Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: July 19, 2010

Dale’s Observations For 2010-07-19

BMW has announced the K1600GT sport touring motorcycle. 1600cc 6-cylinder engine. 160HP. 130 ft-lb torque. WANT! #

RT @NickSchweitzer @dmataconis: You misunderestimate her ability. | Perhaps. It may turn out to be perfectly cromulent for her. #

In the future, we may look back on today as the day that Sarah Palin managed to refudiate her chance to become president. She's Quayle II. #

The Republican party cannot be counted on to cut spending II: The GOP's counterinsurgency by spenders. http://bit.ly/a0B5Ms #

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Breitbart hits NAACP with promised video of racism. http://bit.ly/auZ3rK #

The Republican party cannot be trusted to cut spending. http://bit.ly/cXEBXZ #

The Washington Post assesses the US intel community. After post-9/11 billions spent, it sucks. Or just blows. http://bit.ly/dkpFNh #

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo confidence index dropped to 14. Unexpectedly. http://bit.ly/aUh6vT #RecoverySummer #

HTC says the phone named by Steve Jobs as having antenna problems received 35-times less complaints than the iPhone 4. http://bit.ly/dg3jF5 #

Sarah Palin apparently isn't all that interested in the property rights of Muslims, either. http://bit.ly/bEkZz5 #

Documenting the elite/fly-over country disconnect

I don’t think it would surprise anyone to find that the "Washington elite" are completely disconnected with the rabble found in fly-over country.

Politico has some examples based on a poll they just completed (Power and the People series). For instance:

Only 27 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction, compared with 61 percent who think the nation is on the wrong track. Likewise, when asked whether the national economy is heading down the right or wrong track, just 24 percent chose the right track, compared with 65 percent for the wrong track.

Yet among the 227 Washington elites polled, more think the country is on the right track, 49 percent, than the wrong track, 45 percent. On the economy, 44 percent of elites think the country is on the right track, compared with 46 percent who believe it is not.

Imagine, if you will, standing the ruins of the economy, looking around and deciding, “yeah, you know, I think we’re on the right track!”

You’re right, it’s unimaginable.  Yet there are the numbers of us v. the elite. 

If you’re wondering what constitutes a "Washington elite", here’s how Politico defined them:

To qualify as a Washington elite for the poll, respondents must live within the D.C. metro area, earn more than $75,000 per year, have at least a college degree and be involved in the political process or work on key political issues or policy decisions.

If that doesn’t quite make the point, how about taxes?

Taxes are another issue where Washington does not appear to have its finger on the pulse of the country. Fifty-three percent of the general public ranked taxes as a “very important” issue, while 37 percent of elites said the same.

Because, you know, taxes are the life-blood of government, and these are the people who run government.  So what do you suppose they think is more important – your tax burden or the availability of the funds they need to do what they think government should be doing?

This, however, should come as no surprise:

Among the elites, Obama has a 66 percent favorability rating, while 34 percent view him unfavorably. Outside of Washington, only 48 percent of respondents view the president favorably, compared with 47 percent who view him unfavorably.

In prospective 2012 matchups, Obama never falls below 60 percent support among the D.C. elites. Yet among the general population, the president doesn’t win more than 48 percent support in any of the pairings.

On the question of the 2012 presidential election, the general public gave a generic Republican candidate a 5-percentage-point edge over Obama, 42 percent to 37 percent, while among Washington elites, the president would cruise to reelection by a 2-to-1 ratio — 56 percent to 28 percent.

Washington is Obama’s town right now, the “elites” mostly work for him and they also know which side of bread is buttered for them.  So naturally they believe they’ve done good work, are underfunded and have a real dynamite dude in the driver’s seat.

Or at least that’s what they say in answer to a poll.  But in reality, I’d have to guess there’s some real “willing suspension of disbelief” going on in DC.

~McQ

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Stimulus fail

Apparently Joe Biden is the one chosen to carry the story that the reason the $862 billion “stimulus” plan failed is because of the stingy GOP.

Ed Morrissey pulls that apart like a kid pulling the wings off a fly.  First Biden:

“There’s a lot of people at the time argued it was too small,” he said. “A lot of people in our administration…even some Republican economists and some Nobel laureates like Paul Krugman, who continues to argue it was too small.”

“But, you know,” Biden told Tapper, “there was a reality. In order to get what we got passed, we had to find Republican votes. And we found three. And we finally got it passed,” Biden said.

But if it wasn’t for the legislative reality, Biden explained, “I think it would have been bigger. I think it would have been bigger. In fact, what we offered was slightly bigger than that. But the truth of the matter is that the recovery package, everybody’s talking about it [like] it’s over. The truth is now, we’re spending more now this summer than we — I’m calling this…the summer of recovery,” the Vice President said.

"Legislative reality" at the time consisted of prohibitive majorities on the Democrats side in Congress. They ddin’t need a single GOP vote – not one. And, in fact, as Morrissey points out, the original package was to be $775 billion and the final package was $862 billion pig we got stuck with. In fact it was bigger than what had been asked for by Biden and company. You have to love the revisionist history, don’t you?

Of course Biden is pretty sure the victory in Iraq is possibly one of the "greatest accomplishments" of this administration so it’s no like he’s new at rewriting history. Morrisey also provides us with a couple of Obama quotes that sort of kick the Biden contention in the gut:

February 5th, 2009:

While efforts have been under way in the Senate to whittle the plan back to $800 billion or less, Mr. Hoyer said he believed it should be higher, at like $880 billion. Earlier on Air Force One, Mr. Obama was asked by pool reporters traveling with him about the size of the proposal …

Asked if the figure should be $800 billion and not more, Mr. Obama said: “Well, I gave you a range. I think we’re in range.”

And February 9th, 2009:

“It is the right size, it is the right scope. Broadly speaking it has the right priorities to create jobs that will jump-start our economy and transform it for the 21st century,” Obama said of the more than $800 billion bill at a rally in Elkhart, Indiana.

If the stimulus was too small (it wasn’t), it had zip to do with the GOP.  And Joe and company isn’t fooling anyone but those who want to believe fantasy over reality.  As usual, the Democrats blame-game runs into reality and facts and comes out second-best.

~McQ

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