For the better part of this week, when it has gotten too chilly in my apartment, I have been wearing a black sweatshirt I got as a thank-you gift for volunteering at Outfest in 2005. It’s not the fanciest of clothing and is indeed not nearly as thick as most other such garments. But is the perfect weight to keep me comfortable and cozy.
I probably hadn’t worn the thing since I first received it now nearly six years ago, only finding it when cleaning out my closet. During that cleaning process, I found the three most expensive shirts I had ever purchased — and realized they were among those I wore the least often. Indeed, I had probably worn my new “favorite” sweatshirt more frequently that I had worn those three shirts combined.
Just fun to note the total absence of correlation because the cost of an item and the frequency of its use. (more…)
Many — on both sides of the political aisle — faulted then-President George W. Bush and his administration for failing to anticipate the “insurgency” which followed our speedy liberation of Iraq in 2003. The same criticisms could be leveled against the incumbent and his team for failing to anticipate the difficulty of ousting Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi. On Friday, blogger Robert Stacy McCain asked if we were losing in Libya:
Scarcely three weeks after the U.S. military launched Operation Odyssey Dawn, the war in Libya is beginning to look like President Obama’s worst failure to date. While official Washington and the political press have been focused on budget negotiations and the prospect of a federal government shutdown, a foreign-policy disaster has been slowly unfolding in the deserts of the North African nation that Col. Moammar Gaddafi has ruled for more than four decades.
Read the whole thing.
Offering criticisms similar to those this other McCain delineates, George Will wonders at the administration’s “mission meander” in North Africa, “At about this point in foreign policy misadventures, the usual question is: What is Plan B? Today’s question is: What was Plan A?”
It seems almost as if the president believed he didn’t need a plan, but could lead by his presence alone.
“The president,” White House senior adviser David Plouffe said today n NBC’s Meet the Press, “will be laying out his approach to long-term deficit reduction later this week“. It’s about time. Whereas he released a budget earlier this year forecasting a deficit well over one-and-one-half trillion dollars, House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan released a budget last week which made the tough choices the Democrat dodged, a budget that many of Mr. Obama’s political allies have derided and demogogued.
Until we see the plan, we won’t know if the president gets the real magnitude of our nation’s fiscal crisis. Will he eschew the idea of federal spending as a necessary economic “stimulus”? As Mark Steyn puts it:
What’s about to hit America is not a “shock.” It’s not an earthquake, it’s not a tsunami, it’s what Paul Ryan calls “the most predictable crisis in the history of our country.” It has one cause: spending. The spending of the class that laughs at the class that drives to work to maintain President Obama, Senator Reid, Senator Baucus, Senator Harkin, and Minority Leader Pelosi’s “communications director” in their comforts and complacency.
The Democrats’ solution to the problem is to deny there is one. Unsustainable binge spending is, as the computer wallahs say, not a bug but a feature: We’ll stimulate the economy with a stimulus grant for a Stimulus Grant-Writing Community Outreach Permit Coordinator regulated by the Federal Department of Community-Organizer Grant Applications. What’s to worry about?
Those liberals “disheartened” by the recent deal are living in denial. They seem to believe that the solution to every problem is increased federal spending. (more…)
Glenn Reynolds linked something this morning, to which some of our blog readers had also alerted me, but something struck me today when I actually watched the transcript. Take a gander at who laughs when Bill Maher makes a statement which would have earned him opprobrium if he were conservative:
Given the circumstances, leading only one-half of one-third of the federal government, Boehner accomplished a good deal. No, the cuts weren’t deep enough, but this wasn’t yet the big battle, just a skirmish in anticipation of a bigger fight to come. As John Hinderaker put it:
The fight over FY 2011 spending was really an afterthought, driven by the fact that the Democrats never got around to passing a budget last year. The real battles will come this summer, first over legislation to raise the debt ceiling, which can’t be avoided; then, perhaps, over the FY 2012 budget, although the Democrats might try to dodge that fight by, once again, refusing to adopt a budget at all.
If they’re angry, they should point the finger at their own party, not just its leaders who agreed to the deal this week, but its legislators who failed to pass a budget last year. Perhaps, they’re upset because the deal — and the negotiations leading up to it show just how much the debate as changed. As John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman write in Politico:
In a larger sense, Boehner has achieved more than just a short-term budget victory — in his first three months as speaker, he’s helped turn the entire Washington dialogue into a debate about the size and scope of government. (more…)