Some people have called for a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution as a means of reining in a big-spending Congress. That's a misguided vision, for the simple reason that in any real economic sense, as opposed to an accounting sense, the federal budget is always balanced. The value of what we produced in 2017 -- our gross domestic product -- totaled about $19 trillion.
Fusion’s Alex Pareene seems to think that America’s biggest problem isn’t any of the usual suspects (e.g., deindustrialization, terrorism, health-care costs) but rather the popularity of conservative media among conservative politicians. For a long time, contended Pareene in a Wednesday piece, “the conservative movement peddled one set of talking points to the rabble, while its elites consumed a more grounded and reality-based media.” Then, however, “Congressional Republicans went from people who were able to turn their bullshit-hose on their constituents, in order to rile them up, to people who pointed it directly at themselves, mouths open.”
President Trump’s first proposed budget resulted in a patchwork of short, dire stories dominated two pages of the print edition Friday. The headlines provide the tone for the ideologically loaded stories: “Researchers Bristle at Extent of Cuts” at the National Institute of Health and Department of Energy. Meanwhile, the Department of Housing and Urban Development was “‘Hurt and Upset’ Over Potential Losses,” and “States Would Lose Help in Emergencies” because of cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.” Let’s focus on perceived Trump attacks on two liberal playpens in particular: public broadcasting, and the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment of the Humanities.
There’s the entertaining kind of irascible old guy (e.g., Grampa Simpson) and there’s the scary kind, which several liberal pundits thought they beheld Monday night as they watched Rudy Giuliani speak at the Republican convention. Talking Points Memo editor and publisher Josh Marshall remarked that “ever since the late and great Molly Ivins quipped that she thought Pat Buchanan's speech at the 1992 GOP convention sounded better in the original German it's been sort of a parlor trick to compare a 'hot' Republican speech to one from this or that fascist dictator. But this speech was really febrile and unhinged." Fred Kaplan of Slate claimed that Giuliani “spew[ed]…rank nonsense” and “delved into the shallowest realm of Trump’s attack on Obama’s (or Obama-Clinton’s) counterterrorism policies—the refusal to call our enemy by their name."
As this weekend's syndicated The McLaughlin Group discussed the issue of the North Carolina bathroom law which limits people from using public restrooms in state buildings that do not correspond to the gender listed on their birth certificates, Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune compared the issue to Willie Horton from the 1988 presidential campaign.
He ended up dismissively laughing when conservative columnist Pat Buchanan predicted that a crime against a child would someday occur if men are allowed to use women's restrooms, as the liberal columnist smugly cracked, "I'm waiting for it to happen, Pat. If it were going to happen, it would have happened already."
Reporters Patrick Healy and Maggie Haberman made Sunday's New York Times front page with a deep and deeply fear-mongering analysis of “demagogue” Donald Trump’s stump speeches: "95,000 Words, Many of Them Ominous, From Trump’s Tongue." But things that two Times reporters find “ominous” may not scare a more moderate reader, such as pointing out that ISIS chops off the heads of their victims.
Eleanor Clift stunned the McLaughlin Group panel over the weekend when she shockingly claimed that Ambassador Chris Stevens “was not murdered” in the Benghazi terrorist attacks.
The Daily Beast contributor, in full White House spin control mode, gallingly spewed: “ I would like to point out that Ambassador [Chris] Stevens was not murdered. He died of smoke-inhalation in the safe room in that CIA installation.”
Fellow panelists Susan Ferrechio and Pat Buchanan, not surprisingly, let Clift have it.
On Thursday, the New York Times called for the Obama administration to enter into a plea bargain or offer clemency to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden in order to bring him back to the United States.
On PBS’s McLaughlin Group Friday, syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan observed during a discussion about this issue, “There is an inherent conflict of interest between journalists and so-called whistleblowers” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan is not pleased with the budget deal that passed the House last week.
Appearing on PBS’s McLaughlin Group Friday, Buchanan said, “I think Paul Ryan’s presidential prospects have been hurt very badly.”
“If there’s anything like 76 million healthcare plans voided, not only is ObamaCare dead, there’s going to be guillotines set up at Farragut Square.”
So said syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan on PBS’s McLaughlin Group Friday.
Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan and the Daily Beast’s Eleanor Clift got into quite a heated debate about the government shutdown on PBS’s McLaughlin Group Friday.
At one point, Buchanan said Obama “wants to maximize the pain in order to maximize his political gain…It is a sinister and sadistic tactic” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan had a rather shocking observation about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comments about American exceptionalism in his New York Times op-ed last week.
Appearing on PBS’s McLaughlin Group Friday, Buchanan said, “He’s not only appealing to the people of the world. He’s appealing to that half of the United States to whom Barack Obama himself was appealing.”