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If one reads only comments from partisan commentators, one gets the idea that the stimulus bill is a combination of socialism and extreme pork.

I know that you guys don’t view David Brooks as conservative. But Brooks was a Weekly Standard editor since its inception, an Iraq War supporter, a McCain supporter, a National Review columnist and Wm F Buckley admirer. He was one of the group of conservative columnists and pundits who attended George Will’s Georgetown dinner for the incoming President Obama (along with William Kristol, and others).

Here’s a worthwhile quote from Wiki:

On August 10, 2006, Brooks wrote a column for the New York Times titled “Party No. 3”. The column proposed the idea of the McCain-Lieberman Party, or the fictional representation of the moderate majority in America.[5]

Now, this is what’s important, echo chamber-wise. There is, indeed, a “moderate majority” in America. These are the center of the electorate who actually decide elections.

Anyway, here’s what Brooks had to say about the “stimulus” yesterday, on the Lehrer Newshour:

“I think that the plans are basically moderate and responsible and will inspire confidence, because they aren’t trying to totally remake the economy. But it just takes a long time for that to actually have an effect.”

Here’s an MP3 of the audio of that segment of the show. For Brooks’ quote (reproduced above) fast forward to the last 10% of the clip.

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Now, the fact that Brooks feels this way doesn’t make Brooks correct and it certainly doesn’t mean that the stimulus was a great bill. But it does mean that there’s a huge disconnect between the way the bill is being portrayed in the Right Wing echo chamber and the way that it is being perceived in the political center (Florida Governor Charlie Crist being another example of a non-socialist who doesn’t find the bill to be quite the big lurch to the Left that is the way it’s being portrayed by fiercely partisan conservatives).

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

Larry, the stimulus bill is weighted too heavily towards the pork end. The trade off for the minimal good in the bill is too high a price for the majority of Americans… a healthy combo of left moderate and right.

So perhaps, as you are wishing to place emphasis on moderate Joe Blow America, you should consider placing the public opinion over that of Charlie Crist. That he agrees with Spector, Collins and Snowe is hardly an example of the rest of the House and Senate Republicans – plus most Americans of all stripes – who *also* found the ratio of pork to good stuff unacceptable. David Brooks is a CINO (conservative in name only) and your quote proves it.

Mata, I don’t know if you’ve followed the mess with getting the California budget approved. Background is that it takes a 2/3 vote; meaning it requires a couple of Republicans to jump ship to get a budget deal done. Came down to one vote; from one of the few true “moderates” in the California legislature, which tends to be dominated by hard core lefties and hard core righties.

So this one guy (a GOP moderate named Maldonado) held the bill hostage and only voted for it on the condition that the Dems agree to put a measure on the June California ballot to abolish closed separate DEM and GOP primaries and make all primary elections, including the Federal House of Representatives primaries, open to everyone, with the two top vote getters in the entire election running off in the fall against each other. Meaning you could have two Dems (or two GOPs) running against each other in the general election.,0,894598.story

California traditionally leads the nation in matters such as this. I think it’s a terrific idea. It is the way out of the politics of hate warfare. The idea is that the candidates who would be most competitive would be relative moderates. I’m pretty sure that the measure will pass and we’ll get to see how it works.

P.S. Getting back to Obama and the “stimulus” and the idea that Obama is engaging in “generational theft,” it’s notable that he’s just also set a goal of REDUCING the budget deficit from those of the Bush era by 2/3 by the end of his present term in office:

This is a very bold goal; it’s not a campaign promise; he’s going to be putting his Presidency on the line, proposing to simultaneously get the country out of the recession and get spending more in line with revenues, all during the same term of office.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

I’ve only mildly followed the California bankruptcy battles from afar. The prime reason I left California was government and politics…. notably on the heels of the joke called the “assault weapon” referendum SB 23 back in 1999-2000. They’ve only further swirled around the toilet bowl since. This is why I say California always looks best in my rear view mirror. I did 17 years “time” as a Southern Cal denizen, and a couple as a Northern Cal one. Frankly, the only thing I miss is the great selection of restaurants and culture, the veggies, the great music spots, and a few friends.

