Archive for the ‘Global Warming’ Category

Salon Writer Complains That Democrats Are Corporate Whores

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Well well well, what have we here?

It’s a jeremiad by Democrat Bill Curry about how his party has abandoned its soul for the sweet smell of Wall Street crony capitalist dollars.

Democrats hooked on corporate cash and consultants with long lists of corporate clients were less attuned to Nader’s issues.

Democrats today defend the triage liberalism of social service spending but limit their populism to hollow phrase mongering (fighting for working families, Main Street not Wall Street). The rank and file seem oblivious to the party’s long Wall Street tryst. Obama’s economic appointees are the most conservative of any Democratic president since Grover Cleveland but few Democrats seem to notice, or if they notice, to care.

These days, says Curry, Democrats “don’t believe in ideas because they don’t believe in people” and calls for a Nader-esque populism. (Indeed, Nader’s latest book seems to provide the spine for his piece.)

Curry actually sees the populist Tea Party energy on the right and laments its absence on his side of the aisle. “If there’s a true populist revolt on the left it is as yet invisible to the naked eye.” (Though I note one very hot populist issue, widespread opposition to the Democratic Party’s push for illegal alien amnesty, is conspicuous by its absence from his piece.)

“Democratic elites are always up for compromise, but on the wrong issues. Rather than back GOP culture wars, as some do, or foreign wars, as many do, or big business, as nearly all do, they should back libertarians on privacy, small business on credit and middle-class families on taxes.”

This advice is far from the worst Democrats have received, but they are congenitally unable to follow it for numerous reasons:

  • As a party, Democrats are all in on Big Government. Access to the Gravy Train and charging a transaction fee on robbing Peter to pay Paul are the only thing that holds their coalition together. Likewise, to say Democrats are unenthusiastic about cutting taxes is to vastly understate the case.
  • Democrats can’t embrace populism because both the political and cultural soul of the party is rooted in elitism. The people who run the party in D.C. are absolutely certain that they and their brethren can run peoples’ lives better than they can run their own. And the party’s biggest supporters in blue bastions like New York City, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco are convinced that they are manifestly smarter, more moral, and above all more sophisticated than those gun-toting redneck freaks of JesusLand. Asking them to embrace real populism (as opposed to candidates making meaningless promises every 2 or 4 years) is almost certainly futile.
  • A significant fraction of their supporters in those blue bastions benefit directly from the crony capitalism Currey decries.
  • There are also numerous areas where Curry appears unable to shed his blue-colored glasses:

  • When he says “Oddly, the one system working relatively well, public education, is the object of our only sustained reform effort,” he’s ignoring the huge problems in teacher union controlled schools and curricula as documented everywhere from Waiting for Superman to Vergara vs. California. And in his conclusion, the very first member of his potential future coalition mentioned is “unions,” pointedly ignoring the populist revolt against fat cat public sector unions that have helped bankrupt Detroit and numerous California cities.
  • The plight of American workers pushed out of jobs by illegal aliens, and the popular revolt against busing them to communities across the country and amnesty? No mention.
  • He seems equally enthused about small business and fighting “global warming,” with nary a mention about how the EPA’s power grab thanks to the latter is crushing small business left and right, nor how many “green” firms are riding the crony capitalist gravy train.
  • Other populist “small ball” issues that never get mentioned: cheap light bulbs that work and toilets that flush. Though Shalt Not Question Washington’s Mandates.
  • Agribusiness subsidies, crony capitalism in almost its purest form? Not mentioned.
  • The Democratic Party faithful are never, ever, ever going to reengage with Nader, because their hatred for George W. Bush is far stronger and more visceral than their theoretical attachment to populist economic policies.
  • Of course, since it’s Salon, the piece has more than one inside-the-blue-bubble howler:

