"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Friday, January 28, 2011

The WTF Controversy (Video)

The establishment, on both sides, is busy trying to damage Palin based on her latest comments.
Three weeks after a full frontal assault, which further discredited the left (as if they could possibly be more discredited than they are), they are at it again.

As Ron Hart, a NYC elitist, puts it: "Serious presidential candidates choose words and perform actions carefully. Serious presidential candidates from both ends of the political spectrum realize that there is little to be gained and much to lose, from cheap shots and sophomoric humor."
He adds: "Sarah Palin, by any reasonable measure, has had a terrible start to 2011. On January 8, Ariz. Rep Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head and nearly killed by an apparently crazed gunman."

The narrative is that Palin is dangerous and a light weight.  Isn't it amazing that left is so wrapped up with trying to destroy a political figure they claim is non consequential?
Anyway, enjoy the video:

Latest From Congressman Moran

Everyone's favorite progressive/marxist politician (and he is not alone in the Democrat party as I have video and print evidence of marxism on well over one hundred of them) has laid a new egg during an interview with the Arabic network Alhurra.

According to Politico, Moran said in the interview this Tuesday that his party lost the 2010 elections due to the fact that the president is black.  Congressman Moron - excuse me, Moran - said “a lot of people in this country … don’t want to be governed by an African-American.” 

I, and I bet neither you, did not realize that Obama was anywhere on the ballot last November.  The fallacy of this demented logic lies in the fact that apparently these racists who voted the mostly white Democrat politicians out last November, were somehow not racists in 2008 when they voted for the black president himself.

Moran also remarked Democrats lost for “the same reason the Civil War happened in the United States … the Southern states, particularly the slaveholding states, didn’t want to see a president who was opposed to slavery.” 
A gentle reminder to the congressman:  Those slave holding states, as well as founders and membership of KKK (RIP Senator Byrd), every other anti-integration movement, and the main opposition to civil rights up to the 1960s, were ALL Democrats. 
But then again, we understand that blindly following Saul Alinsky's "rules for radicals" (one of which is to put the opposition on the defensive by accusing them of what you are) inevitably leads to such illogical and demented statements that reality proves to be flat out wrong.

What I find even more amazing, however, is that the voters in the 8th district of Virginia - among the wealthiest and best educated in the U.S. - keep on sending this partisan, vile marxist back to the congress election after election. 
That will have to the subject of another article.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Obama Out Of Touch And In Denial

I, along with millions of others, suffered through an hour long display of arrogant delusion Obama subjected the American public on Tuesday night.  Just what did we learn as a result of this pointless annual ritual of a pep rally we call the State of the Union address?

We learned that our president has not gotten the message the electorate sent in November.  He has not repented his deeply held beliefs that a benevolent, ever larger central government is the key to our ills.  We learned that the new name for government spending is investment in a whole array of areas from rapid transportation to renewable energy - never mind that Amtrak and exisiting solar and wind energy projects have never attained economic viability - ever - anywhere in the world. 

Going by the fact that he uttered 4,025 words, or 35 minutes, before mentioning the word debt and his apparent insistence on freezing spending at current levels ($1.5 trillion annual deficits) as well as cutting discretionary spending by $40 billion a year (1/40th of current and projected annual deficits), we learned that he still intends to bankrupt America, which he sees as root of evil and social injustice in the world.

I could go on and on, but let it suffice to say that, above all, we learned that a leopard does not change its stripes no matter how the corrupt media may want to portray it.  Now, I can rest assure that he will be a one term failure of a president.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cronyism Bordering On Scandalous

It is a well known fact that General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt is a registered Republican (a RINO lest you confuse him with a conservative).  It is also a widely documented fact that, at the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal in June 2009, he said "The government has moved in next door, and it ain't leaving.  You could fight it if you want, but society wants change. And government is not going away."  Moreover, he was reported by those around him at G.E. to have declared tongue-in-cheek on multiple occasions that "We are all Democrats now". 

Fast forward to January 2011.  Mr. Immelt, obviously, is the type of businessman Obama likes - the kind who furthers his agenda - which in Mr. Immelts case would be the green (environmental) agenda.  We know this because he has just been appointed to lead the new Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.  Here is the kicker:  On the same day Obama announced Mr. Immelt's new assignment, the Department of Interior announced that it would offer nearly $1 billion in loans for an Arizona power plant.
Guess who sells solar panels?… That’s right, General Electric.

Now, one could argue that Mr. Immelt merits this position based on his track record and no one should assign alterior motives to such a move.  But then again, one must also ask why does Mr. Immelt merit such an appointment.  Therein lies the problem because his company, General Electric, has not been a stellar performer since Mr. Immelt took office on September 7, 2001.  His company's stock, since then, fell from its all-time adjusted high of $60 per share to a low of $8 in April 2009.  As Wall Street Journal reported,  "the financial crisis hasn't been kind to General Electric Co.  Its stock has lost almost half its value, the government has stepped in to prop up its enormous financial arm, and sales have slumped in core industrial businesses".

GE stock has only recovered to its current level of $19 per share on the strength of its Ecomagination (as its name suggests, primarily centers on G.E. manufactured wind mills and solar panels) campaign built around making G.E. the green industry leader as well as the potential move to electronic medical records which puts G.E. in a position to rake in additional billions. 

Immelt wants GE to out do Goldman Sachs and Carlyle Group combined as the biggest pig at the trough of corporate handouts. David Rubenstein looks like an amateur compared to Immelt.
The government has taken on a giant role in the U.S. economy over the past two years, penetrating further into the private sector than anytime since the 1930s.  Some companies are treating the government's growing reach -- and ample purse -- as a giant opportunity, and are tailoring their strategies accordingly. For GE, once a symbol of boom-time capitalism, the changed landscape has left it trawling for government dollars on four continents.

GE has high hopes for the strategy. It says that over the next three years or so it could bring in as much as $192 billion from projects funded by governments around the globe, such as electric-grid modernization, renewable-energy generation and health-care technology upgrades...

As an interesting side note, when the stimulus package was rolled out, Mr. Immelt instructed executives leading the company's major business units "to put together swat teams to get stimulus money, and [identify] who to fire if they don't get the money," says a person who heard him issue the instructions.

In February, a few days after President Obama signed the stimulus plan, GE lawyers, lobbyists and executives crowded into a conference room at GE's Washington office to figure out how to parlay billions of dollars in spending provisions into GE contracts... You have to wonder what Immelt promised Obama and Rham Emmanuel in return. Buying off those boys doesn't come cheap.  Come to think of it, probably the latest move by the administration was a pay back for Mr. Immelt's steadfast support for the president during the election of 2008 (via NBC and MSNBC, both of which are owned by G.E. and literally became the mouth-piece of Democrat party)

Whether it is pushing the president’s plan for global warming fees in order to create demand for his “Ecomagination” line of windmills, solar panels, etc., boosting the president’s national health-care law as part of an effort to sell more medical equipment, or enthusing over the Obama strategy of making loans available for industrial exporters, Immelt has been an Obama stalwart all along. Immelt has also consistently argued to shareholders that there is big money to be made in advancing the Democratic agenda.

