Dems React to Boston Marathon Bombing with Sequester Talk
POLITICO reports, “With the Boston Marathon bombings less than 24 hours old, some on Capitol Hill are beginning to say the attack shows why Congress should’ve stopped automatic spending cuts from taking hold in March. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), responding to a question at a Tuesday morning press conference, said the bombings are ‘clearly another place where it demonstrates why having the ability to address security concerns is important.’ … Rep. Xavier Becerra of California, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said that the first responders working Monday aren’t sheltered from cuts. ‘We have to send you less money to help your first responders,’ Becerra said. A White House official said the sequester cuts ‘will not hamper’ the response to the bombing, but decried the long-term effect.”
Dems Relating Boston Bombings to Sequester “Smacks of Political Opportunism”
Associated Editor of The Atlantic David A. Graham commented on Democrats relating the Boston bombings to the sequester. He writes, “On the first day of a tragedy, everyone agrees that it’s no time for politics. On day two, however, it’s open season, apparently. It’s hard to process something like the Boston bombing and speak intelligently about it. Examples of unwise reactions abound, but let’s concentrate on what House Democrats said today. Politico‘s Jake Sherman has the report: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), speaking to reporters Tuesday morning, said the bombings are ‘clearly another place where it demonstrates why having the ability to address security concerns is important.’ … In the short term, there’s a question of taste and accuracy. People aren’t taking his comments well (just check Twitter). Even if the Maryland congressman offered it the best faith, it smacks of political opportunism. And moreover, is there any evidence that more funding for law enforcement and security from the federal government would have made any difference in this attack, even if sequestration’s effects were in place?”
Annie Lowrey writes for The New York Times, “In recent years, policy makers in Europe and the United States have fastened on the notion that reaching a certain heavy burden of debt would threaten future economic health — often to justify austerity budgets that increased unemployment and sapped economic strength in the here and now. But now some economists are challenging the very foundations of that idea, raising questions about whether such a debt threshold even exists and setting off a fierce debate that flared up on Tuesday across the Internet about whether potentially flawed research is at least partly responsible for the slow growth that has bedeviled most advanced industrial countries since the recovery from the financial crisis began in 2009. … The controversy stems from a provocative new paper by economists at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst that claims to have found some basic errors in one of the most path breaking and influential economic studies to come out in the last few years. … The economists, analyzing 3,700 separate economic observations, found little relationship between growth and debt for countries with debt-to-gross-domestic-product ratios of 90 percent or less. But for countries with debt loads equivalent to or greater than 90 percent of annual economic output, ‘median growth rates fall by 1 percent, and average growth falls considerably more.’” Read More…
Rebuttal: Our Table Proves Critics Actually Agree, Higher Debt Results in Slower Economic Growth
Business Insider reports, “The big scandal in the world of economics today is a new paper attempting to refute claims put forth by Harvard econ professors Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff that high levels of government debt result in slower growth. We already posted a response from Reinhart and Rogoff, which essentially says that the critique is overblown, and that ultimately the critics corroborate the essence of the paper, which is that high debt does result in slower growth. We just got the following chart from Professor Carmen Reinhart, which further clarifies the statement she sent out with Ken Rogoff. It shows that Herndon, Ash et. al. (the other papers authors) got almost the exact same results as she and Rogoff did in their original paper, ‘Growth in a Time of Debt’ — namely, that higher debt resulted in slower growth.” Click here to see the table.
Reid Blasts House GOP For Stalling Budget Conference
The Hill reports, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blasted House Republicans and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday for stalling the creation of a House-Senate conference committee on the budget. Ryan said Tuesday he wants a ‘framework’ in place before he will agree to form a conference, the next step under regular order in reconciling the wildly different House and Senate budget resolutions. ‘We want to go to conference when we feel we have a realistic chance of getting an agreement,’ Ryan told reporters Tuesday after a hearing. ‘We don’t want to conference when we have an endless process that focuses on our differences.’ … Hours later, Reid shot back that Ryan is holding things up. ‘Chairman Ryan said ‘we want to have a pre-conference.’ Well you can’t have it both ways. Does he want regular order? Obviously not,’ said Reid, whom Republicans have criticized for failing to move a budget over the last four years.”
