FT146: “A Democrat promise to cut spending is as good as a promise from Lucy that she’ll let Charlie Brown kick that football.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 30th, 2012

Fundamental Truth

Tax and Spend Democrats have given us the Financial Crisis we call Taxmageddon or the Fiscal Cliff

Democrats like to spend money.  Earning the moniker tax and spend liberals/Democrats.  And what money they can’t tax away from the taxpayers they borrow.  And what they can’t borrow they print.  They beg, borrow, steal, tax and print as much money as they can.  Because they can never raise enough money to spend.

To help them in their insatiable appetite to spend they make spending promises that the state can never fulfill.  Creating one financial crisis after another.  Creating an urgency to raise taxes.  And debt limits.  Or else face bankruptcy.  And the inability for the U.S government to pay their debt obligations.  Lowering the U.S. sovereign debt rating.  Much like Standard and Poor’s did in 2011.  Something that we must avoid at all costs.  That is, something we must avoid from happening again at all costs.  And those costs are typically higher taxes and ever more debt.

Guess what?  We have another crisis.  It’s got a couple of names.  Taxmageddon.  And the fiscal cliff.  The expiration of the Bush tax cuts.  And massive spending cuts.  Because Democrats and Republicans couldn’t agree on a deal to reduce the deficit they agreed to sequestration.  Automatic spending cuts that will gut entitlements and defense spending.  All in a vain attempt to balance the budget.  Like politicians have been saying we must do for the last three decades or so.  But never do.  In fact our politicians have done the exact opposite.  They’ve increased spending.  So much so that we now are at a fiscal cliff.

Republicans are Hapless Sad Sacks when Negotiating a Spending Cut/New Tax Deal with Democrats

A recurring joke on the children’s cartoon Peanuts is how Lucy makes a fool of poor old Charlie Brown.  She continually promises to hold the football for him to kick.  Even though every other time she has promised this she pulled the ball away just before Charlie could kick it.  Sending him flying up into the air and falling flat on his back.  Making a fool of himself.  Bringing a big smile to Lucy’s face.  As it amuses her that Charlie is so foolish to fall for this trick time and again.  But she promises that this time he can trust her.  So she uses lies and manipulation to get Charlie to believe her.  And he goes running at that football.  Determined to finally kick it.  Only to have her pull the ball away again.  Sending him flying up into the air and falling flat on his back.  Again.

Sound familiar?  Kind of sounds like pretty much every spending cuts/tax deal ever brokered by the Democrats.  Who look at the Republicans with that ‘Lucy’ smile on their face.  Incredulous that they can get away by making the same old promises that they never keep.  Getting what they want, modest tax hikes now, in exchange for generous spending cuts later.  And just like that classic song in Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music the Republicans keep asking when is later?  Just like poor Henrik.  Who epitomizes the Republicans when it comes to spending cut negotiations with Democrats.  Who are always told those spending cuts will come later.

Later…

When is later?

All you ever hear is “Later, Henrik, Henrik, later.”

Substitute ‘the Republicans’ for the sad sack ‘Henrik’ and this can be a song about Republicans.

How can I wait around for later?

I’ll be ninety on my deathbed

And the late, or, rather, later, Henrik Egerman.

Doesn’t anything begin?

Poor Henrik.  As hapless as Republicans in a spending cuts/new tax deal they negotiate with Democrats.

The Democrats look at the Republicans like they are all Charlie Brown

George Herbert Walker Bush made a deal with Democrats.  Even reneged on his famous ‘read my lips, no new taxes’ pledge.  He agreed to $1 in new taxes for every $2 in later spending cuts.  Those tax hikes were quick to go into law.  While we’re still waiting for those later spending cuts.  Ronald Reagan made even a grander deal with Democrats.  $3 in later spending cuts for every $1 in new taxes.  The Democrats were quick to enact those new taxes.  But we’re still waiting on those later spending cuts.  Reagan went to his deathbed at 93 still waiting for those later spending cuts.  He waited for later to come.  But later never came.  As promised later spending cuts never, ever, begin.

For when it comes to promised spending cuts Democrats are like Lucy.  With that snarky smile.  Making the same promises that they’ve made so many times before.  Promises they never keep.  And have no intention of ever to start keeping them.  Laughing to themselves that they can get Republicans time and again to believe their same empty promises.

They look at the Republicans like they are all Charlie Brown.  They have no respect for them.  They lie to them at will.  Say whatever it takes to get their way.  Making promises they have no intention of keeping.  Promising George H.W. Bush $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in new taxes.  Promising Ronald Reagan $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in new taxes.  Both lies.  And now President Obama is saying that any deal to avoid Taxmageddon or the fiscal cliff must include both spending cuts and new taxes.  As if they are not Lucy.  But we all know that they are Lucy.  For any deal including later spending cuts for new taxes will see the Republicans on their deathbed at 90 still waiting for the Democrats to deliver on those spending cuts.  And just when they think they will Lucy will pull that football away.  Again.  Making the Republicans look like fools once again.

