Friday, October 29, 2010

Promises by Nancy Pelosi didn't work out so well

Remember back when Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House? She promised no more deficit spending. Since then, the Democratic-controlled Congress has added $5 trillion to the deficit.

Remember when the Health Reform bill was passed, and she stated it would create 400,000 jobs "almost immediately." So how did that work out?

But you know, we Americans get the government we deserve. Most people don't care or don't pay attention or don't know how our system of government works, because our schools are failures after 40 years of government and union meddling, and I have to put parental apathy in that category too. Many parents expect the school system to be nannies or babysitters.

When our founding fathers made the provision that only land owners could vote, they must have had something in mind.

Now don't even go there. I'm not against women voting, but I can hear those wheels turning out there. My point is that land owners in those days were more educated and were more involved. That's all.

When more people -- especially young people -- can name the latest American Idol than the Vice President, you know we are in trouble.

Across the country, anger, frustration and fear among voters as election nears

It's time for real change.

From the Washington Post:
Travel through the political battlegrounds in these final days before Election 2010, and it becomes clear how much the tenor of this recession-plagued country has changed in the two years since Barack Obama was elected president on his message of hope and change.

A far grimmer mood now pervades the electorate, one shaped not just by the immediacy of the economic distress that has hit virtually every household, but by fears that it might take years for everyone, from the average family to the federal government, to climb out of the hole.

Anger is one word that is often used to describe the electorate this year. But one word alone cannot adequately capture the sentiments expressed by voters on doorsteps and street corners, at community centers or candidate rallies. Along with the anger there is fear, worry, nervousness, disappointment, anxiety and disillusionment.

The impact will be felt Tuesday. Republicans are poised to reap the benefits of the enormous dissatisfaction with the status quo. How deeply and how broadly remains for the voters to decide, but there is little doubt that the outcome will change the balance of power in Washington. The winners should take little comfort from the results.

Dissatisfaction with Republicans also runs deep, and voters have conflicted expectations about what should happen in Washington over the next two years. Politicians of both parties will remain on trial.
But the Old Jarhead thinks, and I tend to agree with him:
Even if Republicans sweep next Tuesday and control both the House and Senate, it will not fix our problems. At best, it will slow the degeneration. Every penny of spending—Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the ARTS, NPR, healthcare “reform,” veterans, defense, education, farm subsidies, homeland security and on and on, has a dedicated constituency that will fight tooth and nail to save it, far harder than forces who want to limit spending will fight to cut it.

Almost every voter has a financial conflict of interest in favor of more spending in one or more areas. And most of the public is economically and politically ignorant, so supporting things like trade restrictions and taxes on “wall street” (big business) and “the rich” (small business) that hurt the economy and job creation will continue.
So the problems get kicked down the road until they get too big to kick, and disaster strikes. They are very close to being too big to kick. When you have an electorate that is better able to tell you the name of the “American Idol” winner than which party controls congress, or the name of one Supreme Court Justice, or who their legislators are, what do you expect except a disaster?
It is time for real change: Get money out of politics. If our politicians could not accept big contributions from big donors, and had to use ONLY public money, it would be worth it. If lobbyists could not influence policy with donations, then we might get some policy that makes sense.

That would be real change.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Once again: Who caused the financial meltdown?

It saddens me that so many people think it was only the Republicans who were responsible for the financial meltdown. But it is only a small part of the story. The fact the Democrats also had a large play is not only fact, but recorded on CSPAN video. The Republican failure wasn't that they saw the problem coming much earlier, but they let the Democrats intimidate them and didn't stand up for their own principles.

It was kind of like "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

I think putting the blame on only Republicans is a failure to take personal responsibility (see my earlier post about Barney Franks). This seems typical of the Democrat party today, and possibly most politicians.

Here's a compilation of CSPAN videos that will -- hopefully -- help enlighten those who can't see the actual truth. Or at least get you thinking critically, instead of using simple-minded talking points.

It's really not so simple, is it?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Marco Rubio Speech at CPAC 2010

Kind of old news (Feb. 2010), but if you haven't watched this yet, it is worth the 26 minutes.