While most corporate leaders have taken a wait and see approach to Obama’s occasional overtures to the private sector, G.E., along with Google, Goldman and few others, have backed him to the hilt.

It is unclear how the administration plans to deal with the ethics challenges created by having a CEO whose income is determined by stock performance leading a panel designed to recommend government policies. G.E. (2009 revenue: $157 billion) is a huge government contractor and is always in the market for new subsidies and incentives.

One more important point needs to be made.  G.E. has improved its bottomline partially by having shed over 25,000 jobs since during the past year and a half. 
Shouldn't the job to lead the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness really go to a CEO whose company has not shed 25,000 jobs (and there are quite a few of those) and whose business does not depend on billions from government subsidies, without which their business model clearly would not be viable?

Whether it is likes of Mr. Immelt (a RINO) or Mr. Buffet (a Democrat) - with his vast holdings in life insurance companies, advocating doing away with estate tax exemptions (as it directly benefits life insurance companies) -, crony capitalists are clearly the rotten apples of the economic basket.  These two just happen to have the President's ear, up close and personal. 

Despite an attempted image make-over, do not expect any presidential actions to bolster fair competition or truly free markets.

What Obama Will Not Say In The SOTU Speech

There is much debate on what the president may say in his State of the Union speech tonight.  Here is a list of things he surely will NOT say:

-- That he has heard the American people clearly. That he understands the concerns about government-run health care. That he knows now that liberals forcing a government takeover of the health care system threatens serious economic problems and worse threatens individual liberties.

-- That forcibly making individuals buy a product is un-American. That all Americans do have access to health care; it's just that some cannot afford health insurance.

-- That our national debt is, in fact, a crisis and a national security issue.

-- That printing money and spending it lavishly on Democratic political interests and even on himself through parties, vacations, and golf was wrong.

-- That his party's polities overseeing Fannie and Freddie were, in fact, the core problem in the housing  crisis.  That government-ordered housing for all is a massive failure.

-- That government takeovers of private companies are problematic, to the tune of socialistic.

-- That his policies punish private companies and American workers by using phony scare tactics to stop and prevent us from becoming more energy independent.

-- That his Jeremiah Wright-taught knee-jerk reaction of automatically assuming racism in this country was beyond wrong. That white cops should not be automatically presumed guilty of racism. That black radicals are not automatically assumed innocent of voter intimidation. That he has failed beyond measure in improving racial relations, that he and his party have strained racial relations even farther, and worse, that his party has done so intentionally.

-- That many states are now in economic peril, and even critical fiscal danger, because of unfunded pensions of public workers handed out mostly by Democratic politicians seeking not only to buy votes, but to own those votes forever by bribing individuals into a lifetime on the government dole.

-- That individuals in economically viable conservative states will be forcibly taxed to pay for the gross excesses in economically unstable liberal-run states.

-- That the continued lack of success in government-run public education is due in large part to teachers' unions that place job security as a first priority. That school vouchers do work, and that the grossest hypocrisy in our nation comes from the elite liberals who send their children to private schools while protecting unions by standing against vouchers.

-- That Mexico is a near-failed state. That our southern border is at great risk of spinning out of control. That our federal government has failed in one of its core duties: to protect our borders. That the states being forced to act individually to protect themselves are, in fact, right to do so.

-- That our porous border leads to serious felonies that endanger our citizens through narcotics traffic and human smuggling and even permits aid to foreign terrorists.

-- That the New START offered to Russia puts our country at great risk. That all but abandoning the space program puts us at the mercy of the Europeans, Russians, and even Indians to even get into space to advance our objectives and protect our interests.

-- That Americans should never bow to foreign leaders. That Great Britain is special to us. That we will, as we should, stand behind Israel. That our allies matter more than our enemies.

-- That offering at least vocal support of liberty to those seeking it, as in the case of the Iranian uprising, is in our best interest, and that a failure to do so is tremendously damaging. That in great part, his foreign policy has put us at a disadvantage.

-- That the United States' military's main goal is not to act as an experimental social and cultural club.

-- That making "Muslim outreach" a part of the mission statement of NASA was pointless, feel-good blabber.

-- That freedom is far, far more important than "fairness."

-- That liberty is far, far more important than equality of outcome.

-- That changing the verbiage of "global warming" because it's been so cold, to "global climate disruption" does not change the falsity of the claim that man is responsible for the weather.

-- And that it is leftists' rage and propaganda that are the most uncivil acts in our country.

In other words, what the president will not say in his state of the union is...the truth.

Monday, January 24, 2011

If They Only Knew What They Were Applauding

At the White House State dinner on Jan. 19, about six minutes into his set, Lang Lang began tapping out a famous anti-American propaganda melody from the Korean War: the theme song to the movie “Battle on Shangganling Mountain.”

The film depicts a group of “People’s Volunteer Army” soldiers who are first hemmed in at Shanganling (or Triangle Hill) and then, when reinforcements arrive, take up their rifles and counterattack the U.S. military “jackals.”

Now, we are being insulted directly, and in the White House no less! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dear Mr. Obama:

Following was a letter posted as a comment to a Big government article.  Thank you, Mr. Doakes, for your candor:
September 21, 2010

Dear Mr. Obama,

As I’ve said before I’m a born and bred capitalist. Born, because I was fortunate enough to be born an American, and bred because I was fortunate enough to have parents that worked hard to make sure I could survive, and if at all possible thrive. Not so with you, but that is another story. Regardless, one of the false notions that you seem to labor under is that business and entrepreneurs will not respond to asinine regulatory or tax policy. Speaking from my own local experience you are absolutely wrong.

Case in point. My local GM dealer is gone. Washed away by CAFE standards, lucrative Union contracts, and the hold up by your administration accomplished against the bond holders. To add insult to injury you used the public treasury to buy used cars that still had useful life, with a treasury I remind you that has no money, other than what hostile foreign powers will lend us. Also, I’ve got lots of houses near me I’d like to buy and fix up, maybe sell them, and make a profit. I’m a handy guy. The fly in the ointment here is that I can’t predict what I’ll be forced to do at point of sale or the point of a government gun - so I do nothing. In addition, there is piece of property near me that is a prime spot for a home style burger joint, it is near a school, alcohol license is not an issue for me, but the law is. First, the liability of opening those doors to even serve my first burger is insurmountable. Then, there are the employees, and the burden that the state of New York and Federal government puts on the business owner. Again before I’ve even invested a dime my idea is dust.

You see people are smart. That is why you construct these laws so that small business can’t be started in the first place unless they are visible enough to tax, track, and abuse through never ending attack of regulatory agencies, such that they don’t want to hire anyone even if they can get more profit out of the choice; essentially the unknown risk of government far exceeds any benefit reaching for that next piece of business is worth. So my money sits, and my pile shrinks due to inflation, and no reward for saving other then survival. This is what creates the “beans and hot dog” environment that that government worker was eluding to at the CNBC town hall.

