From a great column by Mark Steyn on the slow decent into fiscal hell America is working its way towards; while at the same time, being given a sneak peak of things to come in places like Greece, and states like California and New York.
Is that likely to happen? At such moments, I like to modify Gerald Ford. When seeking to ingratiate himself with conservative audiences, President Ford liked to say: “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.” Which is true enough. But there’s an intermediate stage: A government big enough to give you everything you want isn’t big enough to get you to give any of it back. That’s the point Greece is at. Its socialist government has been forced into supporting a package of austerity measures. The Greek people’s response is: Nuts to that. Public-sector workers have succeeded in redefining time itself: Every year, they receive 14 monthly payments. You do the math. And for about seven months’ work: For many of them, the work day ends at 2:30 p.m. And, when they retire, they get 14 monthly pension payments. In other words: Economic reality is not my problem. I want my benefits. And, if it bankrupts the entire state a generation from now, who cares as long as they keep the checks coming until I croak?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her colleagues to back a major overhaul of U.S. health care even if it threatens their political careers, a call to arms that underscores the issue’s massive role in this election year.
Lawmakers sometimes must enact policies that, even if unpopular at the moment, will help the public, Pelosi said in an interview being broadcast Sunday the ABC News program “This Week.“
“We’re not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress,” she said. “We’re here to do the job for the American people.”
It took courage for Congress to pass Social Security and Medicare, which eventually became highly popular, she said, “and many of the same forces that were at work decades ago are at work again against this bill.”
It’s unclear whether Pelosi’s remarks will embolden or chill dozens of moderate House Democrats who face withering criticisms of the health care proposal in visits with constituents and in national polls. Republican lawmaker unanimously oppose the health care proposals, and many GOP strategists believe voters will turn against Democrats in the November elections.
I’ve been told there’s already an ad from the “League of Amercian Voters” running against Kagen on Green Bay television stations asking people to call regarding the health care, urging them to tell him to vote “No.”
Kagen, of course, has indicated he won’t give a damn about what they say to him.
The statewide left is having a field day (or more or less “The Lie Brothers” of Liebmann & Liebenthal, DPW, and the flailing Neumann Campaign) with the Walker Campaign’s goal of having 250,000 new jobs in Wisconsin over five years. The same time, none of them seem to have been keyed into the standard Democratic talking point in which passage of health care reform will create 400,000 almost immediately.
Here’s the video of Pelosi pushing it at the Health Care Summit from Thursday.
Other than the Center for American Progress; where the mad scientists who really run the Obama Administration are, I have yet to find one single think tank out in Washington, DC which endorses the Pelosi talking point (Even the union-backed ones are silent on it). Mind you, if we want to talk about made-up numbers, I seriously think we should start there.
I mean, with 400,000 jobs “almost immediately,” you’d think we’d have an easy thing to gauge there. Don’t you think?
Kagen’s Back With Health Care Transparency
Good to see the Doctor’s as obsessed with that as he is with tall-tales in a White House bathroom. Mind you, it’s an idea that’s been around, both sides agree with, and was pushed by the Bush Administration long before Kagen showed up on the political scene.
Now…how about Kagen insisting his brother do it on the Kagen Allergy Clinic website first?
Yes, apparently to highlight his importance as a Judiciary subcommittee chairman, Herb Kohl (D-Milwaukee Bucks) wants to haul NBC before his committee to ask them why they don’t offer an online version of it today, as well as a bunch of questions about how NBC handles the broadcast rights for the Olympics they paid billions for from the International Olympic Committee.
Wonder if Jeff Zucker will ask Kohl about the exclusive rights he sells to Fox Sports-Wisconsin and whatever local Milwaukee station airs Bucks games?
No word if Kohl will then work out a deal to put the Bucks on NBC as well.
Well, They Would Know
Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee reports that at the NFL Scouting Combine, Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy were tracked down by a Minnesota Vikings beat writer for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press to ask the pair about what Vikings fans (and thus, the organization) should be doing regarding the annual “Will He / Won’t He” dance with Brett Favre.
When asked by the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Rick Alonzo if he thought Favre would be back in 2010, Thompson chuckled and said simply, “That’s an interesting question.” When Alonzo followed up by asking if it’s difficult for a team to wait for Favre to make his decision, Thompson smiled and replied, “Really, I mean, I’m sure there are people that would give you an opinion on that. I’m not the one to ask on that.”
Actually, he was precisely the one to ask about that, he just (understandably) wasn’t going there.
McCarthy got a variation on the question when he was asked how the dynamics in the NFC North would change if Favre called it quits.
“I don’t know how it will change the dynamics of the division. Minnesota won the division and they’ll carry that target with them as we go into the season regardless of who their quarterback is,” McCarthy replied. “Really, our focus will be on self-improvement like it is every year in March, April, May, whether that is with our players coming back and spending the extra time with the coaches in the offseason program, whether it’s through signing our free agents back and the draft process. We really stay focused on us, but as far as the division, we’ll watch what goes on and we’ll do our offseason study of our division opponents and we’ll be ready to go.”
McCarthy’s answer could be translated to a simpler: “He’s not on my team anymore, he’s Chilly’s problem. Go ask him.”
