The Politics of Reality

But First…Mother Nature..Now that’s Cool! 🙂


7000 feet tall 50 miles wide and moving between 4o-50 mph with hurricane force winds!

It’s a Dust Storm!

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/weather/big-dust-storm-rolls-into-valley-7-5-2011?CMP=201107_emailshare

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http://www.weather.com/outlook/videos/time-lapse-amazing-phoenix-dust-storm-21209

http://www.weather.com/outlook/videos/time-lapse-amazing-phoenix-dust-storm-21209#21212

My power flickered on and off for a good 30 minutes during the storm.

Dust storm, though dangerous, are Cool! 🙂

But now back to reality… 🙂

It is hard to understand politics if you are hung up on reality. Politicians leave reality to others. What matters in politics is what you can get the voters to believe, whether it bears any resemblance to reality or not.

Not only among politicians, but also among much of the media, and even among some of the public, the quest is not for truth about reality but for talking points that fit a vision or advance an agenda. Some seem to see it as a personal contest about who is best at fencing with words.

The current controversy over whether to deal with our massive national debt by cutting spending, or whether instead to raise tax rates on “the rich,” is a classic example of talking points versus reality.

Most of those who favor simply raising tax rates on “the rich” — or who say that we cannot afford to allow the Bush “tax cuts for the rich” to continue — show not the slightest interest in the history of what has actually happened when tax rates were raised to high levels on “the rich,” as compared to what has actually happened when there have been “tax cuts for the rich.”

As far as such people are concerned, those questions have already been settled by their talking points. Why confuse the issue by digging into empirical evidence about what has actually happened when one policy or the other was followed?

The political battles about whether to have high tax rates on people in high income brackets or to instead have “tax cuts for the rich” have been fought out in at least four different administrations in the 20th century — under Presidents Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

The empirical facts are there, but they mean nothing if people don’t look at them, and instead rely on talking points.

The first time this political battle was fought, during the Coolidge administration, the tax-cutters won. The data show that “the rich” supplied less tax revenue to the government when the top income tax rate was 73 percent in 1921 than they supplied after the income tax rate was reduced to 24 percent in 1925.

Because high tax rates can easily be avoided, both then and now, “the rich” were much less affected by high tax rates than was the economy and the people who were looking for jobs. After the Coolidge tax cuts, the increased economic activity led to unemployment rates that ranged from a high of 4.2 percent to a low of 1.8 percent.

But that is only a fact about reality — and, for many, reality has no such appeal as talking points.

The same preference for talking points, and the same lack of interest in digging into the facts about realities, prevails today in discussions of whether to have a government-controlled medical system.
Since there are various countries, such as Canada and Britain, that have the kind of government-controlled medical systems that some Americans advocate, you might think that there would be great interest in the quality of medical care in these countries.

The data are readily available as to how many weeks or months people have to wait to see a primary care physician in such countries, and how many additional weeks or months they have to wait after they are referred to a surgeon or other specialist. There are data on how often their governments allow patients to receive the latest pharmaceutical drugs, as compared to how often Americans use such advanced medications.

But supporters of government medical care show virtually no interest in such realities. Their big talking point is that the life expectancy in the United States is not as long as in those other countries. End of discussion, as far as they are concerned.

They have no interest in the reality that medical care has much less effect on death rates from homicide, obesity, and narcotics addiction than it has on death rates from cancer or other conditions that doctors can do something about. Americans survive various cancers better than people anywhere else. Americans also get to see doctors much sooner for medical treatment in general.

Talking points trump reality in political discussions of many other issues, from gun control to rent control. Reality simply does not have the pizzazz of clever talking points. (Thomas Sowell)

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

The Party of No!

Imagine this reversal of polarity:

The magnificent turmoil now gripping statehouses in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and others marks an epic political moment. The nation faces a fiscal crisis of historic proportions and, remarkably, our muddled, gridlocked, allegedly broken politics has yielded a singular clarity.

