Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: September 29, 2010

Dale’s Observations for 9-30-2010

Whitman’s maid claims Whitman knew she was an illegal immigrant. Whitman posts the maid’s falsified employment docs.

California Gov. signs bill against loud aftermarket motorcycle exhausts. Now we’ll see if loud pipes really save lives.

Wow, that Gloria Allred is a c … uh … committed advocate for her client, huh?

Meg’s maid felt “exploited, disrespected, humiliated, and emotionally and financially abused.” But stayed for 9 years.

Soooo, that went well. Meg Whitman Housekeeper Flakes On Allred Press Conference.

Two Things Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) Can’t Stand: Racial Intolerance and Vietnamese.

Medicare Queens, Matt Taibbi and the cluelessness of the left

First recognize that we’re talking about "Rolling Stone" here, so in reality, the cluelessness should come as no real surprise. Well, apparently it shouldn’t come as any real surprise when associated with "political strategists" and "political commentators" on the left either, but I’ve already covered that today.

"Rolling Stone", however, is more of a cultural zine. Or was. But recently it put a scalp under its belt with the story it did on Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Never mind the general was an Obama pick, voted for Obama and was of a liberal mindset, a general is a general to the left. One down many to go.

But hey, in a world where the dead tree media is withering on the vine, it was a scalp that promised survival for a while. Ever ambitious, "Rolling Stone" has since decided to go after bigger game – the Tea Party. The new bête noire of the left, the Tea Party was an irresistible target.

And so off to Kentucky galloped "Rolling Stone’s" pick to handle this important assassination journalism project – Matt Taibbi. Three whole times Taibbi made the trip. And at its conclusion, based on what he’d observed there, felt qualified to tar the entire movement as a bunch of hypocrites and welfare recipients. And as you might imagine, it isn’t a flattering picture.

Taibbi then "validates" his entire premise in this excerpt that David Freddoso has helpfully clipped:

A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can’t imagine it.

After Palin wraps up, I race to the parking lot in search of departing Medicare-motor-scooter conservatives. I come upon an elderly couple, Janice and David Wheelock, who are fairly itching to share their views.

“I’m anti-spending and anti-government,” crows David, as scooter-bound Janice looks on. “The welfare state is out of control.”

“OK,” I say. “And what do you do for a living?”

“Me?” he says proudly. “Oh, I’m a property appraiser. Have been my whole life.”

I frown. “Are either of you on Medicare?”

Silence: Then Janice, a nice enough woman, it seems, slowly raises her hand, offering a faint smile, as if to say, You got me!

“Let me get this straight,” I say to David. “You’ve been picking up a check from the government for decades, as a tax assessor, and your wife is on Medicare. How can you complain about the welfare state?”

…Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it’s going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I’ve concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They’re full of sh–. All of them.

Frankly, I can’t imagine a more clueless argument. And it sends Freddoso into rant mode:

Of all the arguments liberals bring up against the Tea Party, this has to be the stupidest. Not only have millions of seniors and their employers paid billions of dollars into the Medicare system — 2.9 percent on every dime they’ve worked for in their entire life — but the program’s very existence has dried up whatever market there once was for old-age medical insurance. Our Medicare system, as President Obama never fails to point out, is unsustainable, and yet thanks to the government, very few senior citizens have any alternative.

Exactly so – you don’t pay into "welfare", nor are you in the Medicare system because you want to be. You’re there because at age 65, for the vast majority of Americans, you are given no choice! That’s a part that the left always forgets. If given a choice, would they be as "happy" with Medicare as the left likes to claim they are? Is their reticence to change in Medicare because they like it or because there is nothing else available to them? Those questions go unanswered because government has ensured there’s no viable option to its program.

Secondly, I don’t find most of what I read and hear from the Tea Party as "anti-government" as it appears Taibbi defines it (i.e. "no government"). I understand the Tea Party to represent those who want the return to Constitutional government in the strictest sense. That necessarily means a smaller, less intrusive and less costly government. But I’ve never understood it to mean "no government". Freddoso also rifts on the supposed hypocrisy Taibbi implies:

Taibbi also implies that conservatives have no place working for the government. (Hypocrisy! You believe government shouldn’t exist!) That’s basically all you need to know about the tone of his way, way longer than it’s worth reading piece, which is at various points just a stream of profanity. (He also predicts the inevitable co-opting of Rand Paul by the establishment GOP — he’ll sell out, just like his dad, right?)

If you’re still wondering if you ought to read Taibbi’s piece, Freddoso drops this last nugget to consider at your feet: [I]t isn’t young [libertarian] intellectuals like Koch who will usher Paul into the U.S. Senate in the general election; it’s those huge crowds of pissed-off old people who dig Sarah Palin and Fox News and call themselves Tea Partiers. And those people really don’t pay attention to specifics too much. Like dogs, they listen to tone of voice and emotional attitude.