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LESSONS LEARNED #69: “Democrats bank on the youth vote because they’ve lost the wise vote.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 9th, 2011

When America Changed

The youth movement during the Vietnam War destroyed LBJ.  And lost the Vietnam War.  The college protests.  The explosion in drug use.  Free love.  Race riots.  American terrorists bombing government buildings.  Timothy Leary.  Rock stars promoting drug use.  Dying from drug use.  And leading the youth movement in their anti-war, anti-establishment protests.  This youth was everything their parents weren’t.  It changed America forever.  And not for the better.

The problem with the youth is that they’re young.  They are inexperienced.  And don’t know much.  But when they learn a few things, look out, they then think they now know everything.  Thanks to some manipulative college professors who fed these kids’ intellectual vanity.  Told them that they could make a difference.  And then these kids set out to change the world.  Often with violent protest.  Mob violence.  Which was new in America.  The youth protested the Vietnam War because they were drafting the youth to fight it.  Or just because protesting was fun.  But their protests only extended the war.  For the Tet Offensive almost ended the war in 1968.  The Americans hammered the NVA and the Viet Cong.  Everywhere.  And yet Walter Cronkite took to television and said the war was lost.  Further inflaming the anti-war youth movement.  Riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention.  Protests at Kent State that ended in the shooting of 4 students by national guardsmen.  Sparking violent protests on college campuses everywhere.  Our enemies in Vietnam saw this and couldn’t believe what they were seeing.  And they learned something.  They didn’t need to win the war.  They just needed not to lose the war.  So they adopted a Fabian strategy.  And sacrificed their people until the Americans grew weary of killing them.  Which they did.  Some 7 years later.

These college students grew up and became teachers.  College professors.  And have been trying to change the world ever since.  By teaching their students to be like them.  Feeding these kids’ intellectual vanity.  Making them feel important.  That they, too, can change the world.  If they do as they did.

Tell the Youth what kind of Underwear you Wear and they’ll Vote for You

Walter Cronkite eventually admitted his liberal bias.  He was probably the first that went from reporting news to influencing events.  At least, the first that mattered.  For he was the most trusted man in America.  The transformation of the mainstream media soon followed.  Gone were the days of Brinkley and Huntley.  The days of passive news coverage was over.  And the point of no return was the Watergate scandal.  Never before did the media destroy a presidential administration.  Like they did with the Republican Richard Nixon.  The media bias was set.  And became a part of liberal politics.

It was a perfect match.  The youth movement.  And the media.  Together they would advance policy and influence elections.  The media would control the message.  And advance the liberal bias of public education.  Instilled by those radicals of the Sixties.  And you can see it really come together in the 1992 presidential campaign.  Where Bill Clinton ran against the incumbent George H.W. Bush (Read my lips; no new taxes).  Who had record approval ratings a couple of years earlier with the Gulf War victory.  He was so unbeatable that no ‘first string’ Democrat candidates entered the race.  Then a few things happened.  He made a deal with the House to raise taxes in exchange for future spending cuts.  The boob.  Democrats never follow through on spending-cut promises.  And Ross Perot.

Now, according to the exit polling, Ross Perot took an equal amount of votes from each candidate.    Maybe he did.  Maybe his third-party candidacy didn’t help Clinton by taking votes away from Bush.  But he did do something else.  There was a reason Clinton wasn’t a ‘first string’ candidate.  He was flawed.  There was some dirt in his past.  Some scandal.  But no one heard about.  Because the little guy with the big ears who talked funny and had all those charts and graphs just fascinated everyone.  It took the attention away from Clinton’s past.  With a kind assist from the media.  Who with their liberal bias helped their liberal candidate.  And then Clinton went on MTV and told the kids what kind of underwear he wore.  And played the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show.  He was a hit with the kids.  The 18-24 demographic made up 11% of the votes.  And that 11% split 46%-33% in favor of Clinton with 21% going to Perot.  Did the youth vote push Clinton over Bush?  They definitely helped.  But more important is the lesson learned.  There are a lot of youth voters.  Historically it hasn’t been easy getting them to the polls.  Because they’re kids who don’t think about politics or elections.  They’re thinking about having fun.  But if you can get them to the polls, and if you can get them to vote for you, they can make a difference.  And Clinton showed how to do it.

Organizing the Youth Vote to Compensate for a Lack of Qualifications

In 2008, the Democrats ran the most unqualified candidate for president they ever ran.  Barack Hussein Obama.  A man that never had a real job.  Or any executive experience.  He had no foreign policy credentials.  The only thing on his resume was a partial term as a U.S. senator.  And a stint as a state senator.  Oh, and he was a community organizer.  Young, inexperienced and wholly unqualified, he was the man to beat.  It should have been an easy task.  But the Republicans let the media pick their candidate.  During the primaries the media gave John McCain glowing coverage.  Said he was what the Republican Party needed.  Someone who can reach across the aisle.  And govern as a moderate.  Of course, they were just blowing smoke.  Because the last thing they wanted was a conservative running against Obama.  Because they were sure that in a campaign between two moderates, they could get their moderate elected.

