As I usually do, I will be celebrating the birth of a great poet tonight -- a pleasant break from politics. So I have put up all my blogs earlier in the day than usual.
Haggis here we come! I may put up something about it all on my personal blog later on.
Do Leftists celebrate Burns Night? I doubt that many do. It is only grievance that turns them on.
The Assassination Attempt You Have Not Heard Of
The American Thinker brings us word of an attempted assassination you probably have never heard of.
It happened in September of 2010 in Missouri. A 22 year old named Casey Brezik, wearing a bullet proof vest, charged toward Missouri’s Democratic Governor Jay Nixon with a knife and attempted to slash his throat.
In light of the media’s race to talk about the right’s climate of hateful rhetoric, you have probably guessed by now that Casey Brezik was an anti-Christian, anti-capitalist Leftist who participated in a number of leftwing protests. He was also a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic.
Luckily for all involved, Brezik was high on pot at the time and got confused. Instead of slashing the Governor’s throat, he slashed the throat of a community college dean he took for the Governor. Jack Cashill, writing at the American Thinker, notes:
In his “About Me” box on Facebook, Brezik listed as his favorite quotation one from progressive poster boy, Che Guevara. The quote begins “Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism” and gets more belligerent from there.
On his wall postings, Brezik ranted, “How are we the radical(s) (left) to confront the NEW RIGHT, if we avoid confrontation all together?”
As good as his word, Brezik marched on Toronto in June 2010 to protest the G20 Summit, where he was arrested, charged, and deported. “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED,” he boasted.
Given what we have seen come out of Arizona, we can establish two things as fact. First, had Governor Nixon been harmed in any way, the media would have immediately begun lamenting the tea party movement and “political rhetoric.” Second, had the injuries been as they were, but Brezik had listed himself as a Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh fan on his Facebook wall, the media would have covered this exactly as they covered Arizona.
Conservatives have long regarded the US media as biased, but this revelation establishes that it is wholly corrupt. There's no longer any question
Trade Deficit Blues
Ever since the Christmas holidays, I have been unable to sleep. Every night I pace the floors in anxiety. The cause of my concerns? My purchase of a Christmas present for myself — an easy chair. No, it’s not guilt over my new comfort that is causing my distress. Rather it’s the fact that there is now an imbalance of trade between me and the company from which I purchased the chair.
You see, all my life I’ve been taught that an imbalance of trade is something really bad, something to be dreaded. So, here I went and spent hundreds of dollars on an easy chair from a retail company here in Virginia. Yet, at no time since then has that company purchased anything from me. We now have a serious imbalance of trade and there doesn’t seem to be any possibility that such imbalance is going to be rectified anytime soon.
In fact, if truth be told, that’s not the only reason I am now so nervous. While obsessing over the trade deficit between me and that chair company, I concluded that there must be an imbalance of trade between Virginia and Florida. Now, mind you, I don’t know which state is on the favorable end of the trade imbalance and which is on the unfavorable end. I just am certain that there has as to be an imbalance of trade between the two states.
My hunch is that given the popularity of Disney World, it is Florida that is winning out. But since I am an American, I’m concerned for whichever state happens to be on the losing end of the trade deficit, even if it’s Florida. Something has to be done to rectify the trade imbalance between our respective states. Isn’t it possible that the state on the losing end could be drained of all its wealth if the trade imbalance between the two states is allowed to worsen?
In fact, I’m shocked that the mainstream media doesn’t even report on the trade imbalance between Virginia and Florida on the front page of the newspaper. They seem to recognize how serious and how dangerous an international trade imbalance can be. After all, they never cease reminding us of the horrible dangers to America arising from the trade deficit with China.
I do find it interesting that the mainstream media never seems to be too concerned about those countries with which the United States has a favorable balance of trade. You’d think the media would be concerned about the people in those countries. But I suppose that since the mainstream media is composed of Americans, they’re only concerned with countries that are beating us, not the countries that we are defeating, in the never-ending trade war between nations.
