government?"  What, really, can the Democrats say?  "But we want to increase spending?"  "But Democrats won't vote for that?"  It will become quite clear to everyone that it is the Democrats agitating for a shutdown because they don't like sequester- not Republicans.

Okay, fine, we can't ask for more budget cuts.  I don't like that, but I can accept it.  That doesn't mean we have to agree to budget increases.  The budget is set for FY2014 and FY2015- by sequester.  So the only reason to "shut down" the government is over the debt limit.  So let's take that off the table.  At the very least we can turn it around so that anyone with half a brain (I know this excepts most Democrats, but they weren't going to be on our side anyway) will understand that it is the Democrats "shutting down" the government, not Republicans, which would take away most, if not all, of any "cover" they would hope to gain.

Wait. "Compromise" IS a Bad Word

Compromise: a change that makes something worse and that is not done for a good reason

So, Paul Ryan has agreed to sell out Conservatives because Democrats might say mean things about Republicans.  Again.  The "compromise" bill to which Mr. Ryan agreed will increase discressionary spending for FY 2014 from the ~970 Billion that was written into the 2011 Budget Act by about 300 Billion dollars (to approximately 1,025 Billion).  FY 2015 spending would go up from there.

We are told that this is a "compromise" between House Republicans and Senate Democrats.  See, Democrats wanted to spend All The Money, so anything less than that is a win, right?  Wrong.  Even after the sequester cuts (which could have been avoided by Democrats negotiating in good faith), our debt has still grown.  When your out-go is higher than your income you have a problem, and the politicians in Washington, DC refuse to address the problem.

As pointed out on the PowerLine blog, the sequester itself was a "compromise."  So why must it now be the Republican's starting position?  Shouldn't Republicans honestly contend for what their constituents want- a balanced budget?  Had Mr. Ryan started from that position, we might have had a "compromise" that was an actual "meeting in the middle."  Had Mr. Ryan, or any Republican, really, been able to articulate why even sequester level spending is still too high, perhaps the new "compromise" would have been to lower spending again.

Instead, by using sequester as the starting point, the new plan increases spending and taxes.

But that, perhaps, is the worst part.  You see, the plan not only increases taxes, but it hides them.  No politician in his right mind would vote to increase the income tax rate.  Despite what the MFM would have you believe, we're still muddling along in a financial quagmire.  We might not meet the technical definition of a Recession, but for many families, a Recession is still their reality.

But rather than decrease spending, Washington Politicians want to increase spending.  Mr. Ryan, having run as a Budget Hawk, can't do that without somehow being able to say he's "decreasing the deficit" and obvious tax increases are off the table, so what can he do?  Hike "fees."  There is also some talk of decreasing Federal Employee pensions but a) I'll believe that when I see it and b) the numbers talked about there are inconsequential in relation to the size of the budget.

Some will claim that by raising "fees" Mssrs. Ryan and Murray are giving people a way to avoid taxes.  Aren't fees a "usage tax?"  Well yes, and then again no.  For one thing, Mssrs. Ryan and Murray don't want you to forego the activities they will now be taxing a higher rate.  They want you to do more of those things (which is counter-intuitive and, frankly, stupid, but whatever).  For another, the things they've chosen are activities it is hard to avoid.

Certainly I can choose to drive on vacation instead of fly, but what about a business traveler?  I have known and worked with a fair number of people who lived and worked 3 weeks out of every 4 in Illinois, and the other week in Texas.  If they had to drive instead of fly, that would be a huge cost to them and the company.  So they'll suck up the extra fee.  So will many families on vacation (who really wants to spend 4 days of a 7 day vacation in a car?).

Indeed this is a "compromise," but not in the way Mr. Ryan would have you believe.  This is a cave, a capitulation.  It is a complete forfeiture of Fiscally Conservative principle.  Spending does not need to increase faster (remember, even the sequester was a cut in the rate of growth, not a "cut" as you and I understand it).  Spending needs to decrease.  Failing that, it certainly needs to increase yet slower than it is.

But the Republicans are afraid Democrats and the Media (BIRM) will say mean things about them.  So of course their first and only option is to sell out Conservatives.  Again.