I understand a pinko like your self thinks that one day I’ll wake up and forget all of this and go pursue my dreams, but keep dreaming. I’m rational and so is anyone with money. “A fool and his money are soon parted” and there is nothing more foolish than Big Government with a printing press in charge of a welfare state with open borders! You see, I know that a government agent, a tax authority, a regulator, union official, or “obamacare” is just waiting to destroy me. So why open my doors, on an individual basis, in the first place? Someone once asked me why do corporations give to both parties - I told them straight out - protection money. Who do they need protection from? The government. Who do they pay? The government. Do you understand now why I’m writing more now than ever? I’m tried of the racket and so are the American people.

On November 2, 2010 we will, at least for a time, put it to a stop. If those newly elected join with you in the government mafia, well, we will just have to do this all over again in 2012, 2014, 2016 . . . again, you may own the clocks, but we’ve got the time.


Joe Doakes

Liberals Reexamining the Culture of Poverty? Guess Again

By Robert Rector

An article in the October 17 New York Times lauds liberal academics who are reexamining the “culture of poverty,” noting a recent symposium on the topic in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. Beware, though: Those looking for bold departures from liberal orthodoxy should search elsewhere.

One might imagine that experts researching the “culture of poverty” would examine how marital collapse, eroded work ethic, and indifference to academic study contribute to financial poverty. Guess again.

Instead, editors of The Annals firmly declare that the main cause of poverty is “material deprivation itself.” In other words, the cause of poverty is poverty: The cure for poverty is to artificially boost the incomes of the poor through welfare payments, free food, housing, medical care, and so on.

This is nothing new. Liberals always have insisted that poverty causes dysfunctional behaviors rather than vice versa. But, if having a low income caused problem behaviors (such as illegitimate births and eroded work ethic), then most Americans in the 19th and early 20th centuries (whose incomes were far lower than those of today’s poor) should have been drowning in dysfunctional behaviors. Of course, they were not.

One of the goofier notions behind the War on Poverty is the idea that that those in the underclass behave differently than the middle class because they have less money — and, therefore, the way to improve behaviors is to give the poor more income. The U.S. already has “invested” over $15 trillion in anti-poverty spending based on this idea, and the problem has gotten markedly worse.

It just plain troubles liberals to forthrightly examine the behaviors that lead to poverty. Following tradition, The Annals’ experts tiptoe circumspectly around the main cause of child poverty today: the collapse of marriage.

In low-income communities, the overwhelming majority of children are born outside marriage and raised by single mothers on welfare. If these single mothers were married to the actual fathers of their children, two-thirds would immediately be lifted out of poverty. But, despite these obvious facts, the Left is reluctant even to mention the connection between marital collapse and poverty.

The main problem for liberals in talking about the “culture of poverty” is that any honest examination of behavioral roots of poverty will, almost certainly, diminish public support for the welfare state. Thus, any clear discussion of the links between poverty and behavior is to be scrupulously avoided.

The “new thinkers” cited by the Times march boldly down this pathway of silence.

— Robert Rector is senior research fellow in domestic-policy studies at the Heritage Foundation.

Friday, January 21, 2011

War On Doctors

As part of their effort to eventually end all private health care, the Democrats placed a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that in essence shuts down construction of new physician-owned hospitals and blocks existing ones from expanding.

At issue is Section 6001. It gave physician-owned hospitals a Dec. 31, 2010, deadline to acquire Medicare certification to cover new and expanded facilities. Without certification, which can't be obtained until a facility is open, the hospitals are unable to bill the federal government for treating Medicare patients. When that deadline could not be met, construction at 45 hospitals was shut down.

So were the jobs of the men who were working on the facilities, not to mention the additional health care those hospitals would have provided.

Make no mistake. Physician-owned hospitals were targeted by the Democrats. Multiple sources say Democrats Sen. Max Baucus of Montana and Rep. Pete Stark of California are behind the wording of Section 6001. Baucus has a history of belligerence toward physician-owned hospitals, and Stark has been trying to punish doctors who have financial interests in hospitals since the 1980s.

Of the more than 5,700 U.S. hospitals, only 275 are physician-owned. Critics say these facilities are able to choose the healthiest and most well-off patients and do so to boost doctors' profits. They believe these hospitals hurt community-based ones financially because they're left to deal with the poorest and sickest patients.

But if it were true that physician-owned hospitals catered only to the healthiest and wealthiest, they wouldn't be concerned about serving Medicare patients, and construction on those 45 hospitals would not have stopped. Nor would the president of Physician Hospitals of America have expressed an interest, as he has, in serving more Medicare and Medicaid patients.

While they don't enjoy a stellar reputation in Washington, physician-owned hospitals perform high-quality treatment. Researchers have found that outcomes are often superior and patients like the care.

Even if all were below industry standards, it's not within Washington's limited powers to regulate these facilities out of existence. Nor is it wise to shut them down when Democrats are trying to artificially force health care demand higher.

War on doctors, health insurance companies, oil companies, the Chamber of Commerce, .......... on and on the list goes.  Notice the common thread?  Progressives are only at war with fellow American citizens while enemies like radical Islam and Marxism in countries like Venezuela and N. Korea get a free pass.  I can't help but wonder if the TEA Party is too late to fundamentally reverse course.

Yes, Virginia, A Climate Cover-Up

The latest from the "junk science" front and the never-ending Democrat shenanigans to cover it up.  Cherry-picking data (which is "adjusted" and outright falsified at that), ignoring available irrefutable evidence, using climate models that, even they admit, are suspect, and committing downright fraud (too many stories to link to - just e mail me if you want an avelanche of them!) - that is the global warming crowd's legacy.


From: Investor's Business Daily
January 21, 2011

Democrats in Virginia are trying to stop their attorney general from probing climate fraud carried out by university researchers at taxpayer expense. Are they afraid of finding the inconvenient truth?

It's not the crime, it's the cover-up, as the saying goes. In the case of former University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann and his supporters, it may be both. Not only did Mann participate in perhaps the greatest scam of modern times, but he may have also have fraudulently used taxpayer funds to do so.

At least Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli thinks so, and has been diligently trying to obtain from U.Va. documents and e-mails related to Mann's work there. Mann reportedly received around $500,000 from taxpayer-funded grants from the university for research there from 1999 to 2005.

Cuccinelli is alleging a possible violation of a 2002 statute, the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act. The AG has said that he wants the documents, including grant applications and e-mails exchanged between Mann and 39 other scientists and university staffers, to help determine whether Mann committed fraud by knowingly manipulating data as he sought the taxpayer-funded grants for his research.

Mann was at the heart of the ClimateGate scandal when e-mails were unearthed from Britain's Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. In one e-mail sent to Mann and others by CRU director Philip Jones, Jones speaks of the "trick" of filling in gaps of data in order to hide evidence of temperature decline:

"I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." It was that attempt to "hide the decline" through the manipulation of data that brought down the global warming house of cards.

Mann was the architect behind the famous "hockey stick" graph that was produced in 1999 but which really should be called the "hokey stick." Developed by Mann using manipulated tree-ring data, it supposedly proved that air temperatures had been stable for 900 years, then soared off the charts in the 20th century.

Mann et al. had to make the Medieval Warm Period (about A.D. 800 to 1400) and the Little Ice Age (A.D. 1600 to 1850) statistically disappear.