Congress Must Clear Budget Gap Before New Spending Laws Can Pass
Roll Call reports, “Democrats and Republicans will need to bridge a $91 billion gap on budget plans before they can clear any new spending laws. But for now, neither side is suggesting a compromise — even as both contend they want a more orderly appropriations process. ‘Spending is the problem, so moving higher doesn’t make much sense to me,’ Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, a GOP appropriator, said Tuesday. He added it would be a ‘tough sell’ to support a higher spending cap. … Still, Democrats will seek to end the sequester as part of the bargaining around a larger budget deal that they hope will emerge in the next set of negotiations on the debt limit. The spending limit also is a point of contention between the House and Senate versions of the fiscal 2014 budget resolution. And the partisan split over spending is becoming apparent as appropriators prepare to write the 12 annual spending bills. Senate appropriators want to allocate dollars based on the higher spending, while House appropriators plan to stick with the lower number. The different approaches are a formula for legislative gridlock.”
Report Finds Stimulus Funds Illegally Used for Lobbying
The Washington Free Beacon reports, “At least seven local health departments illegally used stimulus grant funds to lobby for greater taxes and restrictions on tobacco and unhealthy foods, according to a report released Tuesday by a nonprofit watchdog group. The stimulus-funded Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program disbursed about $373 million intended to educate the public about tobacco use and obesity. Federal law prohibits grantees from using the funds for lobbying activities. According to the group Cause of Action, local health departments from Alabama to California used the funds to devise or promote legislation designed to curb tobacco use or combat obesity. The report detailing the allegations is the product of a 19-month investigation into the CPPW program. ‘[Cause of Action’s] investigation revealed that CPPW money went to support lobbyists and public relations companies who used taxpayer dollars to push laws and agendas that would lead to tax increases on tobacco and high calorie products,’ the report said.”
House Dems Not Sold On Chained CPI
The Hill reports, “President Obama is struggling to convince House Democrats that a proposed cut to Social Security benefits has a place in the deficit fight. The White House on Tuesday sent its top economic adviser to the Capitol to meet with the Democratic Caucus in an effort to soothe the outcries over Obama’s plan to cut the popular seniors benefit by adopting the so-called ‘chained CPI’ formula in his 2014 budget. … ‘For me, there’s no question. If this is a negotiation on budget issues, trying to deal with deficits, then Social Security has never added a single penny to the deficits of this country or to the national debt,’ Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said immediately after the meeting. … Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.) also suggested he was not won over by Tuesday’s White House pitch. … ‘There’s no love of this particular avenue,’ Crowley said, describing the administration’s argument, ‘but … of all the avenues that are available, this is the least harmful in terms of what they believe the consequences may be down the road for the country.’”
Signs Inflation May Be Slowing Gives Fed Room
The Wall Street Journal reports, “The latest reading on consumer prices could give the Federal Reserve a new reason to keep its easy-money policies intact—inflation shows signs of slowing. The Labor Department’s consumer-price index was up 1.5% in March from a year earlier, the fourth time in five months that it has been below the Fed’s 2% inflation goal. And while the core reading on consumer costs, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was up 1.9%, it also remained below the goal for the fourth time in five months. Readings like those Tuesday are likely to get the attention of central-bank officials as the debate heats up on when to begin winding down an $85 billion-per-month bond-buying program that was launched last year to stimulate the economy. The Fed has linked the bond buying to developments in the job market, saying it would slow the purchases once the job market improves substantially. Some officials have said recently that an inflation slowdown could be another factor that influences the Fed’s decision on when to curtail the program. If inflation readings are low, the Fed might feel it has more leeway to try to stimulate economic growth.”
