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Daily Tech News 26 January 2023 | Main | Mid-Morning Art Thread
January 26, 2023

The Morning Report — 1/26/23


Good morning kids. So, Kevin McLuntz is now being praised for unflinchingly doing what anyone in his position had to do without even giving it a second thought in kicking Schiff-for-Brains, Flatulent Fang-Banging Swallwell and the Jew-hating Bro-Fo the hell off of the intelligence committees. The cherry on the parfait was telling the propagandists to go eff themselves when they attacked him. Bravo. Well done. And for me, big friggin' deal.

If Kevin McCarthy really wanted to impress me and perhaps begin to gain some of my respect, he would be leading the charge in dismantling the Federal government. That is, not just cutting the budget, which in DC speak means only decreasing the rate that at which the budget is increased (that is the agreed upon definition of budget cuts in DC so Dems can rile up their base and the GOP can appease theirs depending on the breaks). But in real terms actually cutting spending.

Aside from merely bankrupting us and our children's children's children, the size and scope of government is in direct proportion to the freedom and prosperity that is lost by the individual citizen. For the first time in history, a nation was founded on the bedrock principle that political power is vested first and foremost in the individual, and not in the government. That nation was called America. It's painfully obvious that it no longer exists and really has not existed for many years if not decades already.

So, with this debt ceiling "crisis" yet again coming into the fore, what did McCarthy do?

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) that Republcans would not make cuts to social security or Medicare to offset the debt ceiling during a meeting on Tuesday, according to Punch Bowl News co-founder Jake Sherman.

Sherman noted in a tweet that Manchin also “hopes” President Joe Biden will negotiate with Republicans, who want spending cuts in exchange for their help raising the debt ceiling. . .

. . . Manchin predicted that there would be no social security cuts to anyone already receiving benefits and asserted that “everyone’s using that as a leverage,” as CNN’s Daniella Diaz and Paul LeBlanc reported.

He did, however, indicate “He was open to raising the income cap for Social Security taxes,” according to the article.

Former President Donald Trump has sternly warned Republicans against making cuts to either social security or Medicare, noting that there was plenty of wasteful spending that could be cut instead.

“Cut waste, fraud, and abuse everywhere that we can find it, and there’s plenty of it, but do not cut the benefits our seniors worked for and paid for their entire lives. Save social security, don’t destroy it,” he warned.

So, there goes our hero McCarthy assuring Manchin that the sacred and sacrosanct "entitlements" will not be cut. Heaven forfend. Meh, I shouldn't just blast away at McCarthy. There is plenty of blame to go around. And while President Trump is correct about waste, fraud and abuse, the very thing that destroyed him, a feral Bureaucracy that only exists because we are forced to pay for it, is the root cause and is ignored. If we're really honest with ourselves, too many of us look upon "entitlements" as just that. Sure, we paid into it and of course are "entitled" to get the returns, but it's bankrupt. Gone. Bernie Madoff? Sam the Sham Bankman-Bank Fraud? Charles Ponzi? Pfft. Their entire takes combined are a rounding error to the money that has been stolen from us year after year after year.

It's one thing to kick welfare queens, illegal aliens and other layabouts off the government teat. And while I in no way, shape or form want to equate hardworking taxpaying citizens with them, this notion of not being able to recognize that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all the rest of it – despite having forcibly paying into it – is still a form of slavery/indentured servitude to a government that the rest of the time everyone rails against for destroying the Bill of Rights makes no sense. Molon labe is the battle cry when our 2A rights are threatened but "Social Security reform" or even the brave soul who dares suggest privatizing or even phasing it out? Watch how fast the attitude towards Uncle Sugar does a 180.

Again, yeah, I get it. You paid into it. But again, it's not only gone or will be when the whole shit-house goes up in flames, but it's a way in which the Junta keeps us in line. It is time to cut the damned cord, painful as it might be.

Social Security is evil. It is in its way the government offering you security in exchange for a bit of your freedom. In the end, you'll have neither. The former is an empty "lock box" and the latter? Well, look what they did with the "lockdowns" culminating in 1/6/21.

