Patterico's Pontifications


Applying Obama’s Lecture on Mass Shootings to His Own Policy of Killing Innocent People

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 pm

I don’t agree with this video’s point of view in its entirety. Trying to kill terrorists and killing innocent people in the process is not the same as a maniac deliberately killing innocent people. But the recent Doctors Without Borders slaughter tells me that Obama doesn’t begin to put in the time, care, and effort he should to make sure innocents don’t die in the process. It should be one of the most important things he does, and he acts like it’s not even his job. That’s what you should keep in mind as you watch this very effective argument of juxtaposed images.

John Lennon’s 75th Birthday

Filed under: General,Music — Patterico @ 6:58 pm

John Lennon would have been 75 today. Let’s celebrate what we had:

Woeful Attempt by WaPo Writer to Exonerate Hillary

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:29 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Phillip Bump of the Washington Post took to his keyboard earlier today to suggest to us that we, the ungrateful and unwashed, are only fixating on the email security problems of Hillary! Rodham Clinton (the Once and Future Inevitable Next President of the United States) because we don’t understand how the interwebs and that electronicographic-mail thingy work. Carrying the bizarre headline “Why Our Technological Ignorance Is Hurting Hillary Clinton”, Bump’s piece assures us that “[p]eople don’t really understand how the Internet works, and so the stories might sound more ominous than they otherwise would.” Naturally, he finds some New York-based president of a “tech firm” to assure us that “[i]t’s not unusual at all” for hackers to target email systems, something that pretty much every single Internet user ought to know by now. He also goes on a bizarre tangent covering how Team Hillary!’s attempt to “wipe” the email server really wasn’t “wiping” the email server because everybody knows that you can’t “wipe” an email server without actually “wiping” the email server. Or something. I’m apparently too ignorant to understand Bump’s ignorance.

Bump isn’t crazy enough to entirely dismiss the problems that Hillary’s unique arrangement has caused, admitting that “[i]t is fair to question the security of the system and her decision to rely on it,” but counters that sane concession to reality by insisting that “[i]t is also the case that a lot of assessments of Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail server make very big mountains out of what might be very small molehills.”

But what else could we expect from a former left-wing attack dog pretending to be a sensible journalist?


Jonathan Chait Has Absolutely No Idea What the Debt Limit Is

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:39 am

Jonathan Chait mocks Ben Carson for supposedly not understanding what the debt limit is, in a piece titled Ben Carson Has Absolutely No Idea What the Debt Limit Is. Problem is, Chait apparently doesn’t understand it himself, while Carson understand it just fine, thank you. Here’s the beginning of Chait’s piece:

The debt limit is a routine vote that Congress must periodically make to authorize payment on debts the government has incurred. It has no impact on the budget, but the failure to lift the debt ceiling means the U.S. government would go into default, a potentially disastrous event.

Two sentences in, Chait already has it wrong. Whether he is ignorant or lying is an open question, but he is wrong either way. Peter Ferrara explained this at Forbes in October 2013, but it bears repeating:

As the outstanding federal debt becomes due, it can simply be paid by newly issued debt, without violating the debt limit, as the total outstanding debt would not change. President Obama’s own budget estimates total net interest on the national debt for this year currently totals $223 billion. But his budget also estimates total federal income taxes for this year at $1.7 trillion, or $1,700 billion. So just as you use a small portion of your monthly earnings to pay your credit card bill, current federal tax revenues are more than enough to pay the current interest due on the national debt. So not increasing the national debt does not mean defaulting on the national debt. QED.

But our party controlled press, like the Washington Post and the New York Times, which behave voluntarily in regard to the Obama Administration just as Pravda did under compulsion in regard to the old Soviet dictators, foolishly echo this Obama party propaganda, “reporting” that default on the national debt is imminent unless Congress increases the debt limit. Even some conservative commentators have been buffaloed into lamely repeating that such default is at issue in the debt limit debate. There should be personal liability for commentator malpractice.

Jeffrey Dorfman elaborated in January 2014:

Second, the net debt payments are under $50 billion per month, while total government revenue is expected to average nearly $250 billion per month this year. There is enough money to pay the interest on the national debt. What will actually happen if the debt ceiling is not raised is the Treasury will use accounting gimmicks, which it can do for several months; after that, government would have to cut spending.

Now let’s look at the questions and answers Carson gave. The underlying assumption of the question, asked three times, is that failure to raise the debt ceiling equals default. Carson refuses to fall for the trap:

Ryssdal: All right, so let’s talk about debt then and the budget. As you know, Treasury Secretary Lew has come out in the last couple of days and said, “We’re gonna run out of money, we’re gonna run out of borrowing authority, on the fifth of November.” Should the Congress then and the president not raise the debt limit? Should we default on our debt?

Carson: Let me put it this way: if I were the president, I would not sign an increased budget. Absolutely would not do it. They would have to find a place to cut.

Ryssdal: To be clear, it’s increasing the debt limit, not the budget, but I want to make sure I understand you. You’d let the United States default rather than raise the debt limit.

Carson: No, I would provide the kind of leadership that says, “Get on the stick guys, and stop messing around, and cut where you need to cut, because we’re not raising any spending limits, period.”

Ryssdal: I’m gonna try one more time, sir. This is debt that’s already obligated. Would you not favor increasing the debt limit to pay the debts already incurred?

Carson: What I’m saying is what we have to do is restructure the way that we create debt. I mean if we continue along this, where does it stop? It never stops. You’re always gonna ask the same question every year. And we’re just gonna keep going down that pathway. That’s one of the things I think that the people are tired of.

Each of those bolded questions assumes that Obama would have to default if the debt ceiling were not raised. That is propaganda. Chait knows that, or should.

I don’t have a problem with a single word of Carson’s answer. I do have a problem with someone like Jonathan Chait spreading false memes like this without being challenged.

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