Enter “The Coffee Party”
Interesting human interest story in the Washington Post about a series of progressives fed up about what they call “anti-Obama Tea Parties” and started their own “Coffee Party” in which they vent their frustrations on social media websites like YouTube and Facebook.
Clearly the irony of the “Latte Liberal” nickname is lost on them.
At least this time; unlike sometimes in the comics, he didn’t have to cheat.
(That we know of…)
Three days after Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, sold for a cool $1 million at auction, word comes that Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of Batman, sold for $1,075,500 at auction.
A rare, high-quality copy of Detective Comics #27, which marked the first appearance of Batman in 1939, sold for $1,075,500 on Thursday. Heritage Auctions of Dallas sold the comic book to an unnamed bidder on behalf of an anonymous collector.
Seven bidders from three countries participated in the combination live and online auction, taking about eight minutes to decide on a final price — an “eternity” in auction time, said Heritage Auctions president Greg Rohan.
On Monday, ComicConnect claimed to sell a rare copy of Action Comics #1 to an anonymous collector for $1 million.
Action Comics #1, which debuted in 1938, marked the first appearance of Superman. A lesser-quality copy set the previous comic book record, racking up $317,000 at auction last year.
Vincent Zurzolo, who co-owns ComicConnect.com with founder Stephen Fishler, said while his Superman sale only held the record for three days, he was very happy to see two comic books selling for more than $1 million.
“Records are meant to be broken,” and this week will forever go down in comic book history, he said.
Both Detective Comics #27 and Action Comics #1 were originally published by National Allied Publications, a company that later became Detective Comics and then DC Comics.
Comics from the 30s continue to be a rare commodity which will also sell very well at auction, mostly because of two factors: 1) There are few that survived World War II paper drives which eliminated their numbers, 2) Those few that have survived (rumors are the Action Comic #1 has less than 100 copies left) are in various states, which has made “grading” them very difficult and “Mint” issues even rarer.
Makes you wonder how much a graded copy of Timely’s Marvel Comics #1 from 1939 (First appearance of Ka-Zar, Namor — The Submariner, The Human Torch) would bring in on the auction block. That one sold at market for a half-million a decade ago.
Mind you this is the ratings for votes for only the just completed 2009 calendar year and all votes connected to them. You can look at the 2008 Ratings here, the 2007 Rating here, the 2006 Ratings here, and so on.
Why National Journal doesn’t do “Lifetime Ratings” is a mystery to me.
Saw this over Twitter this morning. Seems the custody fight between Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin is over. TMZ reports (Yes, the only place which seem to be reporting the news, since it’s good news for a Palin) reports that Johnston — last seen posing for Playgirl online and wanting to start an “acting career” as “Ricky Hollywood” — will have to pay over $18,000 in back child support for his child.
The payments date back to the birth of Trapp, his son, on December 27, 2008.
Levi Johnston has been ordered to pay nearly $18,000 in back child support … TMZ has learned.
During a hearing in the child support case between Bristol Palin and Levi, the judge ruled Levi must pay $1,688.42 a month in support, retroactive to the child’s birth — December 27, 2008.
Bristol was in court in Alaska for the hearing — Levi was a no-show.
Bristol’s lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, tells TMZ, “Bristol is pleased with the court rulings today and looks forward to resolving the remaining issues with Levi.”
Remaining issues may be who gets full custody of their son.
Since I know for a fact that most of the WI-08GOP Campaigns read my blog, bonus points to the first campaign which does the smart thing. By my quick investigation, the PAC contributions alone total $15,000, another $6,000 from the man himself.
The House ethics panel has found that Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) broke ethics rules, according to the Associated Press.
The AP reported that Rangel knowingly accepted Caribbean trips in violation of House rules forbidding hidden financing by corporations.
Rangel said he had done nothing wrong and expected the report to show he was not guilty of anything.
“All I know is, the ethics committee authorized the trip and there is no way in the world that there could be any report out there that says I was not authorized to travel,” Rangel said. He added: “When you read the report, you will see that I am not guilty of anything.”
The House ethics committee has been reviewing a trip Rangel and several other members took to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten last year.
Rangel was seen Thursday evening approaching the chairwoman and ranking Republican on the Ethics committee — Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) — on the House floor, angrily addressing the two members and waving a finger in Lofrgen’s face.
The confrontation was seen to last about 10 minutes.
Rangel has been under fire for more than a year over several different issues. He was expected to make a statement to the press at 8 p.m.
The longtime lawmaker from New York requested that the ethics panel investigate him when he acknowledged he failed to disclose to the IRS or on his financial disclosure forms $75,000 in rental income for a beach villa in the Dominican Republic.
Since then, Rangel also has come under fire for claiming three primary residences; for maintaining four rent-controlled apartments; and for using congressional letterhead to solicit donations for an education center bearing his name at City College of New York, which could violate House rules.
Word is Rangel will explain “his side” of events tomorrow at a press conference (Bring Popcorn.). In the meantime, he’s placed blame completely on a low-level member of his Congressional staff; who has now been sacked.
He remains under investigation.
Oh, and one last thing. Renee Crawford, you’re STILL an idiot. (That last one’s never gonna get old for me…)