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Daily Tech News 29 May 2023 | Main | Mid-Morning Art Thread
May 29, 2023

The Morning Report — 5/29/23


Good morning, kids. So congratulations, I guess, to Kevin McCarthy for the big "win" in the debt ceiling standoff. Evidently Joey Sponge-Brain Shits-Pants caved and there will be spending cuts in exchange for adding another $1.5 trillion to the national debt. About the only thing that you can give credit for is that it's a political/propaganda win for McCarthy since the Dems were hell bent to dig in their jackboots on this to prevent the "crash of the economy" if we defaulted.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news for these raving loons but the economy is on the high speed rail line to destruction and there's nothing that can stop it. If only that rail line were like the real thing and a boondoggle that never gets built. And as for spending cuts, I'll be the first to admit that I haven't the sitzfleisch to go through that mountain of paper/pixels to see if any real cuts are there, as opposed to merely cuts in the rate at which spending and borrowing increases. There are never any real cuts. Ever. Hence, being how many tens of trillions in the hole.

And as for a political "win" for McCarthy, I'd question that as well, as Miranda Devine does:

Kevin McCarthy trumpeted a debt-ceiling deal Sunday, but increasing debt another $4 trillion with minimal concessions is nothing to boast about. 

To be fair, the House speaker has a razor slim majority and Republicans don’t control the Senate, where Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his sidekick Lindsey Graham have announced that the only thing they care about is Ukraine. 

But McCarthy’s one dealbreaker should have been his promise to defund President Biden’s massive $80 billion to turbocharge an already weaponized IRS. 

This was the totemic centerpiece of his pitch to become speaker.

It was the most memorable promise of the Republicans’ midterm campaign to win back the House. 

It struck a chord with voters, wary of funding a new “army” of armed IRS agents to harass middle-class families and small business owners and abuse their powers to target political dissidents, Soviet-style. 

“Our very first bill will repeal the funding for 87,000 new IRS agents,” McCarthy vowed.  “You see, we believe government should be to help you, not go after you.”  Sure enough, the House voted 221-210 to repeal the extra IRS funding. “Promises made,” the newly minted speaker said Jan. 9, banging the gavel on the first bill of the Republican-controlled House. 

What about promises kept? In the debt-ceiling deal outlined Sunday and due to be inked later this week, McCarthy has allowed the lion’s share of that extra IRS funding to remain unmolested: preserving $78.1 billion of the $80 billion.  As rebel GOP Rep Dan Bishop put it: “So there will be 85,260 more IRS agents rather than 87,000 to eat you alive. Big win.” 

Overpromising and underdelivering is what turns voters off the GOP. 

You don’t mount a powerful six-month fear campaign about 87,000 new, armed IRS agents ready to break down people’s doors, and then meekly capitulate at the first sign of resistance. Even if those fears were exaggerated, your credibility rests on delivering a lot more than 2% of what you promised. In any case the fears about a weaponized IRS targeting Biden’s opponents are very real. If anything, the IRS is worse today than it was during the Obama administration, when Lois Lerner presided over the targeted harassment of Tea Party groups and other conservatives. Not a single IRS employee was held accountable for the scandal. Lerner retired on a full pension without even a slap on the wrist. 

This is the same IRS which went after journalist Matt Taibbi last December, three weeks after he started reporting on the so-called “Twitter Files,” which revealed that censorship on the social-media platform had been coordinated by federal government agencies such as the FBI and CIA. On March 9, when Taibbi was testifying in Congress about, ironically enough, the weaponization of the federal government, IRS agents showed up unannounced at his New Jersey home.  The IRS file on Taibbi was opened the day he posted his ninth and most explosive Twitter file, detailing how agencies including the Pentagon and the State Department had colluded with Twitter to stifle dissent. It was Christmas Eve, a Saturday, which shows what an unusual priority it was for an agency that normally goes to sleep for two weeks over Christmas and whose standard work week is Monday through Friday.

Under questioning from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, the IRS has claimed it had concerns about “identity fraud” with Taibbi’s 2018 and 2021 tax returns, and that he was sent two letters before the home visit. Yet Taibbi says he and his accountant never received any letters. Even more “unnerving” as Taibbi puts it, was the fact that an IRS case agent had compiled a dossier on him which included personal information such as his voter registration records and whether he had a concealed-weapons permit or a hunting or fishing license. Unlike Hunter Biden, Taibbi didn’t owe the IRS any taxes and in fact was due a refund. . .

. . . This is the IRS that is still getting almost $80 billion of taxpayer money to double down on its malfeasance in the countdown to the 2024 election — with the benign approval of the House Republicans who promised to stop it. 

Buckle up.

Indeed. And, as per usual, the actual or for-the-most-part somewhat consistent conservatives are not sanguine about this deal, while the RINOs blast them for not shutting up and going along.

While the details of the agreement are still being ironed out, and congressional leaders still have to convince their Members to vote for it, some on the top Republicans in Washington, D.C., are not happy with the agreement.

