George Will says that an extremely temperate proposal from RINO Sen. Susan Collins reveals which party is irrational (hint: it starts with a “D”)

George Will has made a very important point here about Democrat hubris.  Sen. Susan Collins, as mushy a Republican as one could ever find, made a proposal that gives Democrats everything they want, including relieving them from the political embarrassment of the “medical device tax,” which even they dislike.  Flush with poll power, however, since Republicans have dropped lower in the polls than Democrats, Democrats refused even to contemplate this offer.  They’re now demanding that, in addition to getting everything they asked for in September, the sequester must also go away, so that they can spend even more.

The problem now is twofold:  (1) How to get Republican politicians and talking heads to capitalize on the Democrats’ hubris; and (2) how to explain this somewhat complex procedural maneuvering to the average voter.  George Will’s article is excellent, but it’s not a sound bite and, while it gets electronic and page space in the Washington Post, it’s not the kind of thing that goes viral on Facebook.

Navy responds to sequester by torturing American people (or, put another way, it cancels Blue Angels shows)

Blue Angels

(I wrote this for Mr. Conservative, but it’s pure Bookworm in word and thought, so I’m republishing it here.  Frankly, I’m spitting mad, because regular readers know exactly how much I love Fleet Week.)

Sequester or not, there always seems to be money for the Obamas to live the lush life. As for the rest of us, the Navy announced today that the Navy’s Blue Angels, which delight hundreds of thousands of people every year, and which bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to the communities in which they perform, have been grounded.

The official announcement is effective immediately, cancelling all performances currently scheduled between now and December. The squadron will continue to train, but the shows are over for the time being:

The Navy has cancelled the remaining 2013 performances of its Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels. The Squadron will continue to train to maintain flying proficiency until further notice at its home station in Pensacola. Recognizing budget realities, current Defense policy states that outreach events can only be supported with local assets at no cost to the government.

Perhaps it’s reasonable to ground the Blues; but more likely it’s not. After all, as Sen. Coburn revealed in a recent study about wasteful spending in the military, the military spends a lot of money on touchy-feely or green programs that have nothing to do with military preparedness or with connecting ordinary Americans to their military, and that have everything to do with PC pandering to Beltway Progressive sensibilities. These programs include duplicative research programs, ineffective bomb detectors made by families with nepotistic ties to agency brass, creating coffee break apps, teaching grill safety, etc. Indeed, the military is still contemplating abandoning $36 billion worth of military hardware in Afghanistan.

This type of administrative waste (with has nothing to do with the quality of the men and women who serve), puts the military right in line with a federal government that uses taxpayer dollars to fund studies about alcoholic lesbians, makes it impossible to fire bad workers, and generally wastes your money.

What’s most like is that the point of the Blues’ grounding is to ignore the waste in favor of making the taxpayers suffer. How else can the government force people to stop their relentless (and reasonable) demand that the government act responsibly with other people’s money? The Pentagon – which is under Obama administration control – is letting the people know that any cuts to the government won’t improve efficiency, but will simply make taxpayers miserable. Cancelling the Blue Angels show is a special kind of misery, because it not only disappoints the Blues’ legion of fans, it also causes real economic hurt to the cities that host the show. Shows routinely draw in cities hundreds of thousands of fans who spend real money – in hotels, in restaurants, and in stores.

And just to keep things in perspective, keep in mind that tonight the White House is hosting yet another exclusive party. According to the White House schedule, Michelle and Obama are hosting a concert “celebrating Memphis Soul.” The President will speak. The guests include performers who are not known for Memphis Soul, such as Justin Timberlake, Cyndi Lauper, and Queen Latifah, not to mention Al Green, Ben Harper, Sam Moore, and others. The White House refuses to release details that will help calculate what this little party will cost the taxpayers. One thing is for sure – the money spent will not confer any benefit on the communities that will be harmed when the Blue Angels stop flying.