  • “Nader’s belief in convergence isn’t the same as Obama’s naïve pursuit of the holy grail of bipartisanship.” Obama has pursued “bipartisanship” with much the same fervor the late Amy Winehouse pursued “sobriety.”
  • “Republicans can talk values even while defending a corrupt status quo because, recent Tea Party convulsions aside, defending the status quo is their job. The Democrats’ job is to challenge the status quo; when they don’t do it, nothing they say sounds sincere. ” Republicans certainly defend many cultural status quos, but it is the Democratic Party that has consistently defended the status quo of the lumbering monstrosity that is Big Government.
  • When he says that until 1996, congress “had not enacted any major social or economic reforms since the historic environmental laws of the early ’70s,” he’s flat out lying. (Kemp-Roth was certainly reform.) What he actual means is “No reforms that far left economic populists like myself approve of.”
  • In the next paragraph he decries the deregulation of the airline, trucking and phone industries, missing the point that these were not only reforms, but populist reforms that ended monopoly profits by entrenched special interests, and ones which radically brought down prices for consumers.
  • “But Nader always hit hard; you don’t get to be the world’s most famous shopper by making allowances or pulling punches.” I would venture to guess that the world’s most famous “shopper” is probably someone like Paris Hilton, which is probably not the image he wanted to convey…
  • “Liberals have spent the intervening years debating macroeconomic theory.” Have they? As far as I can tell, the only debate in the ideological vineyards of the Democratic Party is over how much Keynesian vs. how much Marxism.
  • “Democrats must also learn to argue history. They chortle when Michele Bachmann credits the founders with ending slavery or Sarah Palin forgets who Paul Revere rode to warn.” Tiny little problem: By and large Sarah Palin got Paul Revere’s story right, no matter how much liberals might insist otherwise.
  • “The best template of populism remains the career of William Jennings Bryan.” Well, it’s not that Curry is necessarily wrong per se, but one must view with a certain jaundiced eye the idea that current electoral models can be found in a man who probably peaked in 1896.
  • Indeed, when you get right down to it, Curry’s piece could be boiled down to “Talk vaguely about populism while pushing the same Big Government, redistributionist schemes liberals always push.” Maybe the Nader book itself is bolder (and if someone wants to pay me to review it, I’d happily give it a go), but Curry’s piece is very old and undistinguished wine decanted into a slightly shinier bottle.

    No matter how many times liberals declare “This is it! I’m finally fed up with the Democratic Party!”, the party’s fat cats know the truth. Come November 8, 2016, they’ll remember they loathe Republicans far more than they love reform, and pull the (D) lever no matter how many jeremiads Bill Curry and his ilk pen.

    We’ve seen this movie before, and we know exactly how it ends.

    LinkSwarm for March 31, 2014

    Monday, March 31st, 2014

    Before the LinKSwarm itself, an observation: On the drive home from Houston to Austin this weekend, I saw a Prius with a “Repeal ObamaCare” sticker. Truly the tide has turned…

  • So today is the latest drop dead day to sign up for ObamaCare. Guess what website is down?
  • How AP frames questions: “Do you want your Reps to make ObamaCare work, or to let children die?”
  • Court case to determine whether Obama can rewrite laws at his whim or not.
  • “A core competency of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is issuing false assurances.”
  • ObamaCare wastes wastes $2 trillion over 10 years to fail to insure the uninsured.
  • How Obama’s pro-illegal alien policies released 68,000 criminals onto the street.
  • CNN decides that California’s third-ranking Democratic state Senator and gun control advocate being busted on federal arms trafficking charges just isn’t news.
  • Obama’s foreign policy: Neither Hawkish nor Dovish, but rather manifestly incompetent.
  • Top Ten Things Putin Said to Obama about Ukraine.
  • One reason for the liberal contempt on guns: They’re losing and they know it.
  • And when liberals want to have a “conversation” on gun control, what they really mean is “let us shame you into rolling over and giving up your rights.” Then they wonder why they keep losing. “After Newtown, many gun-control advocates tried to shame rather than persuade, as if the ‘correct’ position was obvious to everyone save retrograde idiots. On guns, that strategy has never worked.”
  • Malcolm Gladwell’s discussion of the Branch Davidian siege makes the ATF sound even more clueless and incompetent.
  • There are some majors and colleges that bring negative financial returns.
  • This just in: Jeffrey Toobin is a lying tool. (Related.)
  • Scott Walker is crushing Mary Burke in fundraising.
  • How the Washington Post and Robert Reich lie about the Koch Brothers.
  • But despite all the liberal talking points, Harry Reid is still less popular than the Koch brothers.
  • Global Warming alarmists push for greater dialog with skeptics. Ha, just kidding! They want them arrested.
  • How an editor at Ebony picks fights with black conservatives to help prop up the magazine’s ambulatory corpse.
  • Erick Erickson reviews Noah. I think the movie the movie may have strayed a little from its Biblical source, especially in the light-saber fight in the strip club after the car chase…
  • Proof that Kayne West is a vampire.
  • LinkSwarm for March 21, 2014

    Friday, March 21st, 2014

    Enjoy your complimentary Friday LinkSwarm, and be sure to tip your waitress!

