Patterico's Pontifications

11/29/2010

Two Excerpts, Offered Without Comment

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:02 pm

First up is audio of Mark Levin discussing Mark Kirk during the election (sorry about the graphic; the dude who put together the video apparently likes it):

Next is Mark Kirk’s piece today titled First priority? Control federal spending:

My top priority is turning our economy around. In Congress, we had a vigorous debate about the trillion-dollar stimulus. Most Americans agree this policy has failed. Unemployment in Illinois is stuck above 9 percent with more than 640,000 of our citizens out of work. Policies of the past caused our state to fall behind. Ten years ago, Illinois had at least 150,000 more jobs than today.

Many in Washington want to continue the spend/borrow policy of the past. They ignore the warning signs of more debt, taxes and inflation. Americans already pay some of the highest corporate taxes in the world. We cannot attract new jobs if employers are moving abroad to avoid higher taxes. By taxing more to fuel spending, we threaten a double-dip recession, pushing millions of Americans out of work.

Our mounting debts pose a clear and present danger to our future. Among bad “sovereign debtors” (i.e., governments), the Illinois ranks in the top 12, sharing infamy with the likes of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

. . . .

The first Senate bill I will introduce will be the Spending Control Act. This bill builds on two recent successful examples of our democracy making the right decisions for our long-term future. First, in the 1980s, the bipartisan Grace Commission set the standard for serious oversight by identifying federal spending that would add little to our nation’s growth, but much to its debt. Second, the three military base closing commissions showed that bipartisan dignitaries, once given the authority to submit a proposal to Congress for a straight up or down vote, actually cut spending where others failed.

The Spending Control Act will marry these two proposals — a new Grace Commission with a mandate to realign federal spending against its actual income, and “base closing” procedural powers to submit its proposals for simple “yes” or “no” votes in Congress. Given the successful record of all three base closing commissions to implement their reductions, despite a great hue and cry, prospects would be good under this proposal for our greatest of all democracies to depart its current course toward national bankruptcy and crushing future debt.

63 Responses to “Two Excerpts, Offered Without Comment”

  1. OK, maybe just one comment. Would Alexi Giannoulias have written that piece?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  2. Kirk neglects to mention that a few years later Grace was so disenchanted with Washington’s response that he hired Ridley Scott to make this apocalyptic ad, which the networks promptly refused to run.

    Kevin M (298030)

  3. I hate to say it, but a “commission” proposal might be the only way to get actual spending reductions. Congresscritters hate taking responsibility for anything tough. Give them an up or down proposal and make them stamp their feet and complain, and maybe they will actually vote for it.

    The first step, of course, is having a Senator who at least pretends to care about reining in spending.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  4. One recalls the Courts, took the teeth out of Gramm/Rudman’s enforcement provision, lets start
    with small steps like say a budget for this year

    narciso (9d0688)

  5. “No true Scotsman” remains a logical fallacy, and not an argument.

    carlitos (261dcd)

  6. if you send out signals that you’re a depraved global warming whore, people are gonna treat you like a depraved global warming whore

    I think we’ve all learned something very important here.

    happyfeet (42fd61)

  7. carlitos,

    Indeed. Huh?

    Which is to say, I agree with you in the abstract and *think* I follow how the abstract relates to the concrete . . . but I’m a little slow on the uptake tonight. (What do you mean, “just tonight”?)

    Could you spell it out a little?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  8. I dunno how you can curb future spending by the feds without addressing the federal costs associated with mitigating global warming

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  9. Mark Levin jumped the shark so many times during the run up to the election, I can’t believe anyone takes him seriously anymore. I get sick and tired of those like Levin, and his blog counterpart Erick Erickson, who try to act as if they are the ultimate arbiters of who is and isn’t a RINO or a conservative. If you are too stupid to realize Jim Demint-types can’t be elected in Illinois and Delaware, you deserve to be ignored.

