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Hugh Says $10 for Tark

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:12 pm - August 24, 2009.
Filed under: 2010 Elections

Hugh Hewitt is telling readers to donate $10 to Danny Tarkanian, the only Republican who has announced for the Senate seat being vacated by to be vacated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  Tarkanian is up in all polls, but Reid is set to raise $25 million and the Republican will need all he can raise to counter the Democrat’s smear machine.

So, let me echo Hugh’s call:  Donate $10 to Tarkanian and send Harry Reid an e-mail promising to contribute more if Obamacare passes.  I just did.

And Tarkanian has done something his opponent won’t do:  he hosted a “health care town hall” last Thursday night in Vegas.

College Student Exposes Union Fatcat Slandering CEO Favoring Health Care Reform

The smartest blogger under 20 (that would be one of my nephews) reveals that Don Hunsucker, President of the UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) a union which “has launched a campaign against Whole Foods” because its CEO John Mackey dared offer an alternative to Democratic health care proposals, earns $626,769 a year.

(Just read the whole thing.)

$626,769 a year!?!?!?  I wonder if Mitchell’s Dad pulls down that much.  My brother is a neurosurgeon and quite regularly performs the most delicate operations requiring intelligence, a steady hand, a medical education and many years of practice (his residency alone lasted seven years).  He saves lives on a regular basis. I wonder how many lives Mr. Hunsucker has saved.

And I wonder whether the grocery store workers Hunsucker (supposedly) represents know how much he makes.  I mean, the average grocery store cashier earns $26,479 a year, a stock clerk $28,697.

Michelle Malkin who links Mitchell’s work, has more, pointing out the UCFW has dispatched its minions to “to educate shoppers about Whole Foods CEO’s efforts to undermine health care reform and President Obama.”  (Only in liberal speak, is proposing reform alternatives “undermining reform.”

I wonder how much those minions are making.  You know this spontaneous burst of opposition, organized by union fatcats earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

UPDATEAstroturfing don’t come cheap.  Wonder if Hunsucker’s minions “educating” outside Whole Foods are pulling down $11-16 a day an hour as per a recent classified ad.  OK, let’s assume these “educators” earn the higher wager.  If they work the standard $40-hour workweek, that’s $640 a week, or $33,280 a year, more than a grocery clerk, but less than a union boss.

FROM THE COMMENTS:   Mike offers a correction:

You should do some further fact checking. Hunsucker is no longer the president of any union local, in fact the local he was president of no longer exists. (It merged with another local.) While no less disgusting, his big payday in his final year was essentially a pay-off by the larger local for him to support a merger and retire.
While union officials make bigger salaries than they often should, no ones actual salary is as high as Hunsucker made that year.

An illustration of campaign rhetoric meeting presidential reality

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:00 pm - August 24, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies

Government spending has gone completely out of control; $10 trillion dollar debt we’re giving to our kids, a half-a-trillion dollars we owe China.

Barack Obama, Third Presidential Debate, October 15, 2008.

AP sources: $2 trillion higher deficit projected

News item, August 21, 2009.

Interpretation:  The Administration now accepts the darker red line below (the CBO estimates).

In just the next decade alone, we’ll accumulate $9 trillion in additional debt.  Guess the president just didn’t think $10 trillion was enough.


ROGER KIMBALL: “Why has the issue of health care summoned people from the La-Z-boy to townhall meetings all over the country? . . . The arrogance of politicians may have something to do with it. . . . As the reality of President Obama replaces the promise of candidate Obama, the public has recoiled.”

Yes, Levi, Obama’s Words Do Matter (He said so himself)

In my latest post reminding readers that while as presidential candidate, Barack Obama promised he’d hold on the line on federal spending, yet delivered instead a flood of red ink as president, I noted that I may well have “belabor[ed] this point overmuch.”  But, it is a point which bears repetition.

Yes, one of our critics, returning to our blog after long hiatus, started off the comment thread by sniffing,

I can’t believe you’re still flogging this nonsense. I don’t visit the site for a few months, and here you are, repeating the exact same, ridiculous B.S. that you were the last time I was here. . . .

Months ago, you offered your little internet hypothesis about people being mad at Obama for violating what you perceived to be a central promise of his campaign (it wasn’t) and now, when his polling has hit new lows for a completely unrelated reason that you refuse to acknowledge, you’re claiming vindication.

You’re wrong. No one cares about what Obama said in some debate ages ago about his net spending cut.

So, is he telling us that words don’t matter, that a candidate’s campaign rhetoric is irrelevant to his Administration?  Before mouthing off on people don’t care what a candidate says in a debate which 56.5 million Americans watched (roughly 46% of the turnout in the presidential contest), he might ask voters in 1992 what they thought of George H.W. Bush’s decision to break his “no new taxes” pledge (Here’s a clue:  in 1992, he won nearly 10 million fewer voters than he had in 1988).

Since our critic thinks this line was so insignificant, let’s, as they say, review the transcript (adding emphasis to make my point):

But there is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.

Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut. . . . .

What I want to emphasize, though, is that I have been a strong proponent of pay-as- you-go. Every dollar that I’ve proposed, I’ve proposed an additional cut so that it matches.

So, in front of second largest audience he’d get during the campaign, the Democrat said he’d promoted a spending cut “throughout this campaign.”  Those three words tell us that this spending cut was not incidental to his campaign, but a defining  aspect of it.  You don’t repeat something throughout a campaign if it’s not central to your platform.