  • Fourteen different ways you can you can avoid the ObamaCare tax.
  • Joaquin Castro to boycott Buc-ees? He should have almost as much luck in Texas boycotting air conditioning and football. Hey, when Castro can offer outstanding fudge and the largest, cleanest restrooms in the state, let me know…
  • Democratic Senators decide they’d like to avoid committing political suicide by voting for Obama’s gun-grabbing Surgeon general nominee.
  • Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall proves once again that taxes are for the little people.
  • Democrats recruit the perfect candidate for congress: an 86-year old ex-felon.
  • Rich liberal environmentalist Tom Steyer is 100% opposed to Keystone pipeline. Well, except when endangered Democratic Senators are involved.
  • What liberals are leaving out of their hagiography of Cesar Chavez: he opposed illegal aliens and would have hated amnesty.
  • Liberals hate the Koch brothers so much they freak out even when they’re donating money to a hospital.
  • How dare some racist Americans call some Muslims pedophiles just because they want to marry 8-year olds?
  • America could hurt Russia by lifting natural gas export restrictions.
  • Swell story of resurrecting a badly damaged B-2. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • It’s gotten to the point I can no longer tell liberal ranting from parody of same.
  • More Yelp hilarity for the Backstreet Pub and Grill owner who went out of his way to insult gun owners.
  • Supporting Neil Young and Scarlet Johansson against the Israel haters.
  • “Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue….” Yeah, that’s pretty much where I stopped reading.
  • Solider adopts dog. Dusty room ensues.

  • LinkSwarm for February 25, 2014

    Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

    Another roundup of tab-clearing news, much of which got pushed aside by Ukraine updates:

  • Obama Administration admits that ObamaCare will screw small businesses. (Hat tip: Instapundit.) Why are any Republicans futzing around with any fix but full repeal?
  • Bobby Jindal: “Obamacare is giving low-income Americans fewer reasons to work.”
  • How ObamaCare is turning into the Democrats’ own forever war.
  • Two more congressional Democrats retire.
  • And that doesn’t count liberal Democratic fossil John Dingell, who’s also retiring after a mere 58 years in office.
  • And speaking of Michigan Democratic congressman, here’s how Rep. Gary Peters is trying to kill a woman with cancer:

  • Democrats in denial over ObamaCare unpopularity. Well, those who haven’t retired yet…
  • How unions and Democratic cronies looted Detroit’s pension plans.
  • Former Democratic congressman and convicted statutory rapist Mel Reynolds arrested on child pornography charges in Zimbabwe. (You might remember that Bill Clinton pardoned him on the way out the door…)
  • Deeply incompetent New Orleans Democratic Mayor Ray “Chocolate City” Nagin convicted on 20 federal corruption counts.
  • NJ’s Democratic Rep. Rob Andrews: The Washington Generals of Legislators.
  • The top special interest donors contribute to Democrats.
  • This week in the Democratic Liberal Media Complex Revolving Door.
  • There are few people liberals hate more than conservative black men.
  • Ted Cruz is winning.
  • Food prices continue to soar, yet another sign that inflation figures are significantly understated.
  • Record numbers of college graduates are living with their parents. Thanks, Obama!
  • “*Somebody* at Cover Oregon will end up going to jail.”
  • “The combination of UAW micromanagement and adversarial culture, not wages per se, is what helped to do in GM.”
  • “The UAW couldn’t even win an election it had been handed on a silver platter by management.”
  • Venezuela continues to stumble along at a repressive simmer.
  • Too bad they’re out of toilet paper.
  • Catholic priest in Venezuela beaten unconscious by socialist state thugs.
  • Michael Totten points out that Che Guevara is a murderous communist scumbag. Bonus: “Cuba’s maximum wage is less than one percent of America’s minimum wage”
  • Battle is joined between EUroskeptic UKIP and the EUrophilic Liberal-Democrats.
  • John Kerry: There’s no room in the religion of global warming for cost-benefit analysis.
  • UK Leftists want punitive taxes even if they bring in no additional revenue.
  • Detroit home-owner with an AR pattern rifle 3, stupid thugs trying to break into her home 0.
  • Portugal decriminalized all drugs 11 years ago. Result? Addiction cut in half, and “Portugal’s drug usage rates are now among the lowest of EU member states.”
  • “Diversity demands that diversity of opinion not be tolerated anymore.”
  • “Anti-male misandry, like anti-female #misogyny, is unjust and dangerous.”
  • Paying attention to the victimhood identity politics crowd, or how to murder your writing career.
  • Sarah Hoyt further dissects Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America idiocy. She touches on many of the reasons I didn’t renew my membership, the main ones being that SFWA is no longer important enough to be worth fighting for, and was certainly not worth $90 a year in dues.
  • “Human Resources has been very reluctant to respond to my complaints about being invisibly strangled by a cyborg space wizard.”
  • One more Tweet:

