Instapundit » Blog Archive » AMERICA GIVES CHINA a mineral monopoly. “Complaints from the Congo are growing about the U.S. legis…: "AMERICA GIVES CHINA a mineral monopoly. “Complaints from the Congo are growing about the U.S. legislation intended to stop illegal mineral sales. The Dodd-Frank bill (also called the Obama Law) has a clause that prohibits the sale of so-called conflict minerals may have been well-intentioned but it was not well-thought out. Rather than run the risk of buying any minerals that might have been smuggled from the Congo, many major mining companies are simply refusing to buy minerals from central Africa. The result is a de facto embargo. There are few buyers for Congo’s valuable minerals, especially tantalum and tungsten which have many hi-tech uses. This has damaged the Congo’s economy, because the nation relies on mineral exports. According to some sources, China, which does not have to meet Dodd-Frank standards, is snapping up many minerals at very cheap prices.” More like a monopsony, really.Even Keynes is probably rolling in his grave...
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 11:11 pm"
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Instapundit » Blog Archive » THE USUAL OBAMA GOLDEN TOUCH: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy: President Obama touted the facility …: "THE USUAL OBAMA GOLDEN TOUCH: Solyndra to Declare Bankruptcy: President Obama touted the facility only a year ago. “Solyndra, a major manufacturer of solar technology in Fremont, has shut its doors, according to employees at the campus. . . . Solyndra was touted by the Obama administration as a prime example of how green technology could deliver jobs. The President visited the facility in May of last year and said ‘it is just a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism and the fact that we continue to have the best universities in the world, the best technology in the world, and most importantly the best workers in the world. And you guys all represent that.’ The federal government offered $535 million in low cost loan guarantees from the Department of Energy. NBC Bay Area has contacted the White House asking for a statement.”
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 11:43 pm"
Walter Williams On The 2012 Election And Sound Money | ZeroHedge: "Walter Williams: Keep in mind something that Richard Nixon said to John Ehrlichman, who warned that Milton Friedman, an economist and Nobel laureate, advised against the policy Nixon was pursuing. Nixon’s response was, “Milton Friedman is not running for reelection.” These people in Washington have commitments and responsibilities that I don’t have. I don’t owe anybody anything, so I can be perfectly honest. When you are trying to get reelected, or appointed to a high-level position, or hoping to have a high-paying job when you leave government, you just can’t say the sort of things I am free to say.And now you know why I'd be thrilled to vote for Walter Williams for prez since I don't seem to be allowed to vote for Thomas Sowell. Not that I have any illusions about either being on the ballot in my lifetime mind you ... because that would be evidence the world is not nuttier than a cuckoo clock ... like it clearly is. Full stop.
CR: Will we ever return to fiscal responsibility when there is no constraint on how many dollars can be produced?
Walter Williams: The gold standard is a discipline for the monetary authorities. It restricts their ability to print money. Without a gold standard, the only restriction is the political arena’s restraint that has been shown around the world to be insufficient. Our founders feared fiat money.
CR: Americans seem to have forgotten that.
Walter Williams: Not so much forgotten as just observed that such a restraint on government limits my ability to live off my fellow Americans. At the Democratic National Convention in 1896, William Jennings Bryan, one of the first so-called “progressives,” gave a speech – the “Cross of Gold” speech – condemning the high rate of silver-to-gold convertibility. [Bryan called for the inflationary free coinage of silver at a ratio of 16:1 to gold. His answer to the demand for a gold standard: “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.”] At that time, we had presidents like Grover Cleveland, who fought against the weakening of the dollar and against moving away from the gold standard.
CR: That’s certainly not a cause championed by Barack Obama."
Bernanke and Gono: Modern Central Banking | Douglas E. French - YouTube: "Presented by Douglas E. French at "The Inflationary Path to Despotism," the Mises Circle in Phoenix, Arizona, 10 April 2010. Sponsored by James M. Rodney."
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Our Shrinking President | Power Line: "It has been widely noted that the more petulantly President Obama acts, the more he tries to blame others for his own failings, the smaller he becomes. If that principle is correct, by this time he has faded away pretty much to nothingness. Michael Ramirez illustrates the point:"And how did he forget corporate jets? And GE? And Wall Street?
No wait, GE and Wall Street fund his permanent campaign. Never mind...
Instapundit » Blog Archive » WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Corruption In India: Not Finished Yet. “Taking power from those who pay bribe…: "WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Corruption In India: Not Finished Yet. “Taking power from those who pay bribes and giving it to those who extort them is almost never a recipe for reducing corruption.” No, but it’s always popular with the political class.And not just in India...
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 10:41 am"
Monday, August 29, 2011
Clarence Thomas, Judicial Statesman - Ricochet.com: "Put simply, Thomas is an originalist. It is his view that the only way in which one can legitimately read the Constitution is in light of the understanding of those who framed it in 1787, defended and attacked it that year and the next, and ratified it in the end. For almost seventy-five years, judicial conservatives have acquiesced in the novelties foisted on us by liberal Justices. In signaling their surrender, they have repeatedly fallen back on the legal principle of stare decisis, which asserts that one must stick to what has been decided and honor and build on legal precedent. The conservatives, Thomas contends, have abandoned interpreting the Constitution as written and have put in its place prior jurisprudence. In consequence, he argues, a vast corpus of law has been built on a [series] of egregious and preposterous errors.A man of affirmative action? No. A man of original action. Hang in there man...
As Toobin makes clear in his piece, the question at issue is this: Which takes precedence – the duty of the Justices to accept judicial precedent, or their duty to enforce the Constitution itself? Thomas broke long ago with the other conservatives on the court – and, in opinion after opinion, buttressed with careful historical investigation, he has intransigently laid out an argument that is gradually winning over the other Justices. And, to make matters worse, Toobin laments, he is winning because of the force and integrity of the argument he makes. Toobin is persuaded that, by the force of the line of reasoning that he has developed, Thomas will compel the Court to declare Obamacare unconstitutional."
The Gibson Guitar Saga Gets Steadily Curiouser | Power Line: "It has come out that Juszkiewicz is a Republican donor, while the CEO of one of his principal competitors, C.F. Martin & Company, is a Democratic donor. Martin reportedly uses the same wood, but DOJ hasn’t raided them, leading to speculation that the Obama administration is sending a warning to Republican businessmen that they had better not oppose his re-election, lest they face criminal investigations. Normally such speculation would not be credible, but Eric Holder has politicized the Department of Justice to a point where such questions must be taken seriously.No, wait. What am I thinking? They DO have machine guns.
Oh, one more thing: if Gibson has violated the Lacey Act, so, perhaps, has Michelle Obama, who gave French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar with a rosewood fret. Maybe, when the time comes, she can share a cell with Mr. Juszkiewicz."
It's only a matter of how long before they start using them. Wisconsin was but foreshadowing...
Du'O.Like a Prayer - By Andrew Stuttaford - The Corner - National Review Online: "… Ms. Corbett, the Oakland parent, said the social pressure her children felt regarding recyclable products was palpable.Yes, it’s a religion."
Still, she says, plasticware can be a pain to clean, and is not cheap. When she thinks it is likely that her daughters will lose the containers — if, for instance, they’re going on a field trip — she uses waxed-paper sleeves, like the kind bakeries use for cookies, to hold sandwiches instead.
“It’s still a no-no because you’re still having to throw that away, but it is biodegradable, it does compost, so you’re not as guilty,” she said.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
5.9 magnitude earthquake hits Mineral, Va. « Hot Air: I love the tweet Tina linked to:A hundred worthless green pieces of paper if you can top it today...
Evidently the quake occurred on a little known fault line outside of DC called “Bush’s Fault”.
INC on August 23, 2011 at 4:36 PM
Dasher on August 23, 2011 at 5:08 PM
UPDATE: OK, OK. This one has me thinking...
