The Qaddafi Regime Appears To Be Falling

Good news, I guess.  The guy has been a despot and terrorist for decades.  But what now?  Do we even know who the rebels are?

I believe the saying goes, you break it, you bought it.  I have never fully accepted that logic, but our friends on the left certainly have.  Will they change tunes now?  My money’s on yes.

Published in: on August 21, 2011 at 10:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

The NYT’s Prescription For Job Creation — More Governement Make-Work, Natch

While acknowledging that the President’s approach to job creation is pretty thin gruel, the NYT editorial board once again underscores its economic ignorance by suggestion the adoption of more make-work projects to keep a few folks busy by spending more (borrowed) government money:

Mr. Obama has begun to talk more about jobs, but his agenda is thin. Its main components — extending federal unemployment benefits and the payroll tax cut beyond their expiration at the end of this year — are vitally important, but their extension will only maintain the status quo. His idea for an infrastructure bank to finance large-scale building projects is also good, but would take time, and would not address the immediate need for jobs. Ditto his push for patent reform and trade agreements.

There are other ideas worth fighting for. Take, for example, Fix America’s Schools Today, or FAST, an idea that has been incorporated into a House proposal to be introduced this fall by Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois. Public school buildings in the United States are on average over 40 years old and in need of an estimated $500 billion in repairs and upgrades. A $50 billion school renovation program would employ 500,000 workers (1.5 million construction workers are currently unemployed) and could be easily scaled up. The money could be disbursed through existing federal formulas to all 16,000 public school districts. The initial cost could be largely offset over 10 years by ending tax breaks for fossil fuels, as called for in Mr. Obama’s 2012 budget.

Other programs in the Schakowsky bill could employ an estimated one million young people for projects in federal parks, community centers and on college campuses, as well as 350,000 laid-off teachers, police officers, firefighters and health care providers.

Washington, in thrall to austerity, has abandoned one of the most immediate and powerful tools for supporting growth and jobs, namely, borrowing at today’s low rates to provide direct fiscal aid to states. But Mr. Obama can and should make the case for targeted new jobs today, to be paid for over time by closing tax loopholes.

First, extending unemployment benefits and the temporary payroll tax cut for employees (which, of course, offers employers no incentive whatsoever to hire) haven’t done anything to stave off unemployment or foster new hiring.  More of the same tired redistributive policies will just result in more of the same stagnant economy.  I will say that it is nice to see that the NYT finally recognizes the value of free trade agreements, at least in the abstract.

Second, if a $50 billion school renovation program were the cure for what ails us, it sure would have been nice to see that included among the $900 Billion original failed stimulus.  Heck, I might have even supported it, at least in principle.  But the last thing we need now is to throw more money at schools to temporarily prop up employment at the further expense of true organic job growth.

Third, the last thing we need is for the government to spend billions more hiring one million young people and 350,000 laid-off teachers, police officers, firefighters and health care providers for make-work projects in federal parks, community centers and on college campuses. 

If we want to employ more young people, just lower the minimum wage so they can get real working experience and employers can get useful labor at the price the market will bear for unskilled workers just entering the job force.  If we want to keep former union government workers busy, reform government worker benefits and compensation so they match the private sector, and these laid off folks can easily be hired back.  But just throwing borrowed money at them on made up projects is asinine

Published in: on August 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Feel Good Story Of The Day

Given all the economic doom and gloom we find ourselves mired in of late, I thought I would take a moment to brighten things up around here and introduce you to Mallory Weggemann

Miss Weggemann lost the use of her legs during high school due to complications arising from a medical procedure.  Not to be deterred, she is now breaking records left and right as a competitive swimmer.

My favorite quote:

“It’s something where I can get out of my chair, and it’s just me and the water, and I can move about freely,” she said. “Even when my competitive days are over, I’ll still need that, because it’s a big part of who I am and what I know.”

Do read the whole thing.

Published in: on August 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

The “Recommender-In-Chief”

The Washington Examiner laments the President’s weakness and passivity and pleads: “Someday, very soon, he must stop outsourcing, rise above politics and take presidential ownership of charting the country’s course.”

The problem is, he has no idea what to do.  His supporters, see Eugene Robinson today, plead for a focus on jobs instead of the deficit and debt, while the President himself is hopelessly wedded to seeking a bit more of the same disastrous policies.  Neither understands that massive government, massive government intrusion in markets, massive government regulation, and massive government spending are exactly what is killing the economy and job creation.

 

Published in: on August 12, 2011 at 9:08 am  Leave a Comment  

If You’re That Proud Of It, Go Into Porn . . .

. . . but stick to more honorable professions and avoid politics.

Another Democrat has just been caught sending pics of his Weiner to some chick over email.  WTF is wrong with these people?  At leat he isn’t currently married.  He’s currently really fucking stupid, but not married.  As someone who is happily married but often stupid,  I recognize the difference.