What Obama lacked in experience and qualifications he made up in organizing a campaign.  He was an excellent candidate.  And ran an excellent campaign.  He tapped into that youth vote.  Who were fed up.  Never in all of their 18-24 years were they as upset as they were during the 2008 campaign.  The economy.  Affordable housing.  Jobs.  Health care.  The Iraq War.  Things that didn’t touch their lives at all while they were ensconced in their cozy college utopias, living off the generosity of mommy and daddy.  But Obama heard them.  And told them that he heard them.  Finally, someone who cared.  And someone who wasn’t George W. Bush.

The youth would be his foot soldiers.  Coming from Chicago, that’s something you need.  He called for volunteers.  And got volunteers.  Some 4 million.  And being the kids they were they knew how to use the Internet.  They knew how to surf.  How to design websites.  How to ask for donations.  And boy did they.  They left the old man (McCain) in the dust.  The Obama campaign was awash in cash.  Even after beating a very well connected Hillary Clinton in the primary.  It may have been her turn.  But Obama never got that memo.  Besides she was old.  And had baggage (i.e., Bill Clinton).  Obama was young.  And new.  He was everything and a bag of Skittles.  First time voters turned out in droves.  And voted for him 68% of the time.  In a year with a record turnout of youth voters.

Young and Dumb wins Elections

It’s difficult to teach an old dog new tricks.  So it’s important to teach the young what you want them to know.  For once they’re thinking ‘correctly’ it’ll be hard to change their mind.  Oh, sure, it’ll happen.  As they grow up and mature.  But you’ll get a few elections out of them before that happens.  And, if you’re lucky, maybe they’ll become a teacher.  Or a public sector worker.  Or a journalist.  But the sad reality is that a lot of these people will get jobs in the private sector.  Raise families.  And eventually become conservative. 

That’s why in every election there is a ‘get out the vote’ campaign.  To get as many fist time voters as possible.  Kids who are politically unaware.  Who know nothing about history or economics.  Blank slates.  Just waiting to be initiated.  Indoctrinated.  To become good Democrat voters.  Because America is a center-right country.  And the majority of people work in the private sector.  Are politically aware.  They know history and economics.  And vote conservative.  Which is why the Democrats don’t want to campaign against a conservative candidate.  And will use the media to get as many John McCains as possible as their Republican candidate.  Because history has proven that a John McCain and a large youth vote will get a Democrat candidate elected.

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Obama Going all George W. Bush in the Middle East?

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 19th, 2011

Fighting Wars on the other Side of the World

In 1775, the shooting in the American Revolutionary War began.  The world’s superpower, the British Empire, had planned on taking some arms away from local rebels.  Some shots were exchanged at Lexington and Concord.  And the small British force retreated to Boston.  The rebels harassed the British column the entire way.  The war did not begin well for the British.  And it would end like it began.  Not well.  The British formally recognized the United States of America 8 years later with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

The British outclassed the Americans in every way but one.  Lines of communications.  The British lines were some 3,000 miles back to Great Britain.  About a 6 hour flight today.  Then, a couple of months by ship.  By contrast the Americans held the advantage of short, interior lines.  We could ‘hit and run’ and melt back into the surrounding country.  Like we did in 1775 during that British retreat.  As we did throughout the war.  Though General Washington wanted to defeat the British in a decisive battle, he would not get the chance to meet the British in such a battle until 6 long years later at Yorktown.  Unable to win a decisive battle, he did the only thing he could.  Not lose a decisive battle.  The American Revolutionary War was a war of attrition.  The British sued for peace when the cost of continuing the war was greater than the British people were willing to pay.  As wars are wont to be with such long lines of communications.

Military planners have learned this lesson.  You are probably familiar with a more recent war that was similar.  Where a world superpower was involved in a war of attrition half way across the world.  In South Vietnam.  The Americans came into the conflict to support South Vietnam from Communist North Vietnam.  There is no South Vietnam today.  Like the British some 200 years earlier, we won the military engagements but just couldn’t win the war.  When the cost in blood and treasure became too great, we met in Paris, too, to end the war.  We signed the Paris Peace Accords in 1973.  And we learned the British lesson of 1783.

Winning the War is Easier than Winning the Peace

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, George H. W. Bush assembled an international coalition and threw the Iraqis out of Kuwait.  Operation Desert Storm was an overwhelming victory.  However, Bush was heavily criticized for ‘not finishing the job’ in the Gulf War.  His critics said we should have gone on to Baghdad to remove Hussein from power.  We didn’t.  For a couple of good reasons.  First of all, the coalition included Arab nations.  They only joined to repel Hussein from Kuwait.  Not to remove him from power.  The other reason was that if we toppled Hussein we would own Iraq.  And we would probably end up there for years trying to ‘win the peace’.

Following the Gulf War there were uprisings throughout Iraq.  The world watched hopeful that he would be overthrown by his own people and democracy would break out.  It didn’t.  He suppressed the rebellions brutally.  So brutally that no-fly zones were established in the north over the Kurds and in the south over the Shiite population.  But we didn’t invade.  And he remained a thorn in our side.  And his people suffered.