Obama Targeting Few Provisions for Tax Extenders
POLITICO reports, “It’s a year-end tradition that’s as deeply ingrained as the lighting of the National Christmas Tree: a last-minute, feverish lobbying campaign to keep billions of dollars in temporary tax breaks on the books. But President Barack Obama’s budget proposal threatens to upend that routine. In a break with his previous budgets, Obama isn’t backing the continuation of the so-called tax extenders package that keeps dozens of benefits in place for a hodgepodge group that includes teachers, energy companies and Hollywood producers. Instead, the administration is targeting a few provisions that it finds particularly important, such as the research and development credit and the break for renewable-energy production, and asking Congress to make them permanent.”
“Lawmakers Increase Travel As Rest Of Country Deals With Budget Cuts”
The Washington Guardian reports, “While the rest of Congress was struggling to avoid the dreaded fiscal cliff late last year, then-Sen. John Kerry whisked off to London with a top aide. It was a classic farewell trip for a veteran Democrat about to become America’s next secretary of state. What wasn’t classic was the cost to taxpayers: $17,500 for two airline tickets to London that normally cost just $3,000. Across the Capitol, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor commandeered a VIP military flight and dashed off to Switzerland with half-dozen Republican colleagues in late January, just days after a congressional vote to suspend the debt limit and avert another fiscal crisis. The jaunt – for a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos – likely set back taxpayers more than $50,000. And not to be outdone by their jet-setting bosses, more than a dozen congressional staffers from both political parties took a winter trip to sunny, warm Las Vegas at the expense of special interests Their weighty assignment? Check out the gadgets at the city’s annual consumer electronics expo. … Members of Congress and their staffers spent $1.45 million on official taxpayer trips in 2012, up about $230,000 from the year before. And in the first three months of 2013, lawmakers and staff took another $800,000 in trips at the expense of special interests, nearly $100,000 more than the same period last year, according to the official travel records compiled by Congress and stored on the PoliticalMoneyLine.com site.”
On his Tuesday evening broadcast, Glenn Beck hosted a special guest panel comprising people who have survived the unspeakable atrocity of rape. What’s more, these guests maintain that their attack might have been prevented if they had been equipped with a means of self-defense. Many of the attacks occurred in gun-free zones, underscoring the reality that people of goodwill were left defenseless, while those with an intent to do harm still found a way to wreak their havoc.
Included on the panel was Amanda Collins, who was raped at gunpoint in a garage situated on her college campus. Her attacker, James Biela, had already raped two other women and murdered a third. He is now serving his sentence on Death Row.
The entire, gripping episode has now been made available for free. You can watch it below:
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, it’s never too late to get help. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE or visit the online hotline to chat with a RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) staff member, 24/7.
Spending Daily | February 6, 2013
“The Budget War Is Back”
Roll Call reports, “The nation’s brief respite from the serial budget battles that have consumed Washington, D.C., is officially over, with President Barack Obama’s Tuesday demand for new tax revenue in a short-term deal to avoid automatic spending cuts at the beginning of March. In an appearance in the Brady Press Briefing Room, Obama once again tried to use the bully pulpit to paint the GOP into a corner, using the same fairness playbook that helped him win re-election and a victory on tax rates during the fiscal-cliff deal. This time, the scale may be smaller but the game is the same — in the president’s eyes, either congressional Republicans agree to more new tax revenue or they will bear responsibility for the economic damage and hundreds of thousands of lost jobs from the sequester taking effect. With the debt ceiling out of the way until May and likely even later, the coming showdown over the sequester is now the main event, albeit one with less of a sense of urgency than a potential default on U.S. government obligations, the fiscal cliff or even an old-fashioned government shutdown.”
