Does anyone remember the 2006 Midterm Elections? For those who don't, there's Wikipedia:
The election resulted in a sweeping victory for the Democratic Party which captured the House of Representatives, the Senate, and a majority of governorships and state legislatures from the Republican Party.
It was ... the first election in U.S. history in which the losses for one side were so lopsided that the victorious party did not lose a single incumbent or open seat in Congress or governor's mansion.
The victory of the Democratic Party in the 2006 Congressional elections was a major milestone for an additional reason: it saw the election of the first woman to serve as the Speaker of the House....
The day Pelosi assumed that office,
the Total Public Debt Outstanding was $8.67 Trillion,
the unemployment rate was 4.4 pct,
the labor force participation rate was 66.4 pct,
the GDP (for the previous quarter) was 3.5 pct and
the DOW closed at 12,622.
Today - almost six years later -
the debt is up 89 pct ... to $16.3 Trillion,
the unemployment rate is up, at nearly 8 pct,
the labor force participation rate is down to 63.8 pct,
It’s not just a bad deal, this is really an insulting deal… Robert E. Lee was offered easier terms at Appomattox and he lost the Civil War. The Democrats won by 3% of the vote and they did not hold the House. Republicans won the House. So this is not exactly unconditional surrender, but that’s what the administration is asking of Republicans.
There not only are no cuts in this, there’s an increase in new spending with a stimulus – this is almost unheard of. I mean, what do they expect? They obviously expect the Republicans will cave on everything. I think Republican ought to simply walk away. The president is the president, he’s the leader.
Speaking of Lee's surrender, did you know that U.S. government (at that time, the "Yankees") confiscated the ancestral home of General Lee's wife, Mary Anna Custis Lee, and buried their war dead on that property?
East front of Arlington Mansion (General Lee's home), with Union soldiers on the lawn, 06-28-1864
When Civil War casualties overflowed hospitals and burial grounds near Washington, D.C., Quartermaster General Montgomery C. Meigs proposed in 1864 that 200 acres of the Robert E. Lee family property at Arlington be confiscated for a cemetery.
The government acquired Arlington at a tax sale in 1864 for $26,800, equal to $398,237 today.Mrs. Lee had not appeared in person but rather had sent an agent, attempting to pay the $92.07 in property taxes (equal to $1,368.12 today) assessed on the estate in a timely manner.The government turned away her agent, refusing to accept the tendered payment.
In 1874, Custis Lee, heir under his grandfather's will passing the estate in trust to his mother, sued the United States claiming ownership of Arlington. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Lee's favor in United States v. Lee, deciding that Arlington had been confiscated without due process, Congress returned the estate to him.
The next year, Custis Lee sold it back to the government for $150,000 (equal to $3,174,545 today) at a signing ceremony with Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln.
Geithner suggested $1.6 trillion in tax increases, McConnell says, but showed “minimal or no interest” in spending cuts....
.... Obama is pushing to raise the tax rates on couples earning more than $250,000 and individuals earning more than $200,000.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee issued a statement saying,
“Secretary Geithner has offered no plan on behalf of the President. Newspaper articles and leaks from anonymous aides are not a plan. Until this fantasy ‘plan’ from a secret meeting is made public and scored by the Congressional Budget Office it does not exist. Based on history, we can safely assume that reports that this ‘plan’ saves $4 trillion is a fabrication. It is a distraction that allows the White House to continue to run out the clock so it can have maximal leverage to force through a bad deal in the last minutes before midnight.”
Breitbart's Ben Shapiro points out that "The Obama administration tried this same tactic during the last debt ceiling negotiation in 2011. They tried it again during Obamacare."
So my question is, why would anyone be surprised - and unprepared - for the inevitable?
President Obama is reportedly scheduled to be vacationing in Hawaii on January 2, the date billions in spending cuts – and untold consequences for the economy – will kick in if a deal is not reached on the “fiscal cliff.”
According to the Hawaii Reporter, residents who live in the area of Oahu where Obama and his family vacation have been told that the usual restrictions on their movements during an Obama stay will be in place for 21 days, from December 17 through January 6.
.... The Hawaii Reporter estimates that the total cost of the vacation to Hawaii and federal taxpayers, including funding for travel, staff and protection, is at least $4 million.
Small price to pay for not seeing, hearing him for 21 days.
I guess there's not much use in reminding everyone that Ronald Reagan spent Christmas(es) at the White House so his Secret Service agents and other aides could be at home with their families for the holidays.
And this bit from the Orlando Sentinel, Dec. 23, 1988, confirms it:
PRESIDENT AND Mrs. Reagan will spend Christmas away from the White House for the first time in eight years. They are to leave today for the house in the Bel-Air neighborhood of Los Angeles where they will live after Reagan's term ends Jan. 20....
.... In April of 1940, when the Nazis were invading Norway, instead of leading a resistance movement Quisling launched a Nazi-backed coup against his own people. As the Nazis settled in to occupy Norway Quisling settled in to live the life of luxury as Norway's "Minister President" -- and avidly assisted as a participant in what is known to history as "the Final Solution."
His betrayal of his own people was so stark that within days of Quisling's assumption of power the Times of London wrote an editorial saying of those who cooperated in betraying their own country that there were "Quislings everywhere." The paper went on to say:
To writers, the word Quisling is a gift from the gods. If they had been ordered to invent a new word for traitor... they could hardly have hit upon a more brilliant combination of letters. Aurally it contrives to suggest something at once slippery and tortuous.
Does two make a trend? Now understand, this could be a more urgent question than you'd imagine at first glance. Let us not forget - if we ever knew - that Vidkun Quisling was gound guilty of embezzlement, murder and high treason after the war. He was executed by firing squad in Oslo in October 1945.
.... When they refuse to treat you, a Jew, as an ordinary person, you shall become extraordinary. When they treat you, an Israeli, as the exception to the rule, you shall become exceptional. Where I shed the rags of the Diaspora, you will wear the robe of kings. Where I was “the return,” you are “the renaissance.” צהיילwill be emblazoned on your chest, where there was once a star. You will cry at the sight of Zion, where we once cried to return. You will speak the tongue of the prophets, rather than the language of the exile. (Your heroes will be legends from the land, rather than stars from the screen.) You, my child, will be the first of our line to be born in the Land of our Fathers....
The Washington region has emerged from the recession looking even more affluent compared with the rest of the country, boasting seven of the 10 counties with the highest household incomes in the nation
Here’s your class warfare. The real deal in all its tawdry liberal glory. The redistribution isn’t going from middle class whites to poor blacks, that’s just another tier of the scam. The actual redistribution takes money from the working middle class and gives it to the government middle and upper classes.
It’s the Russian economy with an American flag and a framed photo of Obama in the background.
The 2011 American Community Survey numbers showing that "the DC suburbs account for seven of the ten richest counties in America" had Yglesias scratching his head back in September:
... it seems a little implausible to avoid the conclusion that on the whole the American economy has gotten more deeply invested in influence-peddling—broadly construed—and that this is driving the Washington area to the top of the charts.
He might just have been on to something there, but neglected to pursue the obvious next question, by what means had this "broadly construed" influence-peddling resulted in quantifiable wealth?
If our country weren't so poisonously polarized, Greenfield and Yglesias might actually engage in a conversation about their converging theories, and in so doing might find some of that "common ground" that everyone talks about but can never locate.