Patterico's Pontifications


A Perfect Example of Why I Hate the Media

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:01 pm

This guy explodes our debt, weakens our children’s futures, and Big Media publishes treacle like this.



Additional evidence available here.

— JD

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: OK, for the non-clickers, a sample from the two disgusting links above. First from the piece I linked:

Mr. Obama never wanted to be an ordinary politician — there was a time when Mrs. Obama could barely use that noun to describe her husband — and his advisers resist the idea that he has succumbed to standard Washington practice. Some donors and aides give an “if only” laugh at the idea that the couple now follows political ritual more closely: this is a president who still has not had Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton to dinner but holds lunches to discuss moral philosophy with the fellow Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

“He thinks about destiny in human terms,” Mr. Wiesel said in an interview.

Still, others say the Obamas have become more relaxed schmoozers, more at ease with the porous line between the political and social, more willing to reveal themselves. They have recently begun inviting more outsiders into their private living quarters, including Mr. Kushner, Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis at the “Lincoln” dinner. At a dinner in late November to thank top campaign fund-raisers, the first couple was like a bride and groom, bantering and traveling from table to table to accept congratulations and good wishes for the years ahead, making sly jokes that guests would not repeat for publication.

Utter dreck. And now from the one JD linked:

[I]f Obama’s presidency is deemed great, it must be in terms not often applied to presidents: compromise and consensus. He took power while the nation’s youth were consumed in a war in Iraq launched on false evidence. The economy seemed in free fall. The automobile industry was floundering. Millions of jobs were lost in the year before he took office. And in every state, people were losing their homes and their self-worth. With a calm hand, he has steadied the ship of state.

He has pursued big changes but hasn’t been afraid to compromise for much less than he’s sought. Unlike Lincoln and FDR, he has stayed within constitutional limits. In his campaign for health-care reform, for example, he let go of the public insurance option. He wanted more stimulus than $787 billion but stopped pushing when it became clear he wouldn’t get it. He extricated us from Iraq, brought Osama bin Laden to justice and advanced far-reaching policies to regulate Wall Street. He has championed gun control, knowing the struggle that will ensue, because he believes that the right thing is not always the popular thing. And he did this all within the rule of law and the constitutional boundaries of his office.

Obama’s presidency will not be deemed great, moron. It will be deemed the presidency that pushed us over the edge into fiscal irresponsibility.

He is an irresponsible ass being lauded by nincompoops.

Brett Kimberlin Is Popehat’s “Censorious Asshat of the Year”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:56 pm

Over at Popehat, the voting is complete:

He ran away with it.

I have been waiting for Ken to make the announcement, but since he doesn’t appear to be saying anything about it, I figured I would. The world needs to know!

Charts: The Problem Is Not Revenue But Spending, and Chuck Schumer and President Obama Are Not Being Honest

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:06 pm

Republicans are caving again:

Backing down from their hard-line stance, House Republicans said Friday that they would agree to lift the federal government’s statutory borrowing limit for three months, with a requirement that both chambers of Congress pass a budget in that time to clear the way for negotiations on long-term deficit reduction.

The new proposal, which came out of closed-door party negotiations at a retreat in Williamsburg, Va., seemed to significantly reduce the threat of a default by the federal government in coming weeks. The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said he was encouraged by the offer; Senate Democrats, while bristling at the demand for a budget, were also reassured and viewed it as a de-escalation of the debt fight.

The change in tack represented a retreat for House Republicans, who were increasingly isolated in their refusal to lift the debt ceiling. Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio had previously said he would raise it only if it were paired with immediate spending cuts of equivalent value. The new strategy is designed to start a more orderly negotiation with President Obama and Senate Democrats on ways to shrink the trillion-dollar deficit.

On Meet the Press, where he appeared with the impressive Ted Cruz, Chuck Schumer portrayed this as a big victory for Democrats. I guess it is. You already know my view. I don’t think we should be using the debt ceiling as a negotiation point, because I think Obama would love to play hardball on that, and I think it makes more sense for us to play hardball on the budget than the debt ceiling. I think requiring the Senate to pass a budget makes sense; but Democrats have to be honest about spending. Schumer was incredibly arrogant as he pronounced that the budget will have revenues, and that people like Ted Cruz are just going to have to get used to it. Watch at 12:25 and especially at 13:12

We’re gonna do a budget this year and it’s gonna have revenues in it, and our Republican colleagues better get used to that fact.

He can’t talk about spending cuts. It’s revenues, revenues, revenues. As if that’s the problem.

Well, it’s NOT. Schumer is not being honest. Obama (who makes the same arguments) is not being honest.

The problem is spending. Let’s look at the facts. The chart shows federal revenues over the years. The blue part is what we get from income taxes:


As it says at the link: “Federal revenue has remained relatively steady, holding between 15 and 20 percent of GDP.” This is true regardless of the top tax rates, which are shown in the next chart:


So, historically, you can raise that top rate to 90%, and you can’t get more than 20% of GDP — likely because raising taxes generally impedes economic growth, which is a critical determinant of how much revenue the government takes in.

Meanwhile, federal spending as a percentage of GDP improved under Clinton, got worse under Bush, and then became catastrophic under Obama:


Again, because revenue never gets above 20%, we need the points on that chart to be between the bottom (15% of GDP) and about where that first point is (a bit less than 20% of GDP).

And when we talk about the spending problem, we are talking about entitlements.


I have blamed the electorate for killing any candidate who wants to talk about entitlement reform, but a friend suggests that maybe it’s not the electorate’s fault, because they don’t really understand what is causing the problem.

I hope she is right — because if she is, we have a chance to turn this around. (I have to admit I am skeptical.)

I’m going to keep publishing these charts, hoping that my friend is right and we simply need to educate people about the problem. Then again, we’re talking about an electorate where most voters in the 18-to-29 set don’t even know what issue was decided in Roe v. Wade. I really worry that people who are that ignorant cannot be educated.

But I’ll keep trying. We all have to try.

Video: Failed Assassination Attempt in Bulgaria

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 10:49 am

Crazy. Background here.

Apparently the gun jammed.

UPDATE: Correction: the gun didn’t jam. It was a gas pistol.

A gas pistol is a non-lethal weapon used for self-defense, however when fired at close-range, it can cause life-threatening injuries.

Thanks to Michael Keohane.

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