The graph relied on data from trees on the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia. Here, too, the results were carefully selected. Just 12 trees from the 252 cores in the CRU's Yamal data set were used. A larger data set of 34 tree cores from the vicinity showed no dramatic recent warming, and warmer temperatures in the middle ages. They were not included.

Attempting to block Cuccinelli and rising to Mann's defense are Virginia state senators Chap Petersen and Donald McEachin. They are backing legislation that would strip the attorney general's office of its power to issue "civil investigative demands," otherwise known as subpoenas, under the 2002 statute.

They claim they are defending academic freedom, but they are trying to hide what many consider academic fraud, work that found its way into the reports of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It led to Kyoto and Copenhagen, and formed the basis for the EPA's endangerment finding that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that needs to be regulated.

After Mann left U.Va., he went to Penn State, which the Obama administration awarded with $541,184 in economic stimulus funds to save, according to recovery.gov, 1.62 jobs so that Professor Mann could continue his tree-ring circus fraudulently advancing the myth of man-made global warming that through equally bogus remedies like cap-and-trade and EPA regulations would bring the U.S. economy to its knees.

In a glaringly arrogant e-mail, Mann said he was grateful to the legislators for pressing the issue and hoped the action would give Cuccinelli "some second thoughts about continuing to waste their time and resources attacking well-established science." Hide the decline, then hide the truth.

We hope the legislation fails, the truth will come out and Mann et al. will be held accountable for engineering a scientific and economic fraud that would have made Bernie Madoff blush.

Obama The Deregulator?

Not in your lifetime!  Sometimes it is sufficient to barely scratch the surface to smell the stench of a rotting carcass - in this case the notion Obama tried to sell in this week's WSJ op-ed piece titled "Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System" that he, in his own words, "intends to root out regulations that conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb."  And just to show that he was serious, he signed an executive order calling for a regulatory system in which a balance is stuck between the protection of public health and welfare and the promotion of economic growth and innovation, which, taken together with his administration's track record over the past two years, goes to show that this latest stint is as phony as the smile on his (and Michele's) face.

Remember the article that appeared in new York Times back in May, touting that with Obama, regulations were back in fashion?  In fact, the flurry of activity in generating new regulations has been unprecedented in recent years.  White House has been busy championing the pettiest of regulations as an ethical imperative.  Over the last 25 years, administrations of both parties average between 30 and 40 major regulations (those affecting the economy by $100 million or more) each year. The Obama administration created 59 such regulations in 2009 and 62 in 2010. The 2,300-page financial regulation bill calls for 11 federal agencies to write 243 new rules. ObamaCare itself includes more than 1,000 instructions for new regulations.

The tried and true strategy of rule making by fiat (when the normal legislative course fails) is evident in all sorts of areas from environment to communications.  Lets revisit some:

Right now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is drafting carbon rules to force on states, even though a similarly torturous 2,000 pages on a cap-and-trade scheme intending to make power more expensive was rejected.  EPA plans begin enforcing the so-called “Tailoring Rule” a regulatory scheme that amounts to a back-door Cap-and-Trade bill, effectively limiting the amount of greenhouse gases released by a number of American industries that the EPA considers “heavy polluters.”

The EPA has also been using backdoor methods to impose regulations on coal. Just a week ago, the EPA revoked a permit issued three years ago for a  coal mine in West Virginia, bringing mining there to a standstill under the guise of the Clean Water Act.

Ignoring the lengthy record of pff-shore drilling completely, the Obama administration seems to have used BP’s Gulf disaster to end offshore drilling in the Gulf altogether. The Wall Street Journal points out that, although the official moratorium on offshore drilling ended months ago, the Administration has issued only two new permits, a decline of 88% from the historical average. The Energy Information Administration estimates this back-door regulatory initiative could cost the US almost a quarter million barrels of oil per day.

Also, the Federal Communications Commission is shoving (in a decision split by party lines) network neutrality (which is opposed by a 2:1 margin in public opinion polls) in the pipeline—again, bypassing Congress—so government can regulate the Internet for the first time in history, though the commissioners themselves admit that as of now, any need for rules are based on the what-ifs of their imaginations.

The rule allowing "end-of-life" counseling paid for by Medicare was inserted into ObamaCare after passage and only nixed after an ensuing outcry.  The president’s health care overhaul carved out unchecked bureaucratic powers for a group of fifteen presidential appointees whose recommendations for Medicare cuts become automatic law, without the meaningful consultation of Congress.

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) threatened legal action against four states for amending their constitutions to guarantee for secret ballot elections. Labor unions have campaigned for years to eliminate the measure — veiled in legislation known as the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) — but the NLRB’s recent actions suggest the measure will be implemented via regulatory fiat. 
And that is only a tiny fraction of the myriad of regulations administration has been busy making via those pesky, radical czars like Cass Sunstein that most everyone overlooked.

A little closer look at the new executive order reveals further the disingenuous nature of Mr. Obama's claims. 
Section 1 Paragraph B states that "This order is supplemental to and reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing contemporary regulatory review that were established in Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993."  Yes, that would be the one issued by Bill Clinton who got the socially responsible regulatory ball rolling as evidenced by passages like "(3) select, in choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);" and "(5) identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including providing economic incentives to encourage the desired behavior" and "(c) In applying these principles, each agency is directed to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated
present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible. Where appropriate and permitted by law, each agency may consider (and discuss qualitatively) values that are difficult or impossible to quantify, including equity, human dignity, fairness, and distributive impacts." 

And, finally,

“Scientific Integrity” (March 9, 2009), and its implementing guidance, each agency shall ensure the objectivity of any scientific and technological information and processes used to support the agency’s regulatory actions.

Coming from the same administartion which falsified the scientific consensus during the B.P. oil spill crisis, this is laughably disingenuous.

A Small Business Administration study says total regulatory costs that businesses (and thus consumers) pay amount to about $1.75 trillion—more than all collected personal income taxes. The Competitive Enterprise Institute found in this past year that the appearance of new rules—including "major" rules that cost more than $100 million annually—had dramatically accelerated.

Which isn't surprising.

When Obama was in a place of political comfort, the free market was a place of unhinged self-interest, unfairness, and misery. Nearly all of our troubles were portrayed as a case of regulatory neglect—and nearly every dilemma was met accordingly.

Nothing has changed but the political conditions for this ideologue of a charlatan sullying the White House.

Bravo, ECB

Just a quick congratulations to the ECB (European Central Bank), which apparently has more integrity and is far more honest than the left in the U.S.

Following is an excrept from their latest study, confirming the IMF and Harvard findings, that found that spending restraints is the only sure way of fighting indebtedness while tax increases do not work well at all:

"Our results suggest that the composition of the fiscal adjustment plays an important role in explaining the success of a debt reduction.  The expenditure dummy which reflects the size of the change in the primary expenditure relative to the change in the primary balance has the expected positive sign and is statistically significant.  The results indicate that the discrete change of the expenditure dummy from 0 to 1 increases the probability of a major debt reduction by more than 10 percent.  The revenue dummy, on the other hand, turns out to be statistically insignificant.  Therefore, it seems that expenditure-based consolidations have a higher probability to succeed, while tax increases are less likely to contribute to a large and persistent debt reduction."

