Patterico's Pontifications


White House gives the budget game away

Filed under: 2012 Election,Politics — Karl @ 6:19 pm

[Posted by Karl]

Right from the horse’s mouth – Pres. Obama was never interested in a bipartisan debt-reduction deal:

“It is fair to say we’ve entered a new phase,” said Dan Pfeiffer, Mr. Obama’s communications director. But he disputed what he called the conventional wisdom behind the president’s shift.

“The popular narrative is that we sought compromise in a quixotic quest for independent votes. We sought out compromise because a failure to get funding of the government last spring and then an extension of the debt ceiling in August would have been very bad for the economy and for the country,” Mr. Pfeiffer added. “We were in a position of legislative compromise by necessity. That phase is behind us.”

In this new phase, Mr. Obama must solidify support among Democrats by standing pat for progressive party principles, while trusting that a show of strong leadership for the policies he believes in will appeal to independents. Polls consistently suggest that perhaps the only thing that unites independents as much as their desire for compromise is their inclination toward leaders who signal strength by fighting for their beliefs. (Emphasis added.)*

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for July 22, 2011 (not even two months ago), to the middle of the negotiations about raising the debt ceiling:

[GOP leaders] Boehner and Cantor were ready to accept up to $800 billion in revenue measures as part of a grand bargain. But when that number jumped, in part because of pressure from Democrats, the talks broke down. (Emphasis added.)

Obama had demanded another $400 billion or so in taxes.  And the amount Obama is demanding now as part of his fundamentally deceptive proposal is about the same, a bit less than $1.3 trillion in taxes.

The House GOP negotiators were willing to meet Obama more than halfway to his ultimate position.  He wrecked the “grand bargain” and helped bring about the S&P credit downgrade.  He now pushes again for the full loaf.  David Brooks looks like an even bigger sap and Andrew Sullivan looks like an even bigger loon.

*The combination of income growth and casualties explains 70% of the variation in the vote of pure independents.  In fact, the relationship between the economy and elections is stronger among independents than among partisans.  Evaluate the Pfeiffer/NYT theory accordingly.



L.A. Sheriff Lee Baca Endorses Jerry Brown for Governor

Filed under: 2010 Election,Politics — Jack Dunphy @ 10:53 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

The L.A. Times reports on the endorsement.

“Jerry Brown has championed the rights of crime victims, toughened criminal penalties and developed innovative crime-fighting technologies,” Baca said in the statement. “Jerry Brown has always stood with me and my deputies and I am proud to stand with him in his campaign for governor.”

Sheriff Baca, don’t look for too many of your deputies, or for any other cops for that matter, to be standing anywhere near you and Jerry Brown. Some of us remember that Brown, during his previous stint as governor, inflicted Rose Bird on us. Recall that Bird, as chief justice of the California Supreme Court, voted to overturn every single death penalty case that came before her, including some involving cop killers. Thus did she become the first chief justice to be tossed out of office by the voters, who did so by a 2-1 margin. What kind of judicial appointments might we expect from a new incarnation of Governor Brown?

–Jack Dunphy


An Early Look at 2012

Filed under: 2012 Election,Politics — DRJ @ 4:46 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Newt Gingrich reviews the GOP field for President in 2012 and sees several candidates including Romney, Palin, Huckabee and several others.

Meanwhile, PowerLine’s John Hinderaker likes Tim Pawlenty.


Oregon Officials Won’t Prosecute Gore

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:16 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports former Vice President Al Gore won’t be prosecuted regarding allegations made by a massage therapist. More concerns about the accuser’s story are detailed at the link, including this:

“The Portland Tribune said it thoroughly investigated her allegations – including interviewing the accuser – only to determine it wasn’t responsible to move forward with a story. The paper reported that she failed a polygraph test. At least one other news organization also declined to publish a story.”

I didn’t realize newspapers investigated criminal allegations this aggressively.



Rangel Charged With Ethics Violations

Filed under: Government,Politics — DRJ @ 6:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Former House Ways and Means Chairman and current Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) has been charged with 13 ethics violations.

I suspect Rangel’s age, status and longevity makes him think he can survive this politically, much as President Bill Clinton survived impeachment. If so, I think Rangel has misjudged this situation.



