Archives for September 2011
If there was any question that the man appointed this week by President Barack Obama to serve as his chief economic adviser, is just another corporatist looking to stick taxpayers with a hefty bill, check out these comments Alan Krueger made hailing TARP as a success of our legislative system:
Tim Carney explains why Krueger is bad news:
Tim Geithner’s deputy, Alan Krueger, is a fitting pick to lead President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers — which is to say he believes in the same noxious collusion of Big Business and Big Government that has dominated the Obama administration’s economic policy.
The Wall Street bailout, cash for clunkers, the stimulus, subsidized municipal bonds, an infrastructure bank: Anytime you find the big business lobby rallying behind a proposed expansion of federal spending, you’re likely to find Krueger’s fingerprints, or at least the sound of his hands clapping.
Krueger’s pet policy at Treasury, a convoluted program called Build America Bonds, amounted to a taxpayer subsidy for big banks and other corporate giants that increased public indebtedness. In other words, typical Obamanomics.
Like I noted a few days ago, Krueger is just more of the same from the Obama Administration. And that’s why all this talk about job creation is a joke since it will be the same policies that they’ve been pushing for nearly three.
Here’s a lesson for my friends on the left. Grab a pencil and take notes please, because this is important. Contrary to what someone like Rep. Andre Carson and his staff claim, opposition to a policy that benefits a minority does not mean that someone opposes those minority groups. I’ll say it again, opposition to a policy that benefits a minority does not mean that someone opposes those minority groups.
Rep. Carson recently compared Tea Party activists to violent racists when he said, in a video that Glenn Beck got hold of:
“Some of these folks in Congress would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me … hanging on a tree,” Carson said, according to the audio.On Wednesday, Carson told CNN he stood by those remarks.
“Well, I wasn’t talking about the entire tea party. I think the tea party is absolutely right when they call for increased transparency in government, when they call for a cutback on excessive government spending. I am deeply concerned about some elements of the tea party who are extremist and who have reflected a mentality going back to the John Birch society, going back to George Wallace’s Dixiecrats,” Carson said.
Then there’s this from a Carson aide, trying to clarify where the Representative was coming from:
A group supporting Michele Bachmann, who is struggling to remain relevent in the race for the Republican nomination for president, has purchased airtime in South Carolina for an attack ad against Rick Perry, who holds a substantial lead in the state:
Criticisms against Perry on spending and taxes have merit. I understand that the tea party is seemingly in love with him, Perry isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. Those issues will no doubt be fleshed out during the course of the race, but it’s clear that most view Perry as the most electable conservative in the race.
But on the other hand, Bachmann is sort of an oddball that doesn’t seem to understand that our defense spending is just as unsustainable as our entitlements. Despite her attempts to gain a larger base of support, Bachmann’s appeal will always remain limited.
As Mitt Romney tries to do more to appeal to the tea party movement, a sizeable and influential voting bloc looking to make its mark on the Republican primary, FreedomWorks is putting a target on his back:
A top tea party organizing group, FreedomWorks, is planning to protest Mitt Romney’s appearance this weekend at a New Hampshire stop of a bus tour intended to encourage tea party sympathizers to participate in the Republican presidential nominating process.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is among the leading candidates for the GOP presidential nomination but is viewed warily by tea party activists, who believe him to be insufficiently conservative and particularly blame him for the Massachusetts state health care overhaul he signed into law.
And Romney, for his part, hasn’t focused much energy on appealing to the movement. So it attracted considerable attention — both within the tea party and among the GOP operative class — when it was announced Tuesday that he intended to speak at a Sunday evening rally being staged by the Tea Party Express in Concord, N.H., as part of a cross country bus tour set to culminate in Tampa, Fla., ahead of a Sept. 12 GOP presidential debate co-sponsored by the Tea Party Express and CNN.
FreedomWorks, which had been participating in the Tea Party Express’s tour and had helped turn out activists at rallies during prior stops, decided it could no longer be affiliated with the tour, said Brendan Steinhauser, a lead organizer for FreedomWorks.
The jobs report for the month of August was released just a few minutes ago by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The news isn’t encouraging:
The US economy created no jobs and the unemployment rate held steadily higher at 9.1 percent in August, fueling concerns that the US is heading for another recession.
It was the first time since World War II that the economy had a net zero jobs created for a month.
Economists had been expecting the report to show a net of 75,000 jobs created, an unusually low number considering the US is technically more than two years removed from the end of the last crisis.
Keep in mind that the employers need to produce around 130,000 jobs just to keep up with population growth, so even the estimates for this month were anemic. The silver lining is, as noted, the unemployment rate didn’t go up.