The revenue section of the findings is in accordance with long term observations in the U.S. that regardless of tax rates (which were as high as 92% for the top brackets in the 40s and 50s, and as low as 35% recently), federal tax revenues remain constant at around 18% of the GDP. 

Progressive liberals fail to see that entrepreneurs (and people in general) adjust their behavior accordingly when tax rates are pushed up.  This lack of dynamic analysis capability, along with their demented view of social justice and equality, is in large part the reason why progressives are incapable of seeing the folly of their ways and progressivism has never succeeded as a viable system anywhere at any time. 

Even Frederic Bastiat, the great classical liberal theorist, could see the folly of progressive thinking almost two centuries ago when he said: "Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

Confoundedly Amazing

I submit the following quote in defense of ObamaCare from Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) on the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday:

"The Fifth Amendment speaks specifically to denying someone their life and liberty without due process. That is what H.R. 2 [the ObamaCare repeal bill] does and I rise in opposition to it. ... [I]t is important that we preserve lives and we recognize that 40 million-plus are uninsured. Can you tell me what's more unconstitutional than taking away from the people of America their Fifth Amendment rights, their 14th Amendment rights, and the right to equal protection under the law?"

Is there a clearer example of how clueless progressives are when it comes to the U.S. Constitution?  No wonder just two weeks ago they treated reading of the Constitution on the House floor as if Republicans had just proposed unspeakable evil upon them. 

Mrs. Jakson-Lee and her ilk may be under the delusion that FDR's proposal of a second Bill of Rights had actually ratified the Constitution.  Much to their dismay, and for educational purposes, I would like to point out that the document they despise is, as their leader laments, a charter of negative liberties - freedom from interference by other people.  As Patrick Henry put it, "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government, lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
This is the very reason why American exceptionalism is a reality and has set apart this great nation from all others.

Furthermore, fifth and fourteenth amendments protect against abuse of government authority in a legal procedures and equal protections to all people in the framework of natural (inalienable) rights, which the U.S. Constitution is built upon.  Healthcare, housing, education, employment, and the like cannot be considered natural rights since, inherently, they infringe on others' rights by imposing an obligation on society in general. 

Quite a simple and logical concept for those whose progressivism has not robbed their brains of powers of reasoning.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wonders Of Green Crony Capitalism

Everyone who cares to inform themselves (in other words everyone but progressive statists) knows that green economy, far from being an economic boom as the left trumpets, has been a bust where and whenever it has been tried - primarily in Europe, but not surprisingly, in the U.S. also.  Afterall, the very reason that there are any ongoing, purely politically driven, green policy initiatives at all is none other than tax payers subsidizing these initiatives, none of which has been able to prove themselves economically viable.  The following is just another cautionary tale in the long list of failures from Spain to the U.S.

At the heart of the U.S. "green energy" agenda is the expansion of windmill farms, at taxpayer expense, all across the United States. Everyone from well-known billionaires such as T. Boone Pickens to newcomers such as Tom Carnahan of the famous Carnahan family in Missouri and founder of Wind Capital Group, a Missouri-based wind farm development company, have clamored for taxpayer dollars to heavily subsidize this unprofitable industry.
Typically, a new business venture requires a certain period of time to transition in to profitability.  Again typically, this period is financed by the founders' own equity or some type of debt, but not taxpayer subsidies. 
Windmillers like Tom Carnahan have eliminated the owner's equity problem in Missouri, and in some other states, by compelling their unwilling utility customers to buy the electricity produced when the wind blows. With ingenious forethought and lots of propaganda about how burning carbon and producing carbon dioxide as a byproduct threatens humanity's future on earth, they tricked the voters of Missouri in a deceptive ballot initiative in 2008. The result was a statutory mandate requiring all state-based electrical utilities to buy a certain percentage of windmill electricity by a date certain. Thus, they created a monopoly for themselves by requiring a state's resident utilities to purchase their wind power forever.

This solves so many problems for the windmill entrepreneur that you just will not believe it. And without their absolutely reliable and creditworthy utility customers, the "equity" requirement for a windmill farm would have been huge. For example, to build 100 windmills reaching 400 feet into the sky requires on average $3.0 million for each windmill. Completing the example project would therefore have a total cost of $300 million.

All windmills have to be up and running at about the same time to provide your unwilling utility customer at least a critical mass of electricity when the wind blows. Therefore, the total investment has to be made in a compressed period of time.

But there is no real customer base for wind-generated electricity because the supply is as random as when the wind blows. Electric utilities prosper because they always provide the power you need when you need it. You could just say that no big wind farm would ever be built if it was not required by government regulation and paid for by utilities who are required to buy it by government regulation.

Without compelling utilities to buy "windpower," the equity requirement for a wind farm is almost infinite, because you would lose money forever. They would never be built. On the other hand, if your revenue stream is established by a state statute requiring relevant utilities to purchase 20% of their electricity from wind farms, the equity requirement is substantially reduced.

In addition to forcing utility customers in Missouri to buy their product, Windmillers, including Tom Carnahan, received a substantial taxpayer investment in their wind farm projects through the failed Stimulus Bill of 2009. Make that more than 200 wind farm projects!

Between "getting their confidence" to proceed just after the Stimulus Bill was signed into law in February 2009 and generating power in May of 2010, a whole lot of things had to happen very quickly. To have committed to all the long lead-time items like design, planning, and ordering a hundred windmills to specification would have been extremely dangerous without all the necessary financing in place. It would have been a great advantage if Wind Capital Group knew that their money was one of the two hundred payments in the Stimulus Bill long before it was signed. Did they? Remember, the American people and their representatives had no time to ever read the Stimulus Bill. The Obama administration ostensibly had to rush it through to save our economy.

And on 10/26/2009, Wind Capital Group announced in a press release that "[a] group of international leaders in project finance lending is providing $240 million in debt facilities to support the construction and operation of the project."

Here are more reasons the Obama administration needed to create a frantic haste in passing this bill:

Critics of the Lost Creek funding have seized on the design of the payment. Rather than giving the credits after the companies file tax returns, the stimulus legislation provides for upfront payments equivalent to 30 percent of the cost of the project. ...

The upfront payments to Lost Creek, a $300 million plus project ... aren't awarded competitively but on the basis of meeting various criteria. For instance, companies were required to submit accredited designs and start building by the end of the year (2010) Energy Department official described the process as automatic; the Treasury Department is required to issue payments to those who qualify within 60 days of Application.

For those of you who have been involved in "market-based" business starts, can you imagine anyone, much less the federal government, rushing to give you a financing payment of any amount, much less $107,000,000? This is the amount of money the Carnahans' Lost Creek project received from the taxpayers under the Stimulus Bill. After it, their capital structure would be $300 million minus $107 million, resulting in a net debt of $193 million in debt and $107 million in equity.

This was really a gift. Or was it instead a giant political payoff from a corrupt government to one of its favorite clans of Democratic politicians?

If you live in Missouri, remember that every time you turn on your lights, you are being forced to guarantee the success in perpetuity of the Carnahans' Lost Creek Wind Farm. This is what green jobs are all about! Yes, profit may be damned when payoffs, a $107-million gift, and state-required revenue streams from the taxpayers are available.

