Archives for August 2012
House Republicans have recently put forward a new bill, H.R. 6213, otherwise known as the “No More Solyndras Act.” It was passed by the House Energy & Commerce Committee on August 1st, and sounds quite promising when you consider the colossal mistake that Solyndra, supported by federal loans, was. It’s estimated that taxpayers will lose over half a billion dollars on Solyndra, which went bankrupt last year. Preventing that from happening again is a great idea.
Unfortunately, the Republicans backing this bill are not really saving you from another Solyndra, or Beacon Power, or Abound. For the “No More Solyndras Act” leaves a gaping hole—as in, everything before December 2011 is still totally cool.
See, it’s “No More Solyndras,” not “No Solyndras.” As the text of the bill makes plain, the Act only prevents new applications from new companies, not applications from ones “grandfathered” in:
Occupy Wall Street - what’s that? They’ve gone away, right? They haven’t. They’re regrouping and preparing to ramp up. Nick Tomboulides, Andrew McCaughey, and Danielle Saul recorded some remarks made by Mike Golash, former President Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 689, and others at a OccupyDC meeting held August 19, 2012.
They are not hiding their goals anymore - and no matter what your stance on the current state of our government, what is being said here should shock all patriots.
GOLASH: Progressive labor is a revolutionary Communist organization. Its objective is to make revolution in the United States, overthrow the capitalist system, and build communism. We’re trying to learn something from the historical revolutions of the past, the Russian revolution, the Chinese revolution, the revolutions in Cuba and Eastern Europe.
What can we learn from them so we can build a more successful movement to transform capitalist society?
The “historical revolutions of the past” don’t include the American Revolution - a revolution which created true freedom and prosperity and has been a model for such - but includes revolutions in which dictators were created who brutally tortured and slaughtered millions of their own people?
For the last couple of years, I’ve heard rumors about Obama dropping Joe Biden off the 2012 ticket and replacing him with the Democrat that Republicans fear the most: Hillary Clinton. Then earlier today a friend shared this article, which goes into detail about how August 24 is the likely time that Obama will announce that Biden is being replaced with Hillary Clinton.
The logic on that timeline would be just fine, except that’s not going to happen. Here are a few reasons why:
Biden makes Obama look good.
Joe Biden is quite literally a sideshow. He’s Larry, Moe, and Curly all rolled up into one ridiculously gaffe-tastic goof ball. The things he does and the things he says just go to make Obama look sane and in control. Obama may be like a Clark Griswold (a well-intentioned man with issues of his own), but Biden is his Cousin Eddie.
When Biden opens his mouth and says something stupid, Obama is there to explain what should have been said, show he’s got a handle on the campaign, and demonstrate that he can keep the crazy cousin at bay.
A change this close to their convention would show disorder and desperation.
Look at that. That is meat. Juicy, delectable, delicious, wonderful meat. It is the cornerstone of our existence, the very foundation of our diets (no matter what that silly treehugger food pyramid says. I mean, it’s a pyramid. Clearly it wasn’t intended for Americans.) You get it from animals. It is animals. That tends to make folks like PETA mad (the other PETA, I mean, not the People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.) This is something we just can’t see eye to eye on.
See, a great guy named Peter Thiel—he got the very first Alumnus of the Year award from Students for Liberty this year—has decided to invest a ton of money in a new project that will create meat from a 3-D printer:
Billionaire Peter Thiel would like to introduce you to the other, other white meat. The investor’s philanthropic Thiel Foundation’s Breakout Labs is offering up a six-figure grant (between $250,00 and $350,000, though representatives wouldn’t say exactly) to a Missouri-based startup called Modern Meadow that is flipping 3-D bio-printing technology originally aimed at the regenerative medicine market into a means to produce 3-D printed meat.
By now most have given their opinion of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate. In all of the commentary I have noticed a disturbing trend: grassroots conservatives and some libertarians think there is an upside to the pick.
Most notably for me is Corie Whalen’s praise of Romney’s pick as “victory…on an intellectual level.” Corie’s view is that the Paul Ryan post-VP pick contrasts that of the other Paul Ryan, with the former being more libertarian-ish than the latter. Her theory - and it sounds nice - is that Congressman Ryan will sow the seeds of a more libertarian populace by introducing and articulating certain ideas more favorable to free markets and sensible fiscal policy. She goes on to admit that Ryan’s voting record during his tenure in congress has been anything but libertarian.
I’m used to people falling for a candidate’s rhetoric without actually analyzing their record, but to have someone admit that a candidate’s record is abhorrent yet praise them for their rhetoric is…strange. But does Corie have a point? His record aside, is Paul Ryan’s rhetoric good for libertarianism?
No even close, because libertarianism at its heart is anti-rhetoric. Libertarianism concerns itself with actions not words. Libertarianism rejects politics as usual in favor of principled representatives who will walk the walk. Paul Ryan can talk a pretty talk, but he does not have the record to match his rhetoric.