Now, I’d sure like to know why you believe Obama’s going to be reducing the budget when he’s just voted to increase it more than substantially with the int’l funding for abortion, SCHIPs, this wacky “stimulus”, to be followed rapidly by obligating serious beaucoup bucks to his next debacle… the Homeowners Affordability & Stability Act. Next on the agenda, I ready , was another dive at health care.

There is no amount of Bush budget trimming he can do to come out in the black for this spending alone… even aside for his future spending sprees promised. Obama’s math is, and has always been, far “fuzzier” than Bush’s at his worst moments.

INRE the open primary. I’ve been mulling this for some time. I’m not sure I have an opinion I’m ready to state yet. I’m not so convinced as you it’s wonderful. But then, I’m not entirely sure that I’m against it yet. Point is, both parties have platforms… even tho few elected officials honor that platform in performance. When you have the Dems meddling in the GOP candidate choice and vice versa, the entire platform and belief system gets watered down by candidates posturing to be mubbly nobodies, dedicated to nothing in particular, in order to get the vote tallies. Witness how we conservatives ended up with McCain. And frankly, that diluted posturing benefits no one. So I’m still sitting on the fence.

I’ll be happy to watch California further destroy their future by being the first to embark on watered down platforms. But for now, I’m leaning more con than pro on that issue. I may change in the future after further mulling, and perhaps the results in active. We’ll see.

I think that the plans are basically moderate and responsible and will inspire confidence, because they aren’t trying to totally remake the economy. But it just takes a long time for that to actually have an effect.”

Let’s just look at reality for a sec and compare it to Mr. Brooks’ statement here. Not that Mr. Brooks’ opinions have any credence with me whatsoever since he’s so easily, repeatedly proven wrong.

Just for fun though, here goes:

Since the Immaculate Inauguration, the Dow has declined nearly 10%.


Wall Street has given BO’s first month an “F”:

Today marks the one-month anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration. In his brief time in office, the president has overseen three massive new spending initiatives — the $787 billion stimulus bill, the trillion-dollar financial stability initiative and, most recently, the $275 billion mortgage assistance program.

That’s a lot of activity, and a ton of money, but so far the reaction to the new administration’s programs has been decidedly negative. Investors, among others, have panned the plans; the stock market is off nearly 10% from the day before the inauguration, or more than 800 points on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Yesterday, in fact, we crossed a truly alarming divide. The Dow Jones average closed at its lowest point since October 2002, the bottom of the last bear market. The S&P 500 fell to 779, barely above the intra-day low of 741 of last November. For many market analysts, if the market crashes through that recent benchmark, it will next move significantly lower. Ouch.

Soon we’ll be seeing budget plans:

President Obama is putting the finishing touches on an ambitious first budget that seeks to cut the federal deficit in half over the next four years, primarily by raising taxes on business and the wealthy and by slashing spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, administration officials said.

BO plans to suck the very life blood from the producers in this country in an effort to shift their money over to the non-producers of society. All in the interest of “fairness” or “equality” or some such claptrap.

The people with business and economic experience, ie Wall Street and the associated investors, aren’t buying it.

In fact, the Market is Shorting Obama’s ‘Stimulus’.

Every time BO, or a member of his clown brigade, opens their mouth, the market drops.

It really doesn’t take that long for us to see the effect. We’re already seeing the reaction from Wall Street, and it’s not confidence.

Obamateur Hour has come to the White House.

Vanderleun over at American Digest says it best:

What a Bummer This Guy Is

Whoa, dude, shut up, already! You’ve lost that loving feeling. You are bumming us out, harshing our mellow, killing our buzz and, in general, just bringing us down every time you open your mouth.

Here’s a hint. Stay in the House. Kick back, take some deep hits on the clue bong, and chill out, dude. You’re supposed to be cool, right? Right. So, hey, like be cool okay?

