Selective rage?

I’m fascinated by the response Chris Christie’s ill-fated helo ride engendered. I registered my disgust yesterday, and blog buddy Chris Wysocki commented before I could update that Christie ultimately paid the state back for the trip after bad optics. But is that it? Garner bad press so pay for the trip thus washing your slate clean? The equivalent of confession. He’s still a good guy after all. Just made a bad decision. We all do. Yes, we all make mistakes. But is an entitled mentality just a mistake?

Just a Conservative Girl added,

Valid Ammo yes, but it is small ball in the grand scheme of things.

Is it? We rightly scream over Obama’s excesses, the date nights and Wagyu buffet while the economy sputters to a halt and more Americans receive food stamps than ever. That one of our own idols apparently feels he’s entitled to helicopter trips and 100 yard limo rides reveals a problem.

Maybe it’s our own if it seems “small ball” in the grand scheme of things.

UPDATE: Just a Conservative Girl added to the original thread:

Oh, I am not saying it is ok. I am a big believer in giving it to both sides. My point was that it wouldn’t be something fatal to his career down the road.

I heard today he paid for it himself. I am not clear if it was because of the uproar or he had done it all along

One incident won’t be fatal to his career. But it does suggest that the you’re-the-only-one-to-save-us drumbeat has gone to his head in a fashion that I wouldn’t have expected. Chris Wysocki’s attitude yesterday was oh, this is just small potatoes and we have much bigger fish to fry. A few-thousand dollar ‘copter ride isn’t the same as The One taking a wicked expensive trip on our dime. But it is.


Change: Chris Christie, tone deaf

Maybe the national attention and pretty-pleases of folks like me have, um, gone to his head?

Hot Air: Chris Christie takes state helicopter to son’s baseball game

Allahpundit’s wry one-liner captures the rest:

When he got there, he hopped in a limo that drove him … 100 yards to the field.

Jonathan Tobin at Commentary thinks it’s a symptom of a larger problem:

As Alana noted, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is taking a pasting from Democrats and the press over his use of a state helicopter to attend his son’ baseball game. But I think this is more than a case of bad optics. Christie, a politicians who has rightly earned the admiration of much of the nation for his tough talk about curbing spending on entitlements has come down with a bad case of a different sort of entitlement problem: an addiction to entitlements for politicians.

We’ve all seen it happen before. A man of the people who is elevated to a high political office often starts out humble and down to earth, just as Christie has been. But it takes a lot of discipline and self-denial for anyone in such a position to not start thinking that they are entitled to be treating as a visiting potentate wherever they go. The State Trooper escort, the big car and yes, even the private air transport available to governors starts to seem normal and even ordinary. The temptation to take advantage of these perks even when it isn’t necessary or work-related is great. The tendency to think that one is indispensable and worthy of special treatment becomes second nature.

How disappointing that the man has succumbed to politics as usual, eh? But better that we learn now than later.

Like a dagger in my heart, Chris Christie

On the news that if Mitch Daniels runs, Christie will support. CBS News:

Reflecting what many observers see as weak Republican field, the pressure on Daniels to run has been intense. He has been assured backing from big-money donors who supported George W. Bush, in addition to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, as well as top sitting Republican governors.

Sources tell CBS News popular New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has told Daniels he would back him, as would Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

And as a sign of how important his wife is to the decision, sources tell CBS News that even former First Lady Laura Bush has called Cheri Daniels personally to encourage her to support the effort and offer advice on how to define what her role on the campaign–and potentially in the White House–would be.

Oh, Friday the 13th, how cruel.

h/t Hot Air headlines

Tuesday Laundry

The Other McCain has the latest on the fanatic Lutheran who stormed the cockpit of American Airlines Flight 1561 screaming “Praise Jesus!”  GatorDoug thinks he was a Methodist. As a Catholic, I just lump ’em all together as “Protestant.”

Pundette: Obama heads to Texas to poke a stick in a hornet’s nest.

Can you agree and disagree with John Boehner in one sentence? Yes. “Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels should run,” he says. Yea to the former, however unlikely. Boohiss to the latter. Speaking of Christie fantasies, Byron York discusses the “Republican rescue fantasies” here. I admit to indulging. You?

