Friday, February 17, 2012

Rep. Maxine Waters Unhinged: Republican Congressmen Boehner and Cantor Are ‘Demons!’

Rather reminiscent of Obama's old pastor -- the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of "Amerikkka" fame. Sanity is very fragile among Leftists

Rep. Maxine Waters delivered a fiery speech to delegates at the California Democratic State Convention this past weekend, calling House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor “demons” whom she doesn’t want to see “in our hall, on our screens.”

“I saw pictures of Boehner and Cantor on our screens,” the California Democrat said in remarks posted online. “Don’t ever let me see again in life those Republicans in our hall, on our screens, talking about anything. These are demons.” Waters made the comments amid a charge to convention-goers to campaign hard during the 2012 election season.

She continued: “These are legislators who are destroying this country rather than bringing us together, creating jobs, making sure we have a good tax policy, bringing our jobs from back offshore, incentivizing those who keep the jobs here. They are bringing down this country, destroying this country because again they’d rather do whatever they can to destroy this president rather than for the good of this country.”

Waters‘ office did not immediately respond to The Blaze’s request for comment about her remarks, including her rhetoric calling Boehner and Cantor “demons.”



The destructive Legacy of the prewar "Progressives" is still with us

Thomas Sowell

"Often wrong but never in doubt" is a phrase that summarizes much of what was done by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, the two giants of the Progressive era, a century ago.

Their legacy is very much alive today, both in their mindset -- including government picking winners and losers in the economy and interventionism in foreign countries -- as well as specific institutions created during the Progressive era, such as the income tax and the Federal Reserve System.

Like so many Progressives today, Theodore Roosevelt felt no need to study economics before intervening in the economy. He said of "economic issues" that "I am not deeply interested in them, my problems are moral problems." For example, he found it "unfair" that railroads charged different rates to different shippers, reaching the moral conclusion that these rates were discriminatory and should be forbidden "in every shape and form."

It never seemed to occur to TR that there could be valid economic reasons for the railroads to charge the Standard Oil Company lower rates for shipping their oil. At a time when others shipped their oil in barrels, Standard Oil shipped theirs in tank cars -- which required a lot less work by the railroads than loading and unloading the same amount of oil in barrels.

Theodore Roosevelt was also morally offended by the fact that Standard Oil created "enormous fortunes" for its owners "at the expense of business rivals." How a business can offer consumers lower prices without taking customers away from businesses that charge higher prices is a mystery still unsolved to the present day, when the very same arguments are used against Wal-Mart.

The same preoccupation with being "fair" to high-cost producers who were losing customers to low-cost producers has turned anti-trust law on its head, for generations after the Progressive era. Although anti-trust laws and policies have been rationalized as ways of keeping monopolies from raising prices to consumers, the actual thrust of anti-trust activity has more often been against businesses that charged lower prices than their competitors.

Theodore Roosevelt's anti-trust attacks on low-price businesses in his time were echoed in later "fail trade" laws, and in attacks against "unfair" competition by the Federal Trade Commission, another agency spawned in the Progressive era.

Woodrow Wilson's Progressivism was very much in the same mindset. Government intervention in the economy was justified on grounds that "society is the senior partner in all business."

The rhetorical transformation of government into "society" is a verbal sleight-of-hand trick that endures to this day. So is the notion that money earned in the form of profits requires politicians' benediction to be legitimate, while money earned under other names apparently does not.

Thus Woodrow Wilson declared: "If private profits are to be legitimized, private fortunes made honorable, these great forces which play upon the modern field must, both individually and collectively, be accommodated to a common purpose."

And just who will decide what this common purpose is and how it is to be achieved? "Politics," according to Wilson, "has to deal with and harmonize" these various forces.

In other words, the government -- politicians, bureaucrats and judges -- are to intervene, second-guess and pick winners and losers, in a complex economic process of which they are often uninformed, if not misinformed, and a process in which they pay no price for being wrong, regardless of how high a price will be paid by the economy.

