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Government not shutting down so blog continues

Government not shutting down so blog continues

The government is not shutting down at midnight.  So here’s some more stuff:

  • Incandescent light bulb ban not banned, but not really going into effect.
  • Rich Lowry, Applying while Asian.  Commenter LukeHandCool made a similar point on the Tip Line earlier this month.
  • Newt has hired one of Marco Rubio’s fundraisers.
  • Take a look at Obama’s campaign war room.
  • Federal court upholds Dem redistricting map in Illinois, which the Court described as “a blatant political move to increase the number of Democratic congressional seats.”  Is it me, or are we losing and the Dems winning all these redistricting disputes?
  • Video of Tim Russert taking on Ron Paul over earmarks, and doing the job the Fox News folks didn’t do last night.
  • Good post by a Cornell undergraduate taking Obama to task over Obama’s flip-flops.
  • Christopher Hitchens has died.  Kathleen will have a post about it in a couple of days after she finishes her term paper!  She is our resident Hitchens expert.
  • More to follow.
  • Is this a problem for Perry?  Took early “retirement” to up pension benefits.  Perry supporters please explain why it’s not a problem.
  • I could not even bring myself to read the article, Star witness describes PSU shower scene.

And what you’ve all been waiting for, a NASA video of a comet passing near the Sun (h/t Hip Hop Republicans):


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That Ron Paul interview with Russert is priceless!

I knew Ron Paul was doing this but I had never seen this interview. This needs to played 24×7 in Iowa and New Hampshire until the primaries are done there.

What a major weasel. This is one of many reasons I won’t support Ron Paul. Hypocrisy isn’t very becoming…

Russert WAS confused.

Say Congress votes to appropriate $19-billion to build homes somewhere in the US.

Ron Paul votes against the bill on principle: He doesn’t believe the Constitution authorizes the government to build houses.

Still, Paul knows the bill will pass despite his “no” vote. So he says to his colleagues, if you’re going to use tax money taken from my constituents to build houses, I’m going to make damn sure some of those houses are built in my district.

Guess what? If Ron Paul doesn’t insert that earmark for his district, $19-billion is still going to be spent on building houses in the U.S., although the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development gets to decide where. It’s very possible no houses will be built by HUD in Paul’s district, especially if the President, through HUD, wants to punish Paul for his principled no vote.

Paul’s position is rational. See this article which further explains the contrarian view on earmarks:

In essence, Paul is sort of beating the big government Congressmen at their own game and thumbing his nose at the Executive Branch at the same time.

What’s the alternative? Vote against spending bills AND have no money returned to your constituents? How could a small government Congressman be re-elected if his constituents know they will never, ever receive a dime back in federal appropriations despite continuing to be taxed through the nose?

Getting rid of anti-big government Congressmen would be easy for a conniving Progressive President.

Russert’s point on term limits is just as mistaken. How does a Congressman advocate term limits if he voluntarily term limits himself out of office? We all know that incumbents regularly get re-elected. We also know that Congress runs on a seniority system. Those who oppose term limits would get re-elected time and again and have all the power. Those who advocate term limits could never gain enough seniority and power to see an anti-term limit bill passed.

The game is rigged by the big spending, entrenched establishment.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Sherman Broder. | December 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I agree Sherman … though it did say Paul got even more than most, in Texas at least. Of course if he is along the coast where there was more storm damage, it would not be surprising he would get more. Stossel said he also gets a subsidy for storm damage to his house.

    The game is indeed rigged. Paul is not bad domestically … our spending is indeed insane.

    The earmarks themselves are not so much the problem, it is the way bills get passed with earmark bribery, so both sides give in to each others overspending … the can gets kicked down the road … but the pork helps with reelecting Joe Blow every two years.

    WarEagle82 in reply to Sherman Broder. | December 16, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Ron Paul’s actions are rational. He is a liar, lying to promote his self-interest. Hypocrisy is certainly rational. Of course that isn’t the point.

    Hypocrites figured out how to get re-elected a long time ago.


