Before moving on to some other news let’s revisit this part of Paul Krugman’s last column, The G.O.P.’s Existential Crisis
Since the 1970s, the Republican Party has fallen increasingly under the influence of radical ideologues, whose goal is nothing less than the elimination of the welfare state — that is, the whole legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society. From the beginning, however, these ideologues have had a big problem: The programs they want to kill are very popular. Americans may nod their heads when you attack big government in the abstract, but they strongly support Social Security, Medicare, and even Medicaid. So what’s a radical to do?
The answer, for a long time, has involved two strategies. One is “starve the beast,” the idea of using tax cuts to reduce government revenue, then using the resulting lack of funds to force cuts in popular social programs. Whenever you see some Republican politician piously denouncing federal red ink, always remember that, for decades, the G.O.P. has seen budget deficits as a feature, not a bug.
The observation that Republicans purposely, with malicious intent run deficits when they have the power to do so runs against all the conventional, all the ranting from conservatives politicians and pundits and the echo chamber the media is happy to supply. Your conservative cousin and neighbor would call you a crazy Leftist conspiracy nut for suggesting such a thing. Conservatives are the fiscally responsible party, the partay’ of values and would never run some kind of fiscal scam on the American people. This is a nice catch from Tom at Mike’s Economics, “Starve the Beast”
David Stockman admitted this back in 1985, as reported by Tom Wicker in “Stockman leaks ‘real’ reasons for budget deficit.”
…it now appears that the deficit was created by Reagan to do away with Democratic social programs dating back to the New Deal.
Who says so? David Stockman, the departing budget director, at second hand, and Friedrich von Hayek directly….
Stockman was Saint Ronnie’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Unfortunate Google only has this stored on some kind of Flash paper. So here we are 25 years later and what are conservatives do? Using the deficit, which they are largely responsible for – and ironically the Wall Street crash of 2007, which they voted to bail-out – to argue for slashing the safety net and anything else within slashing distance. If Republicans had raised revenue to pay for every dollar they spent from 2001 to 2009, the budget deficit would hardly be worth all the drama.
Ron Fournier is a hack who used to work for AP and somehow wrangled a job at the National Journal where he continues to be a hack. Fournier is worse in some ways than conservative pundits. He tries to fly under the radar as a straight up journalist, when in fact he does what he can to pander to Karl Rove and Company. This post-election analysis is a good example, Obama Victory Comes With No Mandate
Barack Obama won a second term but no mandate. Thanks in part to his own small-bore and brutish campaign, victory guarantees the president nothing more than the headache of building consensus in a gridlocked capital on behalf of a polarized public.
If the president begins his second term under any delusion that voters rubber-stamped his agenda on Tuesday night, he is doomed to fail.
Mandates are rarely won on election night. They are earned after Inauguration Day by leaders who spend their political capital wisely, taking advantage of events without overreaching. Obama is capable—as evidenced by his first-term success with health care reform. But mandate-building requires humility, a trait not easily associated with him.
“The mandate is a myth,” said John Altman, associate professor of political science at York College of Pennsylvania. “But even if there was such a thing as a mandate, this clearly isn’t an election that would produce one.”
He pointed to Obama’s small margin of victory and the fact that U.S. voters are divided deeply by race, gender, spirituality, and party affiliation. You can’t claim to be carrying out the will of the people when the populous has little shared will.
Fournier and his hackish friend Altman belong in the post-election analysis Hall of Sore Partisan Losers, Three lessons from the near-final popular vote
More than five weeks after election day, almost all the presidential votes have been counted. Here’s what the near-final tally reveals:
The election really wasn’t close.
On election night, President Obama’s victory margin seemed fairly narrow – just slightly more than 2 percentage points. White House aides anxiously waited to see if Obama would surpass the 2.46-percentage-point margin by which President George W. Bush defeated Sen. John F. Kerry in 2004.
They needn’t have worried. In the weeks since the election, as states have completed their counts, Obama’s margin has grown steadily. From just over 2 percentage points, it now stands at nearly 4. Rather than worry about the Bush-Kerry precedent, White House aides now brag that Obama seems all but certain to achieve a mark hit by only five others in U.S. history – winning the presidency twice with 51% or more of the popular vote.
