Debt Ceiling, Dan Savage, China on Human Rights, Singer and Lennox Debate, and More Mahaney – The Morning Report, 7/13/11

In the News

1.  To those who enjoy following the inside-baseball of the debt-ceiling wheeling and dealing, here are a couple links for you.  Mark Salter has an interesting take on Obama’s maneuvering.  Keith Koffler thinks the McConnell plan is a brilliant maneuver.  Michael Goodwin is growing weary of Obama’s half-truths.  And Larry Kudlow explains why he believes the spending is the problem.  Kudlow writes:

The highly accurate IBD/TIPP pollsters have just released an incredible result. Get this: The public rejects a debt-ceiling increase by a huge 58 to 36 percent. That includes 59 percent of independents and even 38 percent of Democrats. That is the tea party revolt.

I believe the public agrees with people like Michele Bachmann. She told me in an interview this week that Congress can direct the Treasury to “first pay off the interest on the debt, make sure our military men and women get paid, and then deal with our priorities. Yes, we have very sacrificial consequences, but when are we going to get serious about deficit reduction?”

On this logic, Bachmann and other tea party Republicans — including most on the presidential campaign trail — oppose a debt-ceiling increase. This populist spending revolt runs directly counter to the Tim Geithner, Wall Street, big-business view that we must at all costs have a debt-ceiling increase to make good on our federal debt.

Tea party populists are saying no, no: We can still make good on our debt, but this debt bill is the only leverage we have to force Washington to cut spending.

Main Street is in revolt against Wall Street, although it should be noted that Wall Street bond investors are not panicked by any means. The 10-year Treasury continues to trade below 3 percent. Maybe that will change by August 2, or the next Geithner debt-limit drop-dead date. But right now the bond market seems to be aligned with the tea party movement.

Obama said it’s time to “eat our peas.”  James Pethokoukis asks, “Why isn’t it time for government to eat its peas?”  Americans who have been following the story are strongly against a hike of the debt-ceiling.  Would they feel the same way if it spooked the markets?

2.  China’s schizophrenia on human rights issues.

3.  Why has the odious Dan Savage become one of America’s most influential sex advice columnists?

In the Pews

1.  Princeton’s Peter Singer and Oxford’s John Lennox will debate the existence of God.

2.  A roundup of sorts on the C. J. Mahaney business.

3.  RJS has a nice piece at Jesus Creed entitled, “Are We Just the Sum of Our Neurons?”  I don’t always agree with RJS, but I always enjoy the thoughtfulness of the writing.

BONUS: An amazing story, from Minnesota, of Crime in the 21st Century:

Ardolf’s obsessive passive-aggression was apparently ignited in late 2008 when his neighbors, Matt and Bethany Kostolnik, filed a police report against him. The Kostolniks had a 4-year old son who wandered over to their next-door-neighbors property shortly after moving into the Minnesota suburb of Blaine. Ardolf, 46 and a father of two, had reportedly picked the boy up carried him back to the couple and then kissed the child on the lips. Ardolf was offended when the cops were called and vowed his revenge like every good villain.

The man, a Medtronic computer technician, downloaded a Wi-Fi hacking program to tear into his neighbors WEP encryption. Ardolf created a fake Myspace page as well as several fake emails for Matt Kostolnik. The hacker then posted child porn on the Myspace page and emailed the same child porn to co-workers at Kostolnik’s law office.

To top it all off, the Blaine hacker sent death threats to Vice President Joe Biden and other politicians from Kostolnik’s Yahoo account. This granted Kostolnik a visit from the secret service who had traced the emails back to his IP address. One of the emails told Biden, “I swear to God I’m going to kill you!”

Ardolf’s mischief was detected when a frustrated Kostolnik told bosses he had no clue as to what was going on. The law office hired a firm to poke around the Wi-Fi network and install a packet sniffer to figure it all out. Eventually Ardolf’s name and Comcast account were found which gave the FBI a reason to obtain a search warrant for Ardolf’s house. They found massive evidence that led to the Blaine hacker being slapped with charges for identity theft, making threats against Biden, possession of child pornography as well as distribution of kiddie-porn.

About Timothy Dalrymple

Timothy Dalrymple was raised in non-denominational evangelical congregations in California. The son and grandson of ministers, as a young boy he spent far too many hours each night staring at the ceiling and pondering the afterlife.
 
In all his work he seeks a better understanding of why people do, and do not, come to faith, and researches and teaches in religion and science, faith and reason, theology and philosophy, the origins of atheism, Christology, and the religious transformations of suffering

  • http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com kevin s.

    How is that passive-aggressive behavior? Passive-aggressive would be making a show of kissing your own children while your idiot neighbors are watching. We Minnesotans are always tarred as being passive-aggressive, but as Ardolf emphatically demonstrates, we are improving in that regard.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Heh.

  • Kubrick’s Rube

    Two quick points.

    On Dan Savage: Much of his advice is quite good, and his position on monogamy is continually misunderstood/misrepresented across the blogosphere. But after reading the two links you’ve posted on him recently? Yikes, I’m not defending him. Odious indeed.

    On the debt limit: If the informed public are getting their information from the likes of James Pethokoukis, Larry Kudlow and Michael Goodwin (talk about half-truths!), then I’m not surprised by their informed support for breaking our commitments and quite possibly the economy in the process. Instead of offering a partisan corrective, I’ll recommend the Economist’s website; you get comprehesive and dispassionate coverage of the debt ceiling situation without the talking points, scare tactics or political theatre of the Republicans or Democrats or either party’s cheerleaders.

    • http://www.theproblemwithkevin.com kevin s.

      You argument boils down to.

      a) you are reading liars
      b) I think they are liars
      c) a website says you are wrong
      d) therefore, you are wrong

      On Dan Savage, his views on monogamy are what everyone says they are. Now that he is attached to a quasi-credible campaign, some people want to scrub that fact. To be clear, dude advocates cheating on your spouse and hiding it.

      • Kubrick’s Rube

        The referenced analysts continually claim Obama is unwilling to address spending or entitlement reform. They are surely aware that “Obama is willing to raise the Medicare eligibility age, cut Social Security, slash discretionary spending by more than a trillion dollars over 10 years, and make taxes less than a fourth of the total package,” as Ezra Klein summarized this morning. So yes, as long as they continue to incredulously bemoan Obama’s unwillingness to do any of these things, they are liars.


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