Heap Big Prevaricator

Elizabeth Warren self-identifies as an Cherokee Indian at one of the most prestigious law schools on the planet and yet she denies knowing about Harvard reporting her as a quota-filling minority. It strains credulity to imagine that you might rise to that level without knowing what others, especially your employer, is saying and writing about you. True, Google hasn't been around forever, but this seems at least slightly implausible. Doesn't she represent the best and brightest? If so, how could she have missed this? At the very least it demonstrates a lack of professionalism and manners for Harvard to be touting her minority bona fides without seeking her permission first.

The Boston Globe reports:
US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren has said she was unaware that Harvard Law School had been promoting her purported Native American heritage until she read about it in a newspaper several weeks ago.
How would this idea have sneaked into the heads of those bean counters at Harvard unless she had checked a box somewhere indicating her status. Have you ever had this happen or have you ever heard of this happening - that somebody's ethnicity or race had been misidentified - and that for six years? And that person was unaware? That she denies self-identifying as a Cherokee to gain favor at Harvard? After submitting recipes that were purportedly handed down  from her Cherokee ancestors to a cookbook of Native American cuisine called Pow Wow Chow? And who had justifying her self-identity because her ancestors had "high cheek bones"? Who was sufficiently unaware as to not have known that Harvard Law School identified her as their "first woman of color"?

Do the people of Massachusetts really want a person in a position of power who was that unaware?

And secondarily, why is a liberal Democrat running from this affirmative action discussion? Warren's spokesman said:
There is nothing new in this report.  Elizabeth has been clear that she is proud of her Native American heritage and everyone who hired Elizabeth has been clear that she was hired because she was a great teacher, not because of that heritage.
Why have affirmative action policies in place if not to create openings for people such as Elizabeth Warren to walk through? Isn't the intent of affirmative action to overcome the systemic and cultural bigotries that would preclude a thoughtful, intelligent person from entering an area that would normally be closed? Isn't this a finger in the eye of all who oppose quotas? Why isn't this held up as a success of affirmative action or used as a campaign gem to laud the benefits of policies Warren undoubtedly supports? Shouldn't this self-identified minority be hailing her successful bigotry defenistration? Why the embarrassment and disassociation by Warren? Was she cheating and that is why she would like some distance here?

Doesn't her claim that she was only evaluated on merit and not on her racial identity debunk the entire premise of affirmative action policies?

Given that the left is busy banning the use of Indian imagery as mascots, maybe there is some secret cabal afoot to scrub American Indian lore from the conciousness of America - or at least that is how it would be reported if the right was doing something similar.

Victor Davis Hanson, The Power of Cool
Identity is key here. In general, to win exemption from the left-wing critique of America, the affluent must construct cool identities as far distant as possible from the white Christian heterosexual male, who is most culpable for creating our present affluence from ill-gotten gains. The multimillionaire Elizabeth Warren and her husband make nearly $1 million a year. They live in a home beyond the reach of 99 percent of America. And she may well have plagiarized and been dishonest about her own heritage. No matter -- Warren washed away both her privilege and her sins by reinventing herself as a “Cherokee” who fights Wall Street oppressors.
Mark Steyn, Breaking! The House of Windsor is One of the Five Tribes

Two of the possibly plagiarized recipes, said in the Pow Wow Chow cookbook to have been passed down through generations of Oklahoma Native American members of the Cherokee tribe, are described in a New York Times News Service story as originating at Le Pavilion, a fabulously expensive French restaurant in Manhattan. The dishes were said to be particular favorites of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Cole Porter.
Maggie Haberman, Fordham piece called Warren Harvard Law's 'first woman of color'

The mention was in the middle of a lengthy and heavily-annotated Fordham piece on diversity and affirmative action and women. The title of the piece, by Laura Padilla, was "Intersectionality and positionality: Situating women of color in the affirmative action dialogue."
Asked to comment, Warren spokesman Alethea  Harney said, "There is nothing new in this report.  Elizabeth has been clear that she is proud of her Native American heritage and everyone who hired Elizabeth has been clear that she was hired because she was a great teacher, not because of that heritage.