As of Friday, Obama had 50.97% of the vote to Mitt Romney’s 47.3% with 47 states having certified their final count, according to the statistics compiled assiduously by David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report.
Most of the nation’s remaining uncounted ballots, perhaps as many as 413,000, Wasserman estimated, are in heavily Democratic New York, where officials have until next week to finish their tabulations. The other two states yet to certify a final count are West Virginia, which Romney carried, and Hawaii, which went heavily for its native son, the president. Once all those get tossed into the mix, Obama’s margin almost surely will rise slightly, allowing him to claim the 51% mark without rounding up.
These results go hand in hand with Democrats taking back some seats in the House and a wider majority in the Senate.
At this point many readers are probably overwhelmed with sadness and news reports, but I did want to highlight some of the better essays and reports I’ve read, Children Were All Shot Multiple Times With a Semiautomatic, Officials Say and A Mother, a Gun Enthusiast and the First Victim. I’ve mentioned in some older posts that I am a gun owner. I believe in the right to own a gun. Those against reasonable screening and restrictions are not simply gun owners, they ‘re gun fetishists. One pundit called them gun worshipers for the reverence they have towards guns – the NRA crowd. Paul Waldman knocks down all the silly and dangerous arguments being made by the gun worshipers, Ten Arguments Gun Advocates Make, and Why They’re Wrong
3. If only everybody around was armed, an ordinary civilian could take out a mass killer before he got too far.
If that were true, then how come it never happens? The truth is that in a chaotic situation, even highly trained police officers often kill bystanders. The idea that some accountant who spent a few hours at the range would suddenly turn into Jason Bourne and take out the killer without doing more harm than good has no basis in reality.
That is one that has been echoed a lot. MJ has a list of major mass murders done with guns. many of these were situations where there were trained and armed security near by. There were armed security at the Oikos University murders and there was armed security at the scene of Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) shooting, and there were armed MPs around when Nidal Malik Hasan went on a murder rampage at the Fort Hood army base in Texas. More Guns, More Mass Shootings—Coincidence?
There is no evidence indicating that arming Americans further will help prevent mass shootings or reduce the carnage, says Dr. Stephen Hargarten, a leading expert on emergency medicine and gun violence at the Medical College of Wisconsin. To the contrary, there appears to be a relationship between the proliferation of firearms and a rise in mass shootings: By our count, there have been two per year on average since 1982. Yet 25 of the 62 cases we examined have occurred since 2006. This year alone there have already been seven mass shootings —and a record number of casualties, with more than 140 people injured and killed.
Armed civilians attempting to intervene are actually more likely to increase the bloodshed, says Hargarten, “given that civilian shooters are less likely to hit their targets than police in these circumstances.” A chaotic scene in August at the Empire State Building put this starkly into perspective when New York City police officers confronting a gunman wounded nine innocent bystanders .
If trained law enforcement, who also have experience dealing with the stress of situations involving armed perpetrators can’t get it right, why does anyone think they’ll be better shots or exercise better judgement is such situations. Which brings us to some of the more bizarre arguments, rationalizations and finger pointing made by conservatives. “Assrocket” John Hinderaker at Power Line is a lawyer in real life. he’s no rocket scientist, but he is able to read, write and tie his own shoes. So when he writes crap like this it is not out of ineptitude. No these words are the product of evil,
Within the realm of constitutional options, the most practical remedy I can think of would be to require that a certain number of teachers or administrators in each school be trained in the use of firearms and armed at all times. That would probably deter most school shooters. It is curious, but true, that even those killers who do not intend to survive their crimes never seem to open fire in the presence of another armed person. No one tries to shoot up a biker bar.
Actually biker bars have been the scenes of shootings, just not as many fatalities at one time. And as Mike notes, if crazed gunmen are going to challenge the police in shoot-outs, what makes Assrocket think a crazed gunman will not challenge an armed vice-principle,
Yeah, right. The 42 cops killed this year in America by gunfire? And the 67 killed last year? And the 59 killed the year before?
And then there is Mike Huckabee who thinks the parents of the Newton victims sent their kids off to an evil school, with no teachings in positive values or responsibility, Huckabee Says Connecticut School Massacre Occurred Because We ‘Removed God From Our Schools’. Mike is an ordained minister. Apparently being a venal pig does not disqualify one from getting such certification.