The New York Times touts a flawed study on ageism

I may have mentioned that just about the only news I have access to on this trip is the New York Times. I have Internet, but it’s so expensive that I write things offline (such as emails to family or posts to the blog) and then sign on just long enough to email or post. No leisurely online reading for me.

What the cruise ship does provide though is a six page leaflet that can be described as “the best of the day’s New York Times.” (Am I the only one who thinks that sounds like an oxymoron, with the emphasis on the “moron” part?).

In today’s “best of,” the New York Times reported on a Princeton sociology study that purported to show age discrimination. The deal was that three different actors representing three different age sets (young adult, middle aged, and old) were each given two identical scripts and videotaped performing those scripts. In half the scripts, the men compliantly said they’d share their wealth with relatives; in the other scripts, the three actors assertively said that they would not share their wealth.

The researchers than showed the various videos to 137 undergraduates (that is, there were six different videos of three different actors that were shown to 137 people under 22). At the end, the researchers proved to themselves that most of the people were neutral about the young and middle-aged men whether they were compliant or assertive, but didn’t like the old guy being assertive. The researchers’ conclusion, which they’ve bravely announced to the world is that ageism means nobody likes a mouthy old guy. Age discrimination is REAL.

My conclusion is that this research once again shows that there’s nothing scientific about either “social science” or university level psychology. Can you spot what’s wrong with the study? I can count a bunch of problems.

First, the study has too many variables. The study thinks that because the three actors spoke off of identical scripts, the only variable is age. In fact, the researchers completely discounted the fact that different people are more likable than others. The mere fact that they relied upon three actors, rather than putting aging makeup on one actor, means that the study doesn’t just have age variables. It also has personality variables. You only have to watch Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet and Kenneth Branaugh’s (spelling?) to realize that the same words make a very different impression depending on who speaks them.

Second, the sample is too small. As best I can tell without either a calculator or scratch paper (and based upon the NYT’s slightly muddled description of the study) an average of slightly more than 21 people saw each of the six videos. That means that the study reached its ageism conclusion based upon only twenty people’s opinions of the assertive old guy.

Finally, the study didn’t get the reactions of hundreds of people of varying ages. Instead, it was looking at UNDERGRADUATES. These are the same kids who, in the 1960 chanted “Never trust anybody over 30.” In other words, in a culture that a general matter doesn’t explicitly value age (unlike, say, traditional Asian cultures), this is a population that is very specifically predisposed to view old people somewhat negatively.

Ultimately, this study proves nothing about ageism in the workplace. All it proves is that, if you’re a 70 something guy in a roomful of 20-somethings, they’re probably not going to be your best buds. I could have told you that for free, without the need for an expensive Ivy League study.

I’m not claiming ageism doesn’t exist. For example, in a heavily computerized environment, it’s reasonable to believe that the old guy or gal who just can’t master the computer is going to be viewed negatively. I’m just saying that this stupid little study, boldly touted in a newspaper always looking for fresh victims in need of newly created government “rights,” is a testament to foolishness, credulity, and institutional bias, not to mention lousy science.

Drudge editor says that there’s another major scandal lurking

In an earlier post, I put forth my theory that most scandals affect only political players, so people get excited only if the media stirs up excitement.  The IRS scandal is different, because it affects all of us but, like Pavlov’s dogs, we’re still trained only to get excited if the media tells us to.  So, even though Americans should care, they don’t.

According to Joseph Curl, a Drudge editor, there’s another scandal in the wings, and it’s a biggie:

Big Obama scandal in the wings

Which leads me to wonder whether what kind of scandal it is:  Is it a biggie to insider players, so it will matter only if the media makes it matter?  Is it a biggie to the public, but they won’t appreciate it if the media tells them to ignore it?  Or is it so big that the media will be helpless to stop it?

Is Obama’s puppet master to blame for all the scandals?

Barack Obama -- small and helpless

Scandals, scandals, and more scandals.  My list so far includes:

1.  Benghazi:  politics before, politics and apathy during, and politics and a wall of lies and cover-ups afterwards.

2.  Fast & Furious:  a completely bungled effort to track cartels in Mexico or a deliberate attempt to gin up gun crime as a way to feed anti-gun fervor.