CBO Confirms Higher Taxes Won’t Fix Budget Mess
The Wall Street Journal editorializes, “President Obama promised that higher taxes on the affluent would usher in a fiscal golden age, but Tuesday’s annual outlook from the Congressional Budget Office suggests that was, well, fantasy. … The big news is how little difference all this revenue makes in CBO’s deficit forecast. The deficit will fall this year to $845 billion, which is below $1 trillion for the first time in the Obama Presidency. But at 5.3% of GDP, this will still be the biggest post-World War II deficit except for 1983 (a one-time pop to 6%) and Mr. Obama’s previous four years. So despite the record revenue surge, CBO says federal debt held by the public will continue to rise to 76.3% of GDP this year, up from 36.3% as recently as 2007. And then it will stay there for a decade, if you believe in unicorns.”
CBO: Social Security And Healthcare Spending Will Double Over Decade
Reuters reports, “Spending on Social Security and healthcare will double to $3.2 trillion a year over the next decade, threatening a sharp rise in national debt unless Congress acts to avoid the danger, congressional researchers warned on Tuesday. A report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office did not put forth a plan to resolve the long-term imbalance between revenues and spending on retirement and healthcare benefits. But it said that action taken now would help minimize the economic impact of whatever course lawmakers can agree on. … The agency estimated last June that Social Security and federal health programs would account for more than one-quarter of U.S. gross domestic product by 2037 unless laws were changed.”
Lurching From Crisis To Crisis
The Associated Press reports, “Eager to buy time and avoid economic pain, President Barack Obama urged Congress on Tuesday to pass targeted short-term spending cuts and higher taxes as a way to put off sweeping, automatic cuts that would slice deeply into military and domestic programs starting March 1. Obama’s appeal came as Congress’ budget office projected a yearly federal deficit under $1 trillion for the first time in his presidency and as Republicans applied political pressure on the president to submit balanced budgets, pushing fiscal issues back to the forefront in Washington after weeks devoted to immigration and guns.” Gretchen Hamel, executive director of Public Notice, issued the following statement:
“If the Obama administration was so concerned about the sequester they would have spent the last year looking for offsets, instead of making empty promises and trading blame. The ‘we don’t have a spending problem’ mindset that puts budget gimmicks ahead of real solutions is exactly why Americans have been hit with crisis after crisis. This administration has repeatedly used their own failure as political leverage to push for higher taxes, so why would this time be any different?”
Snowballing Debt Interest to Overtake Defense Spending by 2020
POLITICO reports, “Behind the fine print of new budget estimates released Tuesday is a growing — some say brutal — competition between discretionary spending by Congress and fixed interest payments owed on the growing government debt. Indeed, the steady increase in annual interest costs is a surprisingly big reason why the Congressional Budget Office sees deficits rising in the second half of the coming decade. Accumulated interest payments from 2014 through 2018 are $1.76 trillion under CBO’s new baseline. Interest payments for the second five years are more than double that or about $3.64 trillion. … The end result is that annual interest costs are predicted to have overtaken defense spending by 2020 even allowing for an extra $100 billion annually for overseas contingencies.”
CBO Anticipating “turbulence” in New Health Care Law’s First Years
The National Journal reports, “The Obama administration has been publicly upbeat about the coming rollout of its health care law. But a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office suggests that at least one set of influential observers anticipates some turbulence in the law’s first years. On several important measures of the law’s success, CBO’s numbers are pessimistic compared with earlier estimates: Fewer uninsured people will get coverage, insurance options will be more limited, and more employers will stop covering their workers. Perhaps most noteworthy, the report suggests that the new health insurance marketplaces set to launch later this year are unlikely to be completely ready in time. … [T]he report signaled CBO officials are worried that key provisions of the law are not going to work as intended.”
“Analysis: Obama, GOP disagree, again, on spending”
The Associated Press reports, “After two tumultuous years of budget brinkmanship, President Barack Obama and Republicans in Congress finally agree on something — namely, that a previous 10-year pact to cut $1 trillion across the board was such a bad idea it must be stopped before it starts. If consensus counts as good news in an era of divided government, consider this: They also disagree vehemently on a suitable replacement. As a result, they seem likely to spend the spring and perhaps a good part of the summer struggling to escape a bind of their own making. And this time, Medicare and the rest of the government’s benefit programs are likely to face changes. … Obama called on Congress on Tuesday to join him in developing a replacement for the across-the-board reductions, ‘a balanced mix of spending cuts and more tax reform.’ ’We can’t just cut our way to prosperity,’ he told reporters at the White House.”
