Patterico's Pontifications

12/9/2010

Rigging Federal Transportation Awards So Waste Is Assured

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 5:34 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

So what happens when a state says to the federal government, “you know what?  We don’t want to build this massive transportation project.  Instead just keep your money and go away”?  Does that money go back into the federal coffers?  Does it perhaps translate into lower taxes?  Or at the very least, does it mean a reduction of the deficit, and thus a reduction in the rate of increase of our debt?

Oh come on, you know I wouldn’t ask if the answer was the logical and sensible one.  What kind of boring post would that be?

That right, at least in the case of recently rejected Ohio and Wisconsin High Speed Rail projects, when the states refused to carry the project forward and politely told the Federal Government to keep its money, the Federal Government responded by…  oh, well, let’s let the Times Union explain it:

The nearly $1.2 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail projects that newly elected governors in Ohio and Wisconsin rejected has been redirected to other states, with New York receiving up to $7.3 million of the amount.

The money was redistributed to states in proportion to their initial high-speed rail awards, with California receiving up to $624 million, Florida in line for up to $342.3 million, and Washington State getting up to another $161.5 million.

You got that?  Even if a state refuses the money, the Federal Government will just spend the same amount on another state.  There are no savings, no reduction in our deficit (that is, the reduction of the rate of increase of our debt).  And tax cuts?  “F—k the President,” as one unidentified Democrat said reportedly before his party sank Obama’s much ballyhooed tax deal.  I guess Obama’s charm offensive didn’t work very well.  But with respect to the unidentified congressman, it is we the people who are going to be f—ked.

So think about it from the perspective of the governments of Ohio and Wisconsin.  Your citizens are still being taxed.  The deficit has gone up as a result of the spending.  But you are getting none of the benefit.  Am I the only person who thinks that this was designed to incentivize this project?  “We might as well take the money, because if we don’t someone else will.”

And consider also the allocation to the other states.  I mean, doesn’t that mean that this extra money will definitely be a waste?  They were ready to do it cheaper, and the Federal Government said, “nah, here’s some more money.  Find something to do with it.”

Really, the more and more I think about it, the more indefensible and infuriating it all is.

Hat Tip: Althouse.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Michael Moore Goes to Luxury Fat Camp

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 11:16 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

For a light, cheap laugh I direct you to this story.

And this wasn’t the first time he went to fat camp.  The last time he did, Iowahawk procured a copy of his camp diary.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Westboro Assholes to Protest Edwards Funeral

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:12 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Pardon my French, but they are really trying our patience as a nation.

On a similar note, about a week ago, a disabled veteran was caught “stalking” the Westboro idiots, with possible intent to murder.

Obviously, violence is not the answer.  I myself have advocated giving them a taste of their own medicine, by waiting until one of them dies, and protesting their funeral.  See how they like it.

You are not Christians, you idiots.  You will burn in hell for what you have done.

Update: Gawker disapproves.  Of course Gawker is the same site that ran a contest to come up with a banner to fly on an airplane over Rush Limbaugh’s wedding.  So protests at a person’s wedding?  Okay!  Protest at a person’s funeral?  Bad.  Glad they cleared that up.

Oh, and the winning submission? “Congrats on your 4th marraige.  XO Gawker.”  Yeah, classy.

I am glad to see you guys saying the right thing now, but how about a little introspection and maybe an apology?

Update (II): And this strikes me as a strange start to a story:

As if Elizabeth Edwards did not have enough difficulties to face while alive, she is now being dogged even in death, this time by a small, right-wing Kansas church that says it will picket her funeral at a Methodist church in Raleigh on Saturday afternoon.

Now this can be a matter of theological difference, but no, I don’t think anything is likely to be troubling Ms. Edwards right now.  I think she is beyond any Earthly concern.  I have said at many funerals, the purpose of this funeral is not really for the dead.  They aren’t even there to see it.  The purpose of a funeral is to serve the emotional needs of the living.  And it is the living I was primarily concerned for when I read this story.  Yes, even for Jon Edwards, although even more so the members of the family that didn’t choose to live in the limelight.

Which is kind of a nitpicky critique, based on a certain religious perspective, but there you go.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Fox News Refuses to Use Euphemism; Media Matters Calls Them Biased

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:54 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Media Matters has got itself up in a lather today, claiming it has some kind of smoking gun proving Fox’s bias, writing:

At the height of the health care reform debate last fall, Bill Sammon, Fox News’ controversial Washington managing editor, sent a memo directing his network’s journalists not to use the phrase “public option.”

Instead, Sammon wrote, Fox’s reporters should use “government option” and similar phrases — wording that a top Republican pollster had recommended in order to turn public opinion against the Democrats’ reform efforts.

Journalists on the network’s flagship news program, Special Report with Bret Baier, appear to have followed Sammon’s directive in reporting on health care reform that evening.

