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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Retraction Prompts a Retraction?

I was rather tough on some retired Presbyterian minister yesterday after he had written in a letter to the editor of the Roanoke Times the following (in "A return to separate and unequal schools"):
An Associated Press report Jan. 29 told us about the appointments Gov. Bob McDonnell made to the State Board of Education, establishing his grip on the board.

"Separate but equal" schools were allowed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1890s, but declared unconstitutional in 1954.
My follow-on comment:
Whoa! Is the room spinning? What kind of segue was that?

McDonnell appoints someone to the Board of Education and ... Plessy v. Ferguson breaks out throughout the land like that rash on your butt that occurs when you don't shower after working out?

Get a grip, man.

I don't think we need to worry about ol' Jim Crow a'risin' from the dead. He's history.

As is anything you wrote after the words "McDonnell" and "separate but equal."
Well, the Times did some research and found out that this fella's commentary was more than just insane. It was inaccurate in its underlying facts. From a retraction in this morning's paper:
A commentary in Monday's newspaper by Bill Caperton, "A return to separate and unequal schools," was predicated on a major error of fact. The gubernatorial appointments he referenced were to the State Board of Elections not, as he asserted, to the State Board of Education. The commentary should not have been published. We apologize for doing so.
"The commentary should not have been published." Which means my scathing criticism shouldn't have been published either. For that I apolo...

Wait. It was still stupid.

I take back nothing.

This liberal wrote stuff that the editorial staff deemed appropriate.  Because they heartily agreed with the sentiment.   Without having checked the facts. To their embarrassment.

But since when have facts played a part in the manufacture of their daily offering of nonsense anyway?

Their soulmate got his facts screwed up?

Just another day at the Roanoke Times.

Put Up Or Shut Up

Though we have different reasons for doing so, the Roanoke Times editorial team and I agree on this (from "Show America the GOP's cuts"):
Now is the time to discover if the GOP's budget bravado was more than bluster. If House Majority Leader John Boehner and Virginia's Rep. Eric Cantor were honest last fall, they should now show the public what $100 billion worth of austerity would require. Then, in 2012, voters will have a clear choice on Election Day.
Time to show us what you got, fellas.  Either make those sweeping cuts in federal spending a reality or face certain third-party status.

And no, I'm not joking.

As for the Times's motive for wanting so eagerly to see those proposed cuts?

So that the bleeding hearts there can go into bleeding heart overdrive.  Hold onto your personals as you read the last sentence of the editorial:

["Now is the time to discover if the GOP's budget bravado was more than bluster ... they should now show the public what $100 billion worth of austerity would require."]  Take Americans up to the edge of the precipice and let them see the devastation that lies at the bottom of the Republican chasm."

The precipice.  Devastation.  Oh, my.  The end of the world is upon us if the Republicans cut a tiny portion of Obama's $3,700,000,000 proposed budget.

 A joke of a budget in itself because it relies on revenue, half of which we don't have any more.  Because we're flat busted.

Every expert in America (and most politicians; see Mark Warner's comments below) now agree: SEVERE CUTS IN SPENDING MUST BE MADE.

But that news hasn't yet made its way to the Roanoke Times editorial boardroom, where the New Deal is still worshipped and the dollar is thought to be a sublime fruit that grows on trees.

Someday maybe they'll get the memo ...

Anyway, it's time for the GOP to man up.  Make serious cuts.  Make the Roanoke Times howl.

I'll tune in just for its entertainment value.

We Play Their Game

We just witnessed a battle royal in Congress weeks ago over a social issue that has been ongoing for centuries.  A battle a skirmish within which the Democrats won.  Again.

Oh, you missed it?

Maybe that's because it wasn't labeled by the mainstream press a "social issue."

"Social issues," you see, the ones that we should as a nation keep out of our political discourse, are only social issues when they're conservative notions. Otherwise they're considered human rights issues. If liberals have their way. And they always do.

The battle royal over the non-social issue to which I referred? Gays in the military. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  A social issue in its purest form.

But no.  You see, that's not a "social issue." That's a Democrat issue. So that issue is okay for us to talk about. In fact, because it involves human rights, it's incumbent upon us to talk about it. And make it whole.

Unlike, say, abortion, which isn't a human rights issue. It's a social issue. And we must, therefore, leave it alone. Lest we rend the country and leave it in bitterness and hostility.

Right.

The worst part?