    Levin is a loudmouth idiot (cb846d)

  10. Were not talking about Levin, but as an opening gambit it seems awfully weak, btw what happened
    with that hellish ‘Food Security’ Bill today

    narciso (9d0688)

  11. i will say that i am always underwhelmed when they propose to pass some law to stop spending in the future. These things always have emergency escape hatches (as they must) and what do you know, they always find the emergency justifying the use of that hatch.

    the way to stop spending is to… wait for it… stop spending…

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  12. Hi Patterico,

    I agree that controlling federal spending should be our first priority. However, as a lifelong, conservative Christian big-city moderate Republican, I realize that Mark Kirk is much, much, much better than Alexi Giannoulias. Alexi is a mobbed-up banker who is part of the Democratic machine. How is voting for Mark Kirk a bad thing, in this context?

    carlitos (261dcd)

  13. Were not talking about Levin, but as an opening gambit it seems awfully weak

    How so?

    And how does it compare with the opening budget-cutting gambit we would have seen from Kirk’s Democrat opponent?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  14. ETA – Reading comment #1, I think that we agree.

    carlitos (261dcd)

  15. How is voting for Mark Kirk a bad thing, in this context?

    It’s all right there in that YouTube video, carlitos. Mark Levin explained it perfectly. What part was hard to understand? :)

    Patterico (c218bd)

  16. To absolutely clarify, “no true Scotsman” = “RINO.” It’s not an argument.

    carlitos (261dcd)

  17. Yes, we agree.

    But what do you know about Illinois politics? What are you, from Chicago or something?

    Patterico (c218bd)

  18. I listened to the bit. I live in Chicago, Illinois. My options were to vote for Mark Kirk or Alexi Giannoulias. Mark Levin tells me that I’m better off (impotently, like a petulant child wishing to make a statement) “writing somebody in.” That’s ridiculous.

    Alexi wouldn’t “trade votes on a whim?” Levin’s arguments ring hollow.

    carlitos (261dcd)

  19. “i will say that i am always underwhelmed when they propose to pass some law to stop spending in the future. These things always have emergency escape hatches (as they must) and what do you know, they always find the emergency justifying the use of that hatch.”

    Even without an “escape hatch” a present congress can’t really pass a law that restricts a future congress.

    imdw (8222e7)

  20. Ah. Mis-interpreted smiley face as always.

    carlitos (261dcd)

  21. Really embarassed, here. :)

    carlitos (261dcd)

  22. And / or embarrassed.

    carlitos (261dcd)

  23. I mean, an elephant literally screwing a rhino as the title slide to the video. Who could be expected to understand the subtext? I’m serious here.

    carlitos (261dcd)

  24. carlitos,

    I’m not sure you were around when Levin was daily calling me an “idiot” and a “moron” and such — background that probably would have made my irony more instantly understandable.

    Wait a while, it will probably happen again.

    We missed you, by the way. It’s nice having you around again.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  25. Totally my bad. I don’t hear Levin’s show much.

    carlitos (261dcd)

  26. carlitos – Levin’s argument is hollow. He is a feces head. He likes to hear himself talk.

    daleyrocks (df87cd)

  27. Line item veto might restrict a future congress.

    carlitos (261dcd)

  28. The government has become a monstrous feed-back loop.

    You can’t cut this program, because you can’t cut that program because if you did, someone might suffer or that defense program might be cut and you can’t do that because that state would lose jobs and children would suffer because that program wasn’t available to stop the suffering.

    All we’ve done by feeding that loop is to create a whole lot of people who depend on it.

    I’m as guilty as you.

    No human being born in the United States is a slave to government. We can make a choice, in a free society, to decide on how the government can rule our lives.

    Government exists as a touchstone for justice and liberty. When we depend on it for existence, it loses its power.

    Government to cure all ills may work in the short-term, but it will fail. It always has and it always will.

    Ag80 (e828a4)

  29. Gianoulias could have lent Obama the money from Broadway Bank to pay off the debt! ZOMG!

    FDIC takes over Broadway Bank, writes off loan, problem solved!

    Krugman eat your heart out!

    daleyrocks (df87cd)

  30. this is sky she is a very nice person plus she has qualities

    happyfeet (42fd61)

  31. Good to see carlitos again!

    Karl (928df3)

  32. KARL !!!

    JD (ab60db)

  33. Look! It’s carlitos!

    Look! It’s Karl!

    It’s a Chicago reunion!

