Republicans call for Obama to fire tax-cheat Geithner

I found these stories on the blogs of conservative Republicans. They are not going to let Obama weasel out of the consequences of his incompetent Cabinet picks.

Representative Marsha Blackburn
Representative Marsha Blackburn

Marsha Blackburn

Representative Marsha Blackburn posted about Geithner on her blog.

Excerpt:

Yesterday Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) appeared on The Fred Thompson Show and called on Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner to resign.

“I think that he has caused more problems than he has solved,”
Blackburn said on the nationally syndicated radio show.  “I think he needs to go and it doesn’t matter if the President wants to remove him or he wants to submit his resignation but Secretary Geithner needs to go.”

Audio of Blackburn on the Fred Thompson radio show is here: short clip, long clip).

Senator Jim Demint
Senator Jim Demint

Jim Demint

Jim Demint calls for the firing of Geithner in this post on his blog:

Excerpt:

During an interview with FOX Business, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) discusses Americans’ outrage with AIG bonuses and government bailouts. DeMint calls upon President Obama to fire Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, saying that Americans have lost confidence in him because he clearly “has lost his ability to operate” and deal with America’s current economic crisis.

Video:

John Shadegg

In addition, Representative John Shadegg had a post on his blog.

Excerpt:

“How could Geithner have been so intimately involved in the AIG bailout, head of the New York Federal Reserve when the Reserve was informed of the bonuses, head of the Treasury when the department asked for the provision that helped secure these bonuses, and supposedly one of the greatest experts on Wall Street today – and not have known about them?

“Sadly, it appears that Secretary Geithner is either dishonest or incompetent.

“Perhaps the Senate should have paid more attention to Geithner’s tax errors after all.”

We need to embarass Obama for nominating this incompetent tax cheat.

Massachusetts state-run health care costs hit 820 million

Spotted this article in the leftist New York Times, (H/T Independent Women’s Forum). Looks like the communists in MA are finding out too late that there is a problem with having the state make health insurance compulsory and having prescription drugs and mental health coverage included for every policy holder, regardless of risk.

The article states:

Alan Sager, a professor of health policy at Boston University, has calculated that health spending per person in Massachusetts increased faster than the national average in seven of the last eight years. Furthermore, he said, the gap has grown exponentially, with Massachusetts now spending about a third more per person, up from 23 percent in 1980.

John R. Graham of the State Policy Network, (H/T Pacific Research Institute) explains how they got into this mess:

Surely, even the New York Times can figure out that spending $820 million on the Bay State’s Commonwealth Care “universal” health-care plan, in order to save $250 million in uncompensated hospital care, is not a good trade-off.

Not according to today’s article on the latest state to compel its residents to buy health insurance, which reports those savings as the only positive outcome of this out-of-control program.  Three years ago, Gov. Romney collaborated with the Democratic-majority legislature to achieve “universal” health care by government diktat: squeezing every resident into either compulsory private health insurance or expanded government programs, using both tax-hikes and subsidies.

Today, we learn that, alongside the absurd cost/benefit ratio, the state can no longer bear the costs, which are spiralling out of control faster than other states’ costs are.  This reminds us of a fundamental lesson of government power: When the government orders you to buy something, the government will have to step in to decide what that something looks like.

It’s the same old story of how fixing the price of a product or service below market value results in increased demand and decreased supply. And we all know what happens when the costs of government-run health care escalates – increased government control of the lives of patients and decreased quality of health care service.

For the life of me, I don’t know why anyone voted for that RINO Mitt Romney in the primaries. In my opinion, he was terrible on social issues across the board, and this RomneyCare mess doesn’t exactly inspire confidence on fiscal policy, either.

Quick overview of N.T. Wright’s case for the resurrection

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from Free Canuckistan! Thanks for the linky, Binky!

I thought I would just go over a paper from N.T. Wright, whose multi-volume case for the historicity of the bodily resurrection of Jesus seems to be getting a lot of respect from the other side, (although I strongly disagree with his economic and political views, which are naive at best).Wright has taught at Cambridge, Oxford, Duke, McGill, etc.. He’s published 40 books.

CV excerpt, all degrees are from Oxford University:

  • 2000 D.D.
  • 1981 D.Phil.
  • 1975 M.A.
  • 1973 B.A.(1st class Honours), Theology; Denyer and Johnson Prize (shared) for top first class of year; College Prize
  • 1971 B.A.(1st class Honours), Literae Humaniores; College Prize

Wright seems to get a lot of respect from skeptics like John Dominic Crossan (their debate is here: book, audio – note: buy the audio, don’t buy the book). I have never heard Crossan concede the empty tomb and the appearances before, but he did against Wright. In his debate (audio, book) against William Lane Craig, he denied all 4 of Craig’s minimal facts.

We have seen elsewhere how to argue for the resurrection using the minimal facts approach. The minimal facts are the handful of facts about Jesus that survive the standard historical criteria used in the evaluation of historical biographies. But Wright has a different approach.