Needless to say, all of above is written in the spirit of ridicule. The so-called trade imbalance is one of the most ridiculous notions that have ever been conceived. I don’t really pace the floors over the fact that the chair store and I have a trade imbalance, and I couldn’t care less about the trade imbalance between Virginia and Florida. For that matter, I couldn’t care less about the trade imbalance between China and the United States, or the trade imbalance between the United States and any other country, favorable or unfavorable. I just don’t care about trade imbalances.
Suppose the federal agency that reports trade data were to be abolished and that Americans were no longer kept apprised of the trade statistics between China and the United States. It would be the best thing that could ever happen. No longer would statist economists, public officials, and the mainstream media lose sleep over the trade deficit between the two countries. No longer would they be pacing the floors, night after night, worrying about what to do about the trade deficit.
Without all that trade data, the attitude toward trade between nations would be the same as it is between me and the chair company or between Virginia and Florida. No one would care. People would simply live their lives as they ordinarily do, making their purchases and conducting their businesses. Neither China nor the United States would fall into economic collapse over a trade deficit any more than Virginia or Florida (or any other states) fall into economic collapse owing to their trade deficit.
What really matters is the concept of economic liberty. Americans (and everyone else) should be free to buy whatever they want from whomever they want and spend or invest their money anywhere they want. It’s their money, after all. It doesn’t belong to the state or to society.
Forget the trade deficit between me and that chair company, between Virginia and Florida and between every other state, and between the United States and every other country. Forget international trade negotiations and treaties. Instead, just unilaterally repeal and dismantle every restriction on the freedom of the American people to dispose of their own money the way they wish. It doesn’t matter whether trade between individuals, states, or nations balances or not. All that matters is the fundamental, natural, God-given right of people to freely trade with others anywhere in the world.
I doubt that Harry will get support from his own troops for this. There must be some who can foresee the new rules being used against them in two year's time. It is a big ask to ask Leftists to think ahead but presumably some can manage it a little
As if the 111th Congress was not bad enough with Harry Reid's near super-majority in the Senate, the 112th could be far worse if Senate leadership gets their desired rule changes.
In what is best described as an attempt to sabotage (perhaps unwittingly) the Senate's long standing role as a "cooling plate" for public policy, the Democrats have proposed a series of rule changes that would significantly weaken the minority party's ability to delay, modify, or defeat controversial legislation.
The Democrats, eager to continue to pass more of their rejected Big Government agenda, have devised a procedural plan to shove more statist schemes down our throats.
Make no mistake; these proposed changes are a direct attack on our country's long tradition of defending the minority against what Madison would have called the tyranny of majority "factions."
Even though at times, Senate procedure seems arcane or even silly, these procedures are in place with intention passed on straight from the Founding Fathers - to make the Senate a bulwark against tyranny by a narrow majority and to guarantee senators reach at least a minimal consensus to pass controversial legislation.
Senator Tom Udall (NM) proposed the rules package the Senate is most likely to move forward with. In layman's terms, the proposal would do the following:
* Shorten the debate time on judicial nominees from thirty hours to just two hours. This would significantly weaken the serious scrutiny that judicial appointees should receive.
* Eliminate the ability of a senator to place a "hold" on freedom-stealing legislation.
* Several proposed changes to Senate filibusters would significantly weaken or destroy the procedure altogether.
As we experienced with numerous legislative fights over the past two years, the filibuster on cloture motions helped defeat egregious legislation such as DISCLOSE Act, Police-Firefighter Forced Unionism, Cap and Tax, an even worse health care law, and many more items on their statist agenda.
If Harry Reid and his cohorts get their way, the Senate will turn into the House on steroids. A frequent talking point from Democrats is, "The House passed 400 more bills than the Senate during the 111th Congress; therefore, the Senate is broken." Do not fall for the rhetoric. That is precisely what the Senate was intended to do — act as a "cooling plate" for the "heated passions" of the House.
Unfortunately, Reid and his statist allies are actively seeking to cut a deal with Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to pass at least some, if not all, of their changes. They have threatened to pursue a "nuclear option" (appeal to the Vice President to suspend the current rules and pass new chamber rules by a simple 51 vote majority) if the Republicans refuse to support their proposals.
