Look Who's Nativist Now
Oh, this is side-splitting: After exporting U.S. jobs, importing foreign debt and kowtowing to global thugs shamelessly over the past two years, the Obama administration is now playing the America First card. Democrats deserve a Guinness World Record award for their election-season cognitive dissonance.
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, White House senior adviser David Axelrod and their mynah bird operatives across the country accused Republicans last week of benefiting from "money from foreign corporations" -- which liberals claim the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling into domestic political ads.
Democratic clown prince Al Franken is leading a Senate inquisition against the chamber. A Democratic National Committee ad lambasted the GOP for "Stealing Democracy," complete with piles of Asian currency. Endangered Democratic candidates across the country are dutifully parroting the line of attack, which originated with the Center for American Progress, funded by far-left billionaire George Soros.
It's beyond comical to watch the party that cries "RAAAACISM" whenever conservatives question their shady foreign funny money suddenly sounding the alarm over non-U.S. campaign cash. And it's beyond galling to hear Democrats fret about foreign intrigue while the foreign agent-in-chief has inextricably tied America's fate to the Chinese holders of our T-bills. Guess we're all "nativists" now, eh, Obama?
The chamber-bashing claims are so baseless that The New York Times concluded that "there is little evidence that what the chamber does in collecting overseas dues is improper or even unusual, according to both liberal and conservative election-law lawyers and campaign finance documents."
Liberal CBS journalist Bob Schieffer scoffed at Axelrod: "If the only charge three weeks into the election that the Democrats can make is that somehow this may or may not be foreign money coming into the campaign, is that the best you can do?"
The Associated Press and the Annenberg Public Policy Center's Factcheck.org also shredded the White House smear, and Democrats told the Los Angeles Times they were uneasy with the McCarthyite tactics.
GOP candidates should remind voters of all the shady foreign and mystery cash the Democrats and their deep-pocketed donors have pumped into the political system.
Convicted fraudster and former top Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu -- who ran several Hong Kong companies into the ground and built a massive Ponzi scheme with still-unidentified sources of income -- raised millions for the Democratic Party and its candidates, including Hillary Clinton and Obama.
Obama Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, a soft-on-China corporate lawyer, collected thousands of dollars from "monks" and "nuns" at a Buddhist temple while running for governor of Washington.
The Federal Election Commission imposed a record-setting $719,000 in fines against Democrats for the 1996 Chinagate campaign finance scandal.
And the Obama campaign itself solicited foreign donations on its website -- even cashing in a contribution from one Canadian donor who warned, "I am not a (sic) American citizen!"
Acknowledging the hypocrisy of the Team Obama assault on the Chamber of Commerce, one top Democratic staffer warned this week: "The White House may reap the whirlwind."
As well they should. While they gin up anti-GOP fear and hostility among blue-collar Americans worried about the economy, Team Obama has presided over job-killing policies that are driving companies overseas. The Obama drilling moratorium forced several American oil rigs to abandon the Gulf of Mexico. Radical environmental rules are strangling coal workers in West Virginia, where Democratic Senate candidate and Gov. Joe Manchin has filed suit against the Obama Environmental Protection Agency.
Wyoming GOP Sen. John Barrasso and Utah GOP Rep. Rob Bishop pointed out in a new report on the Democrats' War on Western Jobs that the White House green agenda is driving mining jobs overseas and increasing our reliance on foreign nations for metals and minerals that power our economy and are integral to national defense technology.
In another high dose of cognitive dissonance, Obama has been pushing solar panels and other green technology pet projects as a way to create jobs and promote energy independence -- while ignoring the fact that the rare earth metal market needed for such green technology is dominated by ... China. After years of environmental obstruction of the industry, Democrats are now rushing to re-open rare earth metal mines in the face of this national security threat. The last one shut down in 2002. It could take up to 15 years to get it back up and running again.
The inconvenient truth: American workers are reaping what the newly nativist left has sown.
More Leftist authoritarianism: “I don’t want drivers talking on phones”
From the Nanny-in-Chief on down, Big Brother reigns in Washington as every department from Health and Human Services to EPA to Transportation seek ways to tighten their grip on American choice.
A day after a federal court judge in Detroit ruled that forcing Americans to buy health insurance is constitutional, transportation secretary Ray LaHood let it be known that Detroit auto manufacturers might have to abandon in-car connectivity systems that they have spent millions developing. Nanny LaHood, reports the Automotive News, “believes motorists are distracted by any use of mobile phones while driving, including hands-free calls.”
Not content to enforce existing distracted-driver laws, LaHood has been building a case for a non-permissive standard where drivers must be mute, two-hands-on-the-steering-wheel autobots.
“I don’t want people talking on phones, having them up to their ear or texting while they’re driving,” LaHood said this week calling for research on hands-free systems. Hands-free phone conversations are a “cognitive distraction,” he says. And eat your broccoli!
The potential restrictions have meant the auto industry has had to arm itself with more lobbyists to make their case for in-car communications systems. Ford’s SYNC and GM’s OnStar system, with about 5.7 million subscribers, are testing applications that would let users make audio updates to their Facebook pages and have messages from the social-media site read to them while driving. “I’m absolutely opposed to all of that,” said King LaHood.
What’s next? A ban on small children in cars? Tethers to force both hands on the wheel? No passengers in the front seat?
Freer Is Better
The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom lowers the ranking of the United States to eighth out of 179 nations -- behind Canada! A year ago, it ranked sixth, ahead of Canada.
Don't say it's Barack Obama's fault. Half the data used in the index is from George W. Bush's final six months in office. This is a bipartisan problem.
