Daily Archives: February 9, 2011

The Myth of Obama’s Big Spending

 

The Daily Beast

Obama has slashed one tax dollar for every dollar he’s spent on government programs.

Does the president really suffer from what House Speaker John Boehner calls a “spending illness”? Not according to an exclusive Newsweek-Daily Beast estimate of his outlays on new legislation since taking office.

• The Newsweek Daily Beast team found that President Obama “spent” $21 billion more on GOP-friendly tax cuts than on government programs.
• He’s laid out $884 billion for six major, immediate spending increases that aren’t offset elsewhere in the budget, from the stimulus package to Cash for Clunkers.
• But he’s made $905 billion in tax cuts, including the Bush tax-cut extension in December.
• His health-care reform will tilt his spending vs. tax-cutting equilibrium toward the former in future years.

Nothing unites Republicans quite like the unshakable belief that Barack Obama has become the Carrie Bradshaw of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, unable to stop himself from frittering away ridiculous sums of money on frivolous things. But what Republicans never mention when railing against Obama’s alleged fiscal recklessness is how much money he has spent, and what exactly he’s spent it on.

To rectify the situation, Newsweek and The Daily Beast have come up with an exclusive estimate of the amount the president has spent on new legislation since taking office in January 2009. This isn’t the sum total of all government outlays; that number would include spending on mandatory entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, which no president can control, as well as spending on income-support programs such as food stamps and Medicaid, which automatically increases as citizens get poorer (i.e., during a recession). Instead, we focused on the times when Obama decided to spend money that wouldn’t have been spent if the government had simply been humming along on autopilot.    

More…

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Filed under President Barack Obama, Right Wing Myths and Falsehoods, Right Wing Vitriol, Right-wing disinformation campaign, Right-wing Media, Right-Wing Propaganda

Federal judicial vacancies reaching crisis point

The trial run of Open for Questions in the Whi...

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The Washington Post

Federal judges have been retiring at a rate of one per week this year, driving up vacancies that have nearly doubled since President Obama took office. The departures are increasing workloads dramatically and delaying trials in some of the nation’s federal courts.

The crisis is most acute along the southwestern border, where immigration and drug cases have overwhelmed court officials. Arizona recently declared a judicial emergency, extending the deadline to put defendants on trial. The three judges in Tucson, the site of last month’s shooting rampage, are handling about 1,200 criminal cases apiece.

“It’s a dire situation,” said Roslyn O. Silver, the state’s chief judge.

In central Illinois, three of the four judgeships remain vacant after two of President Obama’s nominees did not get a vote on the Senate floor.

Chief Judge Michael McCuskey said he is commuting 90 miles between Urbana and Springfield and relying on two 81-year-old “senior” judges to fill the gap. “I had a heart attack six years ago, and my cardiologist told me recently, ‘You need to reduce your stress,’ ” he said. “I told him only the U.S. Senate can reduce my stress.”

Since Obama took office, federal judicial vacancies have risen steadily as dozens of judges have left without being replaced by the president’s nominees. Experts blame Republican delaying tactics, slow White House nominations and a dysfunctional Senate confirmation system. Six judges have retired in the past six weeks alone.

Senate Republicans and the White House are vowing to work together to set aside the divisions that have slowed confirmations, and the Senate on Monday approved Obama nominees for judgeships in Arkansas, Oregon and Texas. Eight more nominees are expected to receive votes in the coming weeks.   More…    See Graphic here…

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Filed under Federal Courts, Obama's Judicial Nominees

Rush Limbaugh chats with Mike Stark (A blogger) about Ronald Reagan’s legacy

I heard this on Friday but somehow, it didn’t make the week-end cut.  (Perhaps because I have the flu and frankly, I’m out of sorts.  Maybe that was the reason.)

Anyway, Mike made a call to Rush Limbaugh on Friday.  Friday was pretty much the kick-off of the Reagan “Beatification”  and Centennial birthday celebration. 

Well, Mike called Limbaugh to find out why all the big hoopla about Reagan when Reagan raised taxes, negotiated with terrorists (Iran hostage crisis BEFORE he was president), amnesty to undocumented workers, and he cut and ran from Lebanon.

The kicker is that Mike was quite polite and actually made Limbaugh tongue tied with his remarks.  Limbaugh never answered the question.  Instead, he attacked Mike Stark.

Here’s the article on his website:

Stark Reports

Transcript:

STARK: Hi, Rush. I, um… I’m calling because… Well, first of all, I’m a liberal, and I seriously don’t understand this, uh, Reagan idolatry on behalf of conservatives. I’ll get… I’ll give you my reasons. Instead of privatizing Social Security, he raised taxes. We’re all paying higher taxes today out of our paychecks every single week because he decided to save Social Security. He –

RUSH: Wait, wait. Hold it. I need to go…

RUSH: Wait. Jeez.

STARK: The Greenspan Commission. He signed it into law, and it raised taxes on Social Security.

RUSH: What…? Wait, you’re talking about Reagan or Clinton?

STARK: I’m talking about Reagan. Reagan did that. He raised taxes on Social Security. He negotiated with terrorists, sending — over and over again — arms to Iran in exchange for hostages perform by contrast Jimmy Carter didn’t give an inch to the Iranians.

