August 2011 Archives


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From: pudgenet
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Time: 00:29 More in Gaming

Obama and Seriousness

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President Obama attacks Mitt Romney for flip-flopping on his health care plan, even though Obama was vehemently against a health insuance mandate during his campaign, and now is vehemently for it.

Obama attacks Republicans for not passing free trade agreements, even though Obama hasn't given the agreements to the Congress to pass. They literally cannot pass those agreements because Obama won't let them. It's the presidential version of "stop hitting yourself!"

Obama attacks Rick Perry for threatening Ben Bernanke -- which never happened -- when Perry said Texas would "treat [Bernanke] pretty ugly" for his "almost treasonous" devaluation of the dollar, while at the same time Obama says nothing about the many Democrats calling Republicans terrorists. He calls Perry's claim "irresponsible," without saying why, and I can't tell what he means: sure, Perry was flatly wrong that the devlauation is "almost treasonous," but he is making a perfectly responsible and rational point about how terrible for the country Bernanke's policies have been.

Obama is, these days, constantly arguing that we should put country before politics, while at the same time constantly putting politics before country, every single chance he gets. He literally hasn't spoken to the public in more than a month without making partisan attacks against the Republicans. That's fine, but to do that as President while saying we should put the country before politics? That makes you look like an utter fool, eclipsed only by the fools who believe you.

Frankly, I don't see how anyone can still take this man seriously as President. It'd be one thing if Obama had significant substance and was being dishonest in his rhetoric, but he really isn't doing anything of substance: just like in his campaign, he's all talk and no action, all style and no substance.

Millions of people voted for Obama because of some bizarrely nebulous vision of "hope and change," with barely any detail on what that meant in practice; and most of the few details Obama did offer -- no increased taxes on incomes under $250,000, pulling out of Iraq, closing Gitmo, lowering unemployment, fixing the economy, no health insurance mandate -- he's reneged on. We shouldn't be surprised: he was elected without much substance, and he's governing without much substance.

I don't say people shouldn't have voted for Obama in the general election, because at that point it could have been a lesser of two evils thing, if you love Democrats or hate Republicans or something: but how did it make any sense to pick the no-exerience, no-substance Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton? How could you possibly have been so easily suckered by this shyster's facade, actually believing that he could do all the magical things you thought he represented? Say what you like about Clinton, at least she's a serious person who knows how to get things done.

If this were 2010, I'd "hope" that Obama would "change" and actually try to lead this country instead of continuing to blame everyone for his problems and offer literally no solutions to the problems we're facing. I've given up on such hope. How about you?

London Calling

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Would it be inappropriate for me to note that we wouldn't be seeing riots like those in London, here in the U.S.?

Try to imagine what would happen here, even in Seattle. On the first night, people would perhaps be taken by surprise, we'd have a public outcry. Maybe we would think it was over, and not prepare for the second night. But by the third night, most every business would be under armed guard, and it wouldn't take many dead rioters before the whole affair would come to an abrupt end.

It likely wouldn't even reach a third night. Business owners would arm themselves and stand watch and people would die. And rioters, most of them, would understand this, and fewer of them would even bother coming out. We don't tend to have multi-night riots in the U.S.

There are exceptions, such as the "Rodney King riots." I was in L.A. at the time, so I don't forget it. But that was a much larger group of rioters, and while the shopowners abandoned by the police did arm themselves, many of the rioters were armed too. So I guess my point is that if it happens in the U.S., it will only be if the rioters outnumber the shopowners and cops ... which means, stay out of L.A. and you'll be fine. Even then, the federal government stepped in to stop the rioting and widespread rioting was finished by the fourth night.

For now, I leave comparisons of London and Wisconsin to the reader.

"Tea Party Downgrade"

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So, let me get this straight: every problem we've faced in the economy since Obama took office is Bush's fault, because it started before Obama took office. But the "Tea Party" has been a small minority in the House for less than seven months, and, according to the same Obama (via his advisor, David Axelrod), the downgrade is all the Tea Party's fault?

The hypocrisy on this is jarring. Even if the criticism made sense, the case being made here requires an amount of cognitive dissonance, between don't-blame-me-I'm-new and blame-them-they're-newer, greater than the American psyche can muster.

