The more connected you are, within the Washington D.C. circuit; and on the long-stretch between Los Angeles and New York, the more clout you have as a politician. Especially, if you’ve squandered taxpayer money on “bridges to nowhere” (Rick Santorum), Olympic “Games” (Mitt Romney) or have been kick-backed by Fannie & Freddie (Newt Gingrich).
All these, of course, are fine examples of Capitalist enterprise, of leadership and smart capital-management. But what do all these undertakings reveal, about abilities in leadership, necessary to plug the dam of the 2008-unward recession? Not, much.
Ron Paul is the antithesis. He negates almost in it’s entirety, every other issues brought by his opponents in the GOP presidential race. He is not reported on, because those who indeed try to, fail miserably: the way Gerald Seib did, moderating the Republican Debate in South Carolina. Ron Paul is too honest: clear, succinct, philosophically astute. This makes him a slippery fish, to place in the Republican Party, although he is by far the most consequently, stalwartly arch-conservative since that other Gipper, that slipped his way into the White House: Ronald Reagan!
Being less ‘politicized’, in other words by having put his neck out on an execution-block, or guillotine, to amass money, has meant he has to do with less campaign finance. But what Paul has lacked in initial spending, his patriots have donated in turn. No other US politician has ever raised a sum, close to over 1 million, which Paul’s campaign has been able to do in 2011. What this means, is; people base decision on mass-media, pandered bits-and-pieces of evening chatter, boxed soundbites (often misinterpreted) while heading out the door in the morning. Ron Paul is lucky to get 3 minutes airtime, after a debate platform.
The Washington Times had an interesting article yesterday, about how Congress did very little work last year. It’s a hoot to read:
It’s official: Congress ended its least-productive year in modern history after passing 80 bills — fewer than during any other session since year-end records began being kept in 1947.
Furthermore, an analysis by The Washington Times of the scope of such activities as time spent in debate, number of conference reports produced and votes taken on the House andSenate floors found that Congress set a record for legislative futility by accomplishing less in 2011 than any other year in history.
The Senate’s record was weakest by a huge margin, according to the futility index, and the House had its 10th-worst session on record.
Futility index? Have they copyrighted that? (I hope not, with SOPA coming down the pipeline…)
Of the bills the 112th Congress did pass, the majority were housekeeping measures, such as naming post office buildings or extending existing laws. Sometimes, it was too difficult for the two chambers to hammer out agreements. More often, the Senate failed to reach agreement within the chamber.
That left much of the machinery of the federal government on autopilot, with the exception of spending, where monumental clashes dominated the legislative session.
There is only one term, which is (and has proven over ages) “Too Big To Fail.”
Everything else, can- and should- be allowed to fail in a free market. Capitalism is based on profit. On risk. On investment. What tends to be overlooked, especially in this volatile era, is that capitalism is a sentiment, it can not be shackled by government laws, nor “propped up” as some claim. It is hard, to run a presidential campaign on this message.
Governments have duties to individuals. We seem to have forgotten, this.
Mitt Romney, for all his verbal denunciation of Mr. Obama, was in support of the bailout packages in Congress! Along with his healthcare mandate in Massachusetts and government ID cards, these three implementations alone, make me doubt Mr. Romney’s republicanism. He is pliant, and will bend this nation to his insane will. He is an excellent impresario, when talking about jobs, capitalism, big government. He himself supports the same hinges, that this top-heavy US government swings on. In fact he’ll grease them, so to placate the GOP string-pullers.
Ronald Paul (R-Texas) voted against the US banking and housing bailouts.
He understood, that Fannie and Freddie were selling bonds directly to the People’s Bank of China (not reported on) in the aftermath! Without accountability of all the tax-based bailout money given Wall Street banks and Detroit, he knew; the same problems would persist. Happen again, and again, again. Ronald Paul favors corporations, capitalism, citizenry too. What he is against, is this: tax-increased government money-laundering, for purposes of spending, for entitlements (not in US constitution).
Government should spend little to nothing.
As Europe loses countries’ credit rating, we are left to wonder what the future will hold.
Money is no longer backed.
Some folks over at MTV better lock up their doors, because a couple of videos they just created (EDIT: Apparently, these videos are old, but they are still incredibly relevant to what’s going on right now. Thanks, northnodes.) are making a very interesting argument about the National Defense Authorization Act, and I doubt that will keep them in the government’s good graces.
There’s the old Internet rule called “Godwin’s Law,” but after seeing what our government is trying to do, I’m not convinced anyone should ever bring it up.
On one hand, we have SOPA threatening to remove our internet access if we so merely link to a music video, and on the other, we have the NDAA threatening to lock us up on the whims of some government bureaucrat. Between them? Well, no it’s not that dwindling area of freedom, its the Transportation Security Administration, conducting its campaign of government sponsored sexual molestation at our nation’s airports.
Journalists are terrorists.
