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Tag Archives: crony capitalism

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 He buys into the old way of looking at American politics, and has furthered an outdated narrative.

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The Cuba Deal: Coexisting And Profiting With Tyrants

I am very much for free trade and the exchange of goods and services between states. It helps to ensure peace between peoples and often brings higher quality and lower cost products to market, thereby raising the quality of life for the average person. But it’s hard to see what advantage opening things up with Cuba gives us right now. We certainly shouldn’t be legitimizing the regime. At the very least we should have waited until Castro died.

Also why are we saving Cuba’s lunch? Venezuela is dying thanks to the bottom falling out of oil prices. Venezuela finances much of the Cuban economy. Now would be a time where we should be dictating very strident terms to the island nation. Cuba is running out of money. And we are about to give these guys, and they are communists, a new infusion? It doesn’t make much sense to me.

Don’t get me wrong, though I am for free trade I am not for intervening in the affairs of other nations, which we did quite a lot in Cuba. But this regime should be hung out to dry, not rewarded.

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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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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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