Krugman: Modifying facts to fit his theory

It's really inexcusable for a scholar with a PhD in Economics, and a Nobel Peace Prize as well, to modify his "facts" to fit his theory that the recession has been prolonged because the stimulus package wasn't big enough.

In his October 10 column, "Hey, Small Spender," Krugman declares that there "never was a big expansion of government spending" under Obama, because cities and states underwent "drastic spending cuts, more than offsetting the modest increase at the federal level." His clear message is that total government spending has fallen, a premise also advanced by Ezra Klein in the pages of the Washington Post.

These statements don't match reality.

According to the Federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, total combined federal, state, and local government spending rose from $5,020 billion in 2008 to $5,345 billion in 2009 -- to a seasonally adjusted average of $5,532 billion in the first half of 2010, which is the most recent available data point.

Also, contrary to Krugman's claim that cities and states experienced "drastic spending cuts," the reality is that state and local governments slightly increased their spending from $2,186 billion in 2008 to $2,189 billion in 2009 to a seasonally adjusted average of $2,224 for the first half of 2010. This equates to a 2% rise during a period with 3% inflation.

If Krugman has another data source, he hasn't shared that with us yet. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the data published by this agency are the "only comprehensive estimates of state and local government activity available on a timely basis."

Krugman also based his premises that government spending "under Obama" has been too low. Yet the recession actually started in December 2007. Since then, combined government spending was $4,637 billion. Thus, from the outset of the recession through the second quarter of 2010, spending has risen 19% in a period with 4% inflation.

So Krugman's premises that there were "drastic cuts" in government spending is untrue, which therefore makes his theory of government spending invalid. If he wants to "prove" that the stimulus wasn't enough, he needs to re-write his hypothesis.

(Hat tip to James Agresti at American Thinker.)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A $1 trillion idea to create 2 million jobs

The CEO of Cisco, John Chambers, and President of Oracle, Safra Catz, have proposed to President Obama that revising the income tax code would create a flood of dollars into the United States.

They wrote in the Wall Street Journal:
One trillion dollars is roughly the amount of earnings that American companies have in their foreign operations—and that they could repatriate to the United States. That money, in turn, could be invested in U.S. jobs, capital assets, research and development, and more.
But for U.S companies such repatriation of earnings carries a significant penalty: a federal tax of up to 35%. This means that U.S. companies can, without significant consequence, use their foreign earnings to invest in any country in the world—except here.

The U.S. government's treatment of repatriated foreign earnings stands in marked contrast to the tax practices of almost every major developed economy, including Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Australia and Canada, to name a few. Companies headquartered in any of these countries can repatriate foreign earnings to their home countries at a tax rate of 0%-2%. That's because those countries realize that choking off foreign capital from their economies is decidedly against their national interests.
We need to be competitive in the world, and our tax code and to some degree our over-regulation, prevents companies from using more of their dollars and resources here. Chambers and Catz go on:
Many commentators have pointed to the large cash balances sitting on U.S. corporate books as evidence that the economy is still stalled because companies aren't spending. That analysis misses the point. Large cash balances remain on U.S. corporate books because U.S. companies can't spend their foreign-held cash in the U.S. without incurring a prohibitive tax liability.

Especially with corporate bond rates falling below 4%, it's hard to imagine any responsible corporation repatriating foreign earnings at a combined federal and state tax rate approaching 40%.

By permitting companies to repatriate foreign earnings at a low tax rate—say, 5%—Congress and the president could create a privately funded stimulus of up to a trillion dollars. They could also raise up to $50 billion in federal tax revenue. That's money the economy would not otherwise receive.

We all know that the tax code needs reform. Let's do it now. Of course, an article in the WSJ is a start of awareness, but we need to hammer on Congress to quit groveling to special interests. Maybe after next Tuesday, they might get the message. Don't hold your breath, though.