I don’t know who’s pumping the toxic text into your teleprompter, but get that guy on some pharmaceutical grade meds stat. I suggest 50 grains of Seconal IV twice daily. Anything to get that kid down from his high-grade Acid Flashback involving outtakes from Halloween IX. Too scary for the average American, don’t you know?

Next thing up on your ever-expanding To-Do list is a Zen task: Practice doing nothing, zero, zip, niente, nada. For about two weeks. Stay at home and spend some quality time with your family that doesn’t involve taking the wife out for dinner at a cost of around $10 million in air and limo charges after we warm up Air Force One and put the country’s biggest SUV on the road.

Yup, do nothing except, well, get up in the morning and, like millions of others who still have a job, go to the job. Go to the office. Sit in the big papa bear chair behind the new sign that reads “The Buck Would Stop Here If We Had A Buck!” Close the mouth, open the mind, fo-cus and get some work done.

Enough with the skipping around the country like some Nordictracked male model hot for the next photo-op. Let the people see the President at work doing the People’s business instead of on the road doing monkey business. (And I’m not referring to that freaked out chimp who was locking lips with that weird chick the other day, or to any other simian moment or allusion that would get get Al Sharpton out of bed without strapping on his drool cup, but to “Monkey Business” as in the Marx Brother’s movie of the same name.)

Except of course if you wanted to make like Harpo and just honk on a horn for a bit and then knock out a couple of soothing harp solos.

Soothing’s what we’d like a little bit of right now, dude. Not more bring-downs and bummers. You are just not being the mellow dude we thought you’d be in those real sharp suits. Instead, you are harshing the mellow every time you open your mouth.

So just take a break for a bit and let the country catch its breath. Dig it. What ever you think you’re doing, it. is. not. helping. It. is. bumming. us. out.

Even Bill Clinton is telling BO to lay off on the gloom and doom and find some some Hope:

Perhaps it would be best for BO and MO to hole up in Cheney’s secure location along with Geithner, Pelosi, and Reid while the rest of the country gets this ox out of the ditch.


Obama’s math is, and has always been, far “fuzzier” than Bush’s at his worst moments.

I think Obama may have learned math from these people: “Obama …it’s notable that he’s just also set a goal of REDUCING the budget deficit from those of the Bush era by 2/3 by the end of his present term in office:”

Just what good are empty words?

Obama has already reneged on the vast majority of promises he made during the campaign. Reread the post above for more on that score.

About the only thing Obama has shown any seriousness of cutting is defense and especially missile defense.

And of course that’s one of the few levers we have to deter the bad guys around the world.

Larry, do you just believe EVERYTHING Obama says even when you KNOW his record suggests his performance will be otherwise?

Stop drinking the Kool Aid before it’s too late.

President Obama is putting the finishing touches on an ambitious first budget that seeks to cut the federal deficit in half over the next four years, primarily by raising taxes on business and the wealthy and by slashing spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, administration officials said.

His extended budget contemplates basically just restoring the tax rates to the way they were in the Clinton years. This was actually a campaign promise. Clinton raised taxes and this was compatible with a booming economy, just as a 90% marginal tax rate was compatible with a robust economy in the Eisenhower years. The Clinton marginal tax rate was only 40%; so it’s hardly financial Armageddon for the rich.

The Bush cuts represented a far greater case of “generational theft” than anything contained in the “stimulus” package, as I’ve discussed in detail, previously. What Obama is telling America is that we are going to have to start paying our own way, rather than shifting our taxes down to the next generation.

With regard to the Wall Street gyrations, I think that these were considered very wisely in the mp3 podcast of the Lehrer News Hour that I linked in comment #1 above.

The market is reacting much more to real time numbers (e.g. worse than expected numbers from the global economy, which are coming out daily) than to the projections relating to the “stimulus.”

The market’s been tanking for a long time now. It’s trying to find out where the bottom is. I think that stocks have been grossly overvalued for a decade.

