Friday, October 10, 2008

Palin vs. Biden

How is it that an attractive woman who has been involved in state and local government since the early 1990s without much controversy is passed off in the media now as an airhead? Yet her opponent -- long known as an airhead, a braggart and even a plagiarist -- now is passed off as a statesman? I have in mind Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska and Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware or Scranton, Pa., or wherever he now claims to hail from. In September, Gov. Palin sat before ABC's Charlie Gibson and CBS' Katie Couric and was asked any question that popped into their minds or the minds of their researchers. The comely governor responded adequately. She might not win first prize on "Jeopardy," but then no "Jeopardy" winner has governed Alaska. Nonetheless, she is portrayed in the mainstream moron media as an airhead, and Sen. Biden is a statesman.

Well, take a glance at Sen. Biden's performance just last month. On Sept. 22, he bragged to a Baltimore audience: "If you want to know where al-Qaida lives, you want to know where bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me. Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down with a three-star general and three United States senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are." Two days later, he continued his BSing that al-Qaida's headquarters had been moved to "the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where (his) helicopter was recently forced down." Both statements were rehashes of his Sept. 9 garbage spiel that "the superhighway of terror between Pakistan and Afghanistan (is) where (his) helicopter was forced down." Left unsaid by the senator -- who rarely leaves anything unsaid -- was that the helicopter was "brought down" not by enemy fire but by inclement weather.

OK, maybe those outbursts do not reveal Sen. Biden as an airhead, but they do reveal him as a phony. So consider a few more of the senator's September follies. On Sept. 17, at an appearance in Ohio, Sen. Biden tapped the chest of a reporter (presumably male) and said, "You need to work on your pecs." Then there was the senator's interview with Katie Couric. It is Couric, of course, who supposedly revealed Gov. Palin's intellectual weightlessness, but late in September, she revealed both herself and Sen. Biden to be ignoramuses.

While interviewing him on what appeared to be a bus, Couric evoked this response from the Democrats' vice presidential candidate: "When the stock market crashed (in 1929), Franklin Roosevelt got on television and didn't just talk about, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'" Actually, Roosevelt was not president until 1933, and in 1929, there was no "television audience" because there was no television available to consumers. By now, all Biden watchers have had a good laugh at his expense on this one, but the laugh is on Couric, too. Her round, girlish, expressionless face revealed no hint that she was aware of the senator's botched historical reference.

So Sen. Biden, in one month, reminded us that he is a phony and an airhead, but in September, he also reminded us that he is a plagiarist. In his 1988 presidential bid, he was caught lifting from British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock the Welshman's biographical treacle, adapting it for an American audience thus: "My ancestors who worked in the coal mines in Northeast Pennsylvania and would come up after 12 hours and play football for four hours." In Kinnock's version, his Welsh ancestors "could work eight hours underground and then come up and play football." This was a dreadful humiliation for Sen. Biden, made all the worse when it was revealed that he had faked his academic record and been accused of plagiarism in law school.

After being forced out of the 1988 race, the senator, one would have thought, never again would mention his "coal-mining" heritage. Yet Sept. 21, while addressing an audience filled with coal miners in Virginia, he fibbed: "I am a hard coal miner -- anthracite coal, Scranton, Pa. That's where I was born and raised." He was never a coal miner, and most of his early life was spent in Delaware. Amazing as it sounds, all the recent pratfalls were committed by the Democrats' vice presidential nominee in but one month. Nonetheless, as we enter October, it is Gov. Palin whom the media deem controversial.



More proof that a Democrat caused the Great Depression

He's got modern-day ideological descendants who are equally destructive

Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt. After scrutinizing Roosevelt's record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."

In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933. "President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services," said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. "So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies."

Using data collected in 1929 by the Conference Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cole and Ohanian were able to establish average wages and prices across a range of industries just prior to the Depression. By adjusting for annual increases in productivity, they were able to use the 1929 benchmark to figure out what prices and wages would have been during every year of the Depression had Roosevelt's policies not gone into effect. They then compared those figures with actual prices and wages as reflected in the Conference Board data.

In the three years following the implementation of Roosevelt's policies, wages in 11 key industries averaged 25 percent higher than they otherwise would have done, the economists calculate. But unemployment was also 25 percent higher than it should have been, given gains in productivity.

Meanwhile, prices across 19 industries averaged 23 percent above where they should have been, given the state of the economy. With goods and services that much harder for consumers to afford, demand stalled and the gross national product floundered at 27 percent below where it otherwise might have been.

"High wages and high prices in an economic slump run contrary to everything we know about market forces in economic downturns," Ohanian said. "As we've seen in the past several years, salaries and prices fall when unemployment is high. By artificially inflating both, the New Deal policies short-circuited the market's self-correcting forces."




Huge British power generation bungle: "British companies are being forced to pay over four times more for their electricity this winter than competitors in France and in excess of 70 per cent more than in Germany. The discrepancy will increase concerns that Britain's crumbling power infrastructure is a growing threat to the country's competitiveness and comes as Ofgem today announces its report into competition in the energy market. Wholesale power prices in the UK have soared because of a squeeze in generating capacity, which is expected to leave an unusually thin margin of spare supply next month. On Friday, the forward price of power for November reached more than $260 per megawatt hour. In France, it was about $62 per megawatt hour, according to Spectron, a supplier of energy market data. In Germany, the price stood at around $194 per megawatt hour. Jeremy Nicholson, of the Energy Intensive Users' Group, gave warning that some British companies could close this winter because they will not be able to pay such high prices. Power-hungry industries such as brickmaking, cement, glassmaking and papermills are particularly at risk."

Voter fraud by ACORN again: Nevada state authorities seized records and computers Tuesday from the Las Vegas office of an organization that tries to get low-income people registered to vote, after fielding complaints of voter fraud. Bob Walsh, spokesman for the Nevada secretary of state's office, told the raid was prompted by ongoing complaints about "erroneous" registration information being submitted by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, also called ACORN. The group was submitting the information through a voter sign-up drive known as Project Vote. "Some of them used nonexistent names, some of them used false addresses and some of them were duplicates of previously filed applications," Walsh said, describing the complaints, which largely came from the registrar in Clark County, Nev."

Regulators cannot avert next crisis: "As usual after a financial crisis, we hear demands for new controls and regulations to stop it from happening again. But since every crisis has led to thousands of new pages of regulation, why is it that regulation doesn't stop crises from happening again? No matter what pundits say, we are nowhere near a laissez-faire situation. Look no further than the US federal institutions in Washington, DC, and we find 12,113 individuals working full time to regulate the financial markets. What did they do with the powers they had? Made mistakes. American politicians, central banks and regulators were just as eager as speculators to expand the housing bubble. They just had a bigger pump... The problem with regulation is that it is always a response to the last crisis. Generals fight the last war and always try to avoid the mistakes made then. So we get new rules that target the mistakes that everybody already knows they must avoid. The next possible crisis and its causes are so far unknown, and our regulations may have no effect or even make them worse."

Social Security still needs to be privatized: "Wall Street's wild ride over the last few weeks has many critics of President Bush's 2000 campaign promise to create personal Social Security accounts dredging up the issue to score points with justifiably frightened voters. Barack Obama's campaign has used the issue as a cudgel to whack John McCain, who supported President Bush's plan. Embattled GOP senators such as New Hampshire's John Sununu are also finding themselves on the defensive as the issue of private accounts is resurfacing in campaign attack ads. resident Bush deserves criticism for the way he pushed private accounts, but not for the idea itself. ... Private accounts made sense in 2001, and they still make sense today, even after the calamitous last month in America's capital markets."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or 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)


No comments: