Friday, December 17, 2010

RINOs and Taxes and Budgets. . . Oh My!!

I had planned to put up an article reviewing Avatar today, because I endured its pain just so I could write a review. But that will have to wait because I get the feeling some of you may have some thoughts about this whole budget thing or the tax bill. . . what a mess! Let’s look at the winners and losers:

Loser: House Democrats The House Democrats look like fools in this whole process. The voters are furious that they blew a trillion dollars on their friends, achieved nothing regarding the economy, and managed to bring the debt to levels that literally endanger our country. So here is their chance to show that they’ve learned something. They didn’t.

First, they threw a hissy-fit and made it clear that they were willing to destroy the economy and raise taxes on everyone by killing the Bush Tax Cuts just to score political spite points. They even spent the week name-calling and swearing at Obama, something which always makes you look childish and stupid. And in the end, after giving Obama a black eye and exposing themselves, they voted for the deal.

Secondly, they passed an obscene budget that not only kept right on with their insane and crooked spending ways, but was crawling with earmarks, set-asides and special projects. . . like those of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) who earmarked $48 BILLION (with a B) for a day care center run by one of his friends out of his house (although he claims he didn't actually make the request, he just put it on his website). Cleaver will be leading the Congressional Black Caucus next year, though he should be in prison.

Loser: Obama Obama cut a deal with the Republicans on the Bush Tax Cuts, which immediately blew up in his face. Liberals depend on all their friends telling the world how great they are (because they have no other accomplishments they can point to), and this wiped that out. No longer the Messiah, Obama became the Pariah, as his historically low approval ratings plummeted.

Winner: George Bush If you want to judge a President on how effective they are, look at how many of their policies get adopted by their successors. Obama got into office promising to close Gitmo, get us out of Iraq, and kill the Bush Tax Cuts. He’s now adopted all three.

Loser: The MSM Not only have they watched as their heroes fell apart into childish bickering, but their efforts to spin the news have fallen flat. For example, many of you probably saw how the “Bush Tax Cuts” recently became the “Bush Era Tax Cuts” and then the “Obama Tax Cuts,” but nobody bought it and we’re right back to the “Bush Tax Cuts.” Moreover, there was nothing they could do to stem the tide on any of these stories, not the budget, not the taxes, not the feuding.

Winner: Mitch McConnell McConnell started out poorly in these matters as he seemed quite content to get a poor deal on the Bush Tax Cuts and he seemed happy with the Budget. But when McConnell started pushing around the RINOs and then reported to the Democrats that the Senate Republicans no longer supported the budget, Harry Reid withdrew the budget in a panic maneuver. McConnell then added insult to injury by proposing a one page budget that basically said, “no changes from last year.”

Winner: The Tea Party There is no doubt that the pressure put on Senators by the Tea Party is what caused the Republican about-face on the budget. And once again, it was Jim DeMint as the first to break ranks.

Loser: The Republican Establishment While many individual Republicans came out as winners in these issues, the establishment continues to look weak and backwards. They have shown again that their instincts are wrong, although they at least changed course when the Tea Party people applied a lot of pressure.

Winner/Loser: Political Contenders These are the candidates for President and other gurus squawking from the sidelines. They are winners in the sense that they made good soundbites and were able to tell us “what they would have done” if they had been in the negotiations on these matters. But they are also losers because this is fake bravado and it’s exploitive. It’s one thing to propose something in advance, which none of them did, it’s another to play armchair quarterback safely away from any responsibility. So this will play well with their supporters, but doesn’t give the rest of us any confidence that they are serious or that we can trust them.

Winner/Loser: Us We got some good things in the Bush Tax Cut deal and some bad things, but that’s what you get with compromises. On the whole we are probably better off. But the budget is another issue. The withdrawal of the budget is nice, but I’ll believe it when it stays withdrawn and a better budget is produced. What’s more, we are losers in that the budget (even as they are talking about changing it) does nothing to trim the fat that’s accumulated in the budget in the past 3-4 years. But we are winners in the sense that our politicians apparently remain afraid of us.