3.  IRS:  Deliberate targeting of conservative groups and individuals in order to disable them in the lead-up to a tight election.

4.  AP:  Justice Department eavesdrops on media, with recent news indicating that this wasn’t about national security but was a tit-for-tat step taken because the AP mis-timed releasing a story about a thwarted terrorism plot.

I feel as if I’ve forgotten something. I’m sure there’s something else, but I’ve reached the outer limits of my brain’s capacity for the scary, sordid, disgusting, and illegal.

Anyway, the above is a starter list, which shows a distinct trend-line:  the Obama government is about politics before country, revenge before law and morality, and cover-ups above and beyond everything.  That’s why the New York Times’ desperate attempt to blame Republicans for all these things makes for amusing reading.  Although the Times was absolutely outraged by the AP scandal (and I agree with their outrage), everything else is just business as usual.  Nothing to see here.  Just move along:

The Internal Revenue Service, according to an inspector general’s report, was not reacting to political pressure or ideology when it singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny in evaluating requests for tax exemptions. It acted inappropriately because employees couldn’t understand inadequate guidelines. The tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, never a scandal to begin with, has devolved into a turf-protection spat between government agencies, and the e-mail messages Republicans long demanded made clear that there was no White House cover-up.

The only example of true government overreach was the seizure of The Associated Press’s telephone records, the latest episode in the Obama administration’s Javert-like obsession with leakers in its midst.

(A total aside here.  The myth is that reporters are, at heart, curious people who want to know what’s going on.  Although they’ve been temporarily blinded by ideology, once they catch the scent, they’ll be like the crazed reporters in His Girl Friday.  That’s just wrong.  Today’s reporters signed on, not because they like sniffing out information, but because they’re ideologues who want to pursue an agenda.  The Times perfectly exemplifies this.  It does not report on all the news fit to print.  It doesn’t report at all.  It simply works like a Leftist propaganda arm, reporting all the spin necessary to advance an agenda.  It’s utterly incurious and cares only when it, personally, gets poked.  And now back to your regularly scheduled blogging.)

Wow.  Just wow.  For one thing, it’s clear that the New York Times wrote this editorial before the head of the IRS went before Congress and confessed that the IRS denied what was going on before the election (a lie) and that it timed the release of information to bury it in the news cycle.  And then there’s all that other fascinating stuff that’s been oozing out from the single most powerful coercive entity in the federal government.

In every single statement she made, Lois Lerner, the IRS official who every so casually broke the story, lied.  Just some examples are the fact that the IRS didn’t target, maybe, 75 groups.  It targeted at least 470 groups.  And it wasn’t just wacky Tea Party groups that got caught it the cross hairs, it was any group that appeared even vaguely to oppose Obama’s policies.  The targeting wasn’t just confined to a rogue Ohio office, it went to the top.  And, indeed, the very top person got over $100,000 in bonuses and was promoted to head the — ahem — nonpartisan branch of the IRS in charge of enforcing ObamaCare.

We also know that the IRS illegally leaked information about Obama’s political opponents — which definitely has a kind of mirror-like Watergate quality to it.  Nixon’s henchmen stole data directly from his political opponents; Obama’s henchmen release data about Obama’s political opponents to Obama’s supporters.  And of course, speaking of stealing things, it appears that the IRS stole tens of thousands of medical records — this would be, of course, the same IRS that’s in charge of enforcing ObamaCare.

Worried yet?  I know I am.

Despite all this, Obama remains perched precariously atop ignorance mountain.  His line is consistent:

Either Obama’s lying, which is entirely possible, because he’s a compulsive liar, or he was as ignorant as he seems.  Those Leftist media figures who are not in total denial have latched on this as the excuse to protect their idol, now that they know there’s a lot of clay mixed in with his feet.  He’s a little too disengaged, he’s not a micro-manager, he’s too pure to know what evil lurks in the heart of men, etc.

