Archive for the ‘Communism’ Category

Venezuela Runs Out of Money to Print Money

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

The Magic Power of Socialism™ has finally dragged Venezuela far enough down the slope that the economy is going to hell at an ever accelerating rate.

First and foremost, the country is so boned that they can’t even afford to print money anymore.

In a tale that highlights the chaos of unbridled inflation, Venezuela is scrambling to print new bills fast enough to keep up with the torrid pace of price increases. Most of the cash, like nearly everything else in the oil-exporting country, is imported. And with hard currency reserves sinking to critically low levels, the central bank is doling out payments so slowly to foreign providers that they are foregoing further business.

Venezuela, in other words, is now so broke that it may not have enough money to pay for its money.

Snip.

Last month, De La Rue, the world’s largest currency maker, sent a letter to the central bank complaining that it was owed $71 million and would inform its shareholders if the money were not forthcoming. The letter was leaked to a Venezuelan news website and confirmed by Bloomberg News.

“It’s an unprecedented case in history that a country with such high inflation cannot get new bills,” said Jose Guerra, an opposition law maker and former director of economic research at the central bank. Late last year, the central bank ordered more than 10 billion bank notes, surpassing the 7.6 billion the U.S. Federal Reserve requested this year for an economy many times the size of Venezuela’s.

When you run out of money to print money, perhaps you should take that as a sign the express train to you socialist paradise has permanently derailed.

As part of its ongoing economic collapse, Venezuela’s government is now going from a four-day workweek to a two day workweek. Given the bang-up job the socialists have done running the economy, I suspect that will hurt less than the shortages of food and toilet paper.

No wonder the people are flocking to sign a recall petition to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro. But that’s not an easy road either:

His adversaries first need to collect nearly 200,000 signatures, representing 1% of the nation’s more than 19 million voters. The National Electoral Council, which is closely allied with the government, has 20 days to authenticate them. If that drive is successful, the opposition must then collect nearly four million signatures over three days before the end of the year to trigger an actual recall vote. To win that new election, they would have to garner more votes than the 7.5 million Mr. Maduro got in the 2013 election.

Typically this is the point (or long past it) where a third world nation’s military would declare “enough!” and depose El Presidente themselves. So far neither armed forces leader Vladimir Padrino Lopez nor National Guard leader Nestor Reverol have shown any signs of doing so…

(Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

Venezuela Returns to the Dark Ages. Literally.

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Thanks to The Magic Power of Socialism™, Venezuela is getting to experience the joy of living in a postindustrial society.

Indeed, Venezuela has returned to the dark ages. Literal dark ages, in that this petroleum-exporting country can no longer keep the lights on. That’s why they’re instituting an extra half-hour of daylight savings time to avoid turning on lights.

A hydroelectric plant at Venezuela’s Guri Dam, which produces two-thirds of the country’s power, is being affected by a severe drought.

Officials have warned for weeks the water level has fallen to near its minimum operating level and could soon be shut down completely.

Unlike other countries that use hydropower as a significant energy source, such as the US, Venezuela has no sufficient reserve energy system.

The South American nation has grappled with blackouts for years. Caracas occasionally shuts down because of citywide losses of power and some rural areas are living mostly in the dark.

More of that genius socialist foresight at work.

SuperGenius Socialist President Nicolas Maduro also instituted mandatory three-day weekends to save energy.

This is what happens when socialists run out of other people’s money. They get power blackouts, yellow water and water truck hijackings, 500% inflation and chronic food shortages.