  • Slovenia Hit by Several Feet of Global Warming

    Saturday, February 8th, 2014

    Mainly linking to this story for the amazing photos. As if living in an Ex-Communist country wasn’t bad enough, a winter storm just dumped several feet of ice on them.

    “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” takes on quite a different meaning when the weight of the ice brings forests worth of trees crashing to the ground.

    Driving doesn’t look like much fun either, though the frozen landscape looks amazingly alien.

    Another video (skip ahead a minute to omit getting out of the parking garage):

    All this should make you feel better about your current weather….

    LinkSwarm for March 14, 2013

    Thursday, March 14th, 2013

    This week we’ll do it Thursday rather than Friday:

  • Obama is trying to work the same magic on America’s economy that a half century of Democratic rule has worked in Detroit. More details here.
  • And Detroit’s former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is going to prison.
  • Since 2002, total federal spending has increased 89% while median household income has dropped 5%.
  • In Iran, 5 of top 10 porn search terms are for gay porn (no nudity, but NSFW-ish terms, and the usual warning that it’s (ick) Gawker).
  • Thanks to ObamaCare, your veterinarian bills are going up as well as your medical bills.
  • Thomas Friedman hates the Keystone pipeline because the oil is dirty, but love China, where industry is a thousand time dirtier than here in the U.S. And where will that oil go if the pipeline isn’t built? China. Maybe Friedman just wants all the jobs to be in China. That, or actual checks from the Chinese government or their business subsidiaries, would explain an awful lot of Friedman’s writing over the last few years…
  • “Most developed nations are fundamentally broke.”

    The degrees of broke-ness varies: from completely and utterly broke, like Greece or Italy; to wobbly, like the U.K., France, the U.S., or Japan; to getting poorer like Germany. But all of them are going to have to raise the percentage of gross domestic product they collect in tax — and many of them very significantly.

    The U.S. deficit is more than 7% of GDP. The U.K.’s deficit is just as high. There is very little sign that spending cuts to close gaps of that magnitude are on the cards, nor is there any sign that growth will be sufficiently strong to make up the difference — certainly not in countries like the U.K. or Japan.

    Huge sums of additional revenue will have to be raised.

    Willie Sutton once famously remarked that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”

    In the same way, governments will look to raise more tax from companies because that’s where the money is.

    Or they could, you know, actually cut spending…

  • I’ve not been following the Prenda Law case closely. Fortunately, Ken over at Popehat has. Exceptionally brief background: Scumbag copyright troll lawyers operate shakedown operation, filing dubious (at best) copyright infringement lawsuits. Then they compounded the problem by suing bloggers and lawyers in an attempt to silence them. As you might expect, that strategy isn’t working out very well for them… (Hat tip: Dwight)
  • Florida Democrats want mandatory anger management classes for people buying ammo.
  • From Popcap Games, the makers of Plants vs. Zombies, comes Trees vs. Rockets. Wait, did I say Popcap Games? I meant the Israeli Defense Forces.
  • White House journalists as Ring-Wraiths.
  • Third round of Climategate documents released?
  • Michael Totten says that Lebanon is ready to explode from the spillover effect of the Syrian Civil War.
  • News of the horrific 5-year old terrorist who brandished her fearsome Hello Kitty assault bubble gun (link fixed).
  • Texas vs. California Update for February 13, 2013

    Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

    Busy day! Here’s a quick Texas vs. California roundup:

  • Texas economic success is no mirage.
  • More on Rick Perry’s California raid. “I’d take free-market capitalism over socialism any day, and that was the decision that we made,” said Waste Connections Inc Chairman and CEO Ron Mittelstaedt. “He added that it took Waste Connections 16 months to design and build a new, 11-story building in Texas, including eight weeks for permits. He estimated it would have taken three years just to get the permits in California. The California Environmental Quality Act is often cited by critics as a major cause of pointless delays on construction projects in particular.”
  • California’s aversion to both nuclear power and fossil fuels will probably cause blackouts in the state this year.
  • “Thanks to appointments by Gov. Jerry Brown, the Public Employment Relations Board has gone from an obscure agency to a union front.”
  • The Milkin Institute’s Kevin Klowden takes a brief look at which state has a better business climate. “California’s higher costs and a difficult-to-navigate regulatory system mean that a split has developed. While research and development and innovation are more likely to stay in California, companies often expand or move their back offices and new manufacturing to Texas.”
  • “Superstorm Sandy? I say ‘Super Lobbyist Profits!’”

    Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

    “Good afternoon, and welcome to the Lipsky Extreme Lobbying Seminar. And by ‘Extreme,’ I mean both our proven seminar methods and the profits you’ll be raking in after you get out of here.”

    “Is that why we’re wearing the shock collars?”

    “Got it in one! Immediate, painful correction is necessary for maximum learning in minimum time. You’ll learn more here in three hours than three years of law school. Now, on to the topic at hand: Emergency funding bills. Today’s example: the relief bill for Superstorm Sandy. Now, let me ask you bright boys and girls a question: What should go in an emergency relief bill. Mr. Smith?”

    “Uh, emergency relief for victims of AGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

    “Sorry, Mr. Smith, but Mr. Shock Collar says you’re mistaken. Anyone else? Mr. Dewey?”

    “Whatever a lobbyist client pays for?”

    “Ding ding ding! Correct on all counts! Now, can someone give me an example of an ideal item to put in an emergency spending bill? Mr. Smith?”

    “Uh, $5 million for emergency power generAGGHHHHHHHHHH!”

    “Sadly, it appears that Mr. Smith is a slow learner. Ms. Cheathum?”

    “$150 million for Alaskan fisheries?”

    “Correct! Mr. Howe?”

    “$188 million for Amtrack?”

    “Excellent! Mr Smith?”

    “$20 million for tearing down flood damaged AGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH! Why does learning have to be so painful???”

    “Pain is just stupidity leaving the body. Mr. Solitary?”

    “$600 million for a global warming slush fund?”

    “Brilliant! That’s thinking big! Mr. Smith, care to give it one last try?”

    “$188 million for hurricane cleanAGGGHHHHHHHHHH I mean tunnels! Random tunnels!”

    “I’m glad to see that my proven learning methods have finally gotten through to Mr. Smith. Class dismissed.”

    Texas vs. California: Dog Days of August Edition

    Monday, August 27th, 2012

    It’s late August, and California’s slide toward insolvency continues apace.

  • How badly underwater is CalPERS? Try $884 billion.
  • Speaking of California unions, here’s how they’re trying to block reform.
  • California’s recovery is much slower than the already slow pace of the rest of the nation.
  • Things have gotten so bad that Moody’s is rexamining the outlook on all California cities.
  • What California should learn from Wisconsin.
  • CalTrans spends $22.5 million on unneeded home repairs, with a hefty side-helping of graft. (Hat tip: Dwight)
  • So what happened to all those Solyndra glass tubes? Can you say modern art?
  • Texas snags it’s lowest bond interest rate ever at 0.225%. That makes sense. Broke ass California getting a 0.43% rating doesn’t.
  • Texas has five of the ten fastest growing counties (including Williamson).
  • California’s “urban forest” offset scam.
  • LinkSwarm for March 27, 2012

    Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

    News! in tiny, bite-sized portions!

  • Kay Bailey Hutchison tries to walk back her comments, unsuccessfully. She says she opposes abortion, but supports taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood. That’s like saying you support the Second Amendment, but also support the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. You can believe one or the other, but not both at the same time.
  • Hey, how about sending some of that military surplus to the Mexican border?
  • Even The New York Times has noticed the absurdity of the Obama Administration’s position on ObamaCare: “The Justice Department is essentially arguing that the penalty is not a tax, except when the government says it is one.”
  • “Europe will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.” The new Europe will be Judenfrei.
  • Escape from North Korea.
  • Thanks to Muslim pressure, SUNY Stony Brook will no longer celebrate Good Friday, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, or Passover.
  • Speaking of New York, here’s another case of insider looting at a Brooklyn hospital. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Still no signs of Global Warming.