The Democrats continue to lurch further Left
If there's any point to take away from this lobbyist-gotcha, it's just how far the Democratic Party has traveled down the protectionist and populist road. Take Mr. Podesta at his word last year, when he was quoted as saying that "I've never asked anybody on the Hill to do anything they didn't feel was good policy . . ." Let's assume he believes Wal-Mart - the largest private employer in the country - is good for the economy. Let's assume Mr. Penn knows free trade is crucial to the financial well-being of millions of Americans.
There was a day when Democrats could make these cases without fear of blacklist. Bill Clinton pushed for free trade. (Hey, it turns out he's even pushed for Colombia free trade!) Former Sen. John Breaux argued for competition in government-run health care. The late New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan proposed cutting the payroll tax and letting Americans use the money for private retirement accounts. Blue Dogs voted not just against raising taxes, but for lowering them. It was possible for Democrats to champion strong companies, competition and a strong economy, even as they pushed for a larger social safety net.
These days, corporate bashing, closed borders and class warfare have become staples of the left. The Obama and Clinton campaigns have pushed these positions to new heights, in the process setting litmus tests for what counts as being a good Democrat.
Pharma companies? Rich and greedy. Fossil fuel companies? Dirty polluters. Multinationals who "offshore" jobs? Traitors. Americans who strike financial success? Fat cats. Developing countries working to open their borders? Job stealers. It rarely is noted that this vilification is encouraged by yet another set of lobbyists, those representing unions and environmental groups.
Brookes News Update
US economy, commodity prices and the trade cycle: Regrettably it is not as easy to refute the fundamental belief that the trade cycle is a sad by-product of capitalism, especially since the birth of Keynesianism. But until we do our economies will continue to undergo periodic booms and depressions
Interest rate targeting will stop the Fed's liquidity push: Despite a very loose interest rate stance by the Federal Reserve since September 18 last year liquidity conditions in credit markets have continued to deteriorate. The extra yield investors demand in return for holding corporate paper rather than risk free Treasury debt has been on a sharp increase since August last year
Interest rates and the Keynesian myth: If our so-called statesmen had adhered to classical principles the world not only be in a far better economic state it would not have had to bear the burden of publishing Samuelson's text book
Deficits never drove the US economy: So-called fiscal policy is a dangerous Keynesian fraud that generates inflation, causes balance-of-payments problems, distorts the pattern of production and triggers the boom-bust cycle
Congress' Oil Barons: Congress drives up food prices and puts energy production - except if it comes from sunbeams - in a regulatory straitjacket. So what does it do when the results of its criminal folly strike at living standards? They put the oil companies on trial
Barack Obama, his Minister, and the Wellstone Funeral: The inflammatory rhetoric of Obama's minister, and the indignant reaction to that rhetoric by the public at large, reminds me of the October 2002 memorial rally that followed the funeral of the iconic liberal Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone
Jews fighting for their country: Every single civilized nation on the face of the earth that kept ethnic demographic records on wartime service proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jews always did more than their fair share of the fighting when their country was at war
McCain head-to-head with Obama: "Republican Sen. John McCain has erased Sen. Barack Obama's 10-point advantage in a head-to-head matchup, leaving him essentially tied with both Democratic candidates in an Associated Press-Ipsos national poll released Thursday. The survey showed the extended Democratic primary campaign creating divisions among supporters of Obama and rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and suggests a tight race for the presidency in November no matter which Democrat becomes the nominee. McCain is benefiting from a bounce since he clinched the GOP nomination a month ago. The four-term Arizona senator has moved up in matchups with each of the Democratic candidates, particularly Obama.
How to bring up McCain's age: "While bringing up John McCain's age, DNC Chair Howard Dean says the Dems won't bring up McCain's age. Dean says that the Dems' "ethical bar" is too high for them to do that, adding, "We don't have any Lee Atwaters or Karl Roves on our side." After Dean said the Dems wouldn't bring up McCain's age after bringing it up, a pollster for Obama who worked on a poll with the DNC was also interviewed and was asked if he agreed with Dean about bringing up McCain's age while promising not to bring it up because of the party's strict "ethics." He also said the Dems wouldn't bring up McCain's age"
Nuke is back in the USA; "Westinghouse signs on to build a nuclear power plant for Georgia Power. Waynesboro, Ga., - the bird Dog Capital of the World - is about to get the first new nuclear plant built in the United States since the 1978 hysteria over a mild mishap at Three Mile Island in which no one was killed or even injured. Two nuke plants will be built in Georgia and two in South Carolina as part of a $13.7 billion deal, Business Week reported. Dow Jones quoted Westinghouse Chief Executive Steve Tritch: "Agreements like the one announced with Georgia Power will also ensure that the United States will have the power it will need to support long-term economic growth." Nukes supply about 19% of the electricity used in America. France is 78% nuke."
BBC bias to lessen? "Mark Thompson, the Director General of the BBC, tonight warned broadcasters against becoming overly-cautious in their reporting on Islam for fear of causing offence to Muslims. Speaking at Westminster Cathedral Mr Thompson, a practising Catholic, said there was "a growing nervousness about discussion about Islam and its relationship to the traditions and values of British and Western society as a whole". He said that the BBC and other major channels "have a special responsibility" to ensure that debates about "faith and society" and about any religion "should not be foreclosed or censored".
CA: More waters may be off limits to oil drilling: "A stretch of the Pacific Ocean off California's wild north coast seems poised to get permanent federal protection from oil exploration and other development, in recognition that the area lies within one of the four richest marine feeding grounds in the world. The US Senate is expected this week to vote in favor of extending two marine sanctuaries to cover ocean waters off a 76-mile stretch of the Sonoma County and south Mendocino County coasts -- a move that would be a major victory for California in its 50-year battle to restrict offshore oil drilling. The House of Representatives approved the measure April 1. 'After decades of struggle, the door has opened to the national significance of this region,' says Richard Charter of the environmental group Defenders of Wildlife."
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN.
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A lesson in Australian: When an Australian calls someone a "big-noter", he is saying that the person is a chronic and rather pathetic seeker of admiration -- as in someone who often pulls out "big notes" (e.g. $100.00 bills) to pay for things, thus endeavouring to create the impression that he is rich. The term describes the mentality rather than the actual behavior with money and it aptly describes many Leftists. When they purport to show "compassion" by advocating things that cost themselves nothing (e.g. advocating more taxes on "the rich" to help "the poor"), an Australian might say that the Leftist is "big-noting himself". There is a recent example of the usage here. The term conveys contempt. There is a wise description of Australians generally here
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)