Recent Posts From Chris Frashure
Once again, I am in agreement with Dennis Kucinich:
A liberal Democrat on Tuesday called the “super committee” included in the debt-limit deal “anti-democratic.”
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) said the committee reduced the governing majority down to a seven-person agreement on a 12-member committee. “It’s like ‘Honey, I shrunk the Congress,’” he said on ABC’S “Topline.”
The debt-limit agreement cuts federal deficits by nearly $1 trillion over 10 years while raising the debt ceiling at least $2.1 trillion through 2012. It also establishes a bipartisan, bicameral committee of 12 legislators charged with putting together an additional $1.5 trillion deficit-reduction package.
Of course our agreement ends at the establishment of the so called “Super Committee.” It is difficult to tell if Kucinich is genuinely opposed to this cessation of power to a small group because of its “anti-democratic” nature or if he’s simply trying to prevent any cuts any way possible. For now, however, I’ll take him at his word since he is one of the only Democrats to consistently oppose the wars regardless of who is president.
Wondering why you haven’t seen too much of Mitt Romney lately? Perhaps it’s because he doesn’t know what position to take on the issues. To remedy this, Romney is putting together a team of over 60 lawyers to tell him what to say:
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is forming a “Justice Advisory Committee” of lawyers to advise him on legal issues. Members will include Ronald Reagan’s former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork and former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
Romney’s campaign said the committee, comprising more than 60 attorneys, will advise him on the “Constitution, judicial matters, law enforcement, homeland security, and regulatory issues.” Some members will also provide legal counsel to the campaign.
In a statement, Romney said the country “needs a Congress and an Executive branch that are cognizant of the bounds of their powers and a judiciary that will strictly construe the Constitution and refuse to legislate from the bench.”
I can understand having a few advisers, but Robert Bork and Michael Chertoff are no mere legal mercenaries. Romney will now become a spokesperson for his team of 60+ lawyers, simply relaying their message as his position. Using his deep pockets, he will simply purchase segments of his campaign platform from his group much like a struggling college student buys a ghostwritten paper to submit as his own original work. This is yet another glaring case of Romney’s inability to lead.
Perhaps now he will at least be consistent.
In his pathetic attempt at political activism at the recent and poorly named Save Our Schools rally in D. C., Matt Damon gave an interview to Think Progress in which he stated that “despite what you hear even the union teachers are underpaid.”
Some teachers are underpaid, and some are also highly overpaid. The problem is we don’t know which we’re paying too little and which we are paying too much. As I’ve noted before, absent a free market in education, we don’t know if teachers are underpaid or overpaid because, with fixed wages in a monopoly, we don’t know what teacher wages should be.
If teacher A has an efficacy rating of 85% and teacher B has a rating of 50% and they are both being paid $40k per year (and all other factors are equal), teacher A is being underpaid relative to teacher B. But they both may still be underpaid, or vice-versa, because we don’t know what each of them should be getting paid.
Everyone has been mourning the death of British singer Amy Winehouse. While the cause has yet to be officially determined, it is widely speculated that her death was, at least indirectly, the result of her heavy usage of crack cocaine. It can be said then, while still a sad event nonetheless, that her death was hastened by her own recklessness.
The 30 people killed by the United States military drone strikes in Yemen, on the other hand, died by no fault of their own:
The United States and the Yemeni government have stepped up their efforts to target militants, including those Islamists who’ve taken over several cities in recent weeks.
The government said that a U.S. drone was not involved in the attack and that its air forces conducted the raid. The Interior Ministry said on its website that nine fighters were killed and dozens were wounded and that the number of deaths was expected to rise.
There was no immediate comment from U.S. officials.
Both sources, a security official and a senior security source, didn’t want their names used because they are not authorized to speak to the media.
The airstrike occurred in al-Wathee district in Abyan province. One of the sources said more than a dozen people were wounded.
The strike targeted a police station that had been taken over by suspected al Qaeda fighters, the sources said. U.S. drones had been seen flying over the area in recent days, and more attacks were expected, the sources said.
At least seven vehicles and other equipment belonging to the fighters were destroyed.
“The casualty toll is high because fighters were gathered in that area with family members,” said the senior security source in Abyan.
Writing for The Atlantic, Barry Greenfield makes the case for library rental fees:
In the early 20th century, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $50 million to build 1,700 libraries in the United States. There are now more than 9,000 public libraries, not including branches. Around 85 percent of library funding comes from federal, state, and local taxes. The majority (90 percent or more) of that comes from local property taxes.