“In the Navy” was no accident: Navy Chaplains authorizes Same Sex Marriages. Lawsuits headed to a military base near you. J.E. Dyer observes:

As the Navy Times article observes, members of Congress object to the Navy guidance, some of them stating explicitly that it violates DOMA.  But the Obama administration has announced that it will not defend DOMA in court, so it is not clear how Congress can proceed to prevent chaplains from presiding over same-sex marriages on military bases.

The obvious questions that will be raised include how such marriages are to be treated by the military, an agency of the federal government, and how they will be treated when the servicemembers are transferred to states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage.  These questions will be dealt with through lawsuits.

One lawsuit that is coming will be against a chaplain who declines to perform a same-sex ceremony.  The assurances of DOD spokesmen that chaplains won’t be asked to do anything inconsistent with their faith are meaningless.  Chaplains are federal employees.  There will be a judge somewhere who will accord a hearing to the argument that a chaplain has wrongfully discriminated.  The argument will be that clerics should be free to believe anything they want, but that the federal government should not allow them to discriminate in the performance of their duties if they are in its employ.

Unintended consiquences or intended? Gotta wonder sometimes.

The latest Obama campaign strategy: a new “text” alert system in NYC. Cell phone users can opt-out of terror alert texts, but cannot turn off “Presidential messages.” Wanna bet that all texts will end with “To donate, reply with GOBAMA to automatically support the President with $10. Need not be a citizen to reply!”

Last, an apology. I had a Mother’s Day post on the dashboard for three days to shout-out to my favorite mom blogger friends. And we had such an insane weekend that it didn’t happen. Nothing happened. The Mother’s Day weekend that will live in family infamy. A special thank you to my partner-in crime, Teachingmytwo, who is quite busy teaching her two at the end of the school year. And a hat-tip to all the ladies: Quite Rightly, Carol, Sherry, Pat, Anne, MJ, Kris, MarySueRetriever, Just a Conservative Girl, Edge of the Sandbox, No One of Any Import, Lisa and especially Jill. You all brighten my day with wit and wisdom, of both the mom and political variety (which often intersect). And last but not least, to my own mom, without whom I wouldn’t have been interested in either.

I hope your weekends were better than mine! Happy Belated Mother’s Day!

You betcha!

Know what’s even sexier? That he could kick Obama’s ass six ways to Sunday. Sans ‘prompter.

A reminder or two

Tim Pawlenty might well be a wonderful man. I just can’t see him as President. He doesn’t have the fire in his belly that Chris Christie does.

And Newt, please. Go away. If your Pelosi-hand-holding commercial weren’t enough to dash your credibility, sleeping with mistress while condemning the Clinton for doing the same smacks of the H-word so fully that I can’t stand the mention of your name let alone the sight of you. Go. Away. DLTDHYAOTWO.

After the Iowa kick-off, I was left feeling a little forlorn. Until I read this:

Once again, we have to be reminded of a few things. First, the candidate for president who won in 1992 didn’t declare his intention to seek office until the fall of 1991. Second, Barack Obama declared his candidacy in February 2007 and promptly wasted six months of money and energy and bad debating appearances. He gained no traction against Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t until October that he actually figured out how to run, and he might have spared himself the trouble if he’d waited until then.

So what does this tell us? It tells us that the person who can win has either not reached the point of deciding to run or that he is biding his time until later. It could be Chris Christie. It could be Paul Ryan. It could be Marco Rubio. It could be Bobby Jindal. One hears that the 2016 GOP race will feature all these guys in a superstar battle. If that one could, so could this one. And there’s plenty of time. Plenty.

Thank you, John Podhoretz.

Related: Pundette’s Hmmmm.

Paging Chris Christie

I know you know you can do this.

And I don’t think there’s anyone else capable of selling the impossible, that is, telling people like it is. We don’t have the money for everyone’s Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc etc sans some serious trimming. Not just shape-shifting. Cuts. Big Axe, not X-acto.

What did you tell that woman last summer, the one who was so indignant that you were cutting her retirement benefits? Oh, that you would rather see her get something instead of nothing? Well, folks, that’s how it has to be. If we want to have anything left to pass to our children and grandchildren, this is it. The buck stops here. That means you’ll get something but it won’t necessarily be what you were promised.

Apparently, everyone else think the buck stops somewhere else. Because they can’t fathom trimming the budget of entitlements. Is this truly what we have become?

Allahpundit on the WSJ poll finding folks less than willing to cut their favorite government cheese:

Seventy-six percent say Medicare cuts are at least mostly unacceptable and 77 percent say the same of Social Security — including a clear majority who say it’s totally unacceptable. Here’s a related result, asking not whether cuts are acceptable but merely whether they’re necessary.


The silver lining is that majorities are willing to accept various tweaks to entitlements. Cuts are a no-go, but 62 percent say they’d find it at least mostly acceptable to reduce Medicare and Social Security benefits for wealthier retirees and 56 percent would find it mostly acceptable to gradually raise the retirement age for S.S. to 69 by the year 2075. In fact, 44 percent would even find a voucher system for Medicare “mostly acceptable,” an encouraging sign insofar as it gives the Ryans, Christies, and Danielses of the world a political foothold to push reforms aggressively.

Seriously screwed. And then this:

A plurality of respondents say they’ll probably vote for Obama over a Republican challenger (45/40)

The last bit felt like a gut punch until I found this from Lonely Conservative: Jimmy Carter Polled at 54% in 1979.  Bless you.

UPDATE: linked by Pundette. Thanks!

The problem, in a pie chart

Ah, money. 

Though he claims he’s not surprised, Allahpundit scared the hell out of me with this: 60% oppose stripping collective bargaining rights from public union workers. Granted, most of the respondents probably didn’t know the difference between a public sector union and a private sector union, but I digress. 

Raising taxes won’t be enough. Why? Because you can’t spread a tiny pie that far: loaves and fishes this ain’t, y’all. This goes beyond trimming union benefits. Entitlement spending alone eats nearly all of our revenue.

USA income statement


                $899 billion from Individual Income Taxes

                 $865 billion from Social Insurance Tax

                 $191 billion from Corporate Taxes

                 $208 billion “other”

Now subtract:

                  $724 billion for Medicare and Federal Medicaid 

                  $707 billion for Social Security

                  $553 billion for Unemployment plus “other” entitlements

You end up with $179 billion, which isn’t enough to pay the interest on our debt. The government exists to provide for the common defense not keep folks on the dole. Period.

Even math dunces will have to recognize that if you pay out more than  you take in, there’s … nothing. And that nothing turns into bigger black-hole nothing with compounded interest.

Entitlement reform. From the home of the pie-chart-of-doom:

most of the expense is entitlement programs, not defense, education, or any of the other line items that most budget crusaders normally howl about.

Third, as horrifying as these charts are, they don’t even show the trends of these two pies: The “expense” pie is growing like gangbusters, driven by the explosive growth of the entitlement programs that no one in government even has the balls to talk about. “Revenue” is barely growing at all.

As we’ll illustrate with more of Mary’s charts next week, the US cannot grow its way out of this problem. It needs to cut spending, specifically entitlement spending. We hereby announce that we’ll give a special gold star to the first “leader” with the guts to say that publicly.

Didn’t Chris Christie at AEI?
Ah: almost missed this. Ed Morrissey discusses the sample of the CBS poll Allahpundit noted. Chicanery as usual:
First, the partisan split in the sample gave a ten-point advantage to Democrats.  Their sample for this poll had a D/R/I split of 36/26/31, an absurd sample for political polling.  In December, Rasmussen’s general-population survey put Republicans ahead, 36.0% to 34.7% for Democrats.  A recent poll by Gallup shows erosion in Democratic affiliation all through 2010.  In 2008, Barack Obama won the popular vote by seven points nationwide, and the NYT/CBS poll assumes that the electorate has grown more Democratic in 2011.
Next, 20% of the poll’s respondents claim to come from union households.  However, only 11.9% of American workers belong to a union, according to a report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last month and noted by none other than the Times itself.  Union membership fell to a 70-year low as a percentage of the workforce, which in itself is a rather damning statement about the view of collective bargaining by the vast majority of American workers.  How exactly did the survey manage to comprise itself of almost twice as many union-household respondents for a poll on union policies as union members in the workforce?  Interesting.
Indeed. The fourth estate hard at work. 