You see, in 1959 the Senate was declared a "continuing body," meaning their rules stay the same from Congress to Congress unless a two-thirds majority votes to change the rules on the first legislative day. However, the likelihood of 13 Republicans supporting the measure is so unlikely the only way for Democrats to pass these rules are by cutting a deal or "going nuclear."
If the rules package passes, the long-protected minority party's rights in the Senate will be decimated. In reality, their proposed changes are more likely to make the Senate even more dysfunctional than what they currently consider "broken."
At Least Some People Get It
The Obama administration continues to scratch its collective head over what to do about creating jobs. After the disastrous failure of the numerous mega-billion-buck bailouts intended to lower the unemployment rate, even the now happily departed lame-duck Congress refused to pass another massive pork bomb. The Obamanistas, devoted Keynesians all, have pushed through more spending more quickly than any other administration in history. The national debt, which stood at $13 trillion on June 2, 2010, closed the year at $14 trillion. So we have spent beyond the dreams of Keynes’ avarice, and the unemployment rate still hovers near 10%.
Meanwhile, up in the Great White North, our Canadian friends have shown the way. For the fourth year in a row, they are lowering their federal corporate tax rate. It has just been dropped to 16.5%. This is less than half the American federal rate of 35%. Amazing, considering that Canada is sometimes supposed to be the pure welfare state, while we are the pure capitalist one.
And it won’t stop there. In 2012, the Canadian federal rate will drop to 15%, bringing the combined federal and provincial rate on businesses to about 25%. Back in 2000, the combined Canadian corporate income tax rate was 42.6%, so the decline has been dramatic.
Besides cutting the corporate tax rate, the Canadian government has eliminated corporate surtaxes as well as levies on capital.
All these incentives, combined with Canada’s healthy financial sector — Canada never created crazy government agencies to encourage and then purchase bad mortgages (it apparently grasps the concept of moral hazard!) — are enticing increased business investment. Spectra Energy of Houston, for example, has decided to invest $2 billion in Canadian energy and infrastructure projects. The Citco Group, a financial firm, has decided to open its only North American bank in Canada. And the big accounting firm KMPG has moved many of its operations to Canada.
American corporate taxes remain the second highest in the industrialized world. Our competitors to the north have grasped the idea that to tax an activity is to deter it. The Canadians obviously want more business, not less. And the reason they want more is that they grasp the fact that business creates jobs.
Taxpayers Paying Fannie’s, Freddie’s Legal Bills: "“Since the government took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taxpayers have spent more than $160 million defending the mortgage finance companies and their former top executives in civil lawsuits accusing them of fraud. The cost was a closely guarded secret until last week, when the companies and their regulator produced an accounting at the request of Congress…. The legal payments show no sign of abating. ” [But the big bucks raked in by the executives over the years are safely beyond the taxpayers’ reach]
Obama regime steps up abuse of whistleblower: "Military officials at Marine Corps Base Quantico today increased the isolation of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning by detaining Manning’s friend and regular visitor David House at the base entrance until visiting hours were over. ... [According to Bradley Manning Support Network founder Mike Gogulski] 'Immediately following a rally by more than 150 supporters at Quantico last week, Brad was put on suicide watch for two days for reasons his counsel could only conclude were punitive ...'"
Republicans press for Senate vote on health care: "Senate Republicans want to box majority Democrats into allowing a health care repeal vote even if GOP lawmakers expect to be on the losing side. 'We need to have a vote on it because we promised the people we would,' Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday on 'Face the Nation' on CBS."
Portugal: Voters pick conservative president, shun government: "Portugal elected its conservative president to a second term Sunday, delivering a harsh political setback to the minority Socialist government which is struggling to contain an acute economic crisis. Anibal Cavaco Silva, who is supported by the main opposition Social Democratic Party, collected 53 percent of the vote compared with 20 percent for second-placed Socialist Party candidate Manuel Alegre, official figures showed with 98 percent of districts returning."
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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)