Friday, February 20, 2009

Obama the magician

In case you have not seen it yet: A Japanese sendup of Obama:


BrookesNews Update

Monetary policy - not Obama's stimulus - is what needs watching : On the one hand the US faces a massive boondoggle that has greatly disturbed the markets and threatens to destabilise the economy. On the other hand the threat of inflation is looming up as the money supply expands. This is a truly terrible witches' brew and like it or not Obama and his crew of economic vandals need to be held accountable for it
Prime Minister Rudd's misbegotten assault on the market goes unchallenged : Rudd's essay is an opening salvo against free market thinking and deserves to be taken seriously. Ideas have consequences, particularly bad ideas. If these ideas are not thoroughly refuted in the public arena they are likely to take root in the public mind. The consequences for the economy could be disastrous. This article is an attempt to expose the shoddy thinking, economic illiteracy and the ignorance of economic history and the history of economic thought that underpin Rudd's essay
Rudd's "growth gap" myth : Politicians are talking about rising unemployment, falling production and output gaps. Being politicians their first response is more spending in order to raise aggregate demand. They are too ignorant to realise that what they propose is dose of the same fallacious economic medicine that caused the crisis in the first place
Mr. Obama, the barn is also "shovel ready" and is as useful to the economy as the stimulus bill :Obama's brilliant tax plant amounts to workers getting an additional $13 a week in their pay checks (at least those still with jobs) beginning in June 2009 and then $8 a week in 2010. Does anyone but the most ardent Obama acolyte really think these tax cuts will spur on the economy? With the increasing price of gasoline the 'Obama tax cuts' are not even likely to fill the gas tank of your car. The rest of his phony stimulus plan is just as shoddy
Honoring Cuba's Heroes:You'll often find people with red-rimmed eyes ambling amidst the long rows of white crosses at Miami's Tamiami Park. It's the Cuban Memorial and it stands in honor of the tens of thousands of murder victims of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. It is a tribute, too, to those who fell while trying to free Cuba from the barbarism that the two imposed with their Soviet overlords while America's 'best and brightest' dithered, bumbled and finally betrayed the Cuban people
The impact of Obama's pending program on the US economy : All real economic growth comes from an increase in the accumulation of capital per worker. There is no other source, Keynesianism notwithstanding. Capital is generic unconsumed wealth saved up and available for investment in productive enterprises. Obama's economic package will not create wealth. It will only create more economic problems
Murphy's Law, the Peter Principle and Barack Obama:In only three weeks Obama has signaled to every terrorist on the planet that we are a sorry, groveling, ashamed Nation ready to come to the diplomatic confessional. He is closing Gitmo within one year, has suspended trials there, and dismissed the charges against the U.S.S. Cole plotter. The perfect collision of Murphy's Law with the Peter Principle has arrived to explode in our faces
Will Obama start a trade war? :Access to the $996 billion global infrastructure market will disappear in a trade war, all in exchange for access to $43 billion in federal stimulus spending on infrastructure - not a good swap. Obama's 'Buy American' may turn into 'Bye, American'



Obama's "openness" in action: "In his first weeks in office, President Barack Obama shut down his predecessor's system for reviewing regulations, realigned and expanded two key White House policymaking bodies and extended economic sanctions against parties to the conflict in the African nation of Cote D'Ivoire. Despite the intense scrutiny a president gets just after the inauguration, Obama managed to take all these actions with nary a mention from the White House press corps. The moves escaped notice because they were never announced by the White House Press Office and were never placed on the White House web site."

Another Obama corruptocrat: "News broke last week that Rahm Emanuel, now White House chief of staff, lived rent- free for years in the home of Rep. Rosa De Lauro (D-Conn.) - and failed to disclose the gift, as congressional ethics rules mandate. But this is only the tip of Emanuel's previously undislosed ethics problems. One issue is the work Emanuel tossed the way of De Lauro's husband. But the bigger one goes back to Emanuel's days on the board of now-bankrupt mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Emanuel is a multimillionaire, but lived for the last five years for free in the tony Capitol Hill townhouse owned by De Lauro and her husband, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg. During that time, he also served as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee - which gave Greenberg huge polling contracts... Emanuel never declared the substantial gift of free rent on any of his financial-disclosure forms. He and De Lauro claim that it was just allowable "hospitality" between colleagues. Hospitality - for five years? Some experts suggest that it was also taxable income: Over five years, the free rent could easily add up to more than $100,000. "

