Democrats Archives

(Recent) History Repeats Itself

The housing bubble, anyone remember it? That’s when people who would not have otherwise been able to get credit to buy a house were given it anyway because the government pressured banks to do it. Everybody gets a home, and if you’re against this policy, you clearly hate the poor. Then the bubble burst, defaults were rampant, and more government programs had to be thought up to save us from the previous government programs. And, as Bruce McQuain notes at the Q&O blog, yes, the government’s meddling is what caused that sub-prime mortgage meltdown, which then was a huge contributor to the subsequent recession.

And now we have this.

The Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available to people with weaker credit, an effort that officials say will help power the economic recovery but that skeptics say could open the door to the risky lending that caused the housing crash in the first place.

President Obama’s economic advisers and outside experts say the nation’s much-celebrated housing rebound is leaving too many people behind, including young people looking to buy their first homes and individuals with credit records weakened by the recession.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to … create public policy to repeat it. It’s allegedly being instituted to allow the poor to participate in the housing recover, but you can be sure that it won’t be a temporary measure, because any attempt to return to semi-sane credit checks will, will, be demagogued, once again, as eeevil Republicans throwing the poor out on the streets. This has to prove without a doubt that Democrats only care about intentions, not results. Even if the results have just finished happening.

Short-attention span voters love this stuff. Obama just thinks anything Bush did he can do better, and in this case, he very well could. We just did this, like, six years ago, and Barney Frank told us it was all good and not to worry. And then we had to bail out a bunch of banks, because we made them make loans to people who couldn’t pay them back, because, you know, racist / sexist.

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    Another Perspective on the Sequester

    The President has been treating the cuts from the sequester as some sort of budget Armageddon; blaming Republicans and talking up how much they’ll hurt. Here’s another perspective on these cuts from people who look more closely at our financial situation.

    Credit rating agencies are shrugging off sequestration, saying the U.S. government will need to do more to reduce the deficit if it wants to prevent a downgrade of the nation’s credit rating.

    While the agencies say the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts represent at least a step towards deficit reduction, they argue much more is needed to prevent the United States from losing its “AAA” rating.

    “It’s not the most ideal outcome,” said David Riley, Fitch Rating’s global managing director for sovereign ratings, on CNBC Europe. “You’d rather have intelligent cuts and some revenue measures as well … but we don’t live in an ideal world, and it’s better to have some deficit reduction than none at all.”

    The agencies view it as a positive sign that Congress did not simply scrap the unpopular sequester. Erasing the cuts without coming up with an alternative, something pushed by some liberal lawmakers, would have added to the deficit and debt and further pressured agencies to downgrade the nation’s credit rating.

    They are glad Congress didn’t scrap it, but the year’s still young. In any event, when you hear Democrats freak out about these cuts, just remember that the credit agencies are yawning.

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      When the Shooter is a Liberal, the Media Gets Quiet

      When a nut shot Gabby Giffords, the Left blamed it on the Tea Party and thought Sarah Palin should apologize or reach out. LA shooter Chris Dorner idolizes the Left, and suddenly the media is a model of restraint.

      Alleged Los Angeles shooter Christopher Jordan Dorner, influenced by left-leaning media coverage of gun crime in the wake of the Newtown shootings, has virtually paralyzed the City of Angels. Floyd Lee Corkins, a gunman incensed by anti-gay marriage bias after reading articles by the liberal advocacy group Southern Poverty Law Center, took a firearm into the Family Research Council’s headquarters with the intention of killing “as many as possible.” He hoped to smash Chick-fil-A sandwiches in the faces of as many corpses as he could. These shooters were clearly moved by left-wing media, and we should thank every benevolent force in the universe that they were. Had either shooter possessed even a tenuous link to a conservative group, a media-driven hysteria about the malevolent influence of right-wing broadcasters and commentators would be gripping the nation today. Fortunately, when a crazed shooter’s ideology is explicitly and demonstrably left-wing, the media displays admirable restraint about linking a gunman’s politics to their acts of violence.

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        NY Times Wakes Up

        It’s one thing to criticize decisions. It’s another to realize you have to make the same ones you criticized. But Barack Obama has been continuing the same war policies from the Bush administration that he ran against. It’s amazing what getting the job has on your view of the job

        If President Obama tuned in to the past week’s bracing debate on Capitol Hill about terrorism, executive power, secrecy and due process, he might have recognized the arguments his critics were making: He once made some of them himself.

