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Why do Democrats always insist on tax hikes?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:48 pm - June 29, 2011.
Filed under: Big Government Follies

Like the Democratic governor of California, the President of the United States seems beholden to raising our taxes.

“You can’t,” the president said today during his press conference, “reduce the deficit without having some revenue increases in the mix“.

Well, maybe we’d be able to had he not so run up the federal credit card during his first two years in the White House. In the campaign, he promised a “net spending cut,” but delivered instead a dramatic spending increase, raising the rate of growth of the federal government far beyond the accelerated pace of the Bush years.

Seems he’s so insistent on a tax hike because he doesn’t want to scale back those increases.  That “net spending cut” thing was just a campaign gimmick.  Wonder what gimmicks his team has in store for his reelection campaign.

Obama’s Debt Strategy: Blame Republicans

On March 19, 2009, after spending fewer than two full months in the White House, President Obama told Jay Leno that “one of the things” he was “trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame.”  Well after more than two years as the nation’s chief executive, Barack Obama has showed us that he delights in blaming others for the difficulties his job entails.

Just today at his press conference, he blamed the failure to increase the federal debt limit on Congress.  Observing that the one-time self-professed post-partisan politician “set a combative tone that carried through the rest of the hour and seven minute session“, the Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll concluded that

This was not the press conference of a president looking to provide leadership for a debt limit deal before Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s supposed August 2nd deadline. This was a president laying the groundwork to blame congressional Republicans for any negative fallout after Geithner decides to stop sending Social Security checks to seniors.

Carroll reminds us that the president “began his remarks by listing listed a number of bills that could help lower the nation’s 9.1 percent unemployment rate but were still “pending before Congress right now.” If those bills were so important to creating jobs, why then didn’t the president push them through when his party held comfortable majorities in both houses of Congress?

And why didn’t he take congressional Democrats to task last year for failing to pass them? And since his party still controls one federal legislative chamber, why then hasn’t that body, the Senate, led by example and voted on those bills?

It seems this president has a political strategy, but not a governing one:  make the Republicans appear obstructionist so he can win a second term, but to what end?  So, he can keep power and keep on demagoguing?

Hyperventilating on Gay Marriage, Part One*

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:48 am - June 29, 2011.
Filed under: Blogging,Civil Discourse,Gay Marriage,Writing

I had not expected my last blog post to be as long as it was.  I had merely planned to conclude with the anecdote of the lesbian mother I saw at Traintown, but then, well, as I wrote about her, other thoughts came to mind.

I had intended that post to focus on the debate on gay marriage, how, as I wrote the day after the New York legislature voted to recognize same-sex marriages, “the rhetoric [was] regularly exaggerated,” with the debate lacking “the type of civil discussion of the importance and meaning of marriage that would have helped strengthen the institution“.

Echoing my point “about the lack of meaningful/useful/informative discourse in the public square over the past two weeks” our reader Richard Bell confessed, in the comments section that he’s “still reeling from the hyperbole and hate of both sides.”  I found the debate so annoying with hyperbole on each side that I simply stopped following it.

What Richard saw as “hate,” I saw as hyperventilating;  advocates of the bill assured us that opponents hated gay people and wanted to deprive them of their “rights” while opponents warned of the imminent demise of traditional marriage (if the bill passed).

Give me a break.  Marriage has survived as an institution for as long as human beings have recorded the details of our lives.  It has survived challenges throughout history, most recently the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. Despite those challenges and active efforts to undermine it, marriage remains a defining cultural institution.  Individuals who once rejected it in their youth, embrace it in early middle age and celebrate it in their golden years.

Traditional marriage will survive state recognition of same-sex marriage — and may even emerge stronger than it was when the debate over gay relationships began. (more…)

On blogging & the gay marriage conversation

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 am - June 29, 2011.
Filed under: Blogging,Family,Gay Marriage,Random Thoughts,Travel

Sometimes, we bloggers find that our schedules do not allow us the time to write about breaking news of interest to our readers in a timely manner.  When the news breaks, we may have other plans and lack a paid staff or readily available understudies to fill in when we are away.

In the wake of the New York legislature’s vote to recognize same-sex marriages, I would have liked to have blogged more on the topic and have scribbled countless notes for a number of blog posts.  But, I had planned a trip, first to Santa Barbara for a friend’s going away party and thence to the Bay Area to spend time with some family members.  In the coming days, I will try to bring some order to my notes and write those posts, but for now, I write from the kitchen in my sister’s new house in the San Francisco ‘burbs, having just concluded a lengthy conversation with that spirited mother of a most energetic two-and-one-half year old.

For the past three days, I would have rather spent my time, dining with my mother (whose visit to SF was the occasion for my trip), hiking with my sister or playing with my nephew than organizing my notes and writing (hopefully) thoughtful posts on gay marriage.

Those three paragraphs were supposed to have served as the introduction to the first post I had wanted to write on gay marriage.  Perhaps, I should leave them as a reflection on blogging, but I do want to add one more thing.

Part of the “play” with my nephew involved a trip to Traintown, a railway-themed mini-amusement park featuring “a quarter scale railroad on 4 miles of track.”  On our twenty-minute ride, although I focused on my nephew, I did notice a (presumably) lesbian couple and their child.  One mother who had the short hair and very matter-of-fact manner of many lesbians I know and showed the same solicitude toward her daughter that my sister regularly shows her son, gently, at one time, offering her a sippy cup when the child seemed thirsty and not letting it fall when she rejected it soon thereafter, thrusting it at her Mommy (without regard to her willingness or ability to hold onto it). (more…)