ANOTHER UPDATE: Perfect:
Ace of Spades HQ: "I condemn Obama for calling himself unpatriotic.
Obama criticized Bush for accruing $4 trillion in debt in seven and a half years; Obama managed that feat in 2 1/2.
I guess Obama's problem is Bush's relative slow-footedness."
UPDATE: Here's the video:
Somehow the tech crash and 9/11 don't qualify for the current Keynesian priests. Now why could that be? Oh yeah, bad Bush, bad, bad Bush. It was all due the the wars, right? Umm, sorry, only part of it.
And O Duce certainly hasn't help start any new ones... Good grief.
P.S. And of course Bush himself was a Keynesian crony capitalist extraordinaire. But as the numbers indicate, O Duce is even more so. Not to mention the Manchurian Candidate.
Charlie Reese | 545 vs. 300,000,000 People | ZeroHedge: "Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them."Bingo.
The Desperation-of-Deprivation Myth - Mark Steyn - National Review Online: "As I point out in my book, in the last six decades the size of America’s state and local government workforce has increased over three times faster than the general population. Yet Obama says it’s still not enough: The bureaucracy needs even more of our manpower. Up north, Canada is currently undergoing a festival of mawkish sub–Princess Di grief-feasting over the death from cancer of the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Jack Layton’s career is most instructive. He came from a family of successful piano manufacturers — in 1887 H. A. Layton was presented with a prize for tuning by Queen Victoria’s daughter. But by the time Jack came along, the family’s private-sector wealth-creation gene had been pretty much tuned out for good ...Did I forget to mention that Steyn rocks?
The piano manufacturer pays for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, not the other way round. The private sector pays for the Vermont non-profits and the Manchester rioters and the entire malign alliance of the statism class and the dependency class currently crushing the Western world. America, Britain, Canada, and Europe are operating on a defective business model: Not enough of us do not enough productive work for not enough of our lives. The numbers are a symptom, but the real problem, in the excuses for Manchester, in the obsequies in Ottawa, in the ambitions of Vermont, is the waste of human capital."
Joanne Nova on The 2011 Lord Monckton Tour - YouTube: "Joanne Nova on The 2011 Lord Monckton Tour"
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Perry stands by description of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme - San Antonio Express-News: "“It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people. The idea that they're working and paying into Social Security today (and) the current program is going to be there for them is a lie,” Perry said. “It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can't do that to them.”"Duh.
... and real insanity about ozone:
Ace of Spades HQ: "Oooh. And would it be expensive to meet the new limits?And then there's this for the whipped cream on top:...during the years 2020 to 2030, the annual compliance costs would exceed $1 trillion (in 2010 dollars). That cost works out to 5.4 percent of GDP in 2020. Total job losses by 2020 could reach 7.3 million by 2020, which represents an estimated 4.3 percent of the total labor force that year.In other words, tack on 4.3% to the unemployment rate.(this is not the EPA's estimate. But they're not the only ones who are allowed to do math). I've heard a number thrown out on talk radio lately. Somebody is saying the cost of regulatory compliance in the US is 1.5 Trillion a year. And here just one modification to one regulation would be an extra Trillion."
... the proposed 60 parts per billion standard is so strict, that even areas of Yellowstone National Park may not be in compliance. To the extent that some areas will be affected by ozone emitted elsewhere (even outside the United States), it may prove literally impossible to comply with the draconian new regulations.Good God. These people are completely fracking insane. Full stop.
US official: Al-Qaida's No. 2 killed in Pakistan - Yahoo! News: "The official would not say how al-Rahman was killed. But his death came on the same day that a CIA drone strike was reported in Waziristan. Such strikes by unmanned aircraft are Washington's weapon of choice for killing terrorists in the mountainous, hard-to-reach area along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.But, but, but... The AP must be lying to us again. How can you tell? Why because everyone knows that Iran has never helped AQ. Sunni's and Shia never talk to each other. You're just a dumb Bushie knuckle dragger if you believe any such thing! /sarc
Al-Rahman, believed to be in his mid-30s, was a close confidant of bin Laden and once served as bin Laden's emissary to Iran.
Al-Rahman was allowed to move freely in and out of Iran as part of that arrangement and has been operating out of Waziristan for some time, officials have said.
Born in Libya, al-Rahman joined bin Laden as a teenager in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union.
After Navy SEALs killed bin Laden, they found evidence of al-Rahman's role as operational chief, U.S. officials have said."
Instapundit » Blog Archive » MORE ON THE GIBSON RAID: “Why would the government use armed agents to attack one of the few major …: "MORE ON THE GIBSON RAID: “Why would the government use armed agents to attack one of the few major manufacturers of anything remaining in the United States?” It’s like they don’t want to see the economy recover or something.Fool me twice, shame on me. This is the second raid...
UPDATE: What a coincidence! CEO of Gibson Guitar a Republican Donor. And their Democratic-donating competitor, Martin, uses the same wood but wasn’t raided. Well, when you’ve got a President who jokes about tax audits as revenge for a personal slight, it’s hard not to be suspicious, isn’t it?
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 12:48 pm"
Friday, August 26, 2011
Badass of the Week: Joseph Lozito: "As Gelman approaches, Lozito does the last thing the knife-wielding maniac expected – he attacks. Without warning, this 260-pound wrecking ball of awesome beardage leaps up from his seat, driving his chest into the spree-killer's chest Goldberg Spear style. Gelman staggers back, dazed, and Lozito busts out a fucking leg sweep that (from what I understand) probably sounds a hell of a lot more awesome in theory than it actually looked in practice. I'm picturing a goddamned duck-spinning leg swipe that would have made the evil Cobra Kai sensei cry a single tear of pride, but by Lozito's own admission, "I wouldn't win any style points for taking him down, but it did the job." I guess that's all that matters. Both men crash to the floor of the Subway, and a battle for life and death immediately ensues. Lozito is pinning the guy to the turf, desperately trying to grab control of the knife, and Gelman is slashing wildly at anything he can reach. His face and head are sliced and bleeding badly, but Lozito never even considers anything other than pummeling this guy mercilessly about the head and neck – as the two men stared each other down in their deathmatch Lozito looks his enemy in the eyes and unflinchingly tells him, "You've messed with the wrong guy. You'd better hope I die, because I'm coming to kill you."You might have guessed by now that this is a RTWT. (H/T Glenn.)
I fucking love this. There is little in the world more badass than threatening a psychotic madman while he's in the process of trying to kill you. Never back down, never surrender."
Articles: A Unified Theory of Obama: "In summary, the profile is of a man who is: (1) convinced that he knows what America should become and that his vision for America is morally superior; (2) convinced that his vision is unpalatable to the majority of Americans and that hence, Americans must be tricked into heading for the proper destination without being given a clear statement of just what that destination is; (3) convinced that he must appear the high-minded statesman rather than the combative ideologue in order to nudge America along its righteous path. Let us call this the X-Profile."In short, he's a power-mad, manipulative, lying Marxist scumbag.
But he he's pretty and sounds so nice! Now what was Snookie up to? Gotta run!
U R K.Belmont Club » Monstrous Vermin: "The gatekeeper has to bend way down to him, for the great difference has changed things considerably to the disadvantage of the man. “What do you still want to know now?” asks the gatekeeper. “You are insatiable.” “Everyone strives after the law,” says the man, “so how is it that in these many years no one except me has requested entry?”“This entrance was assigned only to you. I’m going now to close it.”
The gatekeeper sees that the man is already dying and, in order to reach his diminishing sense of hearing, he shouts at him, “Here no one else can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned only to you. I’m going now to close it.”
How did Washington ever become so Kafkaesque? What process transpired in the historical night to make so many individuals wake up to find themselves transformed into monstrous vermin ruled by officials at golf course? And who can answer this mysterious question? If Juszkiewicz simply waits for an answer to when the DOJ decided it was illegal to manufacture a guitar, it might be like waiting for the last doorway to close, the one made only for him.
