12:30 – Well, the budget melodrama continues, with both sides proposing imaginary budget cuts, coupled with very real increases in spending. Reid’s proposal is particularly cynical. He counts as “cuts” money that would never have been spent anyway, such as continuing funding for the wars in the Middle East, which we already know are going to be spun down. He also counts reductions in proposed increases as “cuts”, so in fact his $2.4 trillion (or whatever it is) in “cuts” actually reflect increased spending. The Democrats’ real priority, of course, is to sweep this mess under the table until the 2012 election. Once they’re reelected, or so they fondly hope, they’ll again have screwed the voters, leaving us with no recourse until the next election.
There’s an old new saying I just made up: Fool me once, I’m trusting. Fool me twice, I’m gullible. Fool me three times, I’m an idiot. Unfortunately, American voters have shown themselves to be so far sub-idiotic that there’s no word to describe it. Politicians lie and voters believe them. Even most of the Tea Party politicians, who are widely described as zealots, are lying. A few are holding out against increasing the debt limit at all. I hope they get their way, but I doubt they will.
Just to be clear, if the debt limit is not increased, the US is in no danger of defaulting on its legitimate obligations. What would happen is that we’d have massive across-the-board spending cuts, including huge reductions in the military budget, massive layoffs of federal workers, large reductions in social spending, elimination of all foreign aid and transfer payments by the IMF and similar international organizations, withdrawal from the UN, NATO, and other entanglements, massive reductions in Medicaid spending, and the elimination of entire federal departments and agencies. That’s something I’m all in favor of.
Word on the biology book continues, and we’re starting to assemble a new batch of chemistry kits.