That line of thought was brought up in my college class on international reporting back in 2009, when we were discussing the Swine Flu and SARS and how the media was covering those things. One student asked that, if journalists were hyping these stories, getting people alarmed over things that probably not going to harm them, and especially if said journalists were not doing proper fact-checking and were spreading around myths, then aren’t journalists terrorists?
That was in my mind as I read about the National Defense Authorization Act and its idiotic langauge that would require the US military to lock up anyone who is merely “suspected” of being a terrorist without any trial or due process. The same line of thought, apparently, hit Jason Kuznicki:
If I were president, I would start with a round of mass imprisonments.
As Machiavelli advises, I’d do it quickly, perhaps all in one night. A few tens of thousands should be enough.
No, no, you’ve got me all wrong — these aren’t political prisoners. Yes, they just happen to include the members of the Democratic and Republican National Committees. There are a lot of big-time political donors. (Which ones? Don’t ask!) Industrialists, financiers, labor leaders, community organizers. Academics. Journalists. Judges. A few members of Congress. (I wouldn’t need too many of those. It only needs a few pour encourager les autres.)
Yesterday, a guest blogger from Americans for Prosperity, Joel Aaron, posted about the Regulation from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, an admirable bill to restore constitutional principles to Congress and take the power to make law away from unelected bureaucrats. Today, while looking for something completely different, I stumbled onto a post from FireDogLake about the same, which said:
Other than possibly being unconstitutional, one does wonder where Congress would get the time to consider such regulations between fund-raisers and, well, fund-raisers. Unless, of course, they were determined to make sure there are no regulations ever, creating a government that cannot possibly ever function.
FireDogLake, for those unaware, is a sort of liberal version of RedState, akin to DailyKos, so I think it’s pretty clear where this author (who goes by the pseudonym “Attaturk”) is looking for. Specifically, I just want to look at the sentence “Other than possibly being unconstitutional,” because, quite clearly, REINS is very constitutional.
I would like to look at Article I, Section I, of the United States Constitution:
All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Now, we should get into the nitty gritty of it and eliminate all ambiguity, so what does “legislative” mean?
Looks like Obama is going to have a tougher time getting back in the White House next year, according to WMAL:
A report released Wednesday by the centrist think-tank Third Way showed that more than 825,000 voters in eight key battleground states have fled the Democratic Party since Obama won election in 2008.
“The numbers show that Democrats’ path to victory just got harder,” said Lanae Erickson, the report’s co-author. “We are seeing both an increase in independents and a decrease in Democrats and that means the coalition they have to assemble is going to rely even more on independents in 2012 than it did in 2008.”
Amid frustrating partisan gridlock and unprecedentedly low party-approval ratings, the number of voters registering under a major party is falling fast, but it is also falling disproportionately.
In eight states that will be must-wins in 2012 — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — Democrats lost 5.4 percent of their registered voters while Republicans lost 3.1 percent. The number of independent voters in those states jumped 3.4 percent.
This is not really news; voters have been fleeing both major parties over the past decade due to overactive hyperpartisanship, a greatly expanded bounty of information from blogs and social media that have destroyed “big media“‘s credibility, and that neither party is actually focusing on delivering a consistent message and consistent policy, but has been playing too much politics. What is interesting is that more are fleeing Democrats than Republicans—at least in these states, and I think that has to do with a couple of things:
I don’t usually give into notions like “Our democracy is being destroyed!” and “This administration is going to lead us straight into fascism!” (Or that they already have.) But lately, two events have stood out that really make me question where America is going.
The first is a really asinine comment made by the governor of North Carolina, Beverly Perdue:
As a way to solve the national debt crisis, North Carolina Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue recommends suspending congressional elections for the next couple of years.
“I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover,” Perdue said at a rotary club event in Cary, N.C., according to the Raleigh News & Observer. “I really hope that someone can agree with me on that.”
Perdue said she thinks that temporarily halting elections would allow members of Congress to focus on the economy. “You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things,” Perdue said.
And I thought I was insane.
Cross-posted from The Dangerous Servant.
Late last month the Tennessean ominously warned that those big mean Republicans in Washington slashing the federal budget would deprive Tennessee sportsmen of their annual trout stock by reducing hatchery programs:
The trout supply for fishermen in Tennessee could face a substantial shortfall because of federal budget cuts that impact fish hatcheries. Federal fish hatcheries are responsible for raising 60 percent of all trout in Tennessee, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency stated. The Dale Hollow and Erwin hatcheries are both are operated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and supply trout for fishing at dozens of locations in the state. The proposed cuts would eliminate a majority of the funding for Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery and Erwin National Fish Hatchery, according to the TWRA. Federal cuts are scheduled to be effective in October 2011. The TWRA claims its fish hatcheries cannot make up the shortfall and opportunities for the estimated 150,000 trout fishermen, as well as revenues, will be severely reduced.
Here’s my question: so what?