Why is it every time I see a lefty say something like this my first thought is the almost Pavlovian reaction most of the left had to the "hope and change" mantra? As Palin would say, "how’s that hopey-changy thing working out", hmmm Mr. Taibbi?

Freddoso answers with a wicked jab at Taibbi’s cluelessness:

Oh, I see. So who does Taibbi think votes for Democrats? Do they win on the back of the college professor vote? Or is it on the back of ominous, threatening and false rumors that Republicans will take away Social Security, let old people die in the streets, then bury them in segregated cemeteries so that their bodies can be covered in toxic sludge until the oil companies decide they want to drill there?

Love it. Every lefty canard wrapped up in a single sentence. Read Taibbi’s piece if you must (unlinked here), but trust me, you’ve seen its thrust above and, unsurprisingly, it misses pretty badly. Freddoso concludes:

Perhaps next time Taibbi writes he can apply a few more facts and less uninformed, vulgar liberal smugness.

Yeah, I doubt it – that would require actual journalism.



Clueless conspiracy theory of the day – Chris Matthews edition

And an amazing one at that, although when you consider the source, perhaps not:

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: You know, a great question, Charles, that wasn’t on my list to ask but I’m going to ask you because you seem like a sophisticated guy of many parts. You think business can sit on those billions and trillions of dollars for two more years after they screw Obama this time? Are they going to keep sitting on their money so they don’t invest and help the economy for two long years to get Mr. Excitement Mitt Romney elected president? Will they do that to the country?

Yes friends, he really said that. Businesses are, per Matthews, purposely sitting on their money in order to "screw Obama" without any thought or concern about what they’re doing to the country. And all to get "Mr. Excitement" elected.

Apparently Matthews thinks this is a "sophisticated" question to ask a "sophisticated" guest.

Listen to the non-answer answer. You can see "oh, thanks for that pile of crap question" written all over his face:

This, apparently, is what passes for journalism on the left. This is also why only 12% of cable viewers tune into MSNBC and the hosts there remain largely unknown.

They’ve earned their place.



Democrats whistling past the midterm graveyard

II’m always entertained by those on either side of the political spectrum who, when faced with an obvious and impending defeat, begin lists of why that won’t happen. This whistling past the graveyard is truly a testament to thinking which can somehow put aside every negative fact out there and some how spool up a "positive" outcome for his side. Today’s example is from a Democratic strategist who has discovered four more reasons Democrats will win in the mid-terms.

He sounds strangely like Republican strategists about a month before the 2008 presidential election who had umpteen reasons why McCain would win, none of which panned out. I have a feeling our Democratic strategist will have to reevaluate his ability to objectively analyze political races after the vote in November.

Nevertheless, his four reasons are, 1) Democrats will end up spending as much money as Republicans, 2)Voters aren’t voting for "generic" Republicans and that’s not good for Republicans, 3)Obama has switched to "campaign mode" and will save the day, and 4)the "enthusiasm gap" will close.


I feel for the guy. This is the thin thread upon which he hangs his hopes that Democrats won’t lose the majority in the House or seats in the Senate.

Feel free to read his "reasoning". It is full of stuff that might appeal to a political junkie who is knee deep into the whys and wherefores of this election. But for the average Joe – meh.

As the public’s attention as a whole slowly turns toward this November election, they will be guided by their overall perception of the shape of our country and its economy and who it is they think got us in this shape.  It is going to be incredibly hard shift the blame on the Republicans.  Crying about partisanship and in-fighting isn’t going to answer the mail.  For most, I would guess, the blame has already been placed.  So massive expenditures and “robust” GOTV efforts are unlikely to have the effect this gentleman might expect.  And, as he notes, the other side is going to be spending too – as well as mounting their own GOTV effort.

As for his point about Obama and campaign mode, let me beg to differ.  When has he ever switched out of that mode?  That’s part of his problem and why his job approval rating is 42% and only 38% say they’d vote to reelect him if the election was held today.  You’ve got politicians running from him.  HIs signature “accomplishment” is something not a single Democrat will campaign on.  And, you have professionals like Charlie Cook continuing to move races, as he did with 4 today, from “Solid Democrat” to “Likely Democrat” (see bottom right).

And that fact naturally speaks much more eloquently to this fantasy of closing the enthusiasm gap than anything else I can think of.

The Democrats are in a pickle of their own making.  They have had control of the Congress for 6 years and are hooked up to a failing presidency.  Those stark facts are what the public is going to take with them to the polls, and barring some economic miracle within the next 30 days, all this talk about generic politicians, the savior Obama, enthusiasm gaps closing and money to be spent is going to sound a lot like “we know McCain’s going to win and here’s why”.

Sometimes what is going to happen is just obvious – and this seems to be one of them.