At the federal level, President Obama’s budget makes clear that Democrats are determined to do nothing about the debt crisis, while House Republicans have announced that beyond their proposed cuts in discretionary spending, their April budget will actually propose real entitlement reform. Simultaneously, in Wisconsin and other states, Republican governors are taking on unsustainable, fiscally ruinous pension and health-care obligations, while Democrats are full-throated in support of the public-employee unions’ crying, “Hell no.”

A choice, not an echo: Democrats desperately defending the status quo; Republicans charging the barricades. (Charles Krauthammer)

The Democrats are the Party of “No” now. 🙂

And not only that, but they celebrate the “heroic” Senators in Wisconsin and Indiana who fled their state to prevent government from functioning. Effectively, crippling the democratic process and a partial government shutdown. The Liberals and the Ministry of Truth have a “tingle up their leg” over it.

Imagine what the Ministry of Truth would have said if this had happened during the ObamaCare debate?

In the private sector, the capitalist knows that when he negotiates with the union, if he gives away the store, he loses his shirt. In the public sector, the politicians who approve any deal have none of their own money at stake. On the contrary, the more favorably they dispose of union demands, the more likely they are to be the beneficiary of union largesse in the next election. It’s the perfect cozy setup. (CK)

Unions only want what’s best for them. Screw you. Screw your kids. Screw everything. But don’t screw with them!

Government unions stymie education reform to protect their narrow interests — interests that don’t represent America’s students, parents and taxpayers.

America’s taxpayers want quality education at a reasonable cost. Education unions want guaranteed job security and the best benefits they can get.

So education unions have used their political clout to block the reforms that would most benefit the teaching profession: performance pay for teachers, tenure reform, and alternative teacher certification that allows more mid-career professionals and those without traditional teaching degrees into the classroom. They don’t want competition or the pressure to perform.

Education unions have also lobbied to prevent public-education employees from chipping in to cover the cost of their health insurance premiums. They prefer to leave that burden to taxpayers. They’ve also secured pension and health benefits that far exceed what most private-sector workers make.

These special-interest handouts don’t serve children or taxpayers, but unions fight fiercely to protect them. For example, the American Federation of Teachers spent more than $1 million last year to ensure that Vincent Gray — someone it knew would protect the failed educational status quo — defeated D.C.’s incumbent mayor, education reformer Adrian Fenty.

Education unions also continually oppose letting parents choose the school that best meets their child’s needs. Union political pressure resulted in the voucher program in our nation’s capital, the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, being phased out by the Obama administration. The scholarship program, which is now on life support, significantly improved graduation rates for low-income students in D.C.

Education unions are the most powerful force blocking meaningful education reform. They get the money to do this from millions of dues-paying members. In 28 states, teachers must pay union dues or lose their jobs. Unions spend these involuntary dues with little regard for teachers’ wishes.

The NEA’s own polling of public-school teachers found that 55 percent identified as more conservative than liberal. Yet more than 90 percent of the union’s campaign and political contributions go to Democrats — and we’re not talking chump change. The NEA and AFT spent more than $71 million on politics and lobbying in the 2008 election cycle. That’s roughly equal to public funding for a presidential campaign.

The result? Enormous amounts of money flowing into political campaigns to block education reforms. The good news is that some state leaders are beginning to push back on education unions and special interests. (DC)

And this special interest group gets to fund the people who are going to be sitting across the table from them in “negotiations” for “collective bargaining” and those people are dependent on them for re-election.

Sounds “fair” doesn’t it.

There are other states where this is rumbling, namely Ohio, Tennessee and Alabama.

The MoveOn.org “American Dream” rally in Sacramento produced one of the day’s more volatile moments. A man wearing a  Teamsters Local 439 jacket launched major body-check action on a Tea Party member. The union man with a bullhorn,was yelling across the street at the Tea Party activists, calling them “fascists.” Then one of the Tea Party activists, also bullhorn equipped, replied, “We pay your salary!”.So the “civil” union thug crossed the street and physically pushed the tea party member.
Because of it, Sacramento Police officers cited Richard Andazola for battery.