Washington Post: Time for President Obama to Take the Lead
The Washington Post editorializes on President Obama’s short-term proposal to delay the sequester, writing, “What was missing were specifics: Exactly what would Mr. Obama put in the ‘smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms’ that he proposes? He doesn’t want to present a detailed plan before the GOP agrees to deal on his terms. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) doesn’t want to talk about a short-term deal that includes any new revenue. … In its [CBO's] latest report on the nation’s fiscal health, the nonpartisan office reported that deficits will decline through 2015. But an aging population and rising health care and interest costs will propel the national debt higher soon thereafter, to 77 percent of the economy by 2023 — and rising. This would have ‘serious negative consequences,’ the office noted — which is putting it mildly, and yet another reason for Mr. Obama to take the lead.
CBO: 2013 Deficit to Fall to $845 Billion
The Hill reports, “The federal budget deficit will fall to $845 billion in 2013 before rising again over the next decade as an aging population and soaring healthcare costs lead to an explosion in entitlement spending, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday. The budget deficit would fall below $1 trillion under President Obama for the first time in 2013 and would drop to $430 billion by 2015, according to CBO’s annual fiscal outlook. But CBO’s long-term forecast projects that budget deficits will near the $1 trillion mark again by 2023, when it forecasts a $978 billion budget deficit.”
“VA Spends $273 Million On Glitchy Digital System”
The Washington Guardian reports, “VA’s effort at digitizing paperwork is so badly bungled that veterans’ claims are taking four times longer to fill out, investigators find. The Veterans Affairs Department has spent $273 million trying to go from paper to digital claims, but it’s off to a bumpy start. In fact, veterans claims sent digitally are being processed more slowly than the traditional way. That’s the finding of a new investigative report by the VA’s inspector general that provides a stark looks at the flaws in a project that was supposed to speed, not slow, veterans’ benefits. … The program so far has cost $273 million, and officials said they plan to spend an additional $92 million by October.”
Obama’s “Campaign-First, Negotiate-Second” Strategy
Carrie Budoff Brown writes in POLITICO, “President Barack Obama’s speeches have a familiar ring these days … Tout what he’s already done. Say the public’s in his corner. Demand Congress do something. Lament Washington dysfunction. Lay out his own plan. Avoid details. Urge voters to keep up the pressure. Warn it won’t be easy. Bask in the applause. … The campaign-first, negotiate-second strategy worked when Obama pressured Congress to extend the payroll tax cut in 2011, avert an interest rate hike on student loans in 2012 and eliminate the Bush-era tax cuts for wealthier families. But none were as politically fraught as overhauling immigration, cutting entitlements or establishing new gun restrictions. His remarks Tuesday on the need to avert the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester underscored the extent to which his pitch has become predictable, even formulaic.”
Post Office to Stop Saturday Mail Service
USA Today reports,” The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service says it plans to stop delivering mail on Saturdays, but it will continue deliveringpackages six days a week. In an announcement scheduled for later Wednesday, the government agency is expected to say the cut, beginning in August, would mean a cost saving of about $2 billion annually. Over the past several years, the Postal Service has advocated shifting to a five-day delivery schedule for mail and packages — and it repeatedly but unsuccessfully appealed to Congress to approve the move. Though an independent agency, the service gets no tax dollars for its day-to-day operations but is subject to congressional control. It was not immediately clear how the service could eliminate Saturday mail withoutcongressional approval.”
While life has been busy for me the rest of the world has gone on:
The biggest news being in Egypt as an actual people’s revolution is taking on the Muslim Brotherhood while the MSM and Americans ignore it:
Fast forward a bit and we are more than two weeks into a second uprising in Egypt after the newly elected Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi took dictatorial powers for himself less than 24 hours after he won praise for taking the heat off the Muslim Brotherhood for not fighting Israel brokering a cease-fire between Israel & Hamas.
