Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: July 21, 2010

Dale’s Observations For 2010-07-21

TARP IG: Obama administration
housing rescue programs have been ineffective at preventing a
rise in home foreclosures. http://bit.ly/cOa4uA #

Bernanke says economic outlook is 'unusually uncertain'. Also declares surface of the sun is 'a bit warm'. http://bit.ly/bRg4ad #

The median duration of unemployment is higher today than any time in the last 50 years. http://bit.ly/anKDyq #RecoverySummer #

I'm just going from meeting to meeting today. Theoretically, that accomplishes something, I'm just not sure what. #

Oakland, CA votes to permit large medical marijuana farms. http://usat.me?39370998 #

Race relations – oh, much better, you bet …

So much for "post-racial".

I’m sure you’ve been watching the goings on for the last few months – the race baiting, the Black Panther case – or lack thereof – the NAACP calling the Tea Party "racist" with little or no proof, the "journolist" appeal to call those on the right "racist" in order to blunt criticism of Obama and finally, the Shirley Sherrod case.

Essentially, both sides need to take a breath. But even with a breath, it is clear that there is nothing "post-racial" about the climate in this country.  Ben Smith’s take:

The America of 2010 is dominated by racial images out of farce and parody, caricatures not seen since the glory days of Shaft. Fox News often stars a leather-clad New Black Panther, while MSNBC scours the tea party movement for racist elements, which one could probably find in any mass organization in America. Obama’s own, sole foray into the issue of race involved calling a police officer “stupid,” and regretting his own words. Conservative leaders and the NAACP, the venerable civil-rights group, recently engaged in a round of bitter name-calling that left both groups wounded and crying foul. Political correctness continues to reign in parts of the left, and now has a match in the belligerent grievance of conservatives demanding that hair-trigger allegations of racism be proven.

Yeah, heaven forbid that proof be demanded – in the past all it’s taken is yelling “racist” and the deed is done.  Now suddenly, proof of the word is demanded?  Outrageous.

But to the bigger point – if this is a ‘national conversation’ about race, I’d sure see it when we’re yelling at each other.  The absurdity of all of this has gotten beyond amusing.  It’s now destructive.

“I thought we were going to move beyond this,” said Abigail Thernstrom, a conservative historian of race and a Bush appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, who called the current racial climate “a catastrophe.”

“There’s a kind of heightened racial consciousness that’s very worrisome. It’s not good for us, it’s not good for the very fabric of American society,” she said, objecting in particular to the claims of racism against the tea party movement.

Yup – I think there were a lot of us who hoped we were beyond this.  But for some, racism and race is big business.  Take Jesse Jackson.  In fact take Jesse Jackson recently on the LeBron James kerfuffle.  It was he who made the comparison to plantation owners and slaves.  Nothing the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers had said that remotely reminded anyone of someone talking about a “runaway slave” as Jackson portrayed it.  But Jackson’s mind is focused on one area and one area only – everything is racial to him, even a business disagreement. 

While there may be plenty to criticize in the way Dan Gilbert handled the situation and what he said about James, but to an impartial observer, it had nothing to do with race.  It was a tantrum by an owner who felt this particular players hadn’t played up to his potential in the playoffs and blasted him.  But “plantation owner” and “runaway slave”?  Give me a freakin’ break.

One of the things I said would help sooth racial tensions was the passing of my parent’s generation – they may have been the “greatest generation” because of WWII, but there was a lot of bigotry within that generation as well (my parents being a very interesting exception).  Now I’m of the opinion that a lot of this will begin to cool when the generation of race hustlers, like Jackson, and race baiters, like Al Sharpton, meet their reward.

It’s a pity really – this should be old news.  We should be watching documentaries about this and shaking our heads sadly.

Instead, we have a new 21st century race war going on.  And I believe much of the blame falls on the Obama administration and Holder’s DoJ.  

Regardless though, it’s pitiful.

~McQ

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Cap-and-trade: And the good news is …

Cap-and-trade is on life support.  Or so says Politico, and, frankly, the clock.  With the August recess rapidly approaching and no bill yet on the floor of the Senate, it appears that the Senate won’t be passing an “Energy and Climate” bill this session.

That’s mostly because of the cap-and-trade provisions and the greenhouse emissions portion of the bill.   Because of those provisions, the necessary Republican votes simply aren’t there.  The bill, sponsored by John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, is scaled back from the original intent to have cap-and-trade apply to a broader sector of industry to only the energy industry.

As you might imagine, that industry isn’t at all pleased with the focus solely on them.  Lieberman and Kerry haven’t yet convinced them to sign on to the bill nor have they found the sweetners which would entice them.

Meanwhile, apparently some of the Republicans in the Senate have made it clear that this rush through of major legislation shouldn’t happen:

“He’s waiting until we have, like, two or three days to tackle a subject that usually takes seven or eight weeks,” GOP Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander said of Reid. “That makes it very difficult.”

“Can I be very candid with you?” Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) asked. “This whole thing is very cynical. Anybody who’s been in the Senate for any period of time knows there’s no way — no way — an energy bill can get done between now and the election or even now and the end of the year.”

The “he” referred too in the quote is, of course, Senate Majority leader Reid. And apparently – at least it seems so now – the “we’ve got to rush this through” ploy is not going to carry the day. 

Some Senators think that Reid should take the cap-and-trade provisions out of the bill:

“If they’re serious about bringing it up next week, they’ve got to show it soon,” said Bill Wicker, spokesman for Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). “You can’t release it late Friday and expect people to read it and be prepared to debate it on Monday.”

But of course, Reid and the Democrats have never really cared one whit about debate or, in fact, anyone having the chance to read anything.  Witness the health care fiasco and even the financial regulation bill.  Both over 2,500 pages and what passed for “debate” was a farce.

Lieberman still hopes that the Senate will deal with the bill – even in a lame duck session.  Calling them “big and important issues regarding energy independence, pollution reduction, job creation”, he hopes the Senate won’t be constrained by some “artificial schedule.”  But time doesn’t stand still for anyone and reality is reality.  The possibility that this will pass this session isn’t at all good – and that’s good.

Says one source:

A former Senate Democratic aide said climate advocates need to start gearing up for 2011, which will require a big push from Obama, Democratic control of the House and support from Senate Republicans to have any chance of success. “The window is definitely almost shut, and if it closes without action in the next few weeks, a lot of advocates will need to take stock about when this could be realistically attempted again,” the former staffer said.

When can it realistically be attempted again?  In it’s present form not until the Democrats again have an overwhelming majority in the Senate.  And that, hopefully, won’t be for decades if at all.

In a version with cap-and-trade stripped out of it?  My guess would be something heavily influenced by the GOP will pass in the next Congress (and that should be, relatively speaking, “a good thing”).

~McQ

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