Archive for June 12th, 2009

June 12, 2009

Andrew Sullivan is a ‘conservative’in what sense of the word?

Sully accuses Glenn Reynolds of “partisan shenanigans”:

[T]he huge deficits projected in the future have virtually nothing to do with Obama’s proposals on healthcare or energy. They are a function of inherited entitlement spending, the legacy of two open-ended wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the revenue lost from the current depression (and the last). All of this was inherited by Obama . . .

Except that it wasn’t. And Sully’s argument is so astonishingly counterfactual that one scarcely knows where to begin debunking it.

First, huge deficits are not merely “projected in the future,” they are already upon us. This year, the federal government will borrow 46 cents for every dollar it spends. Predictably — well, I predicted it, anyway — the bond market is getting jittery and inflation looms.

Second, the list of causes to which Sully attributes these deficits does not include either (a) the February 2008 stimulus, (b) the April 2008 stimulus, (c) the October 2008 TARP bailout, or (d) the $787 billion stimulus that Obama signed on Feb. 17 of this year.

Obama was not present for the February and April 2008 stimulus votes, but he certainly did not oppose those measures. He voted “yes” on the October 2008 TARP, and I clearly remember the Feb. 8 speech this year in which Obama demanded that the Senate pass the stimulus bill that had not gotten a single GOP vote in the House.

One can only estimate what these Obama-backed measures have added to the deficit. Whatever the total amount, it is not zero and therefore it is false to say that the deficit was entirely “inherited” by Obama.

Is Sullivan for or against massive deficits? If he opposes deficits, where are his criticisms of the neo-Keynesian schemes that have been successively implemented over the past 16 months? If blaming Obama for the deficits is “partisan shenanigans,” then what shall we call Sullivan’s attempt to exculpate Obama for the soaring deficits?

Moreover, is there any criticism of Obama that Sullivan considers legitimate? Or rather, is he now as worshipfully awestruck of Obama as he was of Bush 2001-03?

Eventually, Sully will be even more disappointed in his new hero than he was in his old hero. A year from now, after the sucker’s rally ends, after the bottom falls out, interest rates and inflation skyrocket, and unemployment is somewhere north of 12 percent, Sully will be tut-tutting and will have forgotten his slams on “Insta-hack,” Some of us, however, will be ready to remind him.

June 12, 2009

Ted Kennedy gets $2M for autobiography

Politico reports:

Sen. Ted Kennedy, the veteran Massachusetts Democrat who is battling brain cancer, was paid nearly $2 million last year for an author’s advance on a new autobiography, according to financial disclosure reports made public Friday.

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

June 12, 2009

Massive New Deficit Spending!

They warned you if you voted for McCain, there would be huge new deficits, expanded arms programs, and an increase in our trade imbalance with China — and they were right!

Yes, my fellow Americans, The Other McCain administration embarked upon a deficit-spending program to purchase fireworks for the Fourth of July. The retail value of this mighty arsenal (acquired from Granny’s Fireworks in Watauga, Tenn.) is $800, although the actual purchase price is strictly classified. Why? Because if my wife finds out how much I’ve spent, she’ll inflict tortures that will make waterboarding at Gitmo look mild by comparison.

Due to the recession — we blame Bush! — reader contributions to the Emergency Fireworks Fund have failed to meet FY09 projections of our administration’s “fireworks czar” (a graduate of the prestigious Timothy Geither School of Mathematics). Therefore, we are now suffering a pyrotechnical deficit of crisis proportions.

Nevertheless, we have Hope that you will give generously because, like Joe Biden says, it’s patriotic.

(GRAPHIC: No Sheeples Here.) BTW, everyone is invited to the Third Annual Camp FUBAR Fourth of July Fireworks & BBQ Blowout on the shores of Alabama’s beautiful Lake Weiss. A Facebook page for this legendary event will be posted soon.

You may be asking yourself, “Why should I drive to Cherokee County, Alabama, to eat barbecue and watch a bunch of crazy rednecks shoot off fireworks?” Well, this ain’t just any ol’ barbecue. One of the South’s leading BBQ chefs, Sasquatch, has agreed to provide the ‘cue. Sasquatch’s Carolina-style smoked pork shoulder is so good, it ought to be against the law. And ask anyone who’s seen a McCain Family fireworks show: It’s better than Disneyworld! Here’s video of our historic 2005 finale:

So please give generously to the Emergency Fireworks Fundit’s for the children!

June 12, 2009

My cousin, Mandy Gulledge

I’ve blogged about Cousin Mandy here before. She’s a very talented singer and actress (as well as a wife and a mom) who lives in Alabama. Let me tell you a funny story.

Today I was checking my e-mail and noticed I had a bunch of notifications from Facebook: “So-and-so has commented on your note . . . .” Now, because my laptop is somewhat memory-impaired, I don’t often check my Facebook (an unusually memory-intensive site) so if you’re one of the 120 FB friend requests I haven’t approved yet, it’s not that I’m a snob, I’m just waaaaayy behind on my Facebooking.

Well, I kept seeing these notifications and got to wondering what it was that was being commented on so much. So I clicked over. My blog posts automatically feed into my Facebook profile via RSS, and here was this long thread of comments on my latest Glenn Greenwald-bashing post. Turns out, it was Dave C. from Point of a Gun and another conservative mixing it up with Cousin Mandy.

Mandy was more or less agreeing with Greenwald about “fearing” Republicans, and it started a regular donnybrook on Facebook, with Dave probably wondering, “Who’s this wacko woman bashing on my buddy McCain?” Heh. Crazy runs in the family.

My late mother was first cousins with Mandy’s mother Joanne, which makes us second cousins. In case you forgot the last time I blogged about my cousins from Montgomery, here’s Mandy:

Crazy ain’t all that runs in the family. So y’all be nice to cuz, y’hear? Mandy’s married, but you ought to see her sister Lizzy, who moved out to Hollywood:

Whenever Yankees start making jokes about Southerners and their cousins, I always say, “Yeah, but you ain’t seen my cousins!”