Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Last Call

It's bad enough when the press second-guesses the President with endless bad advice, but it's a whole other ball game when Democratic senators do it.  Ezra Klein:

On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), the outgoing chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, made a proposal to solve the “fiscal cliff.” The proposal isn’t going anywhere, but its specifics explain something important about the White House’s negotiating strategy.

“My own belief,” Conrad said, “is what we ought to do is take Speaker Boehner’s last offer, the president’s last offer, split the difference, and that would be a package of about $2.6 trillion.”

Chris Wallace, to his credit, pressed Conrad for details. And Conrad provided them. “The spending cuts would be $1.45 trillion. The revenue would be $1.15 trillion. So, you see there, that’s a combination of $2.6 trillion.”

This in an amazing offer for a Democrat to make. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has already accepted that “a balanced deal,” by his definition, would include a ratio of 1:1 spending cuts to tax increases. Indeed, his second offer included $1 trillion in tax increases in return for $1 trillion in spending cuts ($1.3 trillion if you count interest). By averaging Boehner’s second offer with Obama’s third offer — that is to say, by starting from a baseline that includes more rounds of Democratic concessions than Republican concessions — Conrad is proposing a more lopsided deal than Boehner is currently asking for

To recap, we have sitting Democratic senators going on national TV and blowing huge holes in the President's position, with this "If I were President" crap.  You're not.  Stop sabotaging your party, moron.

To make it clear just how much of a meathead Conrad is, he's giving Boehner and the Republicans a better deal than Boehner himself offered, for no other discernible reason than for the political edification of Kent Conrad as kingmaker, in his wild dreams of "The Senator who saved America from the Fiscal Cliff."

If I'm the White House, I'm calling up Conrad's office and telling him if he ever pulls this crap again, his head is going home to North Dakota about 2 weeks ahead of the rest of him.

Nonsense like this is exactly why President Obama never had 60 reliable votes in the Senate.  Kent Conrad, Ben Nelson, Evan Bayh, Blanche Lincoln, Joe Lieberman...the list goes on.  Too many Senators thought they knew better than "that there Obama boy."

All of them, including Conrad, are gone for good as of January 3.   President Obama is still there.  There's a lesson there to be learned that won't be.

And A Merry Cliff-Mess To All

The always awesome LOLGOP has a piece on the five outcomes of this week's Fiscal Cliffmas deal (or possible lack of one:)

While the sequestration President Obama and Speaker Boehner agreed on in 2011 to avert the manufactured debt limit crisis will include $11 billion in Medicare cuts along with billions in defense and other cuts, it would not change any benefits that beneficiaries of the program receive. But there’s no doubt that if the whole of cuts and tax breaks ending in the fiscal cliff are allowed to come into being — cutting the deficit in half — they would eventually damage our already-shaky economy, despite the fact that right-wingers have been claiming for years that the deficit was to blame for our slow recovery. And if Republicans want to hold the debt limit — which expires early in 2013 — hostage again, a fiscal crisis could be inevitable.

Well true.  So what could happen?  LOL sees 5 possible outcomes:
  1. Three month or more punt (GOP wins, unlikely)
  2. President Obama's most recent offer.
  3. Compromise between Obama offer and Boehner "Plan B".
  4. Short-term cliff jumping, then a deal (Most likely scenario)
  5. Thelma and Louise and no looking back.
Given 2 and 3 have already been rejected, and 5 will cause Wall Street to have a major sad (not to mention the economy, the American people, and the global economy) that leaves 1 and 4.  Republicans are going to be pushing for 1 as it disarms the President's leverage and gets them off the hook.  Democrats are going to be pushing for 4 for the opposite reason.

My money's still on 4, as is LOLGOP's. We'll see where we land this Cliff-Mess season.

Naming The WOLVEREEEEEENS In Our Midst

The latest conservative freakout:  gun ownership permits are the new Obama enemies list.

An interactive map showing the names and addresses of all handgun permit-holders in New York's Westchester and Rockland counties has drawn a response from mostly disgruntled readers since it was posted Saturday on a newspaper's website.

The interactive map published by the Journal News, prompting more than 1,300 comments as of Tuesday, allows readers to zoom in on red dots that indicate which residents are licensed to own pistols or revolvers.

"So should we start wearing yellow Stars of David so the general public can be aware of who we are??" wrote one commenter.

Sure.  This is just like the persecution of Jews in Germany, guys, they had guns too.  

What happened to "Bring it on, libtards!"  Aren't you proud of owning your gun, as a warning to all those bad guys out there that you're ready to water the Tree of Liberty at any time?  What about it, Reasonoids?  Isn't this information being free?

Do you own a registered gun? Well, they know where you live. By "they" I mean the government (which you knew), and the Freedom of Information Act-using, technology wielding media, which can with some effort build maps like the one you see on the right, showing the Westchester County addresses of people who have registered their handguns.

You think Matt Welch and his crew of merry pirates would be thrilled.  Nope.

The map, which "does not include owners of long guns — rifles or shotguns — which can be purchased without a permit," was brought to my attention by Twitterer "Russ" (@burnt_wick), who comments that this "is why you should acquire all of your firearms illegally." 

Ahh, there's the pouty anarchist I know.  The freakout is pretty epic:

My guess would be that the number of people in that area who would like more information about food stamp recipients, families on welfare rolls, or other government programs far exceeds the number who want info on gun owners. Why not publish that information?

It's nobody's business whether you've got a gun permit, or if you accept food stamps. This outrageous violation of privacy by ignorant liberals should be denounced by both sides. And if I were not a gun owner and lived in that area, I would be livid. The paper just put that family at risk because the criminal element now knows who is helpless and who can defend themselves.

On the contrary, Republican small-government conservatives think it's everyone's business if you accept food stamps, and as such think you should be drug-tested before you should be allowed to receive food because of course all people on food stamps are potential criminals.  You know, unlike gun owners.

Oh, and these are the same people who want a national database of the mentally ill, but a map of gun owners is just like the Holocaust. 

There's your "outrageous violation of privacy", morons.


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