If Dominionists Didn’t Exist, Liberals Would Have To Invent Them | Power Line: "The press’s weirdly hostile attitude toward Christianity can be contrasted with its benign view of Islam in all its manifestations. The same reporters who fixate on Dominionism, a doctrine hardly anyone had heard of until a couple of weeks ago, take great offense at any suggestion that Wahhabism and other radical forms of Islam are significant. Never mind that Islamic extremists have carried out hundreds if not thousands of terrorist attacks, while Dominionists–assuming such people actually exist–have done nothing to cause the rest of us to be aware of them. The secular press’s attitude toward religion, at best inconsistent and driven throughout by partisan ideology, is one of the strangest aspects of our public life."Welcome to the fifth estate.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Blog: Glenn Beck and Larry Derfner Turn the World Upside Down: "Thus Derfner's comments are both shocking and disturbing. But in a world turned upside down it shouldn't come as a surprise when Glenn Beck, the non-Jew, is criticized by some Jews for being too pro-Israel while Larry Derfner, the Jew, writes for a mainstream Jewish newspaper despite the fact that he condones the Arab murder of Jews."
“Fake But Accurate” for Real This Time? | Power Line: "What an ironic turn of events for the website that helped speed Dan Rather’s retirement from CBS to borrow the New York Times‘ infamous rationalization that a document was “fake, but accurate,” but that certainly appears to be the case with the Paul Krugman earthquake tweet that we linked to in the “Picks” section the other day:Read it to understand where I get the "broken windows" from.People on twitter might be joking, but in all seriousness, we would see a bigger boost in spending and hence economic growth if the earthquake had done more damage.Quite a few people noted this passage and wondered whether this was a parody (such as the sharp folks at ZeroHedge) but the problem is that Krazy Krugman could really say something like that, so it got passed around. But now someone named Carlos who runs a blog called Campaign Fix has come forward claiming to be the author of this hoax. Except, while this particular Krugman line is made up, it is entirely consistent with Krazy Krugman’s views in the past, as Campaign Fix notes"
And there's an excellent comment:
I'm not sure Bastiat is the proper response to Krugman's theory that disasters can be stimulative. The real point of Keynesian stimulus is that it's a trick: the 'animal spirits' are aroused, as in a war or the alien invasion scenario, such that the losses incurred by the disaster itself are overcome in fairly short order by the change in psychology among consumers and entrepreneurs. The problem, at least with garden variety stimulus, is that everybody sees through the trick. Consumers and entrepreneurs widely believe that stimulus now means higher taxes and/or inflation in the future. Even if they're wrong about the future inflation and taxes (they're right IMO), it doesn't matter: the Keynesians' hoped for change in psychology is nullified by their belief.Keynesianism is dependent on a plentiful supply of sheep to fleece in other words...
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Today’s CBO Report: What Does It Mean? | Power Line: "Reporting on the CBO’s summer update has largely been positive, focusing on the fact that the report projects $3.5 trillion in deficits over the next ten years, compared with the $7 trillion it forecasted in January. As always, however, projections for the out-years are more or less meaningless. Of more immediate significance is that the FY 2011 deficit will amount to $1.3 trillion, the third trillion-dollar-plus deficit in a row. The CBO assumes, as it must, that the spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act will actually happen in future years, when in fact future Congresses can spend whatever they want. Moreover, as Elmendorf points out, the CBO numbers also assume that current law remains unchanged, which means that all the Bush tax cuts expire, no “doc fix” is adopted, and the alternative minimum tax is allowed to crush middle-income taxpayers. None of these things will happen."Never mind their ridiculous growth projections in the out years. Ugghh. RTWT.
Our Space Policy Chickens Have Come Home To Roost: "But wait! It gets better. There was supposed to be a crew delivery to the station next month, and it was planned to go up on…you guessed it…the same type of rocket that failed today. If crew had been on today’s flight, they might have survived (the Soyuz has an abort system), but there’s a good chance they would have been injured — cosmonauts have been injured severely enough to end their careers in previous similar aborts. So now plans for crew replacement this fall are on hold.H/T Glenn.
How did we get into this mess?"
BREAKING NEWS – CERN Experiment Confirms Cosmic Rays Influence Cloud Seeds | Watts Up With That?: "A graph they’d prefer you not to notice. Tucked away near the end of online supplementary material, and omitted from the printed CLOUD paper in Nature, it clearly shows how cosmic rays promote the formation of clusters of molecules (“particles”) that in the real atmosphere can grow and seed clouds. In an early-morning experimental run at CERN, starting at 03.45, ultraviolet light began making sulphuric acid molecules in the chamber, while a strong electric field cleansed the air of ions. It also tended to remove molecular clusters made in the neutral environment (n) but some of these accumulated at a low rate. As soon as the electric field was switched off at 04.33, natural cosmic rays (gcr) raining down through the roof of the experimental hall in Geneva helped to build clusters at a higher rate. How do we know they were contributing? Because when, at 04.58, CLOUD simulated stronger cosmic rays with a beam of charged pion particles (ch) from the accelerator, the rate of cluster production became faster still."Nice.
But Nature is the Pravda of science. Well it would be science if they weren't acting out their fantasy to out-do Trofim Lysenko.
The only good news is that Svensmark doesn't actually live in the old USSR where he would be made into a lampshade. But I fear for his safety nonetheless...
Instapundit » Blog Archive » ED MORRISSEY: Biden’s Praise For China’s One-Child Policy: So Much For Being “Pro-Choice.” “Women…: "ED MORRISSEY: Biden’s Praise For China’s One-Child Policy: So Much For Being “Pro-Choice.” “Women in China have no choice over their bodies. The state enforces its policy with a totalitarian regime that requires IUDs, aborts children, and tortures and maim women who attempt to exercise choice.”Silly doesn't begin to describe it, does it?...
Silly Ed. These are communists. It’s okay when communists take away your choices. It’s only bad when Baptists take away your choices.
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 6:08 pm"
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Slip-Up in Chinese Military TV Show Reveals More Than Intended | China News | Epoch Times: "A standard, even boring, piece of Chinese military propaganda screened in mid-July included what must have been an unintended but nevertheless damaging revelation: shots from a computer screen showing a Chinese military university is engaged in cyberwarfare against entities in the United States.Hmmm...
The documentary itself was otherwise meant as praise to the wisdom and judgment of Chinese military strategists, and a typical condemnation of the United States as an implacable aggressor in the cyber-realm. But the fleeting shots of an apparent China-based cyber-attack somehow made their way into the final cut.
The screenshots appear as B-roll footage in the documentary for six seconds—between 11:04 and 11:10 minutes—showing custom-built Chinese software apparently launching a cyber-attack against the main website of the Falun Gong spiritual practice, by using a compromised IP address belonging to a United States university. As of Aug. 22 at 1:30pm EDT, in addition to Youtube, the whole documentary is available on the CCTV website.
UPDATE: The University of Alabama at Birmingham made a statement after the news broke, noting that the IP address belonged to a website that was decommissioned in 2001 because it had been created against UAB rules. They said that they believe the purpose of the action demonstrated in the video was not to launch an attack from that website, but to block access to it, and that they're not aware of any such attack, past or present."
Rothschild Is Now In TBTF Plunge Protection Business | ZeroHedge: "It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one does not realize that it was devised as an instrument for the protection of civil liberties against despotic inroads on the part of governments. Ideologically it belongs in the same class with political constitutions and bills of rights. The demand for constitutional guarantees and for bills of rights was a reaction against arbitrary rule and the nonobservance of old customs by kings.
-- Ludwig von Mises
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."
--Thomas Jefferson, US President 1801-9.
