“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, March 13, 2009

Principled GOP State Pushbacks On The Stimulus

Much has been made by liberals of what is, in their view, the negativism of GOP Congressmen regarding the so-called stimulus bill.

That nothing could be further from the truth, and that Republican Senators and Representatives have and had offered various alternatives which the Democrats banned from discussion, bothers these liberals not at all.

Perhaps the really interesting actions, though, are occurring out in the 50 states. As I mentioned to my business partner a few weeks ago, this is exactly what former Republican Governor of Florida, and Presidential brother, Jeb Bush, predicted and called for in an interview published last month in the Wall Street Journal.

Terry Sanford, GOP Governor of South Carolina, is fighting his legislature in order to decline the stimulus money. Democratic Congressmen included a clause specifically aimed at Sanford, that lets a state legislature accept the money, around its governor.

However, Sanford is making a lot of sense as he decries being forced to begin expensive programs like SCHIP, more medicaid spending, and the hiring of unionized public employees, such as teachers and policemen, only to have the federal funding cut off after only two years.

A Tennessee radio show host appeared on Neil Cavuto's Fox News program earlier this week to attest to his listeners bombarding him with complaints identical to Sanford's in South Carolina, begging Tennessee state government to refuse the stimulus 'gifts.'

Something important and powerful is occurring in America, and its going unnoticed by Wonderboy's minions.

The residents of the states through which the federal government is attempting to funnel some $800B of new spending are crying "STOP."

States can't print money, and many are not allowed to run deficits. People realize that they will have to pay for programs which, once begun, like an addiction to heroin, cannot easily be halted again.

Jeb Bush was spot on to identify the states as the places in which Republican fiscal rectitude could and would be reborn and regain strength.

My partner points out that people love a story with patterns. Right now, the First Rookie is in love with his own version of our current economic recession, in which he plays FDR, the recession becomes another Great Depression, and he and his team of tax cheats rewrite the American social contract to be pure socialism.

Trouble is, that's not what seems to be going on among voters. They are becoming angry, alarmed, and scared at governmental spending and impending waste of their taxpayer dollars.

As I remarked to my friend, while Wonderboy delights in his own coddled view of an FDR rerun, reality is already quite different.

Existing social safety nets like Social Security and welfare payments are easing the pain of the recession. Bank deposits are insured, so a bank failure really has little of the effect on the US economy in the way a 1930s bank closure did.

But voters in the states are informed by communications media not yet born in the 1930s. Newspapers and ordinary radio are no longer the most important news outlets. Instead, conservative talk radio, cable news, internet sites and blogs provide a wide variety of uncontrollable news and opinions.

This time, unlike in FDR's day, the failure of federal efforts to halt natural economic cyclical behavior will be publicized far and wide- immediately.

And the Republicans' positive actions to the contrary, including sensible refusals to take and spend stimulus money in many states, will lead the party back to control of at least one House in the 2010 election, as well as the Oval Office in 2012.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tim Geithner Goes Slumming for Softball Questions

You have to laugh.

In order to avoid any chance at all of real questions from an informed interviewer, Treasury Secretary and administration Tax Cheat Tim Geithner appeared two nights ago on whose program?

Why, public television's good ole boy and affable dunce, Charlie Rose.

That's right. Geithner skipped any cable channel with an informed, veteran business or financial reporter who might have grilled him on issues such as:

-Tim, how can you lambaste the Bush administration's effort at rescuing the nation's banking system, when you were a key player in that rescue?

-Tim, why have you dithered since being sworn in, as you had nearly three months to prepare to tackle the various issues in your department? It seems you and the rest of your administration was great at 'transitioning,' but remain unable to govern, now that there is a new President?

-Tim, why don't you just work with Sheila Bair to close commercial banks that are insolvent, once all assets are appropriately market to economic value, such as Citigroup, which obviously would be bankrupt, had the federal government not injected so much of its current common equity?

-Do you think you'll be able to fully staff your department before your boss is running for renomination of his party for President?

No chance of questions like that from Charlie Rose. I'd be surprised if Rose knows what the Treasury Secretary does. The few moments of Rose's programs which I have seen usually show him agog with wonder and admiration for his guest. He asks questions in a tone of ignorance and appreciation that his guest will even speak with him.

Boy, Geithner couldn't have slummed much lower, could he?

Rumor has it his boss is going to appear on The View in lieu of his next press conference.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Price of Playing with the Climate Change Gang

The Wall Street Journal published two interesting articles recently concerning Wonderboy's renewable energy initiatives.

Late last month, Daniel Henninger commented, unfavorably, on the administration's plans to subsidize non-carbon energy while taxing carbon emissions, but not calling the latter a tax.

Then a week or so later, Kim Strassel wrote extensively on Duke Energy's Jim Rogers' recent realization that he had been hoodwinked into supporting climate change-based energy policies.

Rogers, like other early adopters of the climate change-driven push for penalizing carbon-based energy production and consumption, assumed he would be given permits for what his company currently uses or emits.

Wrong. As Ms. Strassel points out, Congress, being Congress, intends to start with an auction. Thus, rather than monetizing private industry's possession of carbon emission permits as the private property they are, liberal Democrats and Wonderboy intend to claim that these permits are public property, and force industry to bid for them.

Of course, this results in a huge tax windfall to Congress, which will be passed along to consumers via higher energy costs.

Meanwhile, Congress has designs on at least $650B of tax revenue from these permits. A brand new tax source cloaked in the mantle of saving the planet. What could sound better than that?

Then all sorts of groups will kowtow to Democratic Representatives and Senators, in hopes of getting some of that nearly $1T of new swag.

It's hard to believe something this boneheaded and corrupt is really moving ahead through Congress. Harder still to believe any CEOs ever thought it would work differently.

Don't they know how Washington works by now?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Warm Boy" Al Gore Ducks Bjorn Lomborg

I saw a brief clip of a scene from the Wall Street Journal's recent climate conference on Sean Hannity's Fox News program last night. It seems that the same clip is on YouTube this morning, as well, but it is marked 'private,' so I could not view it.

The scene was hysterical. Noted former Greenpeace scientist Bjorn Lomborg, now a prominent and credible doubter about global warming, Warm Boy Al's signature issue, challenged Gore to a debate.

The offer was simple and unmistakable. Bjorn issued an offer to Al to debate the topic of global warming.

Al ducked.

he hemmed, and hawed, and took about 15 seconds to manage to squeeze out a contention that all sorts of scientists had now determined that humans are responsible for global warming, so that's it.

No need for further debate.

Lomborg is the world's most credible, vocal and pragmatic voice regarding analysis of various green initiatives. He's given seminars all over the world and conducted workshops for the UN and other bodies involving the rating of importance and benefits/costs of key environmental initiatives.

With Lomborg's guidance, these groups always rate global warming at the bottom of the list of urgent topics on which the world should actually spend money. That's because it is:

a) not clearly identified as caused by humans;
b) may be a natural earth cycle that we cannot control, and;
c) the cost of doing anything about it is enormous, while the effects of human action will likely have little effect on any natural earth processes.

Faced with a real debate opponent, rather than a mute video camera, Oscar-winning Al was continuing to weasel his way out of the challenge when the clip ended.

Does that sound like a confident proponent of his position to you? Instead, it sounds like Warm Boy thinks that just because a bunch of Hollywood airheads gave him an award, his conclusions must be true.

No need to debate it anymore. Hollywood said it's so!

Sadly, our newly-inaugurated First Rookie thinks so, too. So much for intelligence in the Oval Office for the next four years.