John Fund, however, has a very different idea, and I think he may be on the right track.  His version of events posits that Obama has never actually been president.  We’ve been operating, instead, under the shadow presidency of consigliere Valerie Jarrett:

So if Obama is not fully engaged, who does wield influence in the White House? A lot of Democrats know firsthand that Jarrett, a Chicago mentor to both Barack and Michelle Obama and now officially a senior White House adviser, has enormous influence. She is the only White House staffer in anyone’s memory, other than the chief of staff or national security adviser, to have an around-the-clock Secret Service detail of up to six agents. According to terrorism expert Richard Miniter’s recent book, Leading from Behind: “At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving” the mission for May 2, 2011. She was instrumental in overriding then–chief of staff Rahm Emanuel when he opposed the Obamacare push, and she was key in steamrolling the bill to passage in 2010. Obama may rue the day, as its chaotic implementation could become the biggest political liability Democrats will face in next year’s midterm elections.

A senior Republican congressional leader tells me that he had come to trust that he could detect the real lines of authority in any White House, since he’s worked for five presidents. “But this one baffles me,” he says. “I do know that when I ask Obama for something, there is often no answer. But when I ask Valerie Jarrett, there’s always an answer or something happens.”

You really should read the whole thing.  That theory explains so much….

Muslims? Really!? I’m so surprised — NOT.

White cap

Note “white cap’s” Chechen nose.

As of this morning, the Washington Post earnestly tells us that, with one bomber in custody and one dead, we still have no idea why they did it.  We know that they’re brothers and that they come from Chechnya, a region that’s been having unnamed troubles leading to terrorism.  One was a martial artist.  And yada, yada, yada.  Go in several paragraphs and you still don’t get the words “Islam” or “Muslim.”  However, the WaPo finally concedes that one of the brothers wrote a tweet that mentioned “Allah.”

Hmmm.  Haven’t I heard that word before in connection with mass murder?  Was it a word the Americans on United flight 63 invoked before they saved our nation’s capital from a terrorist attack?  No.  I seem to recall “Let’s roll,” not “Allahhu akbar.”  Is it what Ambassador Stevens went around saying before he was murdered on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11?  I don’t think we so.  We don’t know his last words, but he wasn’t known for talking about Allah.  As I go through the roll call of mass bombings and murders in my mind, I just seem to associate that word with one group.  Yeah.  I’m sure it’ll come to me.

Seriously, though, this is serious.  Once again, we’re facing a situation where Muslims murdered masses and the media is mystified.  After Jared Lochner shot Gabby Gifford, they weren’t mystified at all — “It was a right-wing, Tea Party extremist,” they cried in one voice.  “Inspired, no doubt, by a Sarah Palin ad that placed a surveyor’s cross hairs over Giffords Senate seat.”  When he was revealed as a delusional schizophrenic obsessed with Gifford, the media fell silent.

Even after the Boston bombing, when there was no evidence whatsoever, beyond the peculiar Muslim habit of blowing up large crowds of people, the media knew what to say:  A right winger.  A Tea Partier.  A crazed anti-government killer.  Well, they got that last one right.  They just left out a few words:  “A crazed Muslim anti-non-sharia government killer.”

And moi?  Well, you know that I’ve been leaning Muslim all along, my snide post about anti-running people notwithstanding.  Yesterday, in email correspondence with my “group,” when one of them commented (a little jokingly) that “white cap’s” nose looked like his own, which was a genetic gift from his Assyrian and Georgian grandparents, I knew the answer.  I just knew it.  “Chechen?” I asked.

As for the WaPo, a newspaper that thinks it’s reputable, finally, reluctantly, after yet another person died at the bomber’s hands (a police officer responding to a call at MIT), the WaPo admitted, practically in code, reveals a Muslim connection.  After two lede paragraphs, they get down to the business of describing the killers (emphasis mine in the 5th WaPo paragraph):

Law enforcement officials identified the suspect still on the loose as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was identified as the man killed during an encounter with police after an armed carjacking of a Mercedes SUV in Cambridge. Tsarnaev was believed to be in his mid-20s.

The brothers’ alleged motive in Monday’s bombings remains unclear, but they appear to be originally from the southern Russian republic of Chechnya, and two law enforcement officials said there is a “Chechen connection” to the bombings. Chechnya has been racked by years of war between local separatists and Russian forces and extensive organized crime since the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. The extent of the possible connection remained unclear.

According to a database search, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a boxer who worked out at a martial arts facility in the Cambridge area. In an Internet posting dated Nov. 2, 2011, and attributed to him by name, he wrote: “The more you know about hell, the more you want stay away from sins and keep asking Allah(s.w.t.) for forgiveness.’’