Investigate JP Morgan

JP Morgan had a $2B loss. California just reported what is essentially a $10B loss. And who is going to be investigated?


Think Like a _______ Person

The right thinks that people should be regarded not based upon their ethnicity, sexual preference, gender, social status, skin color or other physical characteristic but on shared values and the content of their character.

It is the Left that argues that every gay person must think like a leftist.
It is the Left that argues that every black person must think like a leftist.
It is the Left that argues that every woman must think like a leftist.
It is the Left that argues that every Hispanic person must think like a leftist.
It is the Left that argues that every poor person must think like a leftist.


Taxation Without Representation

Millions of illegal immigrants are getting a bigger tax refund than you. Eyewitness News shows a massive tax loophole that provides billions of dollars in tax credits to undocumented workers and, in many cases, people who have never stepped foot in the United States. And you are paying for it!

And there probably isn't any voter fraud either. Oh, wait...


Julia - Cradle to Grave

Ross Douthat takes a look at the Obama campaign's Julia ad.
What’s more, she seems to have no meaningful relationships apart from her bond with the Obama White House: no friends or siblings or extended family, no husband (“Julia decides to have a child,” is all the slide show says), a son who disappears once school starts and parents who only matter because Obamacare grants her the privilege of staying on their health care plan until she’s 26.
Its all about her. Kinda self-centered, right?

He goes on:
In addition to ignoring the taxes that will be required of its businesswoman heroine across her working life, “The Life of Julia” hails a program (Head Start) that may not work at all, touts education spending that hasn’t done much for high school test scores or cut college costs, and never mentions that on the Obama administration’s own budget trajectory, neither Medicare nor Social Security will be able to make good on its promises once today’s 20-something Julias retire.
Would the ad be as effective if Julia's name were José or Shaniqua? Doesn't the Obama campaign care about minorities?


Ryan Plan Draconian?

If I'm hearing Ed correctly, and I think I am, he likes the phrase "grease the skids." Yes Mr. Johnston, that's what the GOP wants. "Take it from the working people, and the poor and the disabled and the children so the rich can have more. And then everything will be great." I think he left out the elderly, women, blacks, Hispanics, babies and cute bunnies. Johnston really missed an opportunity to hit that one out of the park.

This is reminiscent of how the left generally treats the right. It is like when Howard Dean said: "Our moral values, in contradistinction to the Republicans', is we don't think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night." Yes. Republicans want children to go hungry.

Can we put on our big boy pants and discuss issues without demonizing everyone who isn't on the show? Mysteriously, no talk about how working people, the poor, the children, the disabled, the elderly, the babies and bunnies will pay down the debt racked up by this generation. Any concern about the disabled in that regard?

Go ahead, stick it to the "rich". Take everything they have. Unfortunately, you could take everything and it wouldn't come close to solving the problem. See why.

If the territorial tax is a dodge, then let's get rid of it. Although how is this much different than how Hollywood (just one example) conducts business by going where the taxes and wages are lower to make movies. The left does not practice what they preach. If they preached what they practice, they would be conservatives.

The piece of this puzzle that Schultz and Johnston cannot reshape is that businesses will gravitate to states/countries that are the most business friendly. You would do the same thing. Unmentioned is that higher energy and tax rates will push companies overseas too. Will Schultz hammer the left about their energy and tax policies driving jobs overseas? (No answer needed. It was a rhetorical question.)

But hey, at least Ryan and the Republicans have offered a plan. It is a little odd that Schultz and Johnston aren't as concerned that a budget hasn't been passed for 1097 days even though it is against the law not to. And every Obama budget has been a voting blow out. Dems won't even vote for it. 414-0 on the last go-round. Why do you suppose that is? The President is a pretty smart guy. He should be able to propose something that at least one Dem would like.