One wonders how much longer the populace is willing to take it…

LinkSwarm for April 1, 2016

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Happy April Fools day! No tricks here, just the usual Friday LinkSwarm:

  • ObamaCare didn’t do jack to lower costs. (Hat tip Instapundit.)
  • Indeed, Obamacare is the fail that keeps failing: “As a result of the ACA, between 4 million and 9 million fewer people are projected to have employment-based coverage each year from 2017 through 2026 than would have had such coverage if the ACA had never been enacted.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Great news! The Nigerian Army has rescued rescued 800 Boko Haram hostages. That’s compared to the number of those hostages rescued by the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag, which is (stops, counts, carries the one) Zero.
  • Bad news: They just kidnapped 300 more. (Hat tip: Weasel Zippers.)
  • Following the Brussels attack, the standard ruling class rituals of aversion are in full bloom.
  • Donald Trump suggested targeting the families of terrorists. Putin’s Russia does exactly that.
  • The Obama Administration treats Little Sisters of the Poor worse than Exxon, Visa and Pepsi, all of whom have health plans lacking the abortion mandate. Then again, as Instapundit noted: “To be fair, that was basically because they hate those groups and wanted to punish them.”
  • Xi Jinping has accumulated more power than any leader since Mao. “He has been fighting dissent with even more ruthlessness than he has been waging war on graft. Not since the dark days after the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 has there been such a sweeping crackdown on critics of the party.”
  • Belgium’s current crises sounds an awful lot like where California is headed: Expensive government that’s congenitally incapable of solving problems.
  • Canadian bank depositors are now officially at risk of bail-ins.
  • David Brin says the Amendment that most protects the right of citizens to film interactions with the police is the Sixth.
  • Rob Ford was more than just a loud-mouth drunk. “Ford was a political pragmatist who simply didn’t give a damn what anyone thought about him other than his constituents. It was that gumption that endeared him to hundreds of thousands of Torontonians.”
  • Supergenius New Yorker writer thinks Arizona is next to Texas.

    Screen shot 2016-03-23 at 10.56.52 PM

    (Screen shot has been included because the article has been edited and no notice made of the deleted error.)

  • Illegal alien rapes 12-year old. (Hat tip: Director Blue.
  • Lake Travis hits full again.
  • Hulk Hogan may have just destroyed Gawker.” Well, we can only hope…
  • Lunatic hoplophobe associate professor of English calls 911 to report ROTC maneuvers on campus at the University of North Dakota. (Hat tip: Tam.)
  • Old and Busted: The Suicide Prevention Hotline. The New Hotness: The Suicide Encouragement Hotline. Not an April Fools joke, alas…
  • Why grackles love supermarket parking lots.
  • LinkSwarm for February 29, 2016

    Monday, February 29th, 2016

    Happy Leap Day, everyone! Enjoy a yuge LinkSwarm, and if you’re in Texas or another Super Tuesday state, take time to dig out your voter registration card for tomorrow.