Eleven paragraphs in, the word Muslim finally appears:

The Chechen conflict dates to the early 1990s. In the summer of 1999, fighters in the predominantly Muslim republic rose up in an attempt to throw off Russian domination. Vladimir Putin, then the Russian prime minister, responded quickly, firmly and brutally to put down the rebellion.

Drudge more usefully leads us to the terrorists’ Russian language Facebook page, using the hyperlink “Wordview:  Islam.”  You don’t say?  Seeing as I don’t read Russian (or Chechen, as the case may be), I actually don’t say.  The page is a mystery to me, but you all should feel happy to check it out.  [UPDATE:  TheBlaze has a translated version.]

Will the public let the media get away with this dance, the one where they first accuse the right and then refuse to admit that it’s the Islamic faith, taken to its literal extreme, that’s killing people?  Will the American people excuse the media for publishing stories, not about Muslim madness, but about worried women and children who just happen to be Muslim, all of whom are terrified that the US will terrorize them?

In the first go-round, of Muslim terrorism, I respected their fears.  In the second go-round, I appreciated their concern.  In the third go-round, I began to think, “If you’re so worried, do something.  And that something isn’t to whine to the media that you’re afraid, that something is to address the cancer in your faith.”

But there’s your answer, isn’t it?  They’re not afraid of the media or Americans.  Non-bombing Muslims know about the cancer in their own faith — they’re either as afraid of it as we are or they’re part of a package deal to give it a glossy smiley face to hide the moral rot.  I’m losing sympathy for your man-in-the-street Muslim.  I don’t wish them ill, but I’m beginning to believe that they don’t wish the rest of us well.

We — the sensible conservatives — suspected right away what happened in Boston.  Is that because we’re anti-Muslim, paranoid racists?  No, that’s because we’ve learned from experience, the same way you learn that if you touch a pot on the stove you’ll probably get burned.  Not certainly — the pot might have been placed there before the heat went on or been sitting there long after it went off — but probably.  The Islamists themselves have trained us to have this knowledge.  They’ve trained us in New York, in Kenya, in Tanzania, in Bali, in Spain, in London, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Somalia, in Beirut, in Chechnya, and in all the places in between.

A conspiracy is when you take nonexistent dots, connect them with invisible lines, and then announce that the absence of evidence is proof.  A theory is when you take known factors and analyze them to reach a logical conclusion.  And a wise person is one who spits in the media’s eye for its delusional refusal to recognize that a significant sector of Islam (not all of it, but enough) is at war with us and wants to use powerful weapons to take us down.

Thursday morning open thread

I just don’t have a lot to say right now.  Here are some posts I enjoyed today, though:

The Republican House’s passive-aggressive approach to Obama.

Core issues of evil regarding bombings, abortion, and the media.

And a question for you:  Have you noticed that Obama and fellow Dems have been “shaming” people with the gun debate?  Here are links to a bunch of speeches and hollers Dems use shaming as a form of bullying.  I haven’t quite decided what to make of this, but I’d certainly be introduced in your thoughts and theories.

Obama’s says yesterday’s Senate gun control vote is “shameful”.

Obama says “shame on us” if Newtown tragedy doesn’t result in gun control vote.

Feinstein telling colleagues to “show some guts.”

Gabby Giffords says “shame” on the Senate.

Mother shouts “Shame on you” to Congress after gun control fails.

I could find more examples, but it seems to me that Progressives have been trying for decades to deconstruct away shame.  Suddenly, though, when its an issue that impacts their “morals”, shame makes a big comeback.  In that regard, this Victor Davis Hanson post about post-modern prudes seems very appropriate.

Lastly, of course, my thoughts and prayers are with the people in West, Texas, a town that, long ago, I drove through more times than I can count.

Yesterday, I blamed Obama for causing a problem; today, I echo Pamela Geller’s complaint that federal agencies are useless

My head is spinning.   I just wrote a post for Mr. Conservative based upon the most current news stories saying that an arrest had been made.  From the time of those stories to the time I published the post, it was about 10 minutes.  Within one minute after the post went up, all of the major news sites were recanting the story, saying a suspect had been identified, but not arrested.  (See here for an example of the swift turnaround in news reports.)  Breitbart has given up on specific headlines and just says “Chaos in Boston,” which is about as accurate as anything I’ve seen today.  CNN still has its stand-by fallback position, which is that it’s the Tea Party’s fault, while Fox reminds everyone that pressure cooker bombers are commonly used in such Islamic war places as Pakistan and Afghanistan.

