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Tag Archives: Obama

Boehner Unchained: Will The soon to be former Speaker blow things up in Congress on the way out?

We wouldn’t put it past him. Indeed you can bet that long time “friends” like Boeing are leaning pretty hard on The Tanned One to make sure the Export-Import Bank, Boeing’s Bank, the taxpayer underwritten boondoggle for a few massive corporations, is revived from the grave for instance. The people who want Ex-Im gone are the same people who wanted Boehner gone. As such watch Boehner do the wrong thing here, either for old “friends,” out of spite, or both. He’s got one last chance to come through for the cronies and to thumb his nose at those who want a smaller government.

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A Leftist Lets It Slip: All Your Money Belongs To Government

I almost didn’t post this headline because the term “leftist” is used in a pejorative sense. That is not terribly constructive.

But the article itself is important. The author reports on a statement made by the new UK Labour Party’s economic flag bearer who said that the money one earns isn’t actually one’s money. You don’t actually pay taxes so much as give the government back its property. Essentially he is saying that your ability to feed and clothe your family, indeed to prosper in any way economically, is at the pleasure of the government, of the state.

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Do GOP voters just actually want big government?

I think the answer is that for a majority of GOP voters this is probably true. There is no real call to reduce the size of our massive military from the average GOP voter. Indeed if anything there is a call to expand it. There is no real call for reforming Social Security. There is no real call to reform Medicare (which is a total actuarial disaster). There is no real call for drug law reform. There is no real call for curtailing the government violations of the the 4th Amendment under the Patriot Act. There is no widespread call for an end to the Federal Reserve.

Most Republicans, with the exception of a large and I think still growing minority, don’t actually want to make the government smaller. They just want to change the style of government.

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On Obama securing Iran deal: PBS’s Gwen Ifill, “Take that Bibi.” (PBS’s calls Ifill’s tweet a “self inflicted wound”)

Seriously, this is a journalist? This is someone who has moderated presidential debates, presumably will moderate more, and who hosts the PBS Newshour? This is not OK.

Look, Bibi Netanyahu isn’t my favorite guy in the world. I have serious issues with Israel and particularly with how Israel influences our foreign policy and with the never ending flow of American tax dollars which finds its way into the pockets of the powerful in Tev Aviv and Jerusalem.  But this sort of thing from yet another news anchor just reflects how completely full of themselves the #oldmedia are.

To PBS’s credit they have addressed the issue and seem to understand the seriousness of Ms. Ifill’s statement. Really, they have. (To our shock.)

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Welfare Is the Highest Paying Entry-Level Job in 38 States

If one is trying to get people employed incentivising unemployment isn’t wise. It is however politically great for those who are for a large government. So long as the main part of a person’s income comes from welfare one can rest reasonably assured that such a person will vote for more government.

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Crony Univision?: Jorge Ramos Embarrassed Himself and His Network, Invites Scrutiny

By now most of you have probably seen the video of Mr. Ramos interupting Donald Trump and Trump removing the the guy because he wouldn’t wait his turn.

And even after this Trump still let Ramos back in and let him ask questions so long as Ramos followed the rules. But by grandstanding the way he did Ramos exposed for all to see that he is not a journalist but an activist. He should be treated as such going forward. He really has no business at future press conferences with any of the candidates.

We are not defending Mr.Trump in any way. We have no horse in this race. But Ramos and Univision clearly do. That Trump is suing Univision for $500 million probably has something to do with the scrap too.

But Univision deserves to be examined. It has some serious crony tendencies. (All the big networks do of one sort or another.)

For instance Hillary Clinton signed a deal with the network last year to do a mini-series of her life back in 2014. NBC was going to do it but backed out because the project was even too blatant for them. Univision, headed now by NBC’s former COO was happy to pick it up however.

Speaking of which, let’s take a closer look at Univision’s senior staff.

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Charles Koch blasts Barack Obama, Explains Cronyism Stance

The Kochs are a great target. They are rich. They are white. They have business interests in the fossil fuels industry. And perhaps most importantly, they are not Democrats. They aren’t even big government Republicans. The Kochs are custom made for statist ire.

But in my years of following them I am generally impressed. I’ve read Charles Koch’s book which outlines why it is that Koch Industries continues to grow even given its already immense size. (Not easy to do.) I am also thankful for their efforts in the marketplace of ideas. They sponsor Cato and other think tanks (not this one) which do much good. (I have some beefs with them too which I won’t go into here.)

The Kochs have also taken a pretty explict stance against crony capitalism. In fact Charles Koch talks about the need to eliminate it in the economy even while he admits that such cronyism benefits Koch Industries.