As Ronald Reagan once said: "Government isn't the solution. Government is the problem."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Williams: "I always thought the right wing were the ones that were inflexible, intolerant"

Hat tip to American Power. I thought it good enough to repeat here. I've always respected Juan Williams, even while disagreeing with many of his positions. He's rational and logical, unlike so many others.

More on Juan Wiliams

The firing of Juan Williams by the left-wing, partly-public-funded National Public Radio, or NPR, shows the hypocrisy of the left.

Michael Barone put it this way, and I couldn't have said it better:
Reading between the lines of Juan’s statement and those of NPR officials, it’s apparent that NPR was moved to fire Juan because he irritates so many people in its audience. An interesting contrast: while many NPR listeners apparently could not stomach that Williams also appeared on Fox News. But it doesn’t seem that any perceptible number of Fox News viewers had any complaints that Williams also worked for NPR. The Fox audience seems to be more tolerant of diversity than the NPR audience.
Juan Williams, in a angry, but honest statement, has highlighted his experiences at NPR in a recent statement. He summed it up by writing (I recommend you read the entire piece):
Well, now that I no longer work for NPR let me give you my opinion. This is an outrageous violation of journalistic standards and ethics by management that has no use for a diversity of opinion, ideas or a diversity of staff (I was the only black male on the air). This is evidence of one-party rule and one sided thinking at NPR that leads to enforced ideology, speech and writing. It leads to people, especially journalists, being sent to the gulag for raising the wrong questions and displaying independence of thought.
Juan explains that the president of the network refused to meet with him face-to-face. What cowardice. I have always questioned the need for the use of taxpayer money to fund this radio network. Now, I'll support the defunding of it. Not one dime of my money should go to NPR.

So the next time some liberal tells you that "progressives" are all about freedom of speech and tolerance and diversity, remind them of Juan Williams.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Juan Williams is an 'Oreo'

The "FamGuyToday," a resident of the Denver area, who spouts the most idiotic political "theories," today called Juan Willams an "Oreo." I guess if you have a darker complexion than this rich "cracker," and have a view that disagrees with the left-wing worldview, you aren't really "Black."

Here's his post, verbatim. You judge for yourself. And then I invite you to read many of his very bigoted, offensive, and ignorant posts that he's done in the past view years (since 2006).  He seems to have a readership of one, someone who calls her/himself "ladyj." I only comment because he's been commenting here for a while, so I have to pay attention.
Never liked Juan Williams, who (or whom?) I consider to be a rightwing, 'Oreo', jerk, whenever I come across him, commenting on TV, BUT I don't think he deserved to be fired, from NPR, for the comments he made about Muslims, while being interviewed by Bill O'Reilly. He merely said he got nervous when he was flying on an airplane when there were fully attired, obvious Muslims, who overtly showed they wanted to be identified as Muslim. I know the feeling and I think most of the flying public agrees. After 911, there was the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber, plus other nonsuccessful attempts. Something wrong when Rush can call the prez a jackass, idiot and ignoramous, but someone can't say they are afraid of getting blown up on an airplane.
Of course, his writing is so well thought-out and intelligent, his logic beyond reproach, if you want to think like a 5th grader. (Oh, I give him too much credit, thinking of Jeff Foxworthy's program). I think you'll find his other posts enlightening as to the thinking of people who consider themselves a little bit -- or a whole lot more -- better than the rest of us.

I believe this guy, who hates Texans and anyone in the oil business (he's OK with paying the Saudi's his money instead of us Americans), was or is in the insurance adjuster business. He goes to natural disasters where insurance companies are famous for ripping off people who have lost everything.

No wonder this country is in trouble.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The wacko left: WWII was an 'accident'

If you want some amusement today, surf over the the HuffPo and read Robert Kuttner, a left-wing nutcase who just recently called World War II an "accident."
It took the accident of World War II for government to spend and invest at a level that finally brought back full production and full employment. Annual deficits were as high as 28 percent of GDP, more than triple the current level. Once prosperity returned, however, the debt level came steadily down.
Three things are wrong with these three sentences. First, to call World War II an accident is to either not know the meaning of accident, or not know the history of World War II, or both. World War II was no accident, but a culmination of a series of events, most purposefully put into motion by madmen. Full production and employment was because of World War II. Shall we build 50,000 warplanes to put the people back to work?