The rise between 1980 and 2000 was way out of proportion to the growth in the economy. It was a huge bubble, and what we are seeing now is a correction toward the true value of equities.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

@Aye Chihuahua:

Aw, the video is no longer available.

More Obama gloom, dispair and misery plucked from Dr. Sanity’s site:

She attempts to cheer us up: “The Bush cuts represented a far greater case of “generational theft” than anything contained in the “stimulus” package.”

Letting people KEEP their OWN MONEY is theft, but stealing billions through taxation for big liberal giveaways is less so?

Oh my… Larry… you need help.

Clearly you’re addicted to this stuff:



Try it again Missy.

It appears to be working now.

If not, I can get another link.

@Missy: try loading the video from it’s You Tube page:

Sometimes those embedded vids have trouble.

Aye Chi #7….

ROTHLMAO! Remind me that, if you are ever in my near vicinity, I MUST buy you a pint of Oregon’s finest microbrew!

BTW, I’m posting “post-Missy”, and I don’t have a problem with the YouTube video posted by Aye.

Mike, You were still on sabbatical while Aye and I (nifty alliteration) were debating this.

When you cut spending and then cut taxes, you are doing something good.

When you raise spending and cut taxes, you are doing something bad.

The government spends money on behalf of its people — you and I and others. It’s being spent on our behalf; so we should be paying for the spending.

When we cut taxes without cutting spending, the shortfall has to be made up somewhere else. In our case, we borrow the money from China and others. Bush told us to take the money from his tax cuts and go out and shop. So it’s China (and other lenders) who financed our shopping spree. And all that money we borrow has to be paid back by our children. We are ultimately taxing our children, rather than taxing ourselves.

At least, in the Obama “stimulus,” a whole lot of the borrowed money is actually going to pay for things which will benefit the children whom we are taxing: “S-CHIP.” Infrastructure. Education.

But when we give tax cuts to today’s adults, which are not balanced by spending cuts, we are stealing from our children, in order to spare us the unpleasant necessity to pay for our own government.

This is both taxation without representation and generational theft. On a scale which dwarfs that of the “stimulus.”

Add it all up: Bush tax cuts. Iraq War. Wall Street bailout. Easily $5 trillion. All paid for with money taken from our children.

P.S. In my opinion, “kool aid” has now become an overused, stale cliche. You guys are in need of a new metaphor.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

It worked this time. My computer is running really slow today, so I’ll blame it on my computer. Thank you, thank you!

Argh, I believe! No other possible way that they could blow through this much money and then cut the deficite like they say, but they’re always saying something, nonstop as a matter of fact.

Wonder if he keeps that blackboard in that bath off the OO.

Larry W:

When you cut spending and then cut taxes, you are doing something good.

When you raise spending and cut taxes, you are doing something bad.

Good concept and agreed. But devil in the details. Like anything, it comes down to how much *more* spent, and how much cut.

So perhaps, before you lavish praise on Obama for cutting taxes, you might want to give us an idea of the spending to cuts ratio?

And don’t even try to lay the “for the children” crap on me about SCHIPS. I didn’t like it the first time around. I’m hard pressed to like it the second.

But, I will agree about the “koolaid” POS (piece o’ sheeet) expression that I have not, and will never use.

Yeah, the Bush tax cuts were such a “bad thing” that Larry has the nerve to complain about “stealing from our children” after admitting to cashing the checks and keeping the financial windfall that he gained from those same tax cuts.

Classic hypocrisy.

When you gripe about something and then refuse to participate or benefit from it, you’re doing something good.

When you gripe about something and then allow yourself to benefit from it anyway, you’re doing something bad.

Personal principles and consistency.

Some people have them.

Some don’t.

Sorry Larry, your credibility on economics in general, and this issue in particular, is ZERO.

From Aye:

Yeah, the Bush tax cuts were such a “bad thing” that Larry has the nerve to complain about “stealing from our children” after admitting to cashing the checks and keeping the financial windfall that he gained from those same tax cuts.

