Patterico's Pontifications

7/31/2011

Obama Speaks

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:42 pm

Consider this your open thread. Me, I’m going out to dinner with my mom and family.

7/30/2011

Debt ceiling deal tomorrow?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 9:21 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Sen. Maj. Ldr. Harry Reid delayed a vote on his bill to raise the debt limit to give negotiators at the White House more time to work on a compromise. (The establishment media will treat this as entirely different from House Speaker Boehner delaying a vote on his bill by one day, of course.)  Late Saturday night, word of a tentative deal was leaked to the press.  ABC’s Jonathan Karl had it first, but National Journal’s Major Garrett adds a twist (in bold): 

  • $2.8 trillion in deficit reduction with $1 trillion locked in through discretionary spending caps over 10 years and the remainder determined by a so-called super committee.
  • The Super Committee must report precise deficit-reduction proposals by Thanksgiving.
  • The Super Committee would have to propose $1.8 trillion spending cuts to achieve that amount of deficit reduction over 10 years.
  • If the Super Committee fails, Congress must send a balanced-budget amendment to the states for ratification. If that doesn’t happen, across-the-board spending cuts would go into effect and could touch Medicare and defense spending.
  • No net new tax revenue would be part of the special committee’s deliberations.

That bolded part, if true, would go some way toward mollifying House GOP Reps. like Dennis Ross (the potential cuts to Medicare and defense are likely intended to encourage the GOP to agree to something else, although there is not supposed to be a net tax hike — perhaps tax hikes on “the rich” offset by other cuts).  That’s why I find myself in rare agreement with ThinkProgress that it’s more important to see the actual plan than to get riled up over leaks.  Indeed, the ABC story was quickly updated to note White House pushback against the idea that a deal had been struck.  The leaks may be coming from GOP sources trying to create the impression of a deal to pressure Pres. Obama to agree — not unlike what the NFL owners recently did at the end of the negotiations with the players.

–Karl

House Kills Reid Plan

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:19 pm

Per reports on Twitter, the vote was 246 to 173, with bipartisan opposition to the plan.

What now?

UPDATE: House roll here. I believe 11 Democrats voted against: Barrow, Boren, Braley, Loebsack, Matheson, McIntyre, C. Peterson, Ross, Schrader, Viscloskey, Wu. (Yeah, Wu.)

So we have Boehner plan killed by Senate and Reid plan killed by House.

What now?

7/29/2011

Boehner Plan Passes, 218-210

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:04 pm

So now what?

L.A. Times Portrayal of “Block Party”: Focus on Police, Not Rioters

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:05 am

The Instapundit posted about that Hollywood block party that got out of hand. What one correspondent of mine found interesting was the way that the L.A. Times focused on the behavior of the police, giving us images like this:

And especially this:

Which certainly seems reminiscent of the famous Tiananmen Square image of the solitary man peacefully facing down the aggressive militarized response of the government:

What would have been a more appropriate image to present and highlight? How about the way that the Daily Mail focused (quite properly) on the behavior of the rioters, with images like this:

Not quite Tiananmen, is it?

Sockpuppet Friday—the Scarlett Says “No” Edition

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:41 am

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

As usual, you are positively encouraged to engage in sockpuppetry in this thread. The usual rules apply.

Please, be sure to switch back to your regular handle when commenting on other threads. I have made that mistake myself.

And remember: the worst sin you can commit on this thread is not being funny.

——————————-

And for this week’s Friday frivolity, do you remember how a marine asked out Mila Kunis and got her to go the Marine Corps Ball, and she said yes?  You might even know that Justin Timberlake also agreed to go with a woman in the marine corps.  Well, apparently Scarlett Johansson is saying “no” to another marine:

Unlike Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake, sexpot actress Scarlett Johansson declined an invitation to the Marine Corps Ball.

Johansson, who was asked to the major event by Sgt. Dustin L. Williams, wrote in a statement to Zap2it that she was moved by the military man’s gesture but unable to accept due to some other plans she’d made.

“I feel incredibly honored to have been invited to the Marine Corps Ball by Sgt. Dustin L. Williams,” the actress wrote. “Not only does Sgt. Williams deserve recognition for his bravery, selflessness and dedication to the United States and its people, but he also displays a cheeky talent for film making. Sgt. Williams, unfortunately due to prior commitments I will not be able to attend the Ball with you this year.”