There you have it. Anyone you would add or subtract? Anything you disagree with? Come on folks, vent away.

*** Update *** According to the Washinton Examiner, the number of earmark requests looks like this:

Senate Democrats: 15,133 earmarks for $54.9 billion
House Democrats: 18,189 earmarks for $51.7 billion
Senate Republicans: 5,352 earmarks for $22 billion
House Republicans: 241 earmarks for $1 billion
I guess we can see where the problem(s) lie?

(I’ll put up the Avatar review early next week.)


AndrewPrice said...

FYI: If you click on the image, it will expand and you can read it.

CrispyRice said...

I'm glad you put this up - it's been on mind all day.

I can't believe what the Dems tried to pass in that spending bill! It's outrageous. And it goes to show - they learned NOTHING.

I repeat - why do we allow them to go back in for a lame duck session?? Why don't we hold elections and not have a session for 3 or 4 weeks until the newly elected people can go in? ARgh!!

I'm glad it got pulled.

CrispyRice said...

Oh, and I'm still of 2 minds re the tax bill. I'm not happy that we didn't get more, but I'm happy we got something and showed a hint of might. I'm also really glad to hear that it's not sticking to call it the "Dear Leader's Tax Cuts." (More Argh!!!!)

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I'm glad it got pulled too, but I will believe it when they finally pass a different budget. Until then, this is just a gimmick to move it to a quieter news cycle.

It certainly does show that they learned nothing. It's interesting that the House Republicans clearly get it, but the rest of them tried to ram this through as business as usual. . . at least until the public let them have another earful. Now even some of the Democrats have turned against the budget!

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I'm of two minds about it too. But remember, this wasn't a Republican bill, this was a compromise and the Democrats still control the Congress and the White House, so I'm willing to accept it as a solid Republican victory -- especially with how upset the Democrats were. BUT, in future, I wants to see more from the Republicans.

Tennessee Jed said...

I am reporting in on my local paper's attempt to spin the news on omnicrap. The focus was on Republicans who voted against a bill, but still had their own earmarks in there. It was all designed to go with the Republicans are hypcrites angle. They focused on Lamar Alexander.

Alexander is no saint and has played the game along with the rest. It has not been shown WHEN his earmarks were developed. I do no this. He voted to outlaw earmarks in November and against this piece of crap legislation, so in my book, he "GOT" the message, something his Democrat colleagues failed to get, apparently. They (the Dems) should have had this ready to go back in October, but they were afraid of the American voter, as they should be.

CrispyRice said...

Well, I also find it encouraging that enough Americans are paying attention a mere week before Christmas that we DID give them an earful! That bodes well for not letting our guard down and letting them get away with stuff.

Jed, I heard (in passing) that all the Republican earmarks in there were "old" ones and nothing new they were requesting. That's a good sign, too.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Very true. The Democrats set themselves up for this because they were afraid to show the voters what they planned to do. And this budget just proves that they didn't hear the message -- or more likely don't care.

You're right about the attempts to spin this. All the stories I keep seeing are about Republicans putting in earmarks and "trying to do business as usual before their Tea Party colleagues get to Washington." But I think a lot of them did get the message, as evidenced by McConnell's ability to prove to Reid that Reid can't pass the budget. That means all Republicans and even some Democrats have gotten the message!

Plus, look at the House Republican numbers, they clearly got the message!

Joel Farnham said...


What this shows is simply that most of the Republicans get the idea that "We the People" aren't going to accept Big Government. The rest of it is more in your face spite and disbelief of the change back to limited government. It will take time, but the ship of state needs constant force to change course. Eventually we will get there.

In the mean time, I am pissed as you are. How dare they!!!

DUQ said...

Love the comic, Andrew. How true is that? Everything should be on the table and be looked at.

$48 Billion for a day care center? There are probably entire countries that operate on less than that.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Great point! This isn't the time of year that people normally pay any attention.