Secondly, to say that annual deficits during WWII were more than triple the current level is like comparing apples to oranges. In 2010, the first full fiscal year of the Obama era, the deficit was about 11 percent of GDP. Does he really want us to spend at the WWII levels? That would mean an annual deficit of nearly $4 trillion. That's just deficit spending. The government would have to spend nearly $8 trillion in one year. Astounding.

The third sentence also ignores history. The debt level came down, of course, because we were no longer fighing the largest war in history. But the debt levels never returned to historical low levels, and the U.S. Government continued to grow beyond anyone's imagination.

Next, Kuttner blames the Republicans for obstructing more government spending, as if more would do the job. But if we are already spending at record levels, then how would more of the same pull us out of this recession? This is typical of the left. If something doesn't work, maybe if I try more of the same it will work this time?

The problem is people who think like this are in charge. They have never actually created anything themselves, but have spent their entire lives in some fantasy world. Kuttner also states:  "But if we pull back on public spending while the economy is still deeply depressed, that only reduces economic output. Debt would actually loom larger because GDP would be smaller."

As if government was the solution to everything. So if the government spent more, our debt would be smaller? Where's the logic in that? Kind of like Joe Biden claiming that we have to spend our way out of debt. But if government got out of the way with its voracious appetite for our money, its enormous debt (which eats up capital) and expensive and stagnating regulation and control, the private sector could once again create growth.

How to turn a recession into a depression

If you only read one column this week, this is the one, written by Victor Davis Hanson, PhD, a professor at California State University, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Standford.
It is hard for a president to turn a recession into a long-term downturn in the United States, given the inherent resiliency of private enterprise and America’s open and free markets. But if you were to try, you might do something like the following.
He goes on to illustrate everything the current government has been doing. You can read the entire article at his web site.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Texas model of economic recovery

Rich Lowry reaffirms what I've been writing about recently: Texas is leading the nation in economic recovery.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 214,000 net new jobs were created in the United States from August 2009 to August 2010. Texas created 119,000 jobs during the same period. If every state in the country had performed as well, we’d have created about 1.5 million jobs nationally during the past year, and maybe “stimulus” wouldn’t be such a dirty word.
What does Austin know that Washington doesn’t? At its simplest: Don’t overtax and -spend, keep regulations to a minimum, avoid letting unions and trial lawyers run riot, and display an enormous neon sign saying, “Open for Business.”
There are a few out there, however, that think Texas is more prosperous because of oil, "evil big oil." Period. Not so fast, Kimosobe:
It is true that Texas enjoys bountiful oil and natural-gas reserves, but its attitude toward those resources is what’s most important — “if you got ’em, use ’em.” If only the Obama administration’s Department of the Interior agreed. The state long ago defied the stereotype of an economy entirely dependent on bumptious oilmen. In Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, it has four diverse, thriving metropolitan areas featuring robust high-tech and manufacturing sectors.
The two largest state economies are California and Texas. Yet California is losing the battle. While Texas added 119,000 jobs, California lost 112,000.
In Texas in recent decades, the watchwords have been prudence and stability in the course of nurturing a pro-business environment, while California has undergone a self-immolation that Pres. Barack Obama wants to replay nationally. Joel Kotkin writes of California in City Journal, “During the second half of the twentieth century, the state shifted from an older progressivism, which emphasized infrastructure investment and business growth, to a newer version, which views the private sector much the way the Huns viewed a city — as something to be sacked and plundered.”
Think what you want about Texas, but the rest of the country could learn a thing or two.

111th Congress the most productive, according to the AP

The Associated Press says that this Congress has been the most productive in history, except possibly for the 89th Congress, which passed civil rights, Medicare and Medicaid.

But what is the measure of productivity? Merely the amount of legislation, or it's positive impact on the lives of Americans? In my opinion, this has been the most destructive Congress in recent history.

