Posts Tagged ‘sequestration’

The Bible and the locusts

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Last night I watched the new History Channel series, The Bible, and thoroughly enjoyed it, from the Irish-sounding Noah telling the story of the creation in the middle of the flood, to the ninja angels,

to the very awesome (in the old meaning of the word, “inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear”) Moses.

As you may recall, locusts were one of the plagues of Egypt. Lo and behold, here’s the Drudge headline this morning, right on time for Passover,

In case you want to blame that on the sequester, Kerry frees up $250M in U.S. aid to Egypt.

Sequestration, schmequestration

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Dr. Krauthammer‘s on the case, on TV:

and here: Hail Armageddon

The Obama administration has every incentive to make the sky fall, lest we suffer that terrible calamity — cuts the nation survives. Are they threatening to pare back consultants, conferences, travel and other nonessential fluff? Hardly. It shall be air-traffic control. Meat inspection. Weather forecasting.

A 2011 Government Accountability Office report gave a sampling of the vastness of what could be cut, consolidated and rationalized in Washington: 44 overlapping job training programs, 18 for nutrition assistance, 82 (!) on teacher quality, 56 dealing with financial literacy, more than 20 for homelessness, etc. Total annual cost: $100 billion-$200 billion, about two to five times the entire domestic sequester.

Are these on the chopping block? No sir. It’s firemen first. That’s the phrase coined in 1976 by legendary Washington Monthly editor Charlie Peters to describe the way government functionaries beat back budget cuts. Dare suggest a nick in the city budget, and the mayor immediately shuts down the firehouse. The DMV back office, stacked with nepotistic incompetents, remains intact. Shrink it and no one would notice. Sell the firetruck — the people scream and the city council falls silent about any future cuts.

After all, the sequester is just one-half of 1 percent of GDP. It amounts to 1.4 cents on the dollar of nondefense spending, 2 cents overall.

Because of this year’s payroll tax increase, millions of American workers have had to tighten their belts by precisely 2 percent. They found a way. Washington, spending $3.8 trillion, cannot? If so, we might as well declare bankruptcy now and save the attorneys’ fees.

Obama was counting on the sequester, make no mistake.

What was Woodward’s sin?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Ace:

Woodward’s sin was exposing “big whoppers” the Administration told on the sequester.

There are several lies Woodward has exposed:

1. Obama, despite the media blitz to blame the GOP, actually conceived of and proposed the sequester.

2. Obama, despite now claiming that tax increases must be part of the deal to avoid the sequester, agreed last year that only spending cuts would constitute the plan to avoid the sequester. Thus, he’s “moved goalposts” yet again.

3. Obama does not in fact have to release illegal aliens or cancel ship deployments due to the sequester — he’s doing these things by choice, for political purposes.

Welcome to The Obamaian Universe,

He doesn’t want to cut spending. He wants more of it. Forever. Public spending is beyond ideology for Barack Obama. It’s the oxygen in his universe.

Maybe it’s time to come to grips with the fact that he sees the public economy of federal spending as the life force of the nation as no president ever has, not even Franklin Roosevelt.

Indeed!

“I think you will regret staking out that claim.”

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

As you all know by now, Bob Woodward, the guy who brought down Nixon, has made the White House unhappy by (correctly) asserting that sequestration was Obama’s idea in the first place. So unhappy that, after being yelled at for an hour, Woodward received an email from Gene Sperling, economic adviser to the president, promising(?)

But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.

The charm oozes from the email later on, when Gene apologizes for yelling at Bob, but Bob isn’t the only one getting the yeller (h/t Instapundit): Ron Fournier writes,

As editor-in-chief of National Journal, I received several e-mails and telephone calls from this White House official filled with vulgarity, abusive language, and virtually the same phrase that Woodward called a veiled threat. “You will regret staking out that claim,” The Washington Post reporter was told.

Once I moved back to daily reporting this year, the badgering intensified. I wrote Saturday night, asking the official to stop e-mailing me. The official wrote, challenging Woodward and my tweet. “Get off your high horse and assess the facts, Ron,” the official wrote.

Lanny Davis (audio starts immediately) told Washington, D.C.’s WMAL this morning that the Obama White House had threatened the Washington Times over his column.

Woodward says sequestration is “a kind of madness I haven’t seen in a long time.”

So, is Woodward overreacting, or has he created a perfect storm of a timely controversy about the media and individual reporters?

Mind you, not just any individual reporter, but the reporter who brought down a POTUS, and had Robert Redford and Jack Nicholson (as Jack Foreman) play him in movies a generation ago.

Or is this just a generational thing that young voters will brush aside?

RELATED:
The presidency as theater:

And thus the facade continues: promising peace and delivering expanded war, with new frontiers broken for drone killings of children and other innocents, legal justifications crafted for killing Americans, and near-limitless executive power over nearly every aspect of our lives. Reciting the Progressive line while delivering impoverishment, decreased access and less-affordable healthcare, clearly it matters only what he says, not what is. His hoped-for next act: new goals of gun control that would make the most vulnerable more so, an increased minimum wage that would further exacerbate the inability of those with no work experience to get an entry-level job in which to hone the skills that will put them on the economic ladder, and “green” measures, based, like the Life of Pi, on computer-generated fantasy so much more appealing than dry real-world data.


Political histrionics 101, part 2

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

If You Don’t Buy This Budget, We’ll Kill This Seal

(Click on link for full size)

Political histrionics 101: The sequester

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Government by Freakout
Obama’s scare tactics aren’t much of a long-term strategy.

In a way it’s all brilliant showbiz: Scare people into supporting your position. But we’ve been though it before, and you wonder, again, why a triumphant president and a battered Republican House majority can’t reach a responsible agreement.

And then you remind yourself why. Because Mr. Obama thrives in chaos. He flourishes in unsettled circumstances and grooves on his own calm. He spins an air of calamity, points fingers and garners support. His only opponent is a hapless, hydra-headed House. America has a weakness for winners, and Republicans just now do not look like winners. They have many voices but no real voice, and no one saying anything that makes you stop and think. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, is a singular character who tells you in measured tones that we must have measured answers. Half the country finds his politics to be too much to one side, but his temperament is not extreme and he often looks reasonable. With this gift he ties his foes in knots to get what he wants, which is higher taxes. He wants the rich to pay more and those he judges to be in need to receive more. End of story. Debt and deficits don’t interest him, except to the extent he must give them lip service.

And so far this seems to be working fine for him. A USA Today/Pew Research Center poll out this week reported half the respondents said it will be the Republicans’ fault if the sequester goes through. Only a third said they’d blame the president.

The question is, is Obama overplaying his hand?