Of course, the criticism doesn't make sense. Yes, of course, the "Tea Party conservatives" -- I tend to just think of them as "conservatives" -- in the House did hamper Boehner's ability to get an all-Republican bill through the House. But this obviously raises the question: what was stopping him from getting a bipartisan bill through the House? He needed to get a bill the Democratic Senate would agree to anyway, because "Tea Party" support wouldn't pass a bill through the Senate. And oddly, the Senate never passed a single attempt at compromise until the final hours before the "deadline," and the Democrats in the House didn't support any bill until a few hours before that.

What the Democrats are really saying is that the "Tea Party" is to blame for not going along with a bill that the Democrats also wouldn't go along with. What makes this criticism even worse is that if the Democrats went along with it, it would've passed weeks or months earlier in both houses, whereas if only the "Tea Party" went along with it, it still wouldn't have passed the Senate.

Any objective view of the events shows that it was the Democrats that prevented passage of a compromise bill earlier on: they opposed all attempts to pass any legislation, never offered any of their own until the end, and opposed the exact same bills they villify the "Tea Party" for opposing.

But it's even worse than this hypocritical nonsense: on substance, the "Tea Party" proposal was the only one that, guaranteed, actually would've prevented a downgrade. Say whatever you like about the S&P statement, but the main concern was ever-increasing debt, and cut/cap/balance (along with similar proposals) would've fixed that problem, even if you don't like other results of it. No other proposals, including the one that passed, seriously deals with the debt. Obama's guaranteed continuing debt increases, and Boehner's merely holds out hope for some cuts in the near future.

It's a sad world to live in where a group of citizens can be ticked off, elect people to represent them, who then back the only plan that will actually solve the problem they were elected to solve, and (as a small minority) voice their opposition to a plan that the entire opposing party also opposes (because it won't solve the problem they were elected to solve), and somehow ... they end up with all the blame.

What's Broken?

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Someone please explain to me what is "broken" about our political system ... especially as opposed to any other time period since George Washington was President. I keep hearing it, but I am not seeing it. People apparently expect me to believe that it's a problem to have representatives who fairly reflect the views of the people who elected them, but I'm not buying it.

Cuts? Ha!

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John Boehner's bill cuts discretionary spending by $917B over 10 years. That's $91.7B a year (I can do maths!) which I think isn't even inflation adjusted, and certainly is cumulative. So it means cutting our deficit from about $1.1T to $1T, which will then promptly begin growing again.

Yes, there's a promise of more cuts, but no one here can believe in any such promise. Future action is always negotiated. Raising the debt limit is real and can't be rolled back any time soon; spending cuts are at best very temporary, and if promised in the future, don't exist at all.

The biggest win for the right in this bill is that they got the Democrats to concede to spending cuts without revenue increases, even if the spending cuts pretty much only exist on paper. As Bill O'Reilly said last night, combined with the massive outcry from the "far left" about how terrible this deal is, and the cries from the "far right" about how this isn't enough cutting, this basically sets up the 2012 elections thusly: if you want government to spend less, you'll vote for Republicans; if you want it to spend more, you'll vote for Democrats.

It's still amazing to me that pundits and politicians on the left are continuing to push this line that the GOP is the "Party of No." The Republicans passed multiple bills out of the House -- none with Democratic support -- and the Senate Democrats killed each one. Finally when they got to the final bill in the House, the Republicans supported it in far greater numbers and percentages than the Democrats. Can someone please explain the rational basis for this "Party of No" stuff?

Not that I care if my party has such a label: I believe the job of an elected representative in government is primarily to tell constituents No. No, I won't protect your business with regulation and higher taxes on competitors; no, I won't give you a tax credit; no, I won't build you a sports stadium; no, I won't extend your unemployment indefinitely. Saying no is hard, but it's part of the job of any good representative, and attacking someone for saying "no" is, to me, akin to attacking someone else for having courage. If you want to say that a specific use of the word "no" is wrong, fine; but that, of course, isn't what they are doing.

What isn't amazing to me is that the left is continuing to trot out the claim that Republicans are "terrorists." The idea they are trying to get across is that Republicans will only agree to a plan on their own terms, or else they will "blow up" the country's economy. But the facts show clearly, as demonstrated above, that, from the beginning, it's the Democrats that have opposed every Republican offer; meanwhile, the Democrats refused to put any offer on the table at all. And in the final bill, the Republicans still backed it far more than the Democrats did.

Just who do they think they are fooling when they make such an obvious lie by saying the Republicans are the ones trying to "blow up" anything?

This level of self-deception is always amazing to me, though perhaps it shouldn't be.

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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