March 4, 2010

WSJ Editorial Calls Out Bunning Episode As Example of PayGo Hypocrisy

BunningIn the past 72 hours, NewsBusters has called attention to roughly 10 print and broadcast media items ripping into Jim Bunning for daring to stop a spending bill in the Senate.

Beyond that, it appears that no establishment media outlet has raised a few self-evident points made in a Wednesday Wall Street Journal editorial, proving yet again that the paper’s editorials are as much a real news source as they are a rundown of the editorialists’ particular take on things.

The critical points of the editorial (link may require subscription, and will probably not be available in a few weeks) are these:

  • Bunning was trying to do in practice what Nancy and Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Obama are fond of only talking about (Clay Waters also made this point in one of those NewsBusters posts).
  • The outrage is the result of substance-free political gamesmanship.
  • (Tea Partiers take note) Many of Bunning’s fellow party members headed for the tall grass when the media heat commenced.

What follows are the Journal excerpts that make those points (bolds are mine):

Mr. Bunning has dared to put a hold on a $10 billion spending bill to extend jobless insurance and fund transportation projects. Mr. Bunning says he won’t yield until the Senate finds a way to pay for the new spending with cuts somewhere else in the $3.5 trillion budget. For this perfectly reasonable stance, Mr. Bunning has become the Beltway and media villain of the hour. We’d call it his finest hour.

Every time Washington wants to spend money, the Senate Majority Leader asks for “unanimous consent” to authorize the funding, and in the collegial Senate everyone falls in line. But when Harry Reid wanted consent last week for that $10 billion, Mr. Bunning broke the old-boy rules by shouting: “I object.”

The faux indignation has been something to behold.

By the way, Democrats could end Mr. Bunning’s stand by invoking cloture and getting the 60 votes they need to proceed. Mr. Reid won’t do that because he thinks he’s scoring points using Mr. Bunning to define Republicans as “obstructionists.” So who’s playing politics here?

Mr. Bunning is merely asking the Senate to live by the rules that President Obama said it should when he signed an executive order requiring “pay-as-you-go” budgeting. “Now, Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else,” he said, only three weeks ago. But instead of backing Mr. Bunning’s stand that new spending must be “paid for,” the White House is attacking him.

The real story here is that Mr. Bunning is exposing pay-go as a fraud. When Mr. Obama and Democrats want to spend money on their priorities, they waive the rule by declaring an emergency. They only enforce pay-go to block tax cuts.

Another truth is that Mr. Bunning is making most Republicans as uncomfortable as he is Democrats. … Susan Collins of Maine asked him Tuesday to stand down and told reporters that his “views do not represent a majority of the Republican caucus.”

If any establishment media outlets have made the first two points raised by the Journal, I haven’t seen it. Of course, they love to make the third.

Senator Bunning is already in one Hall of Fame recognizing his outstanding baseball pitching career. For this move and for his long record of fiscal conservatism, evidenced by a consistently strong Club for Growth record (the latest available being 93% in 2008, 82% in 2007, 94% in 2006, and 82% in 2005), the former Philadelphia and Detroit star he may deserve consideration for induction into a Taxpayers’ Hall of Fame.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Another Set of ‘Meaningless’ (NOT) Seth Morgan Endorsements

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:27 am

From the Morgan campaign, via e-mail (bolds are mine):

CITIZENS FOR COMMUNITY VALUES ACTION PAC & STATEWIDE FAMILY VALUES LEADERS ENDORSE SETH MORGAN, CPA FOR AUDITOR OF STATE

Huber Heights, Ohio – Citizens for Community Values Action PAC, a widely known and respected family values organization from Southwest Ohio, along with a list of respected family values leaders from around the state, have endorsed Seth Morgan, CPA for Auditor of State.

Seth has received the following personal endorsements:

Phil Burress, President, Citizens for Community Values
Kevin Craft, PAC Board Member, Ohio Right to Life
Christi Dodson, Executive Director, Dayton Right to Life
Kimberly Fletcher, President & Founder, Homemakers for America
Bobbi Radek, Director, Concerned Women for America (Ohio)
Barry Sheets, Governmental Affairs Director, Citizens for Community Values
Thea Shoemake, Homeschool Leader, Southwest Ohio
Debbie Smith, Warren County Right to Life
Molly Smith, Executive Director, Cleveland Right to Life
Mark Stevenson, Christian Home Educators Stark County Association
Diane Stover, Director, Northeast Ohio Values Voters
Linda Theis, Former President and Current Member Trustee, Ohio Right to Life
Lori Viars, PAC Board Member, Ohio Right to Life
Lori Willmann, Member Trustee, Ohio Right to Life

The bolded Ohio Right to Lifers on the list would appear to be an indication of possible personal disagreements at the highest levels of ORTL. Where is the name of Mike DeWine apologist and Sandy O’Brien ignorer Mike Gonadoki$?

The above is also an indication of the utter failure of ORPINO (the Ohio Republican Party In Name Only) to make formerly reliable supporters heed its will. Beyond the news itself, that’s also the important message of Tuesday night’s Cuyahoga County GOP endorsement of Morgan.