Now presuming a basic accuracy in the story (which you should never do with these guys), well… what exactly is wrong with the term “government option”?  What they were proposing was a government-run insurance company that would present an “option,” an alternative, to the private companies.  So in what way is this not a “government option?”

But that is how thick the B.S. is this day and age, especially coming from the left.  Apparently, if you refuse to use their bullsh-t euphemisms and tell people what the words really mean, you are biased.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

The President Demonstrates His Tact, Again

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:26 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

The other day, I mentioned how Obama compared the Congressional Republicans to terrorists and suggested that this lacked a certain amount of tact.  One commenter defended those remarks by saying “[l]ook, he has an angry base to pacify. He is using the best kind of rhetoric to win them over.”  In other words, him being an un-presidential d—k about it was a calculated political move.

But that theory really doesn’t hold up when you also see him being condescending toward his angry base:

The president admitted to supporters that right now there is a “healthy” debate going on about the details of the compromise and used the call to defend his decisions to compromise yet again.

“I know that there’s some folks who are angry about it,” he said. “They are confused about the extensions on the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and there are policy and political objections. Some people are saying, ‘Well, did we fight hard enough for our position? Did we position ourselves properly on this?’”

The president said the bottom line is the votes weren’t there.

“We put up the best and smartest fight that we could under the circumstances. That means without 60 votes in the Senate,” the president said, “not a single Republican would support our position in the Senate, and as a consequence we could not get the 60 vote we needed to overcome their filibuster.”

You got that, liberals?  You’re not thinking clearly.  You are confused.  You aren’t actually smart enough to have an informed opinion.  So just shut up and let Uncle Barry handle things for you.

Pretty condescending, huh?  Well, welcome to our world.  It’s a crowded place.

And it’s really hard to see the political advantage.  I mean, the correct phrase is “I respectfully disagree, and here, let me make my case…”  Or something else that says, “yes, we are disagreeing on tactics here, but I recognize that this disagreement is in good faith.”  But the narcissist-in-chief is incapable of being so tolerant of disagreement.

Certainly, similar condescension fed Keith Olbermann’s anger which led him  (with a rhetorical wink-and-a-nod) to compare Republicans to Nazis and Obama to Neville Chamberlain (wait, so liberals are opposed to appeasement now?):

Yesterday I had an exchange with a very Senior member of this Administration who wanted to sell me on this deal. I pointed out that that was fine, except that — as I phrased it to him — “frankly the base has just vanished.” “Well,” he replied, “then they must not have read the details.” There, in a nutshell, is this Administration. They didn’t make a bad deal — we just don’t understand it.

Just as it was our fault, Mr President, for not understanding your refusal of even the most perfunctory of investigations of rendition or domestic spying or the other crimes of the Bush Administration, or why you have now established for those future Administrations who want to repeat those crimes, that the punishment for them will be nothing.

Just as it was our fault, Mr. President, for not understanding Afghanistan. Just as we didn’t correctly perceive, Sir, the necessity for the continuation of Gitmo. Or how we failed to intuit, President Obama, your preemptive abandonment of Single Payer and the Public Option. Or how we couldn’t have foreseen your foot-dragging on “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Just as we shouldn’t have gotten you angry at your news conference today and made all the moderate Democrats wonder why in the hell you get publicly angry so often at the liberals who campaigned for you and whether you might save just a touch of that sarcasm and that self-martyrdom for the Republicans.

By the way, I think this means it is officially no longer racist to criticize the president.  So there is that.

And as for the Chamberlain bit, well here you go:

The Churchill quotation — as opposed to the quotation from the very Senior member of your Administration, Mr. President — is from October 5th, 1938.

I don’t want to make any true comparison to the historical event to which it related; the viewer can go ahead and look it up if they wish; I will confess I won’t fight if anybody wants to draw a comparison between what you’ve done with our domestic politics of our day, to what Neville Chamberlain did with the international politics of his.

And even while Alan Grayson liked the terrorism metaphor from the other day, it is clear from this exchange with Lawrence O’Donnell that he felt the President capitulated too easily.  The exchange is also fun because O’Donnell (who has previously stated that he was a socialist, but also knew realistically that Americans would not accept socialism), takes Grayson to task for his impracticality.  I may vehemently disagree with O’Donnell’s philosophy, but I kind of respect his realism and honesty about it.

So getting back to the politics, who exactly is pleased by all this?  Maybe he is hoping to appeal to some middle between the left and the Republican party and anyone who felt that raising taxes on anyone in the middle of the recession is a bad idea.  But even if he was making that calculus, how on Earth was it necessary to insult the Republicans and his liberal critics?  Couldn’t he have just as effectively disagreed with them without being disagreeable?

Unless it was part of a secret plan to unite liberals and conservatives in calling the President a putz for unnecessarily insulting them.  In which case, mission accomplished.

Hat tip: Hot Air.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]


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