Patterico's Pontifications

9/23/2010

We Have a Budget Deal!

Filed under: Morons,Scum — Patterico @ 8:56 pm

And it’s almost certainly a huge pile of [string of expletives deleted]!

A spokesman for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Thursday that state lawmakers and the governor have reached a “framework of an agreement” on solving California’s longest-ever state budget impasse.

“The governor and the leaders have reached a framework of an agreement. We will continue to work through the details over the weekend and hope to come to a final agreement Monday when they reconvene,” said Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear. He declined to provide any details.

Oh, I think I can provide the details. Without knowing any of them.

Kick the can down the road, by borrowing more money, and deferring the hard decisions until next year.

Sound about right?

Anyone frustrated enough to punch their computer screen right about now?

L.A. Times Article on Pledge to America Filled with Terrible Writing and Worse Analysis

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 8:50 pm

I sat down ready to criticize the content of this L.A. Times article about the Contract with America, or Pledge for America, or whatever they’re calling the latest retread of 1994. And I still am ready — but I keep getting sidetracked by the horrible writing and editing.

Drawing on ideas favored by conservatives and stoked by “tea party” activists, House Republicans on Thursday will unveil a governing manifesto that calls for cuts in government spending, repeal of the new health care measure and a strict Constitutional test for every proposed law, according to a draft.

I deny that the Pledge’s ideas were “stoked” by the Tea Partiers — or that the Tea Partiers were stoked by the Pledge’s ideas. Dude.

The 21-page blueprint, called “A Pledge To America,” offers the most detailed picture yet of how Republicans would address national issues if they win a majority in the House this November, a likelihood prognosticators say is increasingly likely.

It’s always good when likelihoods are likely. Especially when the likelihood is increasingly likely.

The GOP plan quickly ignited a debate within conservative circles, as establishment Republicans embraced the agenda but activists complained that it did not go far enough, while omitting some of their key demands, such as a balanced budget amendment.

Never mind a balanced budget amendment. How about a goal of spending less than Bush?

You know, maybe the Tea Partiers’ ideas were stoked — if by “stoked” you mean sent up in flames.

The plan treads lightly on hot-button social issues, such as marriage and abortion, that have been mainstays of past GOP agendas but are less likely to motivate independent voters than economic questions this fall.

Hot-button social issues to plan: Don’t Tread on Me! Or, at least tread lightly on me.

My God, this is horrible writing. Another example: “less likely to motivate independent voters than economic questions this fall.” For some reason I feel like Ann Althouse saying this — but guys, it’s: “less likely than economic questions to motivate independent voters this fall.” You switched the phrases around, L.A. Times language experts, making your point very muddy. Were you trying to say economic questions are getting motivated? No? Then time for a rewrite. Skipping ahead a bit:

The proposals, the president said, mask the Republican Party’s intent to return to “exact same agenda” they pursued under former President George W. Bush’s administration.

Dontcha mean return to the exact same agenda?? Are we just randomly tossing articles overboard along with common sense?

“Like a diet full of sugar, it will actually do nothing but keep making Washington fatter before we crash from the sugar high,” said Erik Erikson of the blog RedState.

Or, Erick Erickson, if you’re into correct spelling and such.

I give up. This paper apparently can no longer afford copy editors. Nor can they afford analysts who can tell the difference between the pledge writers and the people who actually want to do something about the size of (and the debt incurred by) the federal government.

Better writers and thinkers, please!

Injustice in Dallas

Filed under: Crime,Race — Jack Dunphy @ 10:43 am

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

The police department in Dallas is being turned upside down over an alleged case of police brutality. On Sept. 5, two police officers chased a man on a motorcycle and had an altercation with him at the end of the pursuit, an altercation in which the force used appeared, at least to me, to be measured and appropriate. Racial politics in the city caused a complete inversion of the outcome, with the charges against the black suspect dismissed and the white cops who arrested him in all kinds of hot water.

I have a column on Pajamas Media in which I discuss the incident, complete with links to the dash-cam footage of the pursuit and the so-called “beating.” An excerpt:

As is unfortunately required in these cases, the facts of the incident must be viewed through race-colored glasses. Andrew Collins is black while the officers who arrested him are white, a set of facts that has prompted Dallas Police Chief David Brown and Mayor Tom Leppert to trip over each other while engaging in a pathetic orgy of apologies to “the community.”

Ah yes, The Community. When mayors and police chiefs use the term, it’s almost always a euphemism for “minorities,” more particularly, “minorities who make trouble.” None of them would ever dare admit it publicly, but mayors and police chiefs in cities across the country live in constant, almost paralyzing fear of getting that phone call, the one that informs them of some incident that may, if things are not quickly and deftly handled, lead to rioting in the streets. Officers Bauer and Randolph of course didn’t know it at the time, but when they first put the spotlight on Andrew Collins as he rode down the sidewalk on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., it was destined to be one of those incidents.

Read the whole thing.

–Jack Dunphy

Not much of a Pledge to America

Filed under: General — Karl @ 9:55 am

[Posted by Karl]

Allahpundit did his usual spiffy job at rounding up reax to House Republicans’ “Pledge to America,” which was leaked yesterday. I offer a remix to make a few additional points.

First, Nick Gillespie’s observation that the 1994 Contract With America was not a major factor is dead on. The GOP was fairly sure it would win a majority of House seats months before the Contract was announced. Given that its contents were poll-tested as at least 60% favorable, it was a marginal plus. However, the Contract was less important as a campaign document than as an agenda Newt Gingrich could use to hit the ground running. Moreover, by keeping the (admittedly limited) promises to vote on its contents (particularly the internal reforms, which were the subject of the marathon 100-hour opening session), the GOP could build some confidence with voters that it would do what it said.

This year, with the odds already favoring the GOP regaining a House majority, it is again better to judge the new “Pledge” — which this year’s candidates are not even formally agreeing to support — on the basis of how well it serves as a governing document and potential confidence builder. It is so judged against the backdrop Gillespie describes — a GOP that spent big during the Bush43 era and which has not backed Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap to America’s Future” (Gillespie pooh-poohs the “Roadmap,” but the lack of party backing for it is a marker of where the Republican establishment is at the moment). The other major element is the successes of the Tea Party movement within the GOP, pushing a tough line on reducing federal spending and repealing ObamaCare.

Judged against these political dynamics, the Pledge has a major problem. Unlike Erick Erickson, it does not bother me that the Pledge lacks calls for a Spending Limitation Amendment or a Balanced Budget Amendment. Holding votes on Constitutional amendments the GOP will not have the votes to pass, even by the most favorable estimates, is a replay of theater from 1995.

However, Erickson is right to fault the Pledge for its milquetoast generalities about reducing spending. Indeed, the Pledge indicts its own authors on this score, if you read it carefully. Page 5 of the leaked version of the Pledge states:

With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to balance the budget and pay down the debt. We will also establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending from this point forward.

We will launch a sustained effort to stem the relentless growth in government that has occurred over the past decade. By cutting Congress’ budget, imposing a net hiring freeze on non-security federal employees, and reviewing every current government program to eliminate wasteful and duplicative programs, we can curb Washington’s irresponsible spending habits and reduce the size of government, while still fulfilling our necessary obligations.

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