Morning Briefing for April 21, 2011

RedState Morning Briefing
For April 21, 2011

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1. Barack Obama’s Re-Election Campaign Theme Won’t Be Hope and Change, Just Scoured Earth and Fear

Gas prices have more than doubled since Barack Obama took office. His deficit spending makes George Bush look like a rank amateur. 78% of Americans recognize inflation is on the rise. One dollar bill buys less and less. We’re a little bit more pregnant in Libya, but just barely. Our foreign policy is rudderless and often against our best interests.Today comes news that for the first time since the Great Depression, more Americans get government money than give the government money. Americans are dependent on Washington for the livelihoods.Also out late yesterday, CNS News reports that we will hit the legal limit on the national debt in less than a week. This is surprising news to pretty much everyone. But the data comes from the Treasury Department itself.This is no way to enter a re-election campaign. Barack Obama cannot run on hope or change. Instead, he is going to run on fear. It is abundantly apparent and confirmed to me by several Democrats who’d know. Barack Obama’s re-election strategy will be a scorched earth campaign.Please click here for the rest of the post.

2. President Obama’s Debt Failsafe Trigger Explained

What is President Barack Obama’s “debt failsafe” trigger? It is a means for liberals in Washington to increase taxes on you in the name of deficit reduction and avoids specific consent of the governed for these tax increases. If a mechanism to automatically increase taxes is raised by the “Gang of Six,” a bipartisan group working to reduce the deficit, or the President’s bipartisan bicameral negotiating team on reducing the debt, then conservatives should push back against this terrible, and possibly unconstitutional, idea.Please click here for the rest of the post.

3. Cantor, Kyl, and NO OTHER REPUBLICANS to deficit panel.

The AP doesn’t really explain the significance of the fact that the GOP is sending just House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl to the President’s much-ballyhooed deficit reduction panel, so let me do it.When the President set up this thing in the first place, he told the four party leaders in Congress – Speaker Boehner (R) and Minority Leader Pelosi (D) in the House; Majority Leader Reid (D) and Minority Leader McConnell (R) in the Senate – to each send four Congressmen to it, for a total of sixteen. That effectively translates to “President Obama’s deficit reduction panel was intended to be ineffectual:” you generally cannot get sixteen people to agree on anything. While Congressional Democrats theoretically were taking this panel more seriously – well. The Senate Democratic picks are Inouye and Baucus, which as the NYT notes are both hostile to the idea of deficit talks. Pelosi picked Van Hollen and Clyburn, which are described as obedient mouthpieces for the former Speaker (who herself hates the idea of deficit reduction) by that noted right-wing shill The Huffington Post. So that’s the Democratic side.And on the Republican side? Neither Cantor nor Kyl are recognized as being particularly fiscal policy players: they’re there because they’re second-in-command to Boehner and McConnell, respectively.Please click here for the rest of the post.

4. Third Parties, Third Ways, the Tea Party, and the GOP

This morning I wrote, “If the Republican Party will not aggressively fight for real cuts and real reform in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, if at all, it very much will be time for a third party in this country.”The level of hand wringing and disgust from some was predictable. From others, it was downright humorous, if not a bit annoying. For seven years now I have written that third parties are not the way to shift this country. In fact, there is a whole chapter in my book about how third parties are not the answer.So, I’m advocating a third party and not advocating a third party? It presents a WTF moment and I don’t mean “winning the future.”Please click here for the rest of the post.

5. AFSCME Boss Explains California’s Suicidal Tendencies…

For a state that had so much going for it, California is sinking into the depths of its own self-made depression. Businesses are fleeing in droves (including 70 more since January), the state has a projected $42 billion budget gap and is already awash in unfunded liabilities (the teachers’ pension fund alone is $56 billion underfunded), and human kind has taken backseat to the survival of a tiny fish which has turned the San Joaquin Valley into a dust bowl.Now, to make matters worse (as if they could be), California has given more incentive for businesses to continue fleeing to Texas and other friendlier locales—a huge increase in energy costs coming down the road.Please click here for the rest of the post.

6. Counting Our Hot Buttons: Abortion Numbers in Perspective

With the recent debate over federal taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood bringing the abortion debate back to the surface, it is sometimes useful to look at the numbers to get a little perspective on why this issue is such a large one. (All of these are estimates, and sources vary, but there’s no serious debate as to the scale of the numbers).Please click here for the rest of the post.

7. BP’s Macondo Disaster, One Year Later

On April 20, 2010, an explosion and fire on the Transocean drilling rig Deepwater Horizon caused the deaths of 11 rig workers. The subsequent blowout flowed uncontrolled to the Gulf of Mexico, ultimately spilling an estimated 5 million barrels of crude oil over the next 100 days. The regulatory aftermath continues to this day.“Vladimir” wrote dozens of diaries at RedState on the engineering, environmental, economic and political aspects of the spill and its aftermath. The first was “Please Pray for the Missing Eleven” published a year ago tomorrow. It was soon followed by “Why Was BP Drilling in 5,000 ft of Water?” which looked at the disconnect between our voracious appetite for hydrocarbons, and our relative lack of concern as to its source (as long as it’s available and affordable). Vlad’s diary “The Pro-Environment Anti-Environmentalist” recapped several earlier diaries, highlighting the contrast between the predictions of scientific doomsayers and journalistic hysterics on one hand, versus a solitary blogger with a smattering of knowledge of earth science on the other.The anniversary is an opportunity to look back on what we’ve learned. For if a failure is to be anything other than pure tragedy, we must learn the lessons it conveys.Please click here for the rest of the post.