Hat Tip: Fred Sauer

Quote Of The Day

"Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

Frederic Bastiat

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Right Wing Hate Speech Quiz

Test your knowledge now (answers documented in provided links)!

1. Which right-wing, fascist US president said "If they bring a knife, we bring a gun."?

A. Ronald Reagan

B. Barack Hussein Obama

C. Thomas Jefferson

D. Calvin Coolidge

Answer here

2. Which right-wing preacher called New York City "Hymietown" as a slur to Jews?

A. Jesse Jackson

B. Billy Graham

C. Jerry Falwell

D. Max Lucado

Answer here

3. Which right wing US senator accused the US Military of being no different than Pol Pot, the Soviets, or the Nazis?

A. Mitch McConnell

B. Jesse Helms

C. Jim DeMint

D. Dick Durbin

Answer here

4. Which Hitler-loving, fascist, right-wing actor wanted to stone to death (in the Biblical sense, not with marijuana) a US Congressman?

A. Tom Selleck

B. Bruce Willis

C. Alec Baldwin

D. Charlton Heston

Answer here

5. Which radio right winger wished that a US Senator and his grandchildren would contract the AIDS virus?

A. Nina Totenberg

B. Rush Limbaugh

C. Glenn Beck

D. Sean Hannity

Answer here

6. Which right-wing Senator and ex-member of the Ku Klux Klan once said "I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side"? (Hint: This Senator also filibustered the Civil Rights bills of 1964 and voted against all of Pres. George W Bush's black and Hispanic judicial appointments)

A. Robert Taft

B. John Calhoun

C. Robert Byrd

D. Strom Thurmond

Answer here

7. Which rabid, right-wing presidential aide once recited the names of some political adversaries, shouting "DEAD!" after each one?

A. Murray Chotiner

B. H.R. Haldeman

C. John Ehrlichman

D. Rahm Emanuel

Answer here

8. Which seething, right wing terrorist/presidential friend tried to blow up the Pentagon, was on the FBI's most wanted list, and said later "I don't regret setting bombs. I feel we didn't do enough."

A. Bill Ayers

B. Bill Cosby

C. Bill Clinton

D. Will Rogers

Answer here

9. Which right-wing ex-president once said of Barack Obama "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee."?

A. Ronald Reagan

B. George H.W. Bush

C. Bill Clinton

D. George W. Bush

Answer here

10. Which right-wing Congressman once said to one of his constituents "I wouldn't dignify you by peeing down your leg."?

A. Pete Stark

B. Paul Ryan

C. Allen West

D. Thaddeus McCotter

Answer here

Grading scale:

8-10: You are very well-informed.
5-7: Decent. However, you should consider finding more news sources.
2-4: That newspaper you read everyday is good for only two things; fish wrapping and bird cages.
0-1: Please do the rest of us a favor and emigrate to Cuba or North Korea

The Charlatans' Response To The Tucson Tragedy

By: George F. Will

It would be merciful if, when tragedies such as Tucson's occur, there were a moratorium on sociology. But respites from half-baked explanations, often serving political opportunism, are impossible because of a timeless human craving and a characteristic of many modern minds.

The craving is for banishing randomness and the inexplicable from human experience. Time was, the gods were useful. What is thunder? The gods are angry. Polytheism was explanatory. People postulated causations.

And still do. Hence: The Tucson shooter was (pick your verb) provoked, triggered, unhinged by today's (pick your noun) rhetoric, vitriol, extremism, "climate of hate."

Demystification of the world opened the way for real science, including the social sciences. And for a modern characteristic. And for charlatans.

A characteristic of many contemporary minds is susceptibility to the superstition that all behavior can be traced to some diagnosable frame of mind that is a product of promptings from the social environment. From which flows a political doctrine: Given clever social engineering, society and people can be perfected. This supposedly is the path to progress. It actually is the crux of progressivism. And it is why there is a reflex to blame conservatives first.

Instead, imagine a continuum from the rampages at Columbine and Virginia Tech - the results of individuals' insanities - to the assassinations of Lincoln and the Kennedy brothers, which were clearly connected to the politics of John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan, respectively. The two other presidential assassinations also had political colorations.

On July 2, 1881, after four months in office, President James Garfield, who had survived the Civil War battles of Shiloh and Chickamauga, needed a vacation. He was vexed by warring Republican factions - the Stalwarts, who waved the bloody shirt of Civil War memories, and the Half-Breeds, who stressed the emerging issues of industrialization. Walking to Washington's train station, Garfield by chance encountered a disappointed job-seeker. Charles Guiteau drew a pistol, fired two shots and shouted, "I am a Stalwart and Arthur will be president!" On Sept. 19, Garfield died, making Vice President Chester Arthur president. Guiteau was executed, not explained.

On Sept. 6, 1901, President William McKinley, who had survived the battle of Antietam, was shaking hands at a Buffalo exposition when Leon Czolgosz approached, a handkerchief wrapped around his right hand, concealing a gun. Czolgosz, an anarchist, fired two shots. Czolgosz ("I killed the president because he was the enemy of the good people - the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime.") was executed, not explained.

Now we have explainers. They came into vogue with the murder of President Kennedy. They explained why the "real" culprit was not a self-described Marxist who had moved to Moscow, then returned to support Castro. No, the culprit was a "climate of hate" in conservative Dallas, the "paranoid style" of American (conservative) politics or some other national sickness resulting from insufficient liberalism.

Last year, New York Times columnist Charles Blow explained that "the optics must be irritating" to conservatives: Barack Obama is black, Nancy Pelosi is female, Rep. Barney Frank is gay, Rep. Anthony Weiner (an unimportant Democrat, listed to serve Blow's purposes) is Jewish. "It's enough," Blow said, "to make a good old boy go crazy." The Times, which after the Tucson shooting said that "many on the right" are guilty of "demonizing" people and of exploiting "arguments of division," apparently was comfortable with Blow's insinuation that conservatives are misogynistic, homophobic, racist anti-Semites.

On Sunday, the Times explained Tucson: "It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman's act directly to Republicans or Tea Party members. But . . ." The "directly" is priceless.

Three days before Tucson, Howard Dean explained that the Tea Party movement is "the last gasp of the generation that has trouble with diversity." Rising to the challenge of lowering his reputation and the tone of public discourse, Dean smeared Tea Partyers as racists: They oppose Obama's agenda, Obama is African American, ergo . . .

Let us hope that Dean is the last gasp of the generation of liberals whose default position in any argument is to indict opponents as racists. This McCarthyism of the left - devoid of intellectual content, unsupported by data - is a mental tic, not an idea but a tactic for avoiding engagement with ideas. It expresses limitless contempt for the American people, who have reciprocated by reducing liberalism to its current characteristics of electoral weakness and bad sociology.

Hillary Clinton: The Same Old Leftist Radical

In a T.V. broadcast in Abu-Dhabi, Hillary Clinton was asked why the actions of a few Muslim men on 9/11 was "allowed to colour American views of a whole people".  After the obligatory praising of Muslims in the U.S., she added:

"We have extremists in our country.  A wonderful and incredibly brave young woman congress member was just shot by extremists in our country.  We have the same kinds of problems, so rather than standing off of each other we should work to try and prevent the extremists wherever they are from being able to commit violence."