That last point — about the differing CNN and Fox News stories — highlights one of the two truths we know with certainty amidst this swirl of rumors.  The first is that Obama lied through his teeth when he promised in 2008 that his election would heal divisions within America and that his presidency would further smooth the rift, once again creating a truly United States of America.  Instead, using his bully pulpit to demonize half of America (something no president has ever done before), Obama has deepened the rift between Blue and Red America to a point probably not seen since 1860.  Obama, therefore, is easy to blame for the bombing, because a truly united America would not be a good target for this type of attack, no matter who launched it.

The other thing we know with certainty is something that Pamela Geller highlights — we’re not getting any bang for the buck from the alphabet soup of federal law enforcement agencies we taxpayers support.  After commenting derisively on reports that law enforcement describes the terrorism attack investigation as “wide open,” and is begging media outlets to help, Geller points out how embarrassing this is:

This is where the status of the investigation is.  In Europe, and in Israel, whenever there is a terrorist attack, they have someone or some group in their sights or in custody every time.  Take 3/11 in Madrid, 7/7 in London, the Glasgow jihad plot — every jihad attack and jihad plot in Europe, European authorities are right on it, identifying and apprehending the perpetrators.  They know exactly who the bad guys are.  They know exactly where to go.  This is a historical first: that America is not dramatically ahead of the curve, but dramatically behind the curve.  So American citizens are now considered expendable, just the way our soldiers are in Afghanistan.

It should bother every American that Europe and Israel are so far ahead of us in intel that we’re begging CNN and Fox for clues — and apparently detaining people who have nothing to do with the bombing, raiding their homes, taking bagfuls of evidence out, and then saying, “Never mind.”

Really?  The billions that Americans spend for the CIA, FBI, DHS, NSA, JTTF, and all the other various counterterrorism agencies, and they don’t have a clue?  All they have for us is 1-800-CALL-FBI?  This is unconscionable.  If that’s where we are, disband these incompetent, inane agencies that call jihad “workplace violence” and name Atlas Shrugs as a “domestic hate group,” when in fact Atlas Shrugs is battling violence and mass murder across the world.  How did this happen eleven years after 9/11?

In 1995 (Oklahoma City) and 1998 (Atlanta), we didn’t have a multi-armed federal law enforcement infrastructure that, in return for tax dollars and vast, often unconstitutional powers, promised to keep us safe.  Just as Obama broke his promise to heal the rifts in American society, the federal alphabet soup has broken its promise to keep us safe and/or to bring wrongdoers quickly before the law.  Indeed, I seem to remember that it’s been more than half a year since the FBI jetted out to investigate what happened in Benghazi.  So far . . . nothing (although with Hillary screaming “what difference does it make,” investigators may have lost their momentum).

I guess we should all resign ourselves that for at least the next three years, the best we can hope for from our administration is “What difference does it make?”  Unless, of course, the difference is about emasculating our once robust Constitution.  But that’s another story for another post….

Mr. Colion Noir — How to Stop Mass Shootings

Mr. Colion Noir says in less than five minutes what it would take me five really long posts, spread out over five days, to say. I’m really impressed and couldn’t agree with him more. He packs a lot into the five minutes, but my takeaway — and something I couldn’t agree with more — is that it’s the media that encourages the exhibitionism we see in so many mass shootings. We should be lionizing the heroes, not the killers.  As for the killers, nothing would deter them, as he says, than a few bullets headed their way.

Colion Noir has a whole channel and I urge you to check it out.

The one reason Obama is not now, and probably will never be, the Progressive Reagan

The Leftists in the media were orgasmic yesterday as they again anointed Barack Obama “the next Reagan.”  Ace explains why this is a dream, not a reality:

Obama has always considered himself the Anti-Reagan — he would not only undo the Reagan coalition and the Reagan era, but do what Reagan did but for the left, create a semi-permanent liberal majority.