Then, Obama went out to make a promise he’d repeat in his half-hour pre-election informercial: “Every dollar that I’ve proposed, I’ve proposed an additional cut so that it matches.”

So, yes, I do repeat this notion because, well, Obama repeated it on the campaign trail.  It helped him get elected.  And let’s not forget, Obama himself said, “Don’t tell me that words don’t matter.

Where’s Ma’am? (Well, she’s not in LA)

According to the U.S. Census, there were 36,756,656 people in the Golden State in July, 2008, 9,862,049 of whom (approximately 27%) live in Los Angeles County.  So, when I called the office of my state’s junior Senator, Ma’am Barbara Boxer, I asked when she would be in the largest county in her jurisdiction.

They didn’t know.

The woman answering the phone did know that the Democrat had no town halls scheduled.  Indeed, she had “no knowledge of her schedule,” indeed, didn’t “believe” that Mrs. Boxer has been (or has any plans to be) in LA during the current congressional recess.

Let’s see, big items are being discussed in Washington, including a massive overhaul of our health care system.  The deficit spending Barack Obama decried as a candidate has accelerated now that he’s in the White House.  Politicians from both parties, including that Democrat, are meeting with their constituents across the country.  And Ma’am Barbara Boxer’s Los Angeles staff doesn’t know where she is.

The woman was very nice on the phone.  Out of respect for her, I kept my cool.   She’s not the problem.  The woman she works for is.  Her boss keeps her staffers in the dark just as she does to the people she was elected to represent.

On Obamacare Opposition
Democrats Fail to Understand Resiliency of Conservative Ideas

Many have offered reasons why the “tide of opinion seems to continue to run against Barack Obama and the Democrats’ health care bills.”  Victor Davis Hanson believes that Democratic proposals to overhaul our health care system are losing favor with the American people for the same reason George W. Bush lost public support for the war in Iraq:

. . . the Bush administration . . .  could not articulate what the aims in Iraq were, why they were worth the likely costs, and why decisions like disbanding the Iraqi army, at first pulling back from Fallujah, giving a reprieve to Sadr, etc. were mistakes and would not be repeated. The problem was not that Bush and Co. did not fight back sufficiently, but rather that they did not explain adequately to the American people why the people’s growing doubts about winning in Iraq were mistaken.

This Clio of punditry believes the President has failed to offer “a simple, understandable plan . . . failing to explain and defend” what his proposals will accomplish “with clear language and logic.”  It might have helped the Administration if the President has submitted its proposal to Congress instead of “outsourcing” it to the left-wing leaders in the House.  And if there were just one proposal on the table (and not several, different weighty bills).

It’s not just the President’s failure to “explain adequately” what he is trying to accomplish and (his party’s failure to coalesce around a single, succinct proposal) which has led to his slide in the polls, it has also been the Democrats’  (and the media’s) failure to understand the resiliency of conservative ideas.

They believed their own propaganda about a decrepit GOP and a moribund conservative movement.  They just assumed their opponents on the right represented a toothless opposition.  It never occurred to them that opponents of big government (and not just conservatives) would take to the streets to protest Obama’s policies.

They surely thought they could just roll over the opposition, much as LBJ did when he launched the Great Society.  No wonder they must needs malign the protesters (and their allies in Congress).  It’s how they deal with what they didn’t expect.  And what they can’t understand.

Obama Promised Fiscal Discipline, Delivered Fiscal Recklesness, Lost the Good Will of the American People

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - August 24, 2009.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Congress (111th)

Perhaps, I belabor this point overmuch; I’ve been saying it for nearly four years now.  Once reason the GOP has been losing ground since the 2004 because our elected leaders failed to use their majority to hold the line on federal spending.

And given that Republican profligacy, no wonder that “during the Bush Administration,” as Byron York observed, “Democrats made huge gains in some important Republican areas“:

For example, on the question of which party would do a better job in handling the federal budget deficit, Democrats held a 19-point advantage in a November 2005 [Wall Street] Journal poll, a 25-point advantage in July 2007, and a 22-point advantage in January 2008.

Wanting to tap into the popular unease about Republican spending, the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee made great efforts to establish his fiscal conservative bona fides.He didn’t want the Democrats to lose the “deficit-advantage,” especially as he was running against one of the few Republicans who not only challenged his party on his spendthrift habits, but did so in very direct ways.

Let this serve to remind us yet again about Barack Obama’s real mandate–and why an increasing number of Americans strongly disapprove of the way he is doing his job.  A good number of people took him at his word that he would cut spend and launch a line-by-line review of the federal budget.  And now they’re disappointed and angry.

Another Day, Another Democrat Insults Obamacare Opponents

Confirming a point we make all too frequently on this blog, echoed by one of our readers who commented, “the libs have no answer to logic, and many can only resort to name-calling, from relatively tame to vile,” Congressman Maxine Waters call some Senators “Neanderthals.”  Quite a contrast from her Senator and mine, Ma’am Barbara Boxer who thinks we’re too well-dressed to be sincere.

But, then again, Robin Givhan thinks our casual attire causes us to lose respect while one Congressman has called those protesting the President’s policies “brown shirts.” At least, this guy, unlike his colleagues, apologized.  And Speaker Pelosi calls us astroturfers bearing swastikas while Harry Reid thinks we’re “evil-mongers.”  (No wonder he trails a number of potential opponents in the Silver State.)

Gosh, guess this people didn’t get the Democratic Chief Executive’s message about the new era of postpartisan politics.