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

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ohio Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan's Bizarre Alternative Universe

This morning's CNBC program, Squawkbox, featured an interview with Democratic Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan. Listening to Ryan made me wonder if he doesn't live in some bizarre, alternative universe.

For example, he defended Wonderboy's healthcare bill, blithely claiming that 'much middle class suffering would have been avoided if we'd passed this years ago.'

Really? It's already resulting in rising premiums and, yesterday, McDonalds Corporation's internal email regarding dropping its employee healthcare plans. More expensive coverage of fewer people before the plan has even hit its stride. Just great.

Then Ryan assailed the Chinese yuan, claiming that they are dumping because, thanks to lower wage rates, some specific good they produce hits US shores at a price that equals the US cost to simply produce the same item.

Ryan then bizarrely launched into a diatribe about green energy, and how its use would make the US competitive in some heavy industry product sectors. Too bad Ryan seems not to understand that wind and solar can't be reliably used for heavy power applications, never mind their higher prices, sans subsidies.

In Ryan's world, real economics don't matter. Only what politicians want to attempt to create with subsidies, transfer payments and other schemes which make King Canute's command of the sea to retreat look reasonable, by comparison.

It evidently doesn't occur to Ryan that we shouldn't want growth in jobs in the US which rely on trade wars or subsidies to make them "competitive" with low-end Chinese jobs. That this is a losing battle.

Ryan happily identified himself with Wonderboy's entire agenda. But, then again, he was named by Frisco Nan to the House Democratic leadership team, so you'd expect nothing less from a true believer.

A true believer in a solidly blue Ohio district, at that.

Still, it's a troubling but revealing portrait of how screwed up and out of touch the ruling liberal Democrats are on important matters of economics, trade and healthcare.

How Democrats Characterize Tea Partiers & Their Sympathizers

In its lead staff editorial Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal provided some precious quotes from Wonderboy and John Kerry excoriating voters for their lack of intelligence, ability to be duped, racism, extremism and bigotry.

Specifically, the piece noted,

"Said Mr. Kerry, "We have an electorate that doesn't always pay that much attention to what's going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what's happening."

Ah, this would be the Cass Sunstein school of thought, i.e., identifying voters and consumers as Homer Simpson types- his exact reference- who need to have decisions made for them. Because they are too stupid to exercise their own freedom of choice.

Then it continued,

"This week President Obama chimed in with another uplifting message about the American electorate. Mr. Obama told Rolling Stone that the tea party movement is financed and directed by "powerful, special-interest lobbies." But this doesn't mean that tea party groups are composed entirely of corporate puppets. Mr. Obama graciously implied that a small subset of the movement is simply motivated by bigotry.

The President said "there are probably some aspects of the Tea Party that are a little darker, that have to do with anti-immigrant sentiment or are troubled by what I represent as the President." The tea party is now supported by a third of the country in some polls."

Nice, huh? Anyone who disagrees with Wonderboy is either a powerful, special interest lobby. Like, oh, SEIU or the UAW?

No, no. Those sorts of powerful special interest lobbies are okay. It's the ones that disagree with the First Rookie who are suspect and, well, guilty of being bad.

But if you aren't in that group, then you're probably just a stupid bigot or anti-immigration pitch-fork type. You know, someone who maybe clings to "your guns or religion." Remember that precious campaign remark by Wonderboy?

Of course, the remark about resenting what he 'represents as President' is a thinly-veiled accusation of anti-black racism. You can't disagree with his policies, in his view, because that is simply being bigoted.

You either agree with everything Wonderboy says and does, or you are a racist.

See how easy that is?

Tea Party= disagree with Wonderboy = racists.

The editorial noted that at least Biden wasn't crying about the Tea Partiers, instead sounding this theme,

Vice President Joe Biden recently urged the party's base to "stop whining" and "buck up," a message echoed by Mr. Obama in his Rolling Stone interview. The President demanded that his supporters "shake off this lethargy," warning that it would be "inexcusable" for liberals to stay home on Election Day.