After 9/11, the US invaded Afghanistan.  Then Iraq.  The official reason was his weapons of mass destruction that he never documented destroyed.  He had used chemical weapons against the Iranians.  And the Kurds.  Being a ‘supporter’ of terrorism there was worry he might provide these weapons to a terrorist.  So there was that reason.  The other reason was a little more convoluted.  Osama bin Laden was a Wahhabi Sunni.  He had ties in Saudi Arabia.  And there was a large Wahhabi population in Saudi Arabia providing funding to al Qaeda.  The Saudis were reluctant to shut down this funding for fear of a rebellion by the Wahhabis against the House of Saud.  But there was one thing that worried them more than the Wahhabis.  Shiite Iran.  By invading Iraq we forced their hand.  They had a vested interest in seeing us succeed in Iraq.  And in our war against al Qaeda.  We made progress against al Qaeda and their Taliban hosts in Afghanistan.  And the Saudi started to shut down their funding.  The Iraq War was a success.  But the one drawback was that we now owned Iraq.  And winning the peace was nowhere as easy as winning the war.  As George W. Bush learned.

Obama Commits Military Force in Libya

The US has some very important friends in the Middle East and North Africa.  Among these are Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.  To name a few.  These are nations with Sunni populations and/or Sunni governments unfriendly to Iran.  Egypt made peace with Israel and kept the Suez Canal open for international trade for decades.  Saudi Arabia peacefully coexists with its neighbors and is the largest oil exporter in the world.  Except for the oil embargo of 1973, they have maintained the flow of that oil at market prices to Western economies.  The US Navy’s 5th Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain.

These nations aren’t perfect.  Saudi women can’t drive a car, for example.  But they’re stalwart US allies.  One of these nations was pretty progressive as well as being a staunch US friend.  Egypt.  Egyptian women were about the freest in the Middle East, second only to Tunisia.  Egypt and Tunisia, though, were suffering economically.  Had high unemployment.  And a Muslim opposition unhappy with their ‘Western’ ways.  The largest organized opposition group is the Muslim Brotherhood.  And they can be best described as being more simpatico with Iran.  When Egypt had their uprising, the Obama administration called it a democracy uprising and called for Hosni Mubarak to give up power.  Without considering who would step into that power void.  Which did not go over well with Mubarak.  Or the Saudis.

Now Libya is burning.  Qaddafi is attacking his own people.  The US dithered for weeks.  While the Libyans cried for help.  Even other Arab nations cried for our help.  But we did nothing.  Even though Qaddafi is not a US friend.  And was a sponsor of terrorism.  As the carnage mounted, though, someone took action.  The French of all people (see U.S. Missiles Strike Libyan Air-Defense Targets by David Kirkpatrick, Steven Erlanger and Elisabeth Bumiller posted 3/19/2011 The New York Times).

American and European forces began a broad campaign of strikes against the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi on Saturday, unleashing warplanes and missiles in a military intervention on a scale not seen in the Arab world since the Iraq war…

The campaign began with French warplane missions even before the end of an emergency summit meeting in Paris, where leaders, reacting to news that Colonel Qaddafi’s forces were attacking the rebel capital city of Benghazi on Saturday morning despite international demands for a cease-fire, said they had no choice but to act to defend Libyan civilians and opposition forces.

France has a Muslim problem.  They had some riots a few years back in some Paris Muslim suburbs.  Where young Muslims were unemployed.  Unhappy.  And not all that willing to assimilate into French culture.  Though they want to live in France.  So there’s been tensions between the French and their Muslim population.  So it says a lot that France was on point in this attack on a Muslim country.  Yes, at this time the international community, including some Arab states, approve of this action.  But you play with fire whenever you attack a Muslim country.  Especially if they have oil.  And Libya has oil.  In fact, it’s some of the finest oil in the Middle East.  A low-sulfur sweet crude.

When the international community was coming together against him, Qaddafi was defiant.  Warned us to stay out of their internal affairs.

“Libya is not yours. Libya is for all Libyans,” he wrote in one letter, read to the news media by a spokesman. “This is injustice, it is clear aggression, and it is uncalculated risk for its consequences on the Mediterranean and Europe.

“You will regret it if you take a step toward intervening in our internal affairs.”

Colonel Qaddafi addressed President Obama as “our son,” in a letter jarring for its familiarity. “I have said to you before that even if Libya and the United States enter into war, God forbid, you will always remain my son and I have all the love for you as a son, and I do not want your image to change with me,” he wrote. “We are confronting Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, nothing more. What would you do if you found them controlling American cities with the power of weapons? Tell me how would you behave so that I could follow your example?”

Could this be why the Obama administration was so reluctant to act?  Because of a father-son relationship between Obama and Qaddafi?  You gotta admit this is a strange thing for Qaddafi to say.  Makes you wonder just what was the extent of Obama’s apology tour in the Middle East.  One thing for sure, it will give fuel to those who think Obama is a Muslim.  I mean, it just doesn’t help when the bad guy calls you a son.

Regret?  We should take that threat seriously.  After some military encounters with Libyan losses in the Gulf of Sidra Qaddafi retaliated with the bombing of a German disco frequented by US troops.  When we discovered his connection to that bombing we bombed Tripoli.  In retaliation for that bombing he had a bomb smuggled aboard a 747.  Pan Am Flight 103.  Brought down on Lockerbie, Scotland.  So he has a history of getting even.  Which we need to be on guard for.

