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Archive for July, 2011

The Mendacity of Hope

I have sometimes remarked that there is a fundamental moral difference between the Right and Left in American politics. Politicians on the Right by and large tell the truth, or, at least, what they believe to be the truth. They are honest about their beliefs, for the most part, and tell the electorate what they hope to do. Politicians on the Left do not. They misrepresent their own opinions, attitudes, and aspirations, especially during election season—but not only at election season, as recent debates over raising the debt ceiling have made clear.

I have seen few things as dishonest as the White House chart that purports to reveal who’s to blame for the deficit. There’s a lot to say about the arbitrariness of counting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on Bush’s tab rather than Obama’s, etc. But think for a moment about the methodology. Since January 2001, the federal government has spent several trillion more than it has received in revenues. What spending was paid for with tax receipts, and what was borrowed? The question makes no sense. A certain amount was received; more was spent. There’s no nonarbitrary way to say which expenses were covered by tax receipts and which were covered by additional debt. You can make this kind of chart come out however you want. So, no surprise that the White House blames everything on Bush.

Here’s a more meaningful way to proceed. Compare spending and revenue under Bush and Obama, and look at the gap between them. The best chart I’ve been able to find for this is from the Heritage Foundation:

The Bush deficits were due mostly to a collapse in revenue that followed the bursting of the dot-com bubble and the September 11 attacks. The Bush tax cuts, far from costing the government revenue, as the White House chart reports—since when is a tax cut an “expense,” anyway?—led to economic growth that decreased the gap between spending and revenue for 2007 to a figure less than Obama racks up in a single month. Under Obama, revenue has dropped dramatically due to the economic crisis and our “recovery,” which is proceeding, if at all, far slower than the recovery in countries such as Germany that resisted the idea of artificial government “stimulus.” But spending has also surged dramatically. Compare the gap under Bush—an eight-year gap—to the gap under Obama in just three years. It’s not close. Return spending to Bush’s 2007 level and you cut the deficit by more than half. You also give the economy a significant boost and reassure credit agencies who are rightfully alarmed at the prospect of massive deficits every year for the next decade.

It’s true that long-term projections aren’t worth very much. Does that mean that this chart shouldn’t scare you?

Not at all. There’s a pattern to these projections—they’re always too optimistic.

That should frighten you.

As the Leftists have been saying for years, if you aren’t completely appalled, you haven’t been paying attention.

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Here is a very good piece about this terrible accident last night. I learned of it reading my twitter feed last night, the details now proven to be accurate.  I saw a video clip of it as well.

In the second inning, Oakland A’s outfielder Conor Jackson hit a screaming foul ball down the left-field line. It caromed toward Josh Hamilton, the Rangers’ left fielder. Hamilton picked it up and threw the ball toward the stands. Players do this hundreds of times in a season. It’s part of baseball’s charm. Show up to a stadium, take home a piece of the game.

Hamilton’s toss came in short. It didn’t stop Shannon Stone from stretching to grab it. I’m almost certain, in fact, that the moment before Shannon Stone fell 20 feet and suffered injuries that would kill him, he was indescribably happy. He was going to grab a baseball from Josh Hamilton, a man who hauled himself from the depths of drug addiction to not only return to baseball but win the American League MVP award last season. Once Stone had that baseball, he was going to hand it to his son. And for the rest of his life, his son would have a story to tell about the time his daddy reached over a railing and snagged a bad throw from Josh Hamilton, one of the most talented players ever to wear a baseball uniform.

Instead, he watched his dad die. He saw Shannon Stone secure the ball in both hands but lose his balance in the process. The man next to Stone reached, in vain, to grab his leg. Stone fell head first 20 feet.

Read the rest. From other accounts I have read, the Rangers organization is truly stunned and torn up by this. You have to really feel for Josh Hamilton who has exorcised all types of drug abuse and other demons from his life now has to deal with this tragedy.

The game was make up of an earlier rain out, originally an off day. It was one year ago and one day that another fan fell from the upper deck trying to catch a foul ball, but he survived.

Horrible all around. Nothing but tears and prayer will heal.

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Adele Shrugs

When my daughter started talking about maybe going to see Adele when she appears in Austin TX, I had to admit I did not know who Adele is. So I researched a bit, Google of course, and found out Adele was shocked at her tax rate. This was due to her multi-platinum selling recording “19”. What’s worse, her next, “21” is out selling the first.

Adele recently told Q magazine, “I’m mortified to have to pay 50 percent!,”  she said.”[While] I use the NHS, I can’t use the public transport anymore. Trains are always late, most state schools are s–t, and I’ve gotta give you, like, four million quid. Are you having a laugh?”

Sounds like she needs to learn a new tune, and the Kinks “Sunny Afternoon” may be just the one for her.

“Save me! Save me! Save me from this squeeeeeeze!”

Sorry Adele, follow the Stones lead and go record in other countries.

 

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Fire Twitter up tomorrow

Tomorrow at 2pm Eastern Time, the White House will hold its first Twitter Town Hall, and United States President Barack Obama will answer Twitter users’ questions about the American economy — live at askobama.twitter.com.

I wonder if the teleprompter can contain itself to 140 characters or less.

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