"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain."
--Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France.
Ace of Spades HQ: The bottom line is that with baby boomers aging, entitlements will one day be a major budget problem. But today's deficit crisis is not one of entitlements. It was created by out-of-control spending on everything other than entitlements. The recent debt-ceiling agreement is supposed to put the brakes on that kind of spending, but leaders have so far been maddeningly vague on how they'll do it.Right, so true, and further, older people certainly will not agree to benefit reform when so much of federal spending is as far from reformed as conceivable.
This issue could be an important one in the coming presidential race. Should Republicans base their platform on entitlement reform, or should they focus on the here and now -- specifically, on undoing the damage done by Obama and his Democratic allies? In coming months, the answer will likely become clear: entitlements someday, but first things first.
Into the Bureaucratic Abyss... - Ricochet.com: Late last year, tired of enriching others unwilling to share, I started my own civil construction business. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. It takes drive, money, perseverance, luck and faith in your abilities. It also takes a preternatural ability to deal with government. We hear about regulatory excess and bureaucracy all the time. Here’s a list of the various governmental entities I’ve had to register with since starting my business: the Arizona Corporation Commission, The Arizona Contractor’s Licensing Board, the Arizona Department of Revenue, The Arizona Blue Stake Utility Marking Authority, The Arizona Department of Economic Security, The Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles, the Maricopa County Dust Control Board, ...Yup, there's lots more -- that's just enough to get you started...
What’s Obama Reading? - Tevi Troy - National Review Online: The Grossman novel, which is about an Israeli woman who hikes to avoid hearing bad news about her soldier son, could create complications for Obama on the Israel front. Grossman is a well-known critic of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, so reading this novel will likely not assuage those concerned about Obama’s views on the Middle East.... you know what. Your mortal enemy, Barack.
Moody's Downgrades Japan From Aa2 To Aa3 | ZeroHedge: What was that word Freud used when you are a weak, pathetic, corrupt, powerless, piece of anachronistic filth and instead of doing the right thing (for fear of losing your job or worse), you lash out at a weaker and irrelevant substitute? Oh yes, projection.
Moody's lowers Japan's government rating to Aa3; outlook stable
Instapundit » Blog Archive » BIGGEST COLLEGE REGRETS: “The day that I signed on the dotted line of my promissory note, I didn’…: BIGGEST COLLEGE REGRETS: “The day that I signed on the dotted line of my promissory note, I didn’t even understand what it would mean to have to pay back more than $40,000 in student loans. I’ll tell you what it means: living in a crappy apartment in Queens well into my 30s. I vaguely remember my dad trying to get the message through to me, but I must have had cotton in my teenage ears.” As stories like this spread, the higher education bubble will deflate.
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 5:19 pm
Monday, August 22, 2011
Definitely a clarifying moment:
The Government Knows Best | Power Line: These “investments” at best advance Koch’s political ideology and at worst misinform American voters. Either way, they are hardly a replacement for “government spend[ing]” on things like food assistance and basic medical service.TP, of course, never mentions the Kochs’ charitable contributions, like donations to cancer research amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, that dwarf their political activities. But here is the fundamental point: the idea that the government can spend your money better than you can, so the more money the government takes from you the better, is the essence of liberalism. Yet we rarely see it expressed so openly. Charles Koch has provided us with a clarifying moment. It would be a great thing if every election were perceived as a referendum on the question, who can best decide how to spend your money? You, or the government?
You'll finally start to get it when you're shivering in the dark. But by then it will be too late:
Obama’s “Industrial Sabotage” Devastates the Gulf | Power Line: What you are seeing in Louisiana is only a small piece of larger mosaic being put together by the Obama Administration to make affordable energy as inaccessible as possible,” he said. “From the administration’s war on coal to the serious consideration it is giving to imposing a nationwide regulation of hydraulic fracturing, to its shut down of deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, to its `endangerment finding” from the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency], the administration is practicing its own form of selected industrial sabotage.If a hostile nation drove our drilling rigs out of the Gulf of Mexico, it would be an act of war.
Klavan On The Culture » Kim Kardashian for President: Question: What’s the difference between a Federal Jobs Creation Program and Kim Kardashian’s wedding?
Answer: Kim Kardashian’s wedding creates jobs.
S&P Board Fires CEO For Telling The Truth, To Be Replaced With COO Of Citibank | ZeroHedge: So let us get this straight: in America when you dare to tell the truth, your career is over, while if you are a corrupt, lying, incompetent tax evader you not only get to be Treasury Secretary but likely will be on for life as long as you do the one duty you are entrusted with: pander to the interests of the Too Big To Fail financial institutionsYou can go back to sleep now. It's a cruel, cruel summer...
We should be speechless but at this point we are well beyond the point of even caring.
The only question left in this entire farce is how long before S&P issues the following upgrade of the US:
"Great service, AAA+++ rating, immediate payment, would do business again!!!"
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Keynesian Economics vs. Austrian Economics - YouTube: Keynesian Economics vs. Austrian Economics
Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2T in Loans - Bloomberg: Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages. The largest borrower, Morgan Stanley (MS), got as much as $107.3 billion, while Citigroup took $99.5 billion and Bank of America $91.4 billion, according to a Bloomberg News compilation of data obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, months of litigation and an act of Congress.I can guarantee you that O isn't feeling left out. In fact, he's toasting right now on the Vineyard with his crony pals to your stupidity.
“These are all whopping numbers,” said Robert Litan, a former Justice Department official who in the 1990s served on a commission probing the causes of the savings and loan crisis. “You’re talking about the aristocracy of American finance going down the tubes without the federal money.”
How much of that $1.2T will end up in his campaign coffers do you suppose? Yes, that was a rhetOrical question...
It's only a pivotal question. So anyone who asks must be ignored or ridiculed of course...Barack Obama Hoisted By His Own Petard | rayharvey.org: Finally, I call the USDA’s main media relations department, based here in Washington, where I explain to a spokesperson about my failed attempts to obtain an answer to the Illinois farmer’s question. This was their response, via email:And still no answer to the question I’ve been asking left-wingers for years: where derives your great confidence in bureaucrats and government bureaucracy?
“Secretary Vilsack continues to work closely with members of the Cabinet to help them engage with the agricultural community to ensure that we are separating fact from fiction on regulations because the Administration is committed to providing greater certainty for farmers and ranchers. Because the question that was posed did not fall within USDA jurisdiction, it does not provide a fair representation of USDA’s robust efforts to get the right information to our producers throughout the country.”
So, still no answer to the farmer’s question.
Or should that be zero?
But if only he'd stayed back in the office he'd have probably done more damage. Ooof.It’s the Stupidity, Economists - By Mark Steyn - The Corner - National Review Online: Passing trade deals is something that “Congress can do right now,” remarked President Obama Monday at a town hall meeting in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.Really?The truth is that Congress can’t do anything on free trade agreements “right now,” because the President has yet to send the agreements to Congress for final approval.
I am assured by my liberal friends that Barack Obama is not intentionally attempting to destroy America. Let us also grant that an honorable man would not intentionally deceive the burghers of Cannon Falls for cheap political point-scoring. So what does that leave? That the president is merely ignorant and incompetent and doesn’t know his job?
That single line from a single speech is an almost perfect vignette of everything that’s wrong with the Washington leviathan. The American taxpayers pay for a luxury Canadian bus, dozens of accompanying vehicles, salaried aides, and federal speechwriters in order to zip the president halfway across the country to blame somebody else for something only he can do — if only he’d stayed back at the office.
In many organizations, the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. We’re way beyond that. Not only does the president’s left hand not know what the right hand is even supposed to do, but his left hand cannot even issue a cheap self-serving whine about something his right hand has failed to do without blowing gazillions of taxpayer dollars.