Also, good point on the lame duck Congress, that's pretty ridiculous if you think about it.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I agree. I think this tells us that most of the Republicans get it (especially in the House), and that they are listening to the public -- which is definitely demanding smaller government.

And it shows that the Democrats simply don't get it or don't care, and that they would mess up the country out of spite.

And yeah, this whole thing makes me pretty irate!

LawHawkRFD said...

Obama will still spin his hidden stimulus into a victory for his genius. The MSM will buy it and broadcast it. Meanwhile, back here on earth, normal people will know it was more a conservative than liberal victory. They will also sense we have a long, long way to go.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I like the cartoon too, it's truly fitting.

And you're right about the insame earmark. Cleaver claims that he's just passing on a request made by people in his district and that this request is made every year, but that's ridiculous. This is about as close to attempted fraud/robbery as you can get, and he should be ashamed to ever make (or pass on) a request like that!

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, We'll see how well Obama and the MSM get along after this little incident. I think they've lost a lot of love for him!

DUQ said...

Passing on a request? Well, heck, I wonder my town never thought to request that!

rlaWTX said...

and Avatar isn't really worth many words...

But I really liked Dawn Treader (2D)... Eustace was quite Eustacy!

as for Congressional RINO's & D's -- they don't get it; they ain't gonna get it.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I think you're right about the dems and RINOs, but hopefully, their days are numbered.

Avatar stunk. But some people asked for a review, so I did one. . . I think you'll like the review better than the movie! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I think everyone should try it. I could use $43 billion for dog watching... and a new television. :-)

CrispyRice said...

I missed that earmark update you added at the end there, Andrew. Wow is that telling! Maybe the Republicans DO get it.

Now, my question is - is there anything we can do once we have a majority to ban earmarks permanently? Or is it the kind of thing that we can swear off, and then once the Dems are back in power they can just start doing again?

T_Rav said...

Andrew, first off, even for the sake of a review, why would you subject yourself to Avatar? Why?

Also, as far as that waste of space Emmanuel Cleaver goes, I think that, as a fellow Missourian rather privy to state politics, it's worth mentioning that the man lives on the very border of his district--one or two blocks farther east and he'd be out of it--so as to be as far away as possible from the inner-city KC area. Of course, he won't support school vouchers or any other measures that could improve the cesspool that part of his district has become; no, he continues to advocate the same policies that put it there in the first place. Bet he sends his kids to private school, too.

Also, as far as Alexander goes, I have a good friend in grad school who is from TN, and she cannot wait until 2012 rolls around and she can support the effort to primary the man.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, Thanks. Sadly, there is nothing we can do to stop it permanently. As long as we control the process, we can ban it, but the Democrats can just change the rules if they get control of the Congress again. So this will be a continuing fight.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, "to primary" -- nice! Way to turn a noun into a useful verb! :-)

I have no doubt that Cleaver doesn't subject himself to the same conditions his policies impose upon the locals. Politicians never do. For example, try to find a single politician who puts their kids into public school in DC?

I'm honestly a little stunned about the blatancy of this request. Seriously, how can he not be ashamed of "passing on" an obscene request like this? This is so far beyond shameful that it honestly feels like it should be criminal.

In term of Avatar, we do all kinds of unpleasant things to please our audience. Without tipping my hand too much... I hated it. It's a horrid movie that deserves to be destroyed before someone accidentally see it. But I'll leave the rest of my thoughts for the review! ;-)

Pittsburgh Enigma said...

Andrew, I like your "winner/loser" articles. Nice summation. What outrages me the most, as CrispyRice mentioned, is this insane idea of a lame duck congress. Why are these people not sent home AS SOON AS the election is over? I don't think this is in the constitution. Probably a congressional rule. Surely the founders never intended for this? I don't think historically that any congress has tried to do this much damage in the lame duck period, which makes me think that a lot more people are now aware of this problem. Maybe going forward we can do something about it? It amounts to having no representation for a period of several weeks. (Not that we have a heck of a lot of representation now.) It's as insane an idea as our stupid broken primary system that allows states like Iowa and New Hampshire to pick all our presidential candidates.