Nothing about the 9/11 attacks being done in the name of Islam, about the numerous attacks on America and Americans before or since 9/11, or the millions of Muslims America has spent blood and treasure to liberate.  Also, notice the use of the word extremists in plural - clearly trying to establish a relationship between the actions of this lunatic (if anything, a left wing one at that) and the Tea Party movement.

Ascribing the Arizona shootings to political extremism rather than the work of a mentally deranged loner has shown once again that there is no limit to how low progressive politicians (and the media) will go to assure that no crisis goes to waste, no matter how tragic.  Unfortunately for them, American people in general are not as stupid as they think they are.  Remain assured in what you are witnessing: this, ladies and gentlemen, is self destruction of the American left.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Difference Between Ft. Hood and Arizona Shootings

What does the Ft. Hood massacre, and Saturday’s Arizona massacre have in common? Almost nothing.

With Ft. Hood, an open islamist gunned down dozens in an attack he all but said he was going to launch, and the best the Left could do was blame America’s love of guns while preaching that we cannot rush to judgment. To this day apologists on the left still will not bring themselves to conclude that Major Hasan was a Jihad terrorist animated by radical Islam.

On the other hand, the blood hasn’t even been mopped up yet in Tucson, and disgusting opportunists on the Left have already declared the Arizona massacre an official act of the Tea Party (never mind the revelations that, if anything, this lunatic was a radical leftist):

DISGRACEFUL: Krugman Blames GOP For “Attempted Assassination” Today (Before We Found Out He’s a Leftwinger)

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik Blames AZ “Prejudice & Bigotry” for Shooting (Video)

Yes, that’s right. The very same people who cannot figure out what animated Major Hasan al Jihad, have swiftly concluded that the lunatic who murdered 6 people Saturday was motivated by the Tea Party.

Funny how that works. The Tea Party is afforded less benefit of the doubt than radical Islam!

In The Light Of Events Following The Arizona Massacres

I find it amusing to watch the left try so hard to tarnish the image of Tea Party at every perceived opportunity.  Each time they fail and look foolish, but are too self absorbed to realize it.  The cause of liberty and violence are antithetical to each other.  But, true to Saul Alinsky, the left will keep on trying.
As Jack Shafer puts it in his Slate article, all this is a display of pure stupidity.

Following is an article by J. R. Dunn that appeared in the American Thinker. 

Last Saturday's shooting in Tucson is of some concern to me, since I will be drawn into the public maelstrom -- at least to a minor extent -- within a matter of weeks.

I have no intention of trying to draw any "lessons" from this incident. You cannot extract rational conclusions from an irrational event. It's clear that Jared Lee Loughner is simply insane. From what I've been able to gather, Peter Pan, Napoleon the pig, and Adolf Hitler encouraged him to go out and punish people for illiteracy and bad grammar. Anyone seeking to derive a "lesson" out of this is welcome to try.

So there's little to be said for the furrowed-brow types who are furiously scratching their chins over this matter. It's pointless. There's no "there" there. There is nothing to be learned from this about guns, public security, or politics in general. Lunatics will go off, in the same way that tires occasionally go flat and lightning strikes where it's not supposed to. To suggest that there is anything concrete to be done about this is to suggest the absurd. Where do we start? Banning Peter Pan? How about Animal Farm? Or maybe The Communist Manifesto?

It goes without saying that those attempting to use this atrocity for political purposes are beneath contempt. Paul Krugman led the pack here with a diatribe, accusing everyone he ever disagreed with of complicity with Loughner, appearing within hours of the attack on the New York Times website. But there exists no shortage of others displaying a similar lack of tact and sense. We've been told that Sarah Palin, the Tea Parties, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and so on ad infinitum are actually responsible. (How AT missed getting on this list I cannot surmise. Maybe that's coming.) The fact that none of these figures and entities impinged in any way on Jared Loughner's pocket universe is simply thrust aside -- all of them, we're assured, are responsible for creating a "climate of hate" that somehow triggered the outrage. (Absurdity peaked on Sunday when Dick Durbin, Senator "American troops are the same as the SS and KGB," called for "toning down the rhetoric.")

Civilized people do not utilize the misfortunes of others to push a political agenda. This is simply more evidence as to how grubby and squalid our public culture has become. I can only say that I'm pleased to see so few on our side of the fence taking part.

But what, then, is to be said about Representative Gabrielle Giffords' father? Asked if his daughter had any enemies, Spencer Giffords, in almost his first public comment on the incident, said, "Yeah -- the whole Tea Party."

The elder Giffords had no idea who the shooter was at that point. It's now clear that Loughner had no more to do with the Tea Parties than he did with the Ghibellines. (He was, in fact, more of a Daily Kos man; he is known to have commented on that site.) The Arizona Tea Parties, which share the admirable sanity and moderation of the movement, have displayed no particular animus against Giffords, who won a hard-fought campaign against a TP candidate last November. Not to intrude on Giffords' anxiety and grief (he's unlikely to read AT in any case), but his remark was a gratuitous swipe at innocent third parties, one that the media immediately picked up and ran with.

What to make of this? Such behavior has grown all too typical of the left in recent years. Back in 1987, in the midst of the struggle to free Nicaragua, Benjamin Linder, a "Sandalista" -- that is, an American working with the ruling Sandinista tyranny -- was killed in an attack by Contras, the democratic guerrilla force. In the U.S., an enormous uproar greeted news of his demise. Much was made in the legacy media of Linder's idealism and his desire to help the Nicaraguan people better themselves. In the end, it turned out that he had been involved in some unclear manner with the Sandinista military. He was killed carrying a Kalashnikov while accompanying a Sandinista patrol.

But the strange thing was the reaction of Linder's parents. A gentle-looking aging couple, they were widely interviewed in the ensuing months. In these interviews, nothing of the normal response to the death of an offspring was visible -- no grief, no regret, no longing. Instead, the smiling Linders simply sat repeating revolutionary slogans and accusing the Reagan administration of responsibility for their son's death.

A similar phenomenon was visible in the Rachel Corrie case. Corrie was killed while attempting to interfere with an Israeli bulldozer knocking down buildings used by Palestinian terrorists. Again, she was portrayed as a secular saint, in the face of considerable evidence revealing an uncommon level of political fanaticism. And once again, the response of her parents was atypical -- not at all that of a bereaved parent mourning a lost daughter. Instead, the Corries embarked on a continual and vicious anti-Israeli propaganda effort, much of it in cooperation with various Palestinian terror groups.

Now, as important as politics may be, it does not comprise the center of life. There exist things of far greater importance to the balanced individual -- the arts, health, religion, and certainly personal life: family, friends, and loved ones. When politics begins to encroach on these elements of life, it cannot be other than pathological.