As to Obama’s campaign headquarters, the term “Inner Party” comes immediately to mind. One should not be impressed at the spaciousness and modernity of the office space – vacancy rates due to the Obama depression make formerly productive square footage a bargain.

I am reminded of the closet that passed for the campaign headquarters for Scott Brown on Cape Cod a couple of winters ago. It was, to be charitable, quaint. The saving grace was that right next door was a cigar bar. Politics, bourbon and cigars go together like baseball and hot dogs.

Early retirement is not a problem for Perry — if he followed the rules and you dont like the rules, change the rules, dont be a typical democrat hypocrite who says its wrong for Perry to take any advantage he can get from the laws while its perfeclty OK for the democrats to not only take legal advantages, but stretch the barrier and attempt illegal ones as well (Charlie Rangel comes to mind).

Why do you need Perry supporters to explain why it is not a problem — why exactly do you think it is a problem.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to markf. | December 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    I wish I had time to run down everything. But it does seem to me that retiring before actually retiring, even if within the rules, is not quite the message he wants to send. It’s the same problem which is bankrupting many municipalities where retirement rules were so lax that public sector employees could ramp up their pensions to inflate their payouts.

      I am all for removing the separate retirement benefits for government workers — just as most pension plans have fallen by the wayside for private companies. Leave it with only the 401K/IRA + social security option for everybody.

      BUT, if we as a people are stupid enough to allow the government employees to have a special retirement plans, then we shouldnt be surprised or angry when the civil employees take the road to maximizing their benefits.

      If you are going to pick on Perry for this one, you might as well go against all the veterans who get their military pension and then switch over to civilian jobs and get their pension there also. Is it double dipping — depends on your exact definition, but since thats the way the rules are set up, I would say it is legal and not a problem.

      If it is something we want to change, then get an effort going to change the law.

      As it stands, I dont see it as a moral, ethical, or legal problem for Perry. It might be a problem for some on the left just because a republican is involved – but have them go back and apply their reasoning to other cases such as civil employees working for the union and getting a double pension.

      As for Obama, wont he get some pension benefit for being a senator and a different benefit for being President ?? not sure, but if so, tell me what he did as senator to earn any pension, he was campaigning full time.

        aguyfromjersey in reply to markf. | December 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm

        If you take the pension, retire. And who is going to fix the system, the people who benefit from the way the system is now? Same with the other comment about term limits.

      I think Perry just fell off my “maybe” list for potential candidates.

      He can’t be a retired governor and governor at the same time. If he stopped receiving his salary and only took retirement I might be okay with that.

      Does anyone in politics have any idea of the difference between right and wrong any more?

        Actually working local and state government retirees are a boon for the taxpayer since we don’t have to match or subsidize their retirement deductions.

        If the Texas system is like my state’s, Gov. Perry will get no increase in pension despite paying more in after retirement.

        retire05 in reply to WarEagle82. | December 17, 2011 at 10:55 am

        Oh, my, how every one has now gotten their Hanes in a wad (including the good Professor who is backing Newt) over a Texas law that they are all clueless about.

        If you work for ATT you have certain requirements you have to meet to retire with a pension. It is based on a point system and the point number is 75, combined age and years of service. A lineman who went to work for Southwestern Bell and has reached the age of 55 with 20 years service, is eligible for retirement. That retirement starts the day after he resigns. He then receives a monthly retirement check from the age of 55, which is NOT lessened when he starts collecting Social Security, nor does it prevent him from working at another job, often being contracted by AT&T.
        Even if you are collecting SS, you are allowed to earn a certain amount before you are penalized.

        Texas has virtually the same type of AT&T corporate retirement plan, based on a point system, except the points must total 80. Except that Texas, unlike AT&T, gives credit for military service, which Perry had five years of. The only difference in the state retirement requirements and that of AT&T is the person is allowed to continue in their current position. The difference also is that as long as Governor Perry continues to draw a paycheck as governor (slightly over $100,000/yr) he will continue to pay into the state retirement system but will see no increase in his monthly benefit, no matter how much more he pays into the system. His contribution to the state retirement system is just over 6% of his annual state salary.