RUSH: What in the world…?

STARK: Not an inch. Instead Reagan (crosstalk)

RUSH: Testing the true depth of my politeness here on this call, folks.

STARK: Say that again?

RUSH: Let me ask you a question. What do you think, given all this that you believe, when you hear Obama and the Democrats cite Reagan as they have been doing since about a week before the State of the Union?

STARK: It’s funny you ask that. Because as a liberal I think Obama owes his presidency to Reagan. They’re both kinda stuffed suits that say one thing and then do another. Obama hasn’t been anywhere near liberal enough for me. He said he’d close Guantamano (sic), he hasn’t done that.

RUSH: Yeah.

STARK: He said he’d help people out with foreclosures, he hasn’t done that.

RUSH: I feel for you on that.

STARK: But Reagan, I mean, amnesty to people who are breaking the law and living in the country illegally. He said, “Forget about it. Stay here forever.” He cut and ran from Lebanon. How many hundreds of Marines were killed –

RUSH: Yeah.

STARK: — and he just decided, “Well, you know, instead of the fighting the bad guys I’m gonna run away”?

RUSH: Yeah.

STARK: Why is Reagan a hero to conservatives?

RUSH: “Why is Reagan a hero to conservatives?” I don’t think you… Given what you’ve said, and I’m not trying to avoid the question, I don’t think you’d ever understand it.

STARK: Well, he’s a tax raiser, an amnesty giver, a cut-and-runner, and he negotiated with terrorists. Why is he a hero to conservatives? I don’t think you understand it.

RUSH: No, I do. Most assuredly I do. I just don’t think that you would understand it. Where did you get this silly notion that Reagan raised taxes on Social Security? What websites do you read? Where did you pick that up?

STARK: Look up the Greenspan Commission. It’s not too hard to find. I mean, it’s a matter of history.

RUSH: Where did you get it? I mean, you’re asking me questions. I’m just reversing one on you here.

STARK: I’m sorry. It’s just general knowledge. It’s something I’ve known for a long time. I can’t remember where I got it from.

RUSH: You can’t remember? You’ve never heard of a website called Media Matters which highlighted it yesterday?

STARK: (static) Oh, no. I know Media Matters very well but that’s not where I got it.

RUSH: Oh, not where you got it. It’s an amazing coincidence.

STARK: (static) I mean, I’m a liberal. Of course I know Media Matters.

RUSH: Amazing coincidence out there.

STARK: They’re a fantastic website. But why are you dodging the question? I want to know why a tax-raising, amnesty-giving, cut-and-running, negotiating-with-terrorists guy is a hero to the conservative movement.

RUSH: Well, because you understand Reagan in a way that is flawed. You –

Your call is actually kinda interesting because you represent the impossibility of “bridging the gap.” Somebody like you just has to be defeated. There’s no crossing the aisle and finding common ground with you. You’re free to be who you are, don’t misunderstand. I’m not trying to insulting. I’m just saying, you are unreachable. You don’t want to be reached. T his picture of Reagan, you’ve just described somebody you should love, and you hate him! You just described somebody you should absolutely love, all these things. He’s an anti-conservative, as you say, but you don’t love him. You’re having trouble understanding why he’s viewed as heroic to a lot of people.

I could talk to you about anti-communism. I could. You want to talk about amnesty? Yeah, that was Simpson-Mazzoli, and that was one-and-a-half, two million illegals; and he was told, “Okay, if we’re gonna do this, this is it, then. We’re gonna secure the borders and that’s it.” It’s the same thing with every tax increase he signed. It was also accompanied by promises to cut spending, and it never happened. Reagan’s not perfect. Nobody is. But I think the proof of Reagan is the fact that when your guys get in trouble, who do they seek to associate themselves with? Remember, Obama and these people are all about getting votes.

The fact that he’s trying to surround himself with Reagan, the fact that he’s trying to position himself with Reagan is the best indication anybody could have of what this country really thinks of Ronaldus Magnus. I think if you want to focus in on hypocrisy, you’ve got far more of it on your side of the aisle to explain and dig through than we do. Reagan was forced to raise payroll taxes by a crisis in Social Security in 1983. He endorsed that rescue plan that was written by Alan Greenspan. It was reluctant. He was not a big supporter of that. Remember, Reagan did not have a congressional majority with him.

Everything he got, the tax cuts, he had Democrats outnumbering him in the House and Senate everywhere. There were certain realities that he faced. But the biggest tax increase on Social Security was authored by none other than Bill Clinton. But did you understand the notion? Ronald Reagan fought for America. He loved America. He feared where the left, based on history, wanted to take the country. Ronald Reagan set the stage for the end of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan defeated Soviet communism without firing a shot. I don’t know… But none of that would matter. So you, sir, a nice individual, I’m sure you’re a fine guy (probably not too much fun at a ball game, unlike Bill Clinton), but still, you illustrate that people like you just have to be defeated, not met halfway and gotten along with. I mean politically.

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Filed under Right-wing disinformation campaign, Right-wing Media, Right-Wing Propaganda, Russ Feingold