Patterico's Pontifications


Senate Confirms Geithner

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:22 pm

Timothy “TurboTax” Geithner has been confirmed on a 60-38 vote to be the Treasury Secretary.

Michelle Malkin lists the 10 Republicans who voted for a guy who didn’t pay taxes he certainly knew he owed . . . until he was nominated to be the guy who handles hundreds of billions of our taxpayer dollars.

I sure hope he doesn’t use “TurboBailout.”

(Joke shamelessly stolen from commenter Pablo.)

Blago Considered Appointing Oprah As Illinois Senator

Filed under: Buffoons,General — Patterico @ 8:05 pm

ABC News reports:

Illinois’ beleaguered Gov. Rod Blagojevich said today that when he was deciding who would take President Obama’s Senate seat he considered appointing talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, a suggestion that Winfrey says left her “amused.”

It makes sense to me. Who has more money than Oprah?

P.S. I heard a guy on the radio today mocking this as ridiculous. Of course, it is. But what’s more ridiculous is that, if she ran, she’d probably win.

Laugh if you like . . . but then explain to me why anyone took Caroline Kennedy seriously as a possible Senator.

L.A. Times Has Yet Another Story Detailing the Horrors of Spending Cuts — But Where Are the Similar Scare Stories About Tax Increases?

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:16 am

As occurs every time spending cuts are proposed, the L.A. Times does another “Oh my God look how awful this is!” story about the proposed spending reductions:

Although lawmakers continue to argue over how to resolve the state’s fiscal crisis, they already have endorsed $6 billion in spending cuts that provide a painful preview of what is likely to be in store for Californians.

The proposed cuts would mean that money for the state’s university systems would decrease. Transportation and schools would take a hit. Funds for regional centers that help treat developmental disabilities in babies and toddlers would decline. Cash to help the elderly, blind and disabled keep up with rising food costs would be slashed.

Experts are quoted to tell us how awful this is:

“With 9.3% unemployment in our state, people are flowing into public benefit offices all over California,” said Michael Herald, legislative advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty, a Los Angeles-based legal services nonprofit. “This is when people need these programs, and yet our state seems to be headed in a direction of reducing them now.”

And personal stories are told, to put a face to the suffering the cuts will cause:

One of the provisions both parties have supported in the state Capitol would reduce the maximum monthly grant for low-income blind and disabled Californians. Individual grants would drop from $907 to $870, while couples would see their monthly checks drop from $1,579 to $1,524, according to the state Department of Finance. Those grants were supposed to increase this year and again next year to account for inflation.

Ismael Maldonado, a 20-year old from Pacoima who has glaucoma and asthma, said he may have to skimp on medications if lawmakers cut his grant.

The last time he did that, he said, “I ended up in the hospital emergency room” — an expense the state’s Medi-Cal program had to pick up.

The paper does not emphasize that the alternative to spending cuts is tax increases. And although it provides one example of a “cut” that is merely a failure to increase spending, it fails to tell readers that huge chunks of the scary $40 billion projected deficit result from automatic increases in spending — which are obviously insane in this climate.

What’s more, when is the last time you saw an article in the L.A. Times about the horrors of tax increases? When did you see a lede that summarized the negative economic consequences of tax increases (especially in a recession), which then fleshed out the summary with quotes from experts, and then gave a concrete example of a family who would be adversely impacted by the tax increases? Surely the paper could find a family that is barely making its mortgage payment — and who may lose the family home if forced by the state to cough up still more money.

I can’t remember ever seeing a story like that in the Los Angeles Times. But stories like this detailing the horrors of spending cuts come around every time cuts are proposed, like clockwork.

No bias here!

L.A. Times Employs Classic Technique of Liberal Bias in Portraying Republican Criticism of Obama

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Obama — Patterico @ 7:02 am

I have told you in the past:

When the paper disagrees with criticism of a [politician], it is portrayed as an attack by political opponents. When the paper agrees with the criticism, the criticism becomes a mysterious and disembodied (but ever-growing) entity. Doubts grow. Criticism emerges.

Which way do you think the L.A. Times is portraying Republican criticism of Obama?

You guessed it! In an article titled Republicans step up criticism of Obama, the paper says:

Republicans signaled Sunday that they would not be daunted by President Obama’s soaring approval ratings, criticizing his proposed $825-billion economic stimulus plan, his strategy for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and his decision to exempt a top-ranking Pentagon appointee from new ethics rules.

Some of the sharpest criticism came from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the party’s challenger to Obama in the election and the recipient of aggressive outreach as part of the new president’s efforts to forge an image of bipartisanship.

That damned ingrate McCain!

Obama honored McCain on the eve of last week’s inauguration with a bipartisan candlelight dinner, and he has solicited his former rival’s advice on top appointments. McCain has returned the favor by pressing fellow Republicans to speedily confirm Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But Sunday, McCain had few kind words for Obama’s initial moves as president. He called it “disingenuous” for the White House to impose new rules to limit the influence of lobbyists but immediately claim an exemption for William Lynn III, the nominee to be deputy Defense secretary, who has lobbied on behalf of defense contractor Raytheon Co.

Note how deftly that was done. The paper manages to tell you that Obama has reneged on a promise to ban lobbyists from the White House — but who’s the bad guy? Somehow, it’s John McCain. Obama tried to reach out to him, we are told, and McCain showed his gratitude by calling Obama “disingenuous.” The fact that Obama was disingenuous isn’t the point, you see. It’s all about how McCain and other Republicans are big jerks who are ignoring Obama’s bipartisan gestures.

Nicely done, L.A. Times. Nicely done. Obama will be happy to see this article. You can feel proud.

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