Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Independent Collegian Gets F in Economics

Randomly surfing, I spotted the following headline in a recent issue of The Independent Collegian:

Kasich plans to scrap Strickland’s 3C rail program and send 16,000 jobs elsewhere

John Kasich, of course, is Ohio's Republican Governor-elect, and the Collegian is the campus newsrag of the University of Toledo. So right away, we can parse the headline and what is to follow. Kasich, being a Republican, must necessarily be reviled by an Ohio college student newspaper which, of course, encourages only budding leftist journos (are there any other kind?) to write for them.

But what's more interesting in this hit-piece is how ideology trumps any knowledge of economics or politics. Kasich plans to reject Federal funding to set up an allegedly high-speed all-Ohio rail service from Cleveland to Cincinnati via Columbus. The Collegian sees this as robbing Ohio of "16,000 jobs" and views it as hypocrisy on the part of Kasich who (correctly) tarred current Governor Ted "Tax 'Em High" Strickland as having lost 400,000 jobs on his brief watch.

Well, dudes, check again. The way you create REAL jobs is to encourage the private sector to do it. Ohio's now blessedly-terminated rail line would be funded by the Feds, sure. I.e., by hapless taxpayers from Ohio and other states. Once built, it would, like Amtrak and all other publicly-funded US rail services, lose money by the bucketload. Which would be made even worse by the ridiculously high union-led salaries that would be paid to the railway's staffers, all of whom, surprise, would be paid for by out-of-work Ohio taxpayers--presumably.

The problem with Federally funded or Federally assisted programs like the one Kasich intends to terminate is that once the initial $$ have been spent, the boondoggle entity gets turned over to state and local jurisdictions which then must, ta-da, raise taxes on a consistent basis to fund a money-losing operation and cave in to extortionate public employee union salary demands. It's precisely this kind of thing that's brought Rust Belt states like Ohio and Michigan to their knees. 

By rejecting this boondoggle, Kasich will save individual Ohioans and Ohio-based businesses billions of dollars going forward. This is a small step in the direction of real business stimulus which will create real employment, not more taxpayer-funded union jobs, the kind that are bankrupting state after state. 

Kasich's action is similar to the recent rejection by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie of a massive second-tunnel project from New Jersey to Manhattan. The Feds were to pony up a good chunk of the money, New Jersey and the Port Authority were to pony up the rest. And if there were cost overruns (which, given union featherbedding, there will be--and how!) New Jersey alone would have to pick up the bill.

Christie rightly torpedoed the whole project, saving his state from a major--and perpetual--financial catastrophe. On a lesser scale, Kasich proposes to do the same thing.

So, Collegians. Watch and learn. 16,000 more Ohioans on the public dole payroll will only serve to increase Ohio's systemic unemployment which is mainly due to the state's ridiculously high, business-deterring taxes. If you want to pay for 16,000 more public employees for the rest of your lives, why don't you do it? And in the meantime, why don't you stop writing stupid, ill-informed editorials and leave Kasich alone to clean up Strickland's sorry mess?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Removing Don Luskin link

Every once in awhile I go through our "Good Guys" list to make sure links are still working and appropriate. I've noticed that my link to Don Luskin, which used to offer nonstop and quite useful critiques of Idiotarian faux economist Paul Krugman, has morphed into a more specific financial site--Trend Macro--whose up-to-date content now requires a subscription. Luskin's thoughts and observations on the economy are actually quite astute--a fact you can grasp during his occasional appearances on Larry Kudlow's CNBC TV show.

But for our readers, this site's evolution (and the fact it's now behind a pay window) makes it less useful for reference, so we're removing it as a link--even though we still consider Don one of the "Good Guys."

Republicat vs. Democat

Hilarious video here, portraying, in highly dramatic fashion, a battle between two cats--aided and abetted by a pair of funloving birds. The soundtrack is a stroke of genius. But I wonder if there's also a political metaphor here.

This starts out as a fair fight between evenly matched cats. But when the birds start distracting and intervening to the detriment of the multi-colored cat, he quickly loses ground to his opponent and eventually is forced to flee the field of battle. If the multi-colored cat is the Republicat and the black cat is the Democat, one can imagine the birds to symbolize the MSM and academic intellectualoids. Three against one, and you can guess who gets to lose. Hey, I thought it was a good metaphor, really, giving us a pretty good notion of Democat's idea of a "fair" fight, eh?

On the other hand, if you're into cats, just sit back and enjoy a really extensive catfight.

Hat tips to Breitbart TV and Polipundit for providing the clip.