Classic hypocrisy.

To Mike: This is the guy to whom I meant to address the comment erroneously tossed in your direction.

I’ll try again:

“Aye”has made a huge deal about my alleged “hypocrisy” in having been opposed, on principle, to the Bush tax cuts, yet accepting my own tax cuts.

It seems that South Carolina’s Governor sees this more my way than Aye’s:

South Carolina Republican Gov. Mark Sanford suggested Thursday that he’s open to accepting money from President Obama’s stimulus plan, even as he and other GOP governors voice opposition to the package.

A handful of Republican governors are considering turning down some of the money from the $787 billion package.

But Sanford told FOX News his state is still “looking at the pros and cons” of the bill and combing through the “fine print” to see what would benefit South Carolina residents.

He suggested he’s open to taking the money, saying Democrats aren’t turning down tax cuts even though many oppose them.

“There are a lot of Democrats that voted against tax cuts and yet they don’t go back to their states and their congressional districts and tell their folks, ‘Look you can’t take the tax cut because if so it’ll undo what I believe’,” he said.

He also told CBS’ “The Early Show” that being against the plan “doesn’t preclude taking the money.

As I explained in my back and forths with Mike, there is a difference between discussing a macroeconomic principle in an intellectual sense and making personal microeconomic decisions, based on personal self-interest. I admire people who are willing to sacrifice for a noble cause. I have never professed to be a hero, nor am I a candidate for political office; I am only a private citizen and a voter.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

Sanford will end up doing the same thing Jindal is doing. He will go through the money and will pick and choose the useful projects, leaving the wasteful pork barrel spending on the table.

Sanford is right, it’s not up to a Governor or a Senator or a Congressman to tell you what your personal beliefs and resulting behavior should be.

Those are internally guided things.

Your beliefs and your actions don’t match up Larry.

No need to continue dashing yourself on the rocks over it.

I’m fully aware of the exchange you had with Aye on the subject of taxes. You may recall yesterday that I provided a set of links to your comments on just that subject.

As for:

“When you cut spending and then cut taxes, you are doing something good.

When you raise spending and cut taxes, you are doing something bad.”

Then, you must really be disappointed with Obama. Not only did he cut some taxes but spending went through the roof in that stimulus bill and EVERYONE knows that no one ever follows through with program cuts (except in defense which is a TERRIBLE idea)

Larry, the Kool Aid fits you to a tee… Why am I not surprised you don’t like the expression?

P.S. As regards Sanford I have read varying news accounts. I guess we shall have to wait and see whether he takes the money or not. Does it make him a racist if he doesn’t accept the money that we now learn is provided just for black people?

I don’t like the stimulus bill. I don’t like the tax cuts and the individual spending parts of it should have been voted on, issue by issue, in individual bills. I also didn’t like the TARP bill. I didn’t like the Iraq War. And I didn’t like the Bush tax cuts. All just combined to putting the country into hock for trillions of dollars that are going to be paid for my children and grandchildren. I think that this is not only bad economic policy; it is immoral.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

Well, we can’t say that we weren’t warned:

This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word “victory” except when he’s talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed… when the roar of the crowd fades away… when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot… what exactly is our opponent’s plan?

What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger… take more of your money… give you more orders from Washington… and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy… our opponent is against producing it.

Victory in Iraq is finally in sight… he wants to forfeit.

Terrorist states are seeking nuclear weapons without delay… he wants to meet them without preconditions.

Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America… he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights? Government is too big… he wants to grow it.

Congress spends too much… he promises more. Taxes are too high… he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific.

The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes… raise payroll taxes… raise investment income taxes… raise the death tax… raise business taxes… and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.

Guess we really dodged a bullet there, eh? You suggest a rather strong aversion to runaway spending and yet you totally support a president and a party which promise to set records for doing just that. The entire federal budget for F.Y. 2008 was less than three trillion dollars. In one swoop Obama and the Dems spent a third of that with more likely to follow.