Richie Rich’s Free Lunch - By Henry Payne - The Corner - National Review Online: Last month, with the federal government on the precipice of default, President Obama & Co. repeatedly warned that any cuts in government would amount to a terrorist Tea Party attack on assistance to the poor and elderly.Government of, by and for the mental midgets. Good God.
Funnily enough, they failed to mention the recent $4.5 billion expansion of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which will now provide free lunches to ALL — rich and poor, needy and non-needy — of Detroit’s 65,800 public school-students. (Detroit is one of three pilot programs starting this month for a free-for-all that will ultimately cover similar districts nationwide.)
This new program is part of Obama’s orgy of spending, a binge that has ballooned the federal budget by 25 percent since his inauguration. But the program’s logic is even more insane than the price tag: The administration says it is giving rich kids free food to eliminate the shame that less-fortunate students may feel in receiving free food. We’re not making this up.
So much for government for the needy. Like Obama’s massive subsidies for politically connected Big Green, government has become a piggy bank for the Left to hand out favors to friends, subsidize third-car hybrid purchases for the rich, and test goofy theories about class stigma.
No wonder this country is mired in debt. And if you protest, you’re a terrorist.
Instapundit » Blog Archive » GUNWALKER AND THE FOUNDATION OF LIBERTY. It all comes down to this: Is there an inalienable right…: GUNWALKER AND THE FOUNDATION OF LIBERTY.There it is. The ultimate liberty litmus test. I believe you'll find that all liberals -- and especially their masters -- will fail it when pressed.It all comes down to this: Is there an inalienable right to self-defense? If there is, each man has indisputable, inestimable value, value that he may rightly preserve even if the life of another man is forfeit. A man may kill another in lawful self-defense even if the policy preferences of the state would prefer his death. If a right to self-defense actually exists, it is in a very real sense the highest law of the land and all lesser laws must pay it deference. It fundamentally defines the social contract, the nature of the relationship between man and the state.I made a similar observation in my Second Amendment Penumbras piece.
But if there is no such inalienable right, the entire nature of the social contract is changed. Each man’s worth is measured solely by his utility to the state, and as such the value of his life rides a roller coaster not unlike the stock market: dependent not only upon the preferences of the party in power but upon the whims of its political leaders and the permanent bureaucratic class. The proof of this analysis surrounds us.
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 10:49 am
Saturday, August 20, 2011
The Business Cycle Explained in 1755 - Richard Cantillon - Mises Daily: It is then evident that a bank, with the complicity of a public administrator, is able to raise and support the price of public stock, and to lower the rate of interest in the state at the pleasure of this administrator. When the steps are taken discreetly, this can pay off the state's debt. But these refinements, which open the door to making large fortunes, are rarely carried out for the sole advantage of the state, and those who take part in them are generally corrupted.No, I'm not kidding, 1755. Aren't you a little behind the times in understanding the slime ball racket?
The excess banknotes made and issued on these occasions do not upset the circulation because they are used for the buying and selling of stock. They are not used for household expenses and are not exchanged into silver. But if some panic or unforeseen crisis drove note holders to demand silver from the bank, the bomb would burst and it would be seen that these are dangerous operations.
Calculation and Socialism - Mises Media: Calculation and Socialism
The only answer left against this is that scarcity isn't a problem.
You have to be batsh*t crazy to believe that.
How 'Mainstream' Economics Miseducates About Money and the Fed | Thomas DiLorenzo - YouTube: Presented by Thomas DiLorenzo at the Mises Circle at Furman University: "The Coming Currency Crisis and the Downfall of the Dollar," 13 November 2010.
More Unfair Criticism of President Obama | Power Line: Sure, it’s true: the economy wouldn’t get any better if Obama canceled his vacation. And, of course, all presidents take vacations and most play golf (just not this often). And tony shops on Martha’s Vineyard need business too. But is that going to stop us, or anyone else, from ridiculing Obama’s obliviousness? Of course not! Michael Ramirez piles on:
Warren Buffett’s Taxing the Rich Won't Solve Deficit, Says Tax Foundation | CNSnews.com: (CNSNews.com) – Taxing millionaires and billionaires more – a position advocated by billionaire Warren Buffett and President Barack Obama – won’t make much of a dent in the national debt or the record federal budget deficits, a new study finds.Of course, I haven't pointed this out before -- not to mention Buffett's dissembling. This is another RTWT of course.
“Even taking every last penny from every individual making more than $10 million per year would only reduce the nation's deficit by 12 percent and the debt by 2 percent,” the non-partisan Tax Foundation’s David Logan writes.
“There's simply not enough wealth in the community of the rich to erase this country's problems by waving some magic tax wand,” said Logan.
“Finally, to put everything in perspective, think about what would need to be done to erase the federal deficit this year: After everyone making more than $200,000/year has paid taxes, the IRS would need to take every single penny of disposable income they have left. Such an act would raise approximately $1.53 trillion,” reported the Tax Foundation.
Friday, August 19, 2011
“Freedom Dies With Each Paper Cut” - By Jonah Goldberg - The Corner - National Review Online: My dad is 67 and told the feds that he was out of farming due to this ridiculous bureaucracy and storm trooper treatment. Their arrogant reply, “well the law lets us inspect your land and homes one year after you have left farming, so you can’t keep us off your land next year either.”This of course elicits the old joke about the bureaucrat walking down the hallway at the Department of Agriculture and hears uncontrolled sobbing from another bureaucrat's office. He goes in and asks what's the matter? The sobbing bureaucrat heaves out with: "My farmer died!"
Lose a tobacco farm with Mexican labor, big deal right? We have many hundreds of thousands of dollars in tractors, equipment, and vehicles locally. We buy hundreds of thousands of dollars of seed, fertilizer, and pesticides locally. We have accountants and lawyers (sadly) and bull dozer operators and IT help and use carpenters and pest control and the roto rooter man. And we do have American citizens on the payroll.
The farmer that quizzed the President is absolutely correct. The federal government is now the enemy of farming. No one is going to want to do it when this generation retires, and it’s happening fast. Of five siblings, only one tries to farm and he is subject to the same treatment.
I’m not a pessimist, but I fear it is too late to save us. The regulatory monster has won. And even as we sleep, it grows in size, scope, and arrogance. Freedom dies with each paper cut.
Yes they are.
Krauthammer’s Take - By NRO Staff - The Corner - National Review Online: But choosing an exclusive enclave like the Vineyard after spending three days on the road railing against the rich and the wealthy and the millionaires and the billionaires and the corporate jet owners who vacation exactly in the same place — and then spending ten days in their company — speaks of a kind of dissonance or hypocrisy.I'm now more firmly convinced than ever he's an alien.
You know, the Vineyard doesn’t have any bridges to it. You either get there on a ferry in your Maserati, or on a jet or a helicopter. It’s not exactly where ordinary folks will take a vacation.
Did I say alien? I meant Martian.
2 Thessalonians 3 KJ21 - Finally brethren pray for us that the - Bible Gateway: For even when we were with you, this we commanded you: that if any would not work, neither should he eat.2 Thessalonians 3 KJ21
... Well, not in the liberal Bible. Only in the Bible Bible. Which is obviously somewhat different than the liberal Bible. Not that the liberal Bible is really a Bible. More like incoherent, innumerate and dangerous drivel.
Stephen Moore: Why Americans Hate Economics - WSJ.com: Mr. Carney explained that unemployment insurance "is one of the most direct ways to infuse money into the economy because people who are unemployed and obviously aren't earning a paycheck are going to spend the money that they get . . . and that creates growth and income for businesses that then lead them to making decisions about jobs—more hiring."Why not? Reality has already been banned. So how could you notice any resulting difficulties this would cause? You know, like mass starvation and death?
That's a perfect Keynesian answer, and also perfectly nonsensical. What the White House is telling us is that the more unemployed people we can pay for not working, the more people will work. Only someone with a Ph.D. in economics from an elite university would believe this.