At a time where the tax burden can often be onerous, doesn’t it make sense to ask library users to pay a nominal fee for a book rental? When municipal budgets are tightened, almost universally the library is left to hang by a thread. Amazingly, when library usage is at an all-time high, I read about library closings every week across this country.
But I never hear any politician or citizen’s group recommending a rental fee to support the library.
Why do libraries get the short end of the stick? For a multitude of reasons, but primarily due to changes in how people have been gathering since technologies like radio and TV came on the scene. Prior to their introduction, libraries were a community gathering place. That’s no longer the case, and in today’s computer-based home environment, the majority of taxpayers in a municipality do not use the public library.
The majority of taxpayers don’t use the public library anymore? So we can get rid of it now, right?
Does that mean we shouldn’t offer the service to the community? Of course not. Instead, the municipal government should give baseline funding to the library, with the remaining funding coming from operational revenue.
Via Ta-Nehisi Coats at The Atlantic:
Coates says that “[t]he contrast between a man making an actual argument on math, and a man spouting tribal slogans (“class warfare” “sharia law” etc.) says a lot about the movement he represents.” While Islamophobia has crept its way in to some conservative circles, I disagree. Perhaps Herman Cain thinks that is what the movement has become about, but he’s wrong. This kind of rebuttal would likely get a standing ovation among conservative voters today while his anti-Islam rhetoric is only is only going to marginalize him as a candidate.
Herman Cain is the GOP’s 2012 token Islamophobe. When asked if he would be comfortable with “appointing a Muslim either in your cabinet or as a federal judge” Cain gave an emphatic “no” and stated that he “will not” appoint a Muslim to any such position:
He later campaigned against a mosque being built in Tennessee, ironically citing the First Amendment:
“It is an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion,” he said. “And I don’t agree with what’s happening, because this isn’t an innocent mosque.”
Now Cain is stating that Americans “have a right” to ban mosques that they don’t like:
In an exchange on “Fox News Sunday,” the Republican presidential contender said that he sided with some in a town near Nashville who were trying to prevent Muslims from worshiping in their community.
“The deal,” of course, is the deal on raising the debt ceiling that Democrats have offered Republicans. It includes a purported cut of trillions in exchange for hundreds of millions in “revenue increases.”
As the Cato Institute highlights, these “cuts” aren’t much of anything at all:
Dr. Kevin Grier opines:
Let’s ignore the fact that our economy is still in a big mess with high unemployment and underwater homeowners and just look at the terms of the deal.
The “cuts” are over a 10 year window. People, we have seen this movie before. Presidents are elected for 4 years, House members for 2 years. Current decisions are non-binding on future politicians. The cuts are a joke.
The tax increases, I’ll wager, will NOT be coming over a 10 year window.
In other words, nothing has changed; no one is actually getting serious about fixing the problem. I say: No deal.
For those of you who have never heard of Alfonzo Rachel, he is a conservative commentator who recently joined PJTV team after becoming a viral success on YouTube:
AlfonZo Rachel is a musican and martial arts instructor who founded Macho Sauce Productions to create right-minded entertainment. His popular rapid-fire rants, originally self-produced on YouTube, have now found a home on PJTV.
His videos are a bit unorthodox among conservative pundits, which may have much to do with its appeal to younger conservatives and even some libertarians. Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw this:
‘Zo’ begins the video quite oddly by equating independents with libertarians. He then defines a libertarians as “just liberals that don’t have a love-hate relationship with capitalism.”
Then comes a key comment: “The Constitution does not say that the government can tax the fruits of our labor, or impose an income tax. Which makes total sense because the government would bleed the people dry like they’re doing now as they defy the Constitution.”
Knowing there is no legitimate case for protectionism, its proponents are now attempting to define free trade as something that it is not. Writing for Salon, David Sirota says:
Trade policy, as I’ve previously noted, often has nothing to do with what we conventionally define as “trade” — that is, it has nothing to do with the exchange of goods and services, and everything to do with using state power to solidify corporations’ supremacy over individual citizens. In that sense, the modern era’s ongoing debates over “free trade” are a corporate public relations coup — by tricking the public and the media into believing we’re debating one thing (commerce) when we’re debating something entirely different (power), the “free trade” brand casts those who raise questions about these pacts as know-nothing Luddites (who could be against commerce, right?).
Oddly, Sirota offers no further support for his claim that free trade uses “state power to slidify coporations’ suppremacy over individual citizens” nor does he even clarify precisely what it is he means. It appears as though he is content to level that charge and move on to a different subject:
…In creating direct unprotected competition between Americans and foreign workers who have no labor, wage or human rights protections, the most celebrated trade pacts of the last two decades have — quite predictably — resulted in widespread layoffs and the hollowing out of America’s middle class job base.