Obama is on the way to accomplishing that, but for one thing: Reagan’s presidency was a great success. Obama’s is not. Success tends to attract fans; that’s why people ask celebrities for autographs and read biographies of superstar athletes and innovators like Steve Jobs.

Obama has had many political successes, but he’s had no non-political successes except for the assassination of Osama bin Ladin (and that of course was built on the earlier efforts of Bush, and was a longstanding bipartisan goal).

There is nothing he’s done yet that a non-political person, or someone opposed to his politics, can point at and say “That’s a good thing.”

He won’t seal any kind of deal until he manages that, and I don’t think he will. The trajectory of socialism is failure. And yes, Obama is a socialist. And so history says he will fail.

Buzzfeed’s Ben Smith Thinks Obama Can Be Reagan Absent Any Actual Accomplishments… For liberals, Obama’s unabashed liberalism is enough.

Not so for non-liberals — and by non-liberals, I don’t just mean conservatives. I mean the great swathe of less political voters who aren’t ideological enough to have strong opinions one way or the other, but who can tell the difference between a recession and an expansion.

So, contra the liberals, no, Obama’s not Reagan yet.

Yeah.  What he said.

Of course, if Obama’s Progressive policies turn the economy around in the next few years, he may be able to don Reagan’s hat.  It’s just that I kind of doubt that spending without cutting is going to accomplish that.

Demolishing one of the more ridiculous arguments regarding the Second Amendment

My fellow Watcher’s Council member, Greg, who blogs at Rhymes with Right, has put together the ultimate smack-down for those (especially those journalists) who argue that the Second Amendment extends only to muskets and other weapons in use when Congress enacted the Bill of Rights:

The First and Second amendments in context

Carrying this irrefutable logic over to the First Amendment means that the modern media has utterly forfeited its Freedom of Press protections. Unless those Democrat cheerleaders are willing to go back to hand-operated printing presses, they are fair game for government censorship and journalist imprisonment.

Please spread this poster around to those who need a few more weapons in their rhetorical arsenal supporting the Second Amendment.

Gawker “outs” all New York City gun owners

Gawker, an internet gossip site, has now published a 446-page document identifying every licensed gun owner in New York City.  Judging by the comments left at Gawker’s site (which I will not dignify with a link), people are not happy.  And they have reason to be unhappy:

Referring to the earlier piece in the Journal News, one commenter wrote: ‘The journal posted my address and name for my gun ownership. My past stalker saw this. I haven’t heard from him in two years, because I disappeared.

‘Now he is back and calling me……thanks to people like you bunch of a*******, looks like I will have to protect myself from becoming a murder victim. Gracias.’

I think it’s seriously time to start outing these journalists for anything and everything. After all, they’ve made it clear that they think publicly available information should be aggregated and put in a form readily available to anyone who wants it — for good or ill.

Robber

Incidentally, it’s the aggregation that’s the issue.  The average criminal isn’t going to go to the effort to pour over publicly available files to determine which people in a given neighborhood are unarmed, and therefore sitting ducks, or which people in the same neighborhood have a weapon that would be valuable in the black market for arms.  However, the average criminal is equally unlikely to turn up his (or her) nose if a media outlet is kind enough to assemble the information and even to provide helpful interactive maps.

Stories such as this one really make me want to hang a nice, new sign in my front window, with additional text stating “This could be you” appended.

Bookworm's target
(By the way, I achieved that nice spread you see on only my second outing ever with a pistol.)

Was the tax increase a major Republican loss?

Today’s big story the new tax bill that Obama jetted off to Hawaii before signing, but that will soon (and inevitably) become the law of the land.  I don’t see any surprises.  I knew that we’d get hit hard and so we have.

I gather that sequestration has now been averted, so that Obama gets to continue spending.  As the headlines say, $1 in spending cuts for every $41 in tax increases.

Obama laughing

The media and the blogs are playing this as a major Republican loss.  Although I’m not sure it is, I actually rejoice in these headlines.  They sting, but they may have a benefit in the long term.

