American Elephants

Do They Have Budget Counselors for Congressional Democrats? by The Elephant's Child

April 15, we mentioned once before, was not only tax day, but the day that was the deadline for Congress to pass a budget. Democrats have, as yet not even introduced one, nor do they intend to.  If they introduced a budget, then they would be on record about the immense future deficits that their policies will create.  Democrats have a 77 seat majority in the House and an 18 seat majority in the Senate.  Filibusters don’t work on budgetary matters.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer made official Tuesday morning what most insiders have known for months: Congress won’t do a budget this year.

Instead, Democrats are pushing an alternative route that falls well short of the more rigorous annual budget resolution — a short-term resolution that will call for discretionary spending lower than in President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget. But he said Congress wouldn’t take longer-term budget action before hearing from Obama’s fiscal commission in December. Republicans have lambasted Democrats for not passing a budget resolution, saying that’s the first time it’s happened since 1976.

The primary responsibility of Congress under the Constitution
is to pass a budget for the federal government.

Minority Leader John Boehner sent out a statement that said:  “We regret to inform you that the congressional budget for fiscal year 2011 has been canceled due to Washington Democrats’ out-of-control spending spree.”

Representative Gerry Connolly told the LA Times that no member of Congress ever lost an election because of a failure to pass a budget.  Democrats believe that.

Never in history has a Congress failed to even
bring a budget to the floor.

Instead they are going to vote on a fake budget.  Instead they will pass a “deeming resolution” to fund government programs while not mentioning the red ink.  They really don’t want to show a lot of red ink in an election year.  A traditional budget resolution sets discretionary spending levels and lays out the fiscal policies for future years.  So-called “deeming resolutions” set spending caps but lack the statement on future spending and tax policies — and that is what they are trying to hide.

Their fake budget would be attached to war funding, oil spill aid, and — the president’s favored $20 billion bailout of public sector unions.  Where cap-and-trade or its equivalent fits into this picture, I don’t know.  We are told that cap-and-trade is dead but everyone keeps talking about the supposedly dead body.

The Overexcitable American Media Gets Over-Excited! by The Elephant's Child

The big story of the day concerns an article in Rolling Stone by a freelance reporter who was given access to General Stanley McChrystal and his staff in Afghanistan.  President Obama is furious (he said so) and General McChrystal is flying back to Washington, resignation probably in hand for a confrontation with the president.

The Telegraph, UK points out that:

There isn’t very much in the Rolling Stone article requiring an apology from General McChrystal, the man in charge in Afghanistan who has been summoned to the White House.  If he does resign, it should not be because of perceived slurs against the White House. They’re not there. …

Basically, the general – or “THE RUNAWAY GENERAL” as he is hysterically referred to – has been the victim of journalist hype. It is the magazine’s editors that call the White House “wimps”, and it is the author that uses almost every f-word in the piece, gratuitously, gratingly, and not while quoting anyone. The only f-word used by someone else is a Brit saying how much some people love McChrystal’s habit of showing up on patrol.

The very excitable press is burning up airwaves and internet with speculation on whether General McChrystal should be fired or not.  It is interesting to get the take from Britain, as the U.S. media speaks pretty much with one voice.  The callers to talk radio are all over the map — apparently none of them have seen the article, but knowledgeable based on something or other — and range from wanting McChrystal before a firing squad, to those who point out that McChrystal didn’t say much.  He has apologized, but a careful reading of the Rolling Stone article will show that the Telegraph got it pretty much right.

Glen Reynolds, Instapundit, put it succinctly:

Under a Republican president, it’s “Listen to the Generals.”  Under a Democratic President, it’s about “civilian control of the military.”

Open Borders and Amnesty or The Rule of Law? by The Elephant's Child

Arizona’s Senator John Kyl reports to a Town Hall meeting on his meeting with President Obama about Arizona’s immigration law and securing the border. The White House has denied that the president said any such thing, but Senator Kyl has reaffirmed his statement.

For border states in particular, illegal immigrants represent far more than poor Mexicans seeking work.  There is the problem of known criminals, drug trafficking, pressure on the public schools, hospitals and emergency rooms, welfare rolls, and terrorist infiltration.  Not all who cross the border are from Mexico.  There are a goodly number from countries known for terrorist training camps.  The states are reeling under the budgetary costs.

ADDENDUM: From Byron York at the Washington ExaminerKyl is not backing down. “What I said occurred, did occur,” he told an Arizona radio station. “Some spokesman down at the White House said no, that isn’t what happened at all, and then proceeded to say we need comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border. That is their position, and all I was doing was explaining why, from a conversation with the president, why it appears that that’s their position.”

Even if it didn’t have so many other fights on its hands, it would be unusual for an administration to align itself against an American state. But that’s precisely what has happened. Soon it will be up to the courts and voters to decide whether Obama’s campaign against Arizona will succeed or fail.

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