What would you call someone who claims one thing and then follows the path that leads to the opposite? Does the word start with “h” or “s” or should we combine the two “s…. h….?”

“At least, in the Obama “stimulus,” a whole lot of the borrowed money is actually going to pay for things which will benefit the children whom we are taxing: “S-CHIP.” Infrastructure. Education.”– Larry W quote

What, “benefit the children?” Do you really expect anyone to believe the Democratic party, who runs on abortion, cares about the “children?” Furthermore, have you noticed the age of these “children”? And no Larry, it’s not OUR taxes that will be paying for S-CHIP, it will be a 156% increase in cigarette taxes. This is the “Kill the smokers, save the children solution.” Don’t be surprised when the cigarette ads come back. Even as a non-smoker I have always voted WITH the smokers in CA. If they are going to tax smokers, then they need to tax everyone else with an “unhealthy” habit.

As for infrastructure, maybe, but do know that the jobs will go to the minorities. I have nothing against minorities, just making the point that these are NOT “jobs for bankers and wallstreeters with pink slips.”

Last but not least, “education.” If this government really cared about “education”, they would follow the example of that Korean women in DC who is kicking butt, proving that skilled teachers rewarded on merit, not labor unions, is the solution.

PDill equates a fertilized egg with an embryo with a fetus with a child. I respect that, even though, in my heart of hearts, not agreeing with it. I have seen parents (e.g. my sister) who lose a child. I have had very personal experience with parents (e.g. my wife) who have suffered a miscarriage. Both are tragedies. But they are not the same. Not even close. I hate abortion. I know women who have had abortions who regret having them, decades after the fact. But, in the end, we all take responsibility for the decisions we make. Though I would counsel any woman against having an abortion, in the end, it’s her decision. Not mine. I can’t equate an embryo or fetus with a child. They aren’t the same, except in a religious sense, to some people. And we can’t have a nation of laws based on religion, as opposed to a nation of laws based upon shared values. I am firmly against sharia law and I’m firmly against judaic law and I’m firmly against Christian law and I’m certainly against Christian denomination law. I am firmly in favor of the secular laws of the United States, under our constitution. I know two Biblical scholars, including one who can read scripture in the original language. The abortion issue is not even clear cut from scripture. And scripture cannot be the basis of civil law. Who’s scripture, precisely, do we accept? Who’s interpretation of scripture do we accept?

Obama isn’t a perfect President. McCain wouldn’t have been a perfect President. Bush certainly was a long way from being a perfect President. But I thought that Obama was the better candidate for the conditions currently existing. And so, I voted for him. And I happen to think that he’s doing a good job, in a very difficult time. And, as I’ve stated before, my number one issue in voting for a President is which candidate will make it less likely that a nuclear device will be detonated in Long Beach harbor. My secondary criterion is which candidate will leave the lesser debt for my children. Democrats may have higher taxes, but Democrats have historically lowered the debt to GDP ratio, while the last three Republicans have increased the debt to GDP ratio.

Reaganomics (defined as reducing taxes, in the hope that this will restrain government spending and that the tax cuts will pay for themselves) is a certifiable failure and a certifiable scam. The Laffer curve is a beautiful theory ruined by several ugly facts — those facts being Reagan, Bush, and Bush.

You people who want to cut taxes and increase the debt burden on my children are selfish. You people who want to wage wars with a volunteer army in which you have never served and in which your children are at no risk to serve, involuntarily, are vastly more hypocritical than those of us who oppose tax cuts, while accepting the tax cuts, when they are signed into law by a President.

I believe that the generations who control government spending should pay all the taxes necessary to support such spending. I believe that all citizens should be subject to national service, in the military or, if necessary, in some other capacity, as is the case in Switzerland, Israel, Turkey and other countries. I believe that the state should be entirely separate from the church.

