Patterico's Pontifications

8/2/2011

Senate passes Debt Ceiling measure

Filed under: General — Karl @ 9:55 am

[Posted by Karl]

The vote was 74-26. 45 Democrats vote yes, 28 Republicans vote yes, 1 Indy votes yes (Lieberman). 19 Republicans vote no, 6 Dems vote no, 1 Indy votes no (Sanders, of course). Weigel has all the no votes.

The measure heads off to The Adult in the Room for signature.

Update: Today’s CNN poll finds 52% of Americans — and an overwhelming majority of independents — disapproves of the deal. Then again, reading the .pdf, 51% disapprove of raising the debt ceiling… and 52% think failing to raise it will cause major problems or a crisis.  A large majority  — 65% approve of the pending “cuts” in the deal, while another 15% dispprove because the “cuts” don’t go far enough. The establishment media will tout that 60% wanted tax hikes on the rich and corporations, while ignoring the fact that the poll didn’t ask about tax hikes or vanishing tax deductions for everyone else.

–Karl

HuffPo Smears Breitbart

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:48 am

HuffPo says that the nefarious Andrew Breitbart has nefariously edited another video for nefarious purposes.

It’s an excellent theory whose one minor flaw is that it’s a complete fabrication.

Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart’s Breitbart.tv is being accused of doctoring a press conference clip to make CBS’s Norah O’Donnell seem like she was distraught over the debt compromise.

The clip shown below includes an exchange between O’Donnell and President Obama’s press secretary in which the reporter appears to claim that “you gave them everything they wanted and we got nothing.”

The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait notes that the clip does not include the part of O’Donnell’s question in which O’Donnell says that some “Democrats” are the ones who feel they’ve gotten nothing from the debt deal, not O’Donnell herself.

Actually, Chait accuses Commentary, not Breitbart, of a deceptive edit. Here’s Chait:

Andrew Breitbart has clipped an exchange from today’s press at conference at the White House. In the exchange, reporter Norah O’Donnell press Jay Carney by asking, “Democrats are saying, ‘You gave them everything they wanted and we got nothing.” Commentary has picked up the story, giving it the headline, “CBS’s O’Donnell to Carney: We got nothing.”

CBS’s Norah O’Donnell peppered Carney with terse, accusatory questions about the lack of tax revenue (read: tax increases) in the debt ceiling deal. O’Donnell complained about how many GOP demands were met by the deal, and then said to Carney: “You gave them everything they wanted and we got nothing.” That “we” is very telling. …

O’Donnell, meanwhile, may have to answer to her bosses at CBS for peeling back the veneer of impartiality to reveal the liberal advocacy sitting just beneath the surface of the mainstream networks.

Amazing. They simply lopped off the part where O’Donnell was describing the position of a party and passed it off as O’Donnell talking about herself and liberal Democrats in the first person plural.

Here is the video HuffPo claims was edited:

And here is the video they claim is complete:

Anyone who actually bothers to play the two can easily see that nothing has been edited. The content is exactly the same in the relevant portion of the clip. The sound is a little clear in the second version. That’s all.

What’s amusing, if distressingly predictable, is how few of the commenters at HuffPo actually bothered to watch the clips and notice this. The comments are full of “Typical for Breitbart” style idiocy.

HuffPo owes Breitbart a huge apology. Chait’s post is titled “Smearing Norah O’Donnell.” HuffPo’s should be titled “Smearing Andrew Breitbart.”

But then, “Dog Bites Man” has never been a popular headline.

UPDATE: An Editor’s Note at HuffPo retracts the allegation:

A HuffPost story on an exchange between Norah O’Donnell and Jay Carney incorrectly raised the possibility that Andrew Breitbart had “doctored” a video clip from a White House briefing to make O’Donnell look like she was “distraught over the debt compromise.” A viewing of the clip in question clearly shows that he did not. We regret the error, have removed the story, and apologize to Mr. Breitbart.

Whoever was arguing that HuffPo had it right all along must be feeling pretty stupid right about now.

Always trust content from Patterico.

P.S. First Anthony Weiner, now HuffPo. Apologizing to Andrew Breitbart is apparently becoming a trend!

The root of progressive despair

Filed under: General — Karl @ 4:00 am

[Posted by Karl]

What causes the Democrats and the establishment media to hysterically accuse Republicans of being terrorists?

Perhaps it is the crisis in confidence we see from people like Kevin Drum:

Public opinion is everything. Ronald Reagan was successful because public opinion supported him: he wanted to cut taxes and raise defense spending and so did big chunks of the public. He was leading in a direction that they already wanted to go.

***

This is why I blame the broad liberal community for our failures, not just President Obama. My biggest beef with Obama is the same one I had three years ago, namely that he’s never really even tried to move public opinion in a specifically progressive direction. But that hardly even matters unless all the rest of us have laid the groundwork. And we haven’t. Wonks, hacks, activists, all of us. We just haven’t persuaded the public to support our vision of government.

If it makes progressives feel any better, Drum is only half-right.  Reagan – and other Republicans — have been unable to get meaningful spending cuts or entitlement reform because public opinion did not support them.  There are a zillion polls showing that Democrats and Republicans alike only support cuts to space exploration and foreign aid.  Those who routinely rely on MediScare in their campaigns should not need a reminder of this.

The problem for progressives is not that they failed to persuade the public to support big government; it is that they failed to persuade the public to pay for it.  The pundit class ( James Fallows, Andrew Sullivan, Ezra Klein, etc.) can pass around their seemingly endless supply of “graphs that all budget discussions should start with” among themselves, but they have yet to figure out how to sell the public dramatically higher taxes, low economic growth, in return for still-unbalanced budgets.  Instead, they employ a seemingly endless supply of euphemisms — “balanced approach,” “spending in the tax code,” etc., to avoid speaking their agenda plainly.

The problem for progressives is the end of the Cold War and the global financial panic of 2008.  The public has seen the slow demise of totalitarian socialism and is now watching the slow demise of democratic Euro-socialism.  Seeing Margaret Thatcher’s comment about running out of other people’s money playing out in the daily news leads public opinon to conclude that entitlements need fundamental changes.  The public may not actually want to effect those changes; it will be as hard to wean the public off debt as it is to wean any individual debt addict.  But  enough of the public is starting to recognize that past progressive over-promising is enough of a problem without signing onto another round of over-promising.  This is why the public could not be convinced ObamaCare had merit; they (correctly) did not believe it would reduce the deficit.  The public did not need to study the CBO’s alternative fiscal scenario to figure this out; they could look at the history of Democrats and entitlements.

The problem for progressives is that the debt ceiling deal occasioning all of this extremist rhetoric from the left will probably not head off a downgrade of the nation’s credit.  A downgrade will be yet another step on the path to hitting the one true debt ceiling.  There is likely no amount of messaging — however euphemized – that will convince the public to remake our country in the mode of the failing economies of Europe.  And every day carries us closer to the point where the opinion of the public matters less than the opinion of our creditors.

–Karl


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