Mr. Obama added that "if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place." Making the case for left-wing voters to show up in November, Mr. Obama told Rolling Stone that he is presiding over "the most successful administration in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward."

And that calls to mind something I've seen on two cable news programs in the last two days. Democrats, whether party leaders, elected officials, or merely 'strategists,' all claiming two things as "facts,"
1. Recent polls actually show little in the way of Democratic House losses.
2. Anything can happen in five weeks. It's a lifetime in politics. So all these polls are meaningless.
Both sentiments are calculated to do one thing, and one thing only. Lie about reality and inspire Democrats to get out and vote. If Democrats see a lopsided, independents-led landslide for GOP candidates at all levels, they will feel powerless and just stay home on election day.
It's one thing to mobilize your base in a positive sense, as Wonderboy is at least doing. It's quite another to lie to an audience, as Pennsylvania's Democratic governor, Ed Rendell, did on CNBC Wednesday morning, and simply claim that polls are meaningless and the Democrats aren't in trouble at all.

I guess the conclusion you must draw is that, when a political rout is likely, you have to assume the party about to be routed will simply lie about anything in order to try to mislead the public at large and, especially, its own party base.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Another Example of The Hazards of Government Intervention In The Private Sector: Harry Reid's Green Energy Donors

Last Wednesday's Wall Street Journal published a staff editorial detailing one of the negative consequences of allowing government to direct economic choices in the private sector.

The case in point is Harry Reid's new financial donors from the "renewable energy" sector.

As the editorial notes,

"The companies that belong to the American Wind Energy Association or the Solar Energy Industries Association (among the fundraiser's hosts) produce costly products that can't compete against traditional fuels. Their business plans are written around Washington subsidies and mandates. They're obviously worried a Republican majority might pare back the grants, loans and tax credits, in the name of cutting government waste."

This is what happens when government gets into the business of funding specific technologies or sectors with subsidies, rather than contracting for competitive bids without subsidies.

The editorial also notes,

"Mr. Reid has been a strong advocate of this transfer, and the industry is showing it knows how to give back."

Essentially, allowing government at any level, including states, to use government, i.e., taxpayers' money, to directly fund private enterprises, invites reciprocal bribery in the form of campaign donations to help the benevolent elected officials remain in office, the better to keep the gravy flowing back to the private companies.

It's corruption, pure and simple. And sort of embezzlement, in that public money is appropriated by an elected official for a favored few private entities, knowing they will repay her/him directly through campaign contributions.

Do you think that's why the Constitution mandates that Congress' laws must apply to all citizens, and never just a select group?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Andy Griffith's Shameless Misleading Ads for ObamaCare

[Reposted with working video links.]

I couldn't believe it, at first, when I saw this recent pro-ObamaCare ad by Andy Griffith.

Aside from looking like a stroke victim, Griffith, or, more accurately, the Democratic administration using him, are trading on his folksy, trustworthy image. Here, honestly, I think he looks senile. The stupid grin and misinformation about just what ObamaCare will do to the country. It's truly shameful what our government is doing, creating and running ads to confuse and mislead seniors, claiming that there's a free lunch to be had in the new, expensive health care laws.

Here's what I think of when I see that ad....Andy Griffith as Lonesome Rhodes in Elia Kazan's 1957 classic A Face in the Crowd.

Scary clips, aren't they? Reminding us of Cass Sunstein's remarks about people being like Homer Simpson, needing help making choices.

And to help you let government make those choices for you, we see a new face of propaganda- ol' Andy drawling about how great ObamaCare is going to be. Do you think he even understands what it is?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Regarding Michigan's State Investments In Battery Producers

Jennifer Granholm, Michigan's governor, was recently on CNBC crowing loudly about how the state has invested in battery makers which chose to locate facilities in Michigan.

Beaming happily and egged on by a typically-clueless Maria Bartiromo, Granholm gushed about how the state had attracted business to the state to create jobs by investing government, which is to say, state taxpayer money, in the companies.

