Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Freedom, History, Law, Politics, Regulation, Taxes, The United States | Tags: Freedom of Speech, The Bill of Rights, The Temptation towards Tyranny
The Democrats attempt to rewrite the Constitution and amend the First Amendment to curtail the rights of Americans to free political speech has died in the Senate. It needed 60 votes to advance. Free political speech is the very essence of liberty, and the envy of the world.
Fifty-four Senate Democrats actually voted to give Congress the power to “regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.” Think through what that would mean.
Some, such as Senator Bernie Sanders (S-VT) said the amendment would allow Democrats to enact more of their preferred legislation. Exactly. Democrats want to be completely in charge, without any interference from those pesky Republicans. They just want Republicans gone — so they can rule.
This bunch rejects 223 years of liberty and political freedom guaranteed by the Bill of Rights since it was ratified in 1791 — because they want their own way. No arguments. No questioning our policies. No criticism. No unpleasant speech. Can they win elections without cheating?
Somebody remarked that there used to be a “Sandinista wing” of the Democrat Party. Not anymore, it’s entirely Sandinista now.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2014, Freedom, History, Law, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Eliminate Republicans' Free Speech, Repeal the First Amendment, Winning is Everything!
Democrats don’t like the give and take of normal political disagreement. They don’t want to argue and discuss and give a little to get what they want. They want to win, to be in charge completely, and to bring an end to the Republican party entirely, and just have us go away. No dissension, no arguments. Just begone.
And they especially want to repeal the First Amendment by allowing Congress to prohibit or restrict participation in political campaigns. Democrats like to claim that this is simply reversing the effect of the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases. but the bill sponsored by Senator Tom Udall goes much further than that. This is a remarkably bad bill, favored by Harry Reid and most Senate Democrats.
Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on—
(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and
(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates. …
Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.
The states would be given similar powers to restrict participation in state elections.
Congress could thus set extremely low contribution and spending levels which would guarantee the re-election of incumbents. Could they set a high level for incumbents and a low level for challengers? Why not? Even the ACLU has come out in opposition. They pointed out some of the implications:
Congress could be allowed to restrict the publication of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s memoir “Hard Choices” were she to run for office.
Congress could criminalize a blog on the Huffington Post by the president of the League of Conservation Voters accusing Senator Marco Rubio of being a “climate change denier.”
A district attorney running for reelection could selectively prosecute political opponents using state campaign finance restrictions.
A state election agency, run by a corrupt patronage appointee, could use state law to limit speech by anti-corruption groups supporting reform.
In the absence of any real convictions, Democrats claim their real goal is “social justice.” but of course there is no such thing. There is just one kind of justice which is embodied in our laws and our courts. It has grown out of English Common Law, which in turn has grown out of decisions by judges and courts over the centuries.
Their real goal is winning. Being in charge. When they win elections, they can prosper from being part of the government and making laws the way they want to and directing the country — like offering everyone free health care, for example. That worked out well.
This is the general atmosphere in which Democrats are trying to gut the First Amendment to the Constitution. They just can’t handle all that freedom of political speech — especially when it comes from Republicans.
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Law, Regulation, Taxes | Tags: All The Wrong Policies, Ongoing Failure, The August Jobs Report
Didn’t we just hear Obama making a speech in which he extolled how well the economy is doing — that was in Minneapolis at the “laborfest,” in which he celebrated his “middle-out economics.” Over the past 53 months, he said, our businesses have created nearly 10 million new jobs, and in the last six months we have created more than 200,000 jobs each month.
But in August there were only 142,000 jobs, for the first time since January. Participation in the labor market was 62.8 percent, the worst since the 1970s.
Those who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks is high at 2.963,000 — 31.2 percent of all unemployed. Those who are working part-time when they would prefer to be working full time dropped a little to 7,277,000. If you add the under-employed to the unemployed, the broader unemployment rate is 12 percent.
This is a slow, sluggish recovery because of government action. Recessions are nothing unusual. There is a business cycle. When the signs turn positive businesses start to grow and expand and hire. The more things improve and the more they start making money, some enthusiasm is going to go too far. Over-expansion, a little greed, too much enthusiasm, and first thing you know there are some bankruptcies, and people get laid off, expansion plans are put on hold and a lot of marginal businesses go out of business.
We have a long record of recessions and recoveries and how they happen. Swift, short recessions happened because the administration clamped down hard on spending, cut the budget, cut taxes (especially on business) and eliminated unnecessary regulation.
The Obama administration believed that more money circulating in the economy (Keynesian economics) would somehow boost the economy just by moving around. (magical thinking, doesn’t work).
They believed the extra money circulating from government food stamps would somehow boost the economy, neglecting to notice that money came from the pockets of taxpayers. Obama invested enormous amounts of taxpayer money in solar energy and wind turbines, which observation of Spain’s disastrous history with renewable energy should have dissuaded him. And of course business had to be controlled more. Americans were getting fat, and Michelle had just the remedies — more regulation. The auto companies couldn’t be allowed to go through a normal bankruptcy, but required a special government effort.