It's no accident that totalitarian states deliberately encourage the expansion of politics into private life. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Castro all demanded -- and in many cases received -- the love and respect usually bestowed on an older family member -- a father or big brother. (This goes a long way to explain Orwell's insight.) And beyond even this, love of the state or ideology often replaced more natural sentiments. This was never more apparent than in the public behavior of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, arrested, tried, and executed for atomic espionage on behalf of the USSR. Whatever their other obvious failings, the Rosenbergs were a deeply committed couple. The few times they were together after their arrest, they immediately embraced and refused to be separated. But none of this was evident in their other communications. In notes and letters, they addressed each other as "comrade" and wrote in stilted Soviet-style apparatchik-speak, one bogus slogan following another. Even their final letter before their executions was phrased in this style. This may well have played a role in the public's indifference to their fate.

Similar elevations of political leaders into transcendent figures normally don't happen in a democracy, nor should they. As highly admired as FDR and Reagan were, almost nobody offered them the depth of feeling properly restricted to family members, nor did related political fervor, no matter how hot it burned, penetrate the core personalities of healthy individuals. While some media figures suggested that Obama deserved such emotional attachment, needless to say, this did not catch on beyond the fringe.

But today, we seem to be seeing politics, and politics of a very strident and hateful variety, beginning to supersede the private rituals of grief. It is truly disturbing to see individuals respond to the death or injury of a loved one by reciting political slogans -- and hostile, vindictive political slogans at that. This is not a good thing in all sorts of ways. (For one thing, Rep. Giffords' injuries have completely crowded out the actual deaths of a half-dozen other people, including Judge John M. Roll and a nine-year-old girl.) It suggests that the depths of fanaticism are yet to be plumbed by at least one segment of the American political spectrum.


J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker and will edit the forthcoming Military Thinker. His upcoming book, Death by Liberalism, can be found at amazon.com.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Liberal Self-Dealing And Financial Crises

As you know, from time to time I publish worthy articles from other sources.  This is two days old but I thought was definitely worthy:


Investor Business Daily

As Americans struggle to make sense of a devastating succession of financial crises — from teetering banks to a collapsed stock market to bankrupt car companies to underfunded public employee pensions and now exploding state deficits — we can see in each the malignant expression of a decades-old failing within the Democrat Party.

It was during the late 1970s when a group of prominent intellectuals, including New York Sen. Daniel Moynihan, Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz and Harvard professor Daniel Bell, began to identify flaws in Great Society legislation passed a decade earlier to help the poor and minorities.

Welfare programs that intended to break the cycle of poverty were instead promoting the breakup of black and Hispanic families. Increased spending on failing urban schools just made them worse.

And the only people who seemed to benefit from social programs were the people administering them.

In the eyes of these disillusioned liberal thinkers, the economic interests of the two great pillars of the Democrat Party, the underprivileged and the rising class of government-funded professionals, had begun to diverge. It was like the split Republicans had experienced within their party at the turn of the last century, when the interests of farmers and small businessmen collided with the monopolistic practices of some wealthy industrialists.

But whereas those earlier Republicans had a Teddy Roosevelt willing to risk the displeasure of deep pockets to take a stand for free markets, Democrat leaders like President Jimmy Carter showed little inclination to challenge their own party's dysfunctional paternalism.

Academics and nonprofits with a vested interest in government intervention continued to measure social justice in terms of taxpayer-funded welfare services.

As American Interest editor Walter Russell Mead observed in a recent blog, liberal policymakers became uncritically comfortable with "the bureaucratic, redistributionist, administrative state."

At the same time, blue state legislatures established scores of commissions and advisory groups that advocated only those policies that benefitted public employee unions. In my home state of Connecticut, none of the six Regional Education Service Centers, whose mission was supposedly to help local boards of education improve schools, ever recommended merit pay for teachers, competition to improve quality, surveying graduates to identify needed public school improvements, using outside tutors to better help special needs students, or any other substantive reform.

Most depressingly of all, many civil rights leaders made a Faustian bargain with public worker unions, tacitly agreeing to endorse state-run approaches to integration in exchange for guaranteed labor and government support.

As a result, there has never been a major urban movement to directly empower minorities with vouchers or tax credits for schooling, job training, housing and health care.

It would be shameful enough if the self-dealing of liberal elites were confined to exploiting the groups they pretended to serve. But the theory and practice of state paternalism now threatens the entire economy.

Consider the subprime mortgage mess.

No investment house would have collapsed, no TARP would have been required, the real estate and stock markets would not have collapsed, had not congressional Democrats forced banks to break with common sense and make loans to unqualified borrowers in the name of "social justice."

Similarly, the unsupportable explosion of city and state budget deficits has occurred primarily in blue regions of the country, where liberal interest groups have funneled campaign contributions to Democrat politicians willing to ignore the long-term consequences of budgetary profligacy. At least three states — California, Illinois and New York — have delayed payments to vendors, with Illinois' fiscal 2011 spending projected to exceed revenues by $140 billion.

One very specific local expenditure, the financing of public employee pensions and benefits, has become a crisis all its own due in part to secretive, off-the-books accounting practices — again in predominantly blue cities and states. Northwestern University associate professor Joshua Rauh and Robert Novy-Marx at the University of Rochester have calculated the true state and local pension liability to be $3.5 trillion.

Recent comments on government budget problems by bank analyst Meredith Whitney on CBS' "60 Minutes" have precipitated a heated debate over the credit worthiness of municipal bonds. But no one doubts that the coming cuts needed to keep states and localities afloat will cause widespread suffering among the very disadvantaged groups Democrats have always claimed to be making their first priority.

As Teddy Roosevelt knew when he met the challenge of Republican robber barons, the greatest failing of a political party is not defeat by the nominal opposition, but the internal inability to be true to its own ideals.

The most vulnerable are punished, the party elites become cynically corrupt, and a bewildered citizenry is led off a financial cliff.

Pelosi's Legacy

Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on a MSNBC interview said his goal is nothing short of winning back control of the House in the 2012 elections.
This statement, along with the apparent disdain displayed by House Democrats for the U.S. Constitution, indicate clearly that they do not get the gravity of the debt problem we are facing nor are they willing to tackle it. 

Pelosi and her merry gang have controlled the House of Representatives, thus the purse strings, since January 1, 2007.  Here is her legacy, with the previous two Speakers of the House thrown in for comparison:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

Debt at Jan. 4, 2007:      $8,670,596,242,973.04
Debt at Jan. 4, 2011:    $14,014,049,043,294.41
New debt added:            $5,343,452,800,321.37
Total days served:                               1,461 days
Debt added per day:              $3,657,394,113.84

Speaker Dennis Hastert:

Debt at Jan. 6, 1999:      $5,615,428,551,461.33
Debt at Jan. 3, 2007:      $8,677,214,255,313.07
New debt added:            $3,061,785,703,851.74
Total days served:                                       2,920
Debt added per day:              $1,048,556,747.89

Speaker Newt Gingrich:

Debt at Jan. 4, 1995:     $4,801,793,426,032.89
Debt at Jan. 3, 1999:     $5,614,217,021,195.87
New debt added:             $812,423,595,162.98
Total days served:                                     1,461
Debt added per day:               $556,073,644.88

If the establishment Republicans, along with the Democrats, carry the day on the issue of deficit reduction, they will have not only failed their current constituents but future generations to come by altering America for ever for the worse.