  • The Case for Cruz: The Math. “In the states where Cruz is ahead of Rubio in the upcoming Super Tuesday, he is either beating Trump or within striking distance. In the states where Rubio is ahead of Cruz in the upcoming Super Tuesday, Trump has a huge lead. Rubio doesn’t lead in a single state.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Sixteen Reasons Why Ted Cruz Is The Better Anti-Trump Than Rubio.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • The Millennial Case For Ted Cruz. “Polls show that Hillary beats Trump in a general election. On the other hand, Cruz beats Hillary in a general election.” (Hat tip: Conservatives for Ted Cruz.)
  • Cruz releases nine years of tax returns, calls on Trump to do the same.
  • Analysis of Ted Cruz’s positions on defense.
  • How Ted Cruz’s ads are so Hollywood slick.
  • Cruz has rebuilt his stump speech around the Scalia vacancy.
  • Lefty Robert Reich’s attacks on Ted Cruz provides yet more reasons to vote for Cruz.
  • Our cultural elites just can’t figure out why those ignorant gun- and religion-clinging redneck freaks of JesusLand keep flocking to Trump when he says he love them. It’s an insoluble mystery…
  • 40 reasons not to vote for Donald Trump.
  • Trump University was a scam. “Many people believe that higher education is a de facto scam. Trump University, Donald Trump’s real-estate institution, was a de jure one.”
  • Hillary heckled.
  • DNC vice chair steps down to support Bernie Sanders. An understandable move, given the DNC is so far in the tank for Hillary under Debbie Wasserman Schultz that supporting Sanders is probably looked on as akin to treason… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Mark Steyn lays out some grim election analysis: “No one loses as expensively as Republicans.”
  • 720,000 taxpayers have their tax form information stolen from the IRS. Our country is in the very best of hands!
  • Public employee unions are the establishment. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • Left-wing protesters shut down lecture on welfare reform at London School of Economics. Here’s the book protester’s don’t want people to read: Adam Perkins’ The Welfare Trait: How State Benefits Affect Personality.
  • Muslim immigrants will cost Sweden fourteen times more than their defense budget. Good thing Germany and Russia are so historically peaceful neighbors…
  • Merkel must have a political death wish: “German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday defended her open-door policy for migrants, rejecting any limit on the number of refugees allowed into her country despite divisions within her government.”
  • Stratfor analyses China’s new military facilities on Woody Island. “While the media’s response to China’s actions on Woody Island suggests that they represent a watershed moment in the militarization of the South China Sea, in reality they are neither surprising nor particularly meaningful.”
  • How disasterous Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro could be removed from power.
  • The truth about the MiG-29. Longish but interesting piece. Turn out the Soviet super fighter was very good at basic fighter aircraft maneuvers, but had poor avionics that severely limited the pilot’s situational awareness.
  • Mass transit doesn’t actually save any energy. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Male feminism is a sort of disease.”
  • Joe Straus’ primary opponent Jeff Judson has a couple of major financial backers, including Alice Walton.
  • Beloved, innocent man shot down by Seattle police. And by “innocent” I mean “a convicted rapist with a gun, crack and heroin.”
  • “Turn down the fucking music.” “Yhe more and more you attempt to compensate for the fact people have no social skills, making the music so loud conversation is impossible, the more and more intelligent and competent people you will drive away.” (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.
  • Soldier of Fortune magazine to cease publication.
  • Man makes video designed to show that SERPA holsters are safe, proves the opposite. (Hat tip: Tam via Dwight.)
  • Tweet 1: The bus is turning around. Tweet 2. The bus is on fire. Tweet 3. The bus exploded. (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • The OSS World War II escape knife.
  • LinkSwarm for February 17, 2016

    Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

    Early voting started in Texas Monday, which means I’m way behind on covering state and local races. Oh well, maybe later this week…

  • Hillary Clinton didn’t do as badly as expected in New Hampshire. She did worse.

    Sanders’s margin of victory — 60 percent to 39 percent — was the largest ever by a Democrat who wasn’t a sitting president. It was a come-from-behind win: Eight months ago, Sanders was at 9 percent and Clinton held a 46-point advantage. And Sanders overperformed the polls. Only 1 of the last 15 polls had him above 60 percent; the Real Clear Politics average in New Hampshire had him at 54.5 percent going into the vote.

    Then there are the crosstabs. The exit polling for Clinton was brutal. Sanders won men by 35 points; he won women by 11. He won voters under the age of 30 by 67 points. People expect that of Sanders and his children’s crusade. Clinton took home senior citizens, 54 percent to 45 percent. People expect that of Clinton’s boomers. But in the big band of middle-aged Democrats, ages 45 to 64 (who made up 42 percent of the electorate), Sanders beat Clinton 54 percent to 45 percent. He beat her among Democrats with a high school diploma or less; he beat her among Democrats with postgraduate degrees. Among people who’d voted in a Democratic primary before, Sanders won by 16 points; among first-time voters, he won by 57. He won self-identified “moderate” voters by 20 points.

    Clinton made gun control a substantial part of her pitch in New Hampshire. Sanders won voters who own guns by 40 points. But he won voters who don’t own guns by 14. He even won voters who said that terrorism was their number one concern.

    The biggest problem for Clinton, however, came in the candidate-perception categories. The second-most important quality voters said they wanted in a candidate was someone who “cares.” Sanders won these voters by 65 points. The most important quality people said they wanted was “honesty.” Sanders took those people home 92 to 6. Look at that again. When asked “Is Clinton honest and trustworthy?” 53 percent of all voters — not just Sanders voters, but everyone casting a Democratic ballot — said “no.”

