That pesky debt ceiling

February 12, 2011

One of the big arguments coming up in Congress over the next few weeks is the question of raising the federal debt ceiling, the amount of money the United States can legally owe. And it’s not just an abstract question: failure to raise the limit could (maybe, possibly) lead to a default on our debt, with horrific consequences — were it to happen. But will it? Would it be so bad the ceiling were not raised? Is this another manufactured crisis meant to bull-rush us into a bad decision?

In this episode of PJTV’s Trifecta, Bill Whittle, Scott Ott, and Stephen Green chew over America’s debt problem and how best to deal with it:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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A Chinese Trifecta

January 20, 2011

On the occasion of the State visit by Chinese fascist junta leader President Hu Jintao, PJTV analysts Stephen Greene, Scott Ott, and Bill Whittle look at the growth of Chinese economic and military power, and the challenges a rising dragon may pose for the US:

I thought Whittle’s observations on the Chinese military perceptive, particularly regarding the PLA’s focus on the top-line weapons without the support structure and the experience we and other great powers have had. And I agree with their “middle ground” approach to assessing the challenges posed by China: neither making light of them, nor going into a panic-driven depression on the assumption that all is lost. (Besides, preemptive surrender is France’s job.) For my own part, I see China not as our “great good friend” and not as a declared enemy (yet), but a strategic competitor whose assessments of its own interests often work at right angles to our perceptions of our interests.  Diplomatic and economic competition and conflict is inevitable, but a shooting war is not. It all depends on how both sides manage their relations.

I do wish they had taken the time to talk more about China’s internal problems, because they’re serious and threaten China’s rise to Great-Power status and even its stability: banking regulations hiding bad loans that could make our situation look like chump change; rampant corruption that’s creating more and more popular resentment; the anger of rural workers who come to the cities to work and then don’t get paid; a ham-handed diplomacy that winds up scaring much of East and Southeast Asia into our arms; and an aging population that, as Mark Steyn has put it, means the nation will grow old before it grows rich.

One eye-popping fact: China has to add 17,000,000 jobs per year to keep up with population growth.

Like the Trifecta crew, I’m confident we’ll do fine in our competition with China… as long as we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


When your name is “Palin,” you have no right to defend yourself

January 14, 2011

I was going to go off on another rant‡ about Democratic politicians, mainstream journalists, and leftist activists (but I repeat myself) and their blood libel against the Right and Sarah Palin, but then I watched this episode of PJTV’s Trifecta and realized that Greene, Ott, and Whittle said everything I could. And did it better. Just watch;  I’ll wait here.

Take away line from Whittle: “I have to count to ten.”

Of the many odd, even outrageous, things I’ve read and heard over the last few days since the shooting spree and, especially,  since her address two days ago, the corker has to be that Sarah Palin should have stayed out of the fray, kept herself above it all, let others handle it for her. In other words, she should have shut up.

To which I reply: Horse manure.

This was no garden-variety criticism from the Left that one could reasonably shrug off and let others handle. This was a monstrous accusation of inciting mass-murder, including the killing of a child, and of encouraging the attempted murder of a congresswoman. No human being could or should stay silent when slandered in that way. Sure as the sun rises in the East, someone would twist that silence into an admission of guilt, and others would believe him. To say that she had no right to defend herself is either cynical or idiotic, take your pick.

And to say she had been wronged but should have done the “politically smart thing” and stayed out of it shows monumental blindness to what’s been happening: a desperate attempt by the left-liberal establishment to destroy the one potential candidate who truly scares them and to delegitimize the movement of average Americans she symbolizes — and even free speech itself. Not only did she have to speak to defend herself, she had to fight back to defend the right of the Right to say anything other than “Yes, master*.”

This was not a case where Sarah Palin could sit back, eat moose dogs, and let others fight her battle. Besides, outside of talk radio and Center-Right blogs, just who the Hell has been defending her? Where are all these people she should let take up sword and shield in her name? I didn’t see a rush from the Republican “leadership” or the political experts on the talk-show carousel. Governor Palin gets carpet-bombed by the perpetually outraged Left, and all we hear is the sound of crickets from the Republicans and mealy-mouthed tongue-clucking from the talk-show panels. Thanks a lot, guys and gals. It’s nice to know you’ve got her back. Try not to stick a knife in it, okay?

We all saw the ABC news clip in the video above. Like Greene said, millions did. Millions who don’t read Center-Right blogs or listen to talk-radio, but who still get their news from the MSM — and they were just told Sarah Palin was to blame for Tucson. And yet she was supposed to stay silent in the face of garbage like that, day after day?

No. Forget it. Not this time. I’ll even stipulate that there have been instances she’s fired back at more ordinary criticisms when she shouldn’t have, because she’s a fighter.

But not now.

Governor Palin had to respond to these slanders; it was her right and she was right to do it.

LINKS: Allahpundit has an assignment for budding speechwriters: “Try to write an address titled ‘I Didn’t Kill Anyone’ without sounding aggrieved.” Daniel Blatt thinks Sarah Palin made a mistake. I disagree in the comments. Power Line has a superb quote from President Lincoln about an earlier Democratic blood libel. Lori Ziganto calls her speech thoughtful and on-target, while accusing the Left of losing it’s grip on reality.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

 

*Any bets on how long it will take some hypersensitive Lefty to accuse me of racist rhetoric?

‡Guess I did, anyway.