The 26-year-old “He’s Just Not That into You” star did, however, offer some drinks.

“I am sending you a case of Moet and Chandon with gratitude,” Johansson continued. “In my absence, I raise a glass to you and all the men and women of the U.S. Marine Corps, past and present, in thanks for your continued commitment to preserving the safety of our nation.”

Truthfully, while it is always cool when a celebrity does a thing like that for our fighting men and women, they shouldn’t be expected to say yes to every person who goes on the internet asking them out even if that person is a Marine.  So I suspect she could go if she wanted to but just decided she didn’t want to and I am cool with that.  But on the other hand, you have to feel for the guy to know what he is missing out on…

(Rule 5 is in effect, ya’ll.)

By the way, speaking of Avengers, you can watch a little footage from the Avengers movie here, but be warned it spoils some of the end of Captain America (although bluntly, about 50% of the people going to see that movie already know what it spoils).  Man, if they manage to put that together with a reasonable plot…

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

Notes on the delayed Boehner Plan vote

Filed under: General — Karl @ 3:06 am

[Posted by Karl]

House Speaker John Boehner could not secure the votes needed to pass his latest bill to lift the debt ceiling in return for spending cuts. As I write this US markets have not opened, but the impact will probably not be good, especially considering that Friday’s GDP report will likely be bad news. Dave Weigel makes two important points, one inadvertently:

Republicans will be absorbing the blame for whatever happens in the markets tomorrow — they’ve been emboldened by what they saw as mild corrections on Monday and the rest of the week. The fact that they’ll take this blame is a real victory for Democrats. Five conservative Blue Dogs had voted for Cut, Cap, and Balance, but it was clear today that Democrats were denying any votes for the Boehner Plan. Nancy Pelosi was pitching a perfect game, with the help (this is from NBC’s Luke Russert) of Heath Shuler, a conservative who was whipping his colleagues. The Democrats are partly responsible for the impasse tonight, but they will escape most blame as Republicans look for tweaks — for the second time! — to make the bill acceptable to their members.

John Boehner’s team had succeeded over several days in turning a number of critics and Tea Party Republicans into compromisers. They just didn’t do enough of it. In the very short term, Boehner lost.

First, whatever the media hype, this is potentially a blip for Boehner. Second, unrepentant ex-JournoLister that he is, Weigel highlights, but cannot bring himself to condemn, his fellow travelers in JournoLism for their predictable failure to fairly report the rabid partisanship of the Democrats here, particularly the so-called Blue Dogs.

Regarding the Democrats’ partisanship, even prog blogger Nate Silver questions a strategy that embarrasses a Speaker whose help the Democrats in the White House and Senate ultimately need. Jennifer Rubin notes other ways in which the cutesy Dems may end up regretting today’s tactics:

There are a couple of benefits to drawing this out (although I have no indication whatsover from conversations with half a dozen House Republican offices this evening that the delay is attributable to anything other than difficulty in rounding up the votes). First, Boehner will certainly have a strong argument that nothing OTHER than this bill can get through the House before August 2. And second, as time slips away, there is less and less time for the Senate to come up with an alternative that can pass both houses by August 2.

Indeed, Sen. Maj. Ldr. Harry Reid has not filed cloture on his debt ceiling bill, so any delay or failure to pass a bill in the House will put the Senate in a bind. However, this is not how the establishment or its media is thinking about either of those points. Rather, outlets like MSNBC and the WaPo are pushing the Nancy Pelosi/DNC narrative that the GOP was winning, but has overplayed its hand, such that Boehner must join with Dems in some alternative plan. The danger is that if markets tank and a handful of GOP Congressmen continue to hold the line, Boehner may buy into that narrative. But if I had to guess, some face-saving minor concessions will be found to switch a few more GOP votes into the “yes” column on Friday.

Update: Yes, the Q2 GDP report was bad… and the Q1 revision was worse.

–Karl

7/28/2011

L.A. Times Editor Encourages Ass Whipping

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 8:51 pm

Two sources tell me this is a genuine internal memo from L.A. Times editor Ashley Dunn.

Comrades:

As most of you have heard, there were layoffs today. We’ve all been through this before, but it doesn’t make it any easier. We’ll all miss the fine people who are leaving.

For those of us still here, the hard task ahead is getting back to the business of reporting the news. It feels like rushing back into battle after a hellacious ass whipping. To those who are understandably feeling a bit down, I say: We don’t get our asses whipped, we whip asses. We don’t get ulcers, we give ulcers.