The auditor’s race is a primary contest that won’t necessarily be decided on the size of the bank account. Looking back at the 2006 GOP gubernatorial primary results and considering what will likely be a higher level of interest, it will be decided by who gets 600,000 Buckeye State Republicans to vote for him. Given the endorsements above, it won’t necessarily require a lot of money, or even media coverage, to motivate them to vote for Morgan.

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UPDATE: One can’t make a direct comparison, but the heavy concentration of Southwest Ohio names on the above list caused me to look at what Ken Blackwell did to Jim Petro in its four counties in 2006. Answer: Blackwell beat Petro by a combined 91,600 – 37,100, or almost 2.5 to 1. If Morgan, who is from nearby Montgomery County, can achieve even half of that 54,500 margin, which seems pretty doable, Yost will have a lot of ground to make up in more Yost-friendly counties like Cuyaho … oops.

Lickety-Split Links (030410, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:50 am

From Media Bistro, concerning February’s cable news wipeout, courtesy of Fox:

  • “Cable News Program Rankings: FNC Sweeps Top 13 Again.”
  • CNN’s Primetime Shows Hit Big Lows”
  • MSNBC Back to Second in Prime; Primetime Shows Down from Year Ago” — “(Keith) Olbermann was down -29% in total viewers (-43% demo) and Maddow was down -44% in total viewers (-33% demo).”
  • “(CNN’s) Headline News finished ahead of sister-network CNN in the total day and prime-time demos.”

Olbermann and MSNBC are apparently having issues. Bad timing, Keith.

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The news is a month old, but a lingering couple of points need to be made:

Home and auto lender GMAC Financial Services said Thursday that it lost $5 billion in the last three months of 2009, as losses from mortgage operations kept the company in the red for another quarter.

GMAC, which is owned by the federal government ….

Zheesh. The relative silence that accompanied GMAC’s loss shows how what once were big numbers have become rounding errors.

Beyond that, how many people even know that GMAC is another one of Uncle Sam’s/Barack Obama’s/Tim Geithner’s wards, or that it “owes” (cough, cough) the government $16.3 billion? Or for that matter, that it’s now the financing arm of both General/Government Motors and Chrysler?

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I have a different take on the “woe is Wal-Mart” fourth quarter news (HT Instapundit), which is that “U.S. same-store sales fell 1.6% in the period and noted that traffic in U.S. stores fell slightly” and that its customers are somehow more severely tapped-out than other stores’ customers.

If traffic is only down slightly, my guess is that the rest of the drop is due to lower year-over-year prices, and that unit volume is almost stable.

I’m also seeing the company getting a lot more aggressive with its in-house “generic” brands, like “Great Value” in foods, etc. To the extent the chain has succeeded in getting shoppers to substitute for higher-priced national brands, that would also lower sales volume while probably increasing profits.

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The news is striking enough, but the administration’s defense against full disclosure is a jaw-dropper:

‘Anti-Lobbyist’ Obama Administration Recruited Left-Wing Lobbyists to Sell Bogus ‘Green Jobs’

After two studies refuted President Barack Obama’s assertions regarding the success of Spain’s and Denmark’s wind energy programs, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals the Department of Energy turned to George Soros and to wind industry lobbyists to attack the studies.

Via the FOIA request, the Competitive Enterprise Institute has learned that the Department of Energy — specifically the office headed by Al Gore’s company’s former CEO, Cathy Zoi — turned to George Soros’ Center for American Progress and other wind industry lobbyists to help push Obama’s wind energy proposals.

The FOIA request was not entirely complied with, and CEI just filed an appeal over documents still being withheld. In addition to withholding many internal communications, the administration is withholding communications with these lobbyists and other related communications, claiming they constitute “inter-agency memoranda.” This implies that, according to the DoE, wind industry lobbyists and Soros’s Center for American Progress are — for legal purposes — extensions of the government.

Anyone observing this administration closely already knew this, but the admission is pretty remarkable — and useful the next time we get the “aw shucks, they’re just friendly acquaintances” nonsense.

Positivity: Pieces of rare biblical manuscript reunited

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Jerusalem:

Two parts of an ancient biblical manuscript separated across centuries and continents were reunited for the first time in a joint display Friday, thanks to an accidental discovery that is helping illuminate a dark period in the history of the Hebrew Bible.

The 1,300-year-old fragments, which are among only a handful of Hebrew biblical manuscripts known to have survived the era in which they were written, existed separately and with their relationship unknown, until a news photograph of one’s public unveiling in 2007 caught the attention of the scholars who would eventually link them.

Together, they make up the text of the Song of the Sea, sung by jubilant Israelites after fleeing slavery in Egypt and witnessing the destruction of the pharaoh’s armies in the Red Sea.

“The enemy said: ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil. My lust shall be satisfied upon them, I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them,’” reads the song, which appears in the Book of Exodus. “Thou didst blow thy wind, the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters.”

An exhibit at Israel’s national museum dedicated to the Song of the Sea is now bringing together the two long-separated pieces. …

Go here for the rest of the story.