Filed under: Intelligence, Liberalism, National Security, News of the Weird, Terrorism | Tags: Carbon Tax, New York Times Columnist, Thomas Friedman
Thomas Friedman of the New York Times
(h/t: American Digest)
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Media Bias, Energy, Democrat Corruption, Capitalism, Statism, Regulation | Tags: Excessive Regulation, Higher Electricity Costs, Everything Costs More
America is is the midst of an energy boom. Fracking technology has released abundant oil and gas stored in shale deposits. The amazing paradox of the domestic fossil-fuels boom has been overwhelming destructive federal government policy. The U.S.Oil boom driven by private investment and ingenuity has transformed North American oil markets. The International Energy Agency estimates that America will surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producers by 2015.
Oddly, in the midst of an energy boom, U.S. electricity prices have skyrocketed to new highs. This paradox is not a result of the free market, but of runaway “green” regulation by the government. In November, the BLS Electricity Price Index hit 202.284, an all-time record high nearly 20% higher than just six years ago. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2008 the U.S. produced 2.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Today, it’s 12.3 billion cubic feet and growing fast. But as energy booms, electricity prices are going up as well.
What is at work here is the green movement’s moral beliefs about what kinds of energy are “good.” Wind and solar power, which are “morally pure” cannot exist without generous governmental (taxpayer) subsidy. Wind and sunshine are of course free, but as producers of electricity, very expensive. The wind is intermittent and must be backed up 24/7 by conventional power, and the wind may not blow for days at a time. The sun goes down at night, and only shines in the day when the clouds don’t cover it. Trust me, I live in the Seattle area. We call the occasional appearances of the sun “sun-breaks.”
Electricity is now one of the most regulated goods in the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency has sweeping powers to regulate CO2 — a power not found anywhere in the Constitution, electricity has become even more expensive, and will get more so. The EPA’s new rules, put in place to pander to the environmental movement will remove 34,705 megawatts of coal-based energy capacity off the market. This will increase electricity prices and the cost of everything where electricity is used.
This is a de facto ban on all new coal-fired power plants in spite of the fact that coal produces a third of all electricity in the country due to its cheap coast and plentiful supply. Despite the fact that CO2 levels are falling in the U.S., not rising, and despite the fact that the earth is cooling, not warming, as it has been for the last 17 years.
The demonization of coal and other fossil fuels means that utilities must shut coal-fired plants, and replace them with more costly energy sources like wind and solar. This is an enormous hidden energy tax, levied on every individual and every business — killing jobs and adding to the unemployment rolls.
Chicago political rules mean you must reward your financial supporters. The environmental movement is flush with money, wind and solar are awash with crony capitalism, and besides, the cost of higher electric bills will be borne by taxpayers.
Of course higher electricity bills on top of higher grocery bills, higher cost health insurance and higher cost of medical care may seem unreasonable. When confronted with a problem, Democrats first reaction is to make a law, to regulate. But that’s where the whole problem came from in the first place — excessive regulation.
Ironically, the very success of economic and political freedom reduced its appeal to later thinkers. The narrowly limited government of the late nineteenth century possessed little concentrated power that endangered the ordinary man. The other side of the coin was that it possessed little power that would enable good people to do good. And in an imperfect world there were still many evils. Indeed, the very progress of society made the residual evils seem all the more objectionable. As always people took the favorable developments for granted. They forgot the danger to freedom from a strong government. Instead, they were attracted by the good that a stronger government could achieve — if only government power were in the “right” hands.
…………………Milton and Rose Friedman: Free to Choose
Filed under: Politics, Education, Economy, Media Bias, Health Care, Energy, Capitalism, Regulation | Tags: "Do-Nothing Congress", The American Dream, The Yearly Summing-Up
I always hate the week between Christmas and New Years. The Media does the “Great Summing Up.” Lists and rankings, best and worst, biggest news stories, best photos, most notable deaths, the best books, the worst books, the funniest cartoons and the best and worst movies. These are not exactly think pieces.
The American Dream is dying, or dead. Things are really bad and only getting worse. The Least Productive Congress in History? The Do-Nothing Congress has been good for America, and if they pass few new laws, we can breathe slightly more easily. Congress passed just 70 laws, which may be too many. But Obama and Congressional Democrats planned an array of Big Government initiatives — gun control, immigration reform, a higher minimum wage, more job creation, infrastructure (again!), climate change, and education, to name only a few. Congress ended the year with none of those initiatives signed into law. And we are far better for it. No major tax hike, and the probability of a major tax hike in the next year has fallen.