Obama now Owns Libya

So it’s war.  Missiles are flying.  People are dying (see Libya: British forces launch missile attacks on Gaddafi by Colin Freeman, in Benghazi and Sean Rayment posted 3/20/2011 on the UK’s Telegraph).

Explosions were reported at an airport east of Tripoli as a British Trafalgar Class submarine and US Navy ships and submarines stationed off Libya fired 110 Tomahawk missiles at 20 targets in what one source described as a “night of carnage”.

The missiles targeted Libyan command and control centres, radar installations and surface-to-air missile sites. Libyan officials said the attacks were “barbaric” and causing civilian casualties…

British sources and Pentagon officials said Nato would undertake a “battle damage assessment” of Libya’s military during daylight hours and would decide whether to continue with further attacks.

Sources at the Elysée Palace said Britain, France and the United States had assumed the “leadership” of the coalition in early talks between the Prime Minister, Mr Sarkozy and Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State. The “extremely purposeful conclusion” of the early talks was endorsed by the full meeting, where speakers included Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations secretary general.

Well, President Obama has his third war.  Pretty impressive for a guy that said he would get us out of Iraq (he didn’t).  That he would fully prosecute the Afghanistan War to victory (he hasn’t).  And he wouldn’t nation-build like his predecessor.  George W. Bush.  He now may.  There’s no way Qaddafi can withstand the military force now aligned against him.  So he will lose.  But what then?  Who will fill that power vacuum?  In an already unstable and changing Middle East?  He can say what he wants about Iraq and Afghanistan, but it’s different with Libya.  This happened on his watch.  And he now owns it.  It will be up to him to win the peace.  Or lose it.

Those naval operations against Libya will be based out of Bahrain.  I sure hope he doesn’t encourage any more ‘democracy’ uprisings while we’re using that base for combat operations.  It would be a shame to lose that base during the middle of these operations.  And by a shame I mean a complete and utter disaster.  Because that would greatly extend our lines of communications.  And history has shown what that can do in war.

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Mass Murder and a Fallen Democrat Provide an Opportunity to Reenact the Fairness Doctrine

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 10th, 2011

The Left wants a Fairness Doctrine to Stifle Political Dissent

And here it is.  The big one.  What the Left really wants.  The ability to censor the opposing viewpoint so they can easily advance their agenda without political dissent.  You know what it is.  It’s called the Fairness Doctrine.  To stifle that vitriol we call free speech.  Our First Amendment right.  Which some are saying caused the Arizona Shooting rampage (see Clyburn: Words can be danger by Yvonne Wenger posted 1/10/2011 on The Post and Courier).

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in Congress, said Sunday the deadly shooting in Arizona should get the country thinking about what’s acceptable to say publicly and when people should keep their mouths shut.

Clyburn said he thinks vitriol in public discourse led to a 22-year-old suspect opening fire Saturday at an event Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords held for her constituents in Tucson, Ariz. Six people were killed and 14 others were injured, including Giffords.

Clyburn thinks wrong.  From what we’re learning, it sounds like the shooter wasn’t even aware of reality let alone the public discourse.  Of course, you wouldn’t know this if you rush to some kind of judgment.  Or are just using the tragedy to advance a stalled agenda.

The shooting is cause for the country to rethink parameters on free speech, Clyburn said from his office, just blocks from the South Carolina Statehouse. He wants standards put in place to guarantee balanced media coverage with a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, in addition to calling on elected officials and media pundits to use ‘better judgment.’

The Fairness Doctrine.  Statutory censorship.  You see, back then there were only three networks and PBS.  And the Fairness Doctrine was to keep them fair and balanced.  If they aired a story favoring one viewpoint, they then had to give time for the opposing viewpoint.  Or face a fine.  Sounds fair, doesn’t it?  But it’s just a fancy way to enact state censorship.

Here’s how.  Who’s to determine what programming meets the balancing requirement of the Fairness Doctrine?  The FCC.  Which is part of the executive branch of the government.  So the president had the power to determine what was appropriate speech.  And what wasn’t.  That’s a lot of power.  And JFK and LBJ put that power to good uses.  They used it to harass their political enemies.  Made it so costly to air a point of view opposing theirs that stations would refuse to air them.  It really stifled political dissent.  And made it a lot easier to pass the Great Society legislation.

Ah, yes, those were the good old days.  When you didn’t have all that messiness we call free speech.  The 1960s and 1970s were Big Government decades.  Times were good for the liberal left.  That is until Ronald Reagan came along to spoil everything.  For it was Reagan who repealed the Fairness Doctrine.  And ever since the Left has wanted it back.

The Left wants a Fairness Doctrine to Hush Rush

The party really ended in the 1980s.  Not only did they lose their beloved doctrine, but there was a new kid on the block.  Talk radio.  It was bad enough not to have ‘fairness’ as they saw fairness, but now there was more than three networks and PBS.  There was content all over the place that they couldn’t control.  And it really pissed them off.  Especially a guy by the name of Rush Limbaugh.  He was such a thorn in Bill Clinton’s side that some called the Fairness Doctrine the ‘Hush Rush’ bill. 

