Archive for May 30th, 2009

NRO: Federal Obligations Per Household Up 12%, Reach a Record $546,668 per Household

Saturday, May 30th, 2009


USA Today reports that key federal obligations are:

  • Social Security. It will grow by 1 million to 2 million beneficiaries a year from 2008 through 2032, up from 500,000 a year in the 1990s, its actuaries say. Average benefit: $12,089 in 2008.
  • Medicare. More than 1 million a year will enroll starting in 2011 when the first Baby Boomer turns 65. Average 2008 benefit: $11,018.
  • Retirement programs. Congress has not set aside money to pay military and civil servant pensions or health care for retirees. These unfunded obligations have increased an average of $300 billion a year since 2003 and now stand at $5.3 trillion. . . .

That’s quadruple what the average U.S. household owes for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other debt combined.

“We have a huge implicit mortgage on every household in America – except, unlike a real mortgage, it’s not backed up by a house,” says David Walker, former U.S. comptroller general, the government’s top auditor.”

Does The Kansas City Star find North Korean threat to be humorous?

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Prime Buzz’s Bill Dalton with the headline: ‘North Korea: Another day, another missle launch’

Rich Lowry, How to Oppose Sotomayor: ‘Don’t call her names, and yes, ‘stupid’ and ‘racist’ are names;’ ‘she should be vigorously opposed on grounds of her judicial record and of that Latina Lecture and similar statements’

Saturday, May 30th, 2009


I find the attempt to shut down the debate over Sotomayor by crying racism and crowing over the supposed fatal political damage Republicans will do to themselves by opposing her bullying and outrageous. But we do have to be smart about this.

My advice, which tracks with that of others today, is: 1) Don’t call her names, and yes, “stupid” and “racist” are names; 2) Don’t whine about the double standard when a) it’s just a fact that a white male can’t say the kind of things she did in her “Latina lecture” and survive (if you don’t understand why, you haven’t paid attention to American history) and b) liberal Democrats can get away with viciously opposing a Latino nominee like Miguel Estrada without paying a real political price because Latinos aren’t primed to believe that liberal Democrats are hostile to them and their interests (plus, the public doesn’t really pay attention to appeals-court nominees); 3) Do treat her personally with an extra measure of respect because old-fashioned people – and thank goodness, there are still a lot of them out there – will expect a woman to get more deference than a man.

Jay Cost on Specter’s likely primary battle against Joe Sestak: Specter has a real problem

Saturday, May 30th, 2009


Toomey raised $4.5 million for his challenge in 2004. Sestak is going to have to do better. He surely will, already having about $3.3 million on hand as of April 1st.


Suppose Sestak raises the cash. What’s his angle? I think Specter has provided him with a great valence issue – i.e. one that divides the electorate by 90-10 or even 99-1 rather than 50-50 or 60-40. That is: “Why shouldn’t Pennsylvania Democrats demand a real Democrat?”


This is good news for Toomey. If Specter loses the primary, the race becomes an open seat, which improves his chances. If Specter wins, but Sestak puts up a spirited fight, the negativity of the final weeks should knock Specter down a peg. Plus, Specter would have had to spend a good deal of his cash.

Star’s Tom McClanahan asks: ‘Will we know if Afghan mission succeeds?’

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

The Star:

My question was simple: “Can we win in Afghanistan?” But that only prompted another question: “How do you define victory?”

With that, any sense of clarity was a lost hope.

The question was directed at a roomful of mid-career military officers, all clad in gray-green camo. Most were Army, attending the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth. The school, known as SAMS, trains officers for high-level staff work.

I was one of a group of visitors last week that included another Star editorial writer, several of The Star’s Midwest Voices columnists and two members of the paper’s Readers Advisory Panel. Maj. Grant Martin, a SAMS student and Midwest Voices writer himself, arranged the discussion at the school.

Wow. McClatchy article on Cheney must be pretty bad for Powerline’s John Hinderaker to label it ‘The Most Insanely Biased ‘News’ Story In History;’ Article is ‘DNC/Daily Kos talking points from 2003 to the present’

Saturday, May 30th, 2009


At least I think it’s intended to be a news story. It popped up on Yahoo News a while ago, which I assume means that many thousands of people will read it. It’s written for McClatchy by two reporters–I guess they are supposed to be reporters–named Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel and is titled “Cheney’s speech contained omissions, misstatements.” The article is basically a compendium of DNC/Daily Kos talking points from 2003 to the present. It is full of falsehoods, long-discredited canards, and misleading statements. I’m going to bed and don’t have time to deconstruct it, but if you read it no doubt you will be able to make corrections as you go along. It is one of those “news stories” that is intended solely for the ignorant. If we had comments, maybe we could let our readers tear this piece of nonsense apart line by line while we sleep. Perhaps someday.

HT McClatchy Watch.