The Keystone pipeline would have created 20,000 jobs right off the bat in pipeline building with thousands of spin-off jobs in servicing the project. The Greens objected, end of project.
But perhaps the most notable example of government stupidity was the Great Gibson Guitar Raid. On the vague possibility that the tiny bits of ebony or rosewood used for guitar frets might have been imported without proper papers, Gibson was raided with an armed Swat Team, business shut down, raw materials and finished guitars confiscated. Huge losses from inability to conduct business. Gibson had the necessary permissions from all the countries involved, but the feds weren’t about to be embarrassed. Do you think that businesses pondering whether to expand a little didn’t notice that? Or the Sacketts who were irrationally accused by the EPA of attempting to build a house on a “wetland” on an ordinary subdivision overlooking a lake? That’s regulation gone bat-excrement. Business put their plans on hold, waiting for a better business climate.
The left does not understand cutting taxes. They do not understand cutting regulation, because business must be controlled, or who knows what would happen? We have fairly large numbers of members of Congress who have never done anything else but government. Who believe firmly that good people do government and make nice benefits for the people, which will make the members of Congress feel good. Only bad people who are greedy work for private business, and they must be controlled. That’s where we are, and why.
As you have noticed, he’s not doing too well with foreign policy either.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, History, Law, Regulation, The United States | Tags: America Drops to 17th, Economic Freedom in the World, The Largest Reduction
The Fraser Institute, a British Columbia think tank in Vancouver, studies economic freedom in the world, and regularly ranks countries in order of the economic freedom they grant. Between 1980 and 2000, the United States has ranked third behind the two city states of Hong Kong and Singapore.
In the latest survey, the United States has fallen to 17th out of the 152 countries the Fraser Institute has surveyed. Seventeenth! The survey’s authors suggest the legal system of the U.S., protection of property rights, freedom of international trade and increasing regulations are stifling economic freedom in the United States. Worse, the US has tied Venezuela (which comes in dead last —152nd — for the largest reduction in economic freedom ratings.
The Fraser Institute study said “Unless policies undermining economic freedom are reversed, the future annual growth of the US economy will be half its historic average of 3%.”
The Top Ten Economically Free Countries Are:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- United Arab Emirates
Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain have tumbled down the rankings over the past thirty years. Switzerland fell to 4th from 2nd, but the U.S. decline from 3rd to 17th was one of the largest — except for Greece which fell from 33rd to 78th, Italy fell from 49th to 70th, and Luxembourg fell from 6th to 25th.
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom (from 17th up to 9th), have all markedly improved.
The Bottom Ten
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Central African Republic
- Republic of Congo
Countries formerly colonized by the United Kingdom have done better than countries colonized by other European colonial powers, which the authors attributed to the English common law system left behind by colonial administrators.
The English common law system provides for greater stability and protection under the law than French civil law. Under English common law legal changes occur as a result of precedents derived from judicial decisions rendered by judges. This leads to more gradual changes and greater constraint on the ability of political decision-makers to alter the law. No such check is present under civil law. Former English colonies had a higher mean per-capita income of $4,415 compared to others $3,725.
The object of the Left is always more control of the economy. And they just controlled us into the biggest drop, a tie with Venezuela, in the entire study. President Obama frequently remarks that excessive regulation has nothing to do with business. Nothing to see here, just move along. Of course over-regulation puts a damper on business, and on entrepreneurship. Who wants to start a new business when they don’t know what might be regulated next? There is a reason why so many businesses are sitting on hoards of cash. Business keeps telling the administration, and the administration keeps ignoring the problem. That’s what they are talking about when they speak of “the business climate.” High taxes and over-regulation adds up to a bad business climate.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Health Care, Immigration, Intelligence, Law, National Security, Politics, Progressivism, Russia, Terrorism | Tags: Another Fundraising Weekend, Anybody Minding the Store?, Telling Stories to the Unions
President Obama , back from vacation and the labor day holiday, remains — what? Uninvolved? Unconcerned? No, his primary concern is politics, which trumps lesser concerns like beheadings, invasions, genocides and other minor concerns. Funniest headline yesterday came from The Federalist: If You Are Not Using the Presidency, Do You Mind If We Borrow It? Obama’s is not an activist presidency, but a v e r y s l o w reactive presidency, after all other possibilities have been thoroughly exhausted, and maybe not even then.*
He ran for the job because he made a the keynote speech to the Democrat convention in 2004. He told the Democrats his (improved version) personal story and they loved it and cheered wildly, and he surely told himself that he was destined for such triumphs. And the speeches have worked for him. He has a great baritone voice (when he’s not complaining about Republicans or how hard he works), and the bits of folksy stuff, the dropped ‘g’s’ , calling everybody ‘folks,’ and using black preacher’s rhythms.
