Chuck Todd asks Senator Ben Sasse: What is a conservative? (And are American “conservatives” really conservative?)

I have become a big fan of Senator Sasse. His definition of “conservative” is I think right on the money. Though I would say that the term “conservative” doesn’t really feel right to me these days. I would argue that what is today called conservative, very limited government, rule of law, generally an affirmation of The Enlightenment in many respects, is actually quite forward thinking and not retrograde as the term “conservative” implies. I don’t think most “conservatives” want to conserve the massive and intrusive state which this country has been saddled with since the Wilson administration.

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Sanders Fundraises Off Goldman CEO Blankfein’s Comments

He should, and in this very narrow statement Sanders is almost correct. What Sanders does not mention however is that the reason Goldman Sachs acted the way it did, indeed why it COULD act the way it did in the lead up to 2008 was because its “greed” was facilitated by the Federal Reserve. The central planners wanted Goldman Sachs and the other banks to leverage themselves out. This was the goal. The Great Recession was created by the Federal Reserve,

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Americans are increasingly aware of crony capitalism, and it is changing politics as we know it

Crony capitalism is a concept with which the typical informed American voter is now familiar. We are very proud of our contribution to this awakening and it is gratifying to see candidates of all stripes having to defend their current crony arrangements with donors, past crony deals, or alternatively to see them go on the attack against cronyism. That Cruz won the Iowa Caucuses despite an explicitly anti-ethanol subsidy stance is no small feat.

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The Truth About Politics

A reminder from Lew Rockwell of the true nature of the state. The government facilitates cronyism, it doesn’t listen to you, it takes your money for itself and its crony allies, it wages wars which need not be waged, it is not – you and me. It serves its own purposes first. We are at best second thoughts. (We are actually thought of quite a bit, but primarily as nuisances.)

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New Republic: Ayn Rand Made Me a Communist

I am not a Randian. I am more of the Murray Rothbard school of politics. A school which though libertarian is noticeably, and famously (in some circles anyway) not Randian.

But I have respect for Ayn Rand and her Objectivist movement. I was honored to speak at the Crony Awards which were sponsored by the Atlas Society, an Objectivist organization last summer. One would be hard pressed to find a group of smarter people on average.

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Sanders Camp: Microsoft working with DNC in Iowa, Can caucus app be trusted?

Image: Twitter

The Sanders folks are wise to keep a particularly close watch on how votes are tabulated in Iowa, of course. But they are also right to concern themselves with the involvement of Microsoft in the Iowa caucuses. Could Microsoft influence the results?

It seems very unlikely. But one can never be too sure, particularly when going up against a candidate like Hillary Clinton in whom many very powerful interests have invested. Politics can be a darn nasty business.

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Does Goldman Sachs have a candidate in the presidential race?

Goldman Sachs, AKA Government Sachs, is very active politically. It has sought systematically to get its people into positions of power around the world.

The second best thing to do after having one of the bank’s own in positions of power from the bank’s perspective is to give piles of money to politicians who are likely to be friendly. (Or can be swayed to be friendly.) This is what they did for example with Barack Obama in 2008.

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Texas Economy Collapses – Dallas Fed Survey Crashes To 6-Year Lows As “D” Word Is Uttered

I was listening to an economist the other day talking about the continued slide in the price of oil. He said that despite the lower fuel prices there did not appear to be the significant bump in consumer activity as some have predicted.

We have argued that pressure from the low price of oil, caused in large part by the Saudis, would negatively affect the American heartland where the fracking revolution had been rolling. Now recession appears to be creeping across the prairie states and into Texas,

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Careful Young Entrepreneurs, the Police State is Cracking Down on Unauthorized Snow Shoveling

It wasn’t quite this bad.

On Friday I watched the mountains outside my window disappear behind a veil of heavy snow. It just kept coming and coming. My neighborhood soon looked like a village in the Swiss alps. We didn’t have a blanket of snow, it was more like a big fluffy down comforter of snow. By Saturday my 2 cars looked like giant marshmallows. The sidewalk in front of my house was thigh deep. I knew that Sunday was going to be a day of serious shoveling.

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And another little bit of the college bubble pops, Penguin Publishing drops degree requirement

I think college has quite a lot of value for many people. It certainly was valuable for me. (In oh so many ways.) But college costs, driven by easy money from the government, have gotten out of hand. The value per dollar at many institutions is not as attractive as it once was. We now have a generation of middle class kids saddled by debt. They start life with what are essentially mortgages hanging around their necks, and they don’t even have a roof of their own to sleep under for the “mortgage.”

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About half of retiring senators and a third of retiring House members register as lobbyists

Washington DC is a company town. In Washington money and power flow back and forth in a strange double helix of back scratching and back stabbing. We shouldn’t be surprised that people latch onto Capitol Hill. It’s a seductive place.

Willie Sutton was once asked, “Why do you rob banks?”

The reply, “Because that’s where the money is.”

A similar question could be asked of many a congress person, “Why don’t you go back to the area you once represented?

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And now a clip of Bernie Sanders taking Hillary Clinton to task (at the debate) for the $600,000 she’s taken from Goldman Sachs in the past year (VIDEO)

We have no horse in the presidential race as we often say but we sure have an issue with Government Sachs, the bank which long ago should have died but was saved by virtue of its connections in government. (Not the only bank.) The bank then, post-2008 went on to expand further around the world all fresh and “recapitalized.” (Recapitalized with your money.)

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The incredible tale of irresponsible chocolate milk research at the University of Maryland

Did you know that chocolate milk can improve cognitive function? In fact that one particular brand of chocolate milk can help cognitive function? Seriously, it’s all right here in this report from the University of Maryland. Of course the study was also partly sponsored by the chocolate milk company which makes the chocolate milk with all the “health benefits,” so there is that.

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Societe General economist: S&P will plunge 75% on China deflation

That’s a bold statement. So bold that if Mr. Edwards turns out to be right it will be one of the greatest calls ever.

The underpinnings of his analysis are sound. Financial assets have been inflated artificially since March of 2009 and we are now (according to Edwards) going to see the deflation of that bubble back to more or less where we were around the time of the Crash.

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US oil stumbles below $30 for first time since Dec 2003 – Break out the Suburban and Humvee! (Just kidding please don’t)

This is it guys! Whoopee! Gas is cheap again and going to be cheaper. Oil is under $30 a gallon. It’s cheaper than before we started bombing Saddam! Yay! Hoot! … I say yay! … Yay?

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