Congress’ approval rating fell to a new low in a November Gallup poll at 9%, and 72% of Americans agreed that “big government” was the nation’s Number One threat. That is an encouraging opinion.
It used to be that a limited government with only modest aims was the guiding principle of nearly every Congressman. Until some sanity is restored to Congress, gridlock may be the best thing we can hope for. A year spent thoughtfully repealing useless laws, wretched excess, and governmental duplication would do us a world of good.
Markets have been encouraged by governmental inaction. Businessmen are not quite so frightened about what government might do next. In 2013, the growth oriented NASDAQ has surged 40%. Markets look six months to a year on down the road.
The EPA is facing real questions about just what ‘science’ they are relying on in their push for power and control. They are backing off their attempt to require 15% corn ethanol in gasoline, which will save many cars and all sorts of small engines. Inaction from the EPA would be a real boon to the economy.
The Democratic majority is running scared from the ObamaCare disaster and its potential influence on the 2014 election. The President is not going to win back the approval of the American people easily. The economy might survive after all. Let’s hear it for gridlock, and root for another do-nothing year in the nation’s capitol.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2012, Liberalism, Media Bias, Politics | Tags: A Pattern of Lies, The Chicago Way, Winning is Everything!
The Obama administration has faked the census numbers that are used to compile unemployment statistics, in the period before the 2012 election.
In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.
The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.
Granted, these numbers are careful estimates, but the figures are used by economists, financial institutions, hedge funds, state/private pension funds, and other governments base policy, predictions, expectations and invest real dollars based on those numbers. It is, as Joe Biden would say, a big #*!# deal! A knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond one employee, and escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012, and continues today.
Headline: 23 Million Unemployed is Not a Recovering Economy!, 10/7/2012
The labor participation rate is down to 1981 levels. Of the 114,000 new jobs last month, only 104,000 were in the private economy. The number that had a lot of people suspicious was the giant 873,000 leap in employment as measured by “the household survey.” That’s the biggest one-month increase in nearly 30 years, which does deserve an explanation. …
A lot of knowledgeable people were wondering if the Obama administration was, um, cooking the books. Robert Gibbs, former press secretary, appeared on the Sunday shows to say he was ‘shocked, shocked, that anyone would think that the administration manipulated the numbers. And yes, it is shocking that anyone would think that, but that is the kind of suspicion that this president’s lawlessness and executive orders and presidential proclamations have led us to.
Other things going on in October 2012: “The White House has moved to prevent defense and other government contractors from issuing mass layoff notices in anticipation of sequestration, notices which they must, according to law, send to workers deemed reasonably be likely to lose their jobs sixty days before they will be let go. The White House wants defense contractors to keep the layoffs secret and the contracting agencies would cover any potential litigation costs or employee compensation costs that could follow. The spending cuts would take effect January 2, 2013—$109 billion.”
And there was this one: Obama Economy Fashion Statement 10/7/2012, which I rather liked. There was also Benghazi, Obama performed horribly in a debate, and the Democrats interviewed the man who picked up the garbage from the Romney’s La Jolla house, and the CBO reported another $1 trillion+ deficit for 2012. Military Times reported a concerted effort to keep military votes from being counted or even received. “Mr Obama claims we are adding jobs every month, but for every person added to the labor force, ten drop out. That is not progress.
It would seem that promises of “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” and “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” are not an isolated aberration, but a longstanding pattern of lies. What is important for Liberals is winning, and you do what is necessary to make that happen. For the man who was elected to the Senate on the basis of miraculously having “sealed” divorce records opened for public perusal, it’s just what we should have expected.
October 12, 2012: Jack Welch, famed former CEO of General Electric provoked outrage when he suggested that the White House had manipulated September job numbers for political gains. Chris Matthews was simply beside himself. But Jack Welch was right!
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2014, Health Care, Media Bias, Politics | Tags: Changing Opinion, Insurance v. Health Care, Non-Governmental Health Care
Well, finally, the American people are sitting up and taking notice of the health care debacle. ObamaCare not only dominates the news cycle, but all the late night comics are trying to outdo each other in making fun of the website disaster and cancellations of everyone’s insurance. When you have lost Country Music and college football fans, you are in trouble.
So now what? A majority of voters say the federal government shouldn’t be involved in the business of healthcare according to a Gallup survey released on Monday.
The poll found that 56 percent say making sure people have health insurance shouldn’t be a government responsibility, against 42 percent who say that it should be. Those who say the government doesn’t have a responsibility to guarantee citizens have healthcare has reached the highest point ever among Democrats and Independents.