Clarice's Pieces: Interesting thoughts on Thanksgiving just past

Clarice Feldman offers some interesting insights, looking forward and looking back, on Thanksgiving 2010. She opens with the following observation:
Community organizers, like most Democrat candidates, gain power by dividing people and by emphasizing what distinguishes groups (sex, age, religion, race, ethnic background). They promise that they will "fight for you" -- that is, fight for spoils for the group from whom they are seeking support or votes. Thus, if, for example, you can be made to believe that all Democrat candidates are better for women, blacks, and Hispanics and you are a member of one or more of these groups, then you act in your own best interests only when you vote for Democrats. If there are any Republican women, blacks, or Hispanics running as Republicans, they must be treated especially harshly, as they are clearly traitors to your cause. Little effort is made to enunciate the candidate's policy notions or on the part of the media to examine in depth his views or qualifications for elective position.
Clarice takes this blunt and factual observation into some interesting places. Read the rest here.

This piece appears on the American Thinker blogsite, which we're adding today to our "Good Guys" list in honor of their consistently clear and fact-based insights on the meaning of democracy.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Progressives = Regressives

As readers of this blog know, I detest the use of the phony term "progressives" to describe--antiseptically--proponents of state-sanctioned Marxism/Socialism. It's quite simply a trick of language, the quite-successful use of a positive sounding word to describe an approach to government that has always turned out quite badly. Apparently, I'm finally getting some company. This from Samizdata:
...the word "progressive" is just as wrong as the word "liberal". The statists who argue for the destruction of the dollar and for bank bail-outs (again) and for nationalised derangement of medical care and for green-inspired economic sabotage aren't "liberals". They do not believe in liberty; they believe in curtailing liberty. But neither do they believe in anything which it makes sense to anybody except them to call "progress". Progress is the exact thing these statists are now trying and have always tried to destroy, and just lately have been doing a pretty damn good job of destroying. Progress means things getting better. These self styled "progressives" are only making things worse.
 But wait! There's more:
Underneath these unsatisfactory labels, which the statist (a better word for these people in my opinion) enemies of liberty and progress have chosen for themselves and have been using for decades, is an assumption, both by the statists and by those who really do believe in liberty and in progress, that the statists are the people who will inevitably continue to decide about such labels....comments to the effect that there are much better words than "statist" out there, just waiting to step up or which already have stepped up to verbal stardom, so to speak, which I hadn't thought of or which I have temporarily forgotten about, would be very welcome. Dirigiste? Centralist? Governmentalist? Despotist?
Why make it difficult dude? The right answer: REGRESSIVES.

These people are actually the ultimate Conservatives. They want every bit of today's state-sponsored socialism and more. And they want to run it all the time. They are not "progressives." They are "regressives." They want less freedom, not more.

You heard it first here on HaZzZmat.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

David Broder Flunks Math

It has only taken two weeks or thereabouts from the date of the Democrats' overwhelming defeat in 2010's off-year elections for their flacks and toadies in the MSM to start reconstructing The Narrative.

Usual suspect David Broder, still writing columns for the Washington Post but no longer on staff, tries to frighten the bejeebers out of everyone today in a feeble, laughable piece entitled "The GOP's lame-duck hardball." Broder somehow arrives at the conclusion that the Republicans already possess omnipotence in the Senate without even having achieved a majority in the recent election--and without their new members capable of constitutionally assuming power until just after the first of the new year, 2011.

Broder is not just calendar-challenged, though. He's math challenged as well. Bemoaning the terrible fate of the country, Broder wrings his hands over the fact that "the rich" might even get their Bush-era tax cuts extended beyond 2010. And then he tosses in this whopper:
On the face of things, Democrats hold the high ground rhetorically. When it comes to taxes, Obama is calling for extending the Bush cuts for every family making below $250,000 a year, which he says will take care of 98 percent of the population. Only Republicans are holding out for the millionaires to be included. 
Let's give Broder a pass for his initial, silly, faux-observation that Democrats "hold the high ground morally." Is that sort of like, "The Washington Redskins lost by a score of 50-2, but they played a very physical game"? But now comes the fun part.

Obamanation wants to generously extend the Bush tax cuts for those making up to $250K a year which is apparently the Democrats' cut point for being "rich." (Which the Prez didn't intend to at all prior to the Dems' shellacking at the polls.) But those rotten Republicans are holding out for "millionaires" to be included in this largesse, right? Well, no, they're holding out for the individuals, families, and small businesses pulling in $250,001 and higher to be included. And, unless my mathematical skills fail me here, the band between $250,001 and $999,999 doesn't include one single millionaire. Which makes this observation inoperable.

