April 15, 2012

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We have been hearing about the “radical” Ryan budget. Would you believe it is 46% higher, in real terms, than Clinton’s last budget? Investors.com has the story. Yes, we ran this last week. It is worth repeating.

Even in a city known for hyperbole, the attacks by Democrats on Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan stand out.

It’s “bad news in every single direction,” said New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, and “extreme and divisive,” according to Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the budget is “not a statement of our national values,” and her second in command, Maryland’s Steny Hoyer, claimed the plan “represents a bleak future for America.”

President Obama went furthest, saying in a speech this week that Ryan’s “draconian cuts” would “impose a radical vision on our country” and that it was “antithetical to our entire history.” It is “so far to the right,” he said, “that it makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal.”

So does Ryan’s budget proposal live up to this radical billing?

Not at all. That is, not unless you’d call Obama’s Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton, an even more extreme radical.

Under Ryan’s plan, the federal government would be 46% bigger in real terms than it was in 2000, which was President Clinton’s last year in office.


Neal Boortz details the instructions given to the media by the president.

Now, is Paul Ryan’s plan perfect?  Absolutely not.  It doesn’t cut spending enough.  It doesn’t call for the elimination of the Department of Education.  It doesn’t call for severely reigning in the EPA.  Ryan’s plan is still, in a sense, a big government plan … but it provides for smaller, big government.  Yet Obama labels this as “radical” and then has the audacity to scold his very own ObamaMedia for not giving him more credit in this battle.  He says …

“I think that there is oftentimes the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing that they are equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle, equivalence is presented, which reinforces people’s cynicism about Washington in general.  This is not a situation where there is equivalence.”

Are you hearing this?  Obama is telling the ObamaMedia that they are not understanding that this budget impasse is not his fault.  Nope.  …  In this case, disagreement is because the Republicans are being unreasonable, unlike Dear Ruler.  He continues …

“So, as all of you are doing your reporting, I think it’s important to remember, the positions I’m taking now on the budget and a host of other issues, if we’d been having this discussion 20 years ago, or even 15 years ago, would have been considered squarely centrist positions.  What’s changed is the center of the Republican Party. That’s certainly true with the budget.”

Now we get it!  Obama is a reasonable man who is not saying anything different than he has said from the beginning.  The Republicans, however, are the ones who have become more radical over the years.  I, the great and powerful Obama, am a centrist, while the Republicans are the radical extremists.  Got it? 


Debra Saunders puts the lie to the claim Obama is a centrist. 

President Obama chastised the media last week. “I think that there is oftentimes the impulse to suggest that if the two parties are disagreeing, then they’re equally at fault and the truth lies somewhere in the middle,” the president chided those attending the American Society of Newspaper Editors luncheon.

Obama also claimed that he holds positions that 20 or 15 years ago “would have been considered squarely centrist positions. What’s changed is the center of the Republican Party.” Oh, and Ronald Reagan “could not get through a Republican primary today.”

Yet many in the media don’t ask: Where are the moderate Democrats?

When the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the individual mandate in Obamacare, court observers expect all four U.S. Supreme Court justices appointed by Democrats to back Obama. If any justices depart from their ideology, it will be Justice Anthony Kennedy (appointed by Reagan) and perhaps Chief Justice John Roberts.

So how did Obama vote on Roberts after President George W. Bush nominated him to the big bench in 2005? The Senate approved Roberts in a 78-22 vote. Good liberals like Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, who no longer serve in the Senate, were among the 22 Democrats who supported Roberts. Other yes votes – Nebraska’s Ben Nelson and Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman – probably can’t win and aren’t running for re-election.

Obama voted no on Roberts. Vice President Joe Biden also voted no. In 2006, when the Senate approved Justice Samuel Alito 72-25, Obama and Biden voted against him, too. The Democrats’ 2004 presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., voted against Roberts and Alito. …


Karl Rove says we can count on the president taking the low road.

… He will distort beyond recognition his opponent’s arguments. For example, he explained to news executives at the AP that Republicans want to “convert more of our investments in education and research and health care into tax cuts—especially for the wealthy.” Actually, no one has suggested that.