    None of them know who Illinois voters should vote for like Mark Levin knows, though.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  34. What am I, chopped liver?

    daleyrocks (df87cd)

  35. I have seen Carlitos and Karl in the same room, otherwise I would question the timing.

    JD (ab60db)

  36. What am I, chopped liver?

    Prodigal sons, dude.

    Which is not to say you should disappear just to get exclamation points greeting you when you return.

    But if you did disappear . . .

    DALEY!!!!

    Patterico (c218bd)

  37. I live in Kirk’s old district. Levin is right. I did vote for Kirk only because of my desire to see Obama lose his old seat, not out of any enthusiasm for Kirk. Kirk is a chameleon, he will drift along with the crowd. He talks about getting our fiscal house in order. Great, but his vote to support the Obama agenda on Cap and Trade is inexcusable for a conservative. I asked him directly why he did it and he told me with a straight face that it would help the environment. If he truly believed that then he is a dunce, if not he was simply a liar.

    exceller (88c906)

  38. Some of us in Illinois know how fickle Kirk can be. He sounded like a conservative during the Senate campaign , but didn’t vote like one while a sitting House member. It remains to be seen whether (1) his House votes were the result of his constituency’s leanings in his District that caused him to temper his “true” conservative leanings or (2) he’s now reping the entire State with his real conservatism in full view or (3) posturing once more. We’ll see once the spotlight is off him in the new session starting in January. He’s a Golden Boy right now for having taken Barack’s seat.

    laddy (64c6cc)

  39. Caught this new fiscally conservative senator on the radio this morning. He was extolling the virtues of high speed rail, and the need to expand O’hare airport in Chicago. Ah yes, it’s a completely new day in Washington with this deficit hawk riding into town.

    exceller (b3570f)

  40. ==What am I chopped liver?==

    Oh gawd, daley. Please don’t tempt Feets to get started on tasty food again!

    elissa (f0ac9d)

  41. Caught this new fiscally conservative senator on the radio this morning. He was extolling the virtues of high speed rail, and the need to expand O’hare airport in Chicago. Ah yes, it’s a completely new day in Washington with this deficit hawk riding into town.

    Comment by exceller — 11/30/2010 @ 6:34 am

    Yeah, you’re right. The mob banker Democrat would have been better.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  42. Does deficit hawk mean we can’t have more infrastructure like rail and airports?

    imdw (d25359)

  43. We have enough useless pork airports and rail projects, imdw.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  44. People are correct when they say that a true conservative, at least right now, cannot win in a state-wide election in Illinois. Bill Brady won all but 4 counties in his run for governor, and still lost to Quinn, who is pathetic at best. I voted for Kirk rather than elect the usual Chicago suspect, Alexi. As long as the machine controls Chicago, conservatives will have a difficult task in running for any state-wide office.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  45. == It remains to be seen whether (1) his House votes were the result of his constituency’s leanings in his District==

    Good point. A lot of people even within Illinois do not fully understand how interesting and complex Kirk’s 10th congressional district is. Just to give a picture: It runs all along the northern shore of Lake Michigan (hence lots of very real ecological issues). It encompasses a number of THE wealthiest and most educated suburbs in the country let alone the state. It also encompasses several of the poorest, highest unemployment and most crime ridden communities in the state (communities which contain a number of poor Hispanics both legal and illegal). It encompasses a military base. It encompasses several of the largest middle class and upper middle class suburbs in the state. There is a balance of main line Christian and Jewish residents. There are fortune 500 companies and small businesses and entrepreneurs but the district has lost a lot of manufacturing. In other words, this is not a juryrigged district and it is one in which IMO Kirk as congressman has already had to deal with the real world and a constituency which in many ways mirrors the state’s. As a constituent of that district I have felt that Kirk tried and largely succeeded in representing the sometimes conflicting interests of his constituents in a quality and thoughtful manner. I did not always agree with him (C&T) but agreed with his votes more often than not. Kirk is a moderate Republican on social issues. But anyone who tries to paint Kirk as a squish or RINO in the vein of a Snowe or a McCain is just uninformed. And anyone (no matter how “famous”) who expresses that Kirk is no better than Giannoulias would have been, or than Obama was, is not really on “our side”, and simply does not understand the reality of politics very well, I think.