Well, don't blame me--read Broder's logical leap again. Either the guy needs an editor, or he assumes we're too dumb to see how his already feeble reasoning is smithereened by a mathematical leap of faith that conveniently omits a significant batch of non-millionaires.

You can see how trial balloons begin here. New Jerseyites earlier were told that a proposed "millionaire's tax" would salvage the bloated state budget. But it turned out that an awful lot of those "millionaires" were actually in the income bracket we just described above. I.e., they're NOT millionaires, but let's use that term anyway, shall we, just to fudge the issue a bit. It's a standard leftist tactic. Yell something loud enough and long enough, and even if it's not exactly the truth, everyone will think that it is.

Both the Jersey Democrats AND Broder know full well that their pitifully weak arguments in favor of creeping socialism aren't working any more either on their merits or lack thereof. So the next refuge of these scoundrels is in, ah, achieving the "rhetorical high ground" by shouting "millionaire, millionaire" over and over again until somehow, "millionaires" encompass a sizeable demographic that earns a pretty good living but isn't close to achieving a million dollars of annual gross income let alone a million dollars' net worth.

Voters have wised up to these sallies into the land of rhetorical high ground highjinks, and they don't work anymore, Tom. Pity an editor didn't catch your gaff today. (If you even have one.)

Your column today, Tom, demonstrates to your few remaining readers, if they don't already know, that you were, are, will be, and always have been in the tank for the Democrats and are more than happy to spend the twilight of your career flacking for a party of scoundrels. And sowing fears about those terrible Republicans who don't run the Senate now and who won't run the Senate in 2011 either. Why don't you just retire to your swell vacation paradise on Beaver Island, dude, and spare us the hyper-partisan drivel and scare tactics? Geez.

Liberal Condensation Alert!

All three of our regular readers know that above and beyond this blog's concern with creeping socialism and willful ignorance, we also get bugged by the improper and/or gauche use of language on both sides of the political aisle. Here's a great example.

In a delightful Hot Air post, starring (who else) New Jersey's Governor Awesome, Chris Christie, we discovered an embedded video of the gov relating a visit made to his office by the head of the New Jersey teacher's union.

By all means you should view the video. But in this and other posts, never miss looking at some of the comments, either. In this particular case, we note some pro and con comments discussing whether Christie is or is not a RHINO (Republican In Name Only). But the best one, so far, is this one from MSGTAS:
Here comes the straight talk express, and those on the Left have no idea how to handle the ‘truth’. The tactic is to use it at the right time.

The right time is the moment they open their mouth and begin showing any level condensation toward you.
Erm, don't we mean "CONDESCENSION," MSGTAS? This is one of the funniest malapropisms I've seen in awhile, folks, although it distresses me that it comes from the right, which is collectively more articulate, grammatically at least, than Blue State flamers. CONDESCENSION irritates me, too, dude. So why don't we attract laserlike focus on the issue by spelling it correctly?

Warren Buffett: Simpleton

This today from the Sage of Omaha:

Billionaire Warren Buffett said that rich people should pay more in taxes and that Bush-era tax cuts for top earners should be allowed to expire at the end of December.

“If anything, taxes for the lower and middle class and maybe even the upper middle class should even probably be cut further,” Buffett said in an interview with ABC’s “This Week With Christiane Amanpour” that is scheduled to air on Nov. 28. “But I think that people at the high end -- people like myself -- should be paying a lot more in taxes. We have it better than we’ve ever had it.” 
You know, I've about had it up to here with the MSM worship of Warren Buffett. With all due respect to an arch-capitalist who's made a considerable pile with his investment philosophy, Buffett is yet another lifelong Democrat who blindly supports creeping socialism without a clue as to how destructive it is. He's sort of like George Soros in sheep's clothing.

Buffett in this case either conveniently or obtusely ignores the fact that the Obama Administration's definition of "the rich" includes "millionaires" who make over $250,000. Excuse me? In what mathematical system does $250,000 = $1,000,000?

Second, why SHOULD people like you pay more taxes, Warren? You already pay plenty of taxes anyway. Could it be that you want the Federal government to squander even more taxpayer money than they're squandering now? And what will we be getting for that money? Right, precisely nothing.

Buffett has for decades been lauded for buying value investments/companies and having the patience to let the scenario pay out. Does he consider the Federal government on a par with a value investment or company? Seriously?

Look, Warren. You go pay the extra taxes for the rest of us if you feel guilty, particularly over that great deal you cut with Goldman Sachs. Me, I'd rather keep what little money I have left in this economy. If you're feeling guilty for being rich beyond avarice, that's not my problem.