In my simplistic financial view of the world, there is one given that transcends any fancy economic talk from Ivory Towers and Leftist back rooms:  you cannot indefinitely spend more than you take in.  This is true whether you’re a person or a nation.  You can certainly spend more than you have for a while.  Indeed, if you’re rich (as America once was) you can keep spending money you don’t have for a long time.  You can borrow from friends who haven’t quite figured out yet that you’re broke.  And you can check kite — that is, you can use one empty account to pay off another empty account.  Essentially, you keep the same money floating around between accounts for a while until one of the banks or creditors figures out that you’re simply juggling a few dollars around and hoping that no one catches on that your accounts are usually empty.  And that’s all you can do.

Obama ran for, and won, re-election on a promise that he could fix our problems by taxing “rich” people more, while continuing to spend as before.  The voters bought it.

Another way to think of Obama’s promise, and the voter’s credulity, is to imagine that America is a corporation, with shareholders and various officers.  Obama is the CEO.  Because the CEO and his fellow officers have been spending corporate money like crazy without realizing a profit, the corporation is broke.  It’s worth noting that some of that spending involved distributions to select shareholders — those holding the fewest corporate stocks.

When the shareholders were considering making a push to fire the CEO, the CEO kept his job by telling the shareholders that he’d hire some armed robbers (i.e., the IRS) to force some of the richest shareholders to buy more shares in this essentially bankrupt company.  He made no promises about reducing corporate spending or trying different approaches to dealing with corporate debt.  The shareholders, none of whom could imagine himself (or herself) as being “the richest,” thought it was a great idea to have the “other shareholders” forced to subsidize the corporate spending binge. Those most enthusiastic were the ones who, despite holding the fewest shares, had been getting stock distributions on a regular basis.

Robber

Once his job was assured, the CEO used his renewed power to do exactly what he promised:  he brought in armed robbers to forcibly remove money from the “rich” shareholders without changing his management style, including his spending habits.  The only thing that surprised some of the shareholders was to discover that the CEO numbered them amongst the rich.

In other words, Americans — the shareholders in this nation — just got exactly what Obama promised and they voted for:  more taxing, more spending.

The question, then, is whether yesterday’s vote to increase taxes is a major Republican loss.  Certainly, the Republican party is in chaos — but it was anyway.  After the election, the Republican party was a demoralized, writhing, screaming, finger-pointing mass of loser-dom.

Pathetic loser

Given the Republicans’ already pathetic posture, is what happened yesterday even worse for the Republicans?  I don’t think so.  I think that, with the mid-term elections coming, this clarifies things for voters.  It doesn’t just clarify Republican and/or conservative principles, it also clarifies just who holds those principles.

White House Money Machine

More than that, the new taxes and spending clarify responsibility for America’s economy.  Obama got exactly what he wanted and he thinks that he’s laughing all the way to the bank.  Except when he gets to the bank, he’ll discover it’s still empty.  Within a few months, he’ll be thinking of that adage “be careful what you wish for; you might get it.”

Things are certainly going to be bad, very bad, for America in the short term.  But with a true compromise, of the type Boehner was trying to craft (proving either his good faith or his stupidity), things would have been very bad for America in the slightly longer term.  Short of a revolutionary change to America’s spending habits, which wasn’t going to happen with a compromise, America was always screwed.  Now, at least the Republicans can say “we tried to stop this, but Obama had a stronger political hand in the wake of the elections, so we were forced to give him what he wanted.  This is now, for real and for true, the Obama economy.”

Obama frowning

The one thing to remember is that Republicans had better start selling this Obama-economy message hard and fast now, while Obama and his media minions are still gloating about his victory over the GOP.  Once things go sour, as they inevitably will, Obama and the media will start blaming the Republicans.  We know that, where the media leads, the masses follow.  The only way to stop the sheeple is to drill home now the message that this is Obama’s victory, that Obama got what he’d promised and what he wanted, and that Obama joyfully accepts the responsibility for whatever flows from his glorious battle defeating the Republicans.

Remember:  Nothing, absolutely nothing, that came out of Congress today could have been good for America.  However, if Republicans willingly hand Obama this victory, the greatest likelihood is that it proves to be a Pyrrhic victory for Obama, with long-term benefits for conservative thinking and, therefore, for America.

(Alternatively, Obama could have been right all along, which will be good for America, and I’ll have to revert to my original Democrat allegiance.  Possible, but not probable.  Facts are stubborn things and so are numbers, and I’m betting that Leftist political ideology will not trump either facts or numbers.)