Patterico's Pontifications


California Budget-Makers Reach Deal by Making the “Tough Decisions”

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 11:12 pm

You know: “tough decisions” like raiding local counties for billions. And waiting until the new fiscal year to send out a batch of paychecks — so, you know, that money doesn’t count.

In other words, it’s larded with the same kind of thievery and trickery they have always employed in the past.

What a shock!

And how does this utter piece of crap get portrayed by the L.A. Times? You guessed it: as an attack on the elderly, the poor, and children:

[A]s outlined by lawmakers and their staffs, the proposal would reshape some aspects of California government, significantly scaling back many services that have been offered to residents — particularly the elderly and the poor — for years.

Tens of thousands of seniors and children would lose access to healthcare . . .

And so it goes.

I have nothing but contempt for these lawmakers — and for the newspaper that castigates them for the few cosmetic efforts at actual budget-cutting that they tried.

UPDATE: DRJ posts a less outraged and more newsy account immediately below.

California Budget Deal

Filed under: Government — DRJ @ 10:49 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and California lawmakers announced they have reached a deal to solve the $26.3 billion budget deficit. The plan reportedly focuses on spending cuts instead of raising taxes:

“The plan has not been formally released. But as outlined by lawmakers and their staffs, the proposal would reshape government in California, significantly scaling back many services that have been offered to residents — particularly the elderly and the poor — for years.

Tens of thousands of seniors and children would lose access to healthcare, local governments would sacrifice several billion dollars in state assistance this year and thousands of convicted criminals could serve less time in state prison. Welfare checks would go to fewer residents, state workers would be forced to continue to take unpaid days off and new drilling for oil would be permitted off the Santa Barbara coast.”

If it’s true, do Californians have the stomach for this?


Putting North Korea in Time-Out

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 6:45 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I’m a fan of rules and consequences, both as a parent and an American, but I don’t think calling North Korea an unruly child is the best way to deal with Kim Jong-Il and his government:

“What we’ve seen is this constant demand for attention,” [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton, who is in India, said in an interview that aired on Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“And maybe it’s the mother in me or the experience that I’ve had with small children and unruly teenagers and people who are demanding attention — don’t give it to them, they don’t deserve it, they are acting out,” she said.”

I’m afraid it will just make them work harder to meet her low expectations.


A Notice Regarding Recent Comments (Updated)

Filed under: Blogging Matters — DRJ @ 4:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

There’s been a formatting change here and it’s affected how comments appear on the right sidebar under “Recent Comments.” It should be fixed soon, if you define “soon” as sometime before the midterm elections.

UPDATE 1: I’m kidding about the midterm elections. Hopefully it will be fixed a lot sooner than that.

UPDATE 2: Fixed! I never realized how much I liked the ‘Recent Comment’ feature until it was gone.


Let’s Play Economic Jeopardy

Filed under: Economics,Obama — DRJ @ 3:42 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Answer: $23 Trillion.

Question: According to testimony today by the financial bailouts Inspector General, how much could the bailouts cost in a worst case scenario?

$23 trillion is almost double the nation’s annual economic output and “more than the federal government has spent on any single effort in American history.” But it is a worst case scenario. Of course, when it comes to government budgeting, that means it could be even worse.


Obama to flog his faltering takeover of healthcare

Filed under: General — Karl @ 8:21 am

[Posted by Karl]

Look out, gang — Pres. Obama may get on the Twitter! Can a man this hip be denied?

Six months into his presidency, Barack Obama may have no greater test of his ability to translate personal popularity into a successful legislative agenda than the upcoming two weeks.

With skepticism about the president’s health-care reform effort mounting on Capitol Hill — even within his own party — the White House has launched a new phase of its strategy designed to dramatically increase public pressure on Congress: all Obama, all the time. [What’s new about that? — K]


“Our strategy has been to allow this process to advance to the point where it made sense for the president to take the baton. Now’s that time,” said senior adviser David Axelrod. “I don’t know whether he will Twitter or tweet. But he’s going to be very, very visible.”

The two weeks mentioned by the WaPo is keyed to the August recess for Congress. Obama has stopped demanding that Congress finish work on their healthcare bills by then, because it is not going to happen. But he needs to try to pump up support for the effort, as lawmakers are likely to get an earful from what Andrew Malcolm calls “the estimated 98% who don’t want higher taxes to pay for reforms that benefit others now and maybe them later someday, who knows.”

Malcolm may have made up that figure, but the real ones are not much better. The latest WaPo poll has Obama below 50% on healthcare among adults, following the recent Rasmussen poll of likely voters. Indeed, more independents disapprove now than approve. Ed Morrissey observes that holding another prime-time press conference on Wednesday may not change much, given his eroding credibility — but it’s more than that. Another Obama presser cannot change the awful Congressional Budget Office projections for the Democrat health care proposals — the latest tacking another $239 billion tacked onto the deficit. Congress is going to try to wish it away, just as Obama is dishonestly delaying his latest, disastrous budget numbers. Yet the tax-and-spend reality of these proposals is unavoidable, driving bipartisan worries among governors and and driving moderate Congressional Democrats to reach out the GOP for a way out.

If the lapdog press actually turned watchdog at Wednesday’s prime-time presser, it would reinforce the increasingly conventional wisdom that Obamacare is in serious trouble on Capitol Hill. That would make the presser a net negative for the president. And given the decline in Obama’s overall popularity on top of the steeper decline on healthcare, the press might do its job.


40th Anniversary of the First Man on the Moon

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:03 am

Memory experts will tell you with confidence that a human cannot remember anything from their first year of life. My mom knew this when, on July 20, 1969 — when I was eleven days from my 1st birthday — she set my crib in front of the television set and made me watch the Moon landing. Since then, she has asked me: do you remember that? — and you know, I could swear that I do.

(Although probably, I’m remembering subsequent missions. Because, God bless her, she put me in front of the TV for every one. Mom has always been a huge fan of outer space (and science fiction), and as I was growing up, her bookshelf was crammed with Heinlein, Asimov, Pohl, and all the other SF greats.)

Anyway, this is a big, big day. I don’t really know what to say other than this: 40 years ago today, we saw what is arguably mankind’s great achievement in all of human history.

Whether I really remember it or not, I was alive for it.

I’d sure like to be alive for an even greater accomplishment: putting a man on Mars. This fellow says we’re too spineless. I’d like to think he’s wrong. Hell, I’d even pay extra taxes to see it happen.

Who’s with me?

UPDATE: Who’s with me? Moon astronauts, that’s who!

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