What to Make of Charlie Rangel

Filed under: General,Politics — Jack Dunphy @ 9:59 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

On Friday, the Weekly Standard’s Mary Katherine Ham took a look at the difficulties facing Harlem Democrat Charlie Rangel, who finds himself facing ethics charges that allege a host of financial improprieties. Rangel is often spoken of in complimentary terms by conservatives like Bill Kristol and George Will, who unfailingly mention how likable the 40-year congressman is. This characterization has long puzzled me, as Rangel has always struck me as a man who, if he were to shake my hand, would have me checking for my wallet and watch afterward. Do any of you share that impression?

Rangel says he looks forward to addressing the charges against him.

Sure he does.

–Jack Dunphy


The Consent of the Governed

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 8:25 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

What does the “consent of the governed” mean to you?

During my lifetime, many policies enacted by America’s leaders were reached by compromise and were supported by a majority of Americans (although, admittedly, some supporters were more enthusiastic than others). But at least since the Vietnam War, I believe Americans have become more polarized and intransigent in their political outlooks. As a result, there haven’t been many lasting Congressional or Presidential compromises in the last 40 years.

Of course, America’s history is filled with polarizing issues and Americans have faced and resolved many serious political disagreements. Nevertheless, I don’t see a compromise position between today’s big-government liberals and small-government conservatives.

If the liberal vs conservative divide is 50-50, I’m curious where that puts us … and where it leads.



Vodkapundit: The Democrats’ Gang of 4

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:02 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Vodkapundit says there are 4 moderate Democrats standing up to President Obama — Senators Evan Bayh, Kent Conrad, Ben Nelson, and Jim Webb — and he believes their goal is to save their Party:

“Candidate Barack Obama ran as a moderate. He promised a “net spending cut.” Health reform was not, we were assured, intended to take over the insurance industry or feature an individual mandate. Taxes would go down for anyone making under $250,000 a year. “Too big to fail” was to be a thing of the past. Our nation was to become post-racial by the long-awaited election of a black man to the White House. And so it goes.

Instead, we got… more of everything. Taxes, spending, regulating, mandates, racial division — the entire liberal waterworks turned up to the max and pretty much all at once.

And moderate Democrats — genuinely moderate Democrats — like Messrs Bayh, Conrad, Nelson and Webb must be horrified. The candidate from 2008 who ran on the notion of returning us to Clinton-era surpluses has instead repudiated every policy and notion that made them possible.

Obama, they might rightly fear, is going to tarnish their party for a generation or more — and at the exact moment the Republican brand was so tarnished that the Democrats very recently were poised for a generation or more of national dominance.

So wish this Gang of Four the best of luck. Because we’re all going to need it.”

I don’t wish them luck because if they save the Democratic Party from Barack Obama’s liberal policies, that makes it more likely Obama will be re-elected in 2012. America doesn’t need a Democratic Party that is only moderate for a few months every 4 years.



Rangel Charged With Ethics Violations

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:26 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Former House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) has been charged with multiple ethics violations.

Sources reportedly told the Associated Press that “Rangel’s attorney and the committee had failed to reach a settlement, which would have required an admission from Rangel that he broke ethics rules.” I guess this means he’ll take his chances in a subcommittee trial.

H/T jakee308.


DOJ Closes Criminal File on U.S. Attorney Firings

Filed under: Law,Obama,Politics — DRJ @ 9:09 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Via Hot Air, the Obama Administration’s Department of Justice has determined there will be no criminal charges filed in connection with the U.S. Attorney firings during the Bush Administration. The report was delivered to House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI). This was his response:

“Conyers said in a statement that it was clear that Dannehy’s decision not to bring criminal charges “is not an exoneration of Bush officials in the U.S. Attorney matter as there is no dispute that these firings were totally improper and that misleading testimony was given to Congress in an effort to cover them up.”

He also pointed out that the probe “did not conclude that administration officials testified truthfully to Congress,” only that there was insufficient evidence to show they knowingly made false statement.

“I appreciate Attorney General Holder’s commitment to ensure that such conduct will not happen again,” Conyers said. “I am proud of the committee’s effort to bring the facts of this controversy to light, so that the American people themselves can judge the how Bush Justice Department abused our trust.”


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