But don’t worry, it’s the Tea Party that is full of Racists and violent nutjobs. 🙂

The Mainstream Media/Ministry of Truth will see to it. Just ask the writers and producers of CBS’s The Good Wife where they just aired an episode where the Tea Party “bad guy” was also a “racist” and then a Democrat strategist on FOX defended it (paraphrase-because I was watching it- “there are just some people in the tea party that just can handle the fact the president is black”)

It just an accepted truth by many on the left that the Tea Party is racist simply because the president is Black. It can’t be anything else!

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/megyn-kelly-hosts-fiery-debate-over-racist-portrayal-of-tea-party-in-cbs-drama/

So just remember children, Raising taxes is good, Class Warfare is the only Politically Correct warfare allowed by the Left, Public Sector Unions funding Democrats with taxpayer money is good and if you disagree you’re a racist!! 🙂

Another Great Union Moment: What should we do to get America’s economy back on the road to prosperity? Raise taxes, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka suggests.

Trumka is a frequent guest at the White House.

In 2009, Wisconsin’s Democratic governor and Democratic Legislature passed legislation that raised taxes and fees by about $1.2 billion over three years. State lawmakers approved the bill on the very day it was introduced, with no public hearing. (Townhall)

This would be the crew that left a massive budget deficit for Gov. Walker but now blame him for trying to deal with it! And have complained bitterly that he wanted to “cram” the bill down their throats!

Hmmm..something vaguely familiar about that…. 🙂

Move.ong Org (co-founded by Socialist Billionaire George Soros) had their Whine & Cheese Saturday yesterday were they were going to make you afraid of cutting of their drugs (taxpayer’s money).

I Liked this one:

Rally in Los Angeles kicks off with union member screaming, “Let’s hear it for Obama!” ::crowd cheers:: “It rhymes with ‘yo mama!” ::confused silence::

Another speaker: “Tax the rich, not the workers! Tax the rich, not the workers!”

Class Warfare and Civil War are a very healthy on the LEFT.

ST Paul, MN: “You can’t have a democratic society without a strong union in the workplace,” one speaker notes.

These would be the same people who want to eliminate secret ballots and also “negotiate” with the people they put in power. Very “democratic”.

‘Ticked Turbin’: Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., praises Caesar Chavez for fighting for human rights.  Collective bargaining is a “basic human freedom,” Durbin says, a “right” Americans have “died for.”

So why then, Dick, were Federal Employees Unions banned from collective bargaining by Democrats in 1978??  (see yesterday’s blog for details).

Former Obama campaign employee and political appointee stands to speak in D.C. “This is not about Republicans and Democrats.  This is about a handful of billionaires… trying to take away all of our rights and all of our income.”

Just gotta drink from the sweet milk of Class Warfare.

By the way, the D.C. demonstration was organized by the International Socialist Organization.

Be afraid:

Jon Stewart is a significant source of news, particularly for younger viewers, although he insists he is simply a comedian. According to Pew Research, 16 percent of American said they regularly watched the Daily Show or it’s spin-off, The Colbert Report, and these viewers scored in the highest percentile of knowledge of current affairs.

Be afraid!

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. Brought to you by the brain trust at the SEIU, the public sector union that visits the White House more than any other. (Notice the spelling)

SEIUAmerica

Obama’s Democrats have become the party of no. Real cuts to the federal budget? No. Entitlement reform? No. Tax reform? No. Breaking the corrupt and fiscally unsustainable symbiosis between public-sector unions and state governments? Hell no. (CK)

Armageddon awaits.

In the Democrat view, it’s all about them.

In the Republican View, it’s timidly about the future.

What is it in your View?

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

Blind Man’s Bluff

Well, the Republicans, and some Democrats called the President and the Far Left’s bluff yesterday, voting down the Raise the Taxes on the rich so their base of the loonie left get that message.

But, of course that wouldn’t be the message. Most Democrats said that showed them siding with “millionaires and billionaires” over the middle class. (NYT)

And that was the symbolic gesture they wanted, to toss some red meat to their psychotic base before they allow themselves to be bribed into going along with something else.