No honest differences are possible with Mr. Obama. He will impugn the motives of any who disagree with him. As he told the AP, his opponents want to “let businesses pollute more and treat workers and consumers with impunity.” His agenda “isn’t a partisan feeling . . . [it]isn’t a Democratic or Republican idea. It’s patriotism.” To disagree with him is unpatriotic. That’s to be expected from Republicans, whom Mr. Obama says stand for “thinly veiled social Darwinism . . . [that is] antithetical to our entire history.”

Mr. Obama will build entire edifices on top of one fake premise, all dressed up in one big phony assumption. Take the House GOP budget plan. It increases federal outlays from roughly $3.6 trillion this year to nearly $4.9 trillion in 2022. In the AP speech the president called this a “cut” because he wants to increase spending to $5.8 trillion in 2022.

He warned that if the GOP’s “cuts . . . were to be spread out evenly across the budget,” then “Alzheimer’s and cancer and AIDS” research would be slashed, 10 million college students denied assistance, and “thousands” of researchers and teachers “could lose their jobs.” But Republicans don’t cut across the board. Instead, their focus is on waste, duplication, programs that do not work, and on reform.

As he did Tuesday at Florida Atlantic University, Mr. Obama will attack “these same trickle-down theories” about taxes that almost led to “a second Great Depression.” But if the Bush tax cuts were so evil, why didn’t Mr. Obama repeal them during his first two years, when his party controlled both houses of Congress? Instead, in December 2010 Mr. Obama agreed to extend them for two more years. …


The “Ann Romney never worked a day in her life” kerfuffle gets Jennifer Rubin’s treatment.

Overnight President Obama’s faux “war on women” attack on Mitt Romney blew up in his face. It is fitting that a gimmick should boomerang this quickly and this severely, maybe giving Romney the first big break of the race.

By now you’ve probably heard that Hilary Rosen, a sometime White House adviser and frequent visitor, on CNN attacked the most popular person in the campaign, Ann Romney, with a cartoon version of left-leaning feminism, declaring that the mother of five who has battle multiple sclerosis and cancer “never worked a day in her life.” (Query why the conservative on the panel sat there like a lump on the log. Maybe a few more conservative women on CNN would balance the coverage. He claims to have “missed it.” Indeed.) No, this really happened. Honest. But it didn’t stop. Rosen took to Twitter to dig her hole deeper and deeper, never apologizing. (At this point Republicans should be humming Dayenu.)

But it didn’t end there. Obama political hacks David Axelrod and Jim Messina took to Twitter to condemn the remarks and to call on Rosen to apologize, thereby making Rosen seem closer to the president’s campaign (and the campaign more responsible for her gaffe than might otherwise be the case). And — yup — it didn’t end there. Ann Romney now is on Twitter and got a gazillion followers in just hours. Her first tweet was a keeper: “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.”

Needless to say, the “war on women” has taken on a whole new tone. Let’s count the ways this is just awful for Obama and/or Democrats more generally. There are a few, so find a comfortable seat.

First, Obama, as a conservative pundit put it, just went a long way toward solidifying Romney’s base, especially among social conservatives who loathe elites who look down on stay-at-home moms.

Second, it feeds into the cliche that liberals love humanity but hate people. In this case they love womanhood but treat their own employees and conservative women like dirt. …


This is ironic. Alana Goodman says Hillary Rosen was hired to get Debbie WasserFace to tone down her combativeness.

On “Anderson Cooper 360? last night, Hilary Rosen slammed Ann Romney for “never actually work[ing] a day in her life.” Within two hours, both David Axelrod and Obama campaign manager Jim Messina were scrambling to distance themselves from Rosen’s comments on Twitter.

Why is the Obama campaign so concerned? Apparently Rosen was enlisted in February to advise Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on public relations (h/t Jim Geraghty’s invaluable Morning Jolt). The Wall Street Journal reported on Feb. 16 that Rosen was brought on to “tone down” DWS’s image:

Obama advisers have occasionally told [Wasserman Schultz] to “tone it down” and “back off a smidgen,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz says. She agreed with them to enlist two seasoned Democratic female pros, Anita Dunn and Hilary Rosen, to begin giving her occasional political advice and media training, advisers say. “I’m glad to get constructive criticism,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz says. …


You know things aren’t going well for Obama, when Dana Milbank thinks the “Buffett Rule” is a gimmick.