How the sequester works — an easy to understand analogy

Weird family n kitchen

Dad works hard at a job that pays reasonably well and Mom runs the house.  She’s an okay manager, but somewhat careless.  On Dad’s salary, which includes a 4% raise every year, she provides all the basics, such as feeding, clothing, and educating their two children.  Every year, without fail, the family heads to Disneyland, and has some great memories and a nice photo album to show for these annual jaunts.  But she’s also a bit careless.  She periodically pays the mortgage and credit card bills late, incurring penalties and interest.  She leaves unnecessary lights burning whenever she leaves the room.  She’s an excellent cook, but she occasionally buys some expensive food and then forgets to use it, so she has to throw it out when it spoils.  She’s an impulse shopper, so her closet has clothes that she wore once and then never again.  She always forgets to put money in the meter, so she has a backlog of parking tickets.  That kind of thing.  None of them are a big deal, but taken together, they definitely drain away a small, but solid percent of the family’s money.

One day, Dad comes home and says, “Mom, the boss told me that, because of the recession, instead of getting my 4% annual raise, I’ll only get a 3% annual raise.  We’ll still be bringing in more money than last year, but not quite as much more as we had expected.  We may have to retrench a little.”

Mom is livid.  “How dare your boss do that!  You’ve been a great employee.  Well, if we have to retrench, I’ll show him!  And I’ll make you suffer too for working for such a cheapskate.”

Here’s what Mom does not do:  Mom does not pay her mortgage or credit bills on time; she does not pay attention to turning out the lights; she does not make sure to buy food she wants and then use that food; she does not curb her occasional impulse clothes spending; and she makes no effort to pay attention to parking meters.

Here’s what Mom does:  she tells the kids they’re never going to Disneyland again; she starts serving only Mac ‘n Cheese from a box; she only buys the family clothes from goodwill; and she constantly tells them that it’s not her fault that their lives have become so miserable.  She’s just responding to Dad and his mean boss.

Keep that parable in mind the next time you don’t get to see the Blue Angels fly, or you don’t get a tour of the White House.  And keep it in mind as the government continues to spend money on studies about condom use and monkey poop and whatever else stupid thing it keeps funding with your dollars.

And that ends today’s lesson….

(And for those of you who think it’s sexist that Dad works and Mom is the vicious, greedy harpy who keeps the house please feel free to make up whatever gender roles you like:  working Mom and housekeeping Dad; working Mom and housekeeping Mom; or working Dad and housekeeping Dad.  Gender isn’t the point.)

More on the tenant from Hell currently occupying the White House

Obama controls access to the White House

I re-posted the image I put up earlier, because it’s a perfect companion-piece to this Charles C.W. Cooke article:

We are now firmly ensconced in the brutal Age of the Sequester, and things in America are grave. The federal government, we learned on Wednesday, is so strapped for cash that the president has been forced to cut off the People’s access to the home he’s borrowing from them. He didn’t want to have to do this, naturally — “particularly during the popular spring touring season.” But then Congress just had to go and acquiesce in measures that the president himself had suggested and signed into law. How beastly! We axed 2.6 percent from a $44.8 trillion budget, and now the president can’t even afford the $18,000 per week necessary to retain the seven staff members who facilitate citizens’ enjoying self-guided tours around the White House.

The executive mansion is not in that much trouble, of course. It’s certainly not in sufficiently dire straits for Air Force One ($181,757 per hour) to be grounded, or to see the executive chef ($100,000 per year) furloughed, or to cut back on the hours of the three full-time White House calligraphers ($277,050 per year for the trio), or to limit the invaluable work of the chief of staff to the president’s dog ($102,000 per year), or to trim his ridiculous motorcade ($2.2 million). If Ellen DeGeneres wants another dancercize session or Spain holds another clothing sale, the first family will be there before you can say “citizen executive.” Fear ye not, serfs: Austerity may be the word of the week, but the president is by no means in any danger of being forced to live like the president of a republic instead of like a king.

Read the rest of Cooke’s article here.

Why blogging seems a little stale, flat, and unprofitable of late

In the lead-up to the 2008 election, blogging was exciting because there was hope.  Not the synthetic hope Obama was selling, but the real hope that both Hillary and Obama would lose, and that John McCain would be a half decent president.

In the first two years of Obama’s administration, there was no hope, but blogging was still exciting because there was a peculiar fascination, much like watching a train wreck unfold in slow-mo, in watching the way in which a hard Left democratic president who owned Congress would legislate.  On the one hand, there was ObamaCare, which was a serious downer.  On the other hand, though, there was the rise of the Tea Party, which raised that hope thing again.

In the third year of the Obama administration, blogging had some sizzle as we hoped that the smashing Republican victories in 2010 would slow down Obama’s headlong rush into European-style socialism (with a dash of Soviet totalitarianism thrown in), even as Europe began its own slow-mo train wreck.