        Four years into his tenure, the onetime critic of President George W. Bush finds himself cast as a present-day Mr. Bush, justifying the muscular application of force in the defense of the nation while detractors complain that he has sacrificed the country’s core values in the name of security.

        (Oh, and the NY Times is just now realizing this?)

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          Another Victim of Obama’s Economy

          We hear a lot about the effect of the economy on small business but this video says it better than any other I have seen. Bill’s Barbecue was an institution in Richmond, VA for 82 years but it couldn’t survive four years of Obama’s economic policies.

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            Friday Link Wrap-up

            No, the Bush tax cuts didn’t cause the recession. Yes, Obama’s "recovery" has been the worst in history. These and other economic realities can be summed up in this graph. (Click for a larger version.)

             

            A sex scandal involving adults and children under their charge. No, not the Catholic church of the 60s; the public schools of today.

            While he did get the number wrong, Romney was right in that those who pay the least in income taxes are the least likely to vote for him.

            The number of scientific papers that had to be retracted last year was a 10x increase over the rate during the previous decade. And a study of those retractions finds that 3/4ths of those retractions were due to misconduct rather than honest mistakes.

            Good news in the stem cell debate. "Two stem-cell researchers have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their groundbreaking work in cellular reprogramming, a technique that unleashed a wave of advances in biology, from cloning to the possible treatment of diseases using a patient’s own cells." That is, there is less of a reason to use embryonic stem cells, when adult ones will do just as well.

            Hedging their bets? "A survey by the Pew Research Center discovered that 2.4 percent of Americans say they are atheists and 3.3 percent say they are agnostic. Among the atheists and agnostics, however, 6 percent said they pray daily."

            Need more money for your school district, by proving how many students attend? Make them wear microchips. Privacy takes a back seat to cash.

            And finally, some apt scripture for the VP debate last night. (Click for a larger version.)

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              Debate Post-mortem

              I know I’m biased, but Romney was mopping the debate floor with Obama last night. Even on the ObamaCare vs RomneyCare situation, he’s came out on top.

              Some of the big-name liberals were astonished as well. Jeff Jarvis, media critic at BuzzFeed tweeted, "How did Obama get backed into the corner defending the death panel?" Indeed, Sarah Palin deserves an apology. Bill Maher had to admit, "i can’t believe i’m saying this, but Obama looks like he DOES need a teleprompter". Markos Moulitsas of The Daily Kos top liberal blog lamented, "Nobody likes seeing a prevent defense in action, and that’s what Dems saw tonight."

              Some good Tweets from the Right, too.

              James Taranto: It’s a close one, but I’ll say Obama had a better night than Lehrer.

              David Limbaugh: Again — listen to Obama- in almost every answer he focuses on what is and isn’t fair. He never addresses what will work esp 4 growht [sic] & debt

              Blogger Ace of Spades quotes a pollster: Frank Luntz: "I have not had a group that swung this much. This is overwhelming for Romney. This is a big deal."

              Again, I know I’m biased, but I think Romney won on substance as well as style; explaining the $716 billion he would put back in Medicare (and why), why RomneyCare was at least passed in a bipartisan way (as opposed to ObamaCare), and, as I said, getting Obama to admit and even defend "death panels".

              It was a great first day of the rest of the campaign. Hopefully, this will translate into votes.

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                The Democrats "Birthers"

                First, Senator Harry Reid comes out with an allegation that Mitt Romney had times in the past 10 years when he paid no taxes. His source remain some anonymous person formerly of Bain Capital. He beats this drum for weeks, in the media and on the Senate floor, insisting Romney prove his innocence instead of Reid prove his guilt.

                Then Romney releases a summary of his past 20 years of tax returns. At no time in the past 2 decades did his effective tax rate dip below 13%. With that allegation proven false, does the Left demand accountability of Harry Reid, for making these unfounded charges? Do they ask who his unreliable source was?

                No, they ask 10 more questions of Romney!

                Y’know what this sounds like? It sounds like the Birthers who, after Obama produced his birth certificate, asked more and more questions of him, and dissected the PDF file that was given to them.

