February 24, 2013

Let Sequestration Happen

A first step in sobering up Washington.

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This column went up at PJ Media and was teased here at BizzyBlog on Friday.

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President Barack Obama clearly doesn’t like how the threat of sequestration, an idea he owns but now dishonestly wants to disown, is working out.

In a Tuesday speech, Obama went into campaign mode overdrive, claiming that, as summarized in a brilliant Tuesday evening Wall Street Journal editorial with an ever better title (“President Armageddon”): “If Republicans don’t raise taxes in return for more spending, the world will end.”

Despite a fiscal cliff deal which included $15 billion in spending “cuts” (really “reductions in projected spending”) and over $600 billion in tax increases, the President is still demanding more from “the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.” Despite the fact that his administration’s has spent 26 percent more during its first four years than the Bush 43 administration spent during its final four, Obama and Democratic leaders continue to insist that the federal government doesn’t have a spending problem. Despite running up $5.9 trillion in additional debt, much of it driven by congressional and executive actions during Obama’s first two years which have unfortunately never been reversed, Obama contemptuously refers to the “so-called debt ceiling.”

As to the inane argument that a roughly 1.2 percent reduction in projected spending ($44 billion, not $85 billion, compared to annual spending of about $3.6 trillion) will, all by itself, in Obama’s words, “hurt our economy … add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls … (and) the unemployment rate might tick up again,” all of this is already happening — and House Speaker John Boehner’s current and hopefully future firm position on sequestration has nothing to do with it.

The economy is already in a “hurt” condition.
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WaPo ‘Guppy’ Ezra Klein Lamely Claims 2012 Election Results Allow Obama to Break Pledge and Include Tax Increases in Sequestration Discussions

You take humor anywhere you can get it these days. Matt Drudge’s characterization of Washington Post WonkBlog editor Ezra Klein as a “guppy” (“WASH POST Guppy Says Legend is WRONG”) in linking to the 2007-2008 Jounolist conspiracy organizer’s pathetic attempt to refute Bob Woodward’s indisputably correct claims that sequestration was the brainchild of Obama administation officials and that “Obama personally approved” it is a morning-maker.

Rather than take Woodward head-on, Klein gutlessly goes after three words in his Friday piece: “moving the goalposts.” What Woodward wrote, followed by a portion of Klein’s clunker, appear after the jump.

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Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (022413)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Poll finds strong approval for Pope Benedict, Catholic tradition

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Feb 22, 2013 / 02:05 am

As the Feb. 28 resignation of Pope Benedict XVI approaches, the vast majority of U.S. Catholics have a favorable view of the pontiff, and the majority support traditional Catholic teaching as well.

According to a recent survey by Pew Research Center, 74 percent of U.S. Catholics “express a favorable view of the pope.”

This rating is similar to that March 2008, when about three in four Catholics held a “very” or “mostly” favorable opinion of the Pope shortly before his visit to the U.S.

Pope Benedict has been regarded favorably throughout his entire papacy, with approval ratings among U.S. Catholics ranging from 67-83 percent.

Pope Benedict’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II, also enjoyed a high favorability rating over the course of his papacy. The Pew Forum’s polling in the 1980s and 1990s found that more than 90 percent of Americans had a positive opinion of Pope John Paul II.

The Pew survey this past month also found that the majority of U.S. Catholics believe Pope Benedict has done an excellent or good job promoting relations with other religions.

Among the Holy Father’s efforts was the creation of ordinariates, structures under which entire Anglican communities could enter into communion with the Catholic Church. …

Go here for the rest of the story.