Under fire, Burris refuses to resign Senate seat: "Despite calls for his resignation, Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.) made clear Wednesday that he intends to fight. Burris, appointed to fill President Obama's Senate seat, is under investigation for repeatedly changing his story about contacts with associates of then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D). But he insisted that his hands are clean. . Burris has offered five varying explanations - three of them under oath - of his contacts with associates of Blagojevich, who was charged Dec. 9 with taking part in a bribery conspiracy that included trying to sell Obama's former seat."

Homeless families face strict new rules -- in Massachusetts!: "Less than two years after vowing to end homelessness in Massachusetts, the Patrick administration has proposed new regulations that it acknowledges could force hundreds of homeless families back on the street. The regulations, scheduled to take effect April 1, would deny shelter to families who in the last three years had been evicted from or had abandoned public or subsidized housing without good cause, and to those who fail to meet a new 30-hour per week work requirement and save 30 percent of their income."

"Truth to power" gap: "`Speak truth to power,' a phrase of Quaker origins adopted by campus radicals, Hollywood gadflies, and establishment journalists, has become shorthand for bravely criticizing government, big corporations, and other stereotypical villains. But where's the bravery? I don't know many journalists who are afraid of the government, and most make their living from big corporations. Sure, liberals - which most journalists are - are afraid of what conservatives will do in power and vice-versa. But they aren't very afraid of what government will do to them, specifically. In fact, being singled out for criticism by the president of the United States is nothing short of a gift."

Why gay rights activists need to straighten up: "My darling daughter. You want to disestablish marriage as a legally regulated institution entirely? As a libertarian, I'm with you. You want to amend the California constitution so that any two or more adults who want to get married - including groups of men and women in any number and mixture - may legally do so . I'll cross the border from my home state of Nevada to help you campaign for it. But don't tell me that `gays' have a greater right to marriage than Mormon-offshoot polygamists. That sort of special pleading that ignores the historical discrimination against others just revolts me."

In defense of the "filibuster" : "So Ezra Klein wonders whether it's better that a minority can block good policy or a majority can enact bad policy? Given the 'stickiness' of bad policy (Ezra, in another post, suggests that corn and beef subsidies aren't so wonderful but that there are structural incentives to retain them) one would think that inhibiting bad policy would be a good goal for either side of the aisle. So let's stipulate a few general principles: 1. Government, by definition, is coercive. 2. Most government `programs' (here defined as positive government acts rather than simple regulatory prohibitions or laws) expand the state and curtail personal liberty - at least to the extent that they must be paid for by non-voluntary means. 3. Therefore, government action is more likely to reduce individual liberty than increase it. 4. Finally, to a libertarian (one whose first principles are towards individual liberty), it is best to inhibit government action."

Who Gives, and Why It Matters: "Arthur Brooks, professor of public administration at Syracuse University, is a rare scholar. In "Who Really Cares," he surveys the data on American charitable giving, and he has much to report - much, he admits, that surprised him, going against his own cultural prejudices. The facts show that all the common myths about giving are exactly opposite to reality. Take the perception that Americans are generally indifferent to other people's suffering, a view that St. Jimmy Carter once trumpeted. The reality is that around 75% of American families give to charity annually, to the tune of an average of 3.5% of their household income. Only a third of this largess goes to churches; the rest goes to secular charities. Brooks urges that far and away the biggest predictors of charitableness are religious belief, skepticism about powerful government, strength of family, and personal entrepreneurism. Brooks' first chapter debunks the common myth that people who are politically "progressive" are more charitable than others, a myth endlessly promoted by the Left. The data show that at every income level, self-identified conservatives donate more than self-identified liberals, despite the fact that liberals average 6% more income. Next, Brooks considers differences in charitableness as it relates to ideology. Specifically, he raises the question of whether people who favor the forced redistribution of income by government ("redistributionists," estimated by one large 1996 survey at 33%) give more to charity than people who oppose government redistribution ("nonredistributionists," about 43% in the same survey). The answer is - drum roll, please! - Hell, no! Nonredistributionists give four times more money to charity than redistributionists.


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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)


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