American Elephants


If You’re Riding a Dead Horse, For Heaven’s Sake Dismount! by The Elephant's Child
August 5, 2011, 8:40 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Yesterday was designed to produce bad dreams and sheer fear as the Dow dropped over 500 points through the floor. Our own nation’s refusal to get real about cutting back on spending has roiled the markets, and with Europe’s debt turmoil added in, it created a real panic.

Today, the announcement that U.S. job growth accelerated more than expected in July as private sector employers stepped up hiring, eased fears that the economy is slipping into a double-dip recession.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 117,000, according to the Labor Department, above market expectations for an 85,000 gain.

The unemployment rate dipped to 9.1 percent from 9.2 percent in June—mostly as a result of discouraged workers who quit looking for jobs.  Oh. Nevermind.

The market rallied by about 1 percent, but at least it was in the right direction.

Standard&Poors downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+, just like they said the would. This is a first. Obama says their calculations are wrong.

President Obama announced that he wanted to extend the elimination of the payroll tax.  And he wants an Infrastructure Bank, and lots more spending on infrastructure.  His views are fixed, set in concrete, and he does not change his mind.

Jobs, he believes,  are created by government spending. If it didn’t work with all the “investment spending” that added more than $4 trillion to the national debt, it’s simply because he didn’t invest enough.

I don’t know how we get through to him that his convictions are wrong and his ideas don’t work. He simply doesn’t want to listen.



Forewarned is Forearmed: Here’s How They Intend to Sway Minds! by The Elephant's Child

In the aftermath of his long participation in the budget ceiling debate, President Obama is planning a bus trip through the Midwest battleground states.  This is usually called, in campaign season — c-a-m-p-a-i-g-n-i-n-g. But not this time.  President Obama is simply going out to meet and chat with the American people about the nation’s problems. In other words, it’s on the taxpayers’ dime, not the Obama campaign dime.  Presidents need to get out and talk to the people said press secretary Jay Carney, that’s what presidents do.

When chatting with supporters Wednesday evening in a video conference, Obama counseled his supporters “not to get too bogged down” in details.  He encouraged them to focus on broad themes when it comes to his policies on taxes and war, instead of the specifics of individual policies:

If somebody asks about taxes, nobody is really interested in hearing what precise marginal tax rate change would you like to see in the tax code. What they want to know is that our campaign stands for a fair, just approach to the tax code that says everybody has to chip in, and that it’s not right if a hedge fund manager is being taxed at a lower rate than his or her secretary.

Yup, got that talking point. Tax the rich.  On Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama said:

f somebody asks about the war, whether it’s Iraq or Afghanistan — if it’s Iraq, you have a pretty simple answer, which is all our folks are going to be out of there by the end of the year.  If it’s Afghanistan, you can talk about, look, we think it’s time for us to transition to Afghan lead and rebuild here at home.  So again, It’s a values issue: Where are we prioritizing our resources?

On bringing our troops home from  Bush’s war. Never mind that the generals disagree,

Obama said that his campaign would take the lead in ensuring that volunteers have good talking points to take out on the campaign trail.  The president said his administration would also laly out new initiatives that wold help his grassroots volunteers sell his record.

It’s all part of his constant focus on saving and creating jobs.  In particular, his own job. Which may be in some doubt? It was reported a while back that Obama told Harry Reid “I have a Gift!” We assumed that meant that he had excellent speaking abilities.  I think he meant that “I can say anything, and the suckers will swallow it whole.”

The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee has launched a new ad and fundraising campaign, targeting 44 House Republicans over their party’s stance on Medicare and raising the debt ceiling. The are calling it “Accountability August” as part of the campaign to win control of the House in 2012.

You would think that Democrats who would not even present a budget in more than 815 days would be a little embarrassed,  but they don’t embarrass easily. Here’s the gist:

“Congressman  Republican voted to end Medicare forcing seniors to pay more to protect tax breaks for Big Oil and millionaires.  Tell _______ to stop choosing millionaires over seniors.”

Is the lie more offensive, or is it more offensive that they think seniors are stupid? Nobody voted to end Medicare, Nobody offered tax breaks to millionaires. No one has taken money out of Medicare except the Democrats, who in passing ObamaCare, took $500 billion out of Medicare.  This comes out of reimbursement to providers, meaning that it may be harder for seniors to find a primary physician, and may find some specialists won’t accept Medicare payments. Democrats always think they can just pay providers less and there will be no consequences.

The attack is meant to focus on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan that included changes to Medicare — which specifically protected seniors from any change and included those down to age 55.  For those under 55, there were proposals to reduce costs while changing Medicare to make it available for those younger in a form to cut the expense.
Medicare must be reformed or it will go completely broke and be unavailable for anyone. It’s not a political problem, it is a demographic problem of the enormous baby boom meeting a program that is unsustainable.

I guess when your only accomplishments are spending us into a desperate budget situation that will take years to recover from, and passing a health care bill that everyone hates, you just have to make up things to run on.  I don’t know if the country can survive on a diet of falsehood.




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