If this headstrong, busybody approach seems familiar because it is similar to what is happening today, that is because it is based on fundamentally the same vision, the same presumptions of superior wisdom, and the same kind of lofty rhetoric we hear today about "fairness." Wilson even used the phrase "social justice."

Woodrow Wilson also won a Nobel Prize for peace, like the current president -- and it was just as undeserved. Wilson's "war to end wars" in fact set the stage for an even bigger, bloodier and more devastating Second World War.

But, then as now, those with noble-sounding rhetoric are seldom judged by what consequences actually follow.



Never Trust Government Numbers

John Stossel

President Obama said in his State of the Union speech, "We've already agreed to more than $2 trillion in cuts and savings."

That was reassuring.

The new budget he released this week promises $4 trillion in "deficit reduction" -- about half in tax increases and half in spending cuts. But like most politicians, Obama misleads.

Cato Institute economist Dan Mitchell cut through the fog to get at the truth of the $2 trillion "cut."

"We have a budget of, what, almost $4 trillion? So if we're doing $2 trillion of cuts," Mitchell said, "we're cutting government in half. That sounds wonderful."

But what the president was talking about is not even a cut. The politicians just agreed that over the next 10 years, instead of increasing spending by $9.48 trillion, they'd increase it by "just" $7.3 trillion. Calling that a "cut" is nonsense.

Mitchell gave an analogy: "What if I came to you and said, 'I've been on a diet for the last month, and I've gained 10 pounds. Isn't that great?' You would say: 'Wait, what are you talking about? That's insane.' And I said: 'I was going to gain 15 pounds. I've only gained 10 pounds, therefore my diet is successful.'"

Democrats use this deceit when they want more social spending. Republicans use it for military spending.

And the press buys it. The Washington Post has been writing about "draconian cuts."

"The politicians know this game," Mitchell said. "The special interests know this game. Everyone gets a bigger budget every year. ... And we wind up, sooner or later, being Greece."

We are definitely on the road to bankruptcy.

"We have maybe 10, 15 years' advanced notice. And what's frustrating is that we're not taking advantage of that, even as we see these other countries collapsing into social chaos and disarray."

Mitchell points out that the politicians don't even have to make actual cuts to save the future. If they just slowed the growth of government to about 2 percent per year, the U.S. economy could grow out of this mess. But the politicians won't do even that.

"Being from the Cato Institute, I actually do want to cut spending. But if all we're trying to do is balance the budget over 10 years, which is sort of the minimal thing that politicians keep saying we should do, if we simply limit the growth of spending to 2 percent a year, which is about the projected rate of inflation, we'll have a balanced budget in 2022. ... But instead, the politicians say, 'Oh, we'll have draconian and savage budget cuts.' ... They don't want to put government on a diet, even if that diet allows spending to grow 2 percent a year."

They also continually mislead us about what their schemes will cost.

President Bush said the war in Iraq would cost $50 billion to $60 billion. It cost $800 billion. When Medicare Part A was created, the government said it would cost $9 billion in 1990. It cost $67 billion. They said the hiring of TSA airport security screeners would cost $100 million. Then they spent $700 million. Yet the media report the estimates as if they are realistic. Again and again, politicians get away with underestimating the cost of their programs.

Often the cost goes up because people change their behavior to get free stuff. A program meant to help the needy costs a certain amount. The next year, it costs more, because now more of the needy know about the program and more social workers know how to tap it. The next year, the non-needy feel like suckers if they don't get the handout, and they figure out a way to game the system.

Then, Mitchell point out, "what do politicians do the next year? They expand the program to buy more votes. And the year after that, they add a new benefit. That's what's happened with Medicare. It's not just that they got the fundamental estimates wrong. They did. But every new generation of politicians figures out some new expansion, some new benefit."

And so we're on the road to Greece.

Bottom line: Don't trust the politicians' numbers.