When people become enamored purely with rhetoric they place inadequate stock into actions. Until this trend is reversed, politicians will continue to contort themselves to fit the need and say whatever it takes to get elected; until this behavior is rejected by the populace, libertarianism will not flourish.
Politico ran an interesting story on Wednesday about how Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee and now Mitt Romney’s running mate, “spurned” the Simpson-Bowles commission, which was put together by President Barack Obama to find a solution to the United States’ debt and long-term entitlement issues:
he commission has lived larger in mythology after its demise than it ever did while doing its work. Partisans and commentators on all sides — and in particular centrists and business leaders — hail the efforts of co-chairmen Alan Simpson, a Republican, and Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, as exactly what Washington needs more of.
And they cite the inability of its recommendations — a mix of spending cuts and increased revenue proposals — to gain momentum as deplorable evidence that Obama and GOP leaders won’t put the national interest in solving the budget crisis over their own narrow partisan concerns.
Now the saintly, do-good aura that surrounds Simpson-Bowles presents an awkward challenge for Mitt Romney and his running mate. Romney is pitching Ryan as a problem solver who wants to use his command of the budget to forge bipartisan deals to solve the nation’s fiscal crisis.
But in reality, Ryan, according to the recollection of some commission members and staffers, was a key part of the dynamic that undermined the commission and allowed the triumph of partisan and ideological loyalties over a budget deal.
Under its charter, the commission needed a supermajority of 14 members in order to give its formal endorsement to any recommendations. Ryan joined six other members — the dissenters came from both parties — in voting against the final proposal, with 11 members in favor.
The New York Times’ pundit Paul Krugman finally admits what a lot of people have known for some time now—that he’s a partisan Democratic party hack:
Several commenters have asked that I provide examples of Republicans making reasonable economic arguments; some of them seem to be saying that I’m proving my bias if I don’t provide such examples.
But it doesn’t work that way: if all Republicans are saying unreasonable things, then it’s a distortion — indeed, a form of bias — to insist that there must be reasonable Republicans.
Now look, I’m not going to go out of my way to defend Republicans, as they’re a political party that’s less interested in governing and fixing our problems than in scoring cheap political points for theater, but the above statement is fairly outrageous. Not all Republicans are saying unreasonable things. In fact, a great many of them—Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Richard Hanna, Jeff Flake, Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Jon Huntsman, even Paul Ryan to an extent—are saying very reasonable things.
But no, Paul Krugman is declaring them all to be unreasonable, because they are…Republicans. Not on their merits, just because they have an “R” after their name. Thanks for finally admitting it, you poseur.
Recently elected socialist French president François Hollande.
While I’m not sure I always buy whole-hog the amorphous concept of “regulatory uncertainty,” brought on by the administrative state, as a catch-all explanation for everything wrong with the private sector and our nation’s current unemployment crisis, a fascinating Bloomberg Businessweek Global Economics feature from May 2012 looks at French labor policy (emphasis mine):
[France] has 2.4 times as many companies with 49 employees as with 50. What difference does one employee make? Plenty, according to the French labor code. Once a company has at least 50 employees inside France, management must create three worker councils, introduce profit sharing, and submit restructuring plans to the councils if the company decides to fire workers for economic reasons.
French businesspeople often skirt these restraints by creating new companies rather than expanding existing ones.
Over at RealClearPolitics, Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has just called opponents to the 2007-2008 bailouts as “knuckledraggers,” by saying that Paul Ryan—who did vote for TARP—is not one.
Did Boehner just have a Joe Biden moment?
We can take this a few ways. We can first take it that it was genuine, honest-to-goodness mistake, and never meant to say that. But we can also take it as a real “Kinsley Gaffe,” defined as: “when a politician tells the truth - some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”
What is this obvious truth, then? It’s not all that obvious, but it is the truth: the Republicans are not at all committed to a free market system, and instead want to wallow and embrace crony capitalism. They love taking money from taxpayers and giving it to their friends and cronies who run major banks and industries, giving them preferential treatment in the laws they craft and unfair advantages in the marketplace.
Oh, and “we had to do it to save our economy”? Yeah right. Lehman Brothers, the fourth-largest investment bank in the nation four years ago, collapsed in September 2008. The end result? It’s leftovers got bought out by Barclays and Nomura, and nothing else happened. There was no disaster. So all of this is just cover for the truth: he likes to rewards cronies and punish enemies.
How free market is that?
Whilie avoiding serious questions and interviews from the White House press corps, President Obama apparently has time to spend six minutes calling local radio stations in Albuquerque, NM to discuss chill and “Call Me, Maybe.”
After the 6:30 mark, when President Obama hangs up, the female hosts says, “I just flirted with the President of the United States of America.”