                And what’s really telling is, if you look at the comments on that second link, there are those who are upset — upset — that Romney did not take his full charitable deduction for the $4 million he gave to charity so that he could say he never paid less than 13%. "That jerk; he gave more to charity than he took credit for!" Wow, really? Is that the petard you want to hoist yourselves on? And really; if he had taken the full deduction and brought his effective rate down to 9%, you would have been OK with that?

                Yeah, right. The screaming would have only been louder.

                It’s Birtherism for taxes. I  need to come up with a catchy name for that.

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                  Over at the Corner, Hadley Arkes has some further analysis of the Democrats’ platform fiasco from their just concluded convention and comes up with this nugget:

                  For it’s not a matter of one word more or less, one or more mentions of God. The real heart of the issue is that most of the people in that hall, in the Democratic convention, really don’t accept the understanding of rights contained in the Declaration of Independence: The Declaration appealed first to “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” as the very ground of our natural rights. The drafters declared that “self-evident” truth that “all men are created equal,” and then immediately: that “they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” George Bush was not embarrassed to insist that these are “God-given rights,” as opposed to rights that we had merely given to ourselves. For if we had given them to ourselves, we could as readily take them back or remove them.

                  This is the real crux of the matter. Denying the existence of God (or at least failing to acknowledge His existence) makes it much easier to also deny that any of our rights are also given by God. The Democrats, at their core, don’t’ honestly believe what the Declaration of Independence says. Once you’ve disavowed the Declaration it’s not hard to disavow the Constitution as the two documents are closely linked to one another.

                  Tonight, the President said this:

                  On every issue, the choice you face won’t just be between two candidates or two parties. When all is said and done, when you pick up that ballot to vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation.

                  The President is exactly right. The choice that voters face is clear. Two differing worldviews are on clear display to choose from. One party believes that our rights are God-given and therefore cannot be infringed upon by government. The other believes that government has the power to grant (and to take away) rights as it pleases. Which choice would you make?

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                    Can a Person of Faith Be a Democrat?

                    Given the events of the past 24 hours at the Democratic National Convention, this suddenly becomes a fair question. Yesterday, delegates went ballistic when party officials tried to reinsert previously omitted language about God and Israel into their platform. Needless to say this created some bad optics for the Democrats as well as creating news at their convention. This was such a grave unforced error it’s not clear yet how much damage has been done.

                    But taking this in conjunction with the party’s full fledged endorsement of abortion on demand (“The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.”) as well as the ongoing controversy over the HHS mandate regarding conception and suddenly you get the feeling that there is outright animus towards people of faith.

                    This is not necessarily new but never has it been more obvious. As John Hinderaker points outs, “The Democrats, bluntly put, have become the party of those who don’t go to church.” Although I would disagree with him over whether religious beliefs informs ones view of the issues of the day (it does) he is absolutely correct to suggest that the Democratic platform is in direct opposition to the values that Jews, Christians, and Catholics in particular hold.

                    This point is further illustrated in Al Mohler’s excellent essay on the stark worldview choices we are facing in this election.

                    All of this begs the question whether a devout Jew, Christian or Catholic can sincerely also identify themselves as a Democrat. I frankly can’t see how anyone can.

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                      So … You Believe Man Causes Global Warming and …

                      Your neighbor across the aisle does not. Here is some unsolicited advice for the left wing on this topic. If you really think this is a problem, and you want everyone, not just your side of the aisle to push for it futilely … Here’s a newsflash for y’all. You’re selling it wrong.

                      Look at us over here on the right. We think the space program was cool. We love going to flight museums and wistfully wishing we (as a nation) were still flying SR-71s (RS-71 dammit, stupid Presidents). We gawk at daisy cutters and talk about yields and payloads. While we might take up on those government goodies that are “free” it sticks in our craw and we wish that ‘ol time Yankee rugged individualism wasn’t dying out, killed by bureaucratic mind-numbing cookie cutter schools among other things. Read these two books, here and here. That’s good reading. So, do you like Bob? We do.

                      In a past era, a Democratic President challenged his nation to go to the moon, not because it was easy but because it was hard. You want a nation to get behind you with a climate crises. Challenge them that way. Tell ‘em to go out and fix it, not by sucking back our economy and going all green-ified on us, scrimping out toilet paper curbing consumption of interesting toys and things to do.

                      No. Fix it the old fashioned way, with a hammer, tongs, and big bad-ass technology. Challenge us that way, and you might get a rise out of us.