Here's the list from the AP:
Congress passed an $814 billion economic stimulus package soon after President Barack Obama took office, tapping a staggering sum of money to avoid a full-blown depression.
But we don't know for sure that if the bill had not passed, whether the economy would have gotten worse. If Congress had done nothing, they economy may have turned itself around, and saved the taxpayer billions in debt. The stimulus was supposed to keep unemployment down under 8 percent, but has been a total failure in that regard. And a lot of the money seems to have gone into porkulus projects.
The two other landmark acts of this session were the health care overhaul, a giant step toward universal coverage that had eluded presidents back to Franklin Roosevelt if not Teddy Roosevelt, and the Wall Street accountability act.
The health care bill, which was supposed to cut costs for consumers, has had the opposite affect, and most of it's provisions aren't even in effect yet. And the 1099 provision will bury companies in paperwork. This "giant step toward universal coverage," as the AP puts it, will probably make it harder to get insurance; this is already happening.

I don't think anyone understands the Wall Street accountability act, including those in Congress who voted for it. I've read many articles that have stated that this bill will not prevent another meltdown.

Other bills that have passed:

-- Making college loans more affordable. My take: How? I have a student loan from grad school, and I don't know how it could have been less expensive. Mark my words. Now that the feds own the program, they f**k it up.

-- The Cash for Clunkers program that helped rejuvenate the auto industry. My take: There are many reasons this program was idiotic. For one thing, it only helped the auto industry for a month or by creating false demand. Once the program was over, auto sales tanked. And the government was so slow in paying dealers, many dropped out or were in great financial jeopardy. My local dealer at the time said they would not participate until they were sure how they'd get paid. I guess they didn't trust the feds to be quick about it. And they were right. Temporary programs such as these are never long-term solutions.

-- New consumer protections for credit card users. My take: I feel safer already. Not! The first thing my credit card company did was raise my rates from 5.99 percent to 8.25 percent. While I get some extra info on my statement now, I have yet to see any actual benefits from this bill. People who use credit stupidly should reap what they sow.

-- Making attacks based on sexual orientation a federal hate crime. My take: An attack by one person on another could always be called a hate crime. And murder is murder. This is almost like an attempt at thought control.

-- Giving businesses tax incentives to hire unemployed workers. My take: Well, this really worked, didn't it? I haven't read about or talked to one small biz owner who hired based on this.

-- Tax credits for first-time homeowners. My take: Again, a temporary stop-gap measure. Sure, it helped some people buy homes who wouldn't have, but you can see that the housing market is still a mess.

There are more, but we'll leave it at that. Anytime the government attempts to muck around in the marketplace, unintended consequences will ensue.

The AP article goes on the ask, "Where's the love?" The conclusion: "But it's not what Congress didn't accomplish the past two years, it's what it did do that seems to have voters most riled."

Most Americans don't like big-government control of their lives. I hope both parties get that message on Nov. 2.

Lakoff: How to debate a conservative

George Lakoff, a guru of the "progressives," teaches his fellow liberals that in order to debate a conservative, it is important to "reframe" the question.

Framing is an important concept to Lakoff. Frames are the lenses in which people construct their world view. This is basic psychology 101. We all view our world from the concepts we have developed during our lives, a type of filter so to speak, and it's important to know this in order to strive for intellectual honesty, and a firm grasp on reality. Reality as it exists, not as we wish it to be.

Lakoff suggests techniques on how to debate conservatives. His basic premise is: When a conservative asks a question, or makes a point, the best course is to reframe the question or concept. In other words, don't get trapped in answering the question.

Here are some examples of what he means (taken from his article).

Conservatives: Abortion is the immoral taking of innocent life. It must be banned.
Well, some conservatives support this absolute position, but most do not go this far. What conservatives want is some restrictions, such as late-term abortions, the right of parents to be involved, and no financing of abortions with tax payer money, among others.