I have two teenage sons. One worked all summer and the other sat on his duff. To stimulate the economy, the White House wants to take more money from the son who works and give it to the one who doesn't work. I can say with 100% certainty as a parent that in the Moore household this will lead to less work.
Economic bimboism is rampant in Washington. The Center for American Progress held a forum earlier this summer arguing that raising the minimum wage would create more jobs. For this to be true, you have to believe that the more it costs a business to hire a worker, the more workers companies will want to hire.
A few months ago Mr. Obama blamed high unemployment on businesses becoming "more efficient with a lot fewer workers," and he mentioned ATMs and airport kiosks. The Luddites are back raging against the machine. If Mr. Obama really wants to get to full employment, why not ban farm equipment?
By now you might have realized that this is not your average article on economics and maybe you should go read it...
Rick Perry And Texas Job Numbers « Political Math: That is not an argument I'm having at this exact moment. My point is to show that most of the "excuses" you will hear about Texas' job statistics are based in nothing more than a hope that Rick Perry had nothing to do with them and not on a sound understanding of the data.Heh.
My advice to anti-Perry advocates is this: Give up talking about Texas jobs. Texas is an incredible outlier among the states when it comes to jobs. Not only are they creating them, they're creating ones with higher wages.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
If Ordinary Americans Acted Like President Obama… | Power Line: Michael Ramirez imagines an American family that spent all of its money on credit cards. What to do next? Why, emulate President Obama:
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The Biden 'terrorist' story: How it came together - POLITICO.com Print View: Vice President Joe Biden’s comparison of tea party negotiators to terrorists during the debt-limit crisis is still causing headaches for the White House — and on the campaign trail — more than two weeks after POLITICO reported Biden’s comments from a closed-door Democratic meeting in the Capitol.Apparently so. And O Duce continues to lie about it...
President Barack Obama on Monday stood by the vice president’s denial, and then on Wednesday morning The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler in his Fact Checker column took a shot at POLITICO’s reporting, saying he was “dubious” that Biden actually made such remarks.
For the record, POLITICO stands by the story and has done so since the moment it was posted on our website. Furthermore, the vice president’s office has never asked for a correction or retraction despite follow-up denials by Biden himself.
Setting aside the idea that it’s virtually impossible for one media organization to fact-check another media outlet’s reporting on what a public official said behind closed doors when there’s no known recording or transcript, we thought it would be fair to pull back the curtain on our reporting process and explain how the story came together.
Articles: The Sleeping Giant Awakens: "I'm so sorry, sweetie. This is horrible. Justin didn't deserve to be treated this way, and his friends didn't need to see such brutality.
"But, Gail, it's not just happening in your small town, but it's happening all over the country, and it's getting worse every day. There have been random mob violence against white people in Iowa, Chicago, Atlanta, in Wisconsin, where dozens of white people were beaten up, even pulled out of their own cars."
"But why?" Gail asked me plaintively. "Why is this happening now?"
"It's Obama," I explained. "It's what I told you a few years ago. This is what happens when you put someone in power like Obama. Something spreads, like a virus. It's subtle; it's almost invisible. But it poisons one person, and then another and another, until soon the whole country is corrupted.
"It's a sickness called hatred, Gail. Most black people are good, law-abiding, moral people. Obama comes from a far-left fringe group of militants who hate America and want to drag us down. Those same people have degraded and exploited poor black kids for years. These radicals use them as their foot soldiers. Obama would never get his own hands dirty.
"I know these militants, Gail; I live among them. They hate America; they want to devolve us back into some primitive brute state. This is why things are getting worse and worse in this country: the economy, the Middle East, and hate crimes against whites."
After I finished, Gail was quiet for several seconds. Then she said, sounding heartbroken, "But he made so many promises. He seemed so nice."
"Yes, that's true, sweetie," I answered. "But people aren't always as they seem."
RealClearMarkets - Why Taxing the Rich Does Not Work: "Good news," the president tells the workers. "We are going to be spreading the wealth. We are raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires-like Reginald Bigbucks III-and we are going to spend the money to benefit the middle class, people like you."O. My. Lord. This is an excellent and short RTWT for the economically illiterate. Pretty much everyone in other words...
Joe raises his hand. "What do you mean?" he asks. "I mean, like, what is actually going to happen?"
Obama explains, "To pay my new taxes, Mr. Bigbucks is handing this factory over to the federal government. We are going to tear it down and sell it for scrap. Then we are going to use the money to extend unemployment benefits for another 99 weeks."
"Oh," Joe sighs. "Well, then, I guess that I'm going to be needing those unemployment benefits."
If the above example strikes you as fanciful, consider the following. To "tax" is to take away something from someone and give it to the government. "The rich" are rich because they own a lot of assets. So, what it means to "tax the rich" is to take assets away from rich people and transfer them to the government.
Churchill and the Welfare State | Power Line: While Churchill supported social insurance, he never favored social engineering, which has been the dominant impulse of the Left for a long time now. He never thought government planning could be smarter than the marketplace. In fact, as early as 1908 Churchill was warning against central planning in terms that anticipated Hayek’s famous critique of the “knowledge problem” 40 years later:Just so. And he twists the handle in O Duce at the end:I reject as impracticable the insane Socialist idea that we could have a system whereby the whole national production of the country, with all its infinite ramifications, should be organized and directed by a permanent official, however able, from some central office. The idea is not only impossible, but unthinkable. If it was even attempted it would produce a most terrible shrinkage and destruction of productive energy.Indeed, in 1929 Churchill contemplated writing a book on socialism to be called The Creed of Failure. He went as far as to outline the first five chapters, but abandoned the project when his publishers were unenthusiastic.
Moreover, Churchill was never a class war egalitarian. “The idea that a nation can tax itself into prosperity is one of the crudest delusions which has ever befuddled the human mind,” Churchill once remarked. Even more applicable, Churchill was an early supply-sider!
The point is, in no way can Churchill be gamed as a model for the Obamanauts or today’s welfare state. In fact, I’m glad Obama sent the Oval Office Churchill bust back to London. It would soil the memory of the great man if Obama kept it around.
Newsalert: Millionaires Vanish: The Data: LRC Blog from the Wall Street Journal.Maybe now it's dawning on you why Obama's trying to fool you into believing that he's going to get an extra $0.8T to $1T from taxing the rich each year to close the budget gap -- instead of getting an extra $100B per year for 10 years which is actually what he's talking about. Which is -- if we're lucky -- only 5-10% of just what we would need to close the deficits we are likely to run! It's only 5-6% of this year's deficit!
To bring in $1T a year -- which still would only be 2/3 of this year's deficit! -- you would need to confiscate ALL OF THE INCOME of those making over $1M per year. And for that to work you have to put them in chains so they don't flee the country and then you need to dictate how they manage their investments in terms of taking capital gains -- so there's still income to tax.
Look at that table again. The income of the "rich" is highly volatile and prone to disappearing in bad times. As are the "rich" themselves.
Even dictating how they take capital gains may not work -- what if they're sitting on a bunch of capital losses like everyone else? Maybe we will need to tax losses too? And the $30T of non-residential fixed assets (productive capital -- of which it takes $200K worth to support one job) of the country will somehow be maintained? By voodoo magic?
Who do you think has any savings to support the replenishment of the country's capital stock? Our spendthrift and brainwashed middle class? What's left of it?
So getting that $1T per year will require dropping the threshold for confiscatory taxation down to $200K or below and maybe ONLY taking 50-75% of their incomes.
Did I forget to mention this is a spending problem?
If you can't figure that out by now, please return to the asylum you escaped from.