As movie stars, sports "heroes" and now, Warren Buffett all prove, great wealth in no way correlates with rational or political maturity.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boycott the GM Offering

To those familiar with the long, sordid tale of GM's bankruptcy and apparent re-emergence today as an exchange-traded issue, our headline here might be something of a mystery. How can you boycott the hot new IPO of brand new, never-tainted GM stock if you can't get any?


The taxpayers bailed GM out. The previous stockholders were left holding worthless paper. The bondholders got shut out (illegally, BTW) by the Feds in order for the current administration to pay off the unions that helped destroy the company. And now all the fat cats get dibs on the new stock which is virtually guaranteed to jump to the upside ("pop" in Wall Street parlance), thus guaranteeing them milliions of dollars in profits while Katie Couric's "great unwashed" sit out in the hinterlands still waiting for all those jobs Washington promised.

To be sure, indirectly, some individual investors will be getting some new GM stock via mutual funds in which they invest. A few others will get small allocations from full service brokerage firms--usually the bigger investors who are given the shares as "rewards" for keeping their lucrative business with company X.

But you 'n me? Forget it. So my advice is to boycott the IPO in this sense--if you're interested in the stock anyway, don't just go in and rush it as it bounces (or soars) above the IPO price which the lucky rich dudes get without commission, BTW. The rich guys will only be too happy to "flip" the stock to you for a quick, tasty profit and leave you holding the bag when the stock inevitably settles down--lower than the price you bought it at. You get left holding the bag.

So don't help the fat cats out. Just sit there. Should the stock drop down somewhere near the offer (dubious but possible, at least in the next couple of weeks or months), then by all means, pick some up if you insist. But in the long run, I'm not sure GM--or its unions--have learned anything, and we might get a repeat performance of what happened last time: bankruptcy, worthless stock, and ruined bondholders.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Olbermann Bites (the dust)

We rarely mention MSNBC's poster boy of the left, the sneering, condescending, hatemongering Keith Olbermann. We've never wanted to encourage him with our criticism. Well, surprise--looks like Keith has been "suspended"--perhaps permanently--from his MSNBC hatefest for violating the network's regulations (they had 'em) prohibiting "newscasters" making donations to political candidates. Keith apparently violated his "neutrality" by doing so in the recent election cycle, so now he's been "suspended."

Hugh Hewitt, with whose observations we generally concur, surprised us a bit by speaking out in Olbermann's favor:
NBC is making itself look more ridiculous than NPR or any MSNBC host ever has with its suspension of Keith Olbermann

With all the credibility that a two-time "worst person-in-the-world" winner can muster, let me join the chorus of Kos Kids in demanding the return of Keith.  The idea of the "ethics" of the network being imperiled by a campaign contribution is absurd. 

Transparency by lefties is much to be preferred than sanctimonious posing by lefties. Olbermann is nothing if not transparent.  The whining of washed-up "journalists" and professors of journalism about "journalistic standards" are the most hilarious of the reactions...
Read the rest via the link in my text above.

I appreciate Hugh's fairly libertarian attitude on this, but I'm wondering if Hugh and others have been had, missing, perhaps, another reason for the suspension and possible firing. Viz., the idiotarian Olbermann's cable ratings have been so abysmal that I suspect MSNBC, if they have any business sense at all, has been looking for a pretext to salvage his coveted primetime timeslot from the tank.

Whatever the case, Power Line's Scott Johnson sums up this latest MSNBC kerfuffle most elegantly:
What is to be said? The Olbermann case features a joke pundit working for a joke network. It is impossible to take seriously.

Brownsville, TX Annexed by Mexico?

Here's a disturbing little announcement from the University of Texas at Brownsville, the southernmost city in Texas, bordering on Mexico:
UTB/TSC Emergency Warning #5
The campus is closed and evening classes have been canceled today and Saturday, Nov. 6 because of gunfire taking place across the Rio Grande. Anyone who needs to come to campus or has questions about events can call Campus Police at 882-8232 or 882-8233. Homecoming activities for Saturday, Nov. 6 have been affected. Coffee with the President has been canceled...
Read the rest via the link above.

Now refer back to our earlier posts on the undeclared war in Arizona by drug cartels who apparently feel free to shoot at citizens and cars on I-8; and concerning Mexican pirates apparently murdering an American boating on the Rio Grande. Are we detecting a pattern here? One that reflects current Mexican criminal attitudes towards American sovereignty and our willingness to protect our borders, i.e., their utter contempt for both.