According to Lakoff, the "progressive" response should be:

Progressives: Promoting life means ending America's huge infant mortality rate through pre- and postnatal care. It means caring for individuals throughout their lives. It means affordable universal health care to improve life and life expectancy for forty-five million uninsured Americans. It means improving the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink. It means improving schools and parenting so that every young life has a chance to flower. It means finding ways to end the violence in our society that cuts short so many lives. It means fulfilling the promise of stem cell research, rather than destroying the hopes of millions of suffering Americans for the sake of a tiny cluster of undifferentiated cells that will otherwise be discarded.
He doesn't even answer the question. Notice how he twists and turns, talking about infant mortality rates, health-care, improving schools, and so forth. This doesn't even mention abortion. So what his is position on abortion? We just do not know. Here's another:

Conservatives: Patriots do not question the president or his war policies.
Oh, yea? Where has he been? Conservatives do question policies all the time. But we do not base our questions on faulty logic or a re-written history.

Progressives: The greatest testament to one's love of country is when one works to improve it. This includes principled dissent against policies one disagrees with and against leaders who promote those policies. Times of war are no exception. Our first loyalty is to the principles of our democracy that are embedded in our Constitution, not to any political leader.
This position sounds nice, but what does it really mean? Do we all not want to improve our country? And I don't know of a conservative today (except for maybe the extreme right-wing nuts, but they are no better than extremists on the left) who wouldn't support "principled dissent," even in time of war. However, I don't include providing aid and comfort to an enemy in the concept of principled dissent, which is what some on the left have done.

Basically what Lakoff is doing -- and encouraging other liberals to do -- is to "reframe" the issue, and if necessary, avoid the issue all together to further the secular progressive agenda.

In his book, Don't Think of an Elephant, Lakoff advises to "never answer a question framed from your opponent's point of view." You can see from the examples above, he does just that.

It's all word play. All politicians -- Republican and Democratic -- do it, so it takes a hard look into current issues to see just what the these folks mean. But at least most conservatives can answer simple questions like "do you support abortion?" The left doesn't even use the word, hence the "pro-choice" mantra. It is faulty use of the language, and avoids the basic issue.

Don't play into the semantics of this: get informed about the real issues before you drink from the kool-aid pitcher.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

An end to the Rangers' curse

Finally, after all these years, the Rangers have ended the curse by beating the Yankees at home, 7-2 to tie the series.

Watch out NY. The Rangers are actually better post-season when playing away from home.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Parting comments for the weekend crowd

Can Obama get away with outright lies? Read this story in the Washington Post, and you decide. I alreay know that Obama and the Dems are outright liars.

Harry Reid put his foot in his mouth big time during his debate Thursday. He claimed that we had a $7 trillion surplus during the Clinton years. Not hard to check those facts as a big fat lie. And he seemed to take credit for the success of the Iraq surge. You know...Harry "the war is lost" Reid. I guess Angle won that debate, and she raised $250,000 overnight. I'm no real big fan of hers, but any idiot would be better than Reid.

And for those of you who continually whine about high oil and gasoline prices, study the chart below. Then quit whining, will you?

Texas beats California for business, jobs

As reported in Investors Business Daily, "in Texas, the payroll count is back to pre-recession levels. California is nearly 1.5 million jobs in the hole. Why such a difference? Chalk it up to taxes, regulation and attitude. The contrast between America's two largest states, in terms of both population and economic heft, is as stark as it has ever been. Texas is leading the country out of the recession; California is holding it back."

You can click on the chart to see a larger version.

IBD goes on to say:
California and other states with steeply progressive income taxes simply do not grow as fast as their tax-free competitors. The nine states with no income tax had nonfarm payroll growth of 11.76% from 1999 to 2009. Payrolls in the nine states with the highest top tax rates (a group that includes California) rose an anemic 2.48%.
The difference in tax systems reflects a difference in attitudes toward business and the wealth that business generates. Capital gains are tax-free in Texas; in California, they are taxed up to 10.55%. To an entrepreneur choosing where to set up shop, the message is clear: Texas wants to reward success; California wants to tax it.
So for those of you who think that Texas is a backward, redneck state, you might want to think again. In fact, when it comes to high-tech industries, Austin, Texas, ranks 7th, and Dallas/Fort Worth ranks 14th, according to BizJournals.