President Obama admits it: His proposed “Buffett Rule” tax on millionaires is a gimmick.

There are others who are saying: ‘Well, this is just a gimmick. Just taxing millionaires and billionaires, just imposing the Buffett Rule, won’t do enough to close the deficit,’ ” Obama declared Wednesday. “Well, I agree.”

Actually, the gimmick was apparent even without the president’s acknowledgment. He gave his remarks in a room in the White House complex adorned with campaign-style photos of his factory tours. On stage with him were eight props: four millionaires, each paired with a middle-class assistant. The octet smiled and nodded so much as Obama made his case that it appeared the president was sharing the stage with eight bobbleheads.

And if that’s not enough evidence of gimmickry, after his speech Obama’s reelection campaign unveiled an online tax calculator “to see how your tax rate stacks up against Mitt Romney’s — and then see what the Buffett Rule would do.”

Obama argued that his plan to make sure that those earning north of $1 million a year don’t pay a lower tax rate than average Americans — although gimmicky and insufficient — is an advance. “The notion that it doesn’t solve the entire problem doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t do it at all,” he explained.

That’s true, to a point. But Obama’s claim that the Buffett Rule “is something that will get us moving in the right direction toward fairness” would be more convincing if he took other steps in that direction, too.

Three years into his presidency, Obama has not introduced a plan for comprehensive tax reform — arguably the most important vehicle for fixing the nation’s finances and boosting long-term economic growth. …


Good News! WSJ says there are twice as many Emperor Penguins as previously thought. The next question is how come we didn’t know this before? If we have just come to our senses on the penguin census, what else don’t we know?

Antarctica has twice as many emperor penguins as scientists had thought, according to a new study using satellite imagery in the first comprehensive survey of one of the world’s most iconic birds.

British and U.S. geospatial mapping experts reported Friday in the journal PLoS One that they had counted 595,000 emperor penguins living in 46 colonies along the coast of Antarctica, compared with previous estimates of 270,000 to 350,000 penguins based on surveys of just five colonies. The researchers also discovered four previously unknown emperor-penguin colonies and confirmed the location of three others.

Researchers are using satellite data to track penguins and seals across the coldest region on earth without disturbing them – and without leaving home. WSJ’s Robert Lee Hotz reports.(Originally published 04/2010).

“It is good news from a conservation point of view,” said geographer Peter Fretwell at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, England, who led the penguin satellite census. “This is the first comprehensive census of a species taken from space.”

Although all of Antarctica’s wildlife is protected by international treaty, the emperor penguins are not an officially endangered species. But they are considered a bellwether of any future climate changes in Antarctica because their icy habitat is so sensitive to rising temperatures. …


The humor section starts with Joe Biden who did not get the memo. This from The Corner.

This week, Hilary Rosen, who is to communications what Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf (We know him as Baghdad Bob) was to information, said this:

“Can we just get rid of this word, “war on women”? The Obama campaign does not use it, President Obama does not use it — this is something that the Republicans are accusing people of using, but they’re actually the ones spreading it.”

Although a huge number of Democrats have used the phrase — Jim Geraghty has compiled an excellent list — Rosen was technically correct that the Obama team hadn’t used it.

Until yesterday, that is. Enter Joe Biden, right on cue:

Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday he believes the right’s “war on women is real” and could be particularly salient during the multiple Supreme Court appointments he expects to come during the next president’s term.

“I think the war on women is real,” Biden said in an interview he sat for with MSNBC’s Ed Schultz as part of a campaign trip to New Hampshire to talk up the Buffett rule. “And, look, I tell you where it’s going to intensify: The next president of the United States is going to get to name one and possibly two or more members of the Supreme Court.”

As Jonah Goldberg brilliantly chronicles in the latest issue of National Review, Biden can pretty much always be relied upon to ruin everything. Still, the second part of his speech gives an insight into one of the framing tactics the Obama administration is going to employ in the run-up to November, especially if Obamacare is struck down.

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