Instapundit » Blog Archive » MILT WOLF: The Bad-Luck President: Mr. President, you didn’t run into bad luck. You created it…: MILT WOLF: The Bad-Luck President:RTWT. You think O Duce is a great thinker. I think Robert Heinlein and Thomas Sowell are great thinkers. I suspect it's an unbridgeable gap. Read the 4th paragraph...Mr. President, you didn’t run into bad luck. You created it.
Du'O, as they say...
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
How the Stimulus Racket Works - Charlie Virgo - Mises Daily: "Have you ever noticed that the failed policies of politicians never really seem to be brought to light? How is it that despite their obvious shortcomings, the same policies are implemented time and time again? These interventions rarely have the promised effects, but they are somehow still deemed a success. In his book The Vision of the Anointed, Thomas Sowell explains the process by which politicians and their supporters are able to either create or take advantage of crises in order to increase their involvement in society. I thought it would be worthwhile to review this pattern as it applies to a more recent issue: the stimulus and bailout packages.Not that they say freedom has failed or anything...
Starting with President Bush, and continuing into President Obama's term, the US government has paid out more than $11 trillion in stimulus money. Remarkably, there are many who believe that amount still wasn't sufficient. This article will show that both presidents believed the additional government intervention would solve our economic problems, not realizing that it was exactly that type of thinking that had led to the problems in the first place. The stimulus package has already passed through Dr. Sowell's pattern of failure, making it an excellent example for review."
» Fiscal Chart of the Day: Heritage Shows That Unprecedented Spending, Not Taxation, Is Our Real Problem - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion: "Besides, non-economist that I may be, I’m fairly certain that increasing taxes to make up for lost revenues in a recession violates the prescriptions of both Keynesian and supply-side economics. But I guess class warfare demagoguery can work as a political strategy even if it doesn’t work as an economic one.Speaking of Rx violations, I wrote a take-down of O Duce's tax brilliance here that also pointed that out.
The Obama administration’s profligate spending policies have jumped spending almost to 25% of GDP, and between the ObamaCare bomb and the Baby Boomer retirement entitlement bomb, the government’s share of the economy will continue grow to unmanageable levels. We have a long-term, policy-driven spending problem and a short-term, economically-driven revenue problem, and until President Obama and the Democrats get serious about the spending mess they’ve got us into, no amount of even-sounding talk is going to get us out of it."
Instapundit » Blog Archive » JOHN HAWKINS TWEETS: The WTC is still a hole in the ground, NASA doesn’t fly shuttles anymore, & we…: "JOHN HAWKINS TWEETS: The WTC is still a hole in the ground, NASA doesn’t fly shuttles anymore, & we lost our AAA rating. Reelect Obama! His work isn’t done yet!This post in honor of Ed Schultz. Who's better red than dead. Or something.
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 12:14 am"
Ballast | Power Line: "Many liberals believe that government policies have little impact on the economy. A number have expressed that view to me privately. They think that the private sector will produce wealth regardless of what happens in Washington, and the only question is how to split it up. I think that is what President Obama and his advisers believed when he took office. The country was in economic turmoil from which it inevitably would recover, as it always does. When it did, Obama would get the credit.This is really the way that liberals (don't) think. Orwell's observation that they live in a "bourgeois illusion bred of money and security" can't be repeated often enough...
In the meantime, the administration’s mantra was “never let a crisis go to waste.” Obama saw economic decline as an opportunity to pave the way for socialized medicine, to enact a near-trillion-dollar payoff to public sector unions in the guise of “stimulus,” and to extend the government’s control over various sectors of industry.
I think Obama and his advisers were genuinely surprised, not that their policies didn’t bring about economic recovery–they couldn’t have expected that–but that recovery didn’t happen of its own accord. That is why they are so nonplussed today."
Monday, August 15, 2011
Warren Buffett Stands to Gain from Higher Taxes on the Rich - Ricochet.com: "How noble and generous sounding -- that is, until you realize that Buffett has quite a lot to gain from higher taxes on the super rich. The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney unearths Buffett's suspect motives.I call bullsh*t. And that's because I've had a good day. Imagine if I hadn't...Buffett Profits from Taxes He SupportsLet's call a spade a spade: Warren Buffett, successful multi-billionaire that he is, is a lobbyist representing himself and his own monied interests. There's nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but let's not let liberals get away with this cunning charade of noblesse oblige when the full picture reveals that they have much to gain from their superficial 'generosity.'"
Buffett regularly lobbies for higher estate taxes. He also has repeatedly bought up family businesses forced to sell because the heirs’ death-tax bill exceeded the business’s liquid assets. He owns life insurance companies that rely on the death tax in order to sell their estate-planning businesses.
Buffett Profits from Government Spending
Buffett made about a billion dollars off of the Wall Street bailout by investing in Goldman Sachs on the assumption Uncle Sam would bail it out. He also is planning investments in ethanol giant ADM and government-contracting leviathan General Dynamics.
If your businesses’ revenue comes from the U.S. Treasury, of course you want more wealth.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Instapundit » Blog Archive » SO THE OTHER DAY I HAD A STORY ABOUT THE FBI TREATING “PREPPERS” AS POTENTIAL TERRORISTS, and then w…: "SO THE OTHER DAY I HAD A STORY ABOUT THE FBI TREATING “PREPPERS” AS POTENTIAL TERRORISTS, and then when I was in the car yesterday I heard a PSA from the Department of Homeland Security pitching . . . disaster preparedness via its Ready.gov site. So if you do what Homeland Security recommends, the FBI will wonder if you’re a terrorist. Sweet.You know you're living in a totalitarian state when the laws are such that no matter what you do, it's illegal.
This isn’t really that surprising — one part of the government telling you to do things that another part of the government regards with suspicion. Each department has its own agenda, and its connection to any sort of overall strategy is largely coincidental. Treat them with the deference that this fact deserves . . . .
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 8:10 am"
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Mark Steyn: Lessons for us from London in flames | london, want, book - Opinion - The Orange County Register: "The trick in this business is not to be right too early. A week ago I released my new book – the usual doom 'n' gloom stuff – and, just as the sensible prudent moderate chaps were about to dismiss it as hysterical and alarmist, Standard & Poor's went and downgraded the United States from its AAA rating for the first time in history. Obligingly enough they downgraded it to AA+, which happens to be the initials of my book: After America. Okay, there's not a lot of '+' in that, but you can't have everything.UPDATE: Ooof. You just simply cannot miss this:
But the news cycle moves on, and a day or two later, the news shows were filled with scenes of London ablaze, as gangs of feral youths trashed and looted their own neighborhoods. Several readers wrote to taunt me for not having anything to say on the London riots. As it happens, Chapter Five of my book is called 'The New Britannia: The Depraved City.' You have to get up pretty early in the morning to beat me to Western Civilization's descent into barbarism. Anyone who's read it will fully understand what's happening on the streets of London. The downgrade and the riots are part of the same story: Big Government debauches not only a nation's finances but its human capital, too."
I believe it is regarded as a sign of insanity to start quoting oneself, but at the risk of trying your patience I'll try one more, because it's the link between America's downgraded debt and Britain's downgraded citizenry:Can you now?
"The evil of such a system is not the waste of money but the waste of people."
Big Government means small citizens: it corrodes the integrity of a people, catastrophically. Within living memory, the city in flames on our TV screens every night governed a fifth of the Earth's surface and a quarter of its population. When you're imperialists on that scale, there are bound to be a few mishaps along the way. But nothing the British Empire did to its subject peoples has been as total and catastrophic as what a post-great Britain did to its own.
There are lessons for all of us there.
We The Free: Time For Atlas?: "In Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Rand called business, “America’s persecuted minority.” Though, as Rand once pointed out, businessmen are often enemies of capitalism because they seek government favor, much like companies seeking bailouts today.A reminder about what's plainly in front of your face that you cannot see...