You have to remember how Bill Clinton won the election.  He won with one of the lowest percentages of the popular vote.  Ross Perot was a third-party candidate that drained votes away from both candidates.  But, more importantly, he turned the election into a media circus.  Everyone was following what wacky thing he would say or do next that few paid attention to Clinton’s less than spotless past.  And people were spitting mad about George H.W. Bush‘s broken pledge not to raise taxes.  You take these two things away and Bush the elder would have been a two-term president.  So Clinton wasn’t very popular with the people to begin with. 

During the Nineties, some 20 million people a week were tuning in to listen to Rush.  Why was he so popular?  For the simple reason that he held the same views as some 20 million people in the country.  And these people were tired of the media bias.  For them Rush was a breath of fresh air.  His radio show was the only place this huge mass of people could go and not hear the Democrat spin on everything.  And this was a real threat to the Left.  They blamed him for their failure to nationalize health care.  And the Left blamed Rush for Whitewater, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, the blue dress, etc.  Hillary Clinton called the Lewinsky affair a vast right-wing conspiracy.  And if it wasn’t for Rush and talk radio, those things would have remained hidden. So you can see why they hated him.

The Shooting of a Democrat Allows the Left to Attack Conservatives

It was bad for Bill Clinton.  But President Obama has it even worse.  The FOX News channel has blown away the cable competition.  The Internet has come of age.  There’s more content out there than ever before.  And the old guard (the three networks, PBS and the liberal newspapers) are losing more and more of their influence.  In other words, they need the Fairness Doctrine like never before.  Because there is way too much free speech for their liking.  It’s just not a good time if you’re trying to be devious.

So when a mass murder comes along and a Democrat is shot in the head, they pounce.  Representative Clyburn uses this tragedy to advance the Fairness Doctrine.  Even though he knew little at the time.  But that didn’t stop him.  They have no evidence, but the Left has blamed the Tea Party, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, FOX News, and anyone else who has ever held a contrary viewpoint.

So, what, then, motivated this killer in Arizona? 

Who is Jared Loughner

Well, let’s hear what a close friend of the shooter, Jared Loughner, says.  Bryce Tierney knew him since high school.  Even went to college with him.  And from what he says, Loughner doesn’t sound like he was influenced by anyone on the right (see Exclusive: Loughner Friend Explains Alleged Gunman’s Grudge Against Giffords by Nick Baumann posted 1/10/2011 on Mother Jones).

Tierney tells Mother Jones in an exclusive interview that Loughner held a years-long grudge against Giffords and had repeatedly derided her as a “fake.” Loughner’s animus toward Giffords intensified after he attended one of her campaign events and she did not, in his view, sufficiently answer a question he had posed, Tierney says. He also describes Loughner as being obsessed with “lucid dreaming”—that is, the idea that conscious dreams are an alternative reality that a person can inhabit and control—and says Loughner became “more interested in this world than our reality.” Tierney adds, “I saw his dream journal once. That’s the golden piece of evidence. You want to know what goes on in Jared Loughner’s mind, there’s a dream journal that will tell you everything…”

But the thing I remember most is just that question. I don’t remember him stalking her or anything.” Tierney notes that Loughner did not display any specific political or ideological bent: “It wasn’t like he was in a certain party or went to rallies…It’s not like he’d go on political rants.”  But Loughner did, according to Tierney, believe that government is “fucking us over.” He never heard Loughner vent about the perils of “currency,” as Loughner did on one YouTube video he created… 

Once, Tierney recalls, Loughner told him, “I’m pretty sure I’ve come to the conclusion that words mean nothing.” Loughner would also tell Tierney and his friends that life “means nothing…”

Tierney believes that Loughner was very interested in pushing people’s buttons—and that may have been why he listed Hitler’s Mein Kampf as one of his favorite books on his YouTube page. (Loughner’s mom is Jewish, according to Tierney.) Loughner sometimes approached strangers and would say “weird” things, Tierney recalls. “He would do it because he thought people were below him and he knew they wouldn’t know what he was talking about.”

In college, Loughner became increasingly intrigued with “lucid dreaming,” and he grew convinced that he could control his dreams, according to Tierney. In a series of rambling videos posted to his YouTube page, dreams are a frequent topic. In a video posted on December 15, Loughner writes, “My favorite activity is conscience dreaming: the greatest inspiration for my political business information. Some of you don’t dream—sadly.” In another video, he writes, “The population of dreamers in the United States of America is less than 5%!” Later in the same video he says,  “I’m a sleepwalker—who turns off the alarm clock.”

Loughner believed that dreams could be a sort of alternative, Matrix-style reality, and “that when you realize you’re dreaming, you can do anything, you can create anything,” Tierney says. Loughner started his “dream journal” in an attempt to take more control of his dreams, his friend notes, and he kept this journal for over a year…

After Loughner apparently gave up drugs and booze, “his theories got worse,” Tierney says. “After he quit, he was just off the wall.” And Loughner started to drift away from his group of friends about a year ago. By early 2010, dreaming had become Loughner’s “waking life, his reality,” Tierney says. “He sort of drifted off, didn’t really care about hanging out with friends. He’d be sleeping a lot.” Loughner’s alternate reality was attractive, Tierney says. “He figured out he could fly.” Loughner, according to Tierney, told his friends, “I’m so into it because I can create things and fly. I’m everything I’m not in this world.”