T_Rav said...

Andrew, there's a lot of dirt on Cleaver that will come to light someday; for now, while I don't know anything specific, there's enough circumstantial evidence surrounding the man that it's pretty clear he's into a bunch of crap. Kansas City has had a political machine, stretching back at least to the 1930s, that could give Chicago a run for its money on a good day. How do you think Truman went from postmaster to 33rd POTUS? Chutzpah and Hypocrisy are Cleaver's middle names.

And yeah, I would love to see a congressman who opposes vouchers to send their kids to a D.C. public school. Left-wing professors glibly explain it away, though (don't ask me how), so I figure their confused brains do the same.

As far as "primarying" goes, I'm surprised you haven't heard it used in verbal form before. I can provide some examples with specific names if you like :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Pitts, Thanks! I think the winner/loser articles are a good way to process a lot of ideas at once. And they're actually a lot of fun to write. :-)

I agree entirely about the lame duck issue. Why in the world should we trust a Congress that has been tossed out to pass laws for a couple weeks? That's insane. And it's unnecessary. Not to mention, it lets them push off the things they don't want voters knowing until after the election.

I'm not sure how we forbid it, but I would be all for limiting the amount of time Congress can be in session.

I agree about the primary system too. It's ridiculous that two states can basically determine the primaries. Neither state is particularly representative of anything else in the country. We should change that too.

Tennessee Jed said...

Earmarks are interesting to me. Actually, earmarks per se are neither intrinsically good nor intrinsically bad. The proble is a process where they always seem to be snuck into omnibus bills without public scrutiny or debate. If a congressman or senator can stand up and publically debate the need for something to be funded, I say fine. Unfortunately, so often they are pure waste and sometimes pure flat out payoffs to supporters. Certainly now, when our deficit is out of control, an outright ban would do much more good than bad.

Pittsburgh Enigma said...

T_Rav: I read about that legendary KC machine in David McCullough's book Truman. Great read!

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I've never heard the term, but I like it! It rolls off the tongue like "whacked"!

I can believe that Cleave is dirty. Most of these long-term politicians are, and the CBC is the worst -- as evidenced by the constant criminal charges. They seem to think that once you're elected that long, the treasury becomes your personal piggybank.

And I've heard similar things about KC before.

As for private schools, leftist are great at justifying anything they want to do that conflicts with their policies. After all, their policies are only to protect "average" people, the "elite" don't need to follow the same rules... in fact, people don't want the elite to follow those rules -- they need someone to look up to, to guide them, someone better. ** rolls eyes **

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree. I think the whole budget process is crazy because it's done by staffers behind closed doors and the Congress critters come along and jam things in there and suddenly you have a monster that no one read and is full of payoffs.

I think every item should be identified, read publicly, debated for at least a minute, and then voted on individually.

Ed said...

I totally agree with the comments. I really like your winner/loser articles. I think the Republicans are getting it, great information about the earmarks. Too much else to say, so I'll just leave it at I agree. :D

StanH said...

Great summation Andrew, in your winners & losers article.

And your review of Avatar was brilliant, “Avatar stunk!”

Sorry I’m late too post, as we had a water line burst upstairs, and even though we were at home it did great damage in 5 to 10 minutes that it ran, before I got to the main. The water damage people destroyed the house to fix it, and resembles a hazmat scene, set in a wind tunnel, with the dehumidifiers, and fans constantly wurring. To help enhance the surreal scene, our house is beautifully decorated for Christmas, and from the road a picture of bliss. What a mess.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ed, I enjoy writing these and I'm glad you agree. I too think there are a lot of good comments, as always.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, Sorry for your disaster! It sounds like something out of a Christmas movie!

Thanks for the kind words on the article. I like writing these, they are a good way to sum up a bunch of thoughts.

Yeah, I probably could have kept my Avatar review to just "Avatar sucks." But I actually went ahead and wrote something bigger. I'll post it next week, probably Tuesday evening, depending on the news cycle.

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