There are not only no cheers this time but it seems the western media in general and the US media in particular find this revolution unimportant and those fighting it not worth the trouble to cover.
While the media is keen on protecting Obama the press is missing something huge first the very fact of the revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood:
If with the protections that the laws of United States and Western Nations provide, follows of Islam feel intimidated, how must worse must it be is when you live in a nation where a person can disappear without effort, where the authorities are used to being obeyed, where the press isn’t free, where you find yourself monitored and where the religious, social and cultural norms are against you to the point where even if people don’t take part in acts against you, they either approve or understand?
Given that situation the revolt is huge as would the results:
If this revolution succeeds even slightly, say with the meaningless replacement of Morsi with another Muslim Brotherhood hack, that success will be an earthquake equivalent to Lech Walesa first day in the shipyard in Poland standing up and fighting.
It took a decade for Walesa’s activism to bear fruit and another decade for the freedom of Poland and the nations behind the Iron curtain to follow. It might take ten times that in a culture that doesn’t have the same history for this to bear fruit.
I can’t overstate the importance of this, if this happens it could be radical Islam’s doom.
While our government hasn’t been willing to endorse these peaceful rebels they are starting to get on board in Syria:
A plan to provide military training to the Syrian rebels fighting the Assad regime and support them with air and naval power is being drawn up by an international coalition
A few days later, we returned to the issue of victims, of whether or not they are all shabiha, and his friend Mohammad. At the end of the day, I told him, he was a Syrian killing other Syrians. “I used to think about the people I’d killed, I’d think about their parents,” he says. “Yes, we are all Syrian, but we didn’t create these differences, they did. It is because I am Syrian, because these people, these civilians who are dying are Syrian, that I am doing this, that I am standing with and for my people. Those who are not standing with their people are not Syrian, they are traitors, and traitors must die.”:
This is real trouble:
ask yourself, if he was willing to kill his fellow Syrians, his fellow Muslims and his childhood friend, how much easier will it be for him to kill or blow up an infidel westerner if his religion calls upon him to do so?
When the fighting in Syria and elsewhere is done, hundreds to thousands of men like this will be unleashed on the world following a religious doctrine that tells them if they slaughter us they get paradise.
This is a preview of coming attractions, you can deny it or ignore it but that won’t stop it from happening.
I give credit to Canada they are taking a harder line with the rebels
“Canada told the Syrian opposition Tuesday it must reject extremism and embrace minorities before Ottawa will recognize its legitimacy as a successor to President Bashar Al-Assad, according to a federal official.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird explained Canada’s preconditions for official recognition at a meeting with representatives of the opposition Syrian National Coalition in Morocco on Tuesday, the official said.
Thank God somebody is
Incidentally there is also a cyber war going on in Syria, Stephan Faris writes about it here.
Speaking of rewarding bad behavior Brett Kimberlin who we have written about in these pages before had cases on both the federal & state level against him thrown out last week.
It’s actually worse than that: It’s not just bad characters, but bad behavior that have been emboldened. Why shouldn’t everyone with a grudge resort to the methods Kimberlin & Co. employed against Walker?
The targeting of political bloggers, the cyberstalking and harassment, are now all now acceptable tactics for which there is evidently no legal discourse. Thanks, Judge Potter.
And Attorney Dan Backer notes it’s even worse
“The precedent set here is just terrible,” Backer said, talking about how Judge Potter ignored Kimberlin’s violation of court orders to seal the discovery materials. “Why should anyone comply with discovery?”
Walker is penalized for obeying the Judges rulings while Kimberlin is rewarded for flouting them, sounds like the left on gun control.
As Glenn Reynolds says you get more of behavior you reward, more is coming.
If you want to know why Union thugs feel safe punching out Steven Crowder on camera this is why they know their faces won’t be on ABC, CBS or NBC.