Take a look at the Metro’s budget today. Nita is writing about Post Office closures and how people in towns and neighborhoods are taking it. Marosi is shining a bright light on the shitheads in the Sinaloa Cartel, and Ari is back with City Council as it wrestles with those damn red-light cameras. Don’t forget the fighting nudists of San Diego.

These are the great stories we do every day about our beloved city and state. We are kicking ass in our own modest way. Life is calling out for us to write, witness and be moved.

Deadline is coming. Swig that Mountain Dew, suck deeply on that Marlboro Ultralight, tell your editor to move that fucking story.

This paper waits for no one. Let’s get to it.

If you want to vent about the layoffs, plot strategy for the future or just shoot the shit about the old days, come on in.

Ash

If that doesn’t inspire you, comrades, then nothing will. Now grab your Mountain Dews and kick some fucking ass!

How The Boehner Stole Christmas?

Filed under: General — Karl @ 10:53 am

[Posted by Karl]

Lame liberal spin grew three sizes this day:

House Speaker and national grinch John Boehner is planning to spoil Christmas, White House officials are claiming, as they try to head off passage of Boehner’s two-stage debt ceiling bill.

“Happy Holidays America: Boehner plan would have the debt ceiling all over again during the holiday season, which is critical for the economy,” White House deputy spokesman Dan Pfeiffer declared today at 9.50 a.m.

This has become part of White House-circulated talking points.

When Newsweek and the NYT’s Gail Collins launched the same sort of attacks on House Speaker-in-Waiting Newt Gingrich, there was at least some alliteration. (TIME called Gingrich “Uncle Scrooge”, presumably for his advocacy of orphanages.) Moreover, coming on the heels of the 1994 midterm election, the Christmas theme was a timely hook. Trying to get people to think about Christmas in July makes the Democrats sound like they are planning a furniture sale or something. Maybe they are; even MSNBC has figured out that the Dems are losing this debate, while hoping against hope that somehow the GOP will blow it. Granted, the GOP has been known to blow it on occasion, but the left has been reduced to playing the recycled Christmas card.

–Karl

Pres. Obama’s McJobs economy

Filed under: General — Karl @ 8:14 am

[Posted by Karl]

Even Steven Greenhouse at the New York Times and his progressive sources are starting to notice:

There’s more unhappy news for the millions of Americans hoping for a surge in the number of good, high-paying jobs — a new report concludes that the great bulk of new jobs created since the economic recovery began are in lower-wage occupations, paying $13.52 or less an hour.

The report by the National Employment Law Project, a liberal research and advocacy group, found that while 60 percent of the jobs lost during the downturn were in midwage occupations, 73 percent of the jobs added since the recession ended had been in lower-wage occupations, like cashier, stocking clerk or food preparation worker.

***

The report found that real wages had shown “a mild decline” since the recession began, of 0.6 percent. For workers in lower-wage occupations, median wages fell 2.3 percent after inflation — partly because many of the newer workers hired had lower wages than others in that group. For workers in midwage occupations, wages slipped by 0.9 percent, while there was some good news for workers in higher-wage occupations — their wages rose by 0.9 percent.

Progressives used to complain about “McJobs” during the Reagan Administration.  Indeed, the NYT’s Steven Greenhouse was one of them.  The complaints were bogus:

82 per cent of the jobs created during the Reagan recovery were in the higher-paying, higher-skilled occupations (technical, precision production, managerial, and professional). Many of these are “service” jobs, including positions in law, advertising, computers, and medicine. Only 12 per cent of the increase in employment occurred in the lowest-paid, low-skilled service occupations such as retailing and fast-food restaurants.

These days, Ronald McDonald is doing more for the economy than Barack Obama.  And yet, the clown needed an ObamaCare waiver and progressive nanny statists cannot help but bash the clown again and again and again.  Meanwhile, the president who campaigned on wealth redistribution is looking at an economy where only those already in high-wage jobs are seeing income gains.  Political junkies are fixated on the debt ceiling right now.  As important as the debt bomb is, continuing unemployment and stagnating wages better explain why the fundamentals do not favor Obama’s re-election campaign.

Update: “The nation has never before had an economic expansion where total employment after two years of recovery was lower than it was at the end of the recession.”  The Obama presidency continues to make history.

–Karl

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