In the fourth year of the Obama administration, blogging was explosive because we got another election, this time with some very exciting Republican candidates.  Watching them implode one right after the other, right up until Romney’s final implosion on election day, was not fun, but it at least provide scintillating fodder for bloggers.

Since then, blogging has not been fun at all.  We’ve gotten Kerry, Hagel, and Lew in charge of way too much, and we have reason to believe that Brennan, who may or may not be a Muslim convert (despite that fine Irish name) will soon be sitting in the catbird seat at the CIA. Egypt is becoming another Iran, except this time we’re helping the transition out by paying for it in advance.  Iran, meanwhile, is working on becoming another North Korea, complete with sufficiently functional nuclear weapons.  Europe continues to collapse, with a maddened antisemitic comic holding Italy’s elections hostage.

And then there’s Obama.  His four years in office have proven something:  he’s a dreadful little man.  His politics, which he hid for two elections, are lefter than left.  He runs a crude, abusive White House.  He uses political power for patronage and demagoguery.  His favorite (semi) European leader recently announced that Zionism is a crime against humanity.  He recently tried to blackmail Congress by releasing thousands of criminals, something along the lines of “nice country you’ve got here.  It would be a shame if something happened to it.”  His governing style has nothing to do with the good of America and everything to do with what’s good for Obama.

Worst of all, despite his many, many failings, none of it matters.  For a long time, nothing mattered because the press had built an impregnable wall around him.  That was bad enough.  What’s even worse, though, is that, when the impregnable wall fails, people still don’t care:

(a) The president and his administration are responsible for the sequestration idea. (b) Before that fact became widely known, Mr. Obama misled Americans of that fact in a debate with Mitt Romney–and his aides did the same thing in the aftermath of the debate. (c) Thanks to Bob Woodward’s The Price of Politics, the White House has now been forced to admit that, as top White House adviser Gene Sperling put it on Sunday, “Yes, we put forward the design of how to do that [implement sequestration].” (d) Over the last several weeks, the president vilified sequestration as a brutal, savage, and inhumane idea. (e) At a press conference last Friday, when sequestration cuts began and the world as we know it did not end, the president began to moonwalk away from his scorching rhetoric, saying, “Just to make the final point about the sequester, we will get through this. This is not going to be an apocalypse, I think, as some people have said.” (f) Since the sequestration idea was first signed into law by President Obama in 2011, House Republicans have twice passed legislation to make the cuts more reasonable–and Democrats have refused to act on it. (g) In the last week, Republicans have tried to give the president greater authority to make more reasonable cuts–but he has refused it, allowing unnecessary pain to be inflicted on Americans in order to blame Republicans.

To summarize, then: The president has spoken in the harshest possible terms about an idea he and his White House originated and signed into law. He has used apocalyptic language leading up to the sequestration–and then, as the sequestration cuts began, lectured us that “this is not going to be an apocalypse” as “some people have said.” And Mr. Obama has warned about the devastating nature of the cuts even as he has opposed efforts to make the cuts less devastating.

This is Nixonian conduct on steroids, writ large before the American public.  It doesn’t even account for an economy whose growth isn’t even measured in single digits, but in tenths of single digits.  And yet he still has a 47% approval rating.  I agree that 47% isn’t as good as something over 50% would be, but it’s still shocking that his numbers aren’t in the 20s:  He lies, cheats, bullies, destroys the economy, weakens us before our enemies — and almost half of Americans think he’s a great guy to have in the White House.

And that’s why blogging seems a little stale, flat, and unprofitable.  Blogging is more fun when you’re advancing a case as exposed to charting a nation’s demise.

Trying to understand the sequester

Obama is demagoguing the sequester like mad.  David Angelo provides a pleasant breath of common sense:

Incidentally, to the extent Obama says that the sequester will result in federal prosecutors having to abandon cases, that may be a very good thing. The news lately has too many stories about federal prosecutors run amok. Here are just a handful of links:

US attorney Carmen Ortiz strikes yet another sleazy deal.

Prosecutor aids DEA as it tries to seize a $1.5 million building over a $37 pot deal.

Oh!  Carmen Ortiz is in the headlines again for prosecutorial overreach.

And then there’s the corruption….

(Thanks to Earl for all these links.  He has been appropriately concerned for years about prosecutorial abuse.)