Liberals are the True Aggressors in Culture Wars

Jonah Goldberg

If you're not with us, you're against us. President Bush popularized this expression after 9/11 to describe his foreign policy doctrine: Countries couldn't support or indulge terrorists and be our friends at the same time. But his detractors quickly turned it into a fairly paranoid vision of domestic political life, as if Bush had been talking about domestic opponents and dissenters.

The irony is that few worldviews better describe the general liberal orientation to public policy and the culture war. The left often complains about the culture war as if it's a war they don't want to fight. They insist they just want to follow "sound science" or "what works" when it comes to public policy, but those crazy knuckle-dragging right-wingers constantly want to talk about gays and abortion and other hot-button issues.

It's all a farce. Liberals are the aggressors in the culture war (and not always for the worse, as the civil rights movement demonstrates). What they object to isn't so much the government imposing its values on people -- heck, they love that. They see nothing wrong with imposing their views about diet, exercise, sex, race and the environment on Americans. What outrages them is resistance, or even non-compliance with their agenda. "Why are you making such a scene?" progressives complain. "Just do what we want and there will be no fuss."

Consider President Obama's decision to require most religious institutions -- including Catholic hospitals, schools, etc. -- to pay for contraception, sterilizations and the "morning after" pill. When "ObamaCare" was still being debated, the White House had all but promised Catholic leaders that it would find a compromise to spare the church from the untenable position of paying for services that directly violate their faith. Now that ObamaCare is the law, the administration says the church, like everyone else, must fall in line.

Or consider the still-raging controversy over the Susan G. Komen For the Cure's entirely reasonable -- albeit very poorly handled -- decision to withdraw its funding of Planned Parenthood, America's largest abortion provider. The Komen foundation is singularly dedicated to raising research money for, and awareness about, breast cancer. It's the folks with those pink ribbons. The organization decided to withdraw its comparatively meager funding in part because Planned Parenthood doesn't offer mammograms. (Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, was caught misleading people on this very point last spring.)

Other factors included the fact that Planned Parenthood is under investigation by Congress and the obvious but unstated fact that the organization is wildly controversial. It's this last point that infuriates the left. Pro-choice activists and their allies believe that Planned Parenthood should not be controversial, nor should abortion be up for discussion, either. If you have a problem with either it is because you are an ideologue, an extremist or a zealot opposed to the interests of womankind. And any attempt to suggest that abortion should offend the consciences of mainstream Americans, never mind such a revered organization as Komen, is simply unacceptable.

It's clearly not about the money. Komen's $600,000 in donations amount to less than .01 percent of Planned Parenthood's budget (as opposed to the nearly half that comes from taxpayers). It's about making it very clear: Resistance is not just futile, but dangerous.

That was evident almost immediately. Komen's website was hacked, its Wikipedia page filled with smears. Various allegedly objective news outlets rallied to Planned Parenthood's defense as if the behemoth abortion provider was a victim of the tiny little breast cancer foundation.

Komen apologized and seemed to offer a reversal of its policy. This "just goes to show you, when women speak out, women win," responded House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

This, of course, is ridiculous propaganda. Women are not a monolithic political bloc and were not unanimously opposed to Komen's decision. Indeed, roughly half of women are pro-life and, you can be sure, Komen will lose donations from women and men who do not want to see their donations going to abortion providers. But for a certain type of upper-class liberal woman, it simply must be asserted, if not believed, that there is only one acceptable definition of a woman's perspective when it comes to issues such as abortion.

You can understand why Komen wants to get out of the culture war crossfire. It just wants to spend its finite resources on the race for a cure. But that's not good enough. The real motive behind this backlash is to make it very clear: You must choose a side -- ours. And once you choose our side, you can never change your mind without severe consequences. And what is true of liberal politics is also true of liberal public policy. As the Obama administration has made clear to the Catholic Church, there is no neutrality, no safe harbor from liberalism's moral vision. You're either with us, or against us -- which means we shall be against you.




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