When I heard this, my first thought was,

'How much more corrupt can you get?'

Far from providing a level playing field for industry, Granholm's form of crony capitalism makes the state the heavy-handed goon, with legislative and police powers, which can fend off any legitimate competition from the state's pet investments.

From what I gathered, Granholm's team selected new battery makers as the recipients of the state's capital. In time, it's reasonable that a group of workers skilled in related production and design may develop. Perhaps some of them will have better ideas on how to design and produce similar batteries.

What if a group of them seek to attract capital and set up a new company?

Won't it be in the state's interest to obstruct that? After all, a new competitor to a company in which the state has invested could result in losses, or fewer profits, for the taxpayer-backed firm.

It doesn't take much thought to see how dangerous and potentially corrupt the practice of state's investing in private enterprise can be, does it?

As soon as the state become a partner in a particular business, it has an interest in using its absolute powers to prevent competition from arising, or punishing it if it does.

Rather like, well, the US government owning GM. It has a vested interest in its car producer besting competitors.

It's very disturbing to see this occurring at the state level. And, worse, to see a governor trumpeting it as a positive thing.

Of course, Baritromo never thought to grill Granholm on these issues. If such a question even entered Maria's head, it's likely she chose future access to the governor over doing a thorough, journalistic interview on the topic of Michigan favoring some businesses over others with its investment capital.

It marks just how fascist our economy is becoming. And I use the word literally, not emotionally, i.e., according to this description,

"Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it."

Granholm's investments in private companies certainly follows this logic, doesn't it? And, having Michigan investment dollars as capital, the companies involved are more prone to suasion by the state on matters of labor, unions, and who knows how many other aspects of the businesses?

It's an entanglement that should never occur in the US, whether at the federal or state level. It boils down to government favoring one or more businesses over others, and then being suspect of using government power to favor its pet investments.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Want To Be The Next Mayor of Chicago- Tough Luck!

If you wonder why independent voters despair over career politicians treating government jobs as just a way to amass power and wealth, consider the latest moves involving Chicago's mayor's office.

Several weeks ago, current, long-time mayor, also son of a long-serving mayor, Richard Daley, made a surprise announcement that he won't be running for another term as mayor.

The sound waves from Daley's shocking declaration had barely finished reverberating before pundits fingered current White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, as his replacement. Word had it that Rahm wanted to be mayor...and maybe that was why Daley declined to serve another term.

Being Chicago, the Democratic candidate is effectively the mayor once he's won the primary.

Chicago may no longer be America's Second City, but it's still a large one. Whoever becomes its next mayor would, ideally, perhaps even logically, be someone with considerable administrative experience and specific interest in solving whatever the salient problems are in Chicago.

How, then, to interpret the very public talk that White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel will be resigning shortly to seek office as Chicago's next mayor?

I live in a state where a nearly-dead man, Frank Lautenberg, was virtually lifted out of his coffin to run again for a seat he had earlier, simply because the nominated Democratic candidate for the Senate was being indicted for campaign fund chicanery. So I'm resigned to political expediency trumping common sense. As it was, Lautenberg bought his Senate seat after retiring from ADP, the company he successfully founded and built. Following on that model, recently-defeated governor Corzine bought himself a Senate seat, too.

I guess Chicagoans are expected to sit still for whichever powerful Democrat decides s/he wants to be their next mayor. Even if it's a sort of gift to Emanuel for his work electing centrist Democrats to take control of the House, then running Wonderboy's staff for nearly two years.

Does anyone actually imagine Emanuel has the best qualifications to be Chicago's next mayor? Or is this the new form of political reward, rather than handing out ambassadorships? In this case, Emanuel expressing a desire to simply run the city for which he was a Representative between stints on White House staffs?

This sort of noblesse oblige behavior is a major part of what has fueled the Tea Party movement.

And, hey, come to think of it, the movement's titular prophet, Rick Santelli, works down in the Loop!

Wonder how he'll feel if Emanuel simply walks into the mayoral job without serious opposition?