Antonyms: “leader” and “Wisconsin Senator”

The Democrats at least.

From Chris Christie’s boffo speech in DC yesterday, this:

. . .you just have to have the spine to say I’m gonna take the risk. But I think that’s what we elect leaders for. Hence the name. Right? Like if you’re waiting midway back in the pack and call yourself a leader it seems to me that that isn’t consistent. So you wanna be a leader, lead. I’m not saying it doesn’t involve some measure of risk. Everything does that’s worth something.

I guess the Democrats in Wisconsin didn’t get that memo about leaders and elections.

Flee?  Seriously? Ed Morrissey says they must come home eventually. Maybe voters can begin recall efforts immediately? For, you know, not doing the job they were elected to do. MadisonConservative calls a spade a spade. I guess the Democrats didn’t see this: U.S. Senate Democrats told to embrace spending cuts or risk voter rebuff.

What’s sad? The Republican governor, Scott Walker, wants to save the teacher’s jobs. But they’d have to pay toward their own health insurance and retirement plans in addition to losing their collective bargaining power. If they don’t agree, 6,000*** will lose jobs. I guess everyone has a case of “it couldn’t be me.”

Ed Morrissey asks if the teacher unions nuked the fridge. I’d say so. And proven once and for all that it’s not “about the children.” A caller on Rush this morning expressed extreme anger that she and her husband couldn’t contribute to their own 401(k) plans this year because their income has fallen substantially. Yet she and her husband get to fund the retirement plans of these union goons who refuse to chip in for their own. Ditto for her family’s catastrophic-only health coverage.

I have a feeling this lady isn’t alone in her sentiments.

More: Union madness in Wisconsin 

Of course, because he doesn’t understand the concept of “out of taxpayer money” and just prints more: Dear Leader calls this an “assault” on people who “contribute” to communities. Hey, Bub, states can’t print.

Althouse has much more.

UPDATE: Is this a preview of things to come? It’s budget showtime.

***UPDATE: From Walker’s press conference chastizing the kindergarteners who hid on the playground:

“Certainly, the thousands of people here and outside the capitol have every right to be heard,” said Walker. But I want to make sure that not for one moment are their voices drowning out the voices of millions of taxpayers all across the state of Wisconsin.”

But he defended requiring government employees to contribute nearly 6 percent to their pension funds and nearly 13 percent to their health-care plans, saying that the pension contribution was equal to the national average, while the health-care contribution would be only half of the national average.

Walker said the only alternative would be layoffs of 10,000 to 12,000 state and local employees.

He also said he would not back down on the legislation banning most collective bargaining rights, stressing the importance of allowing state and local leaders to have flexibility in negotiation with government workers.

What Would Chris Christie Do? Call out liberal lackey journolists.

Must see TV.  I missed this yesterday morning while hiking in glorious Colorado sunshine with my family.  H/t Daily Caller:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie irked NBC’s David Gregory — and probably won over more conservatives weary of the media in the process — by suggesting on “Meet the Press” that the host was acting as an advocate for Democrats in the way he spoke about taxes.

Christie, a Republican known for his tell-it-like-it-is attitude, disagreed with Gregory’s characterization of the looming battle in Congress over the Bush years tax rate as “tax cuts.”

Christie, saying such word choice drives him “crazy,” said: “This is maintaining the current tax policy in a weak economy, and what you’re advocating through your question is…”

Gregory interrupted: “That’s not fair. I’m not advocating. I’m questioning whether or not they have to be paid for.”

Christie shot back saying the debate over taxes is not about whether to make cuts, but rather is about whether Congress wants to raise taxes during a bad economy

The fun begins around 7:30.

If you’re in the mood for more Christie, here it is:
I love his self-assessment as an honest off-the-cuff speaker.  Such a refreshing change from ‘Prompter Man.  Even our Indian friends see The One as a narcissistic dilettante.  A gem of a quote about our esteemed POTUS:

“We thought Obama is a trained orator and skilled in the art of mass address with his continuous eye contact,” an official, who did not wish to be identified because of security restrictions, said.

Ah, kool-aid bubbles bursting ’round the world.