But in this world, Loughner seemed ticked off by what he believed to be a pervasive authoritarianism. “The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar,” he wrote in one YouTube video. In another, Loughner complains that when he tried to join the military, he was handed a “mini-Bible.” That upset him: “I didn’t write a belief on my Army application and the recruiter wrote on the application: None,” he wrote on YouTube. In messages on MySpace last month, Loughner declared, “I’ll see you on National T.v.! This is foreshadow.” He also noted on the website, “I don’t feel good: I’m ready to kill a police officer! I can say it…”

Since hearing of the rampage, Tierney has been trying to figure out why Loughner did what he allegedly did. “More chaos, maybe,” he says. “I think the reason he did it was mainly to just promote chaos. He wanted the media to freak out about this whole thing. He wanted exactly what’s happening. He wants all of that.” Tierney thinks that Loughner’s mindset was like the Joker in the most recent Batman movie: “He fucks things up to fuck shit up, there’s no rhyme or reason, he wants to watch the world burn. He probably wanted to take everyone out of their monotonous lives: ‘Another Saturday, going to go get groceries’—to take people out of these norms that he thought society had trapped us in.”

It wasn’t Vitriol, it was Insanity

Well, he doesn’t sound like a Tea Party guy.  Or a fan of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman or FOX News.  He doesn’t sound like a religious guy.  He may have been anti-Semitic.  He felt superior to those around him.  He liked to dream and spend a lot of time in his imagination.  He may have liked the movie The Matrix.  Maybe even thought he was in a ‘Matrix‘ fantasyland.  He did drugs and drank at one time.  When he went sober, though, he seemed to go deeper into his imagination.  He was pretty certain that the government was controlling people with an insidious form of grammar.  And he wasn’t a fan of authority figures and thought killing a cop would cheer him up.

I don’t know, maybe it’s me, but I wouldn’t call this guy a conservative.  And I don’t think there was any vitriol egging him on.  I doubt any vitriol could compete with what was going on in his imagination.  This guy had serious mental issues.  He was unstable.  And dangerous.  And the only reason why he shot Representative Giffords is because she had the misfortune of being his representative.

So Representative Clyburn, and the far left, are wrong.  No one on the right is responsible for this tragedy in Arizona.  The shooter was just a nutcase.  Little solace for the victims’ families.  But it does say that we don’t need a Fairness Doctrine.  For it would NOT have altered what happened in Tucson, Arizona, this past Saturday.

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LESSONS LEARNED #38: “Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 4th, 2010

Liars Lie

Lying works.  Political spin.  Poetic license.  Fibbing.  Slander.  Libel.  Call it what you’d like.  Politicians lie.  Because it works.  Especially when you can’t win in the arena of ideas.  If they can’t win the philosophical debate what do our politicians do?  Attack the messenger, not the message.  If the history doesn’t validate their policies what do they do?  Revise history.  It never changes.  The only thing that does is the people hearing the lies.

Presidents may dream, but the House of Representatives controls the purse.  That’s why there are numerous battles between Capitol Hill and the White House.  Between Speakers of the House and presidents.  Some of the big partisan battles in recent times?  Tip O’Neil and Ronald Reagan.  Tom Foley and George H.W. Bush.  Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton.  Nancy Pelosi and George W. Bush.  When different political parties hold the White House and the Hill, the partisanship escalates.  And the lies get more brazen.  Especially on the political fringe.

Some lies bordered on the ridiculous.  Like Ronald Reagan created AIDS to kill homosexuals.  That George H. W. Bush flew to Iran on an SR-71 to meet secretly with the Iranians during the 1980 presidential campaign.  Why?  To negotiate with the Iranians to keep the American hostages until after the election.  That George W. Bush blew up the Twin Towers to start a war that would let him invade Iraq.  No doubt there was some political damage from these lies.  But the lasting damage from these ridiculous lies pale in comparison to the Big Lies that the Left perpetuates to this day.

Trickle-Down Economics

Ronald Reagan was president from 1981 until 1989.  When he entered office, the economy was in the toilet.  Double digit inflation.  Double digit interest rates.  Unemployment at 7.1%.  Reagan wanted to cut taxes and spending.  The Democrat controlled Congress wanted to increase federal spending to ‘stimulate’ the economy (ala Keynesian economics).  The Congress fought him.  But Reagan used the bully pulpit and appealed directly to the American people.  They liked his message which brought pressure down on Congress.  They gave a little.  Reagan got his tax cuts.  The top marginal rate went from 70% down to 28% by the time he left office.  The result?  The economy boomed.  They call it the Decade of Greed.  Because we were very materialistic and greedy.  And people lived well.

Yes, but at what cost?  That’s what the Left always says to refute Reaganomics.  What they deride as trickle-down economics.  They point to military spending.  They point to Reagan’s deficit spending.  And the growing federal debt.  The Left says this is what Reagan’s tax cuts have given us.  Growth and prosperity at the expense of future generations.  Which is perhaps the greatest lie of the 20th century.  But because the Left has repeated it so often, a lot of people accept it as fact.  Even though the numbers refute this grand lie.

