Friday, July 15, 2011

Quick Hits: Volume XXXII

-It's all but official that Democrat Governor Mark Dayton and the GOP controlled legislature have reached agreement on a budget that will end the Minnesota state shutdown.

While neither political party (nor their supporters for that matter) are particularly happy with the end result, there are a couple of takeaway items which indicate Gov. Dayton came out on the short end.

First, Dayton's plan to gin up support for his side of the debate by going on a statewide tour failed miserably as his invite-only town hall meetings drew scant attendance. Combine that with the fact that the citizens of Minnesota were actually starting to get a firsthand taste of government overreach and inefficiencies (i.e. entities paying for services yet not having them processed in time, the MillerCoors debacle, etc.), and you had a Governor returning to St. Paul with his proverbial tail tucked between his legs.

Also, do you recall how former Gov. Tim Pawlenty was roundly criticized when he temporarily shifted K-12 funds to balance the budget? Well Gov. Dayton has offered that facet as a compromise in an effort to close the $1.4 billion gap between his proposal and that of the GOP.

The special legislative session is tentatively set to begin Monday in an effort to finalize this deal.

-Do you ever get the feeling that President Barack Obama is just making it up as he goes along? It's been even more apparent during the negotiations with Congressional Republicans regarding the best way to resolve the perilous financial situation facing America.

Earlier this week, the House Speaker spoke out about the President's erratic behavior.

In a meeting with a small group of reporters in his Capitol Hill office this morning, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, criticized President Obama and White House officials for their lack of resolve in negotiations.

“Dealing with them the last couple months has been like dealing with Jell-o,” Boehner said. “Some days it’s firmer than others. Sometimes it’s like they’ve left it out over night.”

Boehner explained that talks broke down over the weekend because, he said, the president backed off entitlement reforms so much from Friday to Saturday, “It was Jell-o; it was damn near liquid.”

“By Saturday, they’d spent the previous day and a half just going backwards” on reforming entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

“The only thing they’ve been firm on is these damn tax increases,” the Speaker said.

Townhall columnist Guy Benson penned an excellent piece on Monday laying out how the President lives in a world "in which his entire slate of previous statements, policy preferences, and actions is apparently wiped clean every time he delivers a new speech or press statement."

But the ultimate absurd statement occurred in this afternoon's press conference where the President was hammering the one item where he's been consistent (tax increases).

"The American people are sold," President Obama said.

"The American people are sold, I just want to repeat that."

"You have 80% of the American people who support a balanced approach. 80% of the American people support an approach that includes revenues and includes cuts. So the notion that somehow the American people aren't sold is not the problem. The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically."

So let me get this straight. This past November, Congressional Republicans made a whopping 63-seat gain in the House and a 6-seat gain in the Senate while predominantly running on a message of lower taxes, less government and entitlement reform. So we're supposed to believe that a large portion of the electorate now pines for tax increases?!?!

Perhaps GOP leaders should cite some generic poll showing how 80% actually support the Paul Ryan budget. I mean, if we're just going to make things up as we go along here....

-When Barack Obama was campaigning for President in 2008, the mainstream media showed very little interest in questioning why he would attend a church where the pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was spewing blatant anti-American sentiments.

Knowing she will likely not receive the same courtesy, 2012 GOP candidate Michele Bachmann and her husband withdrew from their longtime home church.

Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, and her husband, Marcus, withdrew their membership from Salem Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Minnesota, last month, according to church officials.

The Bachmanns had been members of the church for more than 10 years, according to Joel Hochmuth, director of communications for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, the broader denominational body of which Bachmann’s former church is a member.

The church council granted the Bachmanns’ request to be released from their membership on June 21, Hochmuth said.

After declaring at the CNN/WMUR/New Hampshire Union Leader presidential debate that she would seek the nomination, Bachmann formally announced her presidential bid June 27 in Waterloo, Iowa.

While running for Congress in 2006, Bachmann was heavily scrutinized for attending a church under the WELS denomination due to the fact they declare "...the Antichrist as the Papacy. This is an historical judgment based on Scripture." Forget that Bachmann herself never made any such statement and actually lived a exemplary life by raising five healthy children and opening her home to 23 foster children. Per Bachmann's detractors, the fact she would even associate with such a congregation as Salem Lutheran Church made her an accessory to anti-Catholicism.

But Obama was a 20-year member of Trinity United Church of Christ, had his wedding officiated by Rev. Wright and named a book after the title of one of Wright's sermons, yet there was no curiosity by the mainstream media on how much Obama knew of his Pastor's radical views.

Whatever the case, Bachmann is more than savvy enough to overcome such double standards since she's had to battle them for the better part of the past decade.


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