I still want to know who writes the checks?
Speaking of villainy that is not being exposed Jay Nordlinger writes about the women in White in Cuba:
almost 100 members of the Ladies in White were arrested and beaten on Sunday. The Ladies are a Cuban democracy and human-rights group. For a story on the latest, go here.
I wish to name some of the women arrested and beaten. I will name, arbitrarily, three from the first half of the alphabet, three from the second. Marlene Abreu, Lisandra Farray, Tatiana López. Bárbara Pausa, Berta Soler, Olga Torres.
You want to know something cute? The dictatorship accused the Ladies of not respecting the “grief of the Cuban people” over the ill health of Comrade Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan strongman.
If you haven’t heard about the Ladies in White and their fight for justice in Cuba, you are likely an Obama voter.
Some sports, the New England Patriots absolutely destroyed the Houston Texans 42-14. This makes the third time in four weeks they have scored 42 or more points in their last 4 games (49 vs Jets 59 vs Colts). The difference in the teams is best illustrated by the patriots indifference to the result. The Texans called it the most important game in their franchise history while the patriots considered it an afterthought.
In the 21st century The Patriots have won their division 83% of the time, appeared in the Superbowl 45% of the Superbowls winning 3 times out of 5 ( 27% of the total superbowls of the 21st century).
To the players on the Patriots, the season will not be considered successful unless that 45% number becomes 50%, and that 27% number becomes 33%.
That must be how the Yankees of the 40’s & 50’s and the Celtics of the 50’s and 60’s felt. Fans should enjoy it, very frew teams ever reach that level.
A little cinema? The first of the Hobbit trilogy comes out this week, It’s one of the few movies I’m excited to see. That one of the shortest books Tolkien wrote on middle earth has been stretched to three movies is odd but if they are anything near as good as the Lord of the Ring’s series then Peter Jackson will be responsible for the two best trilogies of all time just ahead of the Godfather movies.
And yeah Godfather 3 was a good movie. It’s underrated because it is compared to the first two which were two of the greatest movies of all time.
Some religion, the Pope tweeted out his first ever messages Wednesday some thoughts on it here.
Finally this is the first Under the Fedora in three weeks, this is because in the space of 16 days my mother went from getting her license renewed at 88 to being on her deathbed unable to rise, eat, drink or speak.
The path from Doctor’s visit to Hospital to Intensive Care to Hospital Room to Home to die was very quick and reminds one that no matter what the Mayans say, you and I are all going to have our end of the world moment and need to be sure we are right with God.
I’m sure my mother is ready, it’s up to all of us to make sure we are.
Media Stinger – Last March, Mass Effect 3 created one of the biggest controversies in gaming history after players got done playing through one of the greatest stories of all time. Gamers were left feeling they weren’t offered the closure they deserved after investing hundreds of hours into the trilogy which resulted in most instantly taking to social media, forums, and comment sections of websites to vent their frustration with the ending. Some extremely crazy fanboys even donated money to a fundraising campaign that generated over $50,000 to get a new ending. More
Credible sources are telling Fox News that Newt Gingrich will indeed suspend his campaign. The end of the campaign will come as soon as next Tuesday.
Newt Gingrich plans to formally leave the Republican presidential race next Tuesday, senior campaign aides told Fox News, after struggling for months to turn around his sagging bid for the White House.
The former House speaker will “more than likely” endorse Mitt Romney when he makes his announcement to either suspend or end the campaign, a source said.
The decision comes after Gingrich huddled with senior advisers following the five primaries Romney swept on Tuesday night. Romney’s victories made it virtually impossible for Gingrich to secure the 1,144 delegates needed for the Republican nomination.
Gingrich’s exit is a stark turnaround from his public posture just a few months back, when in December he confidently declared following his rise in national polls that he’s “going to be the nominee.” His campaign then flagged until his blockbuster victory in the South Carolina primary in late January — Gingrich failed to follow that up with any victories save for a win in his home state of Georgia, as Romney marched steadily toward the nomination.