  • Bernie Sanders has more than ten times the number of staffers on the ground in South Carolina than Clinton does.
  • Lefty at The Nation: “Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote.”
  • The topic is the Clintons, so it’s time for another glimpse of Good Maureen Dowd: “It turned out that female voters seem to be looking at Hillary as a candidate rather than as a historical imperative. And she’s coming up drastically short on trustworthiness.”
  • Ted Cruz is very electable. “Cruz is electable because he’s the real thing.” (Hat tip: Conservatives 4 Ted Cruz.)
  • People who were actually paying attention during the Gang of 8 fight scoff at Marco Rubio’s assertion Cruz favored amnesty. (Hat tip: Conservatives 4 Ted Cruz.)
  • Only top Obama Administration officials with high security clearances knew about Hillary’s secret email server. And LinkedIn.
  • The NRA is saying gun-indifferent Sanders beat hoplophobe Hillary. Hmmm…
  • Remember how the Obama Administration swore up and down ObamaCare wouldn’t go to illegal aliens? Guess what?
  • I think this is quite an effective Donald Trump ad, targeting how black Americans have been hurt by illegal alien crime. Rick Perry did quite well with an ad highlighting an illegal alien who murdered a Houston police officer in his race against Bill White in 2010. Too bad too many gutless Republicans have been hesitant about running such ads for fear of being branded racists, xenophobes, etc. by the media.
  • Muslim immigrants are killing Sweden.
  • Germany to take in a half million more Islamic “refugees” in 2016. It’s like Merkel wants to destroy her own party… (Hat tip: JihadWatch.)
  • Police in the UK arrest man for criticizing Syrian “refugees” in a Facebook post. (Hat tip: JihadWatch.)
  • Boom! Headshot! (Hat tip: Moe Lane.)
  • Current law prohibits transferring prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S., and the military won’t do so until the law is changed, no matter what Obama may want.
  • “Scalia was not only finest writer ever to sit on the Court, he was one of the best rhetoricians in history.”
  • Dear naive young voters: socialism sucks in real life.
  • Behold the ideal government worker under socialism! Every bureaucrat his own Wally….
  • A look at China’s new stealth fighters.
  • China is also deploying missiles on a disputed island in the South China Sea.
  • Huge explosion at a military barracks in Turkey. Just occurred before I posted this, so details are scant.
  • The ACLU continues its long retreat from defending free speech. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Talk like Reagan.
  • Venezuela’s socialist government appears to have authorized the military to form an oil company.
  • Notes on the collapse of a tech startup. More than a grain of truth here. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • The Coen Brothers aren’t fans of cramming diversity for the sake of diversity into individual movies. “Not in the least!” Ethan answered. “It’s important to tell the story you’re telling in the right way, which might involve black people or people of whatever heritage or ethnicity—or it might not.”
  • Science fiction writer has book rejected by Harper Voyager because robot characters dared to voice non-PC thoughts.
  • Because driving I-35 just didn’t suck enough already, enjoy being attacked by thrown rocks.
  • Socialist Paradise Update: Venezuela Runs Out of Food

    Monday, February 15th, 2016

    And how are things going in South America’s socialist paradise?

    Venezuela’s opposition legislature has declared a “nutritional emergency,” proclaiming that the country simply does not have enough food to feed its population. The move comes after years of socialist rationing and shortages that forced millions to wait on lines lasting as long as six hours for a pint of milk, a bag of flour, or carton of cooking oil.

    Opposition legislator Julio Borges announced the measure on Thursday, which would allow the legislature to push for more imports on basic food goods and inspect government-owned food companies to ensure they are meeting efficiency standards. “This will make corporations and expropriated lands produce food again, will simplify the process of national and foreign investment, and establish incentives for investors,” Borges promised.

    People are fighting each other in virtually empty supermarkets to buy the little food available, and via Powerline comes word that they’re rationing electricity to shopping centers.

    The problem with socialism is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money. And when that happens, people die. “In a hospital in the far west of this beleaguered country, the economic crisis took a grim toll in the past week: Six infants died because there wasn’t enough medicine or functioning respirators.”

