Friday, January 21, 2011

Democrat Congressman: Republicans Like Nazis For Opposing Obamacare

Rep Cohen was talking to an empty chamber so even his fellow Democrats presumably see him as of no account -- one of their few wise judgments. They might want to ask him about where that "civility" has gone though.

His comments of course have no resemblance to the truth. Hitler was a socialist who SUPPORTED the expansion of the State into all services. If there is any historically accurate comparison to be made, it is the Democrats who are like Hitler in their policies

Note that the video editors have added on to the end of the video a scene that looks remarkably like the culmination of one of Hitler's Nuremberg rallies in the 1930s. One comparison deserves another.


Leftist hubris heading for a fall

It takes a worried man to sing a worried song, and in a recent speech that seemed like Larry Summers's swan song, the president's now-departed economic adviser warned that America is "at risk of a profound demoralization with respect to government." He fears a future in which "an inadequately resourced government performs badly, leading to further demands that it be cut back, exacerbating performance problems, deepening the backlash, and creating a vicious cycle."

The idea that America's problem of governance is one of inadequate resources misses this lesson of the last half-century: No amount of resources can prevent government from performing poorly when it tries to perform too many tasks, or particular tasks for which it is inherently unsuited.

Actually, government is not sufficiently demoralized. The hubris that is the occupational hazard and defining trait of the political class continues to cause government to overpromise and underperform. This class blithely considers itself exempt from the tyranny of the bell-shaped curve - the fact that in most occupations a few people are excellent, a few are awful, and most are average.

In fact, the bell curve is particularly pertinent to government. Surgeons achieve eminence by what they do "in office" - in operating rooms, performing surgery. Politicians achieve eminence simply by securing office - by winning elections, a skill often related loosely, if at all, to their performance in office.

James Q. Wilson, America's preeminent social scientist, has noted that until relatively recently, "politics was about only a few things; today, it is about nearly everything."

The vicious cycle that should worry Summers is the reverse of the one he imagines. It is not government being "cut back" because of disappointments that reinforce themselves. Rather, it is government squandering its limited resources, including the resource of competence, in reckless expansions of its scope.

Summers leaves a federal government funded by a continuing resolution. Congress has been so busy passing gargantuan legislation to expand government's responsibilities that it has not had enough time, energy or sense of responsibility to pass a budget. And the pathologies of expanding government are becoming worse because of two concepts Summers mentioned in his valedictory - Baumol's Disease, and Moynihan's Corollary to it.

William J. Baumol, Princeton economics professor emeritus, said that in certain economic sectors - e.g., labor-intensive service industries - productivity will increase, if at all, more slowly than in the rest of the economy. The late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan's corollary was that such services - e.g., teaching, nursing, the performing arts - tend to migrate to the public sector.

Moynihan noted that if you want a string quartet, you must hire four musicians with four instruments, just as in Chopin's day. "Productivity," said Moynihan, "just hasn't changed much. And when it does - e.g., playing the Minute Waltz in 50 seconds - it doesn't seem to work right." Actually, lopping 10 seconds off the waltz subtracts from musicians' productivity.

Moynihan noted a danger to his party in the tendency for the "stagnant services" to become government services: "The Democratic Party is identified with this very public sector in which relative costs are rising. By contrast, the Republican Party is identified with the private sector where relative costs are declining." The public sector's involuntary tendency to become, regarding productivity, a concentration of stagnation is a reason for government to become more circumspect than it has been about the voluntary acquisition of vast new responsibilities, such as micromanagement of health care's 17 percent of the economy.



Obama's Social Security Talk Is Turning Voters Off, Pollsters Say

President Barack Obama's apparent willingness to consider cuts in Social Security benefits may be winning him points with Washington elites, but it's killing him with voters, who see the program as inviolate and may start to wonder what the Democratic Party stands for, if not for Social Security.

A post-election poll by Celinda Lake's Lake Research Partners found that, by a margin of 3 percentage points, Americans now trust Republicans in Congress more than Democrats when it comes to Social Security -- surely the first time since the program became a signature issue for the Democratic Party in the 1930s. The poll found confidence in Democrats on the issue dropping 14 points just since January 2007, accompanied by a 13-point increase for Republicans.

The public favors congressional Republicans over Obama on Social Security by an even larger 6-point margin. Obama's 26-percent rating is not only less than half Bill Clinton's (53 percent), it's even lower than that of George W. Bush (37 percent), whose proposal to privatize the program went down in flames.

The pollsters had no doubt that the turnaround stems from statements by Obama and other Democratic leaders expressing their openness to cuts in Social Security. "It's the rhetoric that says things like, 'Everything is on the table,'" said Lake. "That's not how the public feels. This isn't a policy debate in the public's mind, this is a core value."

The pollsters also noted a huge disconnect between the inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom that the deficit must be addressed through entitlement cuts and what voters think.

And while increasing the Social Security retirement age is considered a fairly benign change inside the Beltway, 7 in 10 voters oppose the idea, most of them very intensely, said Lake. Opposition is particularly strong among such groups as young voters, women under 55, non-college graduates, independent women and rural voters -- in other words, those much sought-after swing voters.

"Raising the retirement age is a great thing for wealthy professionals, and a terrible thing for low-income women and working men," said EPI's Ross Eisenberry. It's easy for professionals to imagine working a few extra years; much harder for people whose jobs are physically demanding or highly unpleasant.



Obama good for conservatism

America’s debate about government’s proper size and purposes has proceeded against the backdrop of European disorders, such as rioting by French young people. Some of them, although they have not yet entered the labor market (unemployment is 25 percent among those under 25), are indignant that when they do, they will have to remain in it for two extra years because the retirement age has been raised to 62.