After a pair of primary wins on Tuesday, Mitt was questioned by a reporter about a perilous trend among Republican voters. Exit poll data revealed that Republicans who self-identify as “very conservative” are still uncomfortable with Mitt. Michigan’s conservatives voted for Santorum over Romney by a 15-point margin, again raising doubts about the front-runner’s strength within his own party.
Off the cuff and sans talking points, how did Romney respond? Well, he spoke from his heart.
“It’s very easy to excite the base with incendiary comments,” he told reporters. “We’ve seen throughout the campaign that if you’re willing to say really outrageous things that are accusatory and attacking President Obama, that you’re going to jump up in the polls. You know, I’m not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support.”
Yep, that’s us, the conservative base seen through the eyes of Mitt Romney. We don’t care about substance. We want fireworks. We want carnage. We want that Muslim president sent back to his Kenyan birthplace. At essence, we conservatives are really just a bunch of Yosemite Sams and Elmer Fudds. If it doesn’t go boom, we’re not interested.
At least Romney refrained from using the word “peasants.”
It is truly sad. Funny — for those who appreciate schadenfreude — but mostly sad. Mitt just can’t help himself from maligning his party’s base. He didn’t misspeak. He didn’t misunderstand the question. Whatever his faults, Mitt Romney is an honest, intelligent man. In his statement, he clearly enunciated what little he thinks of the base of the Republican Party. In a way, his honesty is admirable.
With that said, mistakes are not admirable. There’s a reason that President Obama uses a teleprompter for every public statement, large and small. The president is not dense. He simply knows that when he deviates from talking points, he reveals too much about himself. (See Joe the Plumber.) Romney should learn the same lesson.
Conservatives are unlikely to be offended by Romney’s comments. We know what Mitt is and what he isn’t. And, with sinking hearts and great anxiety, we also sense the seemingly inexorable inertia that is driving the GOP nomination into his grasp.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the anxiety that conservatives feel does not stem from Mitt Romney. It stems from the vacuum that Mitt currently occupies. Election outcomes are determined by voter enthusiasm. If you don’t believe in your candidates, you don’t show up at the polls. The effect has been especially pronounced in the last three cycles. And though November 2010 was just 16 months ago, it seems far away. Since our massive tea party-driven victory, conservatives haven’t seen much that could enthuse them. Neither our leadership in the House nor our presidential contenders have provided a success to rally behind or a vision to believe in. And few, if any, see Mitt Romney as the missing sparkplug.
I almost feel sorry for Mitt. He’s been running for president for nearly a decade. He looks the part. He has a first-rate organization. The party’s big wigs are in his corner. He’s got a dynamite resume, endless resources and a vulnerable opponent. And there are no skeletons in his closet. In short, Mitt Romney has all of the requisite strengths and none of the typical weaknesses in a surefire presidential nominee. The only problem is him.
Unlike Democrats, Republicans don’t need our candidates to love us or feel our pain. We need them to take a stand and mean what they say. In that light, Romney had a second notable, post-victory quote on Tuesday, “I’m going to deliver on more jobs, less debt, smaller government.”
Maybe a surprise candidate will enter the race. Maybe there will be a brokered convention. Maybe a meteor will strike the earth before November. In the meantime, get Mitt Romney a teleprompter.
This primary posturing by the states is getting ridiculous!
New Hampshire’s Secretary of State Bill Gardner is seriously considering December 6th, 2011 as the date for his state’s “First in the Nation” Presidential primary election.
Gardner released a statement on the subject today. Here is the key paragraph: “If Nevada does not accept a date of Tuesday, January 17th or later for its caucus, it leaves New Hampshire no choice but to consider December of this year. The dates of Tuesday, December 13th, and Tuesday, December 6th are realistic options, and we have logistics in place to make either date happen if needed. Candidates have been campaigning here, and elsewhere, for months, and it is about time we begin the next stage of the presidential nominating process.”