EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for December 5, 2011
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Here we go again. After a full year of grandstanding against another extension of unemployment benefits, some Republicans are ready to cave.
If you ever wondered why it is so hard to cut spending, and more importantly, to downsize government, look no further than the fight over extending unemployment benefits.
Despite a year full of political parlance concerning budget austerity, many have forgotten that we have only cut $6.67 billion from the FY 2011 $1.049 trillion discretionary budget authority. Even this miniscule cut might be cancelled out by up to $11 billion in emergency disaster spending, which is not subject to the spending caps. Moreover, after just one year of cuts, discretionary spending will steadily rise during each subsequent year, albeit at a slower rate than originally proposed by Obama.
But there is a more salient observation that must be publicized. These miniscule cuts, including the faux baseline cuts, are only applied to 28% of the budget – the part that is funded through the congressional appropriations process. The other parts of the budget are virtually unscathed, even from baseline cuts. To that end, even as we cut a few billion from baseline discretionary spending, we will still add hundreds of billions more in mandatory spending for each subsequent year.
Saturday night on Fox News’ candidate forum, Governor MItt Romney defaulted to quoting David Brooks from the New York Times. There’s why Herman Cain’s supporters will be looking at Gingrich and Perry.
In fact, a number of Cain’s Iowa staff moved to Rick Perry after Cain’s campaign suspension on Saturday.
Rick Perry will get another look. He will get another look because while the grassroots and Republican voters in general are moving to Gingrich, conservative leaders around the country are rapidly running up their watch towers to light fires against Gingrich. They remember him from the 90?s and they don’t trust him.
Rick Perry is going to get a second look. Jon Huntsman made the fatal mistake of branding himself too moderate. He’ll get a look if people don’t like what they see in Rick Perry.
This now raises a huge red flag: is Rick Perry ready for his second chance?
To give a quick background: Operation Fast & Furious, of course, was an incredibly botched government program where federal law enforcement agencies handed over firearms willy-nilly to Mexican narco-terrorists and then lost track of the weapons… no, really, that’s what they did, and the next person who comes up with a legitimate and/or sane reason for them doing that will be the first. As you might imagine, Congressional watchdogs – Republican ones; the Democrats are largely hiding from this one – are a bit perturbed about this, not least because it turns out that the Justice Department gave out patently false information when asked about it the first time. Which is to say, DoJ denied that it handed over firearms willy-nilly to Mexican narco-terrorists and then lost track of the weapons.
In its never-ending quest to stop the peril this country faces from natural gas, the New York Times takes on Rep. Dan Boren, the sole Democrat in Oklahoma’s congressional delegation. He co-chairs the House Natural Gas Caucus and serves as a member of the House Natural Resources Committee. As a representative of the #3 gas-producing state, it’s not surprising that his voting record is decidedly pro-industry, and specifically, pro-fracking. (Boren, one of the more conservative Democrats in the House, has announced that he will not be seeking reelection in 2012.)
Of course, the Times tries to portray the Congressman’s voting record as corrupt, since he has income from a (silent) interest in a family enterprise (on the order of $100K/year). Added to that, his father, former U.S. Sen. David Boren (D-OK) receives compensation for his service on the board of a successful oil company. (David Boren, as the Times chooses not to report, is president of the University of Oklahoma since 1994, and a member of several corporate boards.)
Every year, the Teamsters for a Democratic Union compiles the list of Teamster bosses earning six-figure salaries.
The 2011 $150,000 Club was released on Friday and shows, unlike many of their members who have suffered job and pay cuts, Teamster bosses are still doing quite well for themselves.
Last week’s NLRB vote to give unions the ability to ambush union-free workers and the companies that employ them, as well as to deny due process on bargaining unit issues, is only the latest in a long line of attacks on America’s union-free workforce by the union extremists controlling Barack Obama’s National Labor Relations Board.