Call it the sugar pill before the medicine.

Now, though, comes the bribery. What will it cost us taxpayers to buy off the Democrats and their class warfare this time. It certainly will not go away. It’s all they really have anymore.

“I feel like I am in the twilight zone,” said Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri. “It’s depressing to me that we have gotten to this level of posturing, that they are saying if you do not give people a tax break on their second million, that nobody gets one.”

The Democrats posturing, excluded, of course. 🙂

And let’s not forget the paternal contempt of the Left:

Sen. Schumer, pressing for his proposal (to make the cap $1 million), said: “It’s not that we want to punish wealthy people. We want to praise them. But they’re doing fine, and they’re not going to spend the money and stimulate the economy.”

I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him 🙂 It surely wasn’t the other way around. 🙂

Right now there is little goodwill on the left toward the president. Liberals are up in arms amid talk of compromise on extending the George W. Bush tax cuts for all Americans, rather than allowing rates to rise for the wealthiest. They see Obama today as weak, vacillating and lacking either convictions or the gumption to fight for the principles they believe got him elected. They want a fighter in the White House who will put the Republicans in their place.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), an unabashed liberal, was quoted last week as saying that if Obama caves on tax cuts, “he’s going to have a lot of swimming upstream” to do. Liberal blogger Jane Hamsher accused Obama of “cynical charades” in his discussions about a compromise on tax cuts and unemployment insurance. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called Obama’s freeze on federal workers’ pay “transparently cynical.”

But other Democrats see dangers in a strategy of confrontation and argue that an alternative approach can win back the independent Democrats lost last month.

Liberals may be disillusioned, but they still voted for Democrats in the midterms. Independents defected in significant numbers. Many are worried about the president’s policies, and many think he has failed to fulfill his promise to reduce partisanship and change the way Washington works. They want results and expect cooperation between the parties.

What is the right strategy for Obama to regain the political initiative and put his presidency back on track? Should he hold firm, push a liberal agenda and provoke fights with the Republicans, as Truman did? That would reenergize his liberal base and sharpen his profile with the public.

Or should he be a conciliator, as Clinton tried to be, cooperating when possible with congressional Republicans but resisting when he believes they have gone too far right? That might show the Republicans as obstructionists and bring independents back to his side heading toward 2012. (Washington Post)

Well, this independent won’t be back if he plays cynical political games. But at least the left now sees the weakness that we all saw more than 2 years ago.

Only they see it for their own ideology, not reality. As usual.

Political Cartoon by Steve Kelley

The Upside Down World of Liberals

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Crying “Raise our taxes!” and “Show some guts!”, thousands of people rallied at the state Capitol on Wednesday to protest lawmakers’ inaction on a tax hike to fix a $13 billion deficit.

The secretary of state’s police estimated 15,000 people showed up, making it one of the largest rallies in Illinois Statehouse history.

Most of those participating in the “Save Our State” rally, organized by a coalition of more than 200 public-service organizations, marched in the streets around the Statehouse. They called for an income-tax increase to avoid deep budget cuts that would hit education, law enforcement and services for young children, the elderly, the handicapped and the homeless.

Legislators were in session at the time, even as hundreds finished the march by crowding into the Capitol, filling three floors of the rotunda.

“It gives me goose bumps,” said Lisa Lafrank of Collinsville, a second-year special education teacher who is bracing for a second round of layoff notices at her school district. “You realize there are so many other organizations facing the same cuts and have the same problem.”

Speakers at the rally pleaded for a House vote on a measure, approved by the Senate last year, that would increase the personal tax rate by two-thirds. House Democrats have been reluctant to vote on it without support from minority Republicans, who call for spending reductions.

Gov. Pat Quinn has offered his own tax proposal, calling for a one-third increase, but there is no sign that lawmakers are interested in voting on that idea either. Even if a tax increase were to pass, the deficit is so large that some spending and service cuts are likely.