A record 30 percent of Democrats say the government shouldn’t be involved in healthcare, and 55 percent of independents now say the same. For Republicans, those against stand at 86 percent, down from 88 percent in 2012.
The post from Gallup was not clear about whether they distinguished clearly between government provided health care and government provided health care insurance. This is a distinction that has really confused most commentary.
ObamaCare is health insurance, but dips far into who you can see, what treatment you may have, what medicines you can take, and where you can go for care. They have chosen to offer a large array of (unnecessary) services—many that should not be paid for by insurance— but that add enormous cost to the insurance. The high cost must be offset by greater control of remuneration for doctors and suppliers, but control was what they were after in the first place.
What terrifies me is the possibility that they will try to “fix” ObamaCare. What we most need is to get government completely out of the health care business. They are no good at it.
Democrats expected to have to “fix” ObamaCare, and the improvement would be more control. Doctors would become government employees. the hated insurance companies would be ended and we would arrive at their long-desired single-payer, government-run care that other countries are trying to figure out how to escape.
Here’s an example of the turn of opinion, and the slow death spiral of ObamaCare from Saturday Night Live.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Health Care, Humor, Media Bias, Politics
The Obama enamored media has struggled mightily to avoid acknowledging clearly that Barack Obama’s central selling-point —”If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” was a straightforward fraud intended to deceive. A New York Times editorial last week said it this way:
Congressional Republicans have stoked consumer fears and confusion with charges that the health care reform law is causing insurers to cancel existing policies and will force many people to pay substantially higher premiums next year for coverage they don’t want. That, they say, violates President Obama’s pledge that if you like the insurance you have, you can keep it.
Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that. By law, insurers cannot continue to sell policies that don’t provide the minimum benefits and consumer protections required as of next year. So they’ve sent cancellation notices to hundreds of thousands of people who hold these substandard policies.
On the news side they settled for the term “incorrect promise”while reporting that “hundreds of thousands of people have received cancellation notices:”
The split between lawmakers and the White House reflects the dilemma the president finds himself in as he seeks to follow through on last week’s acknowledgment about his incorrect promise on health care coverage. Hundreds of thousands of people have received cancellation notices from health insurance companies because their plans do not conform with minimum standards set by the new law.
You will notice that in each case they refer to that insurance policy you liked as a “substandard policy,” on the editorial side and “plans that do not conform with minimum standards” on the news side.
The new “minimum standards” are fat, bloated policies that could only be constructed by people who have no understanding of insurance and its purpose. Every benefit added has a cost, and that is the reason why your auto insurance doesn’t guarantee new tires and a regular change of windshield wipers. You can take care of that yourself.
Laughter is the best medicine. The Democrat/Media Complex can come up with all sorts of euphemisms, but at some point their attempts become absurd.
Filed under: Politics, Domestic Policy, Health Care, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Democrat Corruption, Election 2014 | Tags: The So-Called Health Care Summit, January 2012, Obama's Sales Pitch
The lies of Obama’s Obamacare sales pitch were fraudulent from the beginning. Over the past three weeks we have seen it clearly demonstrated that Obama’s promises about ObamaCare didn’t hold water. Here are Obama and Eric Cantor, addressing the issue in January 2010, at the so-called health care summit that Obama staged for Republicans.
As usual, Mr. Obama draws analogies that are unrelated, and asserts that people will find the policies in the exchanges better. That is clearly completely false. Monthly payments are doubling and tripling, deductibles are far higher. People will lose their doctors, they may be sent to hospitals other than the most convenient. There will be far fewer choices, and far less portability.
John Nolte, over at Brietbart, has provided a transcript of the relevant part.
CANTOR: …Because I don’t think you can answer the question in the positive to say that people will be able to maintain their coverage, people will be able to see the doctors they want, in the kind of bill that you are proposing.
OBAMA: Since you asked me a question, let me respond. The 8 to 9 million people you refer to that might have to change their coverage — keep in mind out of the 300 million Americans that we are talking about — would be folks who the CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, estimates would find the deal in the exchange better — would be a better deal. So, yes, they would change coverage because they got more choice and competition.
Remember that this is January of 2010. He’s still using the same sales pitch, which is designed to please, not to be truthful. If he had told the truth, the bill would never have passed. It’s just a cold-blooded lie, wrecking American health care for his personal political preferences.
Filed under: History, Humor, Media Bias, Politics | Tags: Bill and Hillary?, Gullibility and Kid Gloves, The Meaning of "Is"
New MSNBC host Ronan Farrow actually said on Tuesday’s The Cycle: “They represent a style of honesty that the Public craves right now.”