So, another brave GOP standout Elise Stefanik is assuring us. . .

“A top priority for House Republicans is rooting out the weaponization of the federal government against everyday Americans,” said Stefanik. The No. 3 lawmaker in GOP leadership highlighted the nation’s top intelligence agencies as the committee’s primary focus.

“The FBI and DOJ are ripe for oversight, and they deserve oversight,” she said, while also pledging that investigations would come for the Internal Revenue Service and National Institutes of Health. Both agencies “have run rampant in targeting Americans,” Stefanik said, adding that Congress has a “constitutional duty” to conduct meaningful oversight.

Oh great. More hearings where Jim Jordan can huff and puff while nothing ever comes of it. The fact that someone like Lois Lerner is free as a bird and enjoys a big fat pension that, along with Social Security, our tax dollars also fund does not make me get all excited about Stefanik's tough talk. And Lois Lerner is just one cog, one "Little Eichmann" so to speak in a Machine that is nudging us gently, a la Cass Sunstein, into a mass grave.

I have news for Elise Stefanik. The Federal government hasn't been "weaponized." The Federal government IS. THE. WEAPON. The bitter irony is that its power comes from our money. Money which she, McCarthy and all these alleged "conservatives" are pretending to be responsible administrators of.

Meh, as I said earlier, we too in a way are just as much to blame in going along with this crap. I don't care about SSI or all the rest of it. I want my damned freedom. I want to be free to succeed or fail whether in saving for my future, getting the health insurance or doctors that I want, getting the car I want, owning and carrying a firearm for my protection anywhere I want, hiring and firing anyone from my business based on my criteria, baking or not baking a cake as my conscience and religion dictates . . . or on any other issue that the government sticks its beak into to wet. Which in reality is everything.

Samuel Hammond over at The American Conservative has a long, thoughtful piece in which he tries to differentiate between FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society, and tires to advise not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

What do we mean when we talk about “big government”? Conservatives have railed against this enemy for generations, but it is striking how rarely we try to define the term.

The conservative movement was born in opposition to the New Deal and has thus historically oriented itself against the programs that emerged from that era. Social Security, our New Deal-era retirement system, is America’s biggest federal outlay by far. This makes it tempting to conflate “big government” with the government’s total fiscal footprint. Yet at least since Trump, conservatives have awoken to the folly of libertarian-inflected cuts to popular entitlement programs. While Medicare and Social Security have their problems, they are viewed by the public as earned benefits, and don’t represent what most conservatives intuitively mean by “big government” anyway.

Modern conservatives are thus better served by delineating the New Deal from what came after: the Great Society. Indeed, while President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society initiatives are typically seen as an extension of New Deal liberalism, they originated in an entirely distinct political economy. The political scientist Matt Grossman goes so far as to dub the era between 1961 and 1976 “the Long Great Society,” spanning four presidents, with LBJ merely being the most prominent. . .

. . . [So-called quote-unquote "president"] Joe Biden’s boosters fancied him the next FDR, but in perspective, he’s at best the faint echo of LBJ, a caretaker for the sclerotic and diffuse form of government his generation helped set into motion. That makes it all the more important for conservative opponents of big government to define their terms. Size matters, but it isn’t the only thing at play. Unwinding our mid-century technocracy, and the patronage systems that sustain it, should be the primary goal. It’s also one that conservatives have far more to learn from FDR than to disdain.

He makes some good points but on the whole, I have to disagree. The entire system is corrupt because all the people who are part of it are corrupt. Everything from FDR forward should never have existed in the first place. And as people, both FDR and LBJ were two horrid examples of megalomania, ego and plain old corruption.

The system isn't broken. The system is the problem in the first place.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in the links may or may not reflect my own. I include them because of their relevance to the discussion of a particular issue.

ALSO: The Morning Report is cross-posted at if you want to continue the conversation all day.

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posted by J.J. Sefton at 07:41 AM

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