Amid signs that read, “Cut the bull, not the budget” and “Wanted: Responsible legislators,” was 18-year-old Meliqua Page of Chicago, now a college student who has benefited from a youth homeless program that was cut by more than $1 million last year.

“We came out here,” Page said, “to show that the little people do matter.”

Yes, folks, it’s public sector Liberals protesting that our taxes are not high enough to pay for their pensions, benefits, and entitlements.

And yes, they are lobbying Democrats to raise taxes.

Lobbying them.

Think about that one.

Raising Taxes is as natural as breathing to Liberals.

But these are largely not private sector employees. These are public and government sector employees who know that union pensions are going south so they want you to pay more for their pensions and entitlements.

Most of the rest are people who don’t want their entitlement drugs cut.

It’s all about them.

Now that is a Liberal trait.

But a Pro-Tax Increase Rally!!!

The world is truly upside down and backwards!

Van Jones, disgraced White House “green” Czar (he was only an avowed Communist and 9/11 Truther) said recently, “There are way more jobs putting up solar panels, building smart batteries, making wind turbines, putting them up, than we will ever have again in America in the coal lines. Period.”

Currently, solar panels cost around $70,0000 for a full on run of them apparently.

Yeah, I have that, no problem… 😦

Then there’s “Cash for Caulkers”, Stimulus money for weatherizing homes.

Weatherization really does save money–but the government sucks at making it happen:

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, which prior to the Obama administration had an annual weatherization budget of $13 million, committed to spending $327 million in stimulus funds to weatherize 56,000 homes by 2012.

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs had only managed to weatherize 47 homes with its 50-fold budget as of the Sept. 30, 2009, stimulus reporting deadline. According to CNN, the stipulations surrounding stimulus spending are so complex that Texas “had to set up training academies to teach people how to manage the federal money,” which drastically slowed the weatherization process.

So, Texas can’t weatherize efficiently with a 50x-larger budget, and solar panels are still prohibitively expensive, and Van Jones calls subsidizing both a “fiscally conservative” energy policy? (Daily Caller)

So waste billions on re-inventing the wheel that isn’t better than or less expensive than the current model and call that “fiscally conservative”, now if that’s not upside down logic what is?

That’s like a lot of Liberalism, when you’re broke, Spend Even More!

And Now for a Little Humor: The Gecko Got Fired!!

Or at least his voice did.

A voice-over actor — best known for telling viewers they can save 15 percent or more on car insurance — says he lost his gig doing Geico commercials after leaving a voicemail with a group that organizes Tea Party events to ask how many of its employees are “mentally retarded.”

Los Angeles actor Lance Baxter aka D.C. Douglas in a press release said he was dropped from the upcoming Geico “Shocking News” campaign after leaving a message with the press shop at FreedomWorks, a Washington-based organization led by former Republican leader Dick Armey that has been at the forefront of the Tea Party movement.

“I called as a private citizen to make a complaint,” Douglas said of the message he left with FreedomWorks. “Racism and homophobia are my Achilles heal, but unfortunately my message included inappropriate words and I am sorry for that. However, telling their members to harass my employer to get me fired is an egregiously disproportionate response to my actions.”

FreedomWorks Chief Executive Matt Kibbe posted audio of the phone call online. In the message, Douglas claimed to be working on a written piece, and said he wanted to know the percentage of “mentally retarded” employees at FreedomWorks. He also asked its policy on how they will spin the news when “your members actually kill someone.”

Geico has since held auditions to replace Douglas voice on the commercials, he said. He said he has “consulted with several Los Angeles attorneys and has been advised that FreedomWorks’ actions were questionable.”

In the release, Douglas says he doesn’t plan to spend any money to sue FreedomWorks, but he’d like to find an attorney to sue pro-bono for him. (Daily Caller)

The message: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAB0-0Vbff0

Yeah, he’s mad, but he wants his payback for it for free!

Maybe they can save him 15% on his next gig…Or maybe he can team up with Tiger Woods! 🙂