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Freedom, History, Media Bias, Politics, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Bias and Prejudice, Democrat Propaganda, Obama's Unbelievable Excuses
President Obama’s claim of being unaware of any problems until after they have happened is wearing thin even with Liberal stalwarts in the media. There are limits beyond which belief falters. The list is too long. Familiarity with the operations of the White House. Experience with many presidents. Most media personalities are familiar with the demands of the profession of journalism and the hopes and dreams they had when they chose the profession. The White House spin is not working.
Democrats are still searching for excuses, currently about the expense of the failed website construction, and whether we can get our money back.
We talk a lot about how divided the two parties are. Democrats currently talk a lot about how divided the Republicans are. The first is undeniable, the latter isn’t really true. Republicans do not march in lockstep. They are a big opinionated party that disagrees about particular issues, about strategy, and about their own members. They may argue about basic principle but they agree on it in the end. Democrats don’t do principle.
Or perhaps I should say Progressives don’t do principle. They have said so. They don’t have principles, they have projects and react to issues as they come up. They don’t understand principles. They do talking points. Republicans say Democrats are the party of Big Government, but that is not one of their principles. It’s just common knowledge that wise people in government can do a better job of ordering the affairs of man than can the hoi-polloi out there. You have perhaps noticed the contempt that people in government offices have for the ordinary citizens.
They’re not quite sure what the desired end-point is, for some it was one-world government and all the “philanthropies” changed their names to “non-governmental organizations’ (NGOs) so they would be treated with importance at the UN, but general faith in the UN as a body is diminishing — with reason. Global Warming was going to be a global government thing, but the science isn’t working. It’s always a semi-demi-utopian bright shining vision off in the future that if they just succeed in winning, and getting rid of Republican dissent permanently — will be wonderful.
So that’s their goal. They need to “win.” To be in charge. For many, politics has been their whole life. That wasn’t quite what the Founders intended. They envisioned people who would leave their occupation for a brief time to take part in governance, but that was probably unlikely at any time.
The Democrat Party had its origins in the administration of Andrew Jackson, important general, major slaveholder, Indian fighter, which morphed into the party of slaveholders and the South. They were a large part of the Confederacy, but many Confederates fought for their states, not for slaveholding. They were the party of the Ku Klux Klan, opponents of reconstruction and the civil rights laws that were passed in the years after the Civil War until the present. They have tried to shuck the taint of slavery, and struggled to twist history into somehow blaming Republicans for slavery. They know that is a fraud, but it leaves them ultra sensitive on the issue and they make a major effort to find “code words” in things Republicans say, They pull odd little stunts to show how “racist” Republicans are.
Perhaps you recall when House Democrats marched across the front of the capitol building to the Senate through a crowd of protestors,( were they Tea Party protestors?), and claimed that the protestors hurled ‘N’ word insults at the black members of the House. Didn’t work in the age of iPhones, Andrew Breitbart offered a huge financial prize to anyone who captured such language. No one heard it. They have sent fraudulent actors to appear carrying racist signs among Tea Party people at a demonstration. And the picture of a man carrying a rifle over his shoulder was shown all over national television and the internet until an un-cropped picture turned up to show that the man was just another black Tea Party member. Someone turned up at the Veterans protest during the Park Service shutdown carrying a Confederate Battle flag, and they haven’t identified him yet, but you can be sure that it was a Democrat. Republicans just don’t think that way.
I have never had any interest in the “first black president” thing, nor, as far as that goes in the “first woman” to be anything. I understand how meaningful the “first black president” has been to black Americans, but I just don’t think that way. I’m interested in policy, experience, competence, management and yes, principle. And as far as I can tell so are most Republicans.
Supposedly the Democrats are the party of helping poor black Americans, but their record of doing so is entirely in the welfare field. They are vicious in their hate for Black Americans who have spectacularly succeeded in life and have become Republicans. Dr. Ben Carson, Justice Clarence Thomas, Economist Thomas Sowell, Economist Walter Williams. Succeeding while black is acceptable, succeeding while black and Republican is definitely not. Here are some ordinary examples of Liberal Intolerance:
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Freedom, History, Media Bias, Politics, The United States
Negotiation is hard, depending on how far apart the parties are on their beliefs. Add in the political ploys designed to give the media talking points and to sway public opinion. Add in the extent to which the parties represent their policies and view of history truthfully, and you end up somewhere like where we currently are.