With the rise of the group mentality and class warfare, the producers in our world today are castigated and blamed for the current economic downfall. Rand once said, “One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary.” That is exactly what we are seeing in today's societal and political rhetoric"
A Powerful Political Ad, Except for the Last 2 Seconds - Ricochet.com: "Gotta love the gloves-off approach."
Ray is on a roll:
The Obama Cult Disintegrates | rayharvey.org: "At the end of a century that has seen the evils of communism, Nazism and other modern tyrannies, the impulse to centralize power remains amazingly persistent — Joseph SobranIt's a RTWT of course. But since I suspect you're too much of weakling today to click your mouse, here's the ending:
The Cult of Obama is disintegrating before our very eyes, and fundamentally transforming America has not proven as easy as Barack Obama had once anticipated. Now, it’s only the True Believers and the uninformed who cling to him still.
True Believer and democratic strategist Drew Westen, a professor of psychology at Emory University in Atlanta, this past Sunday in the New York Times wrote that the American public has been “desperate for a leader who would speak with confidence, and they were ready to follow wherever the president led.”"
Because of America’s origins, the spirit that’s become engrained in the minds of so many Americans would rather the country were torn asunder than let a race-obsessed, intellectually weak, neo-marxist poseur succeed at fundamentally transforming it.Ray has cut to the quick O the cult, no?
It is, finally, important to note also that the principles of individualism, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which define the American spirit I speak of, are not, contrary to popular belief, anti-charity, coldhearted, or unkind. Just the opposite: America has been by far the most generous and charitable nation in human history, and for one very good reason: we could afford to be.
Or as the Iron Lady put it: "The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money."
I should note that Snopes claims that this isn't totally accurate as a Thatcher quote but admits that it is just a pithy expression of what she really said which was: "... I think they've made the biggest financial mess that any government's ever made in this country for a very long time, and Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite characteristic of them."
But unfortunately both she and Reagan had no idea what O cultic mess really looks like, did they? Graves, spinning and all that...
Instapundit » Blog Archive » MARK STEYN: Lessons For Us From London In Flames. “Big Government debauches not only a nation’s fi…: "MARK STEYN: Lessons For Us From London In Flames. “Big Government debauches not only a nation’s finances but its human capital, too. . . . While the British Treasury is busy writing checks to Amsterdam prostitutes, one-fifth of children are raised in homes in which no adult works – in which the weekday ritual of rising, dressing and leaving for gainful employment is entirely unknown. One-tenth of the adult population has done not a day’s work since Tony Blair took office on May 1, 1997.”
Plus this: “In Britain, everything is policed except crime.”
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 6:11 pm"
Speaking of guns:
Instapundit » Blog Archive » VIDEO: “Switzerland Is Crime Free, And It’s All Because Of Guns!”…: "VIDEO: “Switzerland Is Crime Free, And It’s All Because Of Guns!”
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 1:31 pm"
Instapundit: "UPDATE: Reader K.J. Tullis writes:As in "no they won't learn". That would mean giving up the only religion they have...Saw your link to the Pournelle article this morning, in which he discusses the outflow of companies and jobs from California to Texas. As someone who lives next door to Texas, might I suggest that the its good citizens will come to regret this strategy. The mess in California just didn’t happen, nor was it passively allowed to happen. It is the end result of a path actively endorsed by the majority of its inhabitants, many of whom are whining the loudest about the inevitable results, and in fact, are leaving for better climes.Perhaps they’ll learn.
When I was a kid, growing up in Southern California in the early 60′s, it was a very forward looking place. In school we learned about Fr. Serra and his fellow Franciscans showing up, building the missions, and bringing both Christianity and agriculture to the local peoples. This was viewed as a good thing. We were taken on field trips to the LA harbor and marveled at the manmade breakwater and the huge ships moving about. We learned about other great feats of engineering – the Colorado River Aqueduct, the freeways, and the airports. We learned about Signal Hill and how important oil production was to the state. It was a rich, prosperous, and ambitious place. Unfortunately, its wealth provided the slack resources sufficient to allow the citizens to embrace ideas that undermined this very wealth and its ultimate sources. Nowadays, Serra promoted genocide, the engineering feats have destroyed the environment, and the oil resources are a blight. The ideas and beliefs that have decimated California, are in fact, shared by huge swathes of the populace. In spite of their suffering in the world they helped create, when many of these business owners and workers move to other places they bring their dumb ideas with them. Trust me, they may be economic refugees, but they will be the first to start kvetching about the refineries down the road.
Posted at 8:02 am by Glenn Reynolds "
Moonbattery » Fast and Furious Traced to the White House: "Now we can add the White House to the mix, because during recent congressional hearings, the ATF’s Newell told Issa’s committee he “discussed the operation with the national security director for North America, Kevin O’Reilly.” The means of communication seems to have been an e-mail that was designed both to be kept private and to keep O’Reilly updated. But regardless of the method of communication, the fact is that a Fast and Furious update was sent to a White House official.Whew. Good thing that President's are sworn to uphold the Constitution and all. Otherwise they might end up trying to subvert it or something...
Of course, Obama says he knew nothing about either Gunwalker or Fast and Furious, although the President set aside $10 million for the operations in February 2009 via the stimulus package, and talked about “gun tracing” and “gun enforcement policies during a joint press conference in Mexico City with Mexico President Felipe Calderon in April 2009″ (which was the same month in which Holder gave a speech in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where he bragged of the implementation of Gunwalker)."
Friday, August 12, 2011
A Ten-Point Primer on Our Current Politics - By Victor Davis Hanson - The Corner - National Review Online: "Here is pretty much a roundup of the politics of our current malaise:RTWT. VDH is good. Very, very good...
1) The economy: Massive borrowing and record government debt have not led to a recovery from the recession primarily because we were unwilling to borrow and spend trillions more to put people back to work through government employment and subsidy.
2) The market: The president cannot be blamed for massive losses in the stock market in the manner that the president was blamed in September 2008 for massive losses in the stock market.
3) The debt crisis: An historic downgrade in U.S. creditworthiness by a rating agency worried over unsustainable national debt was really attributable to loud acrimony and political infighting over unsustainable debt.
4) The wars: The Bush legacy in Afghanistan is making it impossible to salvage that war; the Obama legacy in Iraq continues to ensure success. The less we know what is going on in Libya, the better. ..."
Who’s to Blame for the Downgrade? - By Andrew Stiles - The Corner - National Review Online: "I would simply suggest that those who mock the Tea Party, and Republicans in general, for wanting to avert this coming fiscal train-wreck, and who can look at a graph like this and nod approvingly when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) proclaims “We have a plan; it’s called Medicare,” are in no position to be pointing figures, and should think twice before calling anyone else “irrational” or “crazy.”"
James Pethokoukis | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters.com: "Now I don’t think Romney was making a legal argument about corporate personhood, which is well established concept in US law:Never mind that if a corporation can't charge enough for its products to end up with a net profit sufficient to sustain itself and attract continuing investment then it can't survive. By definition the gozintas have to be greater than the gozoutas. Taxes are just one more ingredient in the gozoutas that have to be covered by prices charged. It doesn't matter that taxes are ostensibly taken from the gross profit. Investors focus on net profitability. That's what their return is...In the United States, corporations were recognized as having rights to contract, and to have those contracts honored the same as contracts entered into by natural persons, in Dartmouth College v. Woodward, decided in 1819. In the 1886 case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394, the Supreme Court recognized that corporations were recognized as persons for purposes of the Fourteenth AmendmentRather, I am pretty sure he was trying to say that corporations are made up of people, but not in a Soylent Green sort of way. Rather they are comprised of workers generating goods and services for customers. And when you punish corporations, you punish workers and shareholders and customers. A few additional points:
1) Here an interesting bit from an OECD paper on taxes and economic growthCorporate taxes are found to be most harmful for growth, followed by personal income taxes, and then consumption taxes. …"