Cigarette taxes. Most successful taxes in the history of the world. If you haven’t started smoking by age 18, the odds are overwhelming that you never will. The name of the game with the tobacco companies is to create lifetime addicts out of children. It is pure evil, personified. Nothing but nothing has had the dramatic effect of decreasing teenage smoking as markedly increasing the cost of a pack of cigarettes. So a cigarette tax raises government revenues while saving the lives of children. Unlike PDill, I have always voted for increases in tobacco taxes, and I always will. I care about children and I care about fetuses. But between the two, I care more about children. Tobacco taxes save the lives of children. Millions of children. With parents. With brothers and sisters. With future wives and husbands and children of their own. I don’t understand how people who value the lives of children could ever vote against a tobacco tax. My mother was attracted to cigarettes by tobacco advertising and cheap prices when she was a teenager. She became a nicotine addict, like most smokers. Today, she has stage IV lung cancer.

Stage 8 of the Tour of California tomorrow. Summit of Mt. Palomar. Sweet.

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

Okay, somebody do the math for me. I admit, the brain has hit overload and the smoke coming from my ears cannot be a good sign. So, help me with this while I go soak my head, Paul Newman style, in a bucket of ice water:

With the brand spanking new dimwit bill, the CBO is projecting the federal budget deficit to RISE to ~$2.0 trillion (yes, trillion). Okay, got that. Take $1.2 and add another $0.8 for the dimwit bill and that’s about $2.0. So far so good. But that’s bad, right? Borrowing and spending at that level is fiscal insanity, right?

Right. Okay, I’m still with you. Here’s the hard part.

The President (yes, like it or not, that’s the title) has now pledged to CUT the DEFICIT in HALF (sound’s good, right)!! Hooray. That puts us at $0.6. If the deficit is $1.2 now, and if my gozzintas are right, half of that is $0.6.

But our Witless Leader is promising to cut the deficit in HALF. To ONLY somewhere around $1.0 trillion.

And he pontificates, this deficit spending has to STOP!!!

I’m sorry, did I miss Alice walking by? Am I in Wonderland? Are those bunnies or billions floating by? Can somebody take me to the wizard (I know, different movie, but I’m confused, like I said).

Maybe this is it. I’ll spare you the details of the joke about the scientist, the lawyer and the accountant but the question was, “What’s 1 + 1?” The accountant’s answer (who is now, I think, the royal accountant to the court of St. Obama): “What do you want it to be?”

I have to lie down. Please let me know if somebody figures this out.

Indie Dog.

Even with Johnson’s massive Great Society spending, in concert with a war much more expensive than Bush’s “war on terrorism,” he markedly reduced the Debt/GDP ratio. So did Nixon. So did Ford. So did Carter. But “fiscal conservatives” Reagan and Bush 41 raised the Debt/GDP ratio markedly. By cutting taxes markedly, they bought themselves some votes and loyalty by loading my children with Debt. Clinton raised taxes and cut the Debt/GDP ratio. Bush 43 cut taxes and loaded my children with yet more debt.

The cold hard reality is that both Dems and GOPs tax and spend. The difference is that Dems tax the current generation, while the GOP taxes the children of the current generation.

We’ll see how Obama actually does, debt-wise. He can hardly do worse than Reagan and Bush 43.

By the way, Obama plans to keep his campaign promise to rescind the Bush tax cuts and restore them to the levels of Clinton. Where they belong. He also plans on cutting spending in Iraq and Afghanistan. Did the CBO take this into account?

– Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CA

What does a (human) fertilized egg, a fetus, and a “child” all have in common?

All three are fully human, unique, and “fully formed” in DNA. A 2 year old child has no more DNA (genetic material), than the fertilized egg it was on day one. All are vulnerable to destruction, incapable of self survival, and process the potential of endless possibilities if nurtured to self sufficiency. As of last week (Feb. 2009), under the state law of North Dakota, all are legal “human beings.”

Larry Weisenthal argues:

I can’t equate an embryo or fetus with a child. They aren’t the same, except in a religious sense, to some people.