Let’s take a look at a lecture (that link has PDF transcript, audio and movies) that Wright gave on the resurrection.

N.T. Wright’s historical case for the bodily resurrection of Jesus

Wright basically argues that the resurrection cannot have been a myth invented by the early Christian community, because the idea of the Messiah dying and being bodily resurrected to eternal life was completely unexpected in Jewish theology, and therefore would not have been fabricated.

In Judaism, when people die, they stay dead. At the most, they might re-appear as apparitions, or be resuscitated to life for a while, but then die again later. There was no concept of the bodily resurrection to eternal life of a single person, especially of the Messiah, prior to the general resurrection of all the righteous dead on judgment day.

Wright’s case for the resurrection has 3 parts:

  • The Jewish theological beliefs of the early Christian community underwent 7 mutations that are inexplicable apart from the bodily resurrection of Jesus
  • The empty tomb
  • The post-mortem appearances of Jesus to individuals and groups, friends and foes

Here’s the outline of Wright’s case:

…the foundation of my argument for what happened at Easter is the reflection that this Jewish hope has undergone remarkable modifications or mutations within early Christianity, which can be plotted consistently right across the first two centuries. And these mutations are so striking, in an area of human experience where societies tend to be very conservative, that they force the historian… to ask, Why did they occur?

The mutations occur within a strictly Jewish context. The early Christians held firmly, like most of their Jewish contemporaries, to a two-step belief about the future: first, death and whatever lies immediately beyond; second, a new bodily existence in a newly remade world. ‘Resurrection’ is not a fancy word for ‘life after death’; it denotes life after ‘life after death’.

And here are the 7 mutations:

  1. Christian theology of the afterlife mutates from multiples views (Judaism) to a single view: resurrection (Christianity). When you die, your soul goes off to wait in Sheol. On judgment day, the righteous dead get new resurrection bodies, identical to Jesus’ resurrection body.
  2. The relative importance of the doctrine of resurrection changes from being peripheral (Judaism) to central (Christianity).
  3. The idea of what the resurrection would be like goes from multiple views (Judaism) to a single view: an incorruptible, spiritually-oriented body composed of the material of the previous corruptible body (Christianity).
  4. The timing of the resurrection changes from judgment day (Judaism) to a split between the resurrection of the Messiah right now and the resurrection of the rest of the righteous on judgment day (Christianity).
  5. There is a new view of eschatology as collaboration with God to transform the world.
  6. There is a new metaphorical concept of resurrection, referred to as being “born-again”.
  7. There is a new association of the concept of resurrection to the Messiah. (The Messiah was not even supposed to die, and he certainly wasn’t supposed to rise again from the dead in a resurrected body!)

There are also other historical puzzles that are solved by postulating a bodily resurrection of Jesus.

  1. Jewish people thought that the Messiah was not supposed to die. Although there were lots of (warrior) Messiahs running around at the time, whenever they got killed, their followers would abandon them. Why didn’t Jesus’ followers abandon him when he died?
  2. If the early Christian church wanted to communicate that Jesus was special, despite his shameful death on the cross, they would have made up a story using the existing Jewish concept of exaltation. Applying the concept of bodily resurrection to a dead Messiah would be a radical departure from Jewish theology, when an invented exaltation was already available to do the job.
  3. The early church became extremely reckless about sickness and death, taking care of people with communicable diseases and testifying about their faith in the face of torture and execution. Why did they scorn sickness and death?
  4. The gospels, especially Mark, do not contain any embellishments and “theology historicized”. If they were made-up, there would have been events that had some connection to theological concepts. But the narratives are instead bare-bones: “Guy dies public death. People encounter same guy alive later.” Plain vanilla narrative.
  5. The story of the women who were the first witnesses to the empty tomb cannot have been invented, because the testimony of women was inadmissable under almost all circumstances at that time. If the story were invented, they would have invented male discoverers of the tomb. Female discovers would have hampered conversion efforts.
  6. There are almost no legendary embellishments in the gospels, while there are plenty in the later gnostic forgeries. No crowds of singing angels, no talking crosses, and no booming voices from the clouds.
  7. There is no mention of the future hope of the general resurrection, which I guess they thought was imminent anyway.

To conclude, Wright makes the argument that the best explanation of all of these changes in theology and practice is that God raised Jesus (bodily) from the dead. There is simply no way that this community would have made up the single resurrection of the Messiah – who wasn’t even supposed to die – and then put themselves on the line for that belief.

And remember, the belief in a resurrected Jesus was not a belief in a flying spaceship that was going to come and pick them up if they drank the kool-aid. This was a belief they held based on personal experiences. They were able to confirm or deny their belief in the resurrection of Jesus based on their own personal experiences with the object of those beliefs.