Too many Republicans are far too willing to play that Democrat game.

Republicans like Haley Barbour:
Haley Barbour warns against 'purity'
By Andy Barr, Politico

Haley Barbour is warning the GOP to not get too hung up on finding a perfect candidate, saying that “unity” over “purity” will beat Obama in 2012.

Haley Barbour is warning the GOP to not get too hung up on finding a perfect candidate, saying that “unity” over “purity” will beat Obama in 2012.

The Mississippi governor has joined Mitch Daniels in suggesting that a truce on social issues would do the Republicans well at the ballot box – and seemed to argue that point during an interview at CPAC with Human Events posted on Monday.

“We need to make the campaign about issues,” Barbour said. “We need to stick to what we believe in.” [link]
What Barbour means, of course, is that we need to stick to the issues the he believes in. He doesn't care about the slaughter of America's young. Therefore, he feels, we need to call a truce on the matter.  Leave it alone.

But a truce with whom?

Is Barbour calling for a truce with the massive pro-life wing of the conservative movement? Hardly. He wants pro-lifers to simply shut up and go away (but come back just long enough on election day to support his sorry ass).

No, Barbour - and a whole lot of establishment Republicans like him - want a truce to be called (actually they want it to continue) with the Democrats. The same Democrats who ended debate by judicial decree - some truce - when the Supreme Court created a new law and sanctioned abortion-on-demand in 1973.  Four decades ago.

The same Democrats who have fools like Barbour convinced that it's wrong for politicians to push "social issues" but who, on a daily basis, push their own.

That's not a truce. That's surrender.

And a whole lot of us won't be going down that road.

On Obama's Proposed Budget ...

... we turn to the experts.  The Wall Street Journal:
How unserious is this budget? Although the White House trumpets $2.18 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, those savings are so far off in the magical "out years" that you can barely see them from here. More than 95% of the savings would happen after Mr. Obama's first term in the White House is over, and almost two-thirds of the promised deficit reduction would arrive after 2016. Pretending to cut deficits by pushing all real cuts into the future is Budget Flimflam 101.

From hard experience, we know that what matters are the cuts and reforms a White House is willing to make now. The Obama budget doesn't cut a penny from the deficit in the last seven months of fiscal 2011. Over the next three years—through 2013—the spending reductions in this budget add up to a paltry $20 billion net, out of a projected $3.5 trillion deficit. That's a 0.57% reduction in red ink and less than what the feds spend every two days.

As for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other entitlements, which account for roughly 60% of federal expenditures, the proposed savings are close to zero. The President would allow these programs to continue on automatic pilot, meaning they nearly double to $2.7 trillion in 2021 from $1.4 trillion in 2010.    [link]
This is unsustainable.  And Obama obviously doesn't care.

My God.

- - -

Another reaction:
To all those under 30 who worked so hard to get this man elected, know this: he just screwed you over. He thinks you're fools. Either the US will go into default because of Obama's cowardice, or you will be paying far far more for far far less because this president has no courage when it counts. He let you down. On the critical issue of America's fiscal crisis, he represents no hope and no change. Just the same old Washington politics he once promised to end.
That comes from an Obama supporter. Andrew Sullivan.

- - -

The Washington Post editorial page, itself a big supporter of Obama, is sharply disappointed:
Having been given the chance, the cover and the push by the fiscal commission he created to take bold steps to raise revenue and curb entitlement spending, President Obama, in his fiscal 2012 budget proposal, chose instead to duck. To duck, and to mask some of the ducking with the sort of budgetary gimmicks he once derided. "The fiscal realities we face require hard choices," the president said in his budget message. "A decade of deficits, compounded by the effects of the recession and the steps we had to take to break it, as well as the chronic failure to confront difficult decisions, has put us on an unsustainable course." His budget would keep the country on that course.
Is that Armageddon I see approaching on the horizon?

- - -

Even Senator Mark Warner is less than accepting:
This problem cannot be solved simply by focusing on cuts to non-defense discretionary spending [the crux of Obama's proposal], which is only 12% of the budget. Increased revenues and economic growth by themselves will not get us there, either. That’s why we must have a grown-up discussion about spending cuts, tax reform, and necessary changes to entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare.

This is the only way we will put our nation back on a responsible fiscal path that allows us to be competitive as we move forward.
One way or the other, this problem is going to be solved. Though Obama probably won't be part of that process.