The report puts even more pressure on President Barack Obama to deliver a strong proposal to Congress to encourage job creation, especially after his stunt of trying to upstage the GOP presidential debate. Odd are, however, that he’ll resort to the same policies that have held the economy back.
It’s been supposed by many that, just perhaps, Gibson Guitars was targetted for political reasons. Well, it turns out that there’s some evidence to increase the ponderings.
Commenters yesterday wondered whether Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz is a Republican donor. Yep, he is. It also turns out that Chris Martin IV, the CEO of Gibson competitor, C.F. Martin and Company, is a long-time donor to Democrats. C.F. Martin uses the same “questionable” Indian rosewood in its guitars, but has the federal government raided a C.F. Martin factory? Didn’t think so. Juszkiewicz said yesterday he feels like this is a personal attack. Could it be because it is?
The plot thickens. Of course, I still wonder if Michelle Obama will be prosecuted for obtaining a Gibson for French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. After all, anyone who obtains the wood is just as culpable
As if California needed more laws to regulate our already hindered personal lives: Assembly Bill 889, Authored by Tom Ammiano of San Francisco, will now require household employers to provide breaks every two hours to their babysitters:
Under AB 889, household “employers” (aka “parents”) who hire a babysitter on a Friday night will be legally obligated to pay at least minimum wage to any sitter over the age of 18 (unless it is a family member), provide a substitute caregiver every two hours to cover rest and meal breaks, in addition to workers’ compensation coverage, overtime pay, and a meticulously calculated timecard/paycheck. Failure to abide by any of these provisions may result in a legal cause of action against the employer including cumulative penalties, attorneys’ fees, legal costs and expenses associated with hiring expert witnesses, an unprecedented measure of legal recourse provided no other class of workers – from agricultural laborers to garment manufacturers. (On the bright side, language requiring an hour of paid vacation time for every 30 hours worked was amended out of the bill in the Senate.)
“In 2000, Charlton Heston, then serving as president of the National Rifle Association, and fighting gun control proposals, held a flintlock rifle over his head and declared famously, ‘from my cold dead hands.’ Gibson’s CEO needs to rally freedom-loving Americans similarly; raising a Les Paul Gibson guitar over his head. All Americans who believe in freedom and limited government should come to Gibson’s defense; not just those who are guitar players.” - Bob Barr
As you know, the White House announced that President Barack Obama would give his much-anticipated jobs plan to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, September 7th. Well, there was just one problem with that given that eight Republicans are set to square off in a long-planned debate at the Reagan Library in California that same evening.
As you can imagine - and justifiably so, Republicans were bothered by Obama’s blatant (and yes, it was blatant) move to upstage the GOP debate. House Speaker John Boehner fired off a letter to the White House asking Obama to move the speech back an evening to Thursday (September 8th), which also happens to be the start of the NFL season (I’m pulling for the Saints against the Packers).
Of course, the White House and Democrats have taken shots at Republicans for making an issue out this. They’ve even claimed that Boehner’s office didn’t object to the original date. Ed Morrissey notes that this has happened before, where Obama was planning an address on Libya and decided to move it due to another event:
President Obama had a message for the American people Monday night, an explanation of the government’s intentions in Libya, one that he believed was important enough to request air time from the broadcast networks as well as the cable news networks.
Picture this, if you will. Wausau, WI has slapped a local labor council around a bit over that town’s Labor Day parade. The reason? The labor council said that Republican politicians weren’t welcome due to their party’s stance over collective bargaining. The only problem with that stance is that the city is the one apparently footing the bill for the parade.
Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple told Reuters on Tuesday that the decision to exclude elected Republicans “flies in the face of public policy.”
“This is not a political rally, it’s a parade, for God’s sake,” Tipple said, noting that taxpayer money is used by the city to pay for staging the event. Tipple’s office is nonpartisan, and he claims no affiliation with either political party.
He said the annual cost of the parade, including insurance, setting up and taking down a stage, and police personnel, runs anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 each year.
Obviously, I agree with Tipple. More importantly, as Wausau has apparently made clear, public money shouldn’t be used to advance anyone group’s political agenda. By excluding a group based on their stand on an issue, you’ve essentially done just that. Now, if the labor council was footing the bill, that’s a whole other situation. It seems that Wausau doesn’t disagree with that either, since the choice is now to either allow GOP politicians to participate or to pay for it themselves.
“It should come as no surprise that organizers choose not to invite elected officials who have openly attacked workers’ rights or stood idly by while their political party fought to strip public workers of their right to collectively bargain,” Marathon County Labor Council President Randy Radtke said in announcing the decision.