But the GOP will get blamed for not reaching across the aisle - partisan politics and all that. Even while Dems refuse to vote for the Obama plan and then don't pass something of their own. As for the Obama budget - heretofore the only response to the Ryan budget - Mark Steyn sums it up thusly:
Have you seen the official White House version of what the New York Times headline writers call “A Responsible Budget”? My favorite bit is Chart 5-1 on page 58 of their 500-page appendix on “Analytical Perspectives.” This is entitled “Publicly Held Debt Under 2013 Budget Policy Projections.” It’s a straight line going straight up before disappearing off the top right-hand corner of the graph in the year 2084 and continuing northeast straight through your eye socket, out the back of your skull, and zooming up to rendezvous with Newt’s space colony on the moon circa 2100. Just to emphasize, this isn’t the doom-laden dystopian fancy of a right-wing apocalyptic loon like me; it’s the official Oval Office version of where America’s headed. In the New York Times–approved “responsible budget” there is no attempt even to pretend to bend the debt curve into something approaching reentry with reality.

As for us doom-mongers, at the House Budget Committee on Thursday, Chairman Paul Ryan produced another chart, this time from the Congressional Budget Office, with an even steeper straight line showing debt rising to 900 percent of GDP and rocketing off the graph circa 2075. America’s treasury secretary, Timmy Geithner the TurboTax Kid, thought the chart would have been even more hilarious if they’d run the numbers into the next millennium: “You could have taken it out to 3000 or to 4000” he chortled, to supportive titters from his aides. Has total societal collapse ever been such a non-stop laugh riot?

“Yeah, right.” replied Ryan. “We cut it off at the end of the century because the economy, according to the CBO, shuts down in 2027 on this path.”
The graph, in case you're interested:

The Ryan budget is demonized because it focuses on reductions in spending. Any sensible person knows that spending must be controlled in their own budget at home. However, even the supposedly horrific poor/children/disabled/bunny crushing Ryan plan doesn't "cut" spending - it increases it. From the Fiscal Times:
Neither President Obama nor Paul Ryan actually cuts government spending. Rather, both are playing the time-honored game of calling a reduction in the rate of increase a “cut.” Thus, the president would increase federal spending from $3.8 trillion in 2013 to $5.82 trillion in 2022. That might not be as big an increase there might otherwise be, but in no way can it be called a cut. Meanwhile, Ryan, who is being accused of “thinly veiled Social Darwinism,” would actually increase spending from $3.53 trillion in 2013 to $4.88 trillion in 2022.

The president warns that Ryan’s spending “cuts” would “gut” the social safety net. And, it is true that Ryan’s budget knife falls more heavily on domestic discretionary spending than does the president’s – but only relatively. Over the next 10 years, Ryan would spend $352 billion less on those programs than would Obama, an average of just $35.2 billion per year in additional cuts. Given that domestic discretionary spending under the president’s budget will total more than $4 trillion over the next decade, Ryan’s cuts look less than draconian.
$35.2 billion per year. That's only about 2.6% of the current annual deficit. Ryan's budget would have to cut another 38 times as much to even stop the deficit spending. It would be as if you were told that on your $50k income this year, you would only go in debt $24,500 instead of $25,000. Ryan deserves all that opprobrium for proposing a draconian horror show of that magnitude, don't you think?

Both the Democratic option and the Republican options are on the spend more side of the equation. Ryan just spends 'less' more than Obama. But the GOP is painted as raping, pillaging and burning.

No cutting. Not extreme. Not Robin Hood in reverse. (Although a good case could be made that Dems are actually Robin Hood in reverse since Robin Hood took what was taken by the tax collector and gave the people their own money back. Remember Friar Tuck's exclamation: "Praise the Lord and pass the tax rebate!") God only knows what Republicans would be called if they actually proposed austerity measures and cuts in spending (instead of slower increases).

This all boils down to the different visions of the left and the right. One is unconstrained, redistributive and egalitarian and the other is constrained and libertarian. Neither is perfect. Each has its downside. It is unlikely that proselytizing will change one or the other's mind so the best we can do is strive for clarity. Clarity before agreement.

But maybe a consumption tax could fix this. End all prebates, rebates, exceptions, loopholes and deductions. Just pay a tax on everything that isn't food or utilities. Then those who earn and spend more will pay more. Although they currently pay the majority of tax anyway, so it is hard to imagine they could pay any more of the "fair share".