From someone who snoops through emails for a living, here’s a newsflash.  Copies of every email you send are probably out there somewhere.  Actually, lots of copies are as well.  So keep your junk out of the airwaves. 

If you are dumb enough to do shit like this, you should probably stay out of the gene pool.  And you should definitely avoid politics. You are too dumb, even for that.

Anyway, masochists among you “can see one of the pics at the link. Don’t worry, they’ve blocked out his little constituent.”  I shall restrain myself from clicking.  Or commenting on the size of his “constituency.”

Published in: on August 4, 2011 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  

The Spending Debate IS About Jobs

The next media meme is rapidly forming now that the debt ceiling debate is done (and widely believed to have been lost by Obama and congressional Dems) — now that the distraction is over, it’s time to focus on JOBS.  Over at Ace’s place, they are having some fun with Jake Tapper’s quip that the president  has done quite a few pirouettes towards focusing on jobs without much success.

Nice, but not enough.  The media and Dems (but I repeat myself) are desperate to frame the government’s deficit spending in two incredibly harmful ways. 

First, they are framing government spending as an imperiled bulwark against further economic decline.  Basically, they are channelling Krugman and the other crazy-Keynesians.  You know, the story: “The hundreds of billions of dollars thrown down the rat-hole to date were somehow successful in staving off another Great Depression, so we need to throw hundreds of billions more after it to fend off the Great Recession.”  Then, trust us, we’ll deal with the debt/deficit issues decisively later.  Really.  We mean it.  You really can trust us. 

Second, they are trying to frame the deficit debate as a distraction from, instead of an integral part of, job creation.  Nonsense.  The massive governmental overreach of the Dems and the Obama Administration is why jobs are not being created.  The money is there, but no one will invest it so long as these clowns are in power.  They are far more interested in confiscating and redistributing wealth than fostering conditions that favoring creating it.

Conservatives from all quarters need to push back hard on the false media narrative.  The debt debate is not a distraction from jobs issues, but an essential part (regulatory reform being another key pillar) of freeing up job creation.  Ensure that taxes will not be raised, get government out of the way, restore  certainty and faith in the rule of law, and take the target off business’s backs, and employers will hire again.  It’s not that complicated.

Published in: on August 3, 2011 at 11:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Who’s To Blame?

James Fallows at The Atlantic offers five reasons, in his view , that it’s the fault of the GOP.  Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

1) The debt-ceiling showdown represents hostage-taking, plain and simple. This is a “crisis” that need never have happened, regardless of which party controlled the White House. 

You wouldn’t know it from most news coverage, but there is no logical or legislative connection between the House Republicans’ stated object of concern, the future budgetary path toward national solvency, and the bonds and notes the Treasury must keep issuing for programs this and previous Congresses have already voted into law.

Not true.  Part of it deals with current debt — a massive chunk of which was piled up in the first two-and-a-half years of the Obama Administration, but I digress.  But the Democrats are insisting — dare I say, holding the entire deal hostage for — a debt ceiling that will allow them to pile up additional debt through to 2013.  Why?  No other reason than politics.

2) The House GOP position fails the test of basic knowledge. Last night I listened to a Tea Party member from the House explain why there could be no tax increases as part of the deal — raising taxes is the last thing you need in a recession. In the next sentence, he said that the main virtue of a proposed GOP plan, versus Harry Reid’s, is that it made deeper budget cuts right away, though even deeper short-term cuts were essential.

No one had pointed out to him, or he had forgotten, or he didn’t realize, that during a recession, raising taxes and cutting budgets are bad for the same reason. They both reduce demand and make a recession worse.

Not true.  If Keynesian economics worked, then Mr.  Fallows would have a point.  But the current Administration has rather effectively disproven that.  Massive increases in deficit spending by the government have strangled the economy, not stimulated it. 

So how about signalling to job-creators that they need not fear being sacrificed further to feed the government beast bu cutting spending and holding the line on taxes?  Better yet, cut and simplify them to diminish the opportunities for rent-seeking.  Then, the trillions in investable dollars sitting on the sidelines will come back into the game and, voila!, real growth will resume.

3) It fails the test of basic logic. Or perhaps basic knowledge part #2. If you look at the numbers, like the chart after the jump, you can see that budget-balancing involves a threshold choice. You can be for preserving tax cuts in toto, or you can be for cutting the deficit. But because the tax cuts have played such a major role in creating the deficit, if you have any regard for math or logic you really can’t be for both. But most House Republicans are.

Again, not true.  here’s a chart of federal spending as a percentage of GDP 2000-2011:

We have a spending problem, not a “revenue” problem.

4) It displays a lack of tragic imagination. Many on the right have talked themselves into the view that it would be no big deal for the U.S. to go into technical default for a while. And I am sure that the “disaster strikes at midnight!” scenarios about what would happen on August 2 are way overblown. But anyone who thinks this controversy has had no effect on America’s standing and assumed credit-worthiness, or that an actual default, whenever it occurred — in late August, in September —  would not hurt us in the short and long run, needs to get out more. Out into the world, where assessments of basic American steadiness are now being recalibrated.

