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

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, October 15, 2010

More Biased "Reporting" On CNBC By Ultra-Liberal John Harwood

This morning's appearance by "Red" John Harwood on CNBC, in my opinion, really cemented his reputation as a totally-biased, unscrupulous liberal so-called reporter.

On the subject of California gubernatorial candidate's now-famous remark, in which he called his opponent, Meg Whitman, a whore, Harwood manipulated it as follows.

Speaking on camera as a reporting contributor to the early morning CNBC program, Harwood breathlessly explained that, when he 'offered Whitman the chance to dismiss the whore comment' in favor of 'issues like jobs,' she pointedly remained silent!

Wow! Stop the presses!

Harwood, usually one to use whatever character issues he finds necessary to impugn conservative or GOP candidates, grew animated when describing how Whitman refused to ignore Brown's nasty name-calling. His face all lit up, Harwood delighted in telling viewers that this means Meg Whitman is putting stories about Brown's antics ahead of 'real issues' in the California gubernatorial campaign.

Notice he didn't even go near Brown's character nor inappropriate behavior. No, he did as much as he could to turn the slur against Whitman back on her!

You truly can't make things like this up. Harwood's twisted, hopelessly-biased coverage of politics exceeds anything fiction could approach.

Daniel Hannan On The Impossibility of European Tea Parties

Outspoken British member of the European Parliament, Daniel Hannan, wrote a thoughtful piece in a recent edition of the Wall Street Journal explaining why you won't see any Euro-Tea Parties.

Hannan credits the parliamentary system common to European countries with putting all nominating power in the hands of party leaders. There is no option for solo candidates to try to break into parties with new ideas. Party leaders construct the lists which provide voters with their local parliamentary choice.

Whereas, in America, a Christine O'Donnell can beat the party favorite in the primaries, that just isn't possible in Europe.

As Hannan writes,

"Open primaries ensure that legislatures remain diverse, independent of the executive, and responsive to public opinion. They make a spontaneous antitax campaign possible.

You don't know how lucky you are to have them, my friends."

At least for now, before the Constitution is further eroded by Progressives, we retain this remarkable feature of our government.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chris Christie & The NY-NJ Rail Tunnel Cancellation

It's been educational watching reactions of various groups to NJ governor Chris Christie's recent announcement of cancellation of a NY-NJ rail tunnel.

You can read the details elsewhere. Essentially, NY and NJ each put up about $3B to fund their share of a new rail tunnel from Secaucus into midtown Manhattan. The remainder would have been paid by the federal government, except for cost overruns.

Christie pointed to a recent study estimating some truly phenomenal expected cost increases that would have saddled the state with perhaps double its initial expected expense.

Economist Paul Krugman excoriated Christie for his decision. Other liberals piled on, contending that Christie was killing jobs by ending the project.

What is evident from these criticisms is that their primary concern is for jobs at any price. No matter who pays for those jobs, or if the work they do is really the best use of resources.

Could it be that, being construction jobs in a blue state, the fact that these will be Davis-Bacon, union-wage jobs has something to do with so many liberals attacking Christie for his decision?

New Jersey is in terrible financial trouble. Christie is being prudent by avoiding a project bound to experience phenomenal cost overruns, which NJ taxpayers will bear.

Here's a different, but important question about the new tunnel.

Why spend so much money to build another rail tunnel into Manhattan, when, for probably less money, and a different tax structure, some of those jobs or businesses could be lured to NJ. In our current economy, with so many knowledge- and information-related jobs, why are we building rail tunnels under a river, instead of facilitating more telecommuting and internet-accessed jobs which won't require any commuting whatsoever?

For the truly energy-conscious, isn't that the greenest manner of job creation?

As it stands now, liberal Democrats and union officials want Christie to make taxpayers liable for the payrolls of construction workers, no matter if it bankrupts the state. It becomes a simple matter of wealth transfer from NJ residents, through their taxes, to union construction workers.

That's some jobs program, isn't it? The ultimate cost of the project may not make it economically feasible, but, in the meantime, a lot of blue-collar jobs will be created and paid for by the public sector.

That may be the way the federal government does things, owning the nation's monetary printing presses, but it doesn't work at the state level.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Lessons of Bell, California

Last month, a weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal turned a spotlight on the aftermath of the discovery of grossly-inflated salaries that the town's council members had paid themselves and selected city employees.

Perhaps the best passage from the article is this one,

"How was it, they ask, that Bell residents didn't know that the former city manager was being paid $800,000 a year?"

The lesson is fairly obvious, isn't it? Sunshine, transparency, call it what you will, still is the best disinfectant. And apathy, carelessness, disinterest on the part of voters to require and review the most mundane items, such as annual city budgets and compensation levels, bring about this sort of corruption.

Whether at the micro-level of Bell, California, or the federal government, in a republic, we always get the government for which we vote, and which we deserve.

For better or worse....and there's nobody else to blame but ourselves.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"The Politics of Foreclosure"

I borrowed this post's title from the Wall Street Journal's lead staff editorial this weekend. How appropriate it is.

With all the faux-shock and surprise attending the nearly-simultaneous announcements by the nation's largest commercial banks that they are halting foreclosures, it's useful to examine the essentials.

Specifically, as the Journal piece notes, nobody has argued that any of the foreclosures harmed borrowers who were actually paying their mortgages. No mistakes of that nature were made. The only issue is some quibbling over whether, as the editorial contends,

"The result is the same, but politicians understand the pain that results when the anonymous paper pusher who kicks you out of your home is not the anonymous paper pusher who is supposed to kick you out of your home. Welcome to Washington's financial crisis of the week."

If you haven't figured this out already, here's what is really going on. Chase, the first of the big banks to 'discover' this meaningless error, is headed by a liberal CEO, Jamie Dimon. He was among the most frequent business leader visitors to Wonderboy's White House in the first year or so. Even named by Wonderboy as a favored, leading banker.

US commercial banks are sitting on large numbers of foreclosed mortgages which, ordinarily, would be sold at distressed prices, to free up lending capital. But this is political suicide. Ever since the middle of 2008, during the last presidential election cycle, Democratic candidates competed with ever-more generous foreclosure halt demands. Continuing with foreclosures and disposals would drive home prices through the floor, probably dampen consumer confidence, and delay any nascent economic recovery.

Of course, the resulting recovery would be "real," and, for a change, smaller investors would get a chance to buy assets at fire sale prices. Just like the big hedge funds in late 2008.

But that's not going to happen. Because this administration doesn't believe in market dynamics, and the bankers who depended on the federal government for rescue capital dare not cross Wonderboy.

So a new reason has been found to stop the foreclosure clock. It's a paperwork foul-up. No end in sight. Egregious paper shuffling mistakes which must be stopped, investigated, corrected, etc.

It's a farce, of course, But looks good for the Democrats and serves to delay the inevitable correction of prices in the housing market.

It's just politics as usual....nothing more.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Snyder Case & First Amendment Free Speech

The Snyder v. Phelps case has brought forth a wealth of arguments on both sides of the issue.

Because this free speech case involves a church funeral for a serviceman killed in action, the basic First Amendment principles have become blurred.

So much so that, as the Wall Street Journal notes,

"Forty-eight state Attorneys General filed an amicus brief in support of the Marine's father, arguing that non-media speakers should not be exempted from state tort law on First Amendment grounds. No doubt they'd love to be able to sue their political critics.

The government may not, however, expressly discourage protesters whose messages they find offensive.

The First Amendment is designed to protect even scoundrels like Mr. Phelps. Allowing concerns for emotional distress to carve out safe havens from protected speech would open the door to countless legal shenanigans, no reliable standards, and ultimately a chilling effect on political debate."

Just so. In today's environment, surely informed voters know that the least exception found which limits rights under the Constitution will, over time, be widened to be so permissive as to gut the clause or amendment in question.

Unpleasant as it may be, one has to want this case decided for Phelps and, thus, free speech.