It is all summed up quite well in Thomas Sowell’s 1987 book A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles, which in turn looks back to Adam Smith’s 1759 Theory of Moral Sentiments and William Godwin’s 1793 Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. Sowell calls these the constrained vision and the unconstrained vision. Adam Smith saw the natural flaws of man as simple human nature and inherent facts of life. The fundamental moral and social challenge was to make the best of the possibilities within that constraint, rather than dissipate energy in trying to change human nature. Smith attempted to determine how the moral and social benefits desired could be produced within those constraints. Smith’s answer was Incentives such as devotion to moral principles, concepts of honor, really an economic answer — a set of trade-offs rather than a real solution of actually changing man. The constrained vision accepts human nature as a given, and unchangeable.
Godwin believed the intention to benefit others was the essence of virtue, and virtue was the road to human happiness. Man was capable of directly feeling other people’s needs as more important than his own. Man’s current egocentric behavior did not mean that it was a permanent feature of human nature that was promoted by the very system of rewards used to cope with it. Godwin was not concerned with the immediately effective incentive under the current state of things. The real goal was the long-run development of a higher sense of social duty. The potential is quite different from the actual, and means for improvement can be discovered or developed. In other words imperfect man was perfectible. The unconstrained vision looks for solutions that will change human nature.
The key insight from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations: If an exchange between two parties is voluntary it will not take place unless both believe they will benefit from it. Most economic fallacies derive from the neglect of this simple insight, from the tendency to assume that that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another. Milton Friedman
From Breitbart: “According to John Podesta, founder of the Center for American Progress and former Chief of Staff to President Clinton, President Obama told him that he would never again bargain with Republicans to extend the debt limit. Podesta said that the 2011 Budget Control Act, which ended the debt ceiling debate two years ago, “sent a signal that this was fair game to blackmail over whether the country would default. He feels like he has to end it and end it forever.”
“Obama has taken a no-negotiations stance on the debt ceiling debate, sending the true signal to the market that he is willing to default on debt if Republicans do not fund the government in accordance with his wishes. Podesta said that Obama will “be viewed as a guy who you can hold up” if he gives any concessions at all on the debt ceiling.
“The stock market has rallied around the notion that the debt ceiling debate will come to a conclusion before the United States defaults. That’s largely because Republicans are signaling that they want to extend the debt ceiling. “Mr. President, let’s sit down and talk,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said. “Let’s reach consensus and end the ‘my way or the highway ‘ attitude once and for all.” …Obama takes solace in the fact that Republicans are being blamed more than Democrats for the current impasse, thanks largely in part to media coverage.”
The problem is that Republicans and Democrats are not speaking the same language, and each side is bargaining from a viewpoint the other side does not understand. Republicans are deeply concerned about the amount of debt Obama has run up — not because it’s Obama’s debt, but because it is too much debt and is doing damage to the country. Obama, a believer in Keynesian economics, believes that spending is necessary to help the country recover, and the reason that stimulus hasn’t worked enough to restore the economy is because the stimulus wasn’t big enough. Republicans believe that much of Obama’s spending has actually increased the numbers of the unemployed and overregulation has cost thousands of jobs.
Obama said in his weekly sermon:
It’s a positive development that House Republicans have agreed on the need to avoid the economic consequences of not meeting our country’s commitments. Because once the debt ceiling is raised, and the shutdown is over, there’s a lot we can accomplish together. We’ve created seven and a half million new jobs in the past three and a half years.
Now let’s create more. We’ve cut our deficits in half over the past four years. Now let’s do it in a smarter, balanced way that lets us afford to invest in the things we need to grow. The truth is, there’s a lot we can agree on.
The other thing Obama said was to blame Republicans for — practically everything — in every other sentence. “flirt with a first-ever default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season.”"the pain of this Republican shutdown.” “Manufacturing crisis to extract massive concessions,” ” A political party is risking default for the first time since the 1700s. This is not normal.”"constant brinkmanship.” “It saps everyone’s faith in our extraordinary system of self-government.” “Politics is a battle of ideas, but you advance those ideas through elections and legislation — not extortion.”
The president has a bigger microphone, and it is echoed by a compliant media. Polls do blame Republicans more, but do the polls mean anything? Obama has gone way too far in his righteous indignation. He has threatened the markets, taking the Dow Jones down. Retailers have taken a real hit. He has hinted that Social Security checks might not go out. (Is he ready to admit that there is no trust fund?) And he has no concern whatsoever about whether his words are true, and all too frequently they are not.
So you have a “negotiation” where neither party understands where the other side is coming from, they do not mean the same thing by their words, and they have different ideas about their personal responsibilities to the country. What could possibly go wrong?