        Is Rick Santorum drawing a federal retirement package? How about Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann, who are both being paid while not even attending Congressional sessions to vote? Is Newt drawing a retirement package from his days in the Congress? Yes, so I would expect the good Professor to be insisting that if Newt is elected POTUS, Newt give up his retirement benefits as he will be, once again, employed.

        This was just nit-picking on your part, Professor, and should have been beneath you.

      This is a long time practice in Texas. State employees “retire” only to return to the same job usually receiving the same pay temp consultants etc. I used to run into this all the time when I was doing contract work for the state.

      I’m not sure what the retirement amounts are for Perry but I do know that he gets free health care for life.

      Believe it or not, Texas at some point in the future will be facing the same pension problems as recently experienced in RI. And all this was without the help of unions as Texas is a “Right to work” state.

      An interesting aside might be that Perry has never had a “real” job… I should be so lucky!

    Same Same in reply to markf. | December 16, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    This is the kind of story that has resulted in the candidate of the month club. He’s not perfect, and I don’t care. I’ll vote for him over RomneyCare any day of the week, and twice on Saturday.

    I mean, seriously. One hit piece and everyone runs for the hills. Morons.

    angela in reply to markf. | December 16, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Perry’s pension doesn’t bother me either. If that is the way they have it set up in Texas and he is within his legal rights to start drawing that pension then I don’t have a problem with it. If Texans don’t like the system they have set up then they can change it.

    I would guess Gingrich is receiving his Congressional retirement benefits as he put in more than 5 years and he’s over 62. (I could be wrong about that though; I couldn’t verify it in a quick Google search.) And while he may no longer be in Congress, he certainly isn’t retired and he’s trying to get back into government service. I’m fine with that too.

As the article says:
“I think it’d be rather foolish to not access what you’ve earned,” Perry told ABC News

I agree, not only foolish, but also along the similar socialist thinking of paying more than your fair share which plagues the left.

Obama campaign HQ: Looks extremely…temporary. Like they staffed up yesterday and could vacate at a moments notice, leaving no trace they were ever there.

Redistricting: The good news is, R’s control more branches (House/Senate/Governor) of government at state level than they have in a LONG time (ever?). The better news is that those numbers are likely to keep going up, at least in the near future.

The bad news is, the D’s have rigged the whole system in their favor. The unconstitutional VRA gives them a huge edge, allowing them to create safe majority-minority districts that can never be eliminated. It also allows them to sue over ANY Republican redistricting plan. Worse, most judges are sympathetic to their form of racial gerrymandering. Worse yet, a number of states (including some R controlled) use ‘nonpartisan’ commissions to redraw districts. These commissions ALL lean far left.

Given their control of ‘nonpartisan’ commissions, the judiciary and the DoJ, all of these problems get worse in states where the R’s don’t have control of all three of the House/Senate/Governor. In VA this year, for example, R’s had the Governor and Assembly, but were down 22-18 in the Senate. A ‘nonpartisan’ group consisting entirely of current/former D politicians and advisors redrew the map. The came up with an extremely favorable D map designed to help them hold the state Senate, who’s seats were all up in 2011. That election saw 2 seats go R, for a 20-20 partisan tie (R Lt Gov gets tiebreaking vote). However, if the redistricting were truly non-partisan its hard to imagine R’s getting less than 26 seats (we won about 60% of the vote statewide). If R’s had controlled redistricting, we could easily have put 30 of 40 seats safely in R hands, even accounting for safe D controlled VRA seats.

D’s have to cheat to win. This isn’t news to anyone.

I’m torn between these two views of “Hitch” …

Retirement money, even social security, is supposedly your own money not public largesse. That’s why each person has their own individual pension account based on salary/pension deductions. Getting it back is not taking from others no matter when you chose to start getting it back.

I’m retired. I paid in for decades and that was invested and earned a very good return. So, whose money is that if not mine?

Re: “Applying while Asian,”

If you want to see some Asian parents get really riled up, this is a good subject to broach.

Just like “the evil 1%” targeted by OWS, the kids are penalized for their hard work, their good behavior, and their parents’ sacrifice. I guess it just isn’t cricket to succeed these days.