Additional resources

For more debates on the resurrection, see here for William Lane Craig, here for Mike Licona, and here for Gary Habermas. I am a big fan of all these guys, but Craig hasn’t lost any resurrection debates, while Licona tied against Richard Carrier and Habermas lost against Arif Ahmed. In particular, I recommend these 3 debates:

UPDATE: Also, I have a more recent post on the earliest source of historical facts about the resurrection.

Judd Gregg says Obama’s budget will bankrupt the country

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from Free Canuckistan! Thanks for the linky, Binky!

Found this post over at Gateway Pundit. You’ll remember that Judd Gregg is one of those fiscally conservative New Hampshire senators, an expert on business, finance and economics. Despite being a Republican, he was nominated by Obama for the Cabinet position of Commerce Secretary. He backed out of it, though. And now we can guess why.

Last month, he warned that the budget would bankrupt the USA:

A new video from CNN is here. Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:

“The practical implications of this is bankruptcy for the United States,” Gregg said of the Obama’s administration’s recently released budget blueprint. “There’s no other way around it. If we maintain the proposals that are in this budget over the ten-year period that this budget covers, this country will go bankrupt. People will not buy our debt, our dollar will become devalued. It is a very severe situation.”

“Your listeners have to understand how staggering the numbers are. We’re talking about a deficit in the trillion-dollar range for as far as the eye can see. We’re talking about deficits which are 4% to 5% of GDP – which is not sustainable under any form of government. We’re talking about a public debt – this is a debt that people own of the federal government – that will be around 80% of GDP. Historically, it’s been around 40% of GDP in the out years. The practical implication of this is bankruptcy for the United States. There’s no other way around it.”

I know people who denounced Bush, McCain and Palin. They voted for this ACORN lawyer. As if Obama was God’s gift to small government conservatism. They wouldn’t read a single economics book. I remember showing them numbers from Citizens Against Government Waste and American Taxpayers Union, which they rejected.

Here’s one more interesting piece from the always wonderful IBD (editorial, podcast). I include the details of the Bush and Reagan budgets, for comparison with Obama’s budget.

Excerpt:

According to the CBO, the Obama administration lowballed its deficit forecast by $482 billion over the next four years and $2.3 trillion over the next 10. In other words, the CBO says that 10-year deficits will be 33% higher than the president claims, should his plans get enacted.

This makes Obama’s budget one of the worst accounting jobs ever put forward in modern times by a new administration.

When the CBO reviewed George W. Bush’s first budget, for example, the difference between what Bush said his budget would cost and what the CBO said it would cost was minimal.

…Reagan’s first budget, which was widely panned for allegedly employing rosy scenarios to cook the numbers, differed from the CBO by just 1.2% in projected revenues and 5% in spending over the first four years.

So why the huge gap between Obama and the CBO?

Obama’s team employed one of the oldest budget tricks in the books — exaggerating economic growth — to hide the true cost of his tax and spending plans. Budget forecasts are hugely sensitive to predictions about GDP growth, inflation, unemployment and interest rates. Even slight differences can have a huge impact on projected outlays and revenues.

And in his budget, Obama is positively Pollyannaish about the economy, predicting 3.2% real GDP growth next year, compared to the CBO’s 2.9% and the Blue Chip consensus forecast of 1.9%. While the CBO and Blue Chip think unemployment will be 9% in 2010, Obama claims it will be only 7.9%. And so on.

Here’s an image I stole from IBD:

IBD: Publically-held debt
IBD: Publically-held debt

Read the whole editorial! And don’t foget to subscribe to IBD’s podcast feed. It’s FREE!

Michelle Malkin has more details on Obama’s “public-private partnership” plan for economic recovery.

Excerpt:

Full video and slides from the Heartland Institute GW conference

I first heard about this global warming conference on John Lott’s blog here. But at least I’ll be able to go through the slides and video of the presenters, because it’s all online here.

I was excited to see the Czech Republic President (and current European Union President) Vaclav Klaus in there as a keynote. And I see some other names I recognize, like Richard Lindzen of MIT who also gave a keynote address. I see Tom McClintock gave a keynote. He’s a solid conservative who ran against Arnold in the California gubernatorial race, after Gray Davis was dumped.

The only other people I recognize are Sen. John Sununu, Fred Singer and Roy Spencer. And Iain Murray, whose book I still have to buy.

Here’s something by Iain Murray in the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Open Market blog that’s relevant. The UN wants to impose a tax on wealthy nations to raise 750 billion dollars to stop ManBearPig global warming.

Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environment Program, has said that the global financial crisis provides an opportunity for a global green new deal.

Murray quotes Steiner in this Reuters article, on how he proposes to get the money:

“If, for argument’s sake, you were to put a five-year levy in OECD countries of $5 a barrel, you would generate $100 billion per annum. It translates into roughly 3 cents per liter,” he said.

“It would be almost, if not totally, unnoticed by the consumer”…

Remember a little while back, Sen. James Inhofe tried to stop UN global taxes? I don’t know if this counts as one, but it sounds like one to me!

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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