    elissa (f0ac9d)

  46. I’ve flown through O’Hare. Doesn’t seem useless to expand it. Also, given how shitty flying is becoming, it doesn’t seem useless to have more rail options either.

    imdw (575edd)

  47. I’ve flown through O’Harea a while ago. Doesn’t seem useless to expand it. Also, given how shitty flying is becoming, it doesn’t seem useless to have more rail options either.

    imdw (0fd220)

  48. I’ve flown through O’Harea a while ago. Doesn’t seem useless to expand it. Also, given how terrible flying is becoming, it doesn’t seem useless to have more rail options either.

    imdw (0fd220)

  49. @46
    The state of Illinois and the US government are both bankrupt. How much are you willing to shell out for some those expensive projects, or what current government benefits that you are entitled to are you willing to forego in order to help fund a high speed rail line or airport expansion?
    Or do we just continue to put it on the tab for future generations? Being a fiscal conservative means making cuts and living within ones means. The party is over, it’s time we all sober up and start to clean up this fiscal mess before we have a calamity. You don’t need a commission in order to do this stuff, only some leadership.

    exceller (b3570f)

  50. imdw, rail is indeed a useless pork boondoggle. Rail passenger transport requires massive subsidies, and fail to attract significant passenger volumes, when we’ve not spare budget. This little claim of yours is just yet another example of your fondness for failed government programs.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  51. Unfortunately, I think Murcowski’s re-election was largely due to her wink wink to Alaskans in regard to pork. Both she, and they know it. Sad but true.

    elissa (f0ac9d)

  52. Levin’s argument is flat out specious. If he actually believed voters would prefer a “True Conservative” candidate over all others, it should make no difference to him who was in office prior to the “True Conservative” choosing to run. Murkowski and Bennett(?) were successfully primaried this year as sitting senators. In the interim, why not have someone who is more likely than not tom vote with your party than somebody who is virtually guaranteed to vote on the opposite side. By saying he would never vote for a Kirk, essentially guaranteeing victory for a Democrat, Levin is really demonstrating he has no faith in his argument.

    daleyrocks (df87cd)

  53. rail is indeed a useless pork boondoggle. Rail passenger transport requires massive subsidies, and fail to attract significant passenger volumes, when we’ve not spare budget.

    Perhaps as done in the US, but that’s an indictment of US politicians, not rail. Tokyo and London would be unlivable without rail, as Los Angeles is becoming.

    Kevin M (73dcc9)

  54. “How much are you willing to shell out for some those expensive projects”

    Maybe like a couple of months in afghanistan.

    “Rail passenger transport requires massive subsidies”

    How massive is it in comparison to air, or road travel?

    imdw (3ac9fb)

  55. imdw, I’m already aware you don’t know.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  56. Indeed the point of asking the question was to find out the answer. I see nothing gets by you.

    imdw (7b0243)

  57. imdw, that you opine freely in your ignorance never gets by me.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  58. You don’t like questions, do you?

    imdw (c5488f)

  59. I voted for Kirk, but not holding my breath on him being any better than he was in the House. still stuck with Costello as my rep, and Kirk is light years better than that clown.

    Crusader (f17d93)

  60. Doesn’t seem useless to expand it.

    It’s already been expanded – they finished the long – awaited (over 30 years!) new runway earlier this year. But the airlines won’t pony up their share for the new terminal adjacent to that runway, so no, it’s not more Federal spending that’s needed, the private companies benefitting from the new runway need to step up to the plate.

    Dmac (498ece)

  61. I voted for Kirk figuring the glass half empty is better than nothing. My guess is that Mr. Levin would lable me a RINO as well. My neighbors on the other hand lable me to the right of Attila the Hun–I’m in Rham’s old district.

    While I like the sentiments expressed in his op ed unless we get a handle on entitlements, HUD and Military spending all the rest of it is window dressing. Some things I would do is a 15% accross the board spending cut, an end to the collect at 62 for SS and privatize Fannie and Freddie. Chances are none of these things will pass during this or any other congress.

    BT (74cbec)

  62. imdw, I’m more of an answer guy. Vapid questions I leave to the trolls.

    SPQR (26be8b)


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