This is the third time I've mentioned it. Living in the DC Metro area, albeit outside the Beltway somewhat, I can't know everything that goes on in that part of the US. But if these incidents somehow slipped into the media, where I unearthed them, I'm wondering how many, many more we're not hearing about. What's it going to take, besides this past Tuesday's midterm elections, to get our government to pay more attention to foreign criminal predation against American citizens. Currently, it seems the Feds are more interested in quashing Arizona's brave attempt to get control of this situation since the Feds are clearly not very interested.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Return of the Washington Times

Interesting news this evening confirming rumors that started back in late August. To make a very Byzantine story short, an entity run by Rev. Sun Myung Moon has purchased back the nearly bankrupt Washington Times for $1 and an agreement to assume all the paper's extensive debts. Plan is to ramp what's left of the Times back up into being a respectable newspaper once again, apparently re-incorporating local coverage, the much-mourned sports section, and at least some entertainment coverage. Which former editors will be rehired, if any, remain to be seen.

I got a tip on this earlier in the evening. But the story is now running on Bloomberg and elsewhere. Here's the Times' own take on recent events. No details yet as to when and how the ramp up will occur.

Hope and Change: Part II

Polls are opening across the country along with the time zones, and tonight will be interesting for sure. Repubs should sweep the bulk of governorships along with the House. A Senate Republican majority will need an act of God to happen, although Dems won't be anywhere near in firm control by the end of the count whenever that might be.

Anticipating a big, pre-work rush to the polls this morning here in Reston, Mrs. W and I will wait until the commute ends before heading up to vote. (We still do it the old-fashioned way.)

Meanwhile, here are some short(ish), informative links to ponder during your morning coffee. I'll blog as possible today, but given my time factors, I'll leave things up to folks like Fox News and RedState to do the heavy lifting this evening and perhaps into the night.

Links to various:

Mickey Kaus: Countdown to Demageddon. Great title Mickey. For those unfamiliar, he's a (pretty much) lib who's moved to the otherwise reprehensible shell that's left of Newsweek. But he's worth reading since he still engages his brain.

The Fix: WaPo's Chris Cillizza has already begun the post-election spin, predicting that the Repubs won't take the Senate and leading with that in his list of predictions, all the better to spin this as "Republicans really don't have a mandate." Watch for various flavors of this spin as the night progresses. (You know, it's fun to harass these people online. No wonder the Dems want to re-impose the "fairness doctrine.")

Accuracy in Media: In case you missed it, a post-mortem on this weekend's risable Jon Stewart rally on the DC Mall. Attendees were pretty much all Democrats. Shocking. But what neither accuracy nor anyone else dared to report? We'll whisper it here (shhh, be vewwy, vewwy quiet): attendees were predominately white.

Daily Telegraph: It's all about jobs. Good assessment from a reliable source across the pond.

FIRE: University of Virginia removes all speech codes. Great news from the ol' home state. Finally, someone sends those academic PC Brownshirts packing. No doubt the result of some prodding from our currently Republican attorney general Ken Cuccinelli. PS, the media is already after him, prepping perhaps to smear him if he runs for gov.

Fox News: Preventing voter fraud. Ya think? Seriously, the problem with modern elections is that in certain states, the Democrats in control are so thoroughly corrupt that they can easily game any close election by selective recounts. Having tried and failed to do this to Bush in Florida in 2000, they pulled it off in Minnesota by playing the ground game for the detestable Al Franken who actually lost. Be on the lookout, particularly if things are close in Illinois and Nevada.

Sissy Willis is up and at 'em this morning preparing for a bit of tasteful schadenfreude and offering some interesting observations on the coming spin cycle.

Lefty Buckeye State Blog links to a third-party smear of Republican gubernatorial candidate John Kasich from an alleged "right winger" who's obviously a lefty. Since lefties routinely avoid even talking to those on the right, I guess we can't expect them to know a real one when they see one. Or maybe lefties just routinely lie.

RightMichigan provides a last-minute pitch for the UP's Dan Benishek, the Repubs' best hope for picking up the sniveling Bart Stupak's seat.

That's it for now. Back later.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Another Shovel-Ready Project

Here's the best answer I've yet seen for those who like to chant the "Bush Did It" litany/meme:

Hat tip to The Interface for finding this one!

Postscript to ObamaFlop

We duly noted earlier that President Obama couldn't even fill a downtown Cleveland auditorium for another of his patented pep talks this weekend. According to Right Ohio, which carried the earlier report, the Dem "excuse" was that things like Halloween and football were a deterrent, not the lack of that old Obama magic. But, there's just one problem with that says Right Ohio blogger Matt:
Liberals typically aren’t interested in real, manly sports like football… because if they did, they would have known yesterday was a bye week for the Cleveland Browns...


MSM: Corrupt Bastards

Leave it to Mama Grizzly to lay it on the line:

As one of my shipmates back in my merchant marine days once said: "Truer words was never spoke!"