Actually, I think that default would be bad, though the effects would be largely temporary.  But see the above chart.  Does anyone — other than the President, who proposed a budget way back in February of this year that would have accelerated the climb — think that ski slope of federal spending can continue? 

A technical default is not a good thing.  But continuing the current binge of spending on an unsustainable course will cause structural instability.  And that is a very, very bad thing.  The liberals who can’t see that, or who think we can tax our way out by confiscating the income of high-earners while regulating the hell out of the American economy, are delusional.

5) It has turned into zealotry, by which I mean utter disregard for the practical consequences of acts.

I must have missed the part where the Democrats put ObamaCare on the table.  Oh, they didn’t?  Silly me, they are so non-ideological and reasonable I just assumed they did.  By the way, the “practical consequences” of ObamaCare can be seen here:

Fallows is simply channelling Obama here.  President Present simply decides — does that mean he’s “The Decider”? — that his position is reasonable and everything else is a political talking point, ergo, he is being reasonable and everyone else is partisan or ideological in pursuing their own goals.  See how that works?  Actually, it only works with a supine media.

 

Published in: on July 29, 2011 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  

The Best Excuse Ever

Not that I need much of an excuse to drink beer, but it would be nice to have one, just in case.

Published in: on July 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Being Poor In America

As the President continues with his ideological (and illogical) insistence that private jet owners — you know, everyone with an income topping $250,000/year — pay even more in taxes to pay for payments to those less fortunate, NRO’s Robert Rector reminds us of the state of poverty in the United States:

The most recent government data show that more than half of the families defined as poor by the Census Bureau have a computer in the home. More than three of every four poor families have air conditioning, almost two-thirds have cable or satellite television, and 92 percent have microwaves.

How poor are America’s poor? The typical poor family has at least two color TVs, a VCR, and a DVD player. One-third have a wide-screen, plasma, or LCD TV. And the typical poor family with children has a video-game system such as Xbox or PlayStation.

* * *

Liberals use the declining relative prices of many amenities to argue that it is no big deal that poor households have air conditioning, computers, microwaves, and cable or satellite TV. They contend that even though most poor families have a house full of modern conveniences, the average poor family still suffers from real deprivation in basic needs such as food and housing.

Really? Let’s look at housing.

The typical news story about poverty features a homeless family with kids sleeping in the back of a minivan. But government data show that only one in 70 poor persons are homeless.

* * *

How about hunger? . . . During the full course of the year, only one child in 67 was reported “hungry,” even temporarily, because the family couldn’t afford enough food. Ninety-nine percent of children did not skip a single meal during 2009 because of lack of financial resources.

As Rector also notes, that doesn’t mean the American poor are living in the lap of luxury.  But when they have more housing square-footage than non-poor Europeans and obesity is a far greater problem than hunger, the term poor has taken on a very different meaning thanit once had. 

Couldn’t we do a whole lot more to feed the 1% who go hungry, shelter the 1 in 70 that are homeless, and invest in infrastructure, defense, environmental protection, public lands, and other essential government responsibilities, all without crippling the country with debt, if certain politicians were not obsessed with fleecing the most productive among us to make transfer payments to “poor” persons that can afford video games, plasma TVs, and microwaves?

Published in: on July 26, 2011 at 10:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Blog Whoring 101

Stacy McCain is offering advice that I sorely need, now that I am back blogging again.  To become a great blogger, all I need to do is link him early and  often.  Consider it done.  I feel like I need a shower now.

Published in: on July 14, 2011 at 11:53 am  Comments (1)  

Yet Another Absence

Haven’t logged on or posted in weeks.  Not really sure why, but I just didn’t feel like writing anything.  But rather suddenly, today, I felt like posting.  This blogging stuff is strange that way.  Even more oddly, the trigger was the post to follow.

Published in: on July 14, 2011 at 11:11 am  Leave a Comment  

“Beheading of Afghanistan politician seen as message from insurgents”

Yes it is.  The message is, they are barbarians.  They are mired in the muck of ancient ideologies and grievances.  They are ill-suited for the modern world.  They should not be feared, but destroyed.

Published in: on June 7, 2011 at 10:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

If You Made It Up, No One Would Believe You

Mediaite reports: “Gennette Cordova, the 21-year-old college student who was the first woman connected via lewd photo to Rep. Anthony Weiner . . . was voted ‘most likely to be involved in a tabloid scandal’ by classmates at Shorecrest High School back in 2007.”  

Someone should track down Shorecrest’s “most likely to succeed” and get him/her under contract.

Via Ace’s sidebar.

Published in: on June 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

48 Hours Until The End

According to a few folks, the Rapture is scheduled for Saturday.  Try to look busy.  And pious, or something.  What do I know?

Published in: on May 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

You Won’t See A Cat Doing This Kind Of Thing

I’m just sayin’. . . .

Published in: on May 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm  Leave a Comment