                      Of course it might alienate you’re side of the aisle, but you can’t break an omelette without making eggs, or something like that.

                      (with tongue firmly in cheek … and attempting to ignore the silly season somewhat)

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                        3 September 2012

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                          A Generation of School-Voucher Success

                          That’s the title of an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the results of a new study on how school vouchers affect their recipients.

                          President Barack Obama last month signed an executive order promising to "improve outcomes and advance educational opportunities for African Americans." The order instructs federal agencies to "promote, encourage, and undertake efforts" to increase "college access, college persistence and college attainment for African American students." Unfortunately, his administration remains opposed to the Opportunity Scholarship program in Washington, D.C., which lets students—mostly low-income and African-American—use a voucher to attend a private school.

                          Perhaps Mr. Obama will reconsider his position on vouchers now that we have for the first time tracked the impact of a voucher program all the way from kindergarten (in 1997) to college enrollment (in 2011). Our study compared students who won a voucher lottery with students who didn’t—the only difference between the groups was the luck of the draw, the gold standard in research design.

                          The study shows that an African-American student who was able to use a voucher to attend a private school was 24% more likely to enroll in college than an African-American student who didn’t win a voucher lottery.

                          Some take issue with voucher programs because the parents might actually spend the money on >gasp< religious schools (as noted in the article).

                          And given the money involved, they got better results for a lower cost.

                          These impacts are especially striking given the modest costs of the intervention: only $4,200 per pupil over a three-year period. This implies that the government would actually save money if it introduced a similar voucher program, as private-school costs are lower than public-school costs. To get a similar (19%) increase in college enrollment among African-Americans from a class-size reduction effort in Tennessee in the late 1980s, the public-school system had to spend $9,400 per pupil (in 1998 dollars).

                          But one of the barriers to this successful program is…politics, of course.

                          President Obama is certainly correct to identify the particularly steep educational barriers that African-American students must surmount if they are to become college-ready. And he seems to have nothing against private school per se, as he has long sent his own daughters to private schools. Yet—apparently thanks to opposition to vouchers from powerful teachers unions—the president still hasn’t taken the next step and helped open private-school doors for low-income children as well.

                          One more reason to consider when stepping into the voting booth this November.

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                            Contraception "Rights"?

                            Does Andrea Mitchell of NBC really thing that’s in the Constitution, or is an inalienable right from the Creator? From yesterday evening’s NBC Nighty News:

                            MITCHELL: Playing a starring role for the first time in the campaign, Sandra Fluke, the former law student who became a lightning rod after Rush Limbaugh denounced her for supporting contraception rights.

                            I don’t think that phrase means what you think it means. I don’t really believe that it even exists.

                            Every time the Left wants you to pay for something, it reframes it as a "right". Don’t be fooled.

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                              The Uncool President

                              I say "uncool" only so that I don’t get accused of racism by the Congressional Black Caucus.

                              Angela Rye, Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus, argued that President Obama has struggled during his first term due to racially-motivated opposition from conservatives who dislike having a black president.

                              "This is probably the toughest presidential term in my lifetime," Rye said during CSPAN’s Q&A yesterday. "I think that a lot of what the president has experienced is because he’s black. You know, whether it’s questioning his intellect or whether or not he’s Ivy League. It’s always either he’s not educated enough or he’s too educated; or he’s too black or he’s not black enough; he’s too Christian or not Christian enough. There are all these things where he has to walk this very fine line to even be successful."

                              She said that "a lot" of conservative opposition is racially-charged, citing the use of the word "cool" in an attack ad launched by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS superPAC.

                              "There’s an ad, talking about [how] the president is too cool, [asking] is he too cool? And there’s this music that reminds me of, you know, some of the blaxploitation films from the 70s playing in the background, him with his sunglasses," Rye said. "And to me it was just very racially-charged. They weren’t asking if Bush was too cool, but, yet, people say that that’s the number one person they’d love to have a beer with. So, if that’s not cool I dont know what is.

                              She added that "even ‘cool,’ the term ‘cool,’ could in some ways be deemed racial [in this instance]."

                              The definition of what is racist just keeps changing too fast for me to keep up. Doesn’t Ms. Rye remember how Bill Clinton was called a "rock star"? Would calling Obama that also be racist? I’m honestly asking, because I have no idea what is and isn’t permissible these days.

                              This is just another example of every, single disagreement with the President being turned into a racial incident.

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