When Reagan entered office, federal tax receipts were $517 billion.  When he left office in 1989, federal tax receipts were $991 billion.  This is an increase of 91.7%.  Or, to look at in another way, tax receipts in 1989 were 1.9 times the amount they were in 1980.  That’s almost double.  So, despite the great lie of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts did NOT cause deficits or increase the debt.  Cuts in the tax rates brought MORE money into the federal treasury.  Excessive federal spending caused the deficits.  Federal spending increased from $590.9 billion in 1980 to $1,143.7 billion in 1989.  That’s a 93.6% increase.  Spending, too, almost doubled.  In other words, spending increased 1.9% more than tax receipts by the end of Reagan’s second term.  Washington was awash in money.  They just spent it faster than it came in.

Blame the excessive spending on Cold War defense spending or domestic spending.  The point is moot.  Because it doesn’t change the fundamental truth that Reagan’s tax cuts INCREASED federal tax receipts.  Or the lesson learned that tax cuts stimulate the economy.  Anyone saying otherwise is lying and trying to revise history.

Wither on the Vine

The Reagan decade ended prosperously.  Reaganomics were a success.  Which was a threat to those with a vested interest in Big Government.  But people liked Reagan.  And only agreed to vote for George H.W. Bush when he made the infamous ‘read my lips – no new taxes’ campaign pledge.  But Bush was no Reagan.  He wasn’t as conservative.  Or as charismatic.  He couldn’t sell conservative America (center-right) his less than conservative policies (center-left).  The Left, seeing he was no Reagan, maneuvered him into a position favorable to them on the deficit.  The Republicans wanted to cut spending.  The Democrats, of course, wanted to raise taxes.  And with the Democrats in control of the House, he caved.  He raised taxes.  And when he did, he became a one-term president.  The American people were so angry when he reneged on his ‘read my lips – no new taxes’ pledge, the third party candidate in the 1992 presidential campaign, Ross Perot, got 18.9% of the popular vote.  No third party candidate did better.  Exit polling shows he drew equally from both Bush and Clinton, though only 20% of his voters were liberal.  The rest were conservatives and moderates.  Perot brought a carnival atmosphere to the campaign.  Charts and props made for good TV.  This spectacle, though, drew critical attention away from Clinton’s past.  Parts of which moderates would have found objectionable.

Clinton ran as a centrist.  He lied.  As liberals are wont to do during a campaign in a center-right country.  Once in office, he swung to the left.  The American people were angry.  As people are wont to be when lied to.  At the 1994 midterm elections, the people spoke.  And gave both houses of Congress to the Republicans.  Newt Gingrich became the Speaker of the House.  He co-authored the Contract with America which was a Republican pledge to return America to a conservative path.  It appealed to the American people.  It’s what swept the Republicans into power.  And it scared the Left.  So they attacked it.  Called it the Contract on America.  And they attacked Newt Gingrich.  With a vengeance.

In 1995, Gingrich discussed an alternative to Medicare.  Number crunchers projected Medicare (and Social Security) to go into the red a decade or two out.  Medicare (and Social Security) is a big federal expenditure and a political third rail.  The Left uses the elderly as political pawns whenever they can.  Because that’s what Big Government does.  Get people dependent on Big Government and then scare the hell out of them by saying the Right wants to take their benefits away.  Gingrich was discussing high-deductible health insurance plans and tax free Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).  The MSAs included an annual federal subsidy for seniors.  The plan would be appealing to seniors, Gingrich thought, because they could get better health care coverage with a private plan.  The MSAs and the federal subsidies would make it affordable.  Better care without paying more.  Who wouldn’t want that?  Once people made this choice voluntarily, they would move out of Medicare into a private plan.  Those comments in 1995 included this:

What do you think the Health Care Financing Administration is? It’s a centralized command bureaucracy. . . . Now, we don’t get rid of it in round one because we don’t think that that’s politically smart and we don’t think that that’s the right way to go through a transition. But we believe it’s going to wither on the vine because we think people are voluntarily going to leave it — voluntarily.

Wither on a vine?  Talk about a hanging softball.  There was no way the Democrats weren’t going to whack that one out of the park.  It quickly became ‘Medicare benefits’ and NOT the inefficient ‘centralized command bureaucracy’ that was going to wither on the vine.  The Left ran with it.  Another grand lie.  Repeated it at nauseam.  And scared the seniors.  Gingrich’s days were numbered.  And Clinton had a new enemy to demonize.  Which came in handy when no one wanted his policies.

The Lies that Keep on Giving

Big Government depends on getting as many people dependent on government as possible.  Medicare (and Social Security) is one program that does this very well.  And when Gingrich dared to threaten it, they destroyed him.  With a grand lie.  Like the grand lie that tax cuts stimulate deficits, not the economy.  Perpetuating these lies enables unsustainable government spending.  Threatens the future of all Americans.  And the longer it takes for the truth to come out, the deeper the hole we dig ourselves into.

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