    Bunches of one-party Democratic cities like Detroit have managed to bankrupt themselves just on union pensions and the welfare state. If Bernie Sanders got his wish and America actually tried socialism, how well do you think such blue bastions would fare when they were finally allowed to steal people’s money with both hands?

    Venezuela’s Economy Burns

    Thursday, February 4th, 2016

    While one of the two leading Democratic contenders for President openly calls for socialism, let’s check in on how one socialist paradise is doing:

    The only question now is whether Venezuela’s government or economy will completely collapse first.

    The key word there is “completely.” Both are well into their death throes. Indeed, Venezuela’s ruling party just lost congressional elections that gave the opposition a veto-proof majority, and it’s hard to see that getting any better for them any time soon — or ever. Incumbents, after all, don’t tend to do too well when, according to the International Monetary Fund, their economy shrinks 10 percent one year, an additional 6 percent the next, and inflation explodes to 720 percent. It’s no wonder, then, that markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future. The country is basically bankrupt.

    Inflation has gotten so bad that Venezuelans are now paying more than 1000 bolivars to the dollar on the black market. Which is why the government is flying in planeloads of money. As P. J. O’Rouke said of similar hyperinflation in Nicaragua’s own socialist paradise economy: “You have to go to Moscow University two or three times to make money worth this little.”

    But with the opposition party having defeated the socialists in parliamentary elections, they can turn things around, right? Well…

    Socialist president Nicolas Maduro has changed the law so the opposition-controlled National Assembly can’t remove the central bank governor or appoint a new one. Not only that, but Maduro has picked someone who doesn’t even believe there’s such a thing as inflation to be the country’s economic czar. “When a person goes to a shop and finds that prices have gone up,” the new minister wrote, “they are not in the presence of ‘inflation,’ ” but rather “parasitic” businesses that are trying to push up profits as much as possible. According to this — let me be clear — “theory,” printing too much money never causes inflation. And so Venezuela will continue to do so. If past hyperinflations are any guide, this will keep going until Venezuela can’t even afford to run its printing presses anymore — unless Maduro gets kicked out first.

    But for now, at least, a specter is haunting Venezuela — the specter of failed economic policies.

    Philip K. Dick once noted that reality is that which, if you ignore it, doesn’t go away. Socialists may not believe in hyperinflation, but hyperinflation very much believes in socialism…

    LinkSwarm for January 15, 2016

    Friday, January 15th, 2016

    We’ll start with a couple by Mark Steyn:

  • “Hillary Clinton is now telling lies about her lies.”
  • Steyn also went to a Trump rally, and discovered how Trump is wowing crowds as an un-politician. “He moved the meter on the ‘war on women’, too. Mrs Clinton pulled out the card, and Trump flung it right back in her face with her sleazy sociopath of a husband’s four decades of abuse against vulnerable women.”
  • “These mostly disgruntled voters are turning away from their Democrat roots.”
  • The puzzling thing about the democrats’ push on gun control: Why gun control, and why now? “Unpopular as it is, gun control may be as good as they’ve got.”
  • Luntz focus group overwhelmingly says that Ted Cruz won last night’s debate.
  • Cruz also won the coveted Duck Dynasty primary.
  • Really, Jeb Bush’s path to victory requires Lindsay Graham’s endorsement? I’m sure in much the same way the Houston Texan’s plans involved Brian Hoyer leading them to the Superbowl…
  • Why Marco Rubio’s campaign is like trying to defend Europe in Risk. Points for geekiness and truth…
  • “The participation of Muslim migrants in the rape jihad is, of course, the fact most desperately suppressed by German officials.”
  • Obama (and Polifact) are lying about guns.
  • Even the New York Times notices that Obama is the best salesman the firearms industry ever had.
  • Now this is an opening paragraph:

    The annual State of the Union pageant is a hideous, dispiriting, ugly, monotonous, un-American, un-republican, anti-democratic, dreary, backward, monarchical, retch-inducing, depressing, shameful, crypto-imperial display of official self-aggrandizement and piteous toadying, a black Mass during which every unholy order of teacup totalitarian and cringing courtier gathers under the towering dome of a faux-Roman temple to listen to a speech with no content given by a man with no content, to rise and to be seated as is called for by the order of worship — it is a wonder they have not started genuflecting — with one wretched representative of their number squirreled away in some well-upholstered Washington hidey-hole in order to preserve the illusion that those gathered constitute a special class of humanity without whom we could not live.