Ok, fair enough, let’s have this debate sans religion, metaphysical style, which includes no “ensoulment” considerations. For the record, I am NOT implying that you want to kill embryos, but I do imply, based on your previous arguments, that only the child has the “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

You say they are not the “same.” I agree that an embryo doesn’t have the sentience of a 2 year old, but neither does a comatose 2 year old have the sentience of a non comatose 2 year old. Does that mean the comatose 2 year old no longer has a right to life?

I could continue with similar examples, but I ask you (or anyone else who has the answer), with what certitude does a one day old human life not have/deserve equal rights and protection? Why is ok to for an embryonic research scientist (other than the fact that it’s legal outside of ND), to violate the life of an embryo? If you can’t prove as to why it’s morally acceptable, wouldn’t it be reckless, in the uncertainty, to destroy human life?

If you argue that it’s really “not life”, despite biology, wouldn’t it be manslaughter to “unknowingly” destroy what MIGHT be life? I just don’t get it Larry. I’ve taken all the religion out of it and at best, it still comes up manslaughter.

So I ask you Larry, at what point exactly, and why, does human life become “the same” and defendable? Or, are you ready to admit what IMO, every embryonic research scientist knows but refuses to admit; it’s really all about power!

Let their innocence appeal to what President Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature.”

Oh please, the results of the “Great Society” didn’t affect Johnson’s numbers, it hit the following administrations like a bomb. By the time Reagan and Bush 41 were in office it was out of control. It took Clinton losing his majority to get it under control. Credit Republicans forcing Clinton kicking and screaming to sign on to welfare reform. Credit Obama for dragging it back into our economy.

Reagan had to rebuild defense, so did Bush 43, Reagan had to go to the public to get around the dems, otherwise both Reagan’s and Bush41’s budgets were famously DOA. Your fears of a nuclear device exploding in LB Harbor are less likely to happen due to Reagan’s foresight not Obama’s foreign policy.

Bush 43 had to buy Democrat votes to get budgets passed due to not having the numbers in Congress, had to recover from the bubble, corporate fraud and 911. Build Homeland Security, fund Katrina, floods , etc. All the whining about the Bush 43 spending is based on a false premise. In spite of all the spending, his numbers in the long haul aren’t much different than Clinton’s.


Here’s a great article that kills the “big spender” meme that the Dems trot out when convenient.

Who Are the Big Spenders?

Larry and Pdill: While a discussion of the value of human life is an interesting one it’s hardly germane to the subject matter in this post.

I’m sure Curt would be more than willing to entertain a joint reader post from the both of you laying out your views, as you do above, and opening that topic for discussion but I would rather not lose the focus of this thread entirely by doing so here.

@Aye Chihuahua: That’s a good link and worth repeating:

I like the reminder about Obama visiting 57 states. So much for his math skills.

Imagine that we could wave a magic wand and go back to 2001 and relive the last 8 years. Imagine also that we waved that wand and all Democrats in Congress suddenly disappeared and we only had Republicans to pass whatever legislation they desired with no opposition.

Can you imagine for one second that spending would be as high under that scenario as it was the last eight years?

Larry is very good at saying A,B, or C is the Republicans fault because Bush wasn’t a dictator and didn’t ramrod his programs down the throat of Democrats. But that’s just a tactic to excuse Democrats have being the big spenders they are and to enable more of the same.

The bottom line is that anyone who is concerned about deficit spending should be voting Republican. At least we can occasionally shame Republicans into controlling spending. Democrats are too drunk with power to ever admit shame.

Here’s two more of Mr. Hoven’s eye opening articles worth a read:

The Real State of the Union

Q&A With Uncle Sam

Mata: ROTHLMAO! Remind me that, if you are ever in my near vicinity, I MUST buy you a pint of Oregon’s finest microbrew!

Better do it before they push through that 1900% increase in taxes on in-state brewing they have been talking about. That pint could end up costing you more than it costs to fill your gas tank. I’m not sure how much Dead Guy Ale I’m going to be able to sell when it’s the highest price beer in my cooler.