“There are members of the GOP claiming Democrats got nothing from the ‘deal.’ Oh really? 1) An uncapped debt ceiling with an expiration date – worth approximately $4 trillion…? 2) basically no cuts – a freeze at bloated 2023 spending level?” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a House Freedom Caucus member, tweeted. “ZERO claw back of the $1.2 Trillion ‘inflation reduction act’ crony giveaways to elite leftists for grid-destroying unreliable energy…? 4) 98% of the IRS expansion left fully in place…? 5) no work requirements for Medicaid? – & only age adjustments for TANF/SNAP…?”

“No REINS act statutory requirement for congress to approve huge regulations – just an ‘administrative’ paygo that the administration will get to enforce? 7) No border security!! – & a deal allowing them to avoid policy riders in the fall… 8) more…” he added.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) responded, “With Republicans like these, who needs Democrats?”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) echoed Lee’s tweet, writing: “Fake conservatives agree to fake spending cuts. Deal will increase mandatory spending ~5%, increase military spending ~3%, and maintain current non-military discretionary spending at post-COVID levels. No real cuts to see here. Conservatives have been sold out once again!”

“He’s right. There’s not ‘one thing’ for Dems. There are $4 trillion things—a blank check—for Democrats,” Cruz responded. “Plus 87,000 things: new IRS agents to harass Americans. All in exchange for eliminating virtually ALL of the House’s spending cuts.”

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) added, “This pretty much says it all. Democrats got everything they wanted with this bill and don’t have to defend their reckless spending prior to the 2024 election. It’s a win for them.”

Yup. Winning. Regardless of who is at the top of the GOP, it's still the same old story as it's been since Ike was president. The Republican Party in the main does not have a problem at all with an ever-expanding bureaucracy and big, central all-powerful government. The only differentiator that they would tell you (that is if they were being honest in the first place about my statement) is that they're better managers than the Democrats. Whether it's Ike, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, the Shrubs or even Trump, the size and scope of the bureaucracy has never ever been starved of the lifeblood it needs to metastasize into what it has become. The money.

I'm no economist, but had there been no deal reached and we indeed did default, would the sky have fallen in on our heads? I don't think so. In any case, assuming there was some degree of pain and disruption to our daily lives, my contention is that it would be eminently better than what we are suffering under now and for sure what is to come under the continued non-stop functioning of the beast that is our tormenter, the all-powerful State in DC and its tentacles in far too many statehouses.

It's all kabuki-bukkake theater anyway. There will be no intentional stopping and reversing of course of this under any circumstances, even if the GOP wins 100 Senate seats, the 530-odd House seats and the White House come 2024.

This nation, whatever you want to call it, is no longer run by the governmental system laid out in 1789. Hasn't been for decades. Christopher Wray essentially telling Rep James Comer to go fuck himself by refusing to hand over smoking gun documents regarding the Biden Crime Family is just one example of dozens we all could cite off the top of our heads. He, Wray, is the embodiment of what is essentially an authoritarian regime that runs the show, somewhat akin to a monarchy insofar as its generational elitist, globalist bloodline.

Nice to know that the 400,000+ who were snuffed out between '41-'45 gave their lives only to see the kissing cousin of what they were fighting now alive and well in DC.

"This is an unusual Memorial Day. Today we remember, with a debt of gratitude we can never repay, those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free from external enemies. As we do so, internal enemies are working steadily to erode and ultimately destroy the very freedoms for which so many gave their lives, and to render their sacrifices meaningless.

Today is May 29. It is not only Memorial Day; it is also the 570th anniversary of an event that is largely forgotten today, but was one of the most momentous occasions in all of human history: the conquest of Constantinople and final destruction of the Roman Empire. . . In many ways . . .we are still living in the Roman Empire; its cultural influence has never dissipated. The lessons we can learn from it are so many and various as to defy easy synopsis. But one of the most telling of those lessons for our situation today is that for most of its long lifetime, the Roman Empire was generally thought to be invincible on the battlefield, so far superior to other military forces that the Romans at times even prevailed against stronger forces on the power of their reputation alone. Not only Romans, but many non-Romans at times assumed this.

Roman politicians likewise thought that the empire could never be defeated, and behaved accordingly, unhesitatingly engaging in savage infighting without regard for how this fighting would weaken the empire before its external enemies. The empire was forever. It would never end . . .

. . . On this Memorial Day, we are likewise still threatened by those Islamic jihadis, although most Americans have forgotten about their existence and think that they are a spent force. We are also threatened by a mass migration that weakens our national character and unity. And just as was so often the case in the Roman empire, the most immediate threat comes from within, from those who are so intent on securing their power, and so short-sighted, that they are destroying the very basis of that power. As we remember the fallen today, we must realize that the existential threat we face today cannot and will not be defeated by military force.

The soldiers now are ordinary citizens. The warriors who win the next victory for human dignity and freedom will be people who had the courage to stand against the officially mandated madness and say, “No more.” We have been brought to a point where it is no longer enough to be grateful to God that some people gave their lives to defend and protect our civilization. It is now incumbent upon us to arise and be willing to do the same, not with bullets and bombs, but with the force of reason and the unyielding refusal to surrender and submitWe live in an age when absurdity and madness are not only in the ascendancy, but are insistently forced upon us by an increasingly authoritarian ruling traitor class. In this age, staying sane is a revolutionary act. On this Memorial Day, dare to be part of that revolution.

We'll have a Memorial Day thread just after the Morning Rant.

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.

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