  • How the media distorts and suppresses news to avoid mentioning Muslims involved in rape.
  • Al Jazeera turns out to be every bit as popular as Air America.
  • Jihadists murder 15 at that Satanic outpost of Western imperialism, a polio vaccination center.
  • That Iraqi “refugee” arrested in Houston on terrorism charges is every bit as big a winner as you would expect him to be.
  • Obama Administration blocks visa waiver reform to appease Iran. One wonders what this administration wouldn’t do to appease Iran…
  • China’s debt is $28 trillion? Ho boy, we’re boned…
  • Anglicans suspend communion with Episcopalians for three years over same-sex marriage. This is kind of a big deal. (Hat tip: The Corner
  • Damn Millennials won’t show up to work on time. Or get off my lawn…
  • How Star Wars conquered the galaxy. Or, more specifically, how Star Wars action figures did… (Hat tip: The Goldberg File.)
  • You know, if you’re a sitting Texas Supreme Court Justice running for reelection, it’s probably not going to help you win Texas Republican voters if you do robocalling demonizing Michael Quinn Sullivan. Especially when the call goes to Michael Quinn Sullivan. (Hat tip: Push Junction.)
  • So $200 million for the Playboy mansion, the bunnies aren’t included, and I can’t even kick out Hugh Hefner? What’s the point?
  • Mapping the bushy-tailed menace.
  • LinkSwarm for January 5, 2016

    Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

    I hope everyone else has had a happier New Year than I, since my father passed away after a long battle with cancer Sunday.

    On the plus side, I saw the new Star Wars and the Texans made the playoffs. Doesn’t quite balance out, though…

  • Remember: It’s OK to rape 13-year olds as long as you’re a well-connected Democratic Party donor. Remember, this is the case that had Bill Clinton taking the Lolita Express to Pedophile Island.
  • “Nobody needed criminal convictions to drop Cosby – just multiple accusations of sexual assault and some out-of-court payouts. But multiple accusations of sexual assault, out-of-court payouts and the loss of his law license are apparently not enough to bar Bill Clinton from another eight years in the White House.”
  • Hillary Cliton’s many conflicts of interest:

    At Hillary Clinton’s confirmation hearing for secretary of state, she promised she would take “extraordinary steps…to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

    Later, more than two dozen companies and groups and one foreign government paid former President Bill Clinton a total of more than $8 million to give speeches around the time they also had matters before Mrs. Clinton’s State Department, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

    Fifteen of them also donated a total of between $5 million and $15 million to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, the family’s charity, according to foundation disclosures.

  • Six things a Washington Post reporter found out following Ted Cruz around. “The majority of the undecided voters I have spoken with have said they were very impressed after hearing Cruz speak. Many of them said they were undecided coming into a rally and supported him when it was over.”
  • Obama to judicial branch: “Screw you, I’m going to give work permits to illegal aliens you’ve ordered deported.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • “Unfortunately, 2016, the little of it that we have so far seen, is already beginning to look like another year of Grim Slide, of a world stumbling down a slippery slope to become less secure, less stable, and less free.”
  • People are forgetting what an awful festering hellhole the Soviet Union was.
  • Iran and Saudi Arabia have severed diplomatic relations over Saudi execution of a Shiite cleric, and Kuwait has recalled their ambassador from Tehran; don’t be surprised if the other Sunni nations follow suit. Good thing we have a Nobel Peace Prize winner in the White House…
  • Turkey’s Prime Minister: Hey, you know who was a model of effective leadership? Adolf Hitler.
  • Swiss General: Europe “On The Verge Of Civil War,” Citizens Must Arm Themselves.
  • Oslo police: “We Have Lost the City.”