But now, he’s slipped into sheer demagogurey. Everything he has done has been successful, and the country would be made whole if it weren’t for those dastardly Republicans who keep spoiling everything.
Reminder: The 113th House of Representatives, has passed 297 bills, the previous 112th passed 301. The 113th Democrat Senate, under Majority Leader Harry Reid has passed 59 bills, the fewest number since 1972. Who is obstructing whom?
Obama did several fundraisers over the weekend, and spoke to the big Union Laborfest event in Milwaukee, which was much more ‘folksy’ that the fundraising speech. He told them he’d been coming to laborfest since 2008, and two weeks later “our financial system collapsed.” He said he doesn’t believe in “top-down economics” (whatever that is) he believes in bottom-up economics (redistribution, take away money from the wealthy and give it to the poor, and this accomplishes what?), and “middle-class out” economics, (whatever that is).
I placed a bet on you. I placed a bet on America’s workers. I put my money on American workers and the belief that our economy grows best when everybody has got a shot — when folks who are willing to work hard can get into the middle class and stay in the middle class. And I’ve come back to Laborfest to say that because of your hard work, because of what we’ve been through together, that bet is starting to pay off.
That is sheer gobbledygook. He goes on to take credit for the energy boom, credit for our leadership in worldwide energy production. He takes credit for our wonderful economy and our economic recovery. And he did all this wonderfulness by getting every inch of progress working against a “lockstep opposition that is opposed to everything we do.” This same weekend, a noted Keynesian economist said that we’re really in a depression.
Median household income is down by more than $2,000 in real terms since Obama has moved into the Oval Office, and dropped $1,600 since the recession formally ended 6 months later. Labor force participation has fallen by 3 percentage points, an added 7 million workers who are not even looking for work. “This is half the normal pace of recovery, and the weakest rebound since the Great Depression. “And Obama has added $7 trillion to the national debt, with little to show for it, unless you count 46 million Americans on food stamps as an accomplishment.”
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has slashed its predictions for American economic growth in 2014. They forecast that the U.S. economy will grow by just 1.5 percent in 1014. That’s undermined by a poor performance during the first three months of the year. But that, of course, was blamed on the snow. Well, this is expected to be an even colder winter than last year.
President Obama seems to live in a fantasy world of his own concoction, or perhaps Valerie Jarrett’s. Everything’s fine except for the obstruction of the Republicans who won’t let him do anything important, which is why politics trumps national security, government transparency, immigration, failing government departments, whatever, and leaves him free to spend more time on the golf course. An increasingly desperate time for America.
ADDENDUM: *The Elephant pointed out that I said Obama was not an activist president and correctly objected as he is very activist in pursuing his America changing agenda. He’s right. I was thinking, and writing, entirely in terms of national security and foreign policy where Obama apparently doesn’t want to be involved at all. My bad.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Economy, Foreign Policy, Health Care, Immigration, Law, Liberalism, National Security, Progressivism, Regulation | Tags: A Pew Research Center Survey, Democrats' Concerns, Partisan Differences
This new poll from the Pew Research Center is interesting. I guess you could sum it up by saying that Republicans are bigger worriers than Democrats — or possibly that Democrats are clueless about what is going on in the world. I wonder where Obama would rank on this survey?
We have a broad array of strategies, which the Pentagon produces, ready for any exigency. This is not a time when we should be cutting our military to the bone. I think every person on the right, seeing that long column of ISIS thugs with their flags and guns, wondered where the A-10s were. Designed for just such an occasion, they are old and retired by Obama. I suspect the reason for cutting the military so drastically is more about punishing Republicans who do care about the services and military preparedness, than about a serious look at our real needs.
Republicans, I believe, are far more accepting of human nature and its flaws, and recognize ever-present evil when it breaks out once again. They know we will make mistakes, but accept that in the effort, and will try to do better next time.
Democrats have no real understanding of human nature at all, and assume that it can be fixed by wise people in government with the right mixture of regulations and laws. They used to believe in a Utopian future, but at present they don’t get much beyond the battle to be in control. Once they are running everything, it will take some time to get everybody in line, but once that is accomplished they can work on the glorious future, which they haven’t figured out yet.
There is no limit to the effort, money, legal challenges, fraud and lies they will expend in the effort to win — to be in control. See the feverish attempts to destroy potential Republican candidates like Rick Perry and Scott Walker with bizarre lawsuits that might tie them up in court, and provide useful material for future opposition commercials. Leave no stone unturned.
There is a lot of information (and speculation) in this survey. I’d like to see more on the differences between the parties, which is greater than I have ever known it to be. The Left has shifted far to the left. Leftists claim that Republicans have shifted to the right, but they are trying to demonize Tea Party members as raving, drooling extremists instead of your next-door neighbors who have, as a result of — oh, the stimulus, the growth of government, ObamaCare and a couple hundred other extra-legal moves by the Obama administration become interested in and concerned about politics for the first time in their lives.