A Person’s Reputation Matters

Everyone has a reputation. You have a reputation among your close friends and among people who don’t know you very well. That reputation is based on observations of your honesty, integrity, character, and other personality traits. That reputation determines the opportunities and experiences that will be available to you. Occasionally people make decisions that seem odd in light of another person’s reputation. That has happened recently.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today noting a comment by former Clinton advisor Dick Morris upon hearing that Michael Bloomberg is considering Hillary Clinton as a possible running mate.

The article reports:

Former Clinton advisor Dick Morris fired a warning shot to Mike Bloomberg following Matt Drudge’s claim that Bloomberg was considering Hillary Clinton as a running mate.

“Sources close to Bloomberg campaign tell DRUDGE REPORT that candidate is considering Hillary as running mate, after their polling found the Bloomberg-Clinton combination would be a formidable force…” Matt Drudge said.

DICK MORRIS: To: Mike Bloomberg: Before you put Hillary on your ticket, better hire a taster

The Clintons have never actually been convicted of a serious crime, yet they have a reputation that has followed them in their political career. The number of associates of the Clintons or people preparing to testify against them that have died under unusual circumstances is long. I doubt the Clintons will ever be convicted of anything, yet their reputation has followed them through the years. The fact that Dick Morris would joke about this (if he was joking) is telling.

About Those Fiscal Cliff Negotiations…

Friday’s Wall Street Journal posted some of the details of the negotiations between President Obama and House Speaker Boehner.

The article reports:

Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.

Blaming may work politically up to a point, but I honestly don’t see it as a way to move the discussion forward.

The article cites some of the actual negotiations:

At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”

“You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”

Good grief!

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article on Friday about the negotiations on the fiscal cliff. In the article he quoted Senator Jeff Sessions:

President Obama today gave yet another speech about the fiscal cliff. No plan, nothing that can be scored or analyzed, just another speech. If President Obama wishes to avoid the fiscal cliff then he, with all the power and influence he holds as the leader of this nation, must submit to Congress – in legislative form – a plan that he believes can pass both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support. No more secret meetings and pointless press conferences. Certainly this is not too much to ask. So we await his action: will he move from an unscorable speech to scorable legislation? If he is unwilling to submit such a plan then we may be left with only one persuasive conclusion: that he has used two years of secret meetings with Republican leaders not as an opportunity to achieve fiscal reform, but as a political exercise to defeat his opposition and preserve the expansion of federal spending.

There are a number of ideas as to what President Obama is doing. Two of them are very interesting. Rush Limbaugh believes that this exercise is an attempt to divide and destroy the Republican Party by getting them to admit that tax hikes on the rich are necessary. Dick Morris believes that the current negotiations are an effort to change to discussion from excessive spending to the idea that we need more revenue. Each is plausible. Meanwhile, the American economy sits in limbo waiting to see what happens next. We need some grown-ups in Washington. Let’s elect some in 2014.

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Changing The Subject To Win The Debate

America is safe now–all the politicians have gone home for Christmas. They can do no further damage.

We are headed for the fiscal cliff. That will be at least a short-term problem, but let’s back up a bit and look at what has happened to the discussion. Two years ago we were talking about cutting spending. Government spending is running close to 25 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Traditionally, it runs about 18 or 19 percent. That is a major reason for the rapid growth of the federal deficit. Plan B, as submitted by the Speaker of the House, was about taxes. The debate has been almost entirely about taxes–raising them–not cutting spending. Somehow, when taxes are raised, spending increases–it very rarely goes down.

Dick Morris points out the change in the debate in an article he posted at DickMorris.com yesterday. The thing that we need to remember here is that President Obama is a very gifted politician. He knows how to play the game without taking any responsibility for the results. I have the feeling that about twenty years from now the generation that will have to pay for all this foolishness is going to look around and say, “How did our parents let this happen? How did this man get re-elected?” Unfortunately, the current voters are not there yet.

Dick Morris’ article concludes:

Take the tax issue off the table and Americans will see the real game going on here: Obama’s commitment to deficit spending which is driving the economy into ruin. No longer will he be able to avoid the blame for the coming economic collapse because he will have had his way on taxes.

Politically, if the Republicans agree on a tax increase but demand spending cuts in return — and Obama refuses to come across with spending reductions (which he will) — then the blame will fall squarely on the president for the ensuing economic breakdown.

Call Obama’s bluff! Make him face up to the need to cut spending and show Americans how he won’t do it.

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