    It looks like Karachi, Basra, and Mogadishu all rolled into one. People sell drugs openly just next to the Gronland subway station.

    It’s not Norway or Europe anymore, except when there is welfare money to be collected. The police have largely given up. Early in 2010 Aftenposten stated that there are sharia patrols in this area, and gay couples are assaulted and chased away.

  • Mass sexual assaults involving up to 1,000 Arab men on New Year’s Eve in Cologne.
  • “IRS Employee Whose Job Was Assisting Victims Of Identity Theft Charged In $1 Million Identity Theft Tax Fraud.” (Hat tip: Instapundit)
  • Rahm Emanuel’s failure in Chicago is emblematic of the blue model failure in America’s cities. “The city’s bloated pension obligations have already forced Emanuel to make severe education cuts. It will continue to force cuts in city services in various cities, making it harder and harder for mayors to govern, and increasing the antagonism among various constituencies.”
  • Murder rates drop as concealed carry permits soar.” Plus this: “Between 2012 and 2014 the number of black permit holders increased from 10,389 to 17,594, according to the report.”
  • Mississippi Democratic City Councilman urges constituents to hurl rocks and bricks at the police.
  • Armed mother successfully defends home and children against three armed thugs. But gun-grabbers want to disarm her
  • Bahamas resort project gives in to Chinese demands to secure more construction loans. Result: Bankruptcy.
  • Ben Carson’s campaign staff quits. There’s a reason president of the United States isn’t an entry-level job…
  • Former feminist now a pro-life activist who is disillusioned with feminism. (Hat tip: John C. Wright.)
  • Confessions of a social justice warrior white knight. “Their communities thrive on self loathing disguised as elitism…SJWs insist their goal is to make everyone equal, and for a long time I believed it, but their communities actually enforce factionalism and division.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Wendy Davis: Still digging.
  • Venezuela Says “No Mas” To Socialism

    Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

    It turns out that 100% inflation, widespread repression and corruption and endemic shortages of basic consumer goods are not a recipe for electoral success:

    Electoral authorities in Venezuela say the opposition coalition won a key two-thirds majority in the National Assembly in legislative voting.

    The National Electoral Council has published on its website the final tally of results from Sunday’s elections showing that two previously undecided races had broken in favor of the opposition, giving them 112 out of 167 seats in the incoming National Assembly. The ruling socialist party and its allies got 55 seats.

    The supermajority gives the opposition a strong hand in trying to wrest power from President Nicolas Maduro after 17 years of socialist rule. It now has the potential votes to sack Supreme Court justices, initiate a referendum to revoke Maduro’s mandate and even convoke an assembly to rewrite Hugo Chavez’s 1999 constitution.

    Sooner or later, socialists always run out of other people’s money.

    Though Maduro is still President, there are a lot of things the new government can do to improve the lives of their citizens:

    To end food shortages, the new congress can immediately lift price controls so entrepreneurs have an incentive to produce or import. The only way to strengthen the “strong bolivar,” as the late Hugo Chávez named the currency, is to make it valuable enough for people to hold. That means lifting capital controls and ending the central bank’s multiple exchange-rate system so business can get access to dollars. On current course Venezuela will run out of international reserves and face default in 2017. Restructuring debt now with creditors would make that prospect less painful.

    Which brings us to oil. Chávez used the country’s energy wealth to buy permission in Latin America—and Massachusetts; remember Joseph Kennedy’s Citgo PR campaign—for his many human-rights violations. As long as governments in the Caribbean were getting low-priced petroleum from Venezuela, they voted with the military government in Caracas at the Organization of American States.

    Chávez and Mr. Maduro have also traded oil for security help from Cuba’s intelligence apparatus. Putting an end to these trades would retain more resources inside Venezuela and send a signal that the days of government repression are numbered. Meanwhile, rejoice that one of this hemisphere’s lost countries has a chance at revival.