Patterico's Pontifications


Cheap Sales Tactics at Work in the Selling of the “Stimulus”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:22 am

L.A. Times:

Senate leaders called off plans to vote on President Obama’s economic recovery plan Thursday night in hopes that a group of centrist lawmakers from both parties would be able to fashion a compromise to cut the cost of the $937-billion bill and win support from at least a few Republicans.

After a long day of behind-the-scenes negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) dropped plans to hold a final vote on the bill as the bipartisan group of centrists worked into the night to trim as much as $100 billion, an attempt to bring moderate Republicans on board without driving Democrats away.

$100 billion off a $937 billion package. If that sounds good to you, then you’re probably the type of person who is impressed when the car dealer says he’s willing to knock $500 off the sticker price.

An Instapundit reader points out another transparent sales tactic: “President Obama’s act now or it will be too late shtick sounds an awful lot like the type of high-pressure sales tactic that the Eliot Spitzers of the world like to bring lawsuits over.” You know, this is the last stimulus package left, and there was a couple in here an hour ago who said they just needed to go home to get their checkbook. But if you say yes right now . . .

Mitch McConnell put $1 trillion in perspective by noting that you could spend $1 million every day beginning with the birth of Jesus, and you still wouldn’t have spent a trillion. That’s a nice point from a big-picture perspective, but I think it makes more sense to illustrate the impact on the little guy.

There are about 138 million taxpayers in the country. A $937 billion package, therefore, amounts to $6789 for every taxpayer.

If they cut it by $100 billion, that brings the total to the low, low price of only $6065 per taxpayer. For a typical family, that’s $12,130.

Twelve thousand dollars per family. That’s the number that may bring the “moderate Republicans” on board.

Who’s paying that? You? Or your kids, with interest?

This is why Michelle Malkin calls this the “Generational Theft Act.” That’s precisely what it is.

UPDATE: $12,130, not $13,130. Yes, I know how to double the number six. Time for more coffee!

Nofanofrepublicans Gives Readers the “Business”

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Hiltzik — Patterico @ 1:12 am

Hey, look! It’s another “business” column by Michael Hiltzik that is actually a political rant against conservatives!

Whaddya know!

Another Senator Calls for Fairness Doctrine Hearings — You Know, the Ones the L.A. Times Said Nobody Was Asking For

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 1:07 am

L.A. Times headline to James Rainey column, November 14, 2008:

Impose a mandate on broadcasters to balance their political views? That would be onerous indeed. But memo to Rush: Nobody’s asking for that.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Febuary 5, 2009:

BILL PRESS: Yeah, I mean, look: They have a right to say that. They’ve got a right to express that. But, they should not be the only voices heard. So, is it time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine?

SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): I think it’s absolutely time to pass a standard. Now, whether it’s called the Fairness Standard, whether it’s called something else — I absolutely think it’s time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves. I mean, our new president has talked rightly about accountability and transparency. You know, that we all have to step up and be responsible. And, I think in this case, there needs to be some accountability and standards put in place.

BILL PRESS: Can we count on you to push for some hearings in the United States Senate this year, to bring these owners in and hold them accountable?

SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): I have already had some discussions with colleagues and, you know, I feel like that’s gonna happen. Yep.

She’s not alone.

I swear, if they can do it with blogs, too, they will.

Baby Born Live in Botched Abortion, Then Tossed Alive Into the Trash to Die — By the Abortion Clinic

Filed under: Abortion,Crime — Patterico @ 12:41 am

Pure evil:

Eighteen and pregnant, Sycloria Williams went to an abortion clinic outside Miami and paid $1,200 for Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.

Three days later, she sat in a reclining chair, medicated to dilate her cervix and otherwise get her ready for the procedure.

Only Renelique didn’t arrive in time. According to Williams and the Florida Department of Health, she went into labor and delivered a live baby girl.

What Williams and the Health Department say happened next has shocked people on both sides of the abortion debate: One of the clinic’s owners, who has no medical license, cut the infant’s umbilical cord. Williams says the woman placed the baby in a plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.

The baby was 23 weeks old, an age where most babies don’t survive, but some do. An autopsy showed that the baby’s lungs had filled with air, indicating she had been born alive.

Prosecutors are considering murder charges.

Both sides of the political aisle find this story disturbing. Conservatives, because someone apparently felt entitled to take a live human being and throw her in the trash to die. Liberals, because wingnuts might use the story to undermine Roe v. Wade.

Which aspect concerns you more?

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