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Tag Archives: big government

Authoritarian Republicans and libertarian Republicans fight it out (The Neocon Battle of the Bulge)

There is a civil war in the GOP. This is not news. But it has again flared up in light of the recent budget deal, other domestic developments, and the new neocon Battle of the Bulge, the counter offensive by the big government wing of the GOP to reassert its authority and to secure an establishment candidate for president.

The neocons know that they are on the edge being relegated perhaps permanently to the political margins, and like the Germans in the frozen Belgian forests the neocons are going to go down fighting.

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Utah comes after insurance startup

Pretty blatant stuff. As a former insurance underwriter (and sometimes agent) I can tell you first hand that brokers and agents loathe competition. Which is understandable. Competition means having to lower prices on a highly commoditized product. That’s not good for commissions.

This is one of the reasons why insurance is such a “highly regulated industry.”  It’s not just about looking out for the consumer that’s for sure.

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More Crony Media: Democratic Party Launches ‘Colbert Week’ To Thank Stephen Colbert

I think Stephen Colbert is very funny. I’ve watched him for over a decade. But he is a partisan and a statist. Though his critique is often dead on when it comes to conservatives, he willfully turns a blind eye toward the the failure of government and to the general failure of the current president. He buys into the old way of looking at American politics, and has furthered an outdated narrative.

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Afghanistan has cost taxpayers $1 trillion, 80% spent under Peace Prize winning president

I care about the 1 trillion dollars but I care about the human cost much more. What are we still doing in the West Virginia of Asia? (No offense to wild and wonderful West Virginia.) How many men and women are dead who didn’t need to die? How many children? Why is the opium/heroin crop bigger this year than ever before? Why are palaces being erected throughout Kabul with US taxpayer dollars? Why are bases being built by contractors only to be abandoned months later?  Why did the US military allow Al-Qaeda linked groups to bid for, and get contracts?

Lots of “whys.”

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Progressives, supporters of American corporatism?

Veroniqe de Rugy in the attached article observes that progressives, for the most part are not enemies of corporatism. In fact to a large degree they are enablers of corporatism. With the expansion of the state comes the expansion of corporate power. And “progressives” it seems are always for expanding the state. As noted in a recent post it is terribly frustrating that progressives don’t see what they are doing. If they do they have no business saying they stand for anything like “progress.”

With each new government endeavor, with each new effort at social engineering, there is a new source of revenue for somebody. Sometimes it’s the corporations. Sometimes it’s the unions, Sometimes it’s players within the government itself. Sometimes it’s interest groups of other sorts. The aggregation of taxpayer dollars is like carrion on the plain, the jackals will always come.

In many respects I consider modern American “progressives” to be similar to progressives of another place and era, think Italy pre-World War 2. I dare say that many of the scarf and tattoo sleeve set would have happily fallen in line behind that pioneer of crony capitalism, Mussolini.

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Reason: Elizabeth Warren Is Right: The Cromnibus Aids Crony Capitalism

This is the 3rd and probably last time we’ll give a shout out to Senator Warren, who as we always have to note is wrong on many many things. But on the embedded “pre-bailout” in the Cromnibus bill she is absolutely right. We should not be on the hook for big bank derivatives which go south. And we are talking about trillions in derivatives. (For those who are unclear as to what derivatives are here is a good explanation.)

In a recent post we highlighted a piece by Charles Hugh Smith where he asserted that. “The 35% drop in the price of oil is the first domino.” He warned that the world was floating on a sea of fossil fuel derivatives that were about to go bad.

Funny that the pre-bailout bit got put into the Cromnibus at the last second. It reminds me of when the banks got the bankruptcy laws more to their liking right before the Great Recession started. Let’s hope the pre-bailout isn’t a direct countermeasure to immediate developments in the world economy. That would be bad news.

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Harry Reid and GOP ‘megadonor’ Adelson play poker with online poker?

Sheldon Adelson, Republican moneybags extraordinaire and head of Las Vegas Sands wants online gambling to remain illegal. He would prefer you lose your shirt in his brick and mortar establishment. As such Adelson has been pursuing a GOP centered strategy in Congress to make sure the status quo remains in place. But he’s been having problems. Many Republican members of Congress see Adelson’s efforts as little more than a crony capitalist effort to protect his bottom line, and so have not been as open to helping the magnate as he might have thought. (That other gaming donors are on the other side of this issue probably has a lot to do with this too.)

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