The Kochs as we have said in the past can defend themselves. They don’t need us to do it. But in the grand scheme of things anyone who thinks president Obama and Harry Reid have anything like a leg to stand on when they criticize the Kochs just doesn’t understand the situation. Of course Obama and Reid have a problem with the Kochs. Obama and Reid are classic crony capitalists. They’ve made their money through schmoozing and coercion in the public sector. As such they know that if a truly limited government regime was put in place by some miracle, one favored by the Kochs, they would be on the losing end of things along with all their buddies.

The private sector, the sector in which the Kochs largely operate is legitimate. In order to succeed in the private sector one must produce a good or service of value. The government sector, largely (certainly not totally) is not legitimate.  It benefits those – often – who are not productive. Obama and Reid know this. But government is the teat at which they and the crony class of both parties suckle. Best to dress up their philosophy in “green” garb and “social justice” than confront the truth which is that on an even playing field they can’t compete with those who succeed in the private sector.

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Fiorina: Income Inequality Is Worse Under Progressive Policies

There is little which is “progressive” about “progressive politics.”

The “progressive” ethos celebrates the nomenklatura, the government bureaucratic class, which is enriched. Interestingly also in this country the tendency is to enrich the big companies (and their managers) with close ties to the government. The rest of society, and particularly the middle class is tossed aside. In the “progressive” world there is little time for such bourgeois values as liberty, property rights, economic freedom, privacy, and self determination.

No, there are the managed and the managers. That’s it. As such “progressive” politics tends to favor those who do not think for themselves and don’t want to, and those for whom power is an end.

Free markets in contrast, with free prices, allow organic economic growth and wealth creation. It is from the wellspring of the free human mind that true PROGRESS comes. Free minds are not a priority however for “progressives.” Compliance and conformity are what are valued. Entrepreneurs are trouble makers. Free thinkers are to be considered with suspicion. Innovation is a headache.

If one is not born into wealth the very best shot one has to die with wealth and perhaps some security for one’s family is in a free society and a free market based economy. If you develop skills, hustle, are smart about the deployment of limited resources one has a chance to do something extraordinary, to actually progress.

In a “progressive” society the only thing which progresses usually is the rate of human decline.

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Michelle Obama’s 2014 Trip to China Cost Taxpayers More Than $360,000, Just for the flight

There is simply no reason for this. Not this kind of cost. She is not the President even, she is the First Lady. And this sum is just for the flight?

“Living rich” on the taxpayer’s dime is a common form of crony capitalism. People get into government (or in this case marry into it) and forget that the taxpayers pay for pretty much everything that they do.

I’m not saying that Ms. Obama needs to fly coach on United or anything, but I am willing to bet that the $360K bill for the flight alone could have been pared down a bit.

Air Force One is not the presidential Winnebago.

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Robert Reich: A revolt is taking place against the “ruling class” (He’s right on this, Wrong on most everything else)

Mr Reich generally needs to be taken with a grain of salt. He has been, and as far as I know, continues to be fundamentally wrong on the most important economic questions. Saying that, he has flashes of insight on political issues, and here’s one.

Of course we issue the standard disclaimers with this piece that we do with many of the folks we choose to feature here who we feel are too enamored with the state.

That he still can’t grasp (or is frankly willing to admit) that for the most part this country should thank its lucky stars for the TEA Party and the mini-revolt of 2009 is a big flaw in his argument. Another one is that he says that the TEA Party promoted “outright racism.” (I almost didn’t run his piece because of this chunk of baloney. A few memes promoted in the Huffington Post don’t count. I was there. I never saw it. Ever. I’m betting Reich didn’t attend many rallies.)

And yet another myth he promotes is the idea of some kind of post-World War 2 golden age of government. That is just a flat out misunderstanding of the situation.

He says,

In 1964, Americans agreed by 64% to 29% that government was run for the benefit of all the people. By 2012, the response had reversed, with voters saying by 79% to 19% that government was “run by a few big interests looking after themselves.”

This may be true but this is because before the information revolution the average person didn’t understand how the game, the government game, was played. It is, and has always been played for powerful interests. It’s just that we know it now. It was because Americans were basically ignorant (through no fault of their own) that 64% of people thought government was run for the benefit of the people.

They may have THOUGHT it was. But it wasn’t.

We woke up. Mr. Reich hasn’t. At least on this very important point.

So why run his piece?

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Jon Stewart’s secret White House visits

Cultivating this relationship was smart for the President. It’s a good way to keep tabs on (and to manipulate potentially) tone with an influential young(er) and politically motivated demographic.

It is also unfortunately another great example of the #CRONYMEDIA.

It might be “fake news” (as Stewart often says) but one could make the case that sometimes Jon’s product ventured a little close to the propaganda line. It may be smart. He may be smart. But if Stewart is meeting with the President secretly during particularly sensitive times for narrative creation, propaganda may not be too strong a word.

I like Jon Stewart. I’ve watched him since his show on MTV. But it’s best that he’s leaving now.

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