Such demonstrations of government-induced decadence—a.k.a. the entitlement mentality—have provided counterpoints to the Great Unraveling. That has been the fate of American liberals’ agenda in the 24 months since Barack Obama’s inauguration. That event was supposed to launch a long liberal epoch, something unknown since the one that ended in 1938, when the nation recoiled against Franklin Roosevelt’s overreaching, which included his attempt to “pack” the Supreme Court by enlarging it. Because the episode that ended in 1938 had lasted only six years, counting it as an “epoch” amounts to defining “epoch” down. Today, the long list of liberal disappointments is still growing:

Organized labor’s top priority—“card check” legislation to make unionization of workplaces easier by abolishing workers’ rights to secret ballots—is dead. So is the environmentalists’ dream of a cap-and-trade regime—or, failing that, a carbon tax. The Environmental Protection Agency, which seems determined to do by regulation what Congress will not do by legislation concerning limits on emissions, is provoking a contest with Congress over supremacy—a contest the EPA cannot win because Congress cannot afford to lose.

The near invisibility and complete futility of last month’s Cancún conference on climate change marked the exhaustion of a U.N. delusion: It was that almost 200 nations were going to negotiate a treaty unanimously requiring a few of them to bribe the rest to reduce greenhouse--gas emissions—and that 67 U.S. senators would vote to ratify it.

Things that liberals thought would be gone by now include: Guantánamo, the Patriot Act, and the Bush tax rates. Having denounced extension of those rates as “odious,” what adjective has The New York Times reserved for, say, genocide?

Regarding the rates applicable to high earners and large estates, most Americans seem to be channeling Mark Twain. When a journalist suggested that the vast wealth of one of Twain’s friends, a Standard Oil executive, was “tainted,” Twain replied, “It’s doubly tainted—t’aint yours and t’aint mine.”

People who, 24 months ago, thought Obama would inaugurate a new New Deal subscribed to the theory that economic difficulties propel Americans leftward. The New Deal experience suggests otherwise:

In the 1932 presidential election, three years past the October 1929 stock-market crash, and with unemployment at 25 percent, the Socialist Party received a paltry 2.23 percent of the popular vote and the Communist Party received 0.26 percent. By 1940, the Depression had proved to be durable in spite of New Deal measures. Or perhaps because of those measures: America’s longest slump was the first to be combated by federal-government activism. In any case, in 1940 the Socialist Party received 0.23 percent and the Communist Party received 0.1 percent.

Conservatism continues to benefit from Washington’s most conspicuous foray into industrial policy—its misadventures with Detroit. The federal government is buying about one in four Ford and General Motors hybrids. The public, always a disappointment to Washington, is not buying enough of them. But Washington is offering a $7,500 tax credit to induce people to buy the hybrid-electric Chevrolet Volt.

Yet a GM ad says, “When you buy a Chevrolet, we’ll invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and tree-planting programs.” Question: Should GM pay back the $26.4 billion it still owes tax-payers before it indulges in trendy spending of other people’s money on tree plantings?

GM’s CEO Dan Akerson says his company is handicapped by government limits on executive compensation at firms that receive federal bailouts. Last year his salary and stock package of $9 million was $8,820,300 more than it should have been: $179,700 is the highest pay for civil servants, which is what executives at such firms are.




PA: Abortion doctor, staff charged with eight murders: "An abortion doctor in Philadelphia has been charged with eight murders, including seven babies who prosecutors say were born alive then killed with scissors. Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 69, and nine employees from his West Philadelphia Women's Medical Society were arrested Wednesday. He and his staff also are charged with killing a woman who was given a lethal dose of Demerol."

SCOTUS hears “state secrets” case: "For the first time in decades, the Supreme Court took up a dispute over the government's 'state secrets' privilege, hearing arguments Tuesday in a claim brought by defense contractors against the government. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. officials have increasingly invoked 'state secrets' arguments, notably in matters involving warrantless surveillance and interrogation of prisoners, to keep sensitive information out of court."

America not cheesy enough? "While food riots have begun emerging across the globe as a result of surging food prices, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has decided to funnel 12 million dollars into the popular pizza chain Domino’s Pizza, in what has become known as a secret government bailout. The bailout came from an organization known as Dairy Management, a marketing creation of the USDA. What was the result of the millions funneled into the troubled business? A large-scale marketing revolving around pizzas being made made with 40% more cheese, an attempt to re-design the Domino’s Pizza brand name in partnership with the United States government."

US House: Conservatives call for drastic budget cuts: "House conservatives vowed Thursday to slash domestic programs well beyond the already steep spending cuts promised by GOP leaders, the first sign of fissure between old-guard Republicans and tea-party-backed newcomers. A proposal unveiled by the Republican Study Committee, whose conservative members make up about three-fourths of the House GOP conference, called for bringing domestic agency budgets down to the 2006 levels in place when Republicans last controlled Congress"

SCOTUS: Federal contract workers must submit to background checks: "It is reasonable and proper for the federal government to perform background checks of those who work under government contracts, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. The court rejected a challenge from contract workers that their privacy rights were violated by open-ended questions about them or detailed queries about past drug use. The court said it was proper to extend to contractors the kind of background checks federal workers undergo."

America's economic collapse is already happening -- in the State and local governments: "Austerity has arrived in America. At this point, it is not a formal, mandated austerity like we have seen in Europe, but the results are just the same. Taxes are going up, services are being slashed dramatically, thousands of state and city employees are being laid off, and politicians seem to be endlessly talking about ways to make even deeper budget cuts. Unfortunately, even with the incredibly severe budget cuts that we have seen already, many state and local governments across the United States are still facing a sea of red ink as far as the eye can see."


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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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