For the past 16 years, the index has ranked the world's countries on the basis of their economic freedom -- or lack thereof. Ten criteria are used: freedoms related to business, trade, fiscal matters, monetary matters, investment, finance, labor, government spending, property rights and freedom from corruption.
The top 10 countries are: Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Denmark and Chile.
The bottom 10: Republic of Congo, Solomon Islands, Turkmenistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Venezuela, Burma, Eritrea, Cuba, Zimbabwe and North Korea.
The index demonstrates what we libertarians have long said: Economic freedom leads to prosperity. Also, the best places to live and fastest-growing economies are among the freest, and vice versa. A society will be materially well off to the extent its people have the liberty to acquire property, start businesses, and trade in a secure legal and political environment.
Bill Beach, director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis, which compiles the index with The Wall Street Journal, says the index defines "economic freedom" to mean: "You can follow your dreams, express yourself, create a business, do whatever job you want. Government doesn't run labor markets, or plan what business you can open, or over-regulate you."
We asked Beech about the U.S. ranking. "For first time in 16 years, the United States fell from the 'totally free' to 'mostly free' group. That's a terrible development," he said. He fears that if this continues, productive people will leave the United States for freer pastures.
"The United States has been this magnet for three centuries. But today money and people can move quickly, and in less than a lifetime a great country can go by the wayside."
Why is the United States falling behind? "Our spending has been excessive. ... We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. (Government) takeovers of industries, subsidizing industries ... these are the kinds of moves that happen in Third World countries. ..."
Beach adds that the rule of law declined when the Obama administration declared some contracts to be null and void. For example, bondholders in the auto industry were forced to the back of the creditor line during bankruptcy. And there's more regulation of business, such as the Dodd-Frank law for the financial industry and the new credit-card law. But how could the United States place behind Canada? Isn't Canada practically a socialist country?
"Canada might do health care the wrong way," Beach said, "but by and large they do things the right way." Lately, Canada has lowered tax rates and reduced spending.
Earth to Obama
To be so completely disconnected from political reality and the investor class, the president must be from another planet
Believe it or not, with jobs falling for four consecutive months and unemployment stubbornly high near 10 percent, President Obama is out on the campaign trail bashing businesses and promoting class warfare. Huh? Oh my gosh is he off message.
He’s slamming the Chamber of Commerce for allegedly using foreign money in campaign ads, even though there’s not one shred of evidence of this. Huh (again)? Is the Chamber really a big election-year issue? Is it causing high unemployment?
Of course, Obama never mentions the unions, including the SEIU and AFL-CIO, and all their foreign money from their big international affiliates. Instead, he extends his own cast of villains, attacking special interests, Wall Street banks, corporations, the oil industry, the insurance industry, credit-card companies, AIG, and ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil? What did they do? Oh, they’re an oil company. Phew. Kind of anti-business, wouldn’t you say?
Obama then blasts millionaires and billionaires, waging war on capital and investors, too. Next he talks about getting young people, African Americans, and union members to the polls. Even more division. Even more class warfare.
All this, of course, from the “post-partisan” president who was going to bring us all together for change.
But what’s truly incredible about Obama’s pre-election performance is how it totally misses the mark on the issues that really matter, like high unemployment, low growth, big-government spending, Obamacare, and tax hikes. That’s the stuff people are really talking about.
Billets and bullets for the troops but not ballots?: "It’s utterly amazing that our nation’s leadership is able to send our troops around the world and overnight have sleeping quarters (known in military parlance as ‘billets’) constructed to house them. It is equally amazing that the required arms (bullets) can be shipped with equally profound efficiency and timely deliverance to any spot determined by that same leadership, anywhere in the world. And yet, the same leadership fails to deliver election ballots to the very people who defend the right to vote for every other American. Is that a failure in leadership? [It's just the usual Leftist crookedness. The military is overwhelmingly conservative so must be stopped from voting]
How do we know what we know?: "While traveling back to America at the end of World War II, Vonnegut asked a friend what he had learned from his wartime experiences: ‘never to believe anything my government tells me,’ the friend answered. Because the state is grounded in such a network of lies, contradictions, deceptions, and conflicts, it is safe to say that political systems are inherently in conflict with reality, and must resort to intentional distortions of truth as a way of trying to appear coherent to a gullible public.”
Yes, Paul Krugman thinks Obama is a “small spender”: "Paul Krugman wrote a head-scratching column Sunday titled, ‘Hey, Small Spender.’ In the column, Krugman not only argues that President Obama’s stimulus package was too small, but he even claims that Obama and his administration did not create a bigger government. He asserts that people think Obama is a big spender as a result of ‘a disinformation campaign from the right.’”
Work choices, money, and status: "As the time horizon gets long, the effects of monetary incentives and status motives may be hard to disentangle. In the short run, you raise marginal tax rates, and few people reduce work effort, because the status of being ‘employed’ is much higher than the status of being a homebody. However, once a few people decide to become homebodies, the status of being a homebody goes up enough that many people choose not to work. So the long run effect of the higher marginal tax rate is much higher than anything you might have predicted, because it has affected cultural norms.”
Tariffs benefit few, at cost to all: "Protectionism still flourishes — even in our deeply integrated global economy and even though economists almost unanimously find it short-sighted — because there is an asymmetry of information between stakeholders, which produces an asymmetry of motivations. Protection seekers have a reasonably good idea of the windfall to expect if their proposals are implemented. A steel tariff of 20 per cent, for example, might enable domestic producers, through higher prices and greater market share, to increase profits by an aggregate $100 million a year. However, the typically larger costs associated with a steel tariff are borne by a mostly unwitting public, whose incentives to lobby against the tariffs are muted by the fact that those large costs are spread across millions of consumers.”
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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)