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Why I can’t support the president’s “stimulus”

It’s not just the price tag, especially at a time of record deficits; it’s its ethos.  As the president just said in his press conference, “It is only government that can break the vicious cycle.”

Mr. President, with all due respect, it’s not government which can fix the economy, it’s government which got us into this mess.  Only by removing the heavy hand of the state we can break this vicious cycle.

Just ask Ronald Reagan.  Or take a look at FDR’s spendthrift record.  Just over four years ago, a team of UCLA economists calculated that FDR’s policies prolonged the Depression by 7 years.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, John B. Taylor showed How Government Created the Financial Crisis, echoing a point (but with different data) that Peter Wallison made in the American Spectator about the True Origins of the Financial Crisis.

UPDATE:  Love Althouse’s live-blogging, especially on his conclusion:

“There’s some ideological blockage there that needs to be cleared up.” That’s the characterization of the opposition to the stimulus. Make those of us who are hesitant sound like some kind of disease. “But I am the eternal optimist… People respond to civility and rational argument, and that’s the kind of leadership that I’m going to provide. Thank you guys!” Well, I respond to civility and rational argument, but I believe you just talked about me like I was some kind of disease!

UP-UPDATE: In the comments, Gene from Pennsylvania reminds about JFK’s tax cuts. At least the Gipper could follow the example of a president of the opposing party.

UP-UP-UPDATE:  “The Congressional Budget Office predicted that the current economic recession will end in the second half of 2009 without the trillion dollar stimulus.”

An About-Face on Gay Troops

An excellent op-ed in today’s New York Times by Owen West, a Marine and veteran of the Iraq War. Some highlights:

  • “[T]his fight is not about rights, but about combat readiness”.
  • “[T]he principal architects of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ former Gen. Colin Powell and former Senator Sam Nunn” appear to favor repeal of the ban.
  • The argument that excluding openly-serving homosexuals is necessary because they present a “threat to good order and discipline” is “flawed” and based on the same “underlying fears…as with [racial] integration”.
  • “Maintaining ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ ignores a vast social shift since 1993”. An overwhelming majority of the public now supports lifting the ban, which wasn’t the case 16 years ago.
  • DADT impacts military readiness: “to choose a felon over a combat-proven veteran on the basis of sexuality is defeatist”.

    Will President Obama and activists listen, or repeat the mistakes of the early 90s? Only time will tell for sure, but I’m not very encouraged from what I’ve seen thus far.


  • Obama Census Power Grab May Violate Constitution
    (Media Silent)

    Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:00 pm - February 9, 2009.
    Filed under: Media Bias,Obama Watch

    Imagine, if you will, that during the Bush Administration, conservative groups complained that they didn’t trust an incoming cabinet member to administer a program within his Department’s purview.  Onstead of reassuring those groups that he had every confidence in his appointee to do his job without prejudice, the president (or his representative) told those groups not to worry as he would run that program out of the White House.

    Imagine further that in accordance with its responsibility as spelled out in Article I of the Constitution, Congress passed a law giving that Department the authority to administer the program.  Moving it to the White House would thus violate federal law.

    You’d hear quite an outcry, wouldn’t you?

    That’s exactly that scenario which played out last week as the White House “responding to minority groups’ concerns about [Commerce Secretary-designate Judd] Gregg’s commitment to funding the census, has decided to have the director of the Census Bureau report directly to the White House.

    Oh, well, not exactly, there was no media outcry.

    At least three bloggers (one of whom a political reporter) seem to be more familiar with the constitution and federal law than the Obama White House staff.  Midwesterner at samizdata citing Article I, Section 2 of the US Constitution, “The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct,” has found that law.  It gives the authority to conduct that enumeration to the Secretary of Commerce (via Instapundit).

    Evil Monk at Righteous Rantings, citing the same statute, doesn’t “see a legal base for giving [White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel control of the Census.“  (more…)

    Some New Kind of Politics

    Posted by GayPatriotWest at 4:18 pm - February 9, 2009.
    Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy,Media Bias,Obama Watch

    Sounds likes it’s back to the days of the Clinton White House in Obama’s Washington.

    Partisan dirt-digger joins White House counsel’s office:

    Shauna Daly, a 29-year-old Democratic operative, was named last month to the new job of White House counsel research director. Though she is inside one of the most powerful legal offices in the land, Miss Daly holds no law degree and doesn’t list any legal training on her resume.

    Her sole experience has been as an opposition researcher for Democratic political campaigns: She helped dig up dirt on rivals, or on her own nominee to prepare for attacks.

    Emphasis added.

    Some new kind of politics. Remember how the Democrats (& their allies in the MSM) kept accusing former President Bush of politicizing the Justice Department. Now, it looks like Obama is politicizing the White House Counsel’s Office.

    Can someone tell me why you need opposition research in that office? Isn’t the job of the White House Counsel to make sure the president act doesn’t violate the law when discharging his duties?

    Further evidence that “President Obama appears to be guilty of the sins of which his predecessor was accused.” Or, as Glenn put it, “Everything Bush is Obama Now!

    Having had power & lost it, has GOP learned its lesson?

    In her column on the ninety-eighth anniversary of the Gipper’s birth, Peggy Noonan heralded the new-found serioiusness of the Republicans:  They hadn’t been this way in years!.  She cautioned them not to get overconfident, to return their focus and not to “revert to the triumphalism of the Bush era, when they often got giddy and thick-necked and spiked the ball.

    Perhaps, they had become so giddy and thick-necked because when then-President Bush won re-election in 2004, increasing Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress, it was the first time in more than three-quarters of a century (since 1928) that Republicans retained control of the White House and both houses for two consecutive congresses.

    in 2004, the then-senior Senators of Alaska and Virginia, Ted Stevens and John Warner, respectively, were the only incumbent Republicans in that chamber who had been alive the last time their party had so been returned to power.  And back in 1928, Stevens was not yet 5 and Warner, at 21 months, just learning to talk.

    Simply put, Republicans didn’t know what it was like to keep a majority at the executive and legislative level.

    Now, that they have lost both, let us hope that they have learned their lesson.  Should the GOP do well in ’10 and ’12, there will be numerous congressional Republicans who will know what it’s like to have held power and lost it, with others joining them who had observed this phenomenon from the sidelines.

    In his latest blog post, Michael Barone touts polls showing Republicans doing well in a number of upcoming elections.  Perhaps, this is because as voters witness the Democrats’ extravagence, they’re beginning to believe the GOP has learned its lessons.   Or, at least hoping it has.

    How I Could Support the “Fairness Doctrine”

    Posted by GayPatriotWest at 5:05 am - February 9, 2009.
    Filed under: Academia,Liberal Hypocrisy,Media Bias

    This week we’ve learned that Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow had proposed hearings on reinstituting the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” in order “to be bringing accountability to the airwaves.

    Basically, she and other supporters of this doctrine (which is anything but fair) favor it as a means to silence the one area of the media where conservatives dominate:  talk radio.

    Tell you what.  I’ll go along with her proposal if she goes along with mine, apply this doctrine to university faculties too. Shouldn’t they have some accountability too?