Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday evening pizza-and-wine tab dump! 

Some thin crust pizza and a value red zin: What better fortification for the dumping of tabs?

German editorialists explain the rise of the Tea Party to their confused socialist readers. Interesting, actually. You'll learn something about both Germany and the United States.

The Tea Party has already won.

An international chess center in lieu of the Ground Zero Mosque? Works for me. If it works for you, thank a Russkie.

The mean geographical center of the population of the United States, over time.

No longer global warming, nor climate change. "Global climate disruption" is the new politically correct term, according to the Obama administration.

President Obama’s Science Czar John Holdren is worried about global warming. Having noticed that there hasn’t actually been any global warming since 1998, he feels it ought to be called “global climate disruption” instead. That way whether it gets warmer or colder, wetter or drier, less climatically eventful or more climatically eventful, the result will be the same: it can all be put down to “global climate disruption.”

Social Security and Medicare tax rates, over time. The tax for the "self-employed" is, of course, the true burden, since the individual rates ignore the half paid by the employer. That, too, is a burden on the economy.

The Tiger Hawk goes to Afghanistan. It is intimidating and inspiring everywhere it goes, and might well be a powerful weapon in the counterinsurgency.

Chinese archives reveal that Mao's Great Leap Forward killed at least 45 million people, a revelation which will surprise no conservative but would have not been believed by crunchy liberals of an earlier time. Back in 1984 Your Blogger and a couple of college friends were at Mao's Tomb in Beijing, shortly after China opened to independent Western travelers, in line to see the preserved body of The Chairman under glass, and yakking away about the freak show we were about to enjoy. A couple of older American hippies -- yes, the word was clearly apt -- turned around and hissed "Have you no respect?" One of my friends replied "I should respect this person who murdered 50 million people?" Their look of disgust was priceless.

Why is everybody afraid of Elizabeth Warren?

David Brooks' most recent column about the Tea Party movement, and whether it is good or bad for the established parties, is rather interesting.

The Democrats return to the talking point that has always led them to defeat for almost 60 years, that conservatives are just stupid. This is such a perennially bad idea that you know that the Donks are losing their stuff when they trot this one out.

Change: Visits to U.S. restaurants decline for the 8th quarter in a row. Restaurant dining being just about the most avoidable discretionary expenses, this ought not be a surprise. (That said, the just-opened Princeton Sports Bar and Grill was packed last weekend.)

Zero intelligence watch: An eight year-old is suspended from public school for a second year in a row for having brought a toy gun to school. This is what happens when the government has an effective monopoly over education.

The transnational progressives urge the passing of laws against drones and other robotic weapons. Are they worried about Skynet, or the United States? I think we know the answer.



By Anonymous feeblemind, at Fri Sep 17, 09:20:00 PM:

An unusually good tab dump, TH. You should drink wine and eat pizza more often!

Re "climate disruption': If it is no longer 'Global Warming", is that an admission that there isn't any global warming?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 18, 05:37:00 AM:

I second FM's compliment; this one was like a case if mixed craft beers- each one better than the last.  

By Blogger Pete, at Sat Sep 18, 09:45:00 AM:

That's population center, not geographical center.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 18, 10:40:00 AM:

TH; why are you slummin' it down here in the Aussie inter-webs? Good tab dump.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sat Sep 18, 12:01:00 PM:

"global climate disruption"

We've always been at war with Eastasia.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Sep 18, 12:21:00 PM:

Colder, warmer, windy, rainy, floods, tornadoes, sunny. All are caused by the evil Bush/Cheney/Rove scheme of Global Climate Destruction!! Pass cap and trade now before it's too late!!Documentary coming soon with Al Gore and John Edwards.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sat Sep 18, 01:38:00 PM:

“Why is everybody afraid of Elizabeth Warren?”

The new Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is accountable to no one, and it’s Liz’s idea. It’ll get its funding automatically through the Fed, so Congress can’t cut it off. Next to being Chairman of the Fed, heading this agency could prove the “most powerful/least accountable” gig in DC.

Banks need to get spanked on some of their more egregious practices, but the CFPB has the potential to do much more. I expect it could result in de facto race and gender quotas for consumer credit. It may also result in more class action litigation.

Even Chris Dodd -- who co-sponsored the enabling legislation with Barney Frank -- is outraged by Obama's end-running Liz's confirmation by making her a temporary Czar.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sat Sep 18, 02:40:00 PM:

Re: “Social Security and Medicare tax rates, over time.”

Obviously they’ve gone up a lot over time. What were once single digit rates are already up to 15.3%. Expect these rates to go even higher.

We recently passed a cross-over point where the revenue from these taxes no longer exceeds what’s actually paid out for the programs. For years, to the extent that there was excess revenue, these taxes served as another form of income tax that contributed to the general federal revenue pool … but no more. Memo to Al Gore: There never was a lock box.

ObamaCare has created a potentially nasty precedent: a 0.9%FICA surtax on earned income exceeding $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples, starting in 2013. Revenue from this new surtax could have been used for any purpose -- including to reduce our trillion dollar annual structural deficit – but it was included in the ObamaCare legislation so the CBO would score the entire bill as not increasing the deficit.

Until now, taxes for our social welfare programs always capped out at some level of income. This was part of the fiction that these programs were akin to private insurance programs, even if they were mandated and government run. Thus, the new ObamaCare surtax has opened the door to further rate increases and bracket lowering as necessary to keep these programs solvent.

If you work the math on the tax increases that will be necessary to keep these programs solvent over time – even without the new commitments added by ObamaCare – it’s pretty scary.

That’s why “Repeal and Replace” needs to be Boehner’s priority one. Getting the Individual Mandate to be ruled unconstitutional would also help.

We need to bring the entire deficit issue to a head and soon, instead of bleeding our way slowly into socialism.

Vote for Pedro!  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Sep 19, 03:09:00 PM:

A fascinating passage from one of the German editorials:

"Unlike in Germany, in America, which never had a Hitler, being 'right-wing' is not taboo. 'Right-wing' represents Reagan, religion, the free market, individualism, patriotism and small government. In reality, it is an impossible mixture: National pride, God and tradition are conservative 'us' values. The profit motive, competition and a weak state are 'me-first' sentiments ... . But this mixture of conservative values and neoliberalism works well in America, where it transcends social class -- that's the difference to Germany."

This goes to the heart of some of the discussion here about the difference between the European and American "right wing", and whether small-government semi-libertarianism as represented by the Tea Party is truly "conservative".  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Sun Sep 19, 05:38:00 PM:

I am gratified that the German editorialists are not hopelessly foolish about understanding this aspect of American politics. I am revising my opinion of them upward.  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Mon Sep 20, 09:31:00 AM:

“National pride, God and tradition are conservative 'us' values.”

The God part is problematic as an “us” value.

The USA was never meant to be a theocracy … South Carolina maybe. The USA was founded on Christian principles which is part of our “tradition,” but that’s a different thing.

The Holy Roller Moralist wing of the Republican Party needs to figure this out … else it won’t end well. You can’t legislate morality.

Christianity teaches that Man is inherently flawed and that the World is inherently imperfect. That’s why there’s a Heaven. Render unto Caesar …

If Sarah is “pragmatic” she should say so. Else she should get lost. Else it’ll be the ruin of the Republican Party.

Am I wrong?  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Mon Sep 20, 09:58:00 AM:

The NYT’s Tom Friedman is on Imus right now. Friedman’s complaining that the USA isn’t more like China. We lack their “can do” spirit to get things done and lack their commitment to going Green. He fears that we’re going to go from importing Saudi oil to importing Chinese solar panels. He blames Obama for not using his bully pulpit to put us on proper course. He wants a Green Tea Party revolution. He wants a $1.00 per gallon tax to cut the deficit and to fund Green initiatives.

I couldn’t make this up if I tried.  

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