Californians are even choosing to move to Oklahoma, where the unemployment rate is 7 percent. During the last 10 years, more Californians moved to Oklahoma than the reverse. (California has an unemployment rate of 12.4 percent and Texas is 8.3 percent.)

Chris Mathews: If miners were tea party, they'd kill each other

Chris Mathews, host of MSNBC's Hardball, is typical of those on the left who just don't have a clue.

As reported by Politico:
In an interview with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Matthews railed against the tea party, saying its central belief is “every man for himself. …No more taxes, no more government, no more everything. No more safety net.”

“You know these people, if they were every man for himself down in that mine, they wouldn't have gotten out,” Matthews added.

“That's exactly right,” Trumka chimed in.

Matthews continued: “They would have been killing each other after about two days.”

Adam Brandon, a spokesman for FreedomWorks, the tea-party group founded by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, said it was “distasteful” and “sickening” for Matthews to inject politics into the story of the dramatic rescue of 33 trapped miners.

“It shows he has a fundamental misunderstanding about what we’re about. It isn’t every man for himself. It’s everyone working to do what they do best, a division of labor, so that everyone benefits,” Brandon said. “In that mine, everyone was working toward a common goal. It wasn’t dictated; it was spontaneous order.
These people are ignorant. Makes Keith Olberman look intelligent, which he is not. No wonder MSNBC has some of the worst ratings in the cable news business. How they get on TV is beyond me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Barney Frank revising history once again

(Update 10/15/2010: The day after I wrote this, Investors Business Daily had its own take on Barney Franks in an editorial entitled "Barney's big lie.")

In a Tuesday debate, Barney Frank, chairman of the House Finance committee, made this statement:
“Low-income home ownership has been a mistake, and I have been a consistent critic of it,’’ said Frank, 70. Republicans, he said, were principally responsible for failing to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants the government seized in September 2008.
But in September 2003, according to the New York Times:
The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.
''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''
And reported in 2008 by the Business and Media Institute:
Frank was and remains a stalwart defender of Fannie Mae, which is now under FBI investigation along with its sister organization Freddie Mac, American International Group Inc. (NYSE:AIG) and Lehman Brothers (NYSE:LEH) – all recently participants in government bailouts. But Frank has derailed efforts to regulate the institution, as well as denying it posed any financial risk. Frank’s office has been unresponsive to efforts by the Business & Media Institute to comment on these potential conflicts of interest.
Of course, he played the race card in 2008, as reported by the Huffington Post:
Congressman Barney Frank says Republican criticism of Democrats over the nation's housing crisis is a veiled attack on the poor that is racially motivated.
And it was just this year when he admitted that pushing low income people into housing they couldn't afford was a mistake:
For years, Frank was a staunch supporter of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the giant government housing agencies that played such an enormous role in the financial meltdown that thrust the economy into the Great Recession. But in a recent CNBC interview, Frank told me that he was ready to say goodbye to Fannie and Freddie.
"I hope by next year we'll have abolished Fannie and Freddie," he said. Remarkable. And he went on to say that "it was a great mistake to push lower-income people into housing they couldn't afford and couldn't really handle once they had it." He then added, "I had been too sanguine about Fannie and Freddie."
I could find hundreds of examples that show how dishonest Franks is, but I'll leave it up to you to do a Google search.

Do politicians think we're really that stupid or can't remember, or are Democrats in general just so desperate that they'll say anything to remain in power? Or, is it that liberals don't have a sense of taking responsibility for their own actions? Whatever it is, I'll bet about half of the voters are stupid enough to vote for Franks.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Biden: Puts foot in mouth again

If "fear tactics," as the Democrats accuse the Republicans of using in the last election, didn't work, does Joe Biden think they'll work now for his party? Is he really this stupid?

Last night he made the accusation that the Rebuplicans may sue the Federal government to do away with Social Security, like some state attorneys general are currently doing over some provisions of Obamacare.

Really, Joe? I've not heard that once, not even a hint of it from either party or any candidate. I challenge anyone to find a source for that idea.

Besides, Social Security, which is actually a tax (the government takes in money and then doles it out) is different than the provision of the health care bill, in which the federal government will mandate that individuals purchase a product (with the government's approval) in the private sector.

Joe, Joe, Joe. How did you get to be vice president?

You gotta wonder.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday morning musings

Who would have thunk it? According to a recent CNN poll:
By 47 to 45 percent, Americans say Obama is a better president than George W. Bush. But that two point margin is down from a 23 point advantage one year ago.
More disapprove of the job he is doing than approve, according to the same poll (52 percent with thumbs down, 45 percent with thumbs up). I'm a little surprised at the 45 percent who approve, because nothing has worked so far, has it? 

The Democrats are on the run. You can see the desperation as they accuse the Chamber of Commerce of using foreign funds to influence elections, while admitting at the same time they have no evidence of this. And Obama, the liar-in-chief, is out front, bashing anything to do with American business.

Axelrod reiterated this yesterday on CBS' Face the Nation. When challenged that he had no proof, his response? Mr. Axelrod replied, "Well, do you have any evidence that it's not, Bob?"

And these people are "running" the country. More like ruining the country, if you ask me.

Even the liberal New York Times is taking the Democrats to task:
The Democratic committee’s spokesman, Hari Sevugan, likewise offered no evidence and suggested it was up to the chamber to disprove the assertions. “Serious questions have been raised,” he said in an e-mail. “If they want to clear this up, they can open up their books.”
The chamber is hardly the only organization playing a role in the campaign that has international affiliations and gets money from foreign institutions. Among others are groups on the political left like the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the Sierra Club. The law requires them to isolate foreign money from any domestic political activity.
Sounds like McCarthyism to me. It was up to the accused to prove their innocence, rather than the state proving guilt.

Oh, how short our memories can be. Just two years ago, the Washington Examiner, among others, reported on foreign contributions into Obama's $750 million war chest, of which $40 million was either incompletely reported, or not disclosed at all.
Then there’s the question of whether foreign nationals are contributing to the Obama campaign. There is more than enough evidence to warrant a full-scale investigation by the Federal Election Commission, including the $32,332.19 that appears to have come from two brothers living in a Hamas-controlled Palestinian refugee camp in Rafah, GA (that’s Gaza, not Georgia). The brothers’ cash is part of a flood of illegal foreign contributions accepted by the Obama campaign.
My thoughts on campaign finance: I don't support the current set up. I believe it would be better with public financing, completely transparent. That would avoid this kind of nonsense.

Monday, October 4, 2010

300,000 regulations from the Feds

How about some good news to start the week? There really isn't much, unless you're a Michigan (or pick your favorite winning team) fan.

Did you know that the Federal Register, which contains all of the federal rules and regulations, is more than 80,000 pages? Can anyone get a grasp on that?

According to the Miami Herald:

Legal experts say there are more than 4,450 federal crimes on the books and as many as 300,000 federal regulations that can be enforced criminally. From 2000 to 2007, Congress created 452 entirely new crimes, said Brian Walsh, a senior legal research fellow at the Heritage Foundation who focuses on overcriminalization.
How's that for deregulation?

On the energy front, from a newsletter I get every weekend, John Mauldin writes about a presentation from a former Shell executive.
He argues that the fight between the right and the left has given us 37 years without a realistic energy policy, as policy gets driven by two-year political cycles but good energy planning takes decades. There are 13 government agencies that regulate the energy industry, with conflicting mandates that change very two years. There are 22 congressional committees that have some level of involvement and oversight of the energy industry.
He goes on to predict $125 per barrel for oil, with gas between $4 and $5 at the pump, by the middle of 2012.

More of that deregulation, I guess.

Regardless of what you hear from the lefties, about how Bush and his cronies deregulated everything and caused all of our problems, the reach of government keeps